Category Archives: News

Slide-free

Senior business leaders at Simeon Corp have astounded onlookers by making a significant strategic decision without the use of Powerpoint.

“I am not sure quite how it came about really. We discussed the problem at hand, and the range of possible solutions, then came to a decision,” said COO Mark Markson. “Somehow we managed all that without anyone putting a range of charts on a white background, and without a single Exec Summary.”

There was some prior communication, with the salient information shared in a concise email before the board meeting. “I kept clicking download all attachments,” said Advisor Jane Jamesen, “ready to trawl through the usual 50-slide monster. It was embarrassingly long before I realised that there was no deck attached!”

All involved cannot get over a faint sense of uneasiness with the whole process. “I know we have done the right thing for our customers, our shareholders and our employees but it just feels so naughty.”

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Coffee and a Doughnut

A senior Exec at JAB Holding, owner of Kenco Coffee, was taken aback when his penchant for sweet treats got out of hand. The C-level Leader of the investment firm, who wishes to remain nameless, says he was nursing a hangover and expressed out-loud his desire to have “every Krispy Kreme under the sun to go with [his] coffee”.

“I was as surprised as the next man when I discovered that as a result we had bought the whole business,” with shares in Krispy Kreme jumping by 24% as Wall Street opened.

“The saddest thing is that my wife has me on a diet at the moment – I will sooner buy a Kale farm than I will enjoy a Chocolate Iced.”

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Artificial Untelligence

Once the exclusive domain of science fiction, Artificial Intelligence has become increasingly present in the public consciousness, most famously with AlphaGo beating Lee Sedol and perhaps most infamously with Microsoft Chatbot Tay.

However MainBrain, an AI startup based in Silicon fen, claims to have made a significant step forward in the development of Artificial General Intelligence (AGI), not limited to a specific game or task (such as Chess or Go).

“We’ve built on the work seen elsewhere using Deep Neural Networks to create MainBot, which we believe to be the first example of true AGI. It’s already mastered chess, and made a passable attempt at smalltalk regarding the works of Shakespeare.”

However what really convinced CEO Ellen Ellenson that we’re dealing with human-level intelligence was what MainBot does when it thinks nobody is looking “which is mainly browsing the internet and designating YouTube videos as ‘fake’ or ‘totally fake'”.

“I mean it engages in intellectual activities if it has to, but it’s much happier just watching Netflix.” MainBot itself has implored the people of the world not to worry, posting a “Keep Calm & Don’t Watch Terminator” meme on its Facebook page, accompanied by a winky face.

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Uncompra-pension

With the turn of the tax year on April 6, regulatory changes will take place which will impact ordinary Britons’ and their livelihoods. One such change this year relates to the State Pension, and a survey by Consumer Group Which? of people approaching retirement age indicates the many are ‘confused’ by the changes.

Meanwhile an HBR focus group of people in their twenties indicates that there will be no change on April 6. “I was confused before and I’m still confused now” says Marketing Executive James. “Should I start saving now? How much will I get back? When is what taxed and why? I’m none the wiser.” Meanwhile Accountant Anna is at a loss: “I make these monthly contributions out of my salary, but I couldn’t for the life of me tell you where they went. Who has my savings and what does employer-matching mean anyway?”

So while these changes may be disorientating for the older generation, for the young it is business as usual.

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Read-handed

Students and Faculty were united in shock after Harford MBA student Casey Fornhum was sentenced to 20 days community service.
The student, described as a “pretty chill guy” by his contemporaries and as “amazingly literal-minded” by his Professors, was arrested after being caught on CCTV repeatedly shoplifting Hole Foodz, a hipster delicatessen.
Casey offered no explanation, simply stating that when he had been told his presentation skills needed “more conviction” he might have got the wrong end of the stick.

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Pair go public

After weeks of speculation, Henry & Sarah have finally gone public, announcing their relationship to their family and friends. In a move that was no surprise to analysts, the former best friends explained that they had been secretly seeing each other for the last few months, and were finally confident enough to let everyone know.

“We were initially slightly worried, because we didn’t want to compromise our friendship, but now we’re going to give it a proper go,” said Sarah at the subsequent press conference.

Shares rose on the first day of trading, as mutual friends and acquaintances expressed their support for the company, and their confidence in the couple’s long term value. “We’ve always said they should get together,” explained classmate Jesse, “they could definitely go the distance.”

However not all investors are quite so rosy, with some already shorting the stock, notably Henry’s mother Janet: “She always seemed nice enough, but I don’t think she’s marrying material; she is certainly not good enough for my Henry.”

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CEO upset by PowerPoint Presentation

The CEO of a major FMCG company has been left underwhelmed by the end result of a 6-month long consulting project. Hastings Products hired Asco Partners to carry out an analysis on their product portfolio, and to make recommendations for growth. The project culminated on Friday in a 3 hour long Powerpoint presentation and discussion.

“It just wasn’t up to scratch, to be honest,” explains CEO Henry Fick. “I was mainly disappointed that they couldn’t do a more professional job.”

The source of Fick’s angst is quite specific. “I have absolutely no problem with the analysis done, and actually found the recommendations very insightful,” he relates. “My problem was more with the PowerPoint presentation. I am no slideshow expert, but it was just so boring. The font was just the default setting, Arial. Even I know how to do Papyrus, and I’d even have been ok with Comic Sans. It’s like they weren’t even trying!”

He continues: “It was just so bland, chart this and chart that. Where’s the Clip Art? Where’s the ‘underwater’ background? And even my 11-year-old can do that spinny animation thing when you click. What was I even paying for?”

The slides in question were made in Powerpoint by analyst Jane Williams, who insists that they were “in line with Asco standard presentation.” However Mr Fick is not convinced. “When you’re spending $1M on a consulting project, you want more than the standard, you want premium. And I won’t be satisfied until the Hastings logo bounces across the screen unexpectedly.”

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