Lisa Eason

Author

I have enjoyed an extended love affair with America since I first went there 40 years ago. It is not just the world’s richest and most powerful nation; in many respects, it is also the most free and friendly. But I am more fearful about its future than I…

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The Hong Kong influenza epidemic of 1968-9 was much more deadly overall than Covid-19. According to Encyclopaedia Britannica, between one million and four million died worldwide. The global population was then 3.6 billion, less than half today’s 7.8 billion. I believe the coronavirus is unlikely to kill more than…

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Certain businesses do not require external capital: they use customers’ money to fund their operations. Examples include tour operators and travel agents, insurance underwriters and brokers, construction companies and membership clubs. These types of business models fall into two categories: one where the client pays in advance — for…

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There is a trite saying — you can be right or you can be happy. A variation of this might be: you can be successful or you can be happy. Many high achievers I have known are not conventionally happy. Being content with their lot is simply not part…

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This is my 40th year in the food and drink trade — and it’s easily the worst. Covid-19 and, more significantly, an extended lockdown, have crippled the industry like no previous downturn. One restaurant company I backed threw in the towel last week. An insolvency practitioner sent me a…

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I have a soft spot for nightclubs and live music venues — I started my business career at 18 running one. Unfortunately, this government is likely to sign a death warrant for the industry by preventing them from opening until next year. That will obliterate trade over the most…

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Innovators do not just build companies — they can change the culture and consumer habits. Usually they conquer their native countries first with their inventions, and so, typically, the penetration of their products on their home turfs remains higher than anywhere else. A classic example is the espresso machine….

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Freelancers become entrepreneurs when they take on their first employees. It is a momentous step — giving someone a job, assuming the responsibility of paying their wages every month. No one else in society creates jobs like entrepreneurs do. They are the real engine of any dynamic economy. Most…

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Names matter. I have participated in many conversations with founders deciding what to call their business or product. Often not much effort and very little science is applied to the process. But this can be a big mistake: having a strong name can boost a brand enormously. Very often,…

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In February, I sent a copy of what I thought was an excellent management book, The Experience Economy, to a number of colleagues and partners. The thesis is that brands can capture customers’ attention by making their operations into theatrical experiences — companies ranging from Disney to Lego to…

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