Archive for December, 2012

New Movies for December

Thursday, December 20th, 2012

Here is a list of the latest titles from our DVD collection:

Beasts of the Southern Wild
Being Flynn
The Dark Knight Rises
Hope Springs
King of Devil’s Island
Last Call at the Oasis
Men in Black 3
My Week with Marilyn
The Odd life of Timothy Green
The Watch
2 Days in New York

Book Review: Abundance

Wednesday, December 12th, 2012

image courtesy

Diamandis, Peter H. and Steven Kotler. Abundance : the future is better than you think. Free Press, 2012.

In any large family, you see a variety of social attitudes, political opinions and perspectives about the future.  In my own family, some of the young men are buying guns and stockpiling food, so they will be ready in case of a terrorist attack or environmental collapse.  Fortunately, the man who shares my home is far more optimistic.  A new book, Abundance, is written for optimists like him.

Innovation pioneer Peter Diamandis and science journalist Steven Kotler begin their book by discussing scarce resources, those which are inaccessible with available technology.  Through radical breakthroughs in science and engineering, resources which were considered scarce just 30 years ago, including energy and food, are now readily available, and relatively cheaply too.  Access to communication and information is abundantly available thanks to cell phones and the internet; and they are available to much of the underdeveloped world at low cost. The world is being transformed, resulting in a rise in living standards for every person on the planet.  In the authors’ view, within a generation, “we will be able to provide goods and services once reserved for the wealthy few, to any and all who need them.  Or desire them.  Abundance for all is actually within our grasp.”

Diamandis and Kotler describe the forces that are driving positive changes in our world.  First is the exponential change of technological advancement. In addition, innovation has become democratized and DIY inventors are revolutionizing science fields from robotics to renewable energy. Also, billionaires turned philanthropists like Bill Gates are investing their fortunes and management skills in solutions to third world problems, improving access to health care and education.  And lastly, the market power of the developing world is itself bringing about positive change.

If the Mayans are wrong and we make it through next week, I recommend this book to end your year with hope.   As the academic year closes, this is my last book review of 2012.  Students, good luck on your final exams.  I wish a happy holiday and years of abundance for 2013 and beyond.

© Reviewer: Meg Trauner & Ford Library – Fuqua School of Business.
All rights reserved.

New Data Sets in WRDS

Monday, December 3rd, 2012

Ford Library is pleased to announce the addition of two new data set subscriptions to our Wharton Research Data Services (WRDS) platform portfolio.

AuditAnalytics : Audit and Compliance provides detailed audit information on over 1,200 accounting firms and 15,000 publicly registered companies. Know auditing details and fees paid for specific services. Create reports by auditor, fees, location, and industry.

KLD Research and Analytics : Social Ratings (Full) from MSCI (formerly KLD Research & Analytics, Inc.) is a  provider of company and industry social research data. To meet the needs of social investors, KLD provides research, benchmarks, compliance, and consulting services analogous to those provided by financial research service firms. The historical Social Ratings (Full) on WRDS are a companion product to the Global Socrates web site which contains current text reports and data on company and industry social performance.

Duke users may access these new data sets via the WRDS platform by following the instructions on the following page:

If you have questions about access to WRDS and our subscribed data sets, please email us at

Book Review: How will you measure your life?

Monday, December 3rd, 2012

image courtesy

Christensen, Clayton M. , James Allworth, and Karen Dillon. How will you measure your life? Harper Business, 2012.

A family member was diagnosed with a brain tumor and given a grim prognosis. She and her husband (my brother) came to Durham for treatment at Duke’s Brain Cancer Center.  When my brother spoke to me about the medical options, I did not know how to advise him.  My sister, a physician, told me, ”That’s not your job. Your job is to host them while they are in Durham.”

Knowing your job in the family is one of the insights in Clayton Christensen’s best-selling new book, How Will You Measure Your Life? Christensen uses examples from some of the world’s best companies to provide life lessons to students.  He explains the theories from his course at the Harvard Business School, Building and Sustaining a Successful Enterprise, and he shows how to apply them to the careers and personal lives of graduates.  Readers are encouraged to consider what is likely to happen as a result of different decisions and actions, so they may improve their interpersonal relationships, personal integrity and opportunities for career success.

Early in the book, Christensen discusses the two factor theory of motivation, including hygiene factors and motivation factors.  People love their work when they are key members of a team that is doing meaningful work; they have an opportunity to learn new skills; and they receive increasingly more responsibility.  Yet graduating MBA’s routinely accept positions based on the highest salary offer.  In addition, graduates may form mental strategies for what they want in business and in life, but they fail to allocate resources to execute them.  High achieving people often unconsciously allocate resources that yield immediate results, such as a promotion or a bonus, but underinvest in activities with a long-term focus, such as raising children.  As a result, instead of being a source of immense satisfaction, their children are often strangers.

Through his research on innovation, Christensen developed a theory about marketing and product development, “the job to be done.”   What causes a consumer to buy a product or service can be thought of as a hiring decision – the consumer hires a product to do a certain job. Companies that develop products that help consumers do a job perfectly are rewarded with loyal customers.  Likewise, spouses or partners are hired to do a job in the family.  Partners who understand what their job is and who devote time and effort to doing the job reliably are rewarded with happiness at home.

This thought provoking book is recommended for all readers.

© Reviewer: Meg Trauner & Ford Library – Fuqua School of Business.
All rights reserved.