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How a cycling team experimented its way to world dominance

On July 29th, 2018, Geraint Howell Thomas, from Team SKY, was officially declared victorious of the Tour de France. His triumph contributed to his teams’ jaw-dropping results: six wins in only eight years since its inception. How did they do it? In the beginning of the 2000’, British Cycling was in absolute dire straits. No British cyclist had ever won a Tour de France in its 100 plus years of history. The tea-sipping nation really had to get their act together, and the cycling coach David Brailsford (now Sir David Brailsford), knew it. The broadcasting company, Sky, put their trust on Brailsford and decided to sponsor a team to turn this situation around on one condition: the team was to ma

Lean Startup in 1970's Liberia (and an entrepreneur from Lebanon)

Youssef Nasrallah was a young man who left four young children and a wife in his native Lebanon in search for a better life. It was the late 70’s, and the small country formerly known as “the Switzerland of the Arab World” was engulfed in civil conflict that would span 15 years and claim 120,000 lives. His destination - Monrovia, the capital of Liberia, would not be the first place most of us would consider to locate. With a GDP per capita of $900 USD, it is today considered amongst the world’s 5 poorest countries. But in those days, Mr. Nasrallah’s options where limited and he simply searched for a place where he would easily get a visa. Plus, his own parents had decided to locate there yea

Are the rich more selfish than the poor? Lessons for corporates from behaviour economics

For years, behaviour economics has relied on the same methods that companies use to answer questions on the behaviour of human beings, such as estimating propensity to buy products. These methods consist in putting a bunch of people in a room and interacting with them. Think focus groups. Sometimes, the interaction involves designing experiments and observing how participants behave in front of a computer (such as the dictator or ultimatum experiments) or in other cases simply interviewing them. The results that have been obtained through these means have for years been respected as proxys of the real world. But experimental economists have long been conscious of its limitations. For starter

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