Jonathan Aberman

Why Snapchat’s OMG IPO Is Raising Eyebrows

When Smith School lecturer Jonathan Aberman thinks about Snap Inc. going public, the image that springs to mind is a queue of airplanes, waiting for takeoff, with the parent of the popular Snapchat photo app first on the tarmac. It's because Snap is the first in a line of so-called unicorns – privately held tech companies with an estimated valuation of $1 billion or more – that are expected to launch an initial public offering. And this one, he says, has him feeling a bit wary about them all. Read more...

Soft Skills Reign at Smith School Business Summit

Companies worried about disruption need science and technology to stay relevant in the 21st century, but speakers at the fifth annual Smith School Business Summit pointed to soft skills as the real competitive advantage. “If you get leadership, management and culture right, everything else takes care of itself,” keynote speaker David Williams told an audience of more than 300 faculty, staff, students and working professionals gathered Oct. 28, 2016, at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington, D.C.

Welcome to the 'People's Code' of the United States

A recent White House memorandum to heads of federal departments and agencies calls for at least 20 percent of their software projects to be accessible to the public without any additional payment to the developer through the “open sourcing” of their work. Smith School lecturer Jonathan Aberman says the new policy might cause problems for government contractors worried about protecting their intellectual property. Read more...

A Rare D.C. 'Unicorn' with an Old-School Look

Appian Corp., a Reston, Va.-based maker of customized software for companies, made the news recently with the revelation that that it had reached enviable "unicorn" status: Based on private-equity valuations, it joins the club of pre-IPO businesses worth — in theory at least — $1 billion. But that's not what makes the company special, says the Smith School's Jonathan Aberman. Read more ...

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