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The death of cultural transmission
April 3, 2019 | FT Alphaville | By Jamie Powell.

music publishing = the business of licensing songs for films, television and advertising.

Valuing [a record label's] music catalogue is... crucial for anyone looking to bid for a stake in the business.

Despite the prominence of new music, established artists are still fundamental to recorded music's success. .......So let's think about these golden oldies as assets. Assets whose appeal has, arguably, only been heightened by the advent of streaming which, with its recurring revenues and growing audience, has made recurring payments from established acts even more bond-like in their cash flow consistency.
But like fixed-income assets with long durations, these cash flows are also sensitive to the smallest assumptions about their future viability. Assumptions which are not as rock solid as some investors might imagine. Let's use The Beatles as a point of reference here, as "The White Album" was UMG's fourth best-selling album last year. (If you're asking “why The Beatles?” Well, Alphaville likes The Beatles, sure. The Fab Four could easily be replaced by its other legacy acts, such as Queen and Nirvana).

But the problem for a prospective buyer is why we're a fan. To put it simply: we had no choice. We were indoctrinated.

On a long car journeys to coastal summer holidays, or at home on a knackered JVC stereo, we, like many of our friends, were limited to a dozen or so records (jk: finite resources). One of which, inevitably, would be some form of John, Paul, George and Ringo (and George).

Call it the cultural transmission effect. Music would be passed on generation to generation, amplified by the relative scarcity, physical space constraints and high prices of recorded media.

This provided a boon for the major labels as it not only meant lower marketing costs but reissues, limited editions, and remasters became an easily repeatable trick, as younger generations grew up to become consumers themselves.......The Beatles, Rolling Stones and Bob Marley are after all, great artists. Their music will live on. But that's not the question for a perspective investor.

The question is: to what degree will the royalties from these artists continue to flow? Assume Sir Paul and Sir Ringo will continue to grow exponentially richer off the back of streaming, and perhaps the quoted multiples don't look quite so mad. In this age it's hard to find assets which both grow, and have semi-predictable cash flows.

But if the next generation doesn't hold the same affinity to the artists which defined the first fifty years of the pop era, where does that leave the labels' back catalogues? May we suggest: in a tougher spot than most imagine.
Apple_Music  artists  assets  Beatles  biopics  bonds  cultural_transmission  digital_strategies  finance  finite_resources  golden_oldies  hard_to_find  indoctrination  legacy_artists  music  music_catalogues  music_labels  music_publishing  platforms  Rollingstones  royalties  Spotify  strategic_buyers  streaming  superstars  U2  UMG  valuations 
april 2019 by jerryking
The Chip That Changed the World
Aug. 26, 2018 | WSJ | By Andy Kessler.

Integrated circuits are the greatest invention since fire—or maybe indoor plumbing. The world would be unrecognizable without them. They have bent the curve of history, influencing the economy, government and general human flourishing. The productivity unleashed from silicon computing power disrupted or destroyed everything in its path: retail, music, finance, advertising, travel, manufacturing, health care, energy. It’s hard to find anything Kilby’s invention hasn’t changed.

Now what? Despite the routine media funeral for Moore’s Law, it’s not dead yet. But it is old.......Brace yourself. When Moore’s Law finally gives up the ghost, productivity and economic growth will roll over too—unless. The world needs another Great Bend, another Kilbyesque warp in the cosmos, to drive the economy.

One hope is quantum computing, which isn’t limited by binary 1s and 0s, but instead uses qubits (quantum bits) based on Schrödinger’s quantum mechanics. .......Maybe architecture will keep the growth alive. Twenty years ago, Google created giant parallel computer systems to solve the search problem. The same may be seen for artificial intelligence, which is in its infancy. ......Energy is being disrupted but not fast enough. Where is that battery breakthrough? .........Biocomputing is another fascinating area. We already have gene editing in the form of Crispr. New food supplies and drugs may change how humans live and not die and bend the curve. But.... anything involving biology is painfully slow. ....Computing takes nanoseconds; biology takes days, weeks, even years. Breakthroughs may still come, but experiments take so long that progress lags behind. Still, I’d watch this space closely.
Andy_Kessler  artificial_intelligence  breakthroughs  broad-based_scientific_enquiry  Crispr  game_changers  gene_editing  Gordon_Moore  hard_to_find  history  inventions  miniaturization  Moore's_Law  Nobel_Prizes  quantum_computing  semiconductors 
august 2018 by jerryking
What Land Will Be Underwater in 20 Years? Figuring It Out Could Be Lucrative
Feb. 23, 2018 | The New York Times | By Brad Plumer

In Charleston, S.C., where the ports have been expanding to accommodate larger ships sailing through the newly widened Panama Canal, a real-estate developer named Xebec Realty recently went looking for land to build new warehouses and logistics centers.

But first, Xebec had a question: What were the odds that the sites it was considering might be underwater in 10 or 20 years?......Yet detailed information about the city’s climate risks proved surprisingly hard to find. Federal flood maps are based on historical data, and won’t tell you how sea-level rise could exacerbate flooding in the years ahead.....So Xebec turned to a Silicon Valley start-up called Jupiter, which offered to analyze local weather and hydrological data and combine it with climate model projections to assess the potential climate risks Xebec might face in Charleston over the next few decades from things like heavier rainfall, sea level rise or increased storm surge....the reliability of Jupiter's predictive analytics is uncertain....that said, “In economics, information has value if you would make a different decision based on that information,”...... Congress has generally underfunded initiatives such as those at the Federal Emergency Management Agency to incorporate climate change into its federal flood maps.......to get a full picture of flooding risk, you need expertise in weather, but also climate and hydrology and engineering and running complex models on the latest computer hardware,” ... “All of those specialized disciplines are usually heavily siloed within the public sector or the scientific community.”....Jupiter, which acknowledges the uncertainties in climate forecasting, will have to prove that a market exists....flooding and other disasters have led to record losses by insurers.....[Those] losses raised the stakes in terms of trying to get the best possible science on your side when you’re pricing risk,” said John Drzik, president of global risk at Marsh,
climate_change  weather  start_ups  data_driven  forecasting  hard_to_find  predictive_analytics  tools  Charleston  South_Carolina  uncertainty  sea-level_rise  floods  commercial_real_estate  adaptability  specificity  catastrophes  catastrophic_risk  unpredictability  coastal  extreme_weather_events  insurance  FEMA  cartography  floodplains  flood-risk  flood-risk_maps  mapping  historical_data 
february 2018 by jerryking
11 tips for freelance success
Thanks in part to globalisation and the state of the world economy, the number of
freelancers and freelance opportunities have grown rapidly in the past
decade.
For individuals, freelancing offers the possibility of an
entrepreneurial lifestyle and a level of self-determination that is hard
to find at a nine-to-five.

For businesses that may not have the luxury
of hiring a full-time employee or need expertise that is hard to find
and/or develop in-house, retaining a freelancer may be the most
attractive way to get a job done.

But freelancing isn't all roses. Most individuals who become freelancers
aren't billing themselves out at thousands of dollars a day, and many
fail to earn more than they used to earn (or could
earn) as full-time employees.

Some, sadly, are unable to find their way
and are forced out of freelance-dom.
For those wanting to 'make it', here are 11 life-saving tips.

Dot your i's and cross your t's
While few freelancers like dealing with legal issues and attorneys, having a formal agreement in place for each gig can help protect you against non-payment and avoidable legal headaches.

As such, savvy freelancers will seek out competent legal counsel early on, and at a minimum, invest in the drafting of a solid template agreement that can be applied to common projects.

Demand a deposit for every project
New freelancers in particular are often hesitant to require an up-front deposit from clients, believing that it will cost them business. But the truth is that no reasonable client will refuse to pay a reasonable deposit, making the deposit one of the best tools for filtering out the clients most likely to be deadbeats.

Once a long-term client relationship is established, it may be appropriate to consider alternate arrangements, but it's wise to treat those arrangements as you would a loan that doesn't require a down payment.

In other words, understand what you could lose if the loan is not repaid, and make sure that loss is tolerable.

Don't get distracted by the "hourly versus fixed price" debate
While it's not always the case, the general belief is that freelancers love hourly engagements and clients love fixed price engagements.

At the end of the day, however, the "hourly versus fixed price" debate is usually a red herring. If you're billing hourly for a project, your client is going to want an estimate of how many hours the project will take to complete.

And if you're billing a fixed amount for a project, you're going to base the amount on an hourly rate and the number of hours you believe the project will take to complete.
The key is making sure that you have enough information to establish the scope of the work required, and that you have enough skill to accurately estimate work time based on scope.

If scope isn't established and/or you're not capable of estimating accurately, the project is at risk regardless of whether you're billing by the hour or for the whole shebang.

Invoice well, invoice religiously
One of the most common reasons individuals fail at freelancing is that they don't generate the cash they need when they need it. In other words, they have clients and gigs, but it's a constant struggle to pay the bills.

Many freelancers find the lesson that strong revenue does not necessarily equate to strong cash flow to be a harsh one, but once learned, it's much easier to address the matter.

Building strong cash flow starts with invoicing. First, you need to set fair if not favorable invoicing terms (hint: net 45 or 60, or higher, can be painful).

Then, you actually need to submit your invoices in a timely fashion (eg. when they're able to be submitted or due), something that, surprisingly, many freelancers fail to do even though there are plenty of cost-effective tools that can make the process easy.

Minimize your ratio of new client acquisition to billable work
Freelancing can be very profitable -- when you're billing. But many freelancers spend a lot of time not billing, and for many of these freelancers, new client acquisition is the biggest source of non-billable time.

It shouldn't be. While you probably don't want to be dependent on one or two clients, if you're spending more than 25-30% of your time each month looking for new ones, you may eventually find it hard to be successful.

Find your optimal rate
One of the best ways to minimize the amount of new client acquisition you need to engage in is to find your optimal rate and pricing structure. Charge too little and you'll find it hard to thrive. Charge too much, however, and you'll find that your clients may send you a lot less work than they'd otherwise like to.
At the end of the day, finding your optimal rate is effectively the same thing as maximizing your revenue. A freelancer who bills 120 hours a month at $100/hour makes more money than a freelancer who bills 60 at $150/hour, and incidentally, is probably more likely to be staying sharp and working on interesting things.

Focus on what you do best and what you want to do, not on what you can do
Many freelancers make a huge mistake: they make their sole criteria for taking on a project the answer to the question, "Can I do this, and make money?" Instead, it pays to focus on what you do best and take on work that's aligned with your long-term positioning and goals.

Everything else can distract you from getting to where you want to go, even if it helps pay a few bills in the short-term.

Be realistic about scale
Service businesses have unique scaling challenges, and individual freelancers will obviously find it difficult to grow revenue beyond their hourly rate times the number of hours in a working day.

For ambitious, established freelancers, building a team or outsourcing may seem like a good way to grow revenue. But growing the number of hours you can bill in this fashion and maintaining quality can be very difficult to do.

Also consider that this type of expansion may force you to do more project management, so make sure your project management skills are sufficient and, more importantly, than you're willing to trade some of your 'real' work for project management.

Don't underestimate the importance of location
The stereotypical freelancer lifestyle can be attractive, but don't get too infatuated with the notion that you can live on the beach in some exotic, inexpensive land while billing out design or development work at London day rates.

The market for freelancers is competitive, and location can matter. If the majority of your clients are based in, say, New York, and you're based in Phuket, the distance between you and your clients could eventually become a major liability.

Don't be afraid to part ways with clients
Few things are as rewarding than long-term client relationships. But that doesn't mean that you should maintain a client relationship for the sake of maintaining the relationship.

If a once-solid client becomes a headache (eg. they're not paying you on time or are treating you disrespectfully), you shouldn't feel obligated to keep providing your services. And sometimes, your areas of focus may diverge from a client's needs.

In these cases, doing what's right for you (moving on), as difficult as it may be, is probably also what needs to be done if you're going to do right by your client.

Become a business owner
Most freelancers start off thinking of themselves as a 'freelancers', but at some point, a successful freelancer should recognize that she's really a business owner.

That means learning about, and taking responsibility for, business activities like bookkeeping, accounting and marketing. Doing this can often mean the difference between success and failure, as there are many talented freelancers who fail to succeed because they're poor business owners.

As an example, consider the importance of building a cash position. A good business owner will try to build a solid cash position, as this can provide a safety net for a rainy day, expansion capital, or the ability to offer more flexible payment terms to clients.

A freelancer who is not a good business owner, on the other hand, is less likely to think of her freelancing operation as a business for which a strong cash position is desirable or necessary.
aligned_interests  charge_for_something  emergency_funds  freelancing  gig_economy  hard_to_find  jck  owners  safety_nets  screening  via:Memeserver 
december 2016 by jerryking
How to Leave a Mark - NYTimes.com
JAN. 27, 2015 | NYT |David Brooks.

Impact investors seek out companies that are intentionally designed both to make a profit and provide a measurable and accountable social good. Impact funds are frequently willing to accept lower financial returns for the sake of doing good — say a 7 percent annual return compared with an 11 percent return. But some impact investors are seeking to deliver market-rate returns....It’s hard to find a reliable way to measure the social impact of these dual-purpose companies. Impact investors have also had trouble finding scalable deals to invest in. It costs as much to do due diligence on a $250 million deal as on a $25 million deal, so many firms would rather skip the small stuff... impact investing is now entering the mainstream. An older generation used their (rigorous) business mind in one setting and then their (often sloppy) charity mind in another. Today more people want to blend these minds. Typically a big client, or a young heir, will go to his or her investments adviser and say, “I want some socially useful investments in my portfolio.”...Impact investing is not going to replace government or be a panacea, but it’s one of a number of new tools to address social problems. If you want to leave a mark on the world but are unsure of how to do it, I’d say take a look. If you’re a high-net-worth individual (a rich person), ask your adviser to get you involved. If you’re young and searching, get some finance and operational skills and then find a way to get involved in a socially useful investment proposition. If you’ve got a business mind, there are huge opportunities to build the infrastructure (creating measuring systems, connecting investors with deals).
David_Brooks  capitalism  impact_investing  hard_to_find  Michael_McDerment  high_net_worth  new_graduates  skills  passions  passion_investing  TBL  social_impact  measurements  high-impact  heirs 
january 2015 by jerryking
Forget the CV, data decide careers - FT.com
July 9, 2014 | FT |By Tim Smedley.

The human touch of job interviews is under threat from technology, writes Tim Smedley, but can new techniques be applied to top-level recruitment?

I no longer look at somebody's CV to determine if we will interview them or not," declares Teri Morse, who oversees the recruitment of 30,000 people each year at Xerox Services. Instead, her team analyses personal data to determine the fate of job candidates.

She is not alone. "Big data" and complex algorithms are increasingly taking decisions out of the hands of individual interviewers - a trend that has far-reaching consequences for job seekers and recruiters alike.

The company whose name has become a synonym for photocopy has turned into one that helps others outsource everyday business processes, from accounting to human resources. It recently teamed up with Evolv, which uses data sets of past behaviour to predict everything from salesmanship to loyalty.

For Xerox this means putting prospective candidates for the company's 55,000 call-centre positions through a screening test that covers a wide range of questions. Evolv then lays separate data it has mined on what causes employees to leave their call-centre jobs over the candidates' responses to predict which of them will stick around and which will further exacerbate the already high churn rate call centres tend to suffer.

The results are surprising. Some are quirky: employees who are members of one or two social networks were found to stay in their job for longer than those who belonged to four or more social networks (Xerox recruitment drives at gaming conventions were subsequently cancelled). Some findings, however, were much more fundamental: prior work experience in a similar role was not found to be a predictor of success.

"It actually opens up doors for people who would never have gotten to interview based on their CV," says Ms Morse. Some managers initially questioned why new recruits were appearing without any prior relevant experience. As time went on, attrition rates in some call centres fell by 20 per cent and managers no longer quibbled. "I don't know why this works," admits Ms Morse, "I just know it works."

Organisations have long held large amounts of data. From financial accounts to staff time sheets, the movement from paper to computer made it easier to understand and analyse. As computing power increased exponentially, so did data storage. The floppy disk of the 1990s could store barely more than one megabyte of data; today a 16 gigabyte USB flash drive costs less than a fiver ($8).

It is simple, then, to see how recruiters arrive at a point where crunching data could replace the human touch of job interviews. Research by NewVantage Partners, the technology consultants, found that 85 per cent of Fortune 1000 executives in 2013 had a big data initiative planned or in progress, with almost half using big data operationally.

HR services provider Ceridian is one of many companies hoping to tap into the potential of big data for employers. "From an HR and recruitment perspective, big data enables you to analyse volumes of data that in the past were hard to access and understand," explains David Woodward, chief product and innovation officer at Ceridian UK.

This includes "applying the data you hold about your employees and how they've performed, to see the causal links between the characteristics of the hire that you took in versus those that stayed with you and became successful employees. Drawing those links can better inform your decisions in the hiring process."

Data sets need not rely on internal data, however. The greatest source of big data is the internet, which is easy for both FTSE 100 and smaller companies to access.

"Social media data now gives us the ability to 'listen' to the business," says Zahir Ladhani, vice-president at IBM Smarter Workforce. "You can look at what customers are saying about your business, what employees are saying, and what you yourself are saying - cull all that data together and you can understand the impact.

"Most recruitment organisations now use social media and job-site data," says Mr Ladhani. "We looked at an organisation which had very specialised, very hard to find skill sets. When we analysed the data of the top performers in that job family, we found out that they all hung out at a very unique, niche social media site. Once we tapped into that database, boom!"

Ceridian, too, has worked with companies to "effectively scan the internet to see what jobs are being posted through the various job boards, in what parts of the country," says Mr Woodward. "If you're looking to open a particular facility in a part of the country, for example, you'll be able to see whether there's already a high demand for particular types of skills."

Experts appear split on whether the specialisation required for executive recruitment lends itself to big data.

"I hire 30,000 call-centre people on an annual basis - we don't hire that many executives," says Ms Morse, adding "there's not enough volume". However Mr Ladhani disagrees, believing that over time the data set an organisation holds on senior management hires would become statistically valid.

As more companies start to analyse their employee data to make hiring decisions, could recruitment finally become more of a science than an art?

"The potential is clearly much greater now than ever before to crunch very large volumes of data and draw conclusions from that which can make better decisions," says Mr Woodward. "The methods and computing power being used in weather forecasting 10 years ago are now available to us all . . . who knows where this may go."

It is a trend worth considering - to get your next job, perfecting your CV could well be less important than having carefully considered the footprint you leave in cyberspace.

Case study Demographic drilling-down helps LV=recast recruitment ads

Kevin Hough, head of recruiting at insurance firm LV=, was a pioneer of big data before he had heard the term.

A year ago, the question of where best to target the firm's recruitment advertising provided an innovative answer. LV= looked up the postcodes at which its current staff lived and organised the findings by the employee's level of seniority, explains Mr Hough. "Using software called Geo-Maps, which works similarly to Google Maps, we could zoom in and out of clusters of our people to see where they are willing to travel from to get to work."

Next, the insurer looked at the locations from which candidates were applying and compared those with the postcodes of current staff. It also looked at the locations and interests of its followers on social media sites, such as Facebook and LinkedIn. The analysis included their interests, stated sexual orientation, ethnicity and gender.

This allowed the firm to create a profile of its typical, successful candidate, also taking into consideration their age and location.

"What was really interesting was the reach some of our advertising was having and, more importantly, some of the gaps," Mr Hough says.

The analysis, which took little investment or expertise, has allowed LV= to redesign its recruitment advertising.

"Sometimes, with all the clever systems that people have in organisations, you can be blinded to the simple, raw data that is there," says Mr Hough.

Next, LV= will add performance review data, taking the analysis to a higher level. He explains that this piece of work will ask who of the group recruited a year before is still there.

"It will help shape not only how we attract people, but will even start to shape some of the roles themselves," he says.

Tim Smedley

By Tim Smedley
analytics  call_centres  Ceridian  data  data_driven  data_storage  Evolv  executive_management  FTSE_100  hard_to_find  hiring  internal_data  job_boards  Managing_Your_Career  massive_data_sets  personal_data  predictive_analytics  recruiting  résumés  small_business  social_media  unstructured_data  Xerox 
july 2014 by jerryking
A 25-Question Twitter Quiz to Predict Retweets - NYTimes.com
JULY 1, 2014 | NYT | Sendhil Mullainathan.

how “smart” algorithms are created from big data: Large data sets with known correct answers serve as a training bed and then new data serves as a test bed — not too differently from how we might learn what our co-workers find funny....one of the miracles of big data: Algorithms find information in unexpected places, uncovering “signal” in places we thought contained only “noise.”... the Achilles’ heel of prediction algorithms--being good at prediction often does not mean being better at creation. (1) One barrier is the oldest of statistical problems: Correlation is not causation.(2) an inherent paradox lies in predicting what is interesting. Rarity and novelty often contribute to interestingness — or at the least to drawing attention. But once an algorithm finds those things that draw attention and starts exploiting them, their value erodes. (3) Finally, and perhaps most perversely, some of the most predictive variables are circular....The new big-data tools, amazing as they are, are not magic. Like every great invention before them — whether antibiotics, electricity or even the computer itself — they have boundaries in which they excel and beyond which they can do little.
predictive_analytics  massive_data_sets  limitations  algorithms  Twitter  analytics  data  data_driven  Albert_Gore  Achilles’_heel  boundary_conditions  noise  signals  paradoxes  correlations  causality  counterintuitive  training_beds  test_beds  rarity  novelty  interestingness  hard_to_find 
july 2014 by jerryking
Ad executive Winston Binch preaches the importance of invention - The Globe and Mail
May. 15 2014 | The Globe and Mail | SUSAN KRASHINSKY - MARKETING REPORTER.

Q: You spoke about the way advertising is migrating more toward inventing things – a big trend for advertisers looking to get noticed.

A: Agencies have been making products for a long time. Alcohol brands have been invented by plenty of agencies, for example. But it used to be an idea and you’d outsource the production. What’s different now is a lot more of it is technology, it’s digitally based. That requires new people in the building. ... There’s a lot of talk about invention right now in advertising. It’s startup culture."....The difficult thing is selling [invention/innovation] to clients. A lot of our clients all know they need to do it, and they want to, but it’s hard to find room for it given the demands of their businesses, particularly the Fortune 500s. ... They’re more concerned with short term than long term. Innovation is seen as a long-term thing. And also hasn’t been in marketing organizations; usually IT, product design and R&D, not the marketing side. How do we sell more invention products to our clients?
Susan_Krashinsky  inventions  advertising  advertising_agencies  hard_to_find  data_driven  digital_media  long-term  innovation  ideas  storytelling  experimentation  Fortune_500  product_development  large_companies 
may 2014 by jerryking
Rooftop Farms: Here to Stay or Passing Phase? | industrial - Equities.com
September 7, 2012 | National Real Estate Investor |Jennifer V. Hughes,

Steven Peck, president and founder of the industry association Green Roofs for Healthy Cities, estimates there are less than 20 rooftop agriculture sites now nationwide. Some are farms with layers of soil and crops and others use hydroponic greenhouses.

Rooftop farming has many upsides... The companies that install rooftop farms pay all costs of construction. Rooftop agriculture carries many of the same environmental benefits as traditional green roofs. Rooftop farms often capture waste heat from buildings to use in their greenhouses in winter times, says Kate Siskel, BrightFarms' marketing associate. That means you have to pay less to cool, say, a facility with industrial ovens or a heat-emitting data center.

Rooftop agriculture projects also usually set up a system to capture storm water run-off, Siskel says. They provide some of the same insulation as a traditional green roof, which saves on heating and cooling. Some roof farms can even contribute to a building's LEED certification.

Then, there is the fact that a rooftop farm is a tenant like any other in a commercial building. Several rooftop farming companies declined to say how much they pay in rent, but Peck says it varies from .50 to $2 per sq. ft. It's not a lot, but Peck notes, "right now they're getting zilch."

"Roof space is a valuable asset and we need to use those spaces," he says. "We need the commercial building industry to wake up and learn that their roofs can do a lot more for them and for their neighbors." ...Robert S. Best, executive vice president at Jones Lang LaSalle, says he still thinks it's a tough sell. There are no green roofs or rooftop farms within the JLL portfolio, even though the company is an environmental leader in many other ways.

Best says building owners worry about whether a green roof or roof farm would cause problems with the roof that would void the warranty. So many urban roofs are cluttered with cooling towers, elevator equipment and window-washing rigs, making it hard to find space.

"My main question would be, "Why?'" Best says. "To get all the equipment on the roof, to put in all the beds, it's such a major undertaking-is it really worth all the trouble?

"I think the reason you don't see a lot of it is that it's not worth all the trouble that a green roof brings with it, at least for the big commercial property owners to even think about," Best says.
institutional_investors  commercial_real_estate  greenhouses  hard_to_find  green_roofs  BrightFarms  farming  agriculture  fresh_produce  voids  upside 
april 2013 by jerryking
Prudential Research Model May Have Been a Dinosaur
June 8, 2007 | WSJ | Scott Patterson.

The decision by Prudential Financial PRU +0.70% to close its stock-research arm doesn't mean research is doomed, but it does signal an important shift. Deep-pocketed investors such as pension funds and hedge funds are hungry for exclusive, specialized research that can give them an edge over competition.

Experts say Prudential's research had become too widely distributed to draw enough interest, or dollars.

"The notion of widespread dissemination of a recommendation, that model is 40 years old," said Mike Thompson, director of research at Thomson Financial. "If you talk to the hedge funds, what they want are ideas that are actionable that not everyone gets."

The trend has given rise to independent, specialized research outfits. There are 63 independent research firms today, up from 14 in 2000, according to Thomson Financial.
equity_research  Wall_Street  investment_research  hedge_funds  pension_funds  exclusivity  nonpublic  slight_edge  proprietary  hard_to_find  novelty  interestingness  actionable_information 
february 2013 by jerryking
Growing at a Smart Pace
Growing at a Smart Pace

What Every CEO Should Know About Creating New Businesses
1 Ultimately, growth means starting new businesses.
Most firms have no alternative. Sectors decline, as they did for Pullman’s railroad cars and Singer’s sewing machines. Technology renders products and services obsolete—the fate Polaroid suffered, as digital cameras decimated its instant photography franchise. Markets saturate, as Home Depot is now finding, after establishing more than a thousand stores nationwide.
2 Most new businesses fail.
3 Corporate culture is the biggest deterrent to business creation.
New ventures flourish best in open, exploratory environments, but most large corporations are geared toward mature businesses and efficient, predictable operations.
4 Separate organizations don’t work—or at least not for long.
5 Starting a new business is essentially an experiment.
6. New businesses proceed through distinct stages, each requiring a different
7. New business creation takes time--a lot of time.
8. New businesses need help fitting in--"bridging"--with established systems and structures.
9. The best predictors of success are market knowledge and demand-driven products and services.
10. An open mind is hard to find.
growth  Thomas_Stewart  HBR  CEOs  Junior_Achievement  hard_to_find  start_ups  failure  organizational_culture  experimentation  trial_&_error  life_cycle  tacit_data  entrepreneurship  dedication  obsolescence  demand-driven  infrastructure  new_businesses  bridging  large_companies  customer-driven  market_saturation  Home_Depot  Fortune_500  mindsets  open_mind  decline  Michael_McDerment  Polaroid  digital_cameras 
december 2012 by jerryking
Finding Info on a Unique Business - WSJ.com
June 6, 2006 | WSJ | Kelly Spors. When the Business You Want To Buy Is Hard to Find.

Many business buyers now search for acquisition opportunities online, but it does little good when seeking a rather unique business....Telephone everyone you can, mention the type of business you're seeking and ask whom they know who might be looking to sell. Even if they can't think of anyone, they may put you in touch with someone who can.
Kelly_K._Spors  buying_a_business  due_diligence  market_research  one-of-a-kind  uniqueness  hard_to_find 
may 2012 by jerryking
Sixteen:Nine – Free grocery data in aisle two
DAVE HAYNES OCTOBER 13, 2011

A company called AisleFinder has developed and made available what it describes as the “First Robust Open Source API For The Grocery Industry.“

When we built AisleFinder we realized a couple of things:
1. Supermarket and Grocery product data is hard to Find, hard to Get and hard to Keep Updated.
2. Other people that want to start companies in the grocery space are not starting them because of the lack of a rich set of data to work with

The Solution: Knowing the weight of the problem, AisleFinder Labs Crafted Supermarket API. Supermarket API is based on AisleFinder.com’s own technology that they use to power their mobile and web properties.
Supermarket API is the First Open Source API within the Grocery space.

We provide the following features :

1. Aisle Information in over 2,400 Supermarkets and shopping Centers including Whole Foods, Trader Joes, Safeway and Wal-Mart across the USA (Canada & Europe Soon)
2. Supermarket API provides product pictures, details and Information on over 150,000 grocery products

Pricing=Free
open_source  grocery  supermarkets  data  hard_to_find 
december 2011 by jerryking
Nine hard truths
September 2005 | PROFIT magazine | By Rick Spence. The
immutable laws of being your own boss, and five ways to transcend them
all. 1. the 40-hr. workweek is not your friend. 2. Everyone is looking
for something new. But no one has any money for anything new. 3. All
the people you meet at a networking function are trying to sell you
something; 4. The phone doesn't ring by itself--make your own calls if
you want the phone to ring. 5. At any given time, everyone you want to
contact is in a meeting. 6. Basic courtesy is deader than Sir John A.
Macdonald. No one returns phone calls anymore. 7. Allies are like
employees: hard to find, hard to live without. 8. Opportunities are all
around you, but differentiating between an "opportunity" and a genuine
source of revenue-that's hard. 9. Most of the people you meet at large
corps. dream of working for themselves. KSFs: 1. Know what your market
wants. 2. Get yourself a peer group. 3. Trust in karma. 4. Be brave. 5.
Give it away.
motivations  inspiration  Rick_Spence  rules_of_the_game  ksfs  pay_it_forward  self-employment  owners  entrepreneurship  opportunities  karma  Sir_John_A._Macdonald  revenue_generation  interpretation  second-order  hard_to_find  courtesies  hard_truths  it's_up_to_me 
february 2010 by jerryking
Letters - How to Build a Successful CEO - NYTimes.com
May 20, 2009 | NYT |

Successful chief executives combine four abilities:

¶The ability to allocate cash flow for growth. Without growth, little else matters.

¶The ability to pick the right managers for the operating jobs. C.E.O. “vision” is largely realized through the people in the critical posts.

¶The ability to inspire the troops. Charisma comes in many colors; getting others to be excited about the mission is one of them.

¶The ability to be aware of and understand all the moving parts. Chief executives don’t need in-depth knowledge of every discipline — accounting, marketing, sales, benefits, taxes and so on — but they need to know enough about each one to ask the right questions.

None of these four are easy, and in combination, they are very hard to find.
letters_to_the_editor  CEOs  howto  ksfs  fingerspitzengefühl  contextual_intelligence  growth  hiring  executive_management  charisma  cash_flows  capital_allocation  hard_to_find  asking_the_right_questions  talent_acquisition  the_right_people 
may 2009 by jerryking

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