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Narrative and Numbers: The Value of Stories in Business (Columbia Business School Publishing)

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Narrative and Numbers

The Value of Stories in Business (Columbia Business School Publishing)

By Aswath Damodaran

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Format: Hardcover, 296 pages
Published In: United States, 01 January 2017
How can a company that has never turned a profit have a multibillion dollar valuation? Why do some start-ups attract large investments while others do not? Aswath Damodaran, finance professor and experienced investor, argues that the power of story drives corporate value, adding substance to numbers and persuading even cautious investors to take risks. In business, there are the storytellers who spin compelling narratives and the number-crunchers who construct meaningful models and accounts. Both are essential to success, but only by combining the two, Damodaran argues, can a business deliver and sustain value. Through a range of case studies, Narrative and Numbers describes how storytellers can better incorporate and narrate numbers and how number-crunchers can calculate more imaginative models that withstand scrutiny. Damodaran considers Uber's debut and how narrative is key to understanding different valuations. He investigates why Twitter and Facebook were valued in the billions of dollars at their public offerings, and why one (Twitter) has stagnated while the other (Facebook) has grown. Damodaran also looks at more established business models such as Apple and Amazon to demonstrate how a company's history can both enrich and constrain its narrative. And through Vale, a global Brazil-based mining company, he shows the influence of external narrative, and how country, commodity, and currency can shape a company's story. Narrative and Numbers reveals the benefits, challenges, and pitfalls of weaving narratives around numbers and how one can best test a story's plausibility.

Table of Contents

Preface1. A Tale of Two Tribes2. Tell Me a Story3. The Elements of Storytelling4. The Power of Numbers5. Number-Crunching Tools6. Building a Narrative7. Test-Driving a Narrative8. From Narratives to Numbers9. Numbers to Value10. Improving and Modifying Your Narrative-the Feedback Loop11. Narrative Alterations-the Real World Intrudes12. News and Narratives13. Go Big-the Macro Story14. The Corporate Life Cycle15. The Managerial Challenge16. The EndgameNotesIndex

Promotional Information

Aswath Damodaran, finance professor and experienced investor, argues that the power of story drives corporate value, adding substance to numbers and persuading even cautious investors to take risks. In business, there are the storytellers who spin compelling narratives and the number-crunchers who construct meaningful models and accounts. Both are essential to success, but only by combining the two, Damodaran argues, can a business deliver and sustain value.

About the Author

Aswath Damodaran is the Kerschner Family Chair in Finance Education and professor of finance at New York University's Stern School of Business. He is the author of Applied Corporate Finance, Fourth Edition (2014), Investment Valuation: Tools and Techniques for Determining the Value of Any Asset, Third Edition (2012), The Little Book of Valuation: How to Value a Company, Pick a Stock and Profit (2011), and Damodaran on Valuation: Security Analysis for Investment and Corporate Finance, Second Edition (2006).

Reviews

Damodaran's success in combining storytelling with traditional financial analysis and valuation is unprecedented. The book has the potential to be a cornerstone of both traditional valuation and business "pitching" as it shows how individuals from each world can benefit from co-opting tools from the other. The author takes us on his personal journey into the realization that numbers need a narrative in order to make them persuasive. -- Paul Johnson, Nicusa Investment Advisors Professor Damodaran's point-counterpoint case studies make valuation a good read. Self-critical in his contemporary examples, he wisely cautions the reader that quality valuation requires both the right and the left side of one's brain-the number cruncher and the storyteller. -- Thomas E. Copeland, University of San Diego Damodaran, instructor to many on valuation, clearly demonstrates that quantitative valuation formulas are not sufficient: they must be applied with a more qualitative narrative about the business. But qualitative analysis has its dangers, not the least that we insert our own biases into the narrative. Damodaran nicely weaves stories into the more formal quantitative analysis, with check and balances that yield a more confident valuation. -- Stephen Penman, author, Accounting for Value No one has contributed more to the craft of valuation than Aswath Damodaran. In Narrative and Numbers, he correctly shows that you can't understand the stock without the story. After Damodaran's eye-opening tour, you will forever appreciate the vital contribution of human nature to number-crunching. -- Michael Mauboussin, Head of Global Financial Strategies, Credit Suisse Damodaran takes us to the place where Joseph Campbell, Warren Buffett, and the best quantitative analyses of Nassim Taleb intersect, and his journey uncovers new value and risk missed by analysts who bias themselves by relying solely on storytelling or number-crunching. It's a hero's journey best supported by humility-and this first-person account of Aswath's own evolving narratives, analyses, and valuations of Alibaba, Amazon, Uber, Theranos, Ferrari, and more. He may have started as a quant, but Damodaran's now one of the most balanced analysts-and wonderful business and financial storytellers-writing and teaching today. -- David Foster, CEO, Business Valuation Resources For adventurous chefs and readers with a serious interest in gastronomy, Mouthfeel should prove a handy reference tool. Japan Times

EAN: 9780231180481
ISBN: 0231180489
Publisher: Columbia University Press
Dimensions: 23.11 x 15.49 x 2.79 centimetres (0.47 kg)
Age Range: 15+ years
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