10 Jan, 2010 | by Richard Vinhais
By now, you probably know a friend or a friend of a friend who has seen the blockbuster movie “Avatar,” a film that undoubtedly touts the creative genius of James Cameron, with a plot that seems to be universally appreciated, visually stunning cinematography and cutting-edge 3D technology that puts the proverbial cherry on top. Anecdotally, it just seems that moviegoers are actually excited about going to theaters again, a trend of which Hollywood is keenly aware.
As the “Avatar”-sparked 3D revolution continues to build momentum, I find myself asking a profoundly simple question: Is it sustainable? 3D has been around for a very long time. Yes, the technology itself has evolved in tremendous ways, but the original concept goes back over fifty years, not to mention there have been 3D resurgences in both the 50s and 80s. However, the spikes in usage during those periods were seen as gimmicks that quickly lost popularity.
In the January 6, 2010 Yahoo News article “Blockbuster ‘Avatar’ to accelerate 3D revolution”, the author states that “[a]ccording to organizers of a recent 3D film festival in Belgium, more than 150 3D films are currently in various stages of production. Among them is the long-awaited movie adaptation of comic-book hero ‘Tintin,’ directed by Oscar-winner Steven Spielberg and tentatively scheduled for release in 2011.”
It’s clear that Hollywood sees the current 3D revolution as an opportunity to accentuate the moviegoer experience and glean profits in the process. But I for one feel that the 3D zeitgeist will pass and ultimately succumb to one irrefutable principle: Technology without substance or meaningful content is destined for failure.
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13 Mar, 2009 | by Mike Tikkanen
Better Prospects = Better Transactions
These are chaotic times for business valuation. The old rules are changing to reflect the dramatic new reality of the markets. Companies that were hanging on won’t make it much longer, and companies that need to sell will not receive the pricing they would have eighteen months ago. Equity buyers call it the “catch a falling knife” metaphor. Business valuation has always been more of a black art than a science.
Corporate buyers with access to cash receive far better returns on their acquisition dollars during recessions. Troubled deals that would be done in good times are being liquidated, mundane companies are finding it hard to get a fair multiple, and cash is at a premium.
All this points to acquisition as a growth strategy.
Those that discipline their acquisition process will improve their return on investment. continue reading »
21 Aug, 2007 | by Richard Vinhais
The recent news of New York base Cerberus, a private equity firm, buying and 80.1 percent stake in Chrysler from Daimler Chrysler AG for $7.4 billion has been major news to say the least. Business enthusiasts and investors have been speculating tirelessly in recent weeks as to how effective former Home Depot CEO, Robert Nardelli, will really be. I figured I’d throw my humble opinion into the speculative arena as well.
Robert Nardelli, a product of GE during the Neutron Jack years, is mainly known as a methodical cost cutter during his six years while at Home Depot. He was credited for doubling sales and the number of store operations while expanding into Mexico and China as well as delivering more than 20 percent earnings-per-share growth for four consecutive years and more than quintupling its dividend to 90 cents a share. continue reading »
4 Aug, 2006 | by Richard Vinhais
It’s been a while since I spoke to the GM saga, so I figured I’d chime with some interesting new developments. I recently read a great Fortune article about Carlos Ghosn, the CEO of both Nissan and Renault. It seems the prospect of fixing GM has struck Ghosn’s fancy. This new found interest could most succinctly be attributed to an invitation to assist by GM’s largest shareholder, Kirk Kerkorian. Kerkorian, who owns roughly 10% of GM, has made his presence felt by publicizing his dissatisfaction in the speed and steps being taken in the turnaround effort.
Enter Carlos Ghosn: Ghosn has been dubbed a turnaround specialist, by financial analysts and industry experts, for his past successes with reviving both Nissan and Renault. It seems Ghosn has proposed an alliance between his two organizations and GM. You heard me right. And here you thought he already had too much on his plate! continue reading »
12 Apr, 2006 | by Richard Vinhais
I’ve been watching the GM saga unfold before the public eye for some time now. My interest was especially peaked after reading a Fortune Magazine article dubbed “The tragedy of General Motors”, February 20, 2006 issue. It’s scary to think an American company of that size with its rich history is on the brink of bankruptcy. Lagging sales, struggling subsidiaries, rising health care costs and a unionized workforce on the verge of going on strike are just a few of the challenges GM is facing.
The implications of such a catastrophic event are mind boggling. Think about it… continue reading »
15 Oct, 2005 | by Richard Vinhais
The following is a summation and analytical assessment on the “Star Alliance (A): A Global Network” case study that was published in the fourth edition of “Transnational Management” by Bartlett, Ghoshal and Birkinshaw (C) 2005. The article provides history of the airline industry which includes the emergence of strategic alliances, budget carriers, competition and collaboration, cultural assessment and finishes off with a SWOT Analysis and perspective of the future of the Star Alliance.
The airline industry has grown and evolved by leaps and bounds since the early days of the Wright Brothers. It’s now layered with comprehensive alliances, strategic business models, revolutionary information systems and much more.
The airline industry took flight and yielded its first signs of competition in the late 1970s with deregulation. The US Airline Deregulation Act was signed into law on October 24, 1978 . This act caused the slow reduction in the powers of the Civil Aeronautics Board, which up to that point had strong control over pricing, market entry and most other airline functions. Deregulation in Europe followed similar suit which essentially ended many of the existing constraints on European carriers. continue reading »