Computers don’t suffer present shock, people do. For we are the only ones living in time
By Douglas Rushkoff
Too much of the tech media is obsessed with reporting the financial events around companies, rather than the products/services and innovation that occurs at these firms.
Sure there is a need to report fund raises, M&A, companies going bust etc, as they are pseudo indicators of market validation (or lack thereof); but that is only a portion of the story. I’d love to hear more about how the privacy model being proposed by the latest social network will enable users to have greater control over their data; or how this little startup innovating in imaging could change the way high-resolution pictures are captured on smartphones.
Before blogs and tablets became mainstream, that kind of reporting was typically done in long form magazines, such as the Wired Mag or the ACM’s Queue magazine, and the new age publications aren’t quite there yet. Even the Wired magazine is still focused on getting its content published through a packaged magazine, rather than an ongoing ephemeral stream.
PandoDaily, TheNextWeb and a couple others are doing a decent job, but there is a lot more room around reporting the latest and greatest innovation in the labs at great schools like Stanford, MIT, and others.
what do you think? … are there tech news outlets that do this particularly well in your view?
a 10 percent improvement means that you’re basically doing the same thing as everybody else. You probably won’t fail spectacularly, but you are guaranteed not to succeed wildly.
the curse of 10%
Larry Page succinctly described, in the above quote, the 10% growth syndrome that companies get into and miss out on doing great things.
Don’t get me wrong, it is extremely challenging to run a large company and motivate the team to work towards a common goal of 10% growth, but at the same time our business leaders owe a debt to society to attempt great things with the resources at their disposal
I hope more business leaders and politicians would see the roles the way Larry Page does.
Every year in January, many of us sit down with our bosses, supervisors, and mentors to review the year past. Often these reviews are institutionalized (read:required) by our organizations, and closely tied to financial incentives (bonuses). Through the years, I have found these reviews to be a great look-back mechanism for what I achieved (or didn’t) in the past year. In conversations with friends and colleagues though, I have found that many of us don’t like these reviews as much as I seem to. So, I thought I’d write a short post to share my point of view.
Realizing that every organization does reviews differently, encapsulating thoughts on the subject instantly starts to look like multivariate calculus to some. I distill reviews into the following measures for the individual:
These are the questions I’ve asked myself, my team, and my organization every year. Some of these are obvious questions, and others are not. For example, the measures change through different stages of our career, life-stage, and external circumstances.
For organizations on the other hand, annual reviews are a good way to recognize, reward, and retain their top-performers; and at the same time introspect whether they have the right mix of people to meet the goals of the business.
How do you think about reviews? … like em? … hate em? I’d love to hear your thoughts.
As an innovator, you are often ahead of the curve in introducing products and services to a market.
Then come the battery of fast following competitors who copy your capabilities, or yet others who say they’ve already got what your latest and greatest innovation is.
How you react in these situations can often make or break your leadership with customers.
Making a better product isn’t the end of the story: market it better, deliver it better, support it better, and make the usage experience better, be honest, and be human !
Take your advantage to the next level by out executing your competition across all aspects of your solution, rather than fighting with copy cats or looking at their tactics.
Competition is a good thing, and in most markets buyers will gravitate to the best overall package.
But the problem with the race to the bottom is that you might win
@naval emergent but curatable— Seth Blank (@AntiFreeze) July 4, 2012
One of the most mysterious elements of startup culture is question that Naval Ravikant posed in his tweet above.
So, where does it really come from ?
Culture is mostly intangible at the earliest stages, and tends to be dictated by the relationship amongst the founders (or the founding team). In my time at Feeva, and my startup project at Virginia Tech, the culture of the group could primarily be described as a function of the relationship the group shared among themselves.
At the same time, culture morphs at various stages of team size and the product lifecycle of a startups offering. In the very beginning, everything pretty much happens around the one and only conference table (if you have one that is) and all decisions around hiring, strategy, fund-raising, marketing, tactics, etc are made. I think this changes at somewhere around 15 people or so, when the company needs to start to institute a basic abstraction of decision making by a few for the collective. This evolution in a young companies life (or need for change) is a seminal moment for the long term culture of the company.
And naturally, a company and its organization continues to morph at 50, 250, 500, 1000 employees and upwards and onwards! It is critical for the founders/founding-team to think about their culture at each of these stages to define how they want to make decisions and conduct business. In the long run, the relationship between the founders/founding-team really drives the culture of the company.
There are umpteen examples of this: Google (with its college campus lifestyle), Facebook (the hacker way), Twitter (and its emergent chaos), my own experience at Feeva (though not public), and several others out there.
what do you think?