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What we learned together this week
Key takeaways and reflections
This week concluded with the first session of our writing bootcamp. As we discussed, we will make flipped classroom the norm to provide specific direction to our learning efforts. The next bootcamp is on education policy and the registration details are already out. All Insiders who do the pre-work are welcome to join for free. You just need to mail email@example.com
Summarizing Our Key Takeaways This Week
End of an era. The Brooks Brothers survived two World Wars, the Great Depression and 41 US presidents, could not survive COVID-19. Retail sales plummeted to 0 and hardly anyone was shopping online.
Even before the pandemic, Brooks was already going through a bit of a slump. Workplaces around the world seem to be moving towards casual wear or semi-formals. That’s not Brooks Brothers core competence. Can they make good smart casuals? Sure. Are they likely to create a category of one and escape competition doing casual clothing? No
Brooks Brothers was left with no choice but to file for bankruptcy under Chapter 11, which involves reorganization of business affairs. Read more here
Working in the government. Working with/in the government is filled with learning opportunities and challenges. Traditionally public sector work started exclusively after clearing a centrally administrated examination but off the late, there has been a surge of new opportunities that manifest in the form of fellowships, young professional programs, lateral entrants and research analysts with top government officials and ministers.
The long-term career trajectory of such programs is unclear but they offer vital exposure to millennials. Let’s explore why you should consider this career at some point.
How a failed economist became India’s most famous historian: Even though today he is a widely renowned historian, Ramachandra Guha does not have a degree in history. Instead, he has two degrees in the field of economics– a bachelor’s degree from St. Stephen’s College, Delhi, and a master’s degree from the Delhi School of Economics. He was terrible at Economics and he realized it was a bad fit in the first week itself. But he hung around.
All in all, his college life was unremarkable. When he finally graduated and decided to move on, one of his professors quirked - “It is a pareto optimum: a victory for you and a victory for economics.”
The Warren Buffet Compendium: Although Buffett began his journey as a “value investor”—inspired by Ben Graham—drawn to low priced stocks like Berkshire Hathaway, his partner Charlie Munger influenced him in the 1970s to buy high-quality, durable businesses which looked like they were going to be around awhile.
The newsletter economy explained. Ben Thompson got his MBA at Kellogg, worked at Microsoft and today lounges in Thailand/SE Asia writing a newsletter on technology trends making more than $3 Million in profits every year. Like Ben Thompson, you can build a company of one where you can scale up revenue, fans, engagement quality and experiences without compounding payroll, expenses and stress levels.
Baseball player turned Private Equity professional, Sahil Bloom. He is a Vice President at Altamont Capital Partners, a generalist private equity firm with over $2.5 billion in capital under management, where he focuses on investments in the consumer products and services sector.
Passion economy is here to stay. This book explains how we can monetize our passions and curiosities.
To wrap up, we were happy to be featured on Harvard Business School. We take great care in creating content for you. It is encouraging to see features like this.
Have a great week ahead!
Your INSIDER Team,
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