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Danger and Opportunity

The Discussion Issue

Risk is neither good nor bad. It is a combination of danger and opportunity and you cannot have one, without the other. With this definition then, here is a good way to define good risk taking behavior. You expose yourself to danger, only if you feel that there is sufficient opportunity to compensate and that you have the capacity to claim that opportunity.

Google Stores?

Nothing may come of this, but today's Wall Street Journal carries a story about Google, trying to take a page out of Apple's retailing success, and planning to open stores that will sell Google and Google-related products. Is there opportunity here? Sure. Apple's stores are the most productive retail stores in the world, in terms of sales/square foot. Is there danger? Absolutely. Retailing is a tough business, very far from Google's current business strengths.

Key Questions

  1. What are the dangers that you see Google exposed to, if it enters the retail business? Is there a way that you can quantify these dangers?
  2. What are the opportunitiess that you see Google having from entering the retail business? How would you go about putting numbers on these opportunities?
  3. Based on your net assessment, do you think that Google will gain from entering the retail business? Based on the initial market reaction, what does the market think about the potential payoff?
  4. Is there anything that Google can learn from Apple's foray into the market that can help it alter the danger/opportunity mix in the retail business?