Mark Barnes Columnist

The most important rule in business is knowing what business your business is in. I once asked a friend how his business made money. “We buy space for other people,” he replied. “A lot of money flows through our business. Some of it sticks to the walls.” Quite a lot, as it turns out. The survivors, the winners, have all worked out what they do, who they are, where they fit. If you don’t know, some clever youngster will work it out and disrupt you out of business. Either find value where others don’t or solve a problem. McDonald’s is a property company selling burgers. Waze lets its customers draw, and then use, their own maps. Uber is convincing people they don’t need to own a car. Apple led the digital world in designing and making personal computers. Apple now wants to start a bank. It has some serious foundations to start with. Apple has more cash than it knows what to do with: $300bn, sitting idly, albeit tax efficiently, somewhere in the more than 25 countries it operates in ar...

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