Karma Capitalism

Business Week asks: “Times have changed since Gordon Gekko quoted Sun Tzu in the 1987 movie Wall Street. Has the Bhagavad Gita replaced The Art of War as the hip new ancient Eastern management text?”

[Swami Parthasarthy’s] whirlwind East Coast tour was just one small manifestation of a significant but sometimes quirky new trend: Big Business is embracing Indian philosophy. Suddenly, phrases from ancient Hindu texts such as the Bhagavad Gita are popping up in management tomes and on Web sites of consultants. Top business schools have introduced “self-mastery” classes that use Indian methods to help managers boost their leadership skills and find inner peace in lives dominated by work.

More important, Indian-born strategists also are helping transform corporations. Academics and consultants such as C. K. Prahalad, Ram Charan, and Vijay Govindrajan are among the world’s hottest business gurus. About 10% of the professors at places such as Harvard Business School, Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Business, and the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business are of Indian descent–a far higher percentage than other ethnic groups.

Google and YouTube

An analysis by Fortune:

Google’s most successful search advertisers are those who methodically experiment with multiple messages. Sometimes they try thousands of combinations of different texts displayed in response to various search keywords, quickly – often in hours – eliminating those that don’t attract the clicks of users and refining those that do, until they arrive at the ideal combination of message and keyword.

A similar process of refinement takes place in Google’s AdSense service. It places ads on the Web sites of affiliates with which it shares ad revenues.

I don’t know if they’re right, but Google’s managers now seem to believe they can do the same thing with print, radio and TV, albeit with much of the testing taking place on the more immediate and low-cost medium of the Internet. Buying YouTube will give Google a platform on which advertisers can experiment with TV ads in different forms.