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By Invitation Only: How We Built Gilt and Changed the Way Millions Shop

by Alexis Maybank and Alexandra Wilkis Wilson (both MBA 2004)
(Portfolio)

The founders of Gilt Groupe reveal how they built the web’s most famous fusion of high tech and high fashion. Sample sales of designer brands had earlier been held in makeshift storefronts in anonymous locations. In 2007 the authors took sample sales to the Internet with a members-only website for a select national group of 13,000 young, high-end shoppers. They provide straight talk on how to build a start-up and negotiate the pitfalls that still face women in business.

The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business

by Charles Duhigg (MBA 2003)
(Random House)

Duhigg discusses neurological discoveries about how habits work in the brain—the loop of cue, routine, and reward—and applies them to individuals (Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps), companies (P&G, Target), and social organizations (Saddleback Church, the civil rights movement). He offers a framework for changing bad habits: identify the routine, experiment with rewards, isolate the cue, and have a plan.

Frank Batten: The Untold Story of the Founder of the Weather Channel

by Connie Sage
(University of Virginia Press)

Among his many accomplishments, the late Frank Batten Sr. (MBA 1952) created the Weather Channel in 1982, which became the largest private weather company in the world and an American cultural icon. This biography also discusses other aspects of Batten’s life and career: how he grew Landmark Communications into a media powerhouse, championed racial equality, gave away more than $400 million to charity, mostly to education, and dealt with losing his vocal cords to cancer.

The Art of the Sale: Learning from the Masters about the Business of Life

by Philip Delves Broughton (MBA 2006)
(Penguin Press)

Delves Broughton discusses his quest to find the world’s great wizards of sales, among them a Moroccan rug merchant who uses age-old principles to read his customers and Anthony Sullivan, king of the infomercial, who demonstrates the importance of creating a good narrative in selling effectively.

Just Start: Take Action, Embrace Uncertainty, Create the Future

by Leonard A. Schlesinger (DBA 1979) and Charles F. Kiefer, with Paul B. Brown
(Harvard Business Review Press)

In an environment where change is constant and managers cannot plan their way to success, the first step, the authors say, is to take action now and learn on the way. They show how to determine the best strategy and tactics when the future is uncertain, how to minimize financial risk in every decision, and why “Act, Learn, Build, so you can Act again” is the best course of action when facing the unknown.

Chance and Intent: Managing the Risks of Innovation and Entrepreneurship

edited by David L. Bodde (DBA 1976) and Caron H. St. John
(Routledge)

This book discusses three kinds of hazards—uncertainty, ambiguity, and ignorance—that lie outside the conventional domain of risk. It emphasizes practical strategies for understanding and managing these hazards of new ventures in light of recent research.

Reverse Innovation: Create Far from Home, Win Everywhere

by Vijay Govindarajan (MBA 1976, DBA 1978) and Chris Trimble
(Harvard Business Review Press)

Innovations today are increasingly flowing not only from developed nations to developing ones but also in the opposite direction. Reverse innovation is on the rise, and the implications are profound. Focusing on successful multinationals like GE, P&G, and PepsiCo that are seeking explosive growth in emerging economies, Govindarajan and Trimble show how to make innovation in emerging markets happen and how such innovations can unlock opportunities throughout the world.

The New Power Base Selling: Master the Politics, Create Unexpected Value and Higher Margins, and Outsmart the Competition

by Jim Holden and Ryan Kubacki (MBA 2000)
(Wiley)

The authors explain how competitive selling is as much a matter of politics, customer value, and strategy as it is a management science. Based on data from a comprehensive sales survey and reviews of over 50,000 deals, the book is intended to help salespeople quickly outfox the competition, impress their customers with unexpected value, and achieve new levels of professional success.

Repeatability: Build Enduring Business for a World of Constant Change

by Chris Zook and James Allen (MBA 1989)
(Harvard Business Review Press)

The authors, Bain & Company’s global strategy practice leaders, warn that internal complexity is the silent killer of sustainable growth. Successful companies endure by maintaining simplicity at their core. They don’t stray from their business model to pursue radical renovation. Instead, they build a “repeatable business model” that produces continual improvement and allows them to rapidly adapt to change without succumbing to complexity.

Dorade: The History of an Ocean Racing Yacht

by Douglas D. Adkins (MBA 1975)
(David R. Godine)

This is a history of the Dorade, considered to be the greatest ocean-racing yacht of the 20th century. A 52-foot yawl designed by the Stephens brothers and launched in May 1930 into the teeth of the Great Depression, Dorade performed well in her shakedown summer. But she made her mark by winning the 1931 Transatlantic Race in 16 days and 55 minutes, beating the next (and much larger) boat by 2 days. When the final results were tallied, Dorade was the winner by over four days on corrected time.

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Featured Alumni

Featured Alumni

Class of MBA 2004, Section E
follow @giltfounder
Class of MBA 2004, Section H
follow @GiltAlexandra
Class of MBA 2003, Section G
follow @cduhigg
Class of DBA 1976
Class of MBA 1975, Section B
Class of MBA 1989, Section H
Class of MBA 2000, Section D
follow @Ryan_Kubacki
Class of MBA 1976, Section A
follow @vgovindarajan
Class of DBA 1979
Class of MBA 2006, Section A

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