Please rate my Issue Essay

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lars32 Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts Default Avatar
14 Jun 2008
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Please rate my Issue Essay

Post Tue Jul 01, 2008 4:54 pm
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    "The secret of business is to know something that nobody else knows."

    Explain what you think the above quotation means and discuss the extent to which you agree or disagree with it. Support your position with relevant reasons and/or examples from your own experience, observations, or reading.

    One of the most important factors that determines the success of a business is its ability to differentiate itself from its competitors. The above quotation implies that the secret, or differentiating factor, of business is to have knowledge that others do not have, and implies that its success is based on this mantra. I agree with this quotation because it represents one of the most fundamental factors that many of the world's sucessful businesses rely upon.

    For instance, the Coca-Cola Company is one of the world's most renowned companies and its family of products represent one of the most recognizable brands. The key underpinning to its grand success for over a century has been its classic beverage product, Coca Cola Classic. The product's recipe has been safeguarded for many years and no business has ever been able to replicate it. Knock-offs have certainly sprouted over the years, such as do-it-yourself soda kits, and none have ever been successful. It is certainly hard to argue against the fact that Coca-Cola, a multi-billion dollar company, obtained success due to its ability to "know something that nobody else knows" in its products.

    Some may argue that in fact, the secret to business is to let everybody know what a business knows. For example, we have a patent system that, by nature, releases detailed designs of inventions to the public. But it is important to note that, although they may release core designs of products, businesses still have secrets that will enable them to differentiate themselves.

    A clear example is the case of Google. The underlying algorithmic theory behind its search engine technology was published by the founders in public academic papers. Certainly anybody who has expertise in the field can replicate those algorithms. But how did Google become one of the most pervasive, successful, multi-billion dollar businesses in the world? The answer is that the company continued to refine its algorithm secretly such that its technology evolved and continued to improve. Competitors today know the basic algorithms, but still cannot produce a better product, and consequently, have not garnered the equivalent success of Google.

    Clearly, for many businesses it is paramount that they have secret knowledge that will enable them to compete against others. If businesses have all the same pool of knowledge, how will they be able to differentiate themselves and be successful? It is simply not the case, and therefore the quotation, "The secret of business is to know something that nobody else knows" is undoubtedly true.

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    VP_Jim GMAT Instructor Default Avatar
    01 May 2008
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    Post Thu Jul 24, 2008 6:04 pm
    Hi lars32,

    Great job on your Analysis of an Issue essay. I'd rate this a 5.5 or 6. Keep up the good work!

    Jim S. | GMAT Instructor | Veritas Prep

    burningman Junior | Next Rank: 30 Posts Default Avatar
    01 Mar 2009
    10 messages
    Post Fri Apr 24, 2009 10:48 am
    Hi. Can you pls grade the following essays -

    "The secret of business is to know something that nobody else knows."

    Explain what you think the above quotation means and discuss the extent to which you agree or disagree with it. Support your position with relevant reasons and/or examples from your own experience, observations, or reading.

    'Business Secret' is an oft repeated phrase. For many it is a marketing tool guaranteeing success in the market place. In the above context 'knowing something that nobody knows' though addresses the issue of business yet does not clarify enough whether the statement also takes into account the fact that making that secret knowledge work could be more important. Hence I only partly agree to the above statement.
    The chief reason is that in a highly competitive world knowing is not all, making that knowledge work also counts. There many instances of great business ideas which did not work. After all these were instances of 'knowing something that nobody else knew'. Take for instance the failure of the Concorde plane - a great secret which failed well in advance.

    The other reason is that even researchers in the laboratories know things that many others do not and many of these could be potential business ideas ; but are they also business plans, well I would say not always. How business friendly are these secret ideas is something only a true entrepreneur can gauge. This is why many corporations while funding university research activity do not go simply by it.

    Another reason is that market orientation of the secret is critical in today's globalised economy. While some companies like Coca Cola have leveraged their secret 'formula' as a marketing tool many others have failed to do so.

    Competition brings along innovation and in such an age keeping the secret may no longer be an option. Take the case of remarkable copies of Mercedes Benz cars being mass produced in China's factories under a totally different brand name.

    In sum, businesses are created out of knowledge but sustaining them in a fair and competitive world requires much more than knowledge. It needs a skill of an entrepreneur who senses the market's need for the secret.

    "It is unrealistic to expect individual nations to make, independently, the sacrifices necessary to conserve energy. International leadership and worldwide cooperation are essential if we expect to protect the world's energy resources for future generations."

    Discuss the extent to which you agree or disagree with the opinion stated above. Support your views with reasons and/or examples from your own experience, observations, or reading.

    Much is being debated world over on the right approach to solve the looming global energy crisis not just for our today but more so for our tomorrow. I think that in a not so equal world energy order both worldwide cooperation and individual efforts are critical.

    As we debate the energy availability is worsening.

    The main reason is that while on the one hand is the developed world which has attained substantial material progress, a large part of the world community continues to be deprived of basic necessities, energy being one of them. The developed countries should take the lead in making independent sacrifices since they have a higher per capita energy consumption as compared to the developing world. The United States is one such example. Take the example of the UN's World Food Program which has benefited the poor countries substantially thanks to the leadership shown by some nations of the developed world.

    Another reason is that even in this age of rapid globalization and interdependency worldwide cooperation should not be brushed away. After all a significant part of the world economy is also emerging and thus contributing significantly to energy consumption. Today's poor are also on their way to prosperity and hence a more global responsibility.

    Finally I think this is where the emerging economies like the BRIC countries have to display leadership for a global role they feel they are ready to take on. After all the manner in which the G20 came together with the cooperation of the emerging economies and strengthened the hands of the IMF to take on the global financial crisis is a fine example of what international leadership and worldwide cooperation can achieve.

    In sum, both the high energy consumers of the developed world and the poor countries need to come together and invest in both energy research and conservation to find alternative sources of energy and to take responsibility of the future generations. At the same time both the worlds also need to realize that without individual steps and independent efforts not much may finally be achieved.

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