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In Europe or in the US, people often wonder how they could even live before Amazon or Uber, etc. I want our customers to think the same about Jumia, says Sacha Poignonnec, founder of the first African unicorn.

A revolution in US corporate tax

Business April 7th, 2017, François Meunier / President, Alsis Conseil, Associate Professor of Finance, ENSAE ParisTech

As reported by the media, US Republicans in the House of Representatives have launched an initiative to lower corporate tax to 20%, instead of 35% today, one step further in the tax competition between countries. The Trump administration seems to support the project. Donald Trump himself even mentioned the possibility of lowering this rate to 15%. As worrying as is seems for the United States' trading partners, this drop isn't even the most important part of the reform. In reality, the measure forms part of wider radical project that will give corporate tax the same features as a tax that doesn't exist in the United States, namely, VAT or value-added tax, probably the most innovative and popular tax (as far as governments are concerned) since the 1950s.

A new R&D paradigm: crafting strategy by designing patents

Business March 28th, 2017, Olga Kokshagina / Innovation Manager, STIM, Associated Researcher at the Chair of Design Theory and Methods for Innovation, Mines ParisTech PSL Research University

Undoubtedly patents represent, today, a major criterion in making investment decisions and in firms' competitive advantage. Yet, the way we deal with designing patentable inventions does not reflect their strategic potential. Patents are strategic assets in theory but mainly secondary activity in practice. What if they were not an outcome but an input to craft your company's' future?

There are two main components of a compensation policy: salaries and equity. An equation with only two variables? Should be pretty simple, right? Well, not when you are talking about something as symbolic as money. Let's dig dive and look at the best practices of compensation policy for startups. Starting with equity.

How should you design your compensation policy? As we’ve seen in the first part dedicated to incentives in startups, equity should be the main driver for both founders and early employees, since it rewards risks and performance. The question is to determine what level of equity should be offered to a given candidate.

Companies like others? A sociological survey of French startup

Business March 21st, 2017, Michel Grossetti / Senior Researcher, EHESS PSL Research University, LISST lab

Young innovative companies are the subject of much interest. Their example reinforces a mythology of innovation that has its classical examples, its specific locations (MIT, the Silicon Valley), its theoreticians (Joseph Schumpeter and the economics of innovation), its heroes (from Edison to Mark Zuckerberg). But behind the scene lies a more complex reality. What does a sociological approach reveal?

Overthrowing digital platforms: lessons from WeChat

Business January 15th, 2017, Julien Legrand / Yenching Scholar & Mines ParisTech Engineer

Tencent's WeChat is your Whatsapp, Facebook, Skype and Uber, it's your Amazon, Instagram, Venmo and Tinder, and it's other things we don't even have apps for, says the NYT. Gathering all these functions within a single app is already very impressive. But Tencent has even larger goals: WeChat will soon distribute its very own apps. With this move, it takes competition from an app-to-app level to an app-to-OS one.

Why the current price of Uber stocks is a daring wager

Business January 12th, 2017, François Meunier / President, Alsis Conseil, Associate Professor of Finance, ENSAE ParisTech

The arrival of Uber and other booking platforms has a strong impact on the taxi licensing market, while the shares of new operators are taking off. From capitalization to revenues, the sector as a whole sees its economy turned upside down. Financial economics offers good insights on what is going on... knowing that the disruption movement has only started: on the one hand Uber is far from having realized its potential, on the other the platform paves the way to its future competitors.

When multinationals pivot: three strategies from the food industry

Business November 7th, 2016, Richard Robert / Executive Director, Paris Innovation Review

Food industry giants develop very active strategies to maintain or develop their market share. In this context, there is a great temptation to abandon the competitive maelstrom of generalist offering and seek differentiation through innovative business models. Three recent strategies bear witness to this. Can a multinational escape from its own identity?

The Physical Internet: logistics of the future is just around the corner

Business October 31st, 2016, Eric Ballot / Professor of Industrial Management, Mines ParisTech, PSL Research University

Logistics today is an activity that, while selling mobility, mainly manages immobility. Packages stocked in warehouses. Disruptive, emerging models, based on the principles of the Physical Internet, will be much more dynamic.

How to avoid the pitfalls of innovation in emerging markets

Business October 26th, 2016, Alok Bardiya / Director, Cisco Investments, Cisco India & SAARC

There was an idea that caught popular attention a few years ago: basic, affordable products from emerging markets for use in their home countries could eventually move up and disrupt global markets. But the record has been mixed. What does it take for successful innovation?

Increasingly cited in various rankings of innovative and fast-growing companies, Anaplan offers strategic planning solution that clashes with everything that existed until now. Accessible online, on demand, easy to use by non-specialists, its platform can simulate all kinds of decisions and accurately assess the management of various stages in numerous areas: commercial, financial, HR, logistics, etc.

Green sovereign bonds: tactical moves on an emerging market

Business October 14th, 2016, Richard Robert / Executive Director, Paris Innovation Review

We already knew the greenback, here come the green bonds. This emerging security, whose yearly issuance still represents only 1% of the global bonds market, has the wind in its sails. Used primarily by institutions, large companies and local authorities, it has just entered the reference segment: sovereign bonds.

How to navigate digitization in healthcare in China

Business September 26th, 2016, Julien Legrand / Yenching Scholar & Mines ParisTech Engineer

The Chinese healthcare system is facing numerous challenges, which means great opportunities for those western players in the industry who have relatively mature solutions and experiences to offer. However, China is increasingly designing its own way, fully leveraging the power of digitization to bridge the gaps.

These days, a large consumer goods company has almost the same strong data productivity as a medium sized Internet company. Management in more and more companies hopes to manage users and data in the same way as Internet companies, then make decisions based on data. Nevertheless, colossal and dispersed data stands in the way of IT, management and analysis departments of companies that are yearning for nimble and real-time data analysis. Consulting firms, which were playing a huge role, have now lost the power to pile up data and provide insight. They don’t have enough hands for this. We started working with a leading fashion consumer goods company in China to build its data platform. It took us only six months to put together the functions to gather and analyze data, consumer profiling, member systems and external data tracking and capturing. We would like to share relevant knowledge in these three fields in hopes of better streamlining operations powered by the force of data.

Personalization: how do e-consumers feel about it?

Business September 20th, 2016, Ahlem Abidi-Barthe / Head of Master Program Digital Business & E-Commerce at European Business School Paris

Emerging as an experiment fifteen years ago, personalization has become today a central feature of e-commerce, whether in the form of customization of products, the boom of made-to-measure or the personalization of customer relationships using customer relationship management tools. But do we know how consumers feel about it? In 2004, Ahlem Abidi-Barthe led the first scientific survey on the subject. What has changed since then?

Why American internet companies fail in China: a cultural perspective

Business September 5th, 2016, DONG Jielin / Associate Professor and Member of the Academic Committee, Research Center for Technological Innovation, Tsinghua University

Different hierarchies of needs explain why, in the internet industry and other high-tech industries in China, there are both the Chinese way and the Silicon Valley way of doing business, and why some big American companies have been struggling to make headway here. High-tech sounds high-up, but for online service providers, it all boils down to understanding other people’s ways of thinking and doing things. They have to understand local governments, their employees, business partners, users and clients. Looking back, the U.S. internet giants that failed were simply out of tune with the Chinese market. They didn’t clearly see the importance of understanding Chinese culture; they talked to the wrong people in the wrong ways about the wrong things.

Has IoT increased our exposure to cyber threats?

Business July 22nd, 2016, Sandy Verma / Senior Director of Asia Pacific for Internet of Things Solutions, AT & T

Cybersecurity is already top of the agenda for many corporate boards, but the scale and scope of Internet of Things (IoT) deployments escalate security risk, making it harder than ever for C-suite executives to protect their businesses.

Value creation and global chains: new business models

Business June 29th, 2016, Corinne Vadcar / Senior Trade Analyst, Institut Friedland

The slowdown in international trade and the digital revolution converge to shake up global value chains, a paradigm for international trade since approximately 25 years. A value chain, it should be recalled, encompasses all of the activities that form a product or service, from its conception to its use by the end consumer. The globalization of value chains that began in the early 1990s opened a cycle that now seems to bend. On these different links, the way value is created changes greatly. Western companies draw lessons by changing their business model. But emerging countries have also entered the game. Ultimately, maybe only a few winners with a global corporate status will be left.

There is not a single day when we don’t talk about innovation, digitalization and the competition between startups and big companies. We might miss the point when we do so, because the fundamental shift occurring is not digitalization by itself but the complexity it generates. Complexity causes a reduction of our capability to predict and makes us need to reinvent the way we design and manage organizations. All our beliefs about business are rooted in a world of simplicity, where the causal links were understandable and the evolution of markets foreseeable. This environment led us to focus on one holy metric, that eventually became an obsession: efficacy.

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