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jerryking : accelerated_lifecycles   31

Da Vinci code: what the tech age can learn from Leonardo
April 26, 2019 | Financial Times | by Ian Goldin.

While Leonardo is recognised principally for his artistic genius, barely a dozen paintings can be unequivocally attributed to him. In life, he defined himself not as an artist but as an engineer and architect......History does not repeat itself, but it rhymes. The Renaissance catapulted Italy from the Medieval age to become the most advanced place on Earth. Then, as now, change brought immense riches to some and growing anxiety and disillusionment to others. We too live in an age of accelerating change, one that has provoked its own fierce backlash. What lessons can we draw from Leonardo and his time to ensure that we not only benefit from a new flourishing, but that progress will be sustained? When we think of the Renaissance, we think of Florence. Leonardo arrived in the city in the mid 1460s, and as a teenager was apprenticed to the painter Verrocchio. The city was already an incubator for ideas. At the centre of the European wool trade, by the late 14th century Florence had become the home of wealthy merchants including the Medicis, who were bankers to the Papal Court. The city’s rapid advances were associated with the information and ideas revolution that defines the Renaissance. Johann Gutenberg had used moveable type to publish his Bible in the early 1450s, and between the time of Leonardo’s birth in 1452 and his 20th birthday, some 15m books were printed, more than all the European scribes had produced over the previous 1,500 years.

..as Leonardo knew, and the Silicon Valley techno-evangelists too often neglect, information revolutions don’t only allow good ideas to flourish. They also provide a platform for dangerous ideas. The Zuckerberg information revolution can pose a similar threat to that of Gutenberg.

In the battle of ideas, populists are able to mobilise the disaffected more effectively than cerebral scientists, decently disciplined innovators and the moderate and often silent majority. For progress to prevail, evidence-based, innovative and reasoned thinking must triumph.
.....Genius thrived in the Renaissance because of the supportive ecosystem that aided the creation and dissemination of knowledge — which then was crushed by the fearful inquisitions. Today, tolerance and evidence-based argument are again under threat.
accelerated_lifecycles  architecture  broad-based_scientific_enquiry  capitalization  cross-disciplinary  cross-pollination  curiosity  dangerous_ideas  digital_economy  diversity  engineering  Florence  genius  globalization  human_potential  ideas  immigrants  Italy  industry_expertise  Johan_Gutenberg  lessons_learned  Leonardo_da_Vinci  Medicis  physical_place  polymaths  observations  Renaissance  Renaissance_Man  Silicon_Valley  silo_mentality  tolerance  unevenly_distributed  visionaries 
april 2019 by jerryking
Opinion | The United Kingdom Has Gone Mad - The New York Times
By Thomas L. Friedman
Opinion Columnist

April 2, 2019

What do the most effective leaders today have in common? They wake up every morning and ask themselves the same questions: “What world am I living in? What are the biggest trends in this world? And how do I educate my citizens about this world and align my policies so more of my people can get the best out of these trends and cushion the worst?”

So what world are we living in?

(1) We’re living in a world that is becoming so interconnected — thanks to digitization, the internet, broadband, mobile devices, the cloud and soon-to-be 5G wireless transmissions — that we are becoming interdependent to an unprecedented degree. In this world, growth increasingly depends on the ability of yourself, your community, your town, your factory, your school and your country to be connected to more and more of the flows of knowledge and investment — and not just rely on stocks of stuff........The key to creating economic value has been to acquire some proprietary knowledge stocks, aggressively protect those knowledge stocks and then efficiently extract the economic value from those knowledge stocks and deliver them to the market. The challenge in a more rapidly changing world is that knowledge stocks depreciate at an accelerating rate. In this kind of world, the key source of economic value shifts from stocks to flows......yet Britain is ruled today by a party that wants to disconnect from a connected world....
(2) Understand that in a world of simultaneous accelerations in technology and globalization, keeping your country as open as possible to as many flows as possible is advantageous for two reasons: You get all the change signals first and have to respond to them and you attract the most high-I.Q. risk-takers, who tend to be the people who start or advance new companies.....The best talent wants to go to the most open systems — open both to immigrants and trade — because that is where the most opportunities are. Britain is about to put up a big sign: GO AWAY.
(3) wise leaders also understand that all the big problems today are global problems, and they have only global solutions: climate change, trade rules, technology standards and preventing excesses and contagion in financial markets......small states/middle powers need to be part of a wider coalition like the European Union.
(4) the best leaders know a little history. Trump is fine with a world of competitive European nationalisms, not a strong European Union. So is Vladimir Putin. So, it seems, are the Brexiteers. How quickly they’ve all forgotten that the E.U. and NATO were built to prevent the very competitive nationalism that ran riot in Europe in the 20th century and brought us two world wars.
open_borders  accelerated_lifecycles  Brexit  Tom_Friedman  United_Kingdom  21st._century  EU  historical_amnesia  history  information_flows  interconnections  middle-powers  proprietary  questions  small_states  interdependence  talent_flows 
april 2019 by jerryking
Brands Invent New Lines for Only Amazon to Sell WSJ
Jan. 25, 2019 | WSJ | By Annie Gasparro and Laura Stevens.

Amazon gets exclusive products, while brands receive faster customer feedback, marketing support and increased sales.......To build a big line of exclusive products on its site, Amazon.com Inc. AMZN 0.95% is pushing other brand manufacturers to do most of the work.

The online retail giant is asking consumer-goods companies to create brands exclusively for Amazon after finding that developing them on its own is too costly and time-consuming.....Amazon’s initiative is the latest example of the e-commerce giant flexing its muscles in order to offer the lowest prices and widest selection, as it seeks to cut into the market share of big-brand manufacturers.....Manufacturers generally benefit from selling their products through a range of retailers. Also, they risk cannibalizing higher-margin sales of their main brands by offering comparable products under different labels. But those entering deals with Amazon view the arrangement as a golden opportunity.

In exchange for creating exclusive products, the brands get help launching their products on Amazon.com, faster customer feedback when testing new products, marketing support, and, of course, revenue from the sales. They also can appear at the top of search results—a big draw given that Amazon’s platform lists an estimated 550 million items......Speed was paramount. “We had to take what would normally be 12 to 24 months of development to 90 days,”....Amazon, on its own, has been quietly adding to its in-house brands in recent years. Analysts estimate the site now offers more than 100. ....Amazon sometimes promotes its own brands higher in search results on its site, like “Amazon’s Choice” and sponsored items, or as default results in voice searches using Amazon’s Alexa virtual assistant.

In-house brands often generate a higher profit margin for retailers, including Amazon, and can draw in customers because they can’t find those brands elsewhere. But developing a new brand and formulating products takes time..... the program offers manufacturers a way to “launch brands and products directly to Amazon customers.”

Amazon is increasingly important for consumer-product manufacturers. It now accounts for roughly half of all sales online,.....Amazon’s program also can be used for “orphan brands” that manufacturers have stopped selling or that never made it to market.....Amazon has no issue going full-court press on private label, and pursuing all these brands. If the quality and pricing architecture don’t fit and they have to pivot, they’ll do so,” said Todd Mitchell, president of Compass Marketing Inc., which works with Amazon. “They’re not limited to the constructs of shelf space.”
accelerated_lifecycles  Amazon  brands  cannibalization  CPG  e-commerce  exclusivity  fast-paced  in-house  manufacturers  new_products  orphan_brands  private_labels  product_development  product_launches  shelf_space  speed 
january 2019 by jerryking
Levi’s Wants Lasers, Not People, to Rip Your Jeans - WSJ
By Suzanne Kapner | Photographs by Christie Hemm Klok for The Wall Street Journal
Feb. 27, 2018
blue_jeans  Levi_Strauss  supply_chains  apparel  automation  accelerated_lifecycles 
february 2018 by jerryking
Toys ‘R’ Us versus Amazon: No contest
September 17, 2017 | The Globe and Mail | BARRIE MCKENNA.

It's a new era all right...The industry is grappling with the relentless onslaught of Amazon and Alibaba, excess retail space, the retreat of department-store mall anchors and intense price competition. Meanwhile, consumers are shifting their spending from things to experiences, including entertainment and dining-out
The harsh reality for Toys "R" Us and other big-box stores is that they aren't indispensable any more as North Americans discover new and different ways to shop. You don't have to schlep to a suburban shopping strip to find the newest Lego set, video game or electronic gadget. Order it online, and you can have it delivered to your door, often for free the next day, at the best price available anywhere.

....retail experts have warned that a tipping point was coming for the industry as more and more shopping moved online. This looks like the year.....Analysts predict that a record 9,000 retail stores will close across the U.S. in 2017. That would eclipse 2016, when roughly 6,200 stores closed....
Retailers have been filing for protection from creditors at a faster pace this year than at any time since the 2008-09 recession. Toys "R" Us joins a long list of famous retail casualties of 2017 in Canada and the U.S., including Sears Canada, The Limited, Wet Seal, BCBG, Payless Shoes, Sports Authority, Gymboree, Aéropostale and American Apparel. And there are still three-plus months to go.....The rise of Amazon is proof that consumers are embracing new ways of buying. The company's North American sales grew five-fold to $80-billion (U.S.) between 2010 and 2016. Half of U.S. households now subscribe to Amazon Prime, a fee-based service that offers free two-day shipping, music and video streaming plus other perks......What's alarming isn't so much the share of shopping that has moved online, but the speed at which it's moved.

Warren Buffett sold off nearly $1-billion worth of Walmart stock earlier this year, explaining that traditional retailing is "too tough" a business in the age of Amazon. "The world has evolved, and it's going to keep evolving, but the speed is increasing," Mr. Buffett said.

Amazon and China's Alibaba won't be the only winners in this new era. A vast array of other businesses feed off the online industry, including shippers and logistics companies, plus a vast network of technology companies, including store platforms (Shopify), analytics companies and app makers.
Amazon  Alibaba  e-commerce  store_closings  Barrie_McKenna  retailers  bricks-and-mortar  toys  Toys_"R"_Us  bankruptcies  brands  Amazon_Prime  home-delivery  accelerated_lifecycles  Warren_Buffett  Wal-Mart  big-box 
september 2017 by jerryking
Ford CEO: Decision-Making ‘Shot Clock’ Needed to Accelerate Plans - WSJ
By Christina Rogers
Updated June 30, 2017

Ford Motor Co.’s new Chief Executive Jim Hackett is enforcing a “shot clock” on lingering decisions at the auto maker to put plans into action faster and regain competitive footing in vital segments of the car business.

Mr. Hackett, speaking to analysts this week, rolled out the shot-clock idea—which is borrowed from a rule employed in basketball to quicken the pace of the game—as part of his agenda for the first 100 days in a job he took over in May. He spoke Thursday with Wall Street analysts, the first such meeting for Ford’s new chief as he confronts an underperforming stock price.

The company has been widely criticized for appearing indecisive on important technology bets, including self-driving cars or electric vehicles.

In addition to setting firmer deadlines on decisions, Mr. Hackett said he plans to focus on costs, according to analysts’ reports recounting the event. He wants to move faster to target weaknesses in the business, such as slumping U.S. sedan sales.......Ford is now investing in autonomous-vehicle research, including taking financial stakes in startups, and is spending more than $4 billion to improve its electric-car lineup.
operational_tempo  decision_making  Jim_Hackett  Ford  automotive_industry  electric_cars  autonomous_vehicles  accelerated_lifecycles  clock_speed  indecision  shot_clock 
june 2017 by jerryking
Bumble founder Whitney Wolfe on millennial matchmaking | Evernote Web
18 March / 19 March 2017 | FT| by Alice Fishburn.

. . . Half a year in tech-app time, it’s like a normal-world five years.” What’s the solution? “You just have to run faster than it does.’’
Wolfe has surfed an extraordinary sea-change in how we approach relationships. Our phones now allow us to identify potential life companions through location, ethnic origin or hatred of the same thing and reject them just as quickly. Such opportunities come with a healthy serving of ethical and personal dilemmas.....Bumble’s USP — “truly not a gimmick”, Wolfe stresses, and timely for a feminist age — is that the woman has all the power (while both sexes swipe to show interest, only she can start a conversation). Wolfe may be firmly on-brand but she laughs wickedly at the ambitions of many tech evangelists. “So many entrepreneurs approach me and say, ‘I want to start the next big thing’, and I say, ‘Well, what are you solving?’ And oftentimes they say, ‘Oh, I’m not sure. I want to start something big.’ ” Sigh. “You can never start something big without solving something small, right? And for me, that was not being allowed to text guys first.”.....What has all this time with the data taught her about humans? “You understand when people are the happiest, the most busy, the most detached, most involved.” Sunday nights and Mondays are the busiest times on the site: “I think that’s probably really telling because that’s usually people’s downtime, when they are relaxing or when they’re feeling bummed out . . . a little bit lonely.”
Our view on the idea of technology running our love lives unsurprisingly depends on our culture. One transatlantic dater tells me that, in the US, Bumble is strongly associated with empowered women. In the UK, some moan that it just caters to lazy men.
women  entrepreneur  Tinder  Austin  dating  mobile_applications  relationships  feminism  millennials  match-making  sexism  Silicon_Valley  accelerated_lifecycles  algorithms  gestures  online_dating  downtime 
march 2017 by jerryking
Thomas Friedman’s Guide to Hanging On in the ‘Age of Accelerations’ - Bloomberg
by Paul Barrett
November 11, 2016,

Thank You for Being Late: An Optimist’s Guide to Thriving in the Age of Accelerations (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, $28)....the wisdom of pausing.... take time “to just sit and think”— a good reminder for the overcommitted.....Friedman's “core argument,” is his description of our disruptive times. By “accelerations,” he means the increases in computing power, which are enabling breakthroughs from 3D printing to self-driving cars. Meanwhile, globalization is creating vast wealth for those who capitalize on innovation and impoverishment for populations who don’t. All of this sped-up economic activity contributes to rising carbon levels, feeding the climate change that threatens civilization.....Friedman relishes catchphrases like “the Big Shift,” borrowed in this case from the HBR. He deploys B-school jargon to explain it, but the definition boils down to companies making the move from relying exclusively on in-house brainpower, patents, and data to exploiting “flows” of knowledge from anywhere in the world.... Friedman makes the case for changed policies to respond to the accelerations he chronicles.
accelerated_lifecycles  sustained_inquiry  Tom_Friedman  books  slack_time  reflections  3-D  globalization  impoverishment  climate_change  in-house  talent_flows  information_flows  GE  prizes  bounties  innovation  contests  contemplation  patents  data  brainpower  jargon  thinking  timeouts  power_of_the_pause 
january 2017 by jerryking
Inside the mind of a venture capitalist | McKinsey & Company
August 2016 | McK | Steve Jurvetson is a partner at Draper Fisher Jurvetson. Michael Chui,
(1) entrepreneurs who have infectious enthusiasm.
(2) sector of the economy believed to be experiencing rapid growth/ massive disruptive change.
(3) wide range of industries, from synthetic biology to rockets to electric cars to a variety of sectors that weren’t ripe for venture investment in prior decades but now are becoming software businesses.
(4) attributes and people somewhat similar to what I look for in the team at work: enough self-confidence to be humble about what it’s proposing and respect for the team over individuals
How should large companies respond? The large companies that are most exciting to me are the ones that innovate outside their core. big companies need to innovate outside their core businesses. The biggest start-up: Space.
Steve_Jurvetson  McKinsey  DFJ  venture_capital  teams  vc  disruption  space  large_companies  software  core_businesses  Moore's_Law  machine_learning  passions  Elon_Musk  accelerated_lifecycles  space_travel  innovation  self-confidence  humility 
august 2016 by jerryking
Blitzscaling
ENTREPRENEURSHIP
Blitzscaling
Tim Sullivan

FROM THE APRIL 2016 ISSUE

Let’s start with the basics. What is blitzscaling?
Hoffman: Blitzscaling is what you do when you need to grow really, really quickly. It’s the science and art of rapidly building out a company to serve a large and usually global market, with the goal of becoming the first mover at scale.

This is high-impact entrepreneurship. These kinds of companies always create a lot of the jobs and industries of the future. For example, Amazon essentially invented e-commerce. Today, it has over 150,000 employees and has created countless jobs at Amazon sellers and partners. Google revolutionized how we find information—it has over 60,000 employees and has created many more jobs at its AdWords and AdSense partners.

Why this focus on fast growth?
We’re in a networked age. And I don’t mean only the internet. Globalization is a form of network. It adds networks of transport, commerce, payment, and information flows around the world. In such an environment, you have to move faster, because competition from anywhere on the globe may beat you to scale.

Software has a natural affinity with blitzscaling, because the marginal costs of serving any size market are virtually zero. The more that software becomes integral to all industries, the faster things will move. Throw in AI machine learning, and the loops get even faster. So we’re going to see more blitzscaling. Not just a little more, but a lot more.
blitzscaling  economies_of_scale  scaling  HBR  high-growth  high-impact  Silicon_Valley  LinkedIn  Reid_Hoffman  networks  first_movers  large_markets  market_sizing  accelerated_lifecycles 
may 2016 by jerryking
The Evolving Automotive Ecosystem - The CIO Report - WSJ
April 6, 2015| WSJ | By IRVING WLADAWSKY-BERGER.

An issue in many other industries. Will the legacy industry leaders be able to embrace the new digital technologies, processes and culture, or will they inevitably fall behind their faster moving, more culturally adept digital-native competitors? [the great game]

(1) Find new partners and dance: “The structure of the automotive industry will likely change rapidly. Designing and producing new vehicles have become far too complex and expensive for any likely one company to manage all on its own.
(2) Become data masters: “Know your customers better than they know themselves. Use that data to curate every aspect of the customer experience from when they first learn about the car to the dealership experience and throughout the customer life cycle. Having data scientists on staff will likely be the rule, not the exception.
(3) Update your economic models: “Predicting demand was hard enough in the old days, when you did a major new product launch approximately every five years. Now, with the intensity of competition, the rapid cadence of new launches, and the mashup of consumer and automotive technology, you may need new economic models for predicting demand, capital expenditures, and vehicle profitability.
(4)Tame complexity: “It’s all about the center stack, the seamless connectivity with nomadic devices, the elegance of the Human Machine Interface.
(5) Create adaptable organizations: “It will take a combination of new hard and soft skills to build the cars and the companies of the future. For many older, established companies, that means culture change, bringing in new talent, and rethinking every aspect of process and people management.
Apple  automotive_industry  autonomous_vehicles  ecosystems  Google  know_your_customer  adaptability  CIOs  layer_mastery  competitive_landscape  competitive_strategy  connected_devices  telematics  data  data_driven  data_scientists  customer_experience  curation  structural_change  accelerated_lifecycles  UX  complexity  legacy_players  business_development  modelling  Irving_Wladawsky-Berger  SMAC_stack  cultural_change  digitalization  connected_cars  the_great_game 
april 2015 by jerryking
Nokia a lesson for backers of Canada’s nanny state - The Globe and Mail
Oct. 17 2014 | The Globe and Mail | BRIAN LEE CROWLEY.

How did it all go so wrong? And what might Canada learn from Finland’s downfall?

One obvious conclusion is not to put all your eggs in one basket, but it goes well beyond that. There was a time when economic change worked slowly enough that you could get a generation or two’s employment out of an industry before it was overtaken by innovation. Detroit dominated automobile manufacturing for many decades before its own complacency and the innovativeness of European and Asian producers came into play. In a similar vein, Nokia allowed itself to believe in its own infallibility, and Finland meekly followed suit. But the forces of change are now so powerful and lightning fast that sometimes a single product release from a competitor can signal the death knell of a previously healthy company or industry....Canada is rife with industries with their heads stuck in the sand, almost invariably because they believe they can shelter behind a friendly bureaucrat with a rulebook.

Examples abound in fields as diverse as telecoms, dairy, airlines, broadcasting, taxis and transport. Could there have been a bigger farce than the CRTC’s attempt to manhandle online content provider Netflix?...The real lesson of Nokia’s demise was that there is no substitute for being driven by what customers want, which is quality products and service at the lowest possible price...Every deviation from this relentless focus on what customers actually want makes your market a tasty morsel for the disrupters.
concentration_risk  Nokia  Finland  mobile_phones  disruption  Netflix  Uber  CRTC  complacency  accelerated_lifecycles  protectionism  nanny_state  customer_focus  change_agents  Finnish  demand-driven  lessons_learned  automotive_industry  downfall  change  warning_signs  signals  customer-driven  infallibility  overconfidence  hubris  staying_hungry 
october 2014 by jerryking
The Weekend Interview: Job Hunting in the Network Age - WSJ
By ANDY KESSLER
July 18, 2014 | WSJ |

Reid Hoffman has a theory on what makes ventures work: understanding that information is no longer isolated but instantly connected to everything else. Call it the move from the information age to the network age. Mr. Hoffman thinks that the transformation is just getting started and will take out anyone who stands in the way.

But what is a network? It's an identity, he explains, and how that identity interacts with others through communications and transactions. It's not just online, on Facebook and Twitter, but everywhere. It is the sum of those communications, conversations and interactions.

"Your identity is now constituted by the network," he says. "You are your friends, you are your tribe, you are your interactions with your colleagues, your customers, even your competitors. All those things come to form what your reputation is." In short, you are no longer the only one in control of your résumé...Mr. Hoffman had his own idea for a personal information managers (PIM) concept, but raising money proved tough. He got his first taste of venture capitalists in 1994 when he tried to find funding: "You probably should go learn how to launch software," potential investors told him.

So Mr. Hoffman joined Apple......Mr. Hoffman thinks that corporations still haven't figured out how to use LinkedIn and other platforms to their advantage. "All companies are being affected by globalization. All companies are being affected by technology disruption. Which means the innovation and adaptation cycles are getting shorter and shorter." How do you make your company more adaptive? "The answer is you need adaptive people working for you. It's much better for the company and much better for the employees—it accomplishes a network effect,"

Finding these adaptive employees is one thing, keeping them is another. LinkedIn forces companies to work at that.
accelerated_lifecycles  adaptability  Andy_Kessler  Communicating_&_Connecting  informational_advantages  innovation_cycles  job_search  learning_agility  LinkedIn  networks  networking  network_effects  network_power  Reid_Hoffman  reputation  résumés  retention  Silicon_Valley  tribes 
july 2014 by jerryking
When Uncertainty Is A Constant, You Can Still Plan for Surprises
April 7, 1998 | WSJ | By HAL LANCASTER.

one of the few certainties in today's tumultuous business world: About all anyone can expect is the unexpected.

Hal Lancaster answers readers' questions on career issues in Career Corner. Send your questions or comments by e-mail to hlancast@wsj.com .

Between mergers and restructurings, new technology and intensified global competition, "change is accelerating," says Dallas management consultant Price Pritchett, who specializes in change management. "The more change and the faster it comes at us, the easier it is for us to get blindsided."

But isn't the ability to cope with the unexpected genetically coded? "Some people have a high need for structure and don't like to wing it." Still, anyone can get better at dealing with surprises.

Here are some other effective strategies:

* Figure out what you can control.

* Plan tight and play loose. "deep planning," or considering all conceivable scenarios and what-ifs. But won't the unexpected foil the best-laid plans? "The better job we do planning, the better we'll do improvising, because we'll understand the situation better,"

* Develop solutions. In a soon-to-be-released booklet on innovation that he is publishing for clients, Dr. Pritchett draws lessons from the 1997 Mars Pathfinder mission. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory talked about "crafting solutions that were tolerant to the uncertainties" of such a project,

* Separate fact from assumptions.

To make good decisions, you need good information. In turbulent times, Mr. Postons observes, "people get suspicious, they get paranoid and that's when they get frozen."

* Do something.In an environment of high-velocity change, Dr. Pritchett says, remember the perils of passivity. "You have to keep moving forward, knowing that in this blurry, fast-moving world, you're going to have to drive on fog lights much of the time."

Concentrating on a plan of action and lining up others to help can turn despair into accomplishment, Dr. Stoltz says. The strategy, he adds, is "whiner-proof and solution-oriented."
Hal_Lancaster  Managing_Your_Career  uncertainty  adversity  surprises  critical_thinking  managing_change  unexpected  cost_of_inaction  assumptions  change  resilience  tumultuous  constant_change  solutions  solution-finders  accelerated_lifecycles  action_plans  span_of_control  momentum  blindsided  blind_spots  beyond_one's_control  JPL  next_play 
december 2012 by jerryking
The Open-Source War - New York Times
October 15, 2005 | NYT | By JOHN ROBB

The other likely explanation is one the military itself makes: that the insurgency isn't a fragile hierarchical organization but rather a resilient network made up of small, autonomous groups. This means that the insurgency is virtually immune to attrition and decapitation. It will combine and recombine to form a viable network despite high rates of attrition. Body counts - and the military should already know this - aren't a good predictor of success.

Given this landscape, let's look at alternative strategies. First, out-innovating the insurgency will most likely prove unsuccessful. The insurgency uses an open-source community approach (similar to the decentralized development process now prevalent in the software industry) to warfare that is extremely quick and innovative. New technologies and tactics move rapidly from one end of the insurgency to the other, aided by Iraq's relatively advanced communications and transportation grid - demonstrated by the rapid increases in the sophistication of the insurgents' homemade bombs. This implies that the insurgency's innovation cycles are faster than the American military's slower bureaucratic processes (for example: its inability to deliver sufficient body and vehicle armor to our troops in Iraq)
open_source  warfare  networks  insurgencies  innovation_cycles  accelerated_lifecycles  attrition_rates 
july 2012 by jerryking
Managing Risk In the 21st Century
February 7, 2000 | Fortune | By Thomas A. Stewart.

Take risk management, a responsibility of the treasury function. Most risk managers haven't begun to cope with the real threats 21st-century companies face. Like the drunk in the old joke who looks for his lost keys under the streetlamp because the light is better there, risk management is dealing with visible classes of risk while greater, unmanaged dangers accumulate in the dark.

Risk--let's get this straight upfront--is good. The point of risk management isn't to eliminate it; that would eliminate reward. The point is to manage it--that is, to choose where to place bets, where to hedge bets, and where to avoid betting altogether. Though most risk-management tools--insurance, hedging, diversification, etc.--have to do with reducing loss, the goal is to maximize the gains from the risks you take (alpha? McDerment?)

So where should we look for these new risks?

--Your reputation or brand. When a bad batch of carbon dioxide in Coca-Cola sickened some Belgian children last summer, Coke's European operating income fell about $205 million, and Coca-Cola Enterprises, the bottler, incurred $103 million in costs. What about the cost to brand equity? One highly imperfect proxy: Coke's market capitalization fell $34 billion between June 30 and Sept. 30, 1999.

--Your business model. Asset-free, knowledge-intensive competition is to entrenched business models what the Panzer was to the Maginot Line. MP3s changed the music business more fundamentally than anything since radio. E*Trade, 18 years old, forced Merrill Lynch, 180, to change its way of doing business. Yet the new guys' very nimbleness creates its own risks, which traditional risk management can't help. You can protect the hard assets of a brick-and-mortar mall. Click-and-order stores are much more exposed: Cash flow is just about all they've got.

--Your human capital. The obvious human-capital risk is flight--especially in a tight labor market--but it's only part of a larger, subtler problem. When the CEO intones, "People are our most important asset," he's wrong, even if he's sincere. People are your most important investors. Your stock of human capital matters less than your flow of it. Any turbulence--and is there anything but turbulence these days?--can disrupt the flow, damaging your ability to attract human capital or people's desire to collaborate. Says Thomas Davenport, a partner at Towers Perrin: "Uncertainty is a real enemy of human capital. People rebalance their ROI by cutting back the investment."

--Your intellectual property. Many risks to intellectual property--theft, for example--can be dealt with in obvious, if sometimes onerous, ways. Here's the cutting-edge question: How do you manage risk in the process by which new intellectual property is created? How do you cope with the fact that the safer a given R&D project is, the less likely it is to be a big-money breakthrough? How do you balance the virtues of specialization against those of diversification?

--Your network. No company is an island, entire of itself; odds are your business is embedded in a network you do not control. It's not just that AOL might crash and cost you a few days' sales; your whole business may depend on tangible and intangible assets that belong to outsourcing partners, franchisees, sugar daddies, or standard-setters.
There are a couple of patterns here. First, an ever-greater part of business risk comes from sources your company can't own--people, partners, environments. Second, volatility isn't just a currency or stock market risk anymore. Labor markets, technologies, even business models oscillate at higher frequencies--their behavior more and more resembling that of financial markets.

In those patterns are hints of how to manage intellectual risks--which we'll examine next time.
risk-management  21st._century  risks  Thomas_Stewart  reputation  branding  business_models  financial_markets  talent_management  intellectual_property  networks  human_capital  turbulence  uncertainty  volatility  instability  nimbleness  labour_markets  accelerated_lifecycles  intellectual_assets  e-commerce  external_interaction  talent_flows  cash_flows  network_risk  proxies  specialization  diversification  unknowns  brand_equity  asset-light  insurance  hedging  alpha  Michael_McDerment 
june 2012 by jerryking
"Structural Breaks" and Other Timely Phenomena -
December 12, 2008 |Adam Smith, Esq.|Bruce MacEwen.

Finally, some words about strategy in the midst of a structural dislocation. Times like these—especially times like these—call for coherent responses on behalf of your firm to the challenges out there in the marketplace. This, rather than any tepid or hypocritical "mission statement" or allegedly scientific market segmentation analysis that will be overtaken by events before it can be bound and distributed,, is the type of strategy that actually has traction today.

And the essence of such a strategy is a thoughtful and reflective view on the marketplace forces at work, and how they'll affect your firm, your talent pipeline, your geographic centers of gravity, and your client base. To produce a coherent, nuanced, and dynamic view of what's happening, there's no substitute for the hard work of thinking about this multi-dimensional chessboard, with almost daily midcourse corrections based on new data points and new conversations, essentially incoming at you all the time.
Bruce_MacEwen  McKinsey  financial_history  simplicity  ratios  strategic_thinking  talent_pipelines  structural_change  howto  customers  Five_Forces_model  competitive_landscape  situational_awareness  course_correction  disequilibriums  accelerated_lifecycles  dislocations  hard_work  dynamic 
november 2011 by jerryking
Technology Devices Either Sell Big or Die Fast - NYTimes.com
August 23, 2011 | NYT | By JENNA WORTHAM & VERNE G.
KOPYTOFF. In recent years, technology companies have been cutting their
losses with increasing speed...These days, big technology companies —
particularly those in the hypercompetitive smartphone and tablet
industries — are starting to resemble Hollywood film studios. Every
release needs to be a blockbuster, and the only measure of success is
the opening-weekend gross. There is little to no room for the sleeper
indie hit that builds good word of mouth to become a solid performer
over time. ...this accelerated lifecycle of high-end hardware is being
described as “Darwinian.” ...Companies kill new products more quickly
now because of the higher cost of staying competitive, ..The crush of
tech bloggers and Twitter-using early adopters .. raises the stakes
around how well new products perform in the marketplace...One needs
everything in place: the content, the applications and the
experience--to have a reasonable chance at success.
attrition_rates  product_launches  speed  product_development  hits  blockbusters  winner-take-all  accelerated_lifecycles  social_media  kill_rates  new_products  Jenna_Wortham  Darwinian 
august 2011 by jerryking
The secret to controlled chaos - FT.com
June 20, 2011 By Tim Bradshaw . Stratospheric growth can
prove problematic... Your site may go down all the time.”... As
broadband access spreads and smartphones become mainstream in developed
markets, new technology companies are being built in months, not years,
acquiring millions of users with apparent ease...For small companies
thrust un­expectedly into the limelight, coping with such growth rates,
while maintaining the innovation and culture that brought them their
success, can be a significant challenge..Although internal culture is
important, companies must not become too inward-looking as they try to
manage growth and should be vigilant of the impact that the changes to
their business is having on customers. “The key element is to eliminate
surprises,” , “Growth is great but it must be measured. In fast times,
it’s metrics, metrics, metrics. You must measure where traffic comes
from, what the customers are doing...with that you can then focus on
serving your best customers.”
growth  start_ups  chaos  hiring  recruiting  growth_hacking  metrics  inward-looking  mojo  measurements  organizational_culture  scaling  accelerated_lifecycles  surprises  small_business  gazelles  high-growth 
june 2011 by jerryking
A New Vocabulary for Trade
Aug 4, 2005 | WSJ pg. A.12 | Jagdish Bhagwati. The flat world
metaphor is, , both inept and mistakenly alarming. The real problem in
the increasingly globalized economy is rather that most producers in
traded activities -- an expanding set because services have become
steadily more tradeable -- face intensified competition. A specific
producer here will find rival suppliers stealing up on him from
somewhere, whether Portugal, Brazil or Malaysia, indeed from sources
which may not include India and China....Historically, comparative
advantage was "thick," shielded by big buffers. This is no longer so:
not predictably from India and China, but almost certainly from
somewhere. Hence I use the metaphor: "kaleidoscopic comparative
advantage." Today, you have it; but in our state of knife-edge
equilibrium, you may lose it tomorrow and regain it the day after.
...[How quickly can Ontario's colleges pull together a new course? How
much of the content is general vs. specific? for Dianne-- pinboard search on "institutional_integrity" "legal system" ]
ProQuest  flat_world  globalization  Tom_Friedman  metaphors  India  China  comparative_advantage  impermanence  transient  kaleidoscopic  instability  accelerated_lifecycles  global_economy 
december 2010 by jerryking
Bottom lines are under pressure
Jun 14, 2004 / Plant. : Vol. 63, Iss. 7; pg. 46, 1 pgs /
Jayson Myers. Accelerated innovation also brings tremendous challenges.
It's shortening product life cycles and creating new and more demanding
customer expectations. More than 25,000 new consumer products were
launched in the North American market last year. Some manufacturers are
facing a market window of only a few months before the competition steps
in or customer requirements change. For example, the life cycle of
electronic components is about 18 months.
ProQuest  Canadian  manufacturers  innovation  margins  product_launches  market_windows  accelerated_lifecycles  customer_expectations 
november 2010 by jerryking
Managing the Future Workplace? Start Here. - WSJ.com
SEPT. 19, 2010 | Wall Street Journal | By ALAN MURRAY. How
should managers behave in this new economic order? Key trends include:
trust in business being at an all time low; continued govt. involvement
in the economy; credit remaining hard to come by; U.S. consumers
sitting on their wallets; Asia will likely continue to rise, and
technological change will likely continue to accelerate. Stay flexible.
Devour data. Be (somewhat) humble. Communicate. Plan for contingencies.
Be proactive. Insist on candor. Stay involved. Keep your organization
flat. Cross-train your talent.Assess your team.Use your judgment.
managing_uncertainty  workplaces  Alan_Murray  technological_change  future  organizational_culture  flexibility  resilience  contingency_planning  cross-training  data  data_driven  proactivity  humility  candour  Asia  credit  consumer_spending  judgment  teams  accelerated_lifecycles  trends  trustworthiness 
september 2010 by jerryking
Crovitz: Antitrust Laws Don’t Make Sense with 21st Century Technology - WSJ.com
AUGUST 3, 2009 | Wall Street Journal | By L. GORDON
CROVITZ. The Antitrust Anachronism: When will technology’s ever faster
cycles of creative destruction spell the end of antitrust law? The
Sherman Act and later antitrust laws were supposed to protect consumer
interests. That’s not so easy when regulators have to deal with
industries as different as oil, with its cartels and long product
cycles, and technology, where fast change is a constant necessity for
survival....the traditional approach to antitrust makes no sense in an
industry like technology, in which new entrants routinely topple
seemingly invincible market leaders....Scale matters...The size of the
audience is important...The bottom line is that by the time regulators
can assess a technology market, the market has often moved on.

*
antitrust  competition  21st._century  product_cycles  creative_destruction  regulation  L._Gordon_Crovtiz  constant_change  scaling  new_entrants  accelerated_lifecycles  regulators  market_leadership  cartels  consumer_protection  consumer_interests  market_sizing 
august 2010 by jerryking
Provide true value or advisers are 'toast'
April 12, 2010 | G & M | DAN RICHARDS. "punctuated
equilibrium" is working its way through the fin. industry. The late
scientist, Stephen Jay Gould, identified this concept. His insight was
that while change is a constant, the pace of change isn't - for
millennia, species have gone through centuries of slow, almost
imperceptible change, interspersed with short periods of incredibly
rapid and intense shifts. In the last 30 yrs, most industries have had
to adapt to an entirely new set of rules. Change agents like Wal-Mart,
Costco, & Amazon.com have reshaped retailing. Mfg has been
transformed by globalization & China. The Web has decimated the
traditional biz model for newspapers. Svcs. have seen the effects of
off-shoring. The investment industry is going through that same epochal
transformation. Defining tomorrow's winners is their ability to
demonstrate clear, compelling, discernible value: not a plan itself, but
what a plan accomplishes, and the communication of what the plan achieves.
financial_advisors  Dan_Richards  indispensable  competitive_landscape  generating_strategic_options  adaptability  Charles_Darwin  evolution  value_creation  theory_of_evolution  financial_services  disequilibriums  change_agents  constant_change  value_propositions  Communicating_&_Connecting  accelerated_lifecycles 
august 2010 by jerryking
Googling Growth - WSJ.com
APRIL 9, 2007 | Wall Street Journal | by CHRIS ZOOK. Rapid
shifts in markets and technologies are forcing companies of all sorts to
change direction faster than ever. Many management teams are tempted
by "big bang" solutions: dramatic, transformative mergers or aggressive
leaps into sexy new markets. The success rate for major, life-changing
mergers is only about one in 10. For most companies, reinvention of a
core business doesn't have to involve such high levels of risk. The
solution lies in mining hidden assets -- assets already possessed but
not being tapped for maximum growth potential.
One way to open management's eyes to hidden assets is to identify the
richest hunting grounds, usually camouflaged as hidden business
platforms, untapped customer insights, and underused capabilities.
accelerated_lifecycles  Apple  assets  Bain  big_bang  business_models  Chris_Zook  core_businesses  customer_insights  GE  growth  hidden  high-risk  iPODs  latent  life-changing  M&A  mergers_&_acquisitions  moonshots  Nestlé  Novozymes  rapid_change  reinvention  resource_management  Samsung  success_rates  transformational  underutilization 
february 2010 by jerryking
Fire Yourself -- Then Come Back and Act Like a New Boss Would
OCTOBER 9, 2006 | Wall Street Journal | by CAROL HYMOWITZ.
..."companies must repeatedly reinvent themselves to stay
strong...companies can't survive as they once did by churning out the
same products or services in the same way year after year. The most
successful companies don't wait until they're in trouble or are
overtaken by rivals to make changes. The trick is to analyze portfolios
constantly, to move quickly to shed weak businesses and to gamble on new
opportunities without making the company unstable...."Windows of
opportunity open and close so quickly today, you can't just mull
decisions right in front of you. You have to look around the corner and
figure out where you need to go,...learn how to change directions fast.
...
IBM  Intel  Andy_Grove  reinvention  opportunities  nimbleness  speed  agility  windows_of_opportunity  accelerated_lifecycles  portfolios  pre-emption  kill_rates  portfolio_management  unstable  instability  assessments_&_evaluations  Carol_Hymowitz 
december 2009 by jerryking
The End of the Email Era - WSJ.com
OCTOBER 12, 2009 | Wall Street Journal | by JESSICA E.
VASCELLARO. A new generation of services like Twitter and Facebook and
countless others are gaining traction, with the potential to surpass
e-mail in their ubiquity. These new services are likely to change the
way we communicate: by making our interactions that much faster, by
existing in a constant stream; by requiring more sophisticated
filtering; and by making it easier for users to maintain a higher
personal profile.
accelerated_lifecycles  Communicating_&_Connecting  e-mail  Facebook  filtering  Jessica_E._Vascellaro  personal_branding  social_media  twitter 
october 2009 by jerryking
How Technology Is Changing the Face of Innovation - WSJ.com
AUGUST 17, 2009 | Wall Street Journal | by ERIK BRYNJOLFSSON
And MICHAEL SCHRAGE. Technology is transforming innovation at its
core, allowing companies to test new ideas at speeds—and prices—that
were unimaginable even a decade ago. They can stick features on Web
sites and tell within hours how customers respond. They can see results
from in-store promotions, or efforts to boost process productivity,
almost as quickly.
innovation  science_&_technology  Markiter  experimentation  accelerated_lifecycles  Erik_Brynjolfsson  Michael_Schrage  books  in-store 
august 2009 by jerryking
Hezbollah as 'a hot cell for innovation'Why our intentions 'don't just fail, they backfire'
Apr 19, 2009 | Toronto Star | Lynda Hurst.

we're still using anachronistic ideas to hold together a global order that no longer exists. A revolution is in progress where the unthinkable all too readily becomes the inevitable.

The result? More – and more dangerous – reversals of intent and outcome.

"What's happening today is that our intentions don't just fail, they backfire on us," says the Beijing-based geo-strategy analyst. "We deliver the opposite of what we intend because we so misunderstand the way the system now works."

The "war on terrorism" creates even more terrorists. The attempt to build a risk-proof financial system produces more risks than anyone is able to foresee. The bid to spread capitalism across the globe widens the chasm between rich and poor. The effort to contain nuclear proliferation leads to rogue states such as North Korea and Iran playing gimme-gimme games (or maybe not) with the final option.

Think Mikhail Gorbachev setting out only to reform the Soviet Union, but instead triggering its downfall, which in turn leads the U.S. to conclude its values have won the Cold War. Not so, Ramo says. Or George W. Bush reckoning he can inject democracy into Iraq and, presto, out comes peace: "Absurd in the extreme."

The new rules are
still being formed. They will be based on one central premise: countless
variations in the scheme of things will continue to occur at warp
speed, and adapting to them equally as quickly will be crucial. The
unpredictable demands of constant newness can immobilize institutions,
however, not just individuals. It can blind them to unsprung traps,
freeze once-honed navigation skills. The structure of the U.S. State
Department has barely changed since the end of World War II.

Governments can't prepare for everything in the future, but they can
build resilience into their systems. Real power will be the ability to
come back strong after an unexpected shock. That will mean persistently
assessing the big picture, not just its component pieces.
new_normal  uncertainty  Joshua_Cooper_Ramo  geopolitics  unpredictability  resilience  21st._century  adaptability  managing_uncertainty  Hezbollah  unintended_consequences  unexpected  political_power  accelerated_lifecycles  U.S._State_Department  immobilize  paralyze  constant_change  revenge_effects  rogue_actors  unthinkable  misunderstandings  Cambrian_explosion  iterations  Octothorpe_Software  Mikhail_Gorbachev  the_big_picture  warp_speed  financial_system 
may 2009 by jerryking
Recession 101: Courses for a Crisis - WSJ.com
FEBRUARY 18, 2009 WSJ article by ALINA DIZIK. Article focuses
on how business schools are dreaming up a series of new offerings. Some
schools are changing the focus of programs by combining classic business
topics with rapidly developing research about the downturn. To that
end, business schools are creating new exec-ed courses in the space of
weeks or months.
executive_management  executive_education  business_schools  Colleges_&_Universities  MBAs  economic_downturn  nimbleness  speed  agility  windows_of_opportunity  accelerated_lifecycles  operational_tempo  new_products  product_launches 
february 2009 by jerryking

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