Saturday, July 21, 2007

Getting Things Done

The danger is that executives running public companies end up spending so much time dealing with shareholders, regulators and campaigners that they neglect the business. Indeed, these different “stakeholders” may well demand different, and irreconcilable, things. Entrepreneurs, the type of people who like to “get things done” may not want the hassle.

Public v private equity | The business of making money | Economist.com.


The above quote is from an article comparing public vs. private companies. It reminds me of an analogy: Kuwait vs. Dubai. Kuwait is the example of a public company hurdled by attempting to please so many constituencies and ultimately neglecting the business. Dubai is the entrepreneurial star that is just getting things done. Democracy is great, but sometimes you just want to get things done without the hassle!

4 comments:

1001 Nights said...

I was just checking out an article in zawya that was saying that private equity was doing really well.
“Private equity in the Middle East reported robust growth in the first half of 2007 with various Middle East and North Africa (Mena) focused funds raising more than $9 billion.” Link: http://www.zawya.com/Story.cfm/sidGN_22072007_10141009/SecIndustries/pagFinancial%20Services
I have worked in semi-private and fully public companies and it’s true that in public companies you worry a lot more about what your quarterly earnings are going to look like. But by the way that can be a good thing because you have the constant incentive not to let costs go out of control. Businesses controlled privately may not get audited as often and may not need to report to the market as often which can be an incentive to take uncalculated risks.

rubicon said...

im a little bit late with the comment here (in internet time that is) but its an interesting analogy that you put forth.

what's more is that kuwait is a company who's retirement plan (PIfSS) is on the brink of disaster and being overrun by the Unions (citizens). an even more specific analogy is GM (the general, general motors, geriatric malaise).

you would be quite surprised at how kuwait mirrors GM's history - in the 90s, the only the thing that saved GM was the popularity of SUVs and pickup trucks (yukon, chevy trucks, etc) that gave them a breath of life for the better part of a decade but when fuel costs again went skywards the long-term trend took over again and the company's fate was sealed.

its quite foreboding to a country like kuwait that is also seemingly on its last breath. how resilient is the kuwaiti spirit once the well runs dry?

do you also realize that Getting Things Done (GTD) is a major productivity movement started by david allen (the author, guru, coach behind it). take a look - its one of the clearest methods to moving ahead in most things productive.

rubicon said...

touching on the comment of '1001 nights' - it may be useful to be prodded by the market to keep on track for many companies by requiring quarterly earnings and therefore not everyone can apply the methods of the private equity industry with equal success.

i feel that private equity works when the fund managers/investors are switched on to the goals and communicate that to the whole company as in the classic private enterprise that is focused on a founder's vision with the stamina and freedom to back it up.

bu ziyad said...

rubicon: thank you for your comments! I will definitely look up GTD productivity movement!