Agoracom Blog

“We Do Everyting” Model Is Dead – Including Investment Banking

Posted by AGORACOM at 10:43 AM on Monday, December 1st, 2008
The Girl Who Had Everything

The Girl Who Had Everything - Saatchi Gallery

Interesting quote from Josh Hamerman Via IR Cafe

The supermarket model of investment banking died a very quick death
this past fall. The future of the industry, many believe, will be fashioned
after the boutiques – firms that focus on just a few key areas, but do so
exceptionally well.

Joshua Hamerman, “A Tree Grows on Wall Street,”
Mergers & Acquisitions, December 2008


I personally believe the days of “we do everything” – for anything but retail shopping and Vegas buffets – has been done or dying for some time now. Case in point, we can all agree that Yahoo has suffered for running its operations like Peanut Butter, which led to a Senior Vice-President wrote the now infamous Peanut Butter Manifesto in which he summarized the company as follows:

“I’ve heard our strategy described as spreading peanut butter across the
myriad opportunities that continue to evolve in the online world. The result:
a thin layer of investment spread across everything we do and thus we
focus on nothing in particular. I hate peanut butter and so should you”


Why are the days of “we do everything” over? Quite simply – the web. The web has forced us to become specialized because people are now able to search for specific items to fill their personal or business needs. As a result, people are now trained to demand specialists, not generalists. This doesn’t mean your stuck to one line of business – but it does mean that anything you do must be done very well or, as Hamerman says above, exceptionally well.


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