UNIT: The “Breaking Bad” business lessons Part I

Advanced. Степени сравнения прилагательных. Исключения., Prefixes. Бизнес

Learn the words:

hype   -   шумиха, ажиотаж 20-fold   -   в 20 раз
(recession-)ravaged   -   разоренный a perspective   -   взгляд, видение
lucrative   -   прибыльный flourishing   -   процветающий
a nest-egg   -   деньги, отложенные на черный день obsession   -   одержимость, навязчивая идея
to outperform   -   превзойти, обойти an inferior product   -   продукт низкого качества

There are obvious reasons for watching “Breaking Bad”: for once the Hollywood hype surrounding the television series is justified. But there is also a less obvious reason: it is one of the best studies available of the dynamics of modern business.

Breaking Bad” takes place in a recession-ravaged America where most people are struggling to get by on stagnant incomes but a handful of entrepreneurs live like kings. The hero, Walter White, is a high-school chemistry teacher with a second job in a car wash. When he is diagnosed with cancer he is also shaken out of his lethargy: he decides to go into the highly lucrative methamphetamine business to pay for his cancer treatment and leave his family a nest-egg.

The first lesson from “Breaking Bad” is that high-growth businesses come from unexpected places. Mr. White uses his skills as a chemist to revolutionise the slapdash meth industry. He is not alone. William Thorndike of Harvard Business School (HBS) studied eight bosses whose firms outperformed the S&P 500 index more than 20-fold over their business careers. He found that they were all outsiders who brought fresh perspectives on their industries.

Three things help our chemistry teacher turn an insight into a flourishing business. The first is huge ambition. He is not in the “meth business” or the “money business”, he says. He is in the “empire business”. The second is product obsession. Other dealers might peddle “Mexican shoe-scrapings” on the ground that addicts care little about quality. He produces the king of meth, so pure that it turns blue, and would rather destroy an entire batch than let an inferior product be traded under his brand. The third is partnerships and alliances. He spots talent in a former pupil turned drug-dealer, Jesse Pinkman, and forms a strong working relationship with him. He also contracts distribution to a succession of local gangs so that he can concentrate on the higher-value-added part of the business: cooking and quality control.

Read Part II here.

Answer the following questions:
Is the information TRUE, FALSE or NOT GIVEN?
Match the words and the translation.
Read about the degrees of adjectives. Use the appropriate form of the adjective.
Read about prefixes and suffixes and form the words to match the meaning.
Describe the situation by using adjectives in a comparative or superlative degree.
Translate the sentences into English.
Make up sentences with the following words:
Express your opinion on the following: