The Economic Outlook: Will the Recovery Continue?

Looking Forward

Speaker: Ken Rosen, Chair, Fisher Center for Real Estate and Urban Economics, Professor Emeritus, Haas Real Estate Group at the Haas School of Business

We are living on borrowed time….


  • Higher taxes are coming in 2012
  • Recovering economy will offset some of the deficit but it will be the central theme in the 2012 election
  • High incomes groups (>$50,000) are doing better in 2011 and that looks to continue to improve
  • Outsourcing to China contributes to pile up on trade deficit
  • Oil is the largest SECURITY issue we have moving forward

How can we say that consumer and producer prices are in control when commodities and oil continue to raise?

Inflation will continue to rise at 4% (versus 2%) with expectations to range all the way up to 6% which causes wage inflation even with the current unemployment, which is not a good sign.

The change of a double-dip is unlikely. Moderate recovery is the plan.

Why are California companies migrating to Texas? Land use approvals, building permits and other red tape provide high barriers for local companies. It will be a major political initiative to reduce the major state job losses.


Every Good Conference Has A Panel

Panelists from the MBA class of '96

Moderator:  Andre Marquis, MBA 96  - In 1996 Director of Marketing, CyberGold; In 2011 Executive Director, Lester Center for Entrepreneurship, and a serial entrepreneur.

  • Kevin Brown, MBA 96(bio) –In 1996 VP and Founding Team, Inktomi; In 2011 CEO, Coraid
  • John Hanke, MBA 96 (bio) – In 1996 Producer, 3DO; In 2011 VP Product Management for Geo at Google
  • Jed Katz, MBA 96 (bio)– In 1996 Founder, Rent Net; In 2011 Managing Director, Javelin Venture Partners
  • Ben Wilson, MBA 96 (bio) - In 1996 Founder, Consumer Health Interactive; In 2011 Board Member at CA State HIE/HIT Advisory Board; Director, Healthcare Strategy, Healthcare IT Program Office at Intel Corporation, Founder of Consumer Health Interactive

When business window is open – run as fast you as can because it is going to close eventually. It won’t last forever and you can’t wait. The trend in the valley is the size of teams in software, IT and broadly technology has dropped dramatically. The overhead and required services is so cheap and easy to access that its less capitally intensive.

The opportunity is more seed stage funding because of the less capital and changes in technology. You’re seeing smaller, more efficient companies which leads to a macro trend of more funding.

Using M&A as a source for major talent is one effort that big companies have used (Google). Even in the best IPOS times, 85% of venture companies exit through M&A. Restrictions via public companies provide preferences to stay private with the goal to build a long term, sustainable business that lead to more options. The variety of exit strategies (licensing, M&A, IPO, etc) provide many options that are built to maximize profits versus independence.


Socializing The Haas Network

The Community

One thing that is without question is the power of the Haas Network. 450+ Haas MBA alumnus communing in one room to learn, network and socialize is not be underestimated. This business school provides everyone not just a degree, but a lifetime of friends & family.



Forget Preference. Win Brand Relevance.

The Power of the Brand

Speaker: David Aaker, Vice-Chairman of Prophet, Professor Emeritus of Marketing Strategy at the Haas School of Business, and Author, Brand Relevance: Making Competitors Irrelevant

How Do You Resolve Brand Relevance?

  • Generate parity on the customer must-haves – significance of ‘good-enough’
  • Reposition in the horizontal
  • Leap frog through M&A
  • Generate ‘energy’ with product vitality

The goal is to not want to be considered the best of the best. The goal is to be the only one.

Marketing is limited in its usefulness. Customers are not capable of judging new products in a valuable way. The ability to evaluate new to world ideas is based on intuition, resolve and business understanding. It also requires delivering all of the key success factors at one time perfectly. It demands commitment.

“If you ask you customers what they want, they would say a faster horse.” – Henry Ford

Luck is hugely significant in the performance of successful brands. From CEO’s to corporate brands, the wind at the back has a big role to play. The way to offset uncertainty is letting strategy evolve as almost all great strategies were not CONCEIVED as such. And then add great people.



I Can’t Hear You – Leveraging Team Intelligence

Packed House at Team Dynamics

Speaker: Cameron Anderson, Associate Professor, Management of Organizations Group, Haas School of Business


If groups are wise, why do they so often fail?

  • 70% of people say yes when the group think becomes a driver factor in team dynamics. Leadership is not above the idea that groups follow each other.
  • 85% of employees say they have stayed silent instead of bringing an important issue to the attention of management
  • 80% of airplane accidents involve the failure of the First Office to say something

Anchoring Effects: the power of the first idea and the magnetism of other ideas in relation. 94% of the time the first idea is approved (versus other secondary ideas). The announcement of the first idea is very powerful.

So, now what? Relationship Conflict vs Task Conflict

The potential of real groups is based on the construction of those teams. Synergies are a real thing.Cameron Anderson

Not all conflict is bad. The potential for increased performance, higher commitment and more important decision making are all possible. The challenge is to remove relationship conflict (the freedom to speak up) and maximize task conflict (problem resolution).


Ask What Your Country Can Do For You Act

Speaker: Kevin Crilly, Director, Gift Planning, University Relations
Topic: Estate Planning after the 2010 Tax Law

You don’t want to see either sausage or legislation being made. - Kevin Crilly

Confirms the complexity and detailed changes that government continues to pass on an annual basis. And futher reinforces that for those really interested in this session, it must be tax heaven. For people like me, I really neither can follow the slides nor provide any commentary that you readers will find interesting.

So I won’t embarrass myself and move into another session.


Confidence and Overconfidence

Understanding Confidence Dynamics

Speaker: Don Moore, Associate Professor, Management of Organizations Group, Haas School of Business

Is there a public expectation of over-precision?

Those who are most overconfident are those those most likely to attain status in groups and become influential. – Don Moore

In contests for leadership, we tend to reward those who say they know the way forward. Steady leadership in times of change. The startup survivor status demands that overconfidence is required to believe that a startup will succeed. If that is the case and includes the ability to persuade others to follow suit, those who are cautious and well calibrated will likely self-select out of the process. That doesn’t mean either is a good decision. The balance is to be privately well calibrated and publicly well passioned.

Overestimation has 2 sides:

Believing that you are better than others can be motivation. It can also mean overplacement and lead to too much competition. We should expect those who wish to succeed as leaders to express certainty. And in response, we should expect to be repeatedly disappointed if overconfidence is a selection criteria.

We can do miracles with the 3 pounds between our ears. – Don Moore

The intent is train or guide intuitions (unconscious thoughts) – the greatest part is that it is fast and efficient. Its also useful to understand how to override it.


Dynamic Directors – Dynamic Nonprofit Boards

It is only the board that can ask and demand answers to questions of ‘how are doing against our mission?’. The importance of the board AND ITS PARTICIPATION as evaluations of term limits, holes in expertise and creating them as routines in practice is critical. The hallmark is open communications with a passion for the mission and the desire to have fun. Lets not subscribe to ‘Non-Profit Nice’.

Definable valuable roles that align with expertise and deliver enjoyment fall into 4 buckets to find the right board member:

1. Interests
2. Your expectations of the board
3. The board’s expectations of you
4.  Alignment of interests and skill sets

Theory of Change: A logic model to match the need and impact with a strategy that connects both of these ends.


Microfinance. Maximum Impact.


The democratization of development  and of capital as an indication of global conscience that is born within a class called millennials. The environmental challenges and worldwide poverty is now a widespread concern and being taken on by ordinary citizens.

$2B people live on conditions of poverty. 1.4B of which live on $1.20 per day. - Ananya Roy

The ability to use microfinance provides all us the opportunity to make sense of how to make a difference and work to end poverty within our lifetimes. There is a story about helping the poor AND a type of finance capital that has uncanny resilience that high finance has not been able to retain.

Can we convert poverty into sustainable capital? Stay tuned.



Pandora’s Tim Westergren in the AM Keynote

Tim Westergren - Morning Keynote Speaker

How Do You Convince People to Take The Ride With you?
1. Fundamental Belief in the Idea
2. Solves a Big Problem
3. The Power of Motivation

If there is one skill I would advocate, its public speaking….to inspire people. And its soarly lacking these days.

4. The Willingness to Gamble

Fundraising in an entirely learned skill in practice. Its awfully hard to learn from a book.
“Go give that pitch 500 times to your sister. And ask people to be the meanest, nastiesty most critical you can imagine.” Investors respond to confidence. They want to BELIEVE in big ideas. They have to ‘lean in with their heart’.

What was the lowest point?
A trip to the hospital with heart pains. Sitting at a table with 11 credit cards. All maxed. And trying to figure out to minium payments. Yet the euphoria of knowing that its what a calling. Its not a choice. Its the plight of an entrepreneur. And now its mostly just fun.

The power of Pandora for new musicians is that 1. its blind to popularity and 2. has an intelligence to introduce similar music tastes and 3. uses a big audience. Generating the musicians ‘middle class’.

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