– Thoughts on Strategy and Management

A new early indicator?



I just discovered a new early indicator. You may remember that I like the sort of indicators that are not scientific but can be observed in ordinary life. Now I have one more of this sort.

We participate in the amazon-associates program with our management portal. We recommend books on the portal and when one of our visitors buys a book though our links, we get a small referral fee (unfortunately really smaller than it used to be in the early years). For these sales amazon provides us some statistics from which we know which articles were sold. It is not surprising that most of them are business books.

As of today, our sales / referral fees for this month look quite good. They look definitely better than in most of last year’s months, which were pretty weak. That may indicate two different things:

  • People think that the worst of the current financial and economic crisis is over and start again to invest in business books. Or
  • People think the crisis is not yet over. Hence, they decide to do something for their education while they are not so busy in business and hope to be well prepared when the economy booms again.

Well, this is no rocket science and no valuable indicator. More interestingly, I realised that the proportion of M&A-books among our referrals has risen considerably. I assume people expect M&A-transactions to increase again. Maybe many of our visitors work for a company that is either planning to take over another one or that is under threat of being taken over. So they want to prepare themselves with more knowledge about the process to come.
So I think that I will have a closer look at the mix of topics covered by our referrals.

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