UNIT: The “Breaking Bad” business lessons Part II

Advanced. Comparative constructions. Бизнес

Learn the words:

a tycoon - магнат, олигарх perennial - вечный, исконный
to outcompete - обойти конкурентов to deteriorate - ухудшаться
painstaking - старательный, усердный hubris - высокомерие, спесь
de rigueur - необходимый, обязательный invulnerable - неуязвимый
work-life balance - баланс между работой и личной жизнью righteous - праведный; справедливый

Read Part I here.

Again Mr White is not alone. There is a reason people talk of business empires: tycoons like Rupert Murdoch are latter-day Caesars, fixated on conquering new territories. Steve Jobs eventually outcompeted Microsoft because he was so painstaking in perfecting Apple’s products. Partnerships are the heart of a striking number of businesses: whether Larry Page and Sergey Brin or Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger—or indeed Goldman and Sachs or Hewlett and Packard. As for contracting out distribution, it is de rigueur for high-growth start-ups.

Breaking Bad” is even sharper on the forces of destruction in business. Mr White’s relationship with his partner falls apart. He is regularly in conflict with his distributors. And he sucks at work-life balance. Being in the meth business gives a unique twist to all these problems.

Yet these are twists on common themes. The breakdown of relations between business partners, thanks to the acids of ego, greed and paranoia, is a perennial business problem. Strained relations between companies and distributors are common. In one of his books Mr Christensen notes that whenever he has attended a university reunion he was struck by how many of his contemporaries suffered from terrible work-life balance: “Their personal relationships had begun to deteriorate, even as their professional prospects blossomed.”

Mr White’s biggest failing is also a common one in business: hubris. The more successful he becomes, the more invulnerable he feels. The more rules he breaks, the more righteous he feels. And the more wealth he accumulates, the more he wants. An impressive volume of social-science studies suggests that leaders are more willing to break the rules than followers. There is no shortage of corporate examples, from Enron to Olympus, to illustrate this. Walter White is a thoroughly odd character, but he also holds a worrying mirror to the business world.

Answer the following questions:
Answer the question by using a word or two words from the text.
Match the words and the translation.
Read about comparative constructions. Use the appropriate form of the adjective or adverb.
Form adjectives by combing the two words.
Combine the two sentences to express the same idea.
Translate the sentences into English.
Make up sentences with the following words:
Express your opinion on the following: