01 Sep 2004
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The Wisdom of Crowds

Re: Matthew Bakal (MBA 2004)

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The judgments of many people regarding the merits of a restaurant, hotel, or bar trump a single reviewer’s opinion. That’s the philosophy behind the Zagat Survey leisure guides, and Ted Zagat (MBA ’04) has literally grown up with that concept: His parents founded the guidebook company 25 years ago, and he’s now its COO.

Zagat (pronounced “zuh-GAT”) worked for the company while at HBS and came up with the idea of introducing nightlife guides, which have become a successful part of the business, the Boston Globe reported (July 14, 2004). When out on the town, though, Zagat likes to keep a low profile. “He refuses to use his name to get a dinner reservation,” said his roommate, Matt Bakal (MBA ’04).

Zagat intends to expand Zagat Survey’s Web business (building Zagat.com’s content and capabilities) and its corporate sales (developing relationships with Fortune 500 companies interested in creating customized Zagat guides for their customers). “And now that I’m back home in New York,” he added, “I can check out all the great new nightspots that opened while I was in Boston.”

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Class of MBA 2004, Section F
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