Luke's Columns

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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The greatest generator of rising living standards is the powerful combination of science and entrepreneurship. This can deliver innovation and technological advances, which lead to material progress. Be it electric cars, medical discoveries, communication devices or improving crop yields, the commercialisation of inventions is what tends to make society…

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It can be argued that virtually all the government’s responses to the coronavirus have been inadequate, from the testing fiasco to the failure to swiftly close our borders to infected arrivals (in contrast to countries such as Australia), the shambles of the track-and-trace plans, the disaster of transferring infected…

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I am sick to death of friends telling me they have enjoyed the lockdown. They have invariably been cocooned in their country retreats, able to work comfortably from home, taking plenty of exercise and seeing lots of family amid their rural bliss. They speak of London — their usual…

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As the lockdown eases, what lessons can we draw from the Covid-19 crisis? First, we should never allow a mass shutdown again. Apart from anything, we cannot afford it: the government will be lucky to borrow the money spent bailing out the economy, taking our national debt above £2…

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Dear Boris, This is not the economy you were expecting when you won the election in December. Then, unemployment was less than 4%, a multi-decade low. By the end of this year, it could be three times that level, or perhaps worse: some pessimists are forecasting five million unemployed…

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