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We’re a company with a vision to improve the numerical acumen of future business leaders.

“Our approach is simple. Give students and business people the chance to experience and practice business problems at their own pace until they master those relationships.”

There are many resources necessary to run a successful business. Among those most often cited by experts include a solid business strategy, an experienced management team, and sufficient financial resources to execute the strategy. But these broader themes for success have their roots in more fundamental knowledge that key members of the organization understand and communicate. We might consider these building blocks “common knowledge” that all excellent managers possess. This common knowledge includes the ability to quickly assess opportunities and problems in the form of the relationships of numbers in business. Some are fairly ubiquitous, such as calculating the breakeven volume for a product, while others are less well known and include issues such as how one might calculate the lifetime value of a customer, or understanding the difference between click-through rates and pageviews.

My own experience in over 30 years working in the field of management education, using simulations and experiential learning, underscored the need for improvement in business acumen. The need is especially apparent beyond the context of the standard classroom, in a more complicated situation such as a simulation, or ultimately, a business start-up or established company. While observing group interactions over the years, it is clear that there is still a need for a common language and perspective of how to approach business challenges.

Paul Farris and the Darden School of Business developed Management By The Numbers (MBTN) to help students and practitioners improve their business knowledge through self-paced, interactive learning modules. In 2010, we built on their solid beginnings and expanded the topics covered, changed how the interactive modules worked, and launched our company to broaden its appeal and use. Robb Knapp, Kelly Brandow, Anne Louque, Matt Clark, Kim Cary, and Katherine James all made significant contributions to the early development of the project. Since that time, we are indebted to the work of all the authors and co-authors of the over 30 new modules we’ve added, Judy Blooms, Kent Dougherty, and especially Matt Travis, Sherry Olander and Luisa Tronea.

And we’re always looking for new ideas.

Our team is small, but diverse, and spans multiple continents. Contact us if you’d like to join our team as either a topic provider, distribution partner, or an employee.

We also would like to take this opportunity to thank the faculty and students who used MBTN during its beta test and limited release in 2010. We especially appreciate the feedback and suggestions from Professors Nicholas Lurie, Jerome Lindauer, Joe Urban, Jefrey Woodall, Sundar Bharadwaj, Robert Robicheaux and the First Year Marketing faculty at Darden. The following individuals also took the time and effort to contact us with improvements since its full release: John Stacy, Jason Kron, Scott Rex, Sofiane Ferrah, Conor Foley, Erik Uzureau, Daniel Tifft and Luis Kuster. And special thanks to Gopala Ganesh, Donald Lund and Branko Ulaga – may all business be so fortunate to have customers like these who gladly offer so many suggestions and improvements. We consider all our customers to be the most important part of our product design and development process, so please send us your comments and thoughts!

Our goal at MBTN is to help you improve your business foundations so that you can be a more effective manager, entrepreneur, employee, or student. Thank you for your interest and support.

– Stu James, co-founder, MBTN, Inc.

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