Ahead of the Curve
Two years in the cauldron of capitalism-"horrifying and very funny" (The Wall Street Journal)
In this candid and entertaining insider's look at the most influential school in global business, Philip Delves Broughton draws on his crack reporting skills to describe his madcap years at Harvard Business School. Ahead of the Curve recounts the most edifying and surprising lesso...more
The author's experiences are for me summed up by two anecdotes in particular. The teaching of leveraging up a company with debt not as a strategy that can be pursued in certain circumstances but as a universally right answer and appropriate course of action; and the course taken jointly with the Kennedy School taught by Michael Porter when the MBA approach of being profit focused runs up...more
I don't agree with many of the author's opinions - I had a great time at HBS despite entering with the lowest of expectations and serious dread of spending 2 years surrounded by arrogant a**holes, and I enjoyed the digression back to junio...more
“Professional happiness would come from being very good at something difficult.”
“The victors are those who made change their friend. (1) Resist the temptation to be a short-termist; (2) Be honest with yourself about what jobs are the right ones for you; (3) Keep your moral compass; (4) Maintain the proper balance between your professional career and your personal life. Do not be career-engineers, but simply learn and grow at every...more
Just prior, I read The Idea Factory: Learning to Think at MIT, which is a similar project (though Idea Factory is MechE masters student experience at MIT, this one's MBA student experience at Harvard). I think I liked the MIT one better, but both were good about sharing actual problems, interview questions, case studies, so it felt more concrete.
The first half of this one is pretty good, the narrative moves...more
Relevancy and timing...more
Great book that will be read by business students for decades. Raises serious questions about the role of business schools, capitalism and business leaders in society. Very surprising how insecure m...more
Impressive read by an interesting guy who was born in Bangladesh and grew up in England.
After working as a journalist for many papers and in many cities the author decided he wanted to expand his opportunities and got into HBS. He effectively brings the reader on his journey through the business school and profiles a good deal of his classmates and professors in a way that lets you relate quite well. The book isn't too heavy on cramming business terms and functions down your thro...more
The idea is not to find certainty but to deal more comfortably with uncertainty
Margie Yang - When doing business in as lawless a place as China, it was more important that ever to have a set of values to anchor you. But any business person operating in China over the past thirty years who told you he hadn’t done...more
I also was impressed on the running commentary on the sacrifices that one is required to make to b...more
Still, there were a couple of things about this book that I liked. PDB was an atypical student, already...more
Another sub-plot is his questioning whether he even wants to do so -- he is marr...more
I went through this book twice, first when I was in college and again recently several years later. I got a lot more insights from the author's memoir the second time around. This is a must-read for anyone considering business school (not just HBS).
Basic notion of the book: HBS is a school not to learn entrepreneurship, but to to understand the language of business. HBS has a great brand and adds credibili...more
As a person considering business school, this was an obvious read for me. A timely insider account is worth quite a lot -- and given the current economic crisis, people definitely want to examine the worth of a Harvard MBA and its role on Wall Street.
Philip Delves Broughton wrote Ahead of the Curve to chronicle his two years at Harvard Business School. He didn't come from a finance background -- in fact, he was Bureau Chief for The Daily Telegraph in Paris -- and he insists that he didn't go to...more
He does a good job in walking you through his 2 years at HBS and it was truly an eye opener for everyone out there who may...more
Which is the main reason why I liked this book. PDB is a journalist by previous career, and writes like one. With a...more
There are a lot of things I take for granted about any educational institution in America, like getting-to-know-each-other games and binge drinking, that the author found really strange. Partially it's because he's a lot older than most of his classmates (apparently the average age at HBS is 27 or 28) but ultimately I viewed this as a...more
"How can I succeed financially without losing my soul? How can I work at a company without becoming a corporate stiff? Rai...more
Here are ways in which I could connect to the author:
1) Seeing the MBA not so much as a path to riches, but as a way to "understand the world better", and also perhaps some financial stability for one's family.
2) Being somewhat quantitatively challenged, and just scared of math...more
A lot of graduates from author's class are the ones responsible for the recent economic crises and the book gives a good idea of what kind of people they are. Surprisingly, they are not all evil, greedy bastards - the problem lays in the mindset of the school and the whole approach to conducting business.
The general fe...more