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Barry Nalebuff    

Milton Steinbach Professor of Management at Yale School of Managment, Co-Founder of Honest Tea, & Co-Founder and Chairman of KomBrewCha

Barry Nalebuff is the co-founder and chairman of Honest Tea and an expert on business strategy and game theory. Honest Tea was one of Inc. magazine’s fastest growing companies and has grown (organically) from five thermoses to well over 100 million bottles a year. In 2011, Coca-Cola purchased the company. In 2012, Nalebuff co-founded Kombrewcha, a line of low-calorie alcoholic beverages, with Ariel Glazer, a natural foods entrepreneur and former Goldman Sachs analyst. Barry is also the Milton Steinbach professor at Yale School of Management where he teaches strategy, innovation, game theory, and negotiation. Unlike most professors, he practices what he preaches (and preaches what he practices). Audiences appreciate his myriad insights into how to use economic theory to create a new business mindset and run an organization more successfully. In fascinating presentations, Barry engages his audiences with his sharp wit and warm sense of humor as he changes the way they look at strategy and innovation.

He is the co-author of six books: "Thinking Strategically" and "The Art of Strategy" are two popular books on game theory with over 300,000 copies in print. In "Co-opetition," Nalebuff looks beyond zero-sum games to emphasize the potential for cooperating as well as competing. In "Why Not?," he and Ian Ayres provide a framework for problem solving and ingenuity. "Lifecycle Investing" provides a new strategy for retirement investing. His book, "Mission in a Bottle," tells the story of Honest Tea in comic book format. A graduate of MIT, a Rhodes Scholar and Junior Fellow at the Harvard Society of Fellows, Nalebuff earned his doctorate at Oxford University.

In addition to his academic work, he has extensive experience consulting with multinational firms, from American Express, GE and McKinsey to Google and Rio Tinto. He advised the NBA in their negotiations with the National Basketball Players Association and serves on the board of Nationwide Insurance. In 1998, Barry together with one of his former students, Seth Goldman, co-founded Honest Tea, a company that sells ready-to-drink iced tea that truly tastes like tea. It is one of Inc. Magazine’s fastest growing companies and has grown (organically) from $0 to $70 million in sales. In 2011, Coca-Cola purchased the company.

Speech Topics


Successful Negotiation.

In the “world’s best talk on negotiation,” Barry Nalebuff approaches the art of negotiation from a new angle. When two parties are at odds over an issue, he believes the best way to approach the situation is to first ask, “What is the pie?” In other words, what are the participants negotiating over? What could they get separately versus what can they get together? How do you grow this “pie?” An expert negotiator who advised the NBA in their talks with the National Basketball Players Association, Nalebuff teaches audiences his framework for ensuring smooth and effective negotiations that benefit all parties involved.

Why Not? The New Method for Innovation.

Nalebuff shares insights and techniques on how to take the things we see every day and think about them in a new way. He offers a primer for problem-solving with a purpose and bringing the world a few steps closer to the way it should be. Insisting that innovation is a skill that can be taught, Nalebuff distills it into a few rules of thumb, outlining four central idea-generating tools that are simple and fun. These techniques force audiences to think creatively and challenge conventional wisdom as they learn how to approach innovation in their own organizations.

Using Game Theory to Inform Business Strategy.

Game theory means rigorous strategic thinking. It is the art of anticipating your opponent’s next moves, knowing full well that your rival is trying to do the same thing to you. Though parts of game theory involve simple common sense, much is counterintuitive, and it can only be mastered by developing a new way of seeing the world. In fascinating presentations, Barry Nalebuff engages his audience and walks them through the practical applications of game theory to everyday business practices in order to help them create new, effective strategies for their own organizations. Using a diverse array of rich case studies—from pop culture, TV, movies, sports, politics, and history—he shows how nearly every business and personal interaction has a game-theory component to it. Nalebuff then goes beyond the old rules of competition and cooperation to combine the advantages of both, leveraging an organization’s internal and external business relationships. With his sharp wit and warm sense of humor, he changes the way audiences look at strategy and innovation.

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