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Sberbank’s second pirouette

SchumpeterSberbank’s second pirouetteCan the former Soviet savings monopoly turn itself into a consumer-technology giant?BusinessJan 23rd 2021 editionTECH FIRMS with ropy business models are told to “pivot”—abruptly reinvent themselves in the hope that a new approach generates profits before venture capital runs out. YouTube is celebrated in business...

A Tesla bull debates a Tesla bear

Electric shock and aweA Tesla bull debates a Tesla bearIt is easy to make a positive and a negative case for the electric-car maker's $800bn market capitalisationBusinessJan 23rd 2021 editionElectric aweTESLA’S SHARE price will travel in only one direction—up. Despite accelerating in “ludicrous” mode, by more than 700% in 2020, Tesla has plenty left...

Chipmaking is being redesigned. Effects will be far-reaching

A new architectureChipmaking is being redesigned. Effects will be far-reachingThe global semiconductor business is becoming at once more diverse and more concentrated. This brings opportunities—and risksBusinessJan 23rd 2021 editionON JANUARY 13TH Honda, a Japanese carmaker, said it had to shut its factory in Swindon, a town in southern England, for...

The MBA class of covid-19

Business schoolsThe MBA class of covid-19Once endangered, the venerable degree is emerging stronger from the pandemicBusinessJan 23rd 2021 editionEDIEAL PINKER, deputy dean of the Yale School of Management, bristles at the suggestion that the MBA, long seen as a stepping stone to corporate success, has been made less relevant by the covid-19 crisis....

The secrets of successful listening

BartlebyThe secrets of successful listeningLessons from a hostage negotiator. Hear, hearBusinessJan 23rd 2021 edition“WHEN PEOPLE talk, listen completely.” Those words of Ernest Hemingway might be a pretty good guiding principle for many managers, as might the dictum enunciated by Zeno of Citium, a Greek philosopher: “We have two ears and one mouth,...

Kuaishou takes on TikTok and its Chinese sibling

Video gamesKuaishou takes on TikTok and its Chinese siblingChina’s short-video wars are heating upBusinessJan 16th 2021 edition“WE AIM TO be the most customer-obsessed company in the world,” declares the opening line in the 700-page prospectus from Kuaishou, a Chinese video app. The firm, launched a decade ago by a former software engineer at Google...

Why prospects for post-Trump social media aren’t all bad

Capitol gainsWhy prospects for post-Trump social media aren’t all badBanning the troll-in-chief is unlikely to hurt social networks’ businessBusinessJan 16th 2021 editionON JANUARY 7TH , a day after a mob of his supporters stormed the Capitol in Washington, leaving five people dead and America shaken, Donald Trump had the sixth-most-popular account...

Branding lessons from Rizla

Rolling in itBranding lessons from RizlaHow to become a household nameBusinessJan 16th 2021 editionIT IS HARD to imagine a simpler product than a cigarette paper: small, rectangular, with no moving parts. So cheap it is often given away. And replaceable; desperate smokers have been known to tear out Bible pages as substitutes. It has none of cigarettes’...

American trustbusters force Visa to back off Plaid

Visa-free travelAmerican trustbusters force Visa to back off PlaidThe Department of Justice signals a new, pre-emptive approach to antitrustBusinessJan 16th 2021 editionIN EARLY 2019 an executive at Visa, a giant payments firm, sketched a picture of an island volcano. He scribbled the current capabilities of Plaid, a Silicon Valley fintech firm founded...

CES upstages the Detroit Motor Show as cars go electronic

Steel and siliconCES upstages the Detroit Motor Show as cars go electronicCarmakers look to Las Vegas while big tech heads for Detroit. Will they collide?BusinessJan 16th 2021 editionTHE ANNUAL Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas used to be a jamboree for gadgets you can put in your pocket or hang on your wall. This hasn’t been true for a few...

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