Archive for April, 2014

Book Reviews: Summer Reading Suggestions

Thursday, April 24th, 2014

Now that warm weather is here at last, it is time to wish our first year MBA’s a happy summer break and to extend our congratulations to our graduating second years and all MMS students.

But before our students depart, there is just enough time to introduce a handful of books that are just for fun.

silence-priceThe Price of Silence by William D. Cohan. Duke alumnus (T’81) and best selling author William Cohan writes an exhaustive account (600+ pages) of the Duke Lacrosse scandal, the story that captivated both Duke and Durham for most of 2006. Every detail is presented and every conversation is recounted.  Yet the book is infinitely interesting.

flash-boysFlash Boys : a Wall Street revolt by Michael Lewis.  Anyone who has read Michael Lewis’s books (including two about Wall Street, Liar’s Poker and The Big Short, as well as my personal favorite, Boomerang) knows that he is a master storyteller. His most recent work is about a small group of Wall Street men who discover that high-frequency trading shops are rigging the market and then go on to create their own more ethical exchange.

simpsons-mathThe Simpsons and Their Mathematical Secrets by Simon Singh.  Math nerds will enjoy this book about the popular TV show “The Simpsons” and its hidden jokes and gags about mathematics.  Five of the show’s writers have advanced degrees in math or physics and they pepper the program with references to the perfect science.  Book includes entertaining anecdotes and explanations of mathematical topics.

dating-econEverything I Ever needed to Know About Economics I Learned from Online Dating by Paul Oyer.  Divorced after 20 years of marriage, an Economics professor at the Stanford Graduate School of Business enters the market for life partners and discovers that the economic principles that he teaches students (utility, externalities, signaling, thin/thick markets, adverse selection) are driving the behavior of online dating participants.

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

Book Reviews: McKinsey and Goldman Sachs

Monday, April 21st, 2014

During the course of their careers, most Fuqua students will either find employment within the fields of consulting or finance, or they will work in industries that are profoundly affected by those professions.  Two engaging new books in the Ford Library are about the leading companies in those fields, McKinsey and Goldman Sachs.

the-firmThe Firm : the story of McKinsey and its secret influence on American business by Duff McDonald.  McKinsey & Co. is one of the most influential companies in the world, a firm that is woven into decision making at the highest levels in business and government.  Business journalist Duff McDonald explores the company and its history, showing how McKinsey consultants shaped the concept of American capitalism, promoted the use of scientific approaches to business management, and served as a catalyst for change.

McDonald begins his book when the company is established in 1926 and he shows how the company evolves with changes in company leadership and the shifting environment of business. McKinsey quickly achieves success at using problems in corporations as its own profit opportunity, providing advice and developing tools to solve them.  Yet McDonald is ambivalent about the benefit of its advice to corporate executives.  While he documents the sophisticated work performed by the firm, he also provides numerous examples of bad advice that resulted in spectacular failures (General Motors, Enron, Swissair). Also available as a Kindle e-book.

book cover imageWhat Happened to Goldman Sachs? : an insider’s story of organizational drift and its unintended consequences by Steven G. Mandis.  In his memoir, Why I Left Goldman Sachs, (reviewed here) Greg Smith wrote that somewhere between 2000 and 2012, Goldman lost its way and its culture of truthfulness and collaboration changed to one of generating optimum profits for the partners.  In a new book, What Happened to Goldman Sachs, former Goldman trader Steven Mandis analyzes why Goldman’s culture drifted.

In 1979, Goldman was a privately owned firm with 1000 employees and revenues of $100 million.  Senior partner John Whitehead codified written principles, those already in use throughout the company to ensure that employees put the client first.  By 2006, Goldman was public with a goal of becoming the world’s dominant investment bank, with 25,000 employees and $10 billion in revenues. In his insightful book, Mandis evaluates the complicated reasons that Goldman drifted from its high ethical principle of service to their clients to a legal standard, an ambiguous line with the potential for conflict of interests.  He concludes that competitive pressures and pursuit of growth will foster additional drift from Goldman’s principles despite public outcry and disappointment among clients.

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

New Movies for April: Part 2

Wednesday, April 16th, 2014

Here are the rest of this month’s DVD titles:

Mad Men, season 6
Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom
Mr. Nobody
Odd Thomas
Out of the Furnace
The Patience Stone
Pulling Strings
Saving Mr. Banks
The Wolf of Wall Street

You may browse the entire DVD collection via the library catalog.

Book Reviews: New on the ‘Net

Tuesday, April 15th, 2014

Forty years ago, a paper published by Vinton G. Cerf and Robert E. Kahn (‘A Protocol for Packet Network Interconnection‘) detailed the network communication protocols that would become TCP/IP – the packet switching technology that made the internet possible.  TCP/IP moves data from A to Z, and some call it the most significant development in internet history.  The authors, now in their 70’s, changed the world; but their names are only known to internet history geeks.  This post, detailing new books about the internet, is dedicated to them.

without permissionWithout Their Permission : how the 21st century will be made, not managed by Alexis Ohanian.  Co-founder of the website uses his own experience as an internet entrepreneur to guide other innovators in dealing with the ups and downs of launching a new product, finding a market and dealing with venture capitalists.  He also reveals his personal story and discusses his ideas on a variety of topics, to inspire others to live up to their potential as inventors.

smarter than u thinkSmarter Than You Think : how technology is changing our minds for the better by Clive Thompson. Several books explaining the negative effect of the internet on thinking and relationships have been reviewed here, including The Shallows and Alone Together.  These books describe the adverse consequences of internet use on attention, learning and memory as well as the deteriorating ability to think deep thoughts or form deep friendships.  By contrast, Clive Thompson’s new book describes the positive effects of our digital experience.  The internet is producing a new style of human intelligence that is more global and more intuitive.  He explains how modern technology is making people better connected and more intelligent, enabling people to solve significant problems for the individual and society. Also available as an audiobook.

end of bigThe End of Big : how the internet makes David the new Goliath by Nicco Mele.
The first generation of computers belonged to universities, corporations, government and the military, which controlled their use.  40 years later, the dominant communications technologies – the PC, the internet and mobile phones – place enormous political and economic power in the hands of individuals, which is disrupting traditional ways of running political campaigns, reporting the news, providing government services, managing businesses, providing entertainment and changing societies.  Media strategist Nicco Mele calls for newly powerful institutions like Facebook, Google and Twitter to play a civic role in our newly radicalized world.  Thoughtful material is presented in a choppy style perhaps more suited to a blog. Also available as an audiobook.

roinfluenceReturn on Influence : the revolutionary power of Klout, social scoring, and influence marketing by Mark W. Schaefer.  Individuals are influenced more by the people with whom they interact than by the messages they get from mass media.  Today most consumers access social networks through broadband connections in their homes and mobile phones in their pockets, and influence is widely distributed.  Individuals have great opportunities to be influential and to be influenced.  Marketing consultant Mark Schaeffer describes the strategies that brands use to build networks, to provide compelling content, and to create advocates who will distribute the content virally.

dot-complicatedDot Complicated : untangling our wired lives by Randi Zuckerberg. The older sister of Mark Zuckerberg and former Director of Market Development for Facebook is now Editor-In-Chief of a digital lifestyle website, Dot Complicated.  Her new book of the same name is about how social media have made our lives more complex, and how we can balance our connected world with our real-time world of family, friends and coworkers who stand beside us every day.

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

New Movies for April: Part 1

Monday, April 14th, 2014

Our first DVD titles for the month are:

47 Ronin
American Hustle
Anchorman 2
The Book Thief
The Broken Circle Breakdown
Delivery Man
La Grande Bellezza
Knights of Badassdom

You may browse the entire DVD collection via the library catalog.

Library Web Site Emergency Maintenance

Wednesday, April 9th, 2014

Ford Library’s web site will be going offline now (for 15-20 mins.) for emergency maintenance. Sorry for the short notice & inconvenience.

Book Reviews: Beyond Consulting and Finance

Monday, April 7th, 2014

At graduation, more than half of Fuqua students accept permanent positions in consulting or finance.  But there are a host of other industries beyond those two, and the Ford Library’s collection features books about the best of them.  Here are three new books about industries that students may not have considered.

blockbustersBlockbusters : hit-making, risk-taking, and the big business of entertainment by Anita Elberse
A Harvard Business School professor describes how the entertainment industry works, presenting evidence that blockbuster strategies produce the greatest returns and explaining why these strategies are so successful.  Executives who place their bets on a handful of films, shows and concerts, invest heavily in their development, support them with promotional spending and distribute them widely, generate the most profits.  Those who follow more risk-averse strategies fall behind.  This book also analyzes the role of superstars and new digital technologies. Also available as an audiobook.

overbookedOverbooked : the exploding business of travel and tourism by Elizabeth Becker
The travel industry is one of the largest industries in the world and among the most environmentally destructive.  Yet it also plays a role in widening the appreciation of different cultures and transferring wealth from rich to poor nations. Former New York Times correspondent Elizabeth Becker uses her own experiences traveling the world to discuss the impact of tourism on local citizens, including changes in culture, destruction of religious venues, skyrocketing cost of living, unsustainable coastal development and forced relocation of local people.

junkyardJunkyard planet : travels in the billion-dollar trash trade by Adam Minter
Not likely to be an employment destination for Fuqua students, the worldwide recycling industry is interesting nonetheless.  A professional journalist presents the hidden world of the globalized trade in trash and explains how the junk that homeowners recycle in their curbside bins is collected and shipped to distant locations like India or China, where it is reprocessed into other goods and resold profitably.

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

Library Catalog Maintenance, April 5-6

Friday, April 4th, 2014

Duke University Libraries IT staff will be conducting scheduled maintenance of the Library Online Catalog on Saturday and Sunday (April 5-6).

On Saturday (April 5), users will not be able to place hold requests, renew items online, or otherwise login to access their library accounts from 6:00 AM to 7:00 AM. Searching of the catalog should not be affected.

On Sunday (April 6), catalog searches will be unavailable from 8:15 AM to 9:30 AM.

Thanks for your patience during this scheduled maintenance.

Database News: Hoover’s Online Replaced

Wednesday, April 2nd, 2014

The state-wide library consortium (NCLIVE) that provided Duke University Libraries’ access to Hoover’s Online has replaced Hoover’s Online with a new product, Mergent Intellect. The announcement below is taken from the NCLIVE web site.

Mergent Intellect is a business intelligence application that provides access to private and public U.S and international business data, industry news, facts and figures, executive contact information, and industry profiles. Intellect is powered by the same Dun & Bradstreet data found in Hoover’s, and will include content from D&B’s First Research market reports. Intellect allows users to build lists of up to 250 records for export or print, and also includes a residential record search with list building capabilities not currently offered within the Hoover’s product.

You can access Mergent Intellect from the “M” tab on our database list now, or from the library catalog after 12 noon on 4/3/14.

Please contact us at if you have questions or concerns.