Sunday Snapshots (29th September, 2019)

Bob Iger and Disney, Goldman Sachs and Marcus, and Roister

Hey everyone,

It’s been a very busy week with job applications, conversations, and interviews. This issue is a little shorter than usual. I hope you enjoy!

This week, I want to talk about:

  • Bob Iger and Leadership

  • Goldman Sachs and Marcus

  • My favorite restaurant in Chicago

Book of the week

This week, I read Rob Iger’s The Ride of a Lifetime. Rob Iger has been the CEO of the Walt Disney Company for the past 15 years. In the autobiography, he distills the lessons he’s learned over the years.

Couple of things stood out to me:

Chip on your shoulders: Iger came up from the bottom rungs of the organization. That gives you two things – 1) he has a chip on your shoulders and 2) he has an understanding of how things work on the ground level. Throughout his climb to the top, he’s leveraged this chip on the his shoulders to be empathetic towards his employees and customers.

Mergers: Disney’s growth in the past two decade has been fueled by acquisitions of Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, and Fox. These were not just business transactions, but also the legacies of their creators. Iger does a really good job demonstrating his empathy and character, especially as the acquirer.

In a week where CEOs where dropping like flies out of the air, reading Rob Iger was a breath of fresh air. I highly recommend the book.

Business move of the week

Goldman Sachs and Marcus

Goldman Sachs has a consumer brand called Marcus focused on savings accounts and credit cards. The division has not been doing as well as projected. It’s been burning through cash because of bad loans, high customer acquisition costs, and high cost of poaching tech talent from the valley.

Here are my thoughts on the project:

  • Bullish: Ultimately, this is a diversification play. Complementing Goldman’s core competency is something that this division achieves. Goldman can also support this using its other divisions.

  • Bearish: If I was at Marcus, I would be very cautious about the partnership with Apple to develop and support the Apple Card. Apple has the power in this relationship because they control the relationship with the end user. You only need to look at Apple’s history with network carriers to be suspicious. I wouldn’t be surprised if Apple gives users an option to choose with provider they want in future iterations of the Apple Card.

Meal of the week

I had brunch at Roister this weekend. As always, I had the Fried Chicken Sandwich! Definitely worth a visit if you’re in the West Loop area during the weekend.

That wraps up this week’s Sunday Snapshots. If you want to discuss any of the ideas mentioned above or have any books/papers/links you think would be interesting to share on a future edition of Sunday Snapshots, please reach out to me by replying to this email or sending me a direct message on Twitter at @sidharthajha.

Until next Sunday,