The importance of status in business

Gregg Easterbrook directs our attention to the following two anecdotes about business, both taken from Art Kleiner’s Who Really Matters:

Why, for example, does Coca-Cola insist on keeping its original formula in a safe-deposit box that only a few top executives are allowed to open when at this point any cola company could reverse-engineer the ingredients? It’s done, Kleiner says, to make the Coke “core group” feel important. Another great anecdote: When former ITT CEO Rand Araskog published an as-told-to book of self-praise in 1989, ITT public relations panicked on learning that almost all copies were going to be remaindered. Araskog would be furious if he walked past the Strand, New York’s famed used book store, and saw his book on sale for $1. So ITT contracted for another company to buy up thousands of copies of the book and quietly destroy them.

Here is a brief review of the Kleiner book, here is Kleiner’s home page. The remainder of Easterbrook’s post contains brief reviews of other recent books of note.


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