November 29th, 2014
01:06 PM ET

Kalanick: You can bend reality, but you can't break it

Fareed speaks with Uber CEO Travis Kalanick about the link between failure and entrepreneurship in Silicon Valley. Watch the full interview on a GPS special on innovation in the United States, this Sunday at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. ET on CNN.

People always say in Silicon Valley... the great thing about the place is you can fail. So what's the upside of down?

It's so easy to talk about failure when you're not failing. It's so much easier. So a lot of the folks who talk about failure and how it's so easy to do in Silicon Valley, those are people who have succeeded.

But when they hadn't succeeded yet, they were scared out of their minds of failing. And yes, I've certainly failed a couple of times. And it's scary. But I think if the folks who do succeed are the folks not who accept failure, but the folks who do not.

And so though Silicon Valley is a place where you can fail and get back up on your feet, I find that the folks that are most successful in Silicon Valley are the ones who do not accept failure, ever. And they just keep going until it works. But they don't keep going on something that's not going to work. They adjust and they move and try to find where reality and their vision meet. I like to say you can bend reality, but you can't break it.

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Topics: Business • GPS Show
June 17th, 2014
12:57 PM ET

The real problem with sports' governing bodies

For more What in the World watch Sundays at 10 a.m. & 1 p.m. ET on CNN

By Global Public Square staff

Almost half of humanity will tune in to watch some part of the World Cup spectacle, which kicked off last week in Brazil. The football will be spectacular, but the group that put it together has come under some fire.

Like other big time sports organizations, FIFA, international football's governing body, is a self-appointed, self-regulated body with little accountability and massive revenues. It demands that countries adhere to its every whim when they agree to host the World Cup.

Brazil has spent an astounding $11 billion to host the FIFA tournament. FIFA officials have to be treated like royalty, and there have been accusations of bribery and other forms of corruption, accusations that are also clouding Qatar's winning bid for the 2022 World Cup.

The demands can sometimes be simply grotesque, and according to Brazil's Internal Revenue Service, FIFA is getting tax exemptions worth nearly $250 million dollars. Other estimates are even higher.


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Topics: Business • GPS Show • Sports
May 30th, 2014
05:12 PM ET

Amoruso: What millennials should know

Fareed speaks with Sophia Amoruso, founder of the online clothing store Nasty Gal, and author of #GIRLBOSS, about what advice she would give to millennials. Watch the full interview this Sunday at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. ET on CNN

What are your pieces of advice to millennials? What do you think they need to know as they go out into the world?

So in GIRLBOSS, I say, don't act like you've arrived when you're just receiving an invitation, which I think a lot of people do. They get their first paycheck or they get their first promotion and they're like woo hoo! And maybe don't plan their finances as well as they could.

At Nasty Gal, I always socked the profits away back into the company. I paid my first employee more than I paid myself for a good while. And it was just fun for me watching the baby – the cash, you know –kind of pile up. I didn't want to do anything with it. It was just like I have a business and my very simple kind of naive idea of business at 22 years-old was you sell things for more than you buy them for, and then the company makes money.

And that is, I've now learned, a very rare thing – especially in Internet businesses – and something that the world was very surprised by. So I think there's something to learn from that.

So if you look at all those kinds of pieces of advice…and you say write thank you notes, dress well... FULL POST

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Topics: Business • GPS Show
January 20th, 2014
09:25 AM ET

A win-win if companies can build trust

By Dennis Nally, Special to CNN

Editor’s note: Dennis Nally is chairman of PricewaterhouseCoopers International and is participating at the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting this week. You can follow him @Dennis_Nally. The views expressed are his own. This is the first in a series of articles ahead of a special GPS show from Davos this Sunday.

We live in an era when lapses in corporate behavior have damaged public trust in business. But to do business in the right way, you first need to decide what the right way is. And that can actually be the hardest part.

In many cases, I find that CEOs and boards are approaching the question of the “right” business behavior through the lens of trust and value, essentially asking themselves: “How can our business regain trust through long-term value creation?” Yet by assuming that the route to renewed trust lies via creating long-term value rather than behaving in a particular way, I think this question highlights a deeper challenge.

There are two parts to the challenge. The first is that, while creating value can contribute to trust, a business without trust will never generate value in the first place – or at least not sustainable value. Looked at one way, increasing trust and rising value form a virtuous circle. Looked at another, they present a Catch-22: unless a business is already trusted, it won’t have the wherewithal to deliver the value that helps to generate more trust.


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Topics: Business • Economy
October 5th, 2013
11:20 PM ET

Time for big business to step up on corruption

By Tom Hart, Special to CNN

Editor’s note: Tom Hart is the U.S. Executive Director of The ONE Campaign. The views expressed are his own.

The annual meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative in New York isn’t usually the place where the bosses of big business are made to shift uncomfortably in their seats. But ONE campaign co-founder Bono seemed to do exactly that at the CGI’s opening session last week when he took on Big Oil for its opposition to more transparent deals with developing countries.

Here is the issue. Africa is a rich continent – rich in minerals, oil, and gas. Right now, big companies pay big money to countries in Africa to extract these resources – and yet so many Africans live in extreme poverty because the money goes missing. This phenomenon is so common that it has a name – the “resource curse.” But the curse is not the resources, it’s the corruption.

That is why we are backing a global initiative to compel companies to publish what they pay to governments for these resources, forcing any corruption into the daylight. When the public can see what’s being paid, they can hold their leaders accountable for how the money is used.


Topics: Africa • Business • Economy
Myanmar: Invest at your own risk
July 10th, 2013
06:45 AM ET

Myanmar: Invest at your own risk

By Lisa Misol, Special to CNN

Editor’s note: Lisa Misol is a senior researcher on business and human rights with Human Rights Watch in New York. The views expressed are her own.

Emerging from diplomatic isolation and Western economic sanctions, Myanmar wants to be the “it” destination for foreign investors.

Last month, foreign business leaders flocked to the capital, Naypyidaw, for the World Economic Forum on East Asia, a regional version of the powerhouse gathering. Major global brands have been enticed by Myanmar’s largely untapped potential, and the momentum is still picking up: General Electric, the first American company to sign a deal after U.S. sanctions were lifted last July, formally launched its Myanmar office in late May. On June 4, Coca-Cola opened its first bottling plant in the country in 60 years, on the heels of Carlsberg and Heineken. Then, on June 27, Myanmar’s government awarded highly anticipated licenses to extend cell phone and Internet service to telecommunications firms from Norway and Qatar.

More investors are lining up. In the petroleum sector, dozens of companies from around the world reportedly bid on 30 sought-after offshore oil and natural gas fields last month. A shortlist has not been announced, but prominent American, Asian, and European oil firms are seen as likely contenders. At least 20 more fields are to be offered next.


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Topics: Asia • Business • Economy • Myanmar
May 3rd, 2013
02:09 PM ET

Can U.S. companies ‘get’ Africa?

By Bhaskar Chakravorti, Special to CNN

Editor’s note: Bhaskar Chakravorti is Senior Associate Dean of International Business and Finance and founding executive director of the Institute for Business in the Global Context at The Fletcher School at Tufts University, host of the 2012 international “Africa’s Turn?” conference. The views expressed are his own.

The countries we most obsess about from the emerging world – the so-called BRICS – met recently in Africa. Many see this as more evidence of an international scramble for the world’s greatest growth opportunity. But here in the United States, you would hardly know it. Instead, when the continent does come up in conversation, it is often in the context of “help,” conflict, misused development aid and woeful political leadership.

But we are at a turning point.  The old story of Africa as the final frontier is being replaced by a new narrative: one of economic growth and opportunity.  Business, policy and civil society leaders who spoke at our “Africa’s Turn?” conference last October expressed enthusiasm and cautious optimism for its future.

The U.S. perspective of needing to “help” Africa may start to look very dated as the continent experiences self-propelled growth and development led by a growing urban consumer class, enabling technologies such as wireless communications, and an emerging entrepreneurial sector.


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Topics: Africa • Business
April 16th, 2013
01:06 PM ET

Talking business and ethics in India

"Fareed Zakaria GPS," Sundays at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. ET on CNN

Fareed speaks with Ratan Tata, who until recently ran the Tata Group – India’s largest conglomerate – about ethics in business.

When you make these determinations, and as you say, it's part of the culture at Tatas that you won't get bribes, often you weren't asked, but was it difficult to institute that among all your managers, all your chief executives, because there must have been ambitious ones who wanted to get ahead at any cost?

Yes. We have 450,000 employees and I am quite open in the statement that I can't guarantee the integrity of every one of them.  What we do, when somebody breaks that code, how we deal with that person, I think, is the true index of what we will do. And when we have had a major rogue officer or director, we’ve actually prosecuted that person and the person has actually gone to jail. So, I think we have walked the talk in terms of what we have advocated, we have practiced what we have preached, as a matter of fact.

Tata Sons, the holding company that governs the entire Tata group, is two-thirds owned by charitable trusts, is that right?


Which means that two-thirds of the income that comes from this enormous industrial and services empire goes to charity.


Has that changed the way in which, you know, does that change your perspective on how and why you’re running it?

Yes, it has.  First of all, you know, it runs counter to the general perception that Tatas are a family company and that the proceeds of these industrial operations go to the Tata family. It does not. The family owns about two percent, collectively, of Tata Sons. And the 60s, 65 percent that goes to charity has always been seen as a noble usage of the wealth we have created from our companies, it goes back into education, medical, elevation of poverty or rural development. So, in a manner of speaking, it has always been our driving force that what we’re doing is really for plowing it back to the people of India.

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Topics: Business • Economy • India
October 17th, 2012
10:35 AM ET

Tackling the real barriers to U.S. business abroad

By Edward Alden, CFR

Editor's Note: Edward Alden is a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations. This entry of Renewing America was originally published here. The views expressed are the author’s own.

The U.S.-China Business Council’s just-released survey on the environment for U.S. companies doing business in China is far more striking for what it doesn’t say than what it does. Of the top ten problems for business in dealing with China, there is no mention of tariffs, or quotas, or even of China’s undervalued currency, which has featured so prominently in the presidential election campaign. Instead, the problems are things like licensing approvals, intellectual property theft, foreign investment restrictions, competition with state-owned enterprises, and unfair regulatory standards.

The result should not be surprising, however. In a new Renewing America working paper, Freeing the Global Market: How to Boost the Economy by Curbing Regulatory Distortions, Shanker Singham, a lawyer with extensive experience in both trade and competition law, argues that the traditional trade liberalization agenda as it has existed for more than half a century is now basically irrelevant for the challenges of trading with and investing in China and many other emerging market countries. Instead, he argues, the United States must tackle the growing array of “anticompetitive market distortions” (ACMDs) in these countries – government actions that favor a select group of domestic companies at the expense of both foreign and domestic rivals, and to the detriment of their own consumers.


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Topics: Business • China • Economy • United States
The key to economic success? Geography
October 9th, 2012
01:13 PM ET

The key to economic success? Geography

By Enrico Moretti, Special to CNN

Editor’s note: Enrico Moretti is professor of economics at the University of California, Berkeley, and director of the Infrastructure and Urbanization Program at the International Growth Centre (London School of Economics and Oxford University). He is the author of ‘The New Geography of Jobs.’ The views expressed are his own.

The economic map of America today does not show just one country – it shows three increasingly different countries. At one extreme are America’s brain hubs – cities like Seattle, Raleigh-Durham, Austin, Boston, New York and Washington DC – with a thriving innovation-driven economy and a labor force among the most creative and best paid on the planet. The most striking example is San Francisco, where the labor market for tech workers is the strongest it has been in a decade. At the other extreme are cities once dominated by traditional manufacturing – Detroit, Flint, Cleveland – with shrinking labor force and salaries. In the middle there is the rest of America, apparently undecided on which direction to take.

Historically, there have always been prosperous communities and struggling communities. But the difference was small until the 1980’s, and has been growing dramatically since then. In 1980, the salary of a college educated worker in Austin was lower than in Flint. Today it is 45 percent higher in Austin, and the gap keeps expanding with every passing year. The gap for workers with a high school degree is a staggering 70 percent by some estimates. It is not that workers in Austin have higher IQ than those in Flint, or work harder. The ecosystem that surrounds them is different. The mounting economic divide between American communities – arguably one of the most important developments in the history of the United States of the past half a century – is not an accident, but reflects a structural change in the American economy.


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Topics: Business • Economy • Technology • United States
Why manufacturing matters for America
September 21st, 2012
11:10 AM ET

Why manufacturing matters for America

Watch the latest GPS special ‘Global Lessons: Putting America to Work,’ this Sunday at 8 p.m. ET.

By Willy Shih and Gary Pisano, Special to CNN

Editor’s note: Gary Pisano and Willy Shih are authors of the new book ‘Producing Prosperity: Why America Needs a Manufacturing Renaissance,’ and professors at Harvard Business School. The views expressed are their own.

Both U.S. presidential candidates have promised to bring back manufacturing jobs by promising new initiatives to support manufacturing. Listening to them, it would be easy to believe that growth in manufacturing will solve our unemployment problem. But if we look beyond the promises, we believe the reality will be a little harsher.

Manufacturing only employs 9 percent of our workforce, so expecting manufacturing to address our high unemployment rate is unrealistic. With any reasonable amount of productivity growth, we would have to grow manufacturing disproportionately relative to the rest of the economy in order for manufacturing to put a big dent in the employment rate. And while the offshoring of manufacturing led to the loss of many jobs, most of those jobs will not be coming back. The reason is many of those jobs were very sensitive to comparative labor rates (whether they are for lower skill assembly or more complex tasks), and as nations and regions who compete with us can offer equivalent capabilities at a lower cost, wining those factories and jobs back would require us to lower our pay rates and standard of living. We don’t want to do that.


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Topics: Business • Economy • United States
Why entrepreneurship is thriving Down Under
September 20th, 2012
03:34 PM ET

Why entrepreneurship is thriving Down Under

Watch the latest GPS special ‘Global Lessons: Putting America to Work,’ this Sunday at 8 p.m. ET.

By Paul Steffens, Special to CNN

Editors Note: Professor Paul Steffens is deputy director of the Australian Centre for Entrepreneurship Research, QUT Business School, Queensland University of  Technology, Brisbane, Australia. The views expressed are his own.

In times of economic turmoil, new firm creation is often thought to act as an important driver of innovation and jobs. And recently released data from the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) indicates that Australia is emerging as the leading developed nation in terms of entrepreneurship.

According to the latest GEM figures, with 10.5 percent of adults engaged in starting a new business, Australia sits second amongst developed nations. The United States, long seen as the bastion of free enterprise, continues to do many things right. In fact, at 12.3 percent the U.S. has the highest overall level of entrepreneurship per capita. Yet recent years have seen a dip in alternative employment opportunities in the U.S., meaning that a much larger number of new businesses are borne out of necessity. Although recovering, opportunity driven new ventures that fuel the economy declined substantially with the global economic slowdown. By comparison, Australia has far fewer necessity driven entrepreneurs.


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Topics: Australia • Business • Economy
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