Moving the Chains: Taking Strategy Pointers from the World of Fantasy Football

October 2, 2017 - Fantasy football’s runaway popularity – and the massive gambling activity it attracts – are borne from the endless combinations and possibilities it offers. After all, there is no such thing as fantasy boxing or tennis. Two competitors meet, one is victorious and the result hinges on individual performance. A football team, on the other hand, is an interconnected web of capabilities, flaws and potential. It’s a puzzle. At Highpoint, we think about that puzzle in the corporate context all the time and seek inspiration wherever we can find it.

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Chasing the Green: Inspiration from Central Park’s Douglas Blonsky

September 25, 2017 - We often forget what large swaths of New York used to be like. This was made clear to me recently during a fascinating session with Douglas Blonsky, President of the Central Park Conservancy and perhaps the single biggest reason the park appears the way it does today.

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Reflections While on a Glacier in the Canadian Rockies

July 20, 2017 - Earlier this month, I spent some time hiking in the Canadian Rockies with my wife, and reflected on my last eight years at HPA and how much the business has changed over that time.

When I started at HPA in early 2009, we were in the throes of a major market correction and business slowdown that many had not experienced in our lifetimes. Today the concerns we most often hear from clients are how to best position themselves in a rapidly changing world.

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Change=Hope; Change≠Progress

June 22, 2017 - I have been giving this idea of “Change = Hope, but not necessarily Progress” a lot of thought recently. The litany of egregious missteps, cultural issues and backwards policies do not get solved just by changing out the CEO. 

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Lies, Damned Lies, and Statistics

June 15, 2017 - The full quote — “There are three kinds of lies: Lies, Damned Lies, and Statistics” — has been attributed to Mark Twain, who himself attributed it to British Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli, who might never have said it in the first place. Regardless of the origin of the phrase, it is one that I hold near and dear. I’m a numbers geek. Love numbers and statistics. Always have, always will.

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What Do Warren Buffett and Randy Moss Have in Common? Straight Cash, Homey

June 2, 2017 - Last year was my first visit to the land of Omaha and the Berkshire Hathaway Annual Meeting, and I took it all in, from the stadium teeming with people to the merchandise being hawked everywhere. It was a fascinating experience. So fascinating, in fact, I wrote a three-part treatise on it. And so much so that I had to go back again this year.

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Taking News at Face(book) Value

May 24, 2017 - I attended the 20th Annual Milken Institute Global Conference. The “Davos of the West” brings together speakers from the worlds of politics, finance, entertainment, and technology to discuss issues facing the world. This year’s theme was “Building Meaningful Lives,” and many of the discussions took on this area, with panels on healthcare in the developing world, aligning endowment investments with non-profits’ philanthropic missions, and improving public education.

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Berkshire Hathaway Annual Meeting: Woodstock or Mecca?

May 12, 2017 - What was different this year is that it came right on the heels of my attendance at the 20th Annual Milken Global Conference in Beverly Hills. The more I thought about both conferences, the more I wondered if the “Woodstock of Capitalism” nickname really held true. I began to wonder if maybe the Milken Global Conference was actually more like Woodstock and the Berkshire Hathaway Shareholders Meeting was something more akin to Mecca.

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The Power of Social Media

April 14, 2017 - Social media is a powerful tool that can make or break your business. As I’m sure you’re aware, United Airlines recently learned this lesson the hard way. What this incident illustrated was the speed with which a brand’s reputation can be impacted. In the age of smart phones and social media, companies can no longer ignore incidents or sweep them under the rug.

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Bouncing Back

February 13, 2017 - Once again, much of the talk leading up to this year’s Super Bowl was about the ads and the record billions spent dazzling TV’s biggest audience of the year. Despite our advice from last year, ad revenues spiked a new high, exceeding last year’s $15.5 billion, with each 30-second spot costing $5 million or an astounding $166,667 per second.

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