They Said What?

This week, we turn our attention to the service and retail industries. We also learn bringing your parents to class can be a mixed blessing. Please continue to submit all comments by email to quotes@mba2003.hbs.edu.


Aaron Kramer (OH), joking about what you can do to tenants at assisted living facilities when they can no longer pay their bills: “Stop providing service and see what happens.”

Jason Wallace (OK) brought his parents to Professor Jan Rivkin’s Advanced Competitive Strategy class for a case on Sears. Rivkin cold-called the senior Mr. Wallace: “In the sixties and seventies, where was the cheapest place to buy things?”

Wallace: “K-Mart. It’s where we bought everything for Jason.”

After the class laughed heartily, Professor Rivkin asked, “How do I give a Category I to a visitor?”

Phil Black (OA), on whether or not three employees leaving a bank to start a competing mutual fund should tell their bosses together or individually: “I do think it’s a little medieval to go 3 on 1.”

Marshall Butler (OB), on the need of some types of businesses to have better customer service than others: “I don’t need a salesperson to show me what pants do.”

Adam Stern (OJ): “[Friona CEO Herring] is clearly a visionary in the beef industry. There’s no doubt about that.”

Corporate Diplomacy Professor Michael Watkins: “I apologize for these slides. I’m not a God of PowerPoint. I know a God of PowerPoint, but it’s not the circle I travel in.”

Watkins: “You’re arguing with your spouse over who’s doing the dishes, and next it’s ‘You never support me in anything I do.'”