Career & Success

Seven Most-Read Stories of 2018

From tips for career satisfaction to an economist’s stint as an Uber driver, here are the stories that caught our readers’ attention.

December 03, 2018

| by Shana Lynch


Five business people reading on their phones and tablets. Credit: iStock/peopleimages

Have you read these reader favorites? | iStock/peopleimages

Our Stanford Business readers are an eclectic group. They want career tips, deep faculty research, and thoughts from the business industry’s leading professionals. The list of our best-read stories of 2018 shows this range: readers clued in on communication advice, gig economy analysis, and insights from the mysterious world of venture capital. Check out this year’s top reads:

“The Workplace Is Killing People and Nobody Cares”

The modern workplace is the fifth leading cause of death in the United States, says Stanford GSB professor Jeffrey Pfeffer. Inconsistent hours, wage stagnation, layoffs, economic insecurity, and dwindling health insurance all lead to stress that literally takes years off our lives, Pfeffer contends. Here he examines how it’s gotten so bad and what we can do about it.

How to Make Complex Ideas Understandable

Ever get lost and tune out during a highly technical presentation? Public speaking coach and Stanford GSB lecturer Matt Abrahams shows how you can convey complex information in a clear, concise manner and prevent those blank stares from your audience.

The Secret to Finding Lasting Career Satisfaction

Few of us today expect our career to follow a straight line. But how do we manage our careers for long-term success and fulfillment? Here, executive coach and Stanford GSB alum Michael Melcher shares seven tips he offers the executives he works with at Next Step Partners. An important one: Don’t wait until you’re unhappy.

Are Influencers Overrated?

If you introduce a new product or service, will word-of-mouth get you the attention you need? Research from Stanford GSB professor Mohammad Akbarpour looks at the value of influencers — those who sit at the center of a social network — and finds they aren’t always the best way to get attention.

What an Economist Learned by Driving for Uber

Professor Paul Oyer has studied many aspects of the growing gig economy, from wage inequality to labor issues. In this story, he explains what he learned by getting behind the wheel as an Uber driver and why male drivers earn more than female drivers.

The Path to Staying Power

Show anyone the icon of an apple, a bite removed, and they’ll likely recognize the computer brand it stands for. But how did Apple’s logo achieve iconic status? Soon Yu, a design and innovation advisor for major brands like The North Face, looks into the deliberate way companies create timeless relevance.

Inside the Enigmatic World of Venture Capital

The lifeblood of Silicon Valley startups, venture capital is an elusive industry. Finance professor Ilya Strebulaev wants to change that. He founded the Stanford GSB Venture Capital Initiative and has been quietly amassing a deep and unprecedented database designed to figure out how the VC world really works. Here he shares what he’s already learned from his in-depth research.

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