We think you should know more about Peter Navarro. Just a few months ago, he was a little-known economics professor at the University of California Irvine and today, he’s the head of the National Trade Council in the United States—a newly-created post within the White House that is responsible for directing ALL trade policy for the US. This includes NAFTA, free-trade agreements with the EU, the US-China trade relationship, and more. Let’s dive in.
We are broadcasting from the Herengracht Canal in Amsterdam and, this week, we’re going to talk about Gmod, the Trans-Pacific partnership, and Dell’s fifty billion dollar takeover of EMC.
Gmod goes VR Let’s start by looking at what’s happening in the world of gaming. In particular, Garry’s Mod, an extremely popular online game that’s sold over 9 million copies to date. Gmod is apparently coming out with a sequel that will include virtual reality. This is a game where you can build anything in a sort of sandbox-like environment.
Virtual reality is also in the news this week because Disney has released a virtual reality coloring book, where you color on the iPad and then it instantaneously turns your figures into a 3d model. We’ve been covering virtual-reality a lot. The possibilities are really amazing in this area and I wanted to show you the YouTube video, which you can find in the description. You’ll see how this virtual coloring book from Disney works.
The Trans-Pacific Partnership The TPP is the Trans-Pacific partnership and it would be a landmark trade deal. It involves 12 countries who represent over 40% of global GDP and there are a lot of reasons to be interested in this deal. First of all, it would enable people who work in these different countries and want to move around to do so more freely. It will also lower the tariffs in these countries, which will improve the quality of life for people in these countries.
Finally, it will streamline environmental processes so that companies who are involved in business in all 12 of these countries have to adhere to streamline environmental regulations. The deal hasn’t been passed in each of the countries as of yet –that comes down to legislators– but this deal is extremely difficult to negotiate.
For those of you interested in upgrading your negotiation skills, you might check out the Advanced Management Training course, which has been totally renovated on Udemy this week and includes an extensive section on negotiation. You can learn techniques like integrative bargaining.
Dell’s $50bn takeover of EMC This would be the largest tech deal ever in history. EMC has subsidiaries like VMware and Pivotal Labs and what’s really interesting about this story is that there is an activist investor who is a shareholder in EMC that’s pushing them to make some changes.
Activist shareholders are really interesting because they can basically own so much stock that they can make the company do certain things. One of the most famous activist investors that you might want to know about is Carl Icahn. There is great interview with Carl on YouTube where he talks a little bit about the activist investor mindset.
In this week’s Brain Boost, we are going to look at Uber vs. The World, Salesforce and the Internet of Things, and Amazon’s gateway drug.
Uber vs. The World U.S.-based ride sharing service, Lyft, and a popular ride sharing app in China called DidiKuaidi have teamed up so their clients can use each other’s apps to hail rides when they are in the other territory. You could see this as a “teaming up”, of sorts, against Uber for market share. We want to turn your attention to a module in the Advanced Management Training course on integrative bargaining techniques (Lecture 34), which will help you understand the negotiation that had to happen to make this partnership work.
If you can imagine, as they structured this agreement, Lyft and DidiKuaidi were not negotiating on issues like price. If you have an opportunity to create a mutually beneficial, strategic partnership, you are going to need to approach that negotiation in a more integrative way. Check out the module and the associated resources on that next time you need to approach these kinds of negotiations.
Salesforce and the Internet of Things The Internet of Things is a popular topic these days. If you remember, a few weeks ago, IBM announced an Internet of Things acquisition and, in San Francisco this week, Salesforce has announced that they have a new Internet of Things product that’s designed to cultivate more customer insights. For those of you who want to upgrade your ability to think about customers in a real, customer-centric way, why don’t you look at the modules in the Growth Hacking 101 (Lectures 19-21) and Growth Hacking Masterclass (Lecture 8) on developing psychographic customer profiles. Seth Godin calls these “tribes”.
You can also find that in the Freelance Business Design course (Lecture 5) and we challenge you to, this week, arrange an interview with one of your lead users and try to learn more about them -maybe not even things that necessarily factor into their behavior with your offering- but just how they think about the world. This kind of insight is really powerful on a strategic level.
Amazon’s Gateway Drug Amazon has announced a new “gateway drug”: a new tablet computer that has about 12 gigabytes of RAM. They’re going to retail it for about $50, which is a relatively low price point. One way you can think of the story is in terms of Amazon’s funnel. For example, where is this tablet in Amazon’s funnel and what kind of funnel are they trying to engineer for their customers?
If you want to brush up on your thinking about funnels, look at the section in the Growth Hacking Masterclass on funnel design (Section 5). We challenge you to visualize where this tablet fits into Amazon’s funnel and what the funnel looks like from a cultural perspective.
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