How to predict a company crisis: Uber, Lego, Marvel Comics

How did Lego survive a near-total financial ruin? Why is Lyft way more popular that Uber amongst drivers? And how did Marvel gain a second wind some 60 years after it was founded?

What makes certain companies succeed and others fail? Bain & Company partner Chris Zook has the answer. The answer lays mostly in the companies ability - or inability - to figure out what it's really all about. Simplicity of core values is key. For instance, Lego was facing a crisis when it over-extended itself by getting into theme parks and clothing brand territory, but managed to save itself by scaling back to just the toys. Flexibility is also important: 20 years ago Marvel wasn't selling comic books but understood that the characters were the real draw and that they could translate easily to movies and video games. Chris Zook goes on to explain what else makes a business successful, and espouses some great lessons for companies looking to stick around longer than a VC runway. Chris's latest look is The Founder's Mentality: How to Overcome the Predictable Crises of Growth.

Your Name May Influence How Long You Wait for an Uber or Lyft, MIT Study Finds

A recent study has found "significant evidence of racial discrimination" in ride-hailing services Uber and Lyft. If you’re black, you may be more likely to find your ride canceled or be subjected to longer wait times.

Another cancelled trip. (Photo Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP/Getty Images)

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Driverless Cars Will be a Social Rather Than Technological Revolution

Driverless cars are nothing short of a revolution – not a technological revolution, but a social one, that will determine how fast we can accept, adapt and trust these new systems to change our lives.  

 

 

Driverless cars may be borne out of science fiction, but they are fast becoming realities on tomorrow's roadways. The transition from driver to robot is nothing short of a revolution. Not a technological revolution, but a social one, that will determine how fast we can accept, adapt and trust these new systems to change how and where we live, work, play and interact with each other. 

 

Japan's auto giant Nissan unveils the new robotic vehicle 'Pivo 2', equippeec with in-wheel electric motors to drive all wheels independently and to pivot its cabin at the company's headquarters in Tokyo. (Photo: YOSHIKAZU TSUNO/AFP/Getty Images)

If you’ve sat in a new vehicle over the last decade, odds are that you’ve come into contact with a computer that assists in the act of driving. That assistance might have been as simple as a beep from the console that tells you when you’re about to back up into a light pole -- a mundane, accessory, maybe slightly annoying tool, not what anybody would put under the banner of science fiction. But that little beep is a harbinger for a coming revolution that will change the design of our cities and neighborhoods, our fundamental relationship with technology, and the way we work and live.

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