With almost 400,000 employees worldwide and holding more patents than any other U.S. based tech company, IBM is one of the most recognized brands in business innovation. In 1964, IBM solidified its place in the tech industry, producing approximately 70% of all computers, but has struggled in recent years due to missing a key technology shift in an increasingly mobile and online business environment. Though IBM has made strides to keep up with the times by shedding low-margin hardware products and re-inventing itself as a business technology solutions provider, sometimes even those in the business of innovation can fall victim to the status quo.

IBM Bans Uber. Earlier this year, IBM issued a firm-wide ban on reimbursement for use of Uber and other ride-sharing services over safety and security concerns, noting that such services might carry inadequate insurance, fail to conduct background checks on drivers and were even illegal in some cities.

IBM’s ban on ride-sharing services did not sit well with Max Black, a global business consultant with the company and early adopter of Uber rides for business travel. He posted a petition on IBM’s internal social network, arguing that Uber saved IBM money, improved accountability and was not a safety risk.  His final point struck a major chord with IBM’s top brass: “We are being hypocritical…IBM is in the business of preaching mobility transformation to its clients, but we are effectively outlawing for our employees one of the best examples of mobile innovations.”

Within hours, hundreds of comments from fellow co-workers flooded in, expressing their unanimous support for IBM to lift the ban on Uber. The result: 16 hours later, head of HR and senior VP Diane Gherson reversed the ban on ride-sharing services.

The real lesson? Don’t let the status quo impede innovative thinking.  Accept that complacency is a business killer and be open-minded when looking at new processes, procedures and business tools that challenge the “we’ve always done it this way” mentality.

Leading-edge businesses are partnering with Group 11 Advisors and its affiliates to take advantage of our wide range of services, such as bookkeeping, financial reporting, technology advising, tax planning, and estate planning. Group 11 Advisors can help you design and execute fully customizable solutions to fit the unique needs of your business.

August 1, 2014
Former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer’s $2 billion bid for the Clippers looks to be a gross over-valuation, at least according to the bid book of sale put together by Bank of America. Reporters from ESPN.com got hold of the valuation numbers through documents introduced in the trial determining whether Shelly Sterling has the right to sell the team without Donald.
The bid book showed Ballmer’s $2 billion offer for the Clippers is 12.1 times the expected 2014 revenues of the team. Purportedly, Bank of America also showed the average of teams sold over a five-year period was 3.4 times total revenue, and that no team has been purchased for more than five times its total revenues.
In the case of the Clippers, revenue alone might present an under-valuation if the team’s alleged years of mismanagement were to be taken into account. The Clippers also have a pending national TV deal that could be a slam dunk to raising the franchise’s popularity and profits.  
Of course, Ballmer’s serious bid is probably about a lot more than him just wanting to make another profitable business deal. Among the billionaire set who have most of what money can buy, we expect there’s immeasurable enjoyment and prestige to owning one of 30 teams that besides their exclusivity, hardly ever go up for sale. For this alone, any team on the NBA is a statistical anomaly in the world of business dealings. Like any near-priceless objet d’art up for auction, the emotional value of ownership can be equal to, if not greater than, the investment value.  
Outside of these outliers, most buyers looking to acquire a business, whether as a singular investment or a complement to an existing company, are more likely to focus on the financial returns they can expect to get for their purchase price. B2B valuation and legal advisory professionals, including those at Talley and Company, can provide comprehensive data and due diligence in these situations to enable decision-makers to make the most profitable investment choices. 
Before entering into any buy/sell agreement, Talley & Company can help you determine both optimal deal pricing and structure to achieve your goals from an ROI and tax perspective, accounting for factors that include revenues, future opportunities and contracts, industry trends, and market share. Of course, if you just plan to make a must-have power bid like Ballmer, at least you’ll know what you’re getting into and how far from the baseline to overshoot.