Brian Gongol Show on WHO Radio - February 16, 2014

Brian Gongol

Podcast: Updated weekly in the wee hours of Sunday night/Monday morning. Subscribe on Stitcher, Spreaker, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, or iHeartRadio

This week:

Five big leaps that will rock your world in the next quarter-century

Business and Finance "[W]hat does a good boss do better than a poor one? In a word, teach."
A Stanford study measures the productivity of teams at a large company and finds that replacing a bad boss with a good one does more to improve productivity on a team than adding a whole new worker.

News An argument for academic relevance
Not relativism, but relevance to the real world. Nicholas Kristof makes a strong argument in a New York Times column that the highest stratum of academia "glorifies arcane unintelligibility while disdaining impact and audience" and needs to spend more time on Twitter.

Business and Finance Comcast announces plans to buy Time Warner for $45 billion
That's a premium of 50% over the intrinsic value of Time Warner, but the compulsion to get bigger can compel a lot of bizarre decisions. If Comcast were actually seeking to spend $45 billion in optimal ways, buying Time Warner for such a premium price would not be the way. As usual, there's talk of savings from synergies, but here's how to tell something about this is a raw deal: it's an all-stock deal. Those only make sense when the acquiring company thinks its own stock is wildly over-priced by the market and the target company is unreasonably cheap. That can hardly be the analysis here -- in fact, while Time Warner is overpriced, Comcast is quite fairly priced. That's like going into a store and not only paying full retail price, but paying a premium on top of the retail price, and doing it on a credit card that doesn't even offer rewards points. (And, again, someone used the word "synergies" in the press release. That's usually a huge red flag.)