This course explores the challenges of leading and growing a media-centric company. Our principal focus is on businesses that produce creative media. We will contrast the organizational challenges of expanding companies that develop and produce world-renowned media content, with those that curate and distribute media. We will include analysis of and presentation by leaders of world-class content-producing firms such as @Radical Media (Iconoclasts, “Back to Graceland”, Sting’s Appumentary), Framestore (Harry Potter, War Horse, Where the Wild Things Are), BBDO (Pepsi, G.E., FedEx), Smuggler (“Once”). Specific topics covered in the course include: establishing sustainable competitive advantage in rapidly changing technological environments; recruiting and retaining best-in-class talent; designing and maintaining a collaborative organizational environment; motivating and measuring the contribution of key talent; analysis of differentiated pricing models. The course will focus on contemporary firms, as well as historical predecessors. Potential business cases include United Artists/Tom Cruise merger; Tribune Company’s success in management of news media; Buzzfeed’s monetization of rumor; Twitter’s Evolution; From Benjamin Button to Tron – creative technology as a marketing platform; Lady Gaga and Kanye West.
Charles Day was a Columbia Business School faculty member from 2013 to 2016.
Sudhir Venkatesh was a Columbia Business School faculty member from 2013 to 2014.