BAE1034 English For Business Studies

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Question English For Business Studies:

What makes companies that can sustain and thrive their businesses different from those that fail?

The strengths and weaknesses of a business are similar to a person’s personality.

These skills develop and are nurtured with time.

These companies can sustain and grow their business by being flexible and innovative and allowing them to be different from the company they started.

What does the author mean with the phrase “it had a ace up its sleeve?” (lines 42 – 43). This refers to the fact that Xerox needed to use their computer knowledge to gain an advantage over other companies.

These two factors are key:

IBM launched the PC, while Apple introduced the Macintosh

The customers couldn’t produce enough copies for Xerox to be appealing to them

The author explains why people adapt to adapt and survive.

Truth is, we evolve to survive. Not adapt.

The fear of losing what we have is greater than the desire to gain something we don’t.

The more we become proficient at one thing, the less desire to learn another.

We surround ourselves with people who are like us, and they support our natural biases.

That is the tone the author used in the paragraph.

Answer English For Business Studies:

Carol Dweck, psychologist, wrote in her best-selling book Mindset that people who think of their skills as a fixed set are more likely to fail than those who see them as having a fixed set.

However, people who view their skills as dynamic and flexible are able to grow and achieve great heights.

Businesses are similar.

They see their business models and their ability to adapt to change as a part of their DNA.

This is why 87 per cent of Fortune’s original 500 top-ranked companies have since disappeared.

Most companies become better at what people want over time.

Despite having been around for over a century, businesses like Procter & Gamble or General Electric still thrive.

Their longevity is due to the fact that they don’t see their business as being fixed. They have reinvented themselves over time and are very different businesses than they were when they started.

The only viable strategy in this age of disruption is to adapt.

Chester Carlson is an example of an inventor.

Brilliant and self-taught, he spent years working on his invention while also holding down a job and going to school for law at night.

After his wife became tired of the explosions caused by his chemical mixing in the kitchen, he moved to a second floor area in the house.

After working on it over a decade, he finally teamed with the Haloid corporation.

The product was superior, but the cost of production was almost ten times that of comparable machines.

They tried to attract great companies like IBM, Kodak, and GE, but none of them would listen.

Joe Wilson, president of Haloid, came up with a million-dollar idea.

Why not lease the machines instead of selling their machines?

The idea took root and was adopted by the Xerox Corporation.

Xerox’s business model has remained innovative over the years.

New products were created that could print more copies in a shorter time, which increased customer satisfaction and made Xerox a lot of money.

It invested those profits in more innovation, a legendary direct selling operation, and even faster copiers.

The company was first listed on New York Stock Exchange in 1961. It continued its rapid growth by attracting highly qualified executives who further refined its model.

Xerox was primarily based on the volume of copies printed. This became its key metric for success. Japanese competitors brought cheaper and slower copiers to smaller businesses.

Those customers were unable to produce enough copies for Xerox to be of any value.

But big companies began to recognize the benefits of machines that could be placed in every office and not taking up an entire floor.

Xerox had a great deal to offer, even though its copier business was in dire straits by the end of 1970.

ItsPARC division had created a new type computer, the Alto. This computer had many of the features that we know today.

Despite the fact that there was a lot of interest for the Alto as a standalone computer, Xerox executives didn’t see the potential.

Instead of integrating it into a bigger system, Star, costing $16,00 per machine and $50,000 to $100,000 for a total installation, Xerox executives did not see its potential.

PARC was a completely separate entity within Xerox.

PARC, located in Stamford Connecticut, was known for its corporate structure. A 1972 profile by Stewart Brand depicted PARC’s hackers as free-spirited hippies who were creating their own revolution.

PARC visionaries realized that computers could be made simpler so that everyone could use them.

To make the Alto as easy-to-use as possible, two-thirds of its power went to the display.

PARC’s hackers were, however, just as blindingly visionary as the suits in Stamford.

AlvyRay Smith and Dick Shoup were both working on SuperPaint, which is a new type of graphics technology.

It was not compatible with PARC’s vision of personal computer. Both were dismissed and Smith joined Ed Catmull from the New York Institute of Technology.

George Lucas joined them later, seeing the potential for computer graphics in creating a new paradigm of special effects.

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Steve Jobs eventually bought the operation and spun it out.

Pixar was purchased by Disney in 2006 for $7.4 million.

It is easy for anyone to view these stories and wonder, “How could they have been so dumb?”. However, it is obvious that there will be a market for desktop copiers and that personal computing will grow in importance. We evolve to adapt to survive.

We don’t want to lose what we have, but we fear losing it.

People who think the same as us tend to reinforce our inborn biases.

. Xerox executives were educated in business school to optimize the value chain and maximize profit.

PARC scientists were part a culture early on that was focused on the development of personal computers. However, advanced graphics weren’t on their radar screen.

It is easy to be critical of others for not getting it.

Patrick Finnis, a New York-based Head Of Marketing, is responsible for developing, implementing, driving Cynergy Data’s marketing strategies.

He was previously a marketing manager at Konica Minolta as well as Microsoft for more than 10 year.

Validity: This text has been written by Patrick Finnis (New York-based Head Of Marketing).

He is now focusing his efforts on developing, implementing and driving Cynergy Data’s marketing strategies.

For more than 10 years, he was responsible for marketing, brand awareness, and technology.

Patrick was recently named top 40 Social Media Marketing expert.

The following text is adapted from the article ‘Innovation begins and ends with Mindset’.

The text can be divided into the three mindsets of the innovator, corporate mindset and simplemindedness of one mind.

It also includes information about the causes of failure to adapt.

Objectivity. The text tells us that businesses are like strengths and weaknesses in a person.

These skills develop and are nurtured with time.

Businesses are able sustain and thrive by constantly adapting to new opportunities and transforming themselves from what they were when they began.

It is true that we evolve to survive. Not adapt.

The fear of losing what you already have is greater than the desire to gain something new.

The more we become proficient at one thing, the less desire to learn another.

We surround ourselves with people who are like us, and they support our natural biases.

Credibility: Chester Carlson invented the Xerox Corporation.

The text examines how business corporations reinvent themselves and what strategies they use.

Businesses can adapt and reinvent to survive.

equal (Add an additional prefix)

Word: inequality


mobile (Add an additional prefix)


accident (Add an suffix)

Word: accidentally


Commit (Add a suffix).

Word: commitment


Employ (Add a suffix and a prefix)



Don’t cut corners

Meaning: To perform something in a streamlined manner to save time and money.


Game plan

This is a strategy that was planned out ahead of time.

Sentence: In sport a team’s “game plan” is their plan to win a specific match.

It means: Everything


To make matters worse,

This means: To make a bad situation worse.


Meaning: The last act of insult or act; the act that finally demands a response


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