Google: Was Motorola a bad deal?

Written on May 5, 2014 by Dirk Hopfl in Academics

IE Focus | By Enrique Dans, Professor at IE Business School

Google bought Motorola for 12.5 billion dollars, invested in it to make it competitive and then sold it for  2.91 million, keeping its patent portfolio. A tale of success or failure?

Google has sold its Motorola mobile phone business to Lenovo for 2.91 billion dollars, thereby demonstrating that hardware, although it plays a crucial role in strategy development, is seen by the company as being a factor that is somewhere between marginal and accidental.

Google’s acquisition of Motorola was one of the biggest surprises of the summer of 2011. Google paid 12.5 billion for a legendary manufacturer that had come down in the world, but which had a massive portfolio of patents that could be fundamental in navigating the complex scenario of litigations the company was thinking of launching at the time.

Moreover, the acquisition posed a problem. If Google’s strategy with Android was to make itself attractive to all  Smartphone producers, how would said producers feel about the fact that the company that was selling them something as vital as an operating system would also be competing against them through its own newly acquired handset manufacturer? Becoming a mobile phone manufacturer was a dangerously incoherent move by Google. Read more…


Is it fun out there?

Written on April 30, 2014 by Dirk Hopfl in IE University


University is about academics, studying, reading, writing… but can it be fun at the same time?

Check out the Student Life blog from IE University. You will quickly see that there is so much more out there than just the classroom. Besides, being able to reach out to more than 80 nationalities studying on campus doesn’t it sound like fun by itself?


Give us 1 minute and discover our MIM students!

Written on April 25, 2014 by Dirk Hopfl in IE News

Knowing IE Business School, you realize quickly that you will study in a truly diverse environment. With 80% of international students with 55 different nationalities in the classroom, the IE Master in Management is probably one of the most international programs. But did you know as well that in this year intake you will find a National Table Tennis Player, a professional pianist, a London Olympics swimmer (without medal though :0), a TV Presenter and of course some social and not so social entrepreneurs. Get an idea on how your class may look like!

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IE University Student Talk – Daniel

Written on April 22, 2014 by Dirk Hopfl in IE University

Daniel is studying his BBA Degree at IE University. He holds a passport from Guatemala and this is only one of the 80 different passports you can find at the university. See what he has to tell about entrepreneurial mindset of  his classmates, the way of learning in the classroom and the life “off classroom”.

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Brazil 2014 is about much more than football

Written on April 17, 2014 by Dirk Hopfl in Academics

IE Focus | By Antonio Montes, Director of International Development, IE University

This year Brazil is facing a much greater challenge than having to organize the World Cup. It also has to lay the foundations that will enable it to really become the world’s fifth greatest economic power.

It would appear that all the analysts, both Brazilian and foreigners, agree that 2014 will be a crucial year for Brazil, and not just because it will be hosting the world cup.

The country is in a particularly delicate situation, due to several factors. First we have the revaluation of the American dollar, which has worsened Brazil’s already deficient trade balance, and which has also made it more difficult to control inflation. Second, there is the fact that Europe is beginning to emerge from the crisis as a result of significant sacrifices which comprise more than just downsizing, and include reforms that have made Europe-based industry much more competitive, highlighting much that is lacking in Brazil’s industrial sector. Thirdly, the country is facing problems that are intrinsic to its economy and Brazilian policies of recent years.

Brazil has changed drastically over the course of the last decade, to become the world’s 7th power thanks to the high rate of growth of its GDP. Brazil currently has a newly created middle class that makes up around 55% of the population, some 10 million people who consume and demand goods that they hitherto could not afford. All this has had an equally significant impact on inflation, although it still stands at the reasonable rate of approximately 5%. However, neither industry nor infrastructures have grown to the kind of levels needed to meet the growing demands of new consumers.

This is one of the greatest challenges that Brazil’s new government will have to face after the upcoming elections in October. Although she has not yet confirmed that she will be up for re-election, President Dilma Roussef, seems to be the favorite, and there is even speculation that from the first round she would have enough support to govern without having to go on to a second round.

The president has had her ups and downs, particularly during the popular protests last June, partly caused by the feeling that public money was being wasted on useless infrastructures for the world cup when there were many other things lacking that should have been attended to. Nevertheless, she made an excellent comeback, and now enjoys the support of 56% of the electorate, having responded to popular demand with specific measures, such as the hiring of 6,700 foreign doctors to improve the healthcare system, concessions to address some of Brazil’s urban transport problems, and, particularly, a recognition that things were not working well. Also, although it may seem incredible, the result achieved by Brazil’s national football team in the world championship will also play a decisive role in the electoral result.

When all is said and done, it is clear the policies adopted to date, which yielded results in the early years of her mandate, is not what is needed to meet the country’s future needs. A far more firm and decisive commitment is needed to support the private sector in such a way that it will make it possible to carry our infrastructure projects, which are so badly needed for the country’s development, and to which the treasury allocated 18% of GDP, which is not sufficient by any means (India, another member of the BRIC club, allocated 36% of its GDP to infrastructure). Brazil needs new highways, airports, ports, high-speed train networks, etc. It is way behind, and unless it able to attract major investment in the form of private capital, it will be impossible to carry out work that is not only needed, but was also promised.

Moreover, the new government will have to promote the necessary means to develop Brazilian industry and make it more competitive. Not only are labor costs very high in Brazil in comparison with other countries, but it will also have to make a major effort in terms of training if it is to have enough skilled labor, which is something else that is greatly lacking in the country.

Finally, Brazil needs to regain credibility in fiscal terms. The market sees this government has followed an expansionist policy, without limits or goals, often scaring entrepreneurs, and making them look to other, less demanding markets. Predictions of a drop in the quality of its debt currently abound in Brazil.

This year will have to be a year of cutbacks, internationalization, solution of structural problems, in order to attract and retain capital, slow down inflation, and help lower tax rates while consolidating a modern and dynamic economy with constant growth. It is the only way to reposition Brail definitively as one of the world’s great countries , and meet its aim of becoming the world’s 5th largest economy.

Via@IEBusiness, EL PAÍS


Don’t miss out on the IE Brown Summer Program

Written on April 14, 2014 by Dirk Hopfl in IE University

As part of your university experience, you have the chance to join the IE Brown Summer Program at Brown University in Providence (US). Meet Mariana Equiron and Theodora Filip, both studying the Bachelor in Communication, when the talk about their impressions and experiences visiting the Ivy League institution.

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Who’s Got the Top Jobs?

Written on April 10, 2014 by Dirk Hopfl in Academics

Monika Hamori, Professor of Human Resource Management at IE Business School, explains her research findings recently published in a Harvard Business Review article “Who’s Got the Top Jobs,” which she coauthored with IE Business School Professor Rocio Bonet and the Wharton School’s Peter Cappelli. Prof. Hamori’s research focuses on the career paths and career success of senior executives.

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Get insights into the IE-SMU MBA

Written on April 7, 2014 by Dirk Hopfl in IE News

A blended program sounds abstract and difficult to catch. MOOCs help to get the idea to study a program mostly online and gain valuable knowledge, industry insights and network through it. But still doubts remain…

The following presentation on the IE-SMU MBA, an educational fusion created by IE Business School and Singapore Management University, gives you visual support that online learning works, is effective and produces a great return on investment. Keeping your job, studying with a mostly flexible time table and be able to travel and relocate while doing the program are some of the features of such programs. An Asian focus, project-based learning  and getting taught by global and outstanding faculty are additional valuable elements.

Keen on more arguments? Visit our face-to-face event or virtual information sessions which we are hosting over the next couple of months. Just connect to www.ie-smu-mba.com to explore the details!


Four bachelor students of IE University were the only undergraduate students competing against experts with MBAs, PhDs and Master’s degrees.

An IE University Team comprising students Stefan Wolf Staertzel, Victor Berthon, Pablo Otero and Carlos Beltrán, won a spot among the top 4 in the regional finals of the prestigious Hult Prize, the planet’s largest student competition in the field of social entrepreneurship, with a million dollar prize. IE students were the only graduates competing against more experienced candidates with PhDs, MBAs and a range of master’s degrees. They were also the only students under 22 in a final round in which the average age was 30 years old.

The Hult Prize, which received a record number of more than 10,000 first-round applicants, was created by Hult and Clinton Global Initiative to boost the development of social start-ups in the healthcare industry. This year entrants were required to focus on “Non-communicable Disease in the Urban Slum”, and more than 250 teams competed against each other in six regional finals in the cities of Boston, San Francisco, London, Dubai, Shanghai and Sao Paulo.

The members of the IE University Team were from France, Germany, Venezuela and Spain, and aged 20 and under. The four students met in the Bachelor in Business Administration program at the Madrid-based university and presented their project for the Dubai Final.

They won the first two rounds with “Cuidado Verde”, a project aimed at helping the 92% of slum-dwellers in Peru who do not receive a timely diagnosis for chronic diseases. In order to do this the team came up with a simple but innovative idea: a business that recycles the uncollected trash generated by the area to fund a free full annual check-up for its inhabitants.

“I think the Hult Prize was one of my greatest achievements so far in my life!” says Victor Berthon, team captain. “Being the youngest and the only team comprised of undergraduate students it was already a huge achievement to get to the finals, but ending up in the top 4 exceeded our expectations and showed that no matter how small we are, we can create an impact.”

Photography Credit: Marko Zirdum / Hult Prize


Facebook-WhatsApp: a costly deal?

Written on April 1, 2014 by Dirk Hopfl in Academics

Did Facebook jump the gun by buying Whatsapp? After the biggest purchase to date in the technological market, two IE professors take a look at what led to this decision. In this first video, Professor and Technology Expert Enrique Dans explains the intricacies of Whatsapp and why this purchase was so costly.

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