zondag 30 september 2012

TED: Vicki Arroyo: Let's prepare for our new climate - Vicki Arroyo (2012)

Set aside the politics: Data shows that climate change is happening, measurably, now. And as Vicki Arroyo says, it's time to prepare our homes and cities for the new climate, with its increased risk of flooding, drought and uncertainty. She illustrates this inspiring talk with bold projects from cities all over the world -- local examples of thinking ahead.

from TEDTalks (video) http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/TEDTalks_video/~3/bCxPr7Qkmyk/vicki_arroyo_let_s_prepare_for_our_new_climate.html

zaterdag 29 september 2012

TED: Aris Venetikidis: Making sense of maps - Aris Venetikidis (2012)

Map designer Aris Venetikidis is fascinated by the maps we draw in our minds as we move around a city -- less like street maps, more like schematics or wiring diagrams, abstract images of relationships between places. How can we learn from these mental maps to make better real ones? As a test case, he remakes the notorious Dublin bus map. (Filmed at TEDxDublin)

from TEDTalks (video) http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/TEDTalks_video/~3/mPTfbYcfZVc/aris_venetikidis_making_sense_of_maps.html

vrijdag 28 september 2012

TED: Bahia Shehab: A thousand times no - Bahia Shehab (2012)

Art historian Bahia Shehab has long been fascinated with the Arabic script for ‘no.’ When revolution swept through Egypt in 2011, she began spraying the image in the streets saying no to dictators, no to military rule and no to violence.

from TEDTalks (video) http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/TEDTalks_video/~3/tML-huqrEgI/bahia_shehab_a_thousand_times_no.html

dinsdag 25 september 2012

TED: Clay Shirky: How the Internet will (one day) transform government - Clay Shirky (2012)

The open-source world has learned to deal with a flood of new, oftentimes divergent, ideas using hosting services like GitHub -- so why can’t governments? In this rousing talk Clay Shirky shows how democracies can take a lesson from the Internet, to be not just transparent but also to draw on the knowledge of all their citizens.

from TEDTalks (video) http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/TEDTalks_video/~3/yfP4HZ58bfI/clay_shirky_how_the_internet_will_one_day_transform_government.html

maandag 24 september 2012

TED: Read Montague: What we're learning from 5,000 brains - Read Montague (2012)

Mice, bugs and hamsters are no longer the only way to study the brain. Functional MRI (fMRI) allows scientists to map brain activity in living, breathing, decision-making human beings. Read Montague gives an overview of how this technology is helping us understand the complicated ways in which we interact with each other.

from TEDTalks (video) http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/TEDTalks_video/~3/8dW1DPah5NA/read_montague_what_we_re_learning_from_5_000_brains.html

zondag 23 september 2012

TED: Andrew McAfee: Are droids taking our jobs? - Andrew McAfee (2012)

Robots and algorithms are getting good at jobs like building cars, writing articles, translating -- jobs that once required a human. So what will we humans do for work? Andrew McAfee walks through recent labor data to say: We ain't seen nothing yet. But then he steps back to look at big history, and comes up with a surprising and even thrilling view of what comes next.

from TEDTalks (video) http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/TEDTalks_video/~3/3ghpl5lbLyI/andrew_mcafee_are_droids_taking_our_jobs.html

zaterdag 22 september 2012

TED: Rachel Botsman: The currency of the new economy is trust - Rachel Botsman (2012)

There's been an explosion of collaborative consumption -- web-powered sharing of cars, apartments, skills. Rachel Botsman explores the currency that makes systems like Airbnb and Taskrabbit work: trust, influence, and what she calls "reputation capital."

from TEDTalks (video) http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/TEDTalks_video/~3/cXXJCv9F1FI/rachel_botsman_the_currency_of_the_new_economy_is_trust.html

donderdag 20 september 2012

Oracle Ekes Out Growth, Finally Talks Cloud

Larry Ellison

Oracle‘s latest results show a company in transition. Overall sales were basically flat at 1%, to $10.9 billion (GAAP). And within those figures is the tale of two Oracles. Hardware sales fell off a cliff, declining 24% to $779 million. By contrast, last quarter hardware sales dropped 16%. On the brighter side, software sales grew steadily, climbing 5% to $1.6 billion. Oracle in this quarter’s numbers included “cloud software subscriptions” in this bucket, a sign of a shift at the company toward Web software and less lumpy pricing. That business totaled $222 million this quarter and per Oracle is approaching a $1 billion annual run rate. GAAP earnings per share increased 15% to 41-cents.

A few highlight from the earnings call:

-Oracle President and CFO Safra Catz began the call emphasizing that currency fluctuations mask strengths in the business. She added that operating cash flows for the company, at $5.7 billion, are an all-time high. The company has $32 billion in cash and equivalents, and has been continuing the repurchase shares.

-She guided 1 to 5% constant currency revenue growth.

-President Mark Hurd announced that revenues more than doubled in Oracle‘s relatively new engineered systems division.

-CEO Larry Ellison announced the addition of “infrastructure as a service”, which he’ll detail at Oracle‘s upcoming confab, Oracle OpenWorld. He described this as a hybrid approach, whereby customers can transfer their applications back and forth between private clouds on-premise, and ones hosted by Oracle.

-He then went into some detail about a sales reorganization that began prior to this quarter. The change created separate sales forces to go after HCM (employee data tracking) software customers and marketing. Some analysts have suggested this reorganization and associated disruptions may have caused a one-time hit to sales.

-Jason Maynard of Wells Fargo asked about technology shifts, and the current transition to cloud computing. Ellison spoke at length on this one: “You have to be willing to change how you were doing business in the past. Seven years ago we decided to do Fusion. We now have that product available and we’ve reorganized our salesforce. We recognized the change was coming and we did the hard thing… There’s a lot of inertia in a big company. It takes a lot of management focus to shift from business as usual.”

-Adam Holt of Morgan Stanley asked about Fusion sales, and the split between on-premise and cloud sales. Ellison said that “overwhelmingly” the decision is to put applications in the cloud, especially HCM software, where Oracle is winning deals. Ellison said Oracle is seeing competition for HCM deals in soon-to-IPO Workday, but not SAP.

-On social, the buzzword this week at Salesforce.com‘s Dreamforce, Ellison said: “We put it at the platform level as a tool, not as a standalone application, and we think that at the architectural level is a big difference.” He went on to say: “We aren’t measuring this as a standalone thing. It makes us more competitive against Workday and Salesforce. It’s a differentiator, and it is at the center of marketing efforts.” Ellison seemed to big signalling that while social matters, it is more an add-on feature to all software, than a whole new business software category, in sharp contrast to the tone his rival (and former protege) Marc Benioff set earlier this week when calling for a “social revolution”.

-Brendan Barnicle of Pacific Crest Securities asked about the hardware business and specifically when the transition from commodity hardware to engineered systems “bottoms out”. Hurd said that where Oracle has new products, it gains share. “Most of our customers are growing their data at 35, 45% today, and that’s before these big data applications continue to evolve… most are spending 15-25% of their IT budgets on storage… we can bring tremendous economic impact to our customers. That’s the opportunity of engineered systems. Our focus is on driving new products and driving growth.”

-President Safra Catz then said “there is no reason” Oracle can’t get back to the level of operating margins it enjoyed prior to the acquisition of Sun Microsystems.

Perhaps unusually, there was little discussion of the overall macro environment for technology deals, instead Oracle’s executives emphasized new product adoption. The next few quarters matter tremendously for Oracle. The company has to evolve into selling cloud software as well as higher-end hardware systems. The numbers will finally start to reflect whether this giant incumbent can solidify its ranking yet again for another decade of growth. In other words, stay tuned. This is getting interesting. Oracle‘s stock remained flat in after-hours trading.

from Upside Potential http://www.forbes.com/sites/victoriabarret/2012/09/20/oracle-ekes-out-growth-finally-talks-cloud/

TED: Bandi Mbubi: Demand a fair trade cell phone - Bandi Mbubi (2012)

Your mobile phone, computer and game console have a bloody past — tied to tantalum mining, which funds the war in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Drawing on his personal story, activist and refugee Bandi Mbubi gives a stirring call to action. (Filmed at TEDxExeter.)

from TEDTalks (video) http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/TEDTalks_video/~3/IMmMQkgSh7k/bandi_mbubi_demand_a_fair_trade_cell_phone.html

woensdag 19 september 2012

Live Blog: Salesforce’s Marc Benioff Maps Out His Roadmap And It Is All Social

Salesforce.com has been touting that a whopping 90,000 people registered for its annual confab, Dreamforce. The company is less forthcoming about how many of those attendees are paying, and San Francisco bus wrappers have been offering free tickets for weeks. But fair to say this morning, in the basement of the Moscone Convention Center, there are tens of thousands in attendance. This has become the mega-event of business software, with some vendors even admitting to getting double-digit jumps in leads because of Dreamforce. Salesforce co-founder and CEO Marc Benioff just took the stage. Here’s what he had to say about Salesforce’s roadmap:

-Benioff began with his classic historic timeline of technology from mainframes to cloud computing. That keyed him up for this line: “This social revolution is unlike anything we’ve ever seen before.” Then Benioff asked his audience how many are “using social” in their businesses and touted that 70% of companies have adopted social, per a McKinsey Global Institute study. Benioff touted that 150 million social conversations are happening per day. “This is a social revolution,” he added.

-Walking the aisles, Benioff mentioned a study from IBM that cited CEO use of social networks growing quickly. “That clarified our role, our mission, and why we are going to double down again on this business. We believe our mission is to help you, our customers, to connect with your customers in a whole new way.”

-“The social revolution is trust revolution,” Benioff said.

-Benioff then began a story about visiting General Electric. “Now that was an intimidating task. I don’t know a lot about GE… but I got thirty minutes to talk to him about the future of GE.” Benioff was one of five CEOs of large technology companies who had a chance to visit the company and present a vision of the future. Benioff’s vision: “a social network around a turbine”. Benioff then said that GE’s CEO Jeffrey Immelt congratulated him that unlike the other companies, Salesforce didn’t pitch its products but rather a compelling idea. Now GE is using Salesforce’s CRM and Chatter products.

-Salesforce announced Salesforce Touch, which is built on HTML5, and therefore able to work on any device.

-Next up: Chatter Communities for Partners, which brings the company’s Facebook-like tools to its customers’ partners. It looks similar to Facebook’s Groups tool, but it connects to Salesforce’s other tools, so that for example a sales rep of a company can dig into a potential customer employee’s social activity (on Twitter, Facebook). The goal, of course, is to never go into a customer call or meeting cold, but rather very warm, which full knowledge of someone’s digital footprints.

-Benioff put it this way: “It drives me crazy when I see a customer complaining on Twitter, but I can’t really tell who that customer is.” And so Salesforce is aiming to solve that problem by brining Facebook and Twitter feeds into Chatter.

-The customer lineup includes: Rossignol, Charles Schwab, and Activision. The gaming company uses Salesforce’s Service Cloud to keep track of all customer interactions, including activity about its games happening on Twitter.

-Benioff then went on to describe “the future of marketing” with Australia’s Commonwealth Bank. This example is aimed at showcasing Benioff’s latest push, after spending the most-ever to acquire Radian6 and Buddy Media, to become the dashboard of record for a company’s marketing efforts. Commonwealth is using Salesforce to track everything being said about the brand online, in both frequency and tone. The bank also manages its outbound social marketing with Salesforce, and can see how many, say, Facebook fans saw a graphic about home loans, and then track conversion rates on how many click on ads.

-Salesforce co-founder Parker Harris took the stage to walk through how airline Virgin America is using Salesforce to connect with its flyers. It is a far-out looking scenario. An annoyed Virgin customer posts to Twitter that his flight is delayed en route and he’ll miss his connecting flight. Salesforce’s software flags this and Virgin is able to send a message to the customer on his flight. “Is that an incredible demonstration of the future?” Benioff asked. The CEO of Virgin David Cush then said: “I will tell you the best way to get a response is through social media, not traditional customer service.”

-Benioff had John Wookey, formerly with Oracle, to announce Work.com, a new performance-management tool used by Facebook. This software creates a constant, live performance review based on track-able goals, such as a closed deal. Those moments, via this tool, can link to rewards such as gift cards that (naturally) appear in the deal-closing employees Chatter feed. Salesforce’s data can also link to employee data that a Workday, for example, tracks for management. Salesforce has made a point in the past of saying that it does not intend to compete with soon-to-IPO Workday, co-founded by former Peoplesoft leaders Aneel Bhusri and David Duffield.

(Further updates to follow…)

from Upside Potential http://www.forbes.com/sites/victoriabarret/2012/09/19/live-blog-salesforces-marc-benioff-maps-out-his-roadmap-and-it-is-all-social/

TED: Andrew Blum: What is the Internet, really? - Andrew Blum (2012)

When a squirrel chewed through a cable and knocked him offline, journalist Andrew Blum started wondering what the Internet was really made of. So he set out to go see it -- the underwater cables, secret switches and other physical bits that make up the net.

from TEDTalks (video) http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/TEDTalks_video/~3/D5AD1OtrugY/andrew_blum_what_is_the_internet_really.html

Where America’s Richest Man Is Investing His Money

Bill Gates is best known for his Microsoft billions and the great philanthropic works that have followed. But something interesting has happened recently, and perhaps notably with this year’s Forbes 400 number-crunching, which puts him on our list up $6 billion with a total $66 billion to his name.

Gates’s net worth is now stunningly unrelated to the stock performance of the company he co-founded thirty-seven years ago.

Because of regular stock sales, Microsoft today makes up just one-fifth of Gates’s assets. At the time of last year’s Forbes 400, it was a quarter. The large remainder of his wealth is tied up in an investment entity called Cascade Investment LLC, which is managed out of Kirkland, Washington, a quick drive (with no traffic) from Microsoft’s Bellevue headquarters.

We don’t know much about Cascade except its largest investment positions, and in those, there is some insight about how America’s richest man is placing bets. And perhaps somewhat surprisingly, the king of tech favors more stodgy Warren Buffet-like deals for returns, or at least asset diversification.

This year, for example, Gates gobbled up shares of Republic Services, which operates 334 trash collection companies, 191 active landfills and 74 recycling facilities. Gates has for a while been a large shareholder in Republic Services, but this year increased his stake by 16% as the stock edged up just 3%, barely beating the even more paltry gains of rival Waste Management. Gates now holds roughly $2.2 billion worth of Republic Services stock.

He also upped his stake of auto-dealer network AutoNation by 17%, taking his total stake to a value of $680 million. AutoNation owns and operates 258 new auto franchises, mostly in the Southeast. In contrast to Republic Services, AutoNation’s stock has done nicely this year, increasing 13% as Gates was buying up shares. Another chunk of Gates’s wealth is in cleaning supply outfit Ecolab. His stake here hasn’t changed much over the past year, but is one of his largest known-investments worth $1.8 billion.

All three of these picks trade at what appear to be reasonable values, around 14 times forward earnings for AutoNation and Republic Services. These aren’t screaming deals, but nor are they pricey high-flyers. Amazingly though, Microsoft is more of a deal than these old-industry picks. The software firm Bill built is trading at nine times future earnings. That’s a value play.

Cascade also takes an active role in some of its largest investment. The head of Cascade since 1994, Michael Larson, is a director at several of the companies he has invested in on behalf of Gates, including Republic Services, Autonation, Group Televisa and Ecolab. He also chairs the Board of Trustees for the Western Asset/Claymore Inflation-Linked Securities & Income Fund, another long-time Gates investment.

from Upside Potential http://www.forbes.com/sites/victoriabarret/2012/09/19/where-americas-richest-man-is-investing-his-money/

The 5 elements that enable expertise networks to flourish

Last week I gave a keynote at an internal conference of a large technology services firm that has recently acquired another firm. The conference brought together senior executives and managers from the two organizations so they could get to know each other and plan how they would work together with existing and new clients.

A significant part of my role was to provide a highly upbeat, optimistic, engaging perspective on the future of business. However I also wanted to address the specific issues they would be encountering in combining their capabilities.

Many years ago when I was working with a large law firm to help them develop their client relationship and cross-selling capabilities, I created a simple framework, shown below.

The fundamental issue for any significant professional firm is to match the best possible capabilities in the organization with the relevant opportunities for value creation at their clients.

This begins at the interface with the client. Whoever has any interaction with the client, including the relationship leader and relationship team, has responsibility to identify and bring to the client the most relevant capabilities of the firm. However there are 5 key steps that are required for that to happen.

1. Awareness of capabilities
The relationship team of course needs to be aware that those capabilities exist. In a large, complex firm simply knowing what resources and expertise is available can be a challenge.

2. Understanding of those capabilities
After awareness, professionals need to understand where those capabilities can be applied, and how to explain them to clients sufficiently well for them to want to take things further. A variety of networking and educational initiatives can help improve both awareness and understanding of organizational capabilities.

3. Confidence in those capabilities
Even after awareness and understanding of capabilities, often the stumbling block is lack of confidence in those capabilities, and a fear of jeopardizing the client relationship by bringing in sub-standard services. Insufficient confidence more often comes from simple lack of knowledge rather than negative impressions. However without evidence to support confidence in capabilities, people will often avoid bringing in other professionals. The key action is in building experience across domains, so managers can develop confidence.

4. Personal trust
Even with these other elements in place, professionals will not reach out unless they believe the people they are bringing in will be good, collaborative players in the team, and be a pleasure to work with.

5. Action!
Finally, action is required. In many cases all of the above elements are in place, yet the best available resources are not brought in for the lack of picking up a phone, sending an email, or otherwise reaching out.

Once these barriers are understood, there are of course many possible initiatives to build internal networks and address each of these critical elements.

There is no perfectly networked firm. However those organizations that can consistently work on improving their performance on these 5 elements will drive substantially higher performance.

from Trends in the Living Networks http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/TrendsInTheLivingNetworks/~3/MVIU9ScND1s/the-5-elements-that-enable-expertise-networks-to-flourish.html

dinsdag 18 september 2012

TED: Julian Treasure: Why architects need to use their ears - Julian Treasure (2012)

Because of poor acoustics, students in classrooms miss 50 percent of what their teachers say and patients in hospitals have trouble sleeping because they continually feel stressed. Julian Treasure sounds a call to action for designers to pay attention to the “invisible architecture” of sound.

from TEDTalks (video) http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/TEDTalks_video/~3/zN-SltmnUZU/julian_treasure_why_architects_need_to_use_their_ears.html

maandag 17 september 2012

TED: Sarah-Jayne Blakemore: The mysterious workings of the adolescent brain - Sarah-Jayne Blakemore (2012)

Why do teenagers seem so much more impulsive, so much less self-aware than grown-ups? Cognitive neuroscientist Sarah-Jayne Blakemore compares the prefrontal cortex in adolescents to that of adults, to show us how typically “teenage” behavior is caused by the growing and developing brain.

from TEDTalks (video) http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/TEDTalks_video/~3/Kad2SmZg6zs/sarah_jayne_blakemore_the_mysterious_workings_of_the_adolescent_brain.html

The future of fast food: faster, more convenient, healthier, more luxurious

On Friday I was interviewed on the current affairs program Today Tonight about the future of fast food. Click on the image to see a video of the segment.

Perhaps the dominant trend in society today is increased expectations. Those expectations apply across all domains, but absolutely in the immediacy of our everyday lives.

As people feel – and increasingly are – time-poor, speed and convenience dominate. Not surprisingly, customers are expecting fast food to become even faster.

Some of the technologies that support faster food include:

* Pre-ordering food. Allowing ordering before you arrive at a fast food outlet is becoming commonplace. In the US, Chipotle, Pizza Hut, and Subway have been offering this for over two years.

* Touch screens replacing counter staff. The transition is similar to the replacement of bank tellers with ATMs, enabling faster and more efficient service.

* Predictive technologies. It is some years since the introduction of technologies to predict what drive-in customers will order based on visual analysis of the car and its occupants. These technologies will continue to evolve.

* Location-based ordering and delivery. Voice-based ordering is useful when driving. If combined with mobile location disclosure then orders can be timed to be ready just when the customer arrives, or someone can go to give them their order as they drive or walk by the outlet.

However, as noted in the segment transcript:

“Either you need to be very fast, very convenient and high quality or you need to provide an entire experience and those companies that are not able to do either of those will just be left behind,” Mr Dawson said.

Expectations are not only for speed and convenience. People also like a feeling of luxury or exclusivity. Some fast-food chains are investing in landmark outlets that are attractive and upmarket, not the brightly-lit tacky diners filled with plastic that people are used to. Their customers still expect the food to be fast, but are prepared to pay a premium for a more attractive environment.

Of course another major trend is towards healthier food. The market for unhealthy fast food is shrinking, though still unfortunately large. For those companies able to meet the challenge, convenient and truly healthy food will continue to be a very rapidly growing market.

Like it or not, fast food is here to stay, over time getting faster than ever.

from Trends in the Living Networks http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/TrendsInTheLivingNetworks/~3/8SLdW5nAIN8/the-future-of-fast-food-faster-more-convenient-healthier-more-luxurious.html

zondag 16 september 2012

TED: Tristram Stuart: The global food waste scandal - Tristram Stuart (2012)

Western countries throw out nearly half of their food, not because it’s inedible -- but because it doesn’t look appealing. Tristram Stuart delves into the shocking data of wasted food, calling for a more responsible use of global resources.

from TEDTalks (video) http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/TEDTalks_video/~3/ywqD5Usyvxs/tristram_stuart_the_global_food_waste_scandal.html

zaterdag 15 september 2012

TED: Beth Noveck: Demand a more open-source government - Beth Noveck (2012)

What can governments learn from the open-data revolution? In this stirring talk, Beth Noveck, the former deputy CTO at the White House, shares a vision of practical openness -- connecting bureaucracies to citizens, sharing data, creating a truly participatory democracy. Imagine the "writable society" ...

from TEDTalks (video) http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/TEDTalks_video/~3/F452-GzV0Xs/beth_noveck_demand_a_more_open_source_government.html

vrijdag 14 september 2012

Want Your Kid To Succeed? Don’t Worry About The SAT

In his new book “How Children Succeed” New York Times contributor Paul Tough tackles a tremendously large, gnarly question: Why are we failing our kids again and again, and how do we stop this?

It turns out that we’re teaching kids rich and poor the wrong things. Too many tests of course, but more importantly too little deep, meaty character stuff. The traits that many assume are innate — persistence, self-control, curiosity, conscientiousness, grit and optimism– Tough believes are entirely teachable.

He also argues convincingly that these character skills will improve kids’ outcomes much more dramatically and lastingly than any GPA bump or better SAT score. I caught up with Tough recently to discuss his view of what we’re doing wrong, and how we can do it right.

You end your book with a call for revolution. You believe we need to fundamentally change how we’re teaching our kids. Did you begin your research with that premise?

I didn’t start out that way. I see myself as a journalist more than an advocate. And I saw this as an intellectual mystery. There was this interesting research out there that seemed to be pointing in one direction. It started out as a simple curiosity.

You suggest that schools have been teaching character, but the wrong kind of character.

Yes, when schools have tried to do character education, they’ve talked about moral character over performance character. Values and ethics including honesty and integrity, respecting others.

I don’t think those are unimportant. But these other qualities — persistence, self-control, curiosity, conscientiousness, grit and optimism — are more important in the long run and also more easily taught in a school environment.

Schools have had a hard time teaching those moral characters. I don’t believe schools know how to make kids more honest. And yet there is a sense that school should teach kids how to succeed. It feels less like an add on to education as in: “Okay we’re finished with the important stuff, now let’s talk about honesty.” Persistence and curiosity have a more components, but they’re not in the language of morality and therefore a better fit for schools.

But how do you teach those values? In the book you cite examples that are less of a lecture-style class approach, and more learning by doing.

Yes, I zoom in on a chess teacher in Brooklyn, Elizabeth Spiegel, who has been tremendously successful at getting low-income kids to play competitive chess and win. She doesn’t ever talk about character, but she’s teaching those very skills by getting kids to focus, look at their mistakes, and try harder next time.

You can apply this to music and sports. You have to train this, not teach it. Of course this is harder for a math teacher to do. I don’t believe it is impossible. We’re simply still learning how to do this well.

Doesn’t your approach require less emphasis on test scores?

There is a place for testing. And yet what teachers tell me is that testing has taken over. My fear is that this worsens as it becomes connected to how we evaluate and pay teachers. What we know from research is that the testing doesn’t correlate as much as other things to success later in life. And our system doesn’t have incentives for teachers to think creatively about this.

What replaces standardized tests? Presumably something has to.

The assessments that matter are down the road. The first class at the charter school KIPP Academy had great 8th grade test scores, but not great college graduation rates. Look, I recognize that for someone running a school system, what I’m saying is very challenging.

In the book you weave together the challenges of poverty-stricken kids and affluent ones. Why both?

I started looking at kids in poverty. But in spending time at KIPP as well as the Riverdale Country School, which is in a very affluent neighborhood in the Bronx, I noticed a quite legitimate anxiety about what was going on with even the most well-off kids. That was a real surprise to me. These problems express themselves differently, but they are common problems.

You point out that affluence parents don’t let their kids fail, echoing a few other books on the subject of parenting. Why is this a trend now?

The self-esteem movement went too far. It wasn’t backed up my science. Lots of parents and educators are seeing that in their students. When you focus on self-esteem more than character, it doesn’t work out. The kids are unsuccessful and unhappy.

The chess teacher I followed was was anxious about damaging her students’ self-esteem with constant criticism, but instead she was building them up. There are lots of pendulum swings in education. This is the beginning of a new one.

You assume that kids are more malleable than most.

That’s a hard idea for a lot of people. It isn’t conventional wisdom right now. The research around resilience done a few years ago had this sense that some kids were just lucky enough to have it. It didn’t look at how we can teach kids resilience. But the work I’ve seen lately suggests that kids are products of their environments. And we can do things to help them navigate those environments, even when they’re really lousy.

Maybe it means getting involved with their families when they’re very young. That can make us uncomfortable, especially when government is involved, but we have to do this. We have to push the science into policy. Then we can make powerful changes.

from Upside Potential http://www.forbes.com/sites/victoriabarret/2012/09/14/want-your-kid-to-succeed-dont-worry-about-the-sat/

TED: Wayne McGregor: A choreographer’s creative process in real time - Wayne McGregor (2012)

We all use our body on a daily basis, and yet few of us think about our physicality the way Wayne McGregor does. He demonstrates how a choreographer communicates ideas to an audience, working with two dancers to build phrases of dance, live and unscripted, on the TEDGlobal stage.

from TEDTalks (video) http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/TEDTalks_video/~3/aBTEfPN3YvE/wayne_mcgregor_a_choreographer_s_creative_process_in_real_time.html

If you’re in Sydney and totally awesome, we want to give you $250!

We have recently been advertising for a Genius projects/ marketing/ web/ publishing assistant/ manager – part-time in Sydney.

As we describe in our working principles document, the process starts with an interview and tests, after which we offer the most interesting candidates a one-day trial, in most cases offering to pay $250. For those we hire after the trial work, the most common pay structure is hourly rate plus profit share.

So let’s reframe this. If you think you could add value to what we’re doing, and have a day of your time spare, we’d love to pay you $250 for helping us with some project ideas we have.

The first step is to apply, and if you sound special we’ll give you a call and perhaps suggest catching up for an hour to discuss what we’re doing, and ask you to do a task to test your capabilities. If we think you have potential, we will offer you one day’s work, getting started on 1-2 small projects we will give you.

After that day, if we agree you’re totally awesome, we will offer you a role at AHT Group, and we will do what we can to entice you to join us on the terms that work for you, including substantial work flexibility.

Just look at our Genius projects person role for who we’re looking for, and apply here!

Do pass this on to people who you think would be interested :-)

from Trends in the Living Networks http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/TrendsInTheLivingNetworks/~3/X6LBjrlE1Co/if-youre-in-sydney-and-totally-awesome-we-want-to-give-you-250.html

donderdag 13 september 2012

TED: Susan Solomon: The promise of research with stem cells - Susan Solomon (2012)

Calling them "our bodies' own repair kits," Susan Solomon advocates research using lab-grown stem cells. By growing individual pluripotent stem cell lines, her team creates testbeds that could accelerate research into curing diseases -- and perhaps lead to individualized treatment, targeted not just to a particular disease but a particular person.

from TEDTalks (video) http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/TEDTalks_video/~3/fpO8rHLNnw4/susan_solomon_the_promise_of_research_with_adult_stem_cells.html

Launching new framework: The Future of Work

I have been working with one of the world’s largest private companies, which is engaged in a strategy project looking at the future out to 2025. Today a key workshop for the project was run, where we refined the project process and I provided some perspectives on the future of work as input to the study.

While the future of work and organizations is one of my most important themes, I haven’t had any public summary documents on the topic. For today’s workshop and also as a first step in building out some richer frameworks, I created an overview framework on the future of work.

The framework probably needs some explanation, and I intend to both refine and provide more detailed explanations of the framework in the near future. In the meantime, here is our Beta v1 of The Future of Work framework.

Click on the image to download the full framework.

I’d love to hear any thoughts or input you have.

from Trends in the Living Networks http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/TrendsInTheLivingNetworks/~3/-9YcQOFOK_E/launching-new-framework-the-future-of-work.html

woensdag 12 september 2012

Context is the new battleground between Android and iOS

Contextual apps arrived at Techcrunch Disrupt. It’s not just Google Now that shows you information about your next meeting, either. I saw a bunch of cool apps that are using context and I kept hearing that iOS is behind.

Here, listen in as I talk with the team behind Maluuba, which is a new way to search, organize, and connect on your phone. Think of a new Siri.

Maluuba isn’t the only company that has told me that iOS is behind. Glympse‘s CEO, Bryan Trussel, told me his team develops its contextual mapping app on Android first, then moves it to iPhone.

Why is this?

A few reasons:

1. Android lets developers have access to the dialer so that app developers can watch who calls you and who you call.
2. Android lets developers look at the wifi and bluetooth radios on the phone so app developers can build better systems to track where you are, who you are near, and whether you are near things like your car.
3. Android lets developers ship and test without waiting up to three weeks to have their apps approved.

That said, there’s a counter point of view, which you’ll hear in my interview with Path’s CEO, Dave Morin (he is working on adding more contextual features to his app, which is a personal journal that’s quite popular).

What is this pro-iPhone point of view? Well, Path ships on both iPhone and Android. If you look at the market share numbers you know that for every iPhone sold Android sells about three devices. So, Path should be wildly more popular on Android than it is on iPhone. It’s not. In fact only about 30% of its customers are on Android. The rest are using iPhones. You might explain this away by some other factor but I’ve heard this from many many developers, including Starbucks and eBay. iPhone users use more apps. The ecosystem of apps is better on iOS. The profitability of app developers is better on iOS than on Android. On and on.

The dirty little secret is that users aren’t the same. My son’s friend showed me why. iOS users tend to be ones that really care about being online all the time. They also tend to be willing to pay for that. You might say they are richer users, which is partially true. My son’s friend shows me that she doesn’t have an unlimited data plan so she turns off her data on her phone and that she isn’t very app centric because she can’t afford the high availability data plans. She isn’t as good a user for app developers as, say, my son is, who keeps his phone’s data online all the time thanks to Verizon’s flat rate pricing on the iPhone.

At Techcrunch Disrupt I interviewed about 30 companies over three days. Most of them showed me that their apps are being developed on iOS first and they back up Dave Morin’s reasons why they go iOS first.

Some other things I saw at Techcrunch Disrupt, or didn’t see.

1. It’s clearly an Android vs. iOS world. It was extremely rare to see a Windows Phone, a RIM device, or anything that wasn’t running Android or iOS. There are even toys coming out that run iOS.
2. Nearly every developer is paying attention to the Age of Context and looking to build personalized features into their mobile apps.
3. Lots of people came up to me showing me apps on iPhones but they admit that they are really building prototypes of things that will ship on Google’s Project Glass next year. I saw two face detection companies, a slew of Siri competitors, and more that would be awesome on the Project Glass wearable computers that Google is working on.
4. While the new iPhone wasn’t all that exciting nearly everyone I asked admitted they were going to buy one. Even the Android fanboys said they are going to buy one for development reasons. I did meet a few people who hate Apple and still won’t buy one, but they were a rarity on the floor of Techcrunch Disrupt.
5. Most people aren’t paying attention to what’s happening in the contextual world, even though Qualcomm’s Gimbal team was one of the sponsors.
6. There are a LOT of concerns about two things amongst developers: 1. the freaky line. 2. Battery life. The freaky line is a concern because these technologies basically learn, and stalk, you. Already some of the apps, like Alohar’s Placeme, knows what gas stations you like, whether or not you attend church or strip clubs, and what routes you take to work. That freaks people out. The battery life is an issue because any of these developers who needs to turn on the GPS sensors in the phone increases the power consumption of the phone. Highlight is a good example of this. Turn it on and you’ll get about 20% fewer minutes out of your battery. For many that’s a killer.

When I was talking to Maluuba’s developers I noted that we’re in the Apple I days of contextual apps. The apps are ugly, don’t do much, and take too much battery life for the utility they provide. The team agreed and said to watch as user experiences with these apps get better and devices build in better software and hardware that won’t hit the battery as much. For instance, developers are already learning to be smarter about figuring out you’ve moved without turning on GPS.

Early adopters and developers are going to want to get Android devices to play around with this new contextual world. As Google’s Project Glass comes out next year the difference in ecosystems between iOS and Android will become more stark. Even Dave Morin admitted that his team will use Android more as R&D and as a proving ground for new, contextual features.

Is this dangerous for Apple?

I don’t think it is. Apple, at its best, isn’t a technology leader. Did anyone really use the Newton? No. The iPad, though, was very popular. Why? It took what the industry had been working on for a decade and simplified it.

So, watch for Apple to learn what works in terms of context and watch for Apple to be a fast follower that will bring a mass market product that my dad will use. For now my dad doesn’t care about context and I don’t have any reason to bring him the latest apps. They are too geeky, use too much power for what they deliver, and aren’t reliable enough. I can see that changing big time over the next two years, though, which is why Shel Israel and I are working on a book about the contextual age. It’s clear that we’re moving into a new age, it just will take a while to get out of the Apple I stage, where only a few hundred geeks are playing with it, to the Apple II stage where the mass market starts to show up.

Ignore it at your peril, though. It is the new mobile battlefield.

from Scobleizer http://scobleizer.com/2012/09/12/context-is-the-new-battleground-between-android-and-ios/

TED: Leslie T. Chang: The voices of China's workers - Leslie T. Chang (2012)

In the ongoing debate about globalization, what's been missing is the voices of workers -- the millions of people who migrate to factories in China and other emerging countries to make goods sold all over the world. Reporter Leslie T. Chang sought out women who work in one of China's booming megacities, and tells their stories.

from TEDTalks (video) http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/TEDTalks_video/~3/j-UkQn8zxYk/leslie_t_chang_the_voices_of_china_s_workers.html

dinsdag 11 september 2012

Steve Jobs legacy: he personally brought Siri to Apple, saw that Siri had a contextual future

How does Silicon Valley and Apple miss Steve Jobs?

Well, on Monday night I was having dinner with Gary Morgenthaler, who was one of the investors in Siri, along with a few Siri team members and I heard stories that they weren’t able to tell me while Steve Jobs was alive.

For instance, Jobs called Siri management at least 30 times personally in about a month to convince them to join.

Also, Steve Jobs yelled at Apple managers who didn’t “get” why Siri was so important to Apple.

But most important to me, and the book I’m writing with Shel Israel: Jobs had already started working with the team on how to make Siri more contextually aware.

In fact, Norman Winarsky, who heads up SRI, the lab where Siri was developed, told me that SRI is about to start testing out a new app that will dig deeper into your email and your calendar to “assist” you in a much deeper way than Siri can right now.

What do we meet by context? Well, Siri today is pretty stupid about what’s on your calendar. Ask it “where is my next meeting?” and it will show you your next meeting, but it doesn’t know where it is. Close but no cigar. It gets worse from there.

Ask it “where is the best place to get lunch tomorrow?” and Siri answers with places near my home. Problem is that tomorrow I’m going to be at the Apple iPhone 5 launch in San Francisco. Siri is quite stupid about context, location, and a bunch of other things. Will it improve? Apple already announced some improvements to Siri, for instance Siri will, with iOS 6, be able to start applications. But it’s hardly expected to be contextually aware in any real way.

Ask Siri “what is my favorite gas station?” Siri answers “I don’t know.” The problem is, that isn’t really true. Apple knows what gas stations I’m most likely to stop at. Or it could, if it just knew how to contextually evaluate the data that both Verizon and Apple already have streaming from my phone. If it doesn’t know something like my favorite gas station, it certainly doesn’t know the answer to something simple like “how many times do I eat at Chinese restaurants?” That’s easily verifiable. Ask it such a question and it just brings up a list of Chinese restaurants near you. It doesn’t even try to accurately turn down the question.

But back to Jobs. He saw Siri’s potential to add a new, simpler, contextually-aware, user interface to any device. There are lots of rumors that Apple will use something like Siri in other products, like its Apple TV product. In fact, at dinner the other night I learned that at least one of the team members that remains at Apple is now working on a secret new project. I doubt we’ll learn about that tomorrow, but I’ll be looking for signs that Apple understands how to take us into the contextual age. I’ll be looking for signs that Steve Jobs’ passion for Siri is still being listened to.

Here’s two videos from the past that’s worth dredging up again. The first is of when Siri’s team visited my house to first show me Siri.

Here’s the investors in Siri talking about the inside scoop of what happened (minus the important Steve Jobs details that I learned this week): Part I and Part II.

from Scobleizer http://scobleizer.com/2012/09/11/steve-jobs-legacy-he-personally-brought-siri-to-apple-saw-that-siri-had-a-contextual-future/

The Bright Side To Facebook’s Slide: Mark Zuckerberg Gets Candid

Arrington on the left, Zuckerberg right

There is a bright side to Facebook‘s slide: It was a hard-earned lesson for the company’s typically tight-lipped and evasive co-founder and CEO, Mark Zuckerberg. And going forward he is going to open up, even just a little.

His chat today at TechCrunch’s Disrupt event was notable in its topics. Interviewer Michael Arrington did not hold punches, but rather pushed the Zuck on touchy subjects including the stock price and the company’s limping mobile strategy. And brilliantly, Zuckerberg was unusally candid.

He said the stock’s fall has been a “disappointment” that surely doesn’t help morale inside the company. When Arrington pressed Zuckerberg on Facebook‘s mobile mis-steps, he was even more forthcoming, saying that “the biggest mistake we made as a company was betting too much on HTML5 as opposed to native.”

The company is now doubling down on its efforts to code Facebook‘s app for Apple‘s iOS and Google‘s Android platforms. Zuckerberg is very optimistic on mobile ads as a strong source of revenue growth, pointing out that Facebook’s early experiments are performing better. The details on how remain vague.

Zuckerberg lately has gotten the reputation of the billionaire exec in the ivory tower, wearing a hoodie of course. The knock was that he didn’t seem to care about his public investors and was rather oblivious to the obvious shortcomings of Facebook‘s mobile technology.

Today set the record straight. The Zuck does care, or at least says he does. And maybe, just maybe, he’s willing to show faults in order to prove to us all that Facebook can come roaring back. To read a blow by blow of the interview, see my colleague Tomio Geron‘s live coverage. Facebook‘s stock price swung up 3% in after-hours trading.


from Upside Potential http://www.forbes.com/sites/victoriabarret/2012/09/11/the-bright-side-to-facebooks-slide-mark-zuckerberg-gets-candid/

Benioff On Where He’ll Compete Next

Salesforce.com‘s Marc Benioff is on stage with TechCruch’s Michael Arrington. Both are larger than life figures literally (in the over six feet club) and figuratively. Within seconds, Arrington claims he has lost control of the interview. Benioff is polling the audience. “They say the PC is dead, but all I see are laptops out there. How many of you are on laptops?” A sea of hands goes up and without missing a beat, Benioff begins plugging his company’s annual confab next week called Dreamforce. He promises to walk across hot coals with one of the speakers, guru Tony Robbins.

Benioff arrived in high tech chic. He sported a FitBit monitor and a PowerBalance bracelet. Arrington Soon attempted to move on to heavier topics, pointing out that Benioff watched the prior panel of enterprise startups. “We have a Box competitor, Okta and Asana competitor.” These mentions put Salesforce in cloud storage and collaboration, Web identity and project management.

Curiously Salesforce is an investor in Box and Okta was founded by a Salesforce alum. Arrington suggests the small guys should be fearful. Benioff quips he should join him in jumping off a bridge in Fiji to see the things more openly. “I am not zero sum,” says Benioff.

He then took a swing at David Sacks of Yammer: “He should not have sold. They had work to do.” Salesforce competes with Yammer, now part of Micrososft, with it’s Chatter product. He went on to explain that Google hasn’t been a threat to Salesforce because the company hasn’t prioritized business software.

Benioff then asked Arrington how he feels about having been fired from TechCrunch. “Are you enjoying life?” Arrington asked, trying to regain control. And Benioff described how he spends a third of his time in Hawaii to avoid burning out.

from Upside Potential http://www.forbes.com/sites/victoriabarret/2012/09/11/benioff-on-where-hell-compete-next/

San Francisco Mayor And His Tech Booster Ron Conway

There’s something unique happening in America’s most proudly liberal city: a new alliance between San Francisco mayor Ed Lee and business, via angel investor Ron Conway. This being San Francisco, their relationship is both celebrated and controversial. And so today Lee and Conway graced the stage of TechCrunch Disrupt, the startup industry’s annual confab.

Lee began with a pat on the industry back: 30% job growth, and high salary jobs, thanks to tech. He touted his decision to appoint a chief innnovation officer, the first for a city nationally. Every Tuesday Lee tours with a startup “to understand what they’re doing and make a connection”. The interviewer, TechCrunch’s Michael Arrrington asked which startup kitchen has been a favorite: “Twitter,” said Lee.

Lee also touted sf.citi, which he calls the technology chamber of commerce. Companies pay to join. A first accomplishment: members joined to create summer internships, many for disadvantaged youth. Lee and Conway insisted other mayors are following his lead.

Then the conversation shifted to the meatier topic of taxes. “We have a payroll tax that taxes job creation in the city,” said Lee. He and Conway boosted Proposition E, on ballots this fall, that switches the tax to a gross reciepts tax and saves “technology companies millions”. “No matter which convention you went to last week, the theme is innovation and job creation,” said Lee. “No one can disagree with this.”

Conway’s sf.citi effort extends to public safety. He is leading the effort to put tablets in patrol cars “so they don’t spend 40% of their time at tthe station writing reports, which is the case today”.

Arrington asked Conway why the city has become his new focus. “Is it this guy?” Arrington asked, motioning to Lee. “No, it is the tech migration happening here. When Pinterest moved to San Francisco, that was just the latest sign.”

from Upside Potential http://www.forbes.com/sites/victoriabarret/2012/09/11/san-francisco-mayor-and-his-tech-booster-ron-conway/

TED: Vikram Patel: Mental health for all by involving all - Vikram Patel (2012)

Nearly 450 million people are affected by mental illness worldwide. In wealthy nations, just half receive appropriate care, but in developing countries, close to 90 percent go untreated because psychiatrists are in such short supply. Vikram Patel outlines a highly promising approach -- training members of communities to give mental health interventions, empowering ordinary people to care for others.

from TEDTalks (video) http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/TEDTalks_video/~3/RxdlNbICnaw/vikram_patel_mental_health_for_all_by_involving_all.html

maandag 10 september 2012

TED: Scott Fraser: Why eyewitnesses get it wrong - Scott Fraser (2012)

Scott Fraser studies how humans remember crimes -- and bear witness to them. In this powerful talk, which focuses on a deadly shooting at sunset, he suggests that even close-up eyewitnesses to a crime can create "memories" they could not have seen. Why? Because the brain abhors a vacuum.

from TEDTalks (video) http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/TEDTalks_video/~3/tNRXfTeP7lg/scott_fraser_the_problem_with_eyewitness_testimony.html

zondag 9 september 2012

TED: Kent Larson: Brilliant designs to fit more people in every city - Kent Larson (2012)

How can we fit more people into cities without overcrowding? Kent Larson shows off folding cars, quick-change apartments and other innovations that could make the city of the future work a lot like a small village of the past.

from TEDTalks (video) http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/TEDTalks_video/~3/Vd8tT_KdNdU/kent_larson_brilliant_designs_to_fit_more_people_in_every_city.html

zaterdag 8 september 2012

TED: Jonathan Trent: Energy from floating algae pods - Jonathan Trent (2012)

Call it "fuel without fossils": Jonathan Trent is working on a plan to grow new biofuel by farming micro-algae in floating offshore pods that eat wastewater from cities. Hear his team's bold vision for Project OMEGA (Offshore Membrane Enclosures for Growing Algae) and how it might power the future.

from TEDTalks (video) http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/TEDTalks_video/~3/_VDBq_K3Pq4/jonathan_trent_energy_from_floating_algae_pods.html

vrijdag 7 september 2012

An awesome contextual app for iPad and social software arrives: NextGuide, future of TV Guides


There are lots of TV guides on iPads, including a pretty good one from TV Guide itself. But the TV Guide one isn’t personalized like Next Guide is. It’s also not as beautiful. Here I meet with Jeremy Toeman, CEO of Dijit, which today is launching this new personalized TV guide.

This hooks up to Facebook and Twitter to bring a beautiful, customized TV guide to you. It’s yet another example of contextual software — one that brings you better experiences the more you tell the Internet about you.

Why is this so cool? Because over the past few years I’ve been telling Facebook more about what my favorite TV shows are. On my Facebook likes page you can see the 129 shows that I like. Next Guide uses this page to customize the layout and choices of TV shows it shows you.

But it goes further. It looks at other social behavior and even other content you liked to suggest new shows to you.

This shows another step toward what’s going to happen across the industry: that nearly everything we touch will get personalized thanks to data that Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, and other systems have been collecting on us.

It is scary when you see our data collection demonstrated in such a way, but it definitely makes for better services and experiences and NextGuide is a very clear example of the benefits of this new, contextual, age that’s coming at us very clearly.

I can’t wait until every app, website, and even our cars and hotels are personalized this way.

Some problems:

1. Facebook limits you to 5,200 likes. I’ve already started deleting likes that aren’t as important to me to make room for new likes since I already have about 5,000. I hope Facebook does away with that limitation.

2. Likes aren’t a very strong signal. For instance, I’m watching Breaking Bad right now in “catch up mode.” Over the past week I’ve watched dozens of shows. I’m hyper interested in Breaking Bad. To the exclusion of all other TV. But Facebook doesn’t know that and NextGuide doesn’t either. That will improve as I use NextGuide and signal to it what I actually am watching.

3. Most of you haven’t put enough likes into Facebook to really provide a hyper customized experience that matches your own experience. I have 5,000 likes with about 130 TV shows in there. You probably only have 25 to 50, and some of you aren’t even on Facebook yet. So your experience will be more generic than mine will, at least at first, until you start using the app and it starts customizing to your tastes.

But this is an impressive step, even given these limitations. I can’t wait to see what’s next.

from Scobleizer http://scobleizer.com/2012/09/07/tv-guide-ipad/

TED: Antony Gormley: Sculpted space, within and without - Antony Gormley (2012)

Legendary sculptor Antony Gormley riffs on space and the human form. His works explore the interior space we feel within our own bodies -- and the exterior space we feel around us, knowing that we are just dots in space and time.

from TEDTalks (video) http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/TEDTalks_video/~3/oaRAG05uZoY/antony_gormley_sculpted_space_within_and_without.html

donderdag 6 september 2012

TED: Shyam Sankar: The rise of human-computer cooperation - Shyam Sankar (2012)

Brute computing force alone can’t solve the world’s problems. Data mining innovator Shyam Sankar explains why solving big problems (like catching terrorists or identifying huge hidden trends) is not a question of finding the right algorithm, but rather the right symbiotic relationship between computation and human creativity.

from TEDTalks (video) http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/TEDTalks_video/~3/gtHVAYj0dnc/shyam_sankar_the_rise_of_human_computer_cooperation.html

woensdag 5 september 2012

Why Salesforce.com Ranks #1 On Forbes Most Innovative List

Salesforce.com once again ranks first on this year’s Forbes list of Most Innovative Companies. To understand the metrics at work here, take a look at the full list. We aim to capture the premium investors are willing to pay for future innovation. I recently caught up with Salesforce’s evangelistic CEO and co-founder, Marc Benioff, to talk about what drives disruptive ideas inside his company.

His answer reveals a lot about the nature of real innovators: They adapt how they do it.

As Benioff explained, for years Salesforce has looked within to push big ideas ahead. Those ideas often came from the outside — customers and partners, the marketplace. But the drive to turn those ideas into products was an internal one.

No longer. This year Benioff spent $1 billion, the most ever, acquiring two firms: Radian6 and Buddy Media. His rationale: “We couldn’t afford to wait.” The initial spark was a video Benioff watched on YouTube showing Dell‘s “social media command center” where the computer maker used Radian6 to watch its torrent of social mentions. Dell is a big Salesforce customer and Benioff is close with CEO Michael Dell. “Game over, I thought. This company is doing exactly what we should do,” says Benioff.

These two deals will form the backbone of a new division within Salesforce, the Marketing Cloud, which will help brands know what is being said about them on social networks and then tailor messages to those audiences. Buddy Media places 10% of all ads on Facebook.

Benioff has acquired 24 firms in all, and admits not all have succeeded. He is okay with failure, because that’s part of risk-taking. Everyone learns something along the way: “Innovation is a continuum. You have to think about how the world is evolving and transforming. Are you part of the continuum?”

from Upside Potential http://www.forbes.com/sites/victoriabarret/2012/09/05/why-salesforce-com-ranks-1-on-forbes-most-innovative-list/

TED: Robert Neuwirth: The power of the informal economy - Robert Neuwirth (2012)

Robert Neuwirth spent four years among the chaotic stalls of street markets, talking to pushcart hawkers and gray marketers, to study the remarkable "System D," the world's unlicensed economic network. Responsible for some 1.8 billion jobs, it's an economy of underappreciated power and scope.

from TEDTalks (video) http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/TEDTalks_video/~3/5Nw8SyaDS8g/robert_neuwirth_the_power_of_the_informal_economy.html

dinsdag 4 september 2012

Facebook lists make Twitter and Google+ lists look lame in comparison

Over the last week, to get ready for a new season of videos on Building43 (we just loaded a new one about Inkling, an ebook company).

Why am I so list crazy on Facebook? Because this feature blows away the same feature on Twitter and on Google+.

Twitter can’t have more than 500 on one list. Facebook can. My startup list already has 834 companies on it. On Google+ I could make a similar list (except very few startups use Google+) but I couldn’t share it with you. Google+ only lets you share 500 items. Facebook doesn’t have limits.

If you look at my list of big tech companies you’ll see photos, graphics, and conversations. Big tech companies. Yes, they mostly are ads (what else do you expect big companies to do) but these ads are more satisfying than the same stuff on Twitter.

Google+ can’t show you what the list does instantly. For instance, my list of tech journalists and bloggers is very similar to one I have on Google+ but when my wife added it to her account she didn’t see any items. Not true on Facebook where you can see the consequences and benefits of any list without subscribing first. Just click.

When you subscribe to a list on Twitter, it doesn’t do anything to your feed. On Facebook some items from your lists will show up on your main feed, identified by the list they come from. So, subscribe to my Technology Startup Investors list and you’ll get one to four posts a day from it on your main feed. You can control this, of course.

Other lists I am working on here on Facebook:

For programmers. Tons of geeky sources.

Tech Industry Heroes. Really VIPs, people who have made a difference in the tech industry.

Other lists I subscribe to:

Photographers, by Thomas Hawk. Great list with about 200 great photographers.

Business News, by Vadim Lavrusik.

Tech Science, by Kaushik Iyer.

News, by Vadim Lavrusik.

There are a ton of lists here you can choose from on a variety of topics from sports to politics.

Please do let me know if you see anything that doesn’t belong on one of my lists or if there’s anything missing.

Oh, and next week I’ll be at Techcrunch Disrupt. If you have a new startup coming out there, please email me at scobleizer@gmail.com. If you haven’t bought your ticket yet, use the $100 off discount code Scobledsf12.

from Scobleizer http://scobleizer.com/2012/09/04/facebook-lists/

TED: Candy Chang: Before I die I want to... - Candy Chang (2012)

In her New Orleans neighborhood, artist and TED Fellow Candy Chang turned an abandoned house into a giant chalkboard asking a fill-in-the-blank question: “Before I die I want to ___.” Her neighbors' answers -- surprising, poignant, funny -- became an unexpected mirror for the community. (What's your answer?)

from TEDTalks (video) http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/TEDTalks_video/~3/tdO_i6VPHAQ/candy_chang_before_i_die_i_want_to.html

[VIDEO] The world’s first full motion-graphics presentation

In late April I gave a keynote at TheNextWeb 2012 conference in Amsterdam on The Future of Crowds.

I have for many years intended to develop a full motion graphics presentation. I have long used highly visual presentations to accompany my keynotes, often including numerous videos without sound as well an array of full screen images. However they primarily consisted of static visuals.

I decided TheNextWeb conference was a good opportunity to create my first full motion-graphics presentation. Below is a video of the keynote’s visual presentation.

I noted at the time that I was not aware of anyone who had done a full motion graphics presentation, and so no one has let me know about any. As such, it seems like it was the world’s first full motion graphics presentation.

As I wrote before the event, I firmly believe that the future is motion graphics presentations.

I believe we are about to enter an era of motion graphic presentations. Initially Powerpoint was mainly used for lots of words in bullet points. Over the last years presentations have become far more visual, with now even the average presentation usually far better than 5-10 years ago. The next phase is presentations consisting largely of moving images. This won’t be for all situations, but certainly for when a strong impression needs to be created, such as in keynotes.

It’s time to properly kick off the motion graphic presentation era. Creating my presentation has been a massive rush in the middle of a very busy period over the last few weeks, however I’m pretty pleased with what we’ve come up with. However it is a first effort, and from now I will be working hard to get better at the art of motion graphic presentations.

If this is the dawn of a new age of motion graphic presentations, I very much look forward to seeing what emerges. It is a marvellous domain for exploring visual metaphors, 3D conceptual representations, and ideas writ on a large stage, an arena for boundless creativity.

from Trends in the Living Networks http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/TrendsInTheLivingNetworks/~3/VG202z1KRlU/video-the-worlds-first-full-motion-graphics-presentation.html

maandag 3 september 2012

We’re looking for an Admin Assistant With Amazing Digital Potential (PT) in Sydney

Continuing my series of posts on talented people we’re looking for, we want to grow our core team in Sydney with an admin assistant who will take on a variety of administrative tasks at the core of the business.

Every person who has been in a junior role in our business has moved on to project roles, and we’re looking for someone who not only has that potential, but can immediately assist on our ongoing projects.

It is a part-time role, and since we’re based in Surry Hills, students at UTS would find it particularly convenient. However we’re of course open to anyone who is highly talented and enthusiastic and seeks some flexibility in their work.

Read details of the admin assistant role here and be sure to look at our principles on how we work with highly talented people.

from Trends in the Living Networks http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/TrendsInTheLivingNetworks/~3/y_MZLv97i6E/were-looking-for-an-admin-assistant-with-amazing-digital-potential-pt-in-sydney.html

Disruptive innovation in professional services: the value in expertise

The concept of disruptive innovation is now well-recognized in business. It was originally described by Clayton Christensen almost exclusively in terms of products – often technology-based – such as storage devices.

Disruptive innovation can happen in any industry, however it can need translation and interpretation for other domains such as services.

I recently I ran a presentation and interactive workshop on the future of professional services to kick off a law firm partner strategy offsite. Among the more specific challenges, opportunities, and responses that the professions face, I ran through some of the core principles that could disrupt their industry.

In fact a broad range of expertise-based industries are being subject to disruption, however with quite different dynamics than in product industries. The 3 key drivers of disruption of expertise are remote work, process automation, and artificial intelligence.

Four expertise-based services industries that are being disrupted are:

Higher education: While the brand of leading universities are strong, the rise of OpenCourseWare, in which all of the content of university programs are provided online for free, changes the role of tertiary institutions. As mechanisms for more efficiently assessing the competences of students arise, mid and lower-tier institutions may be severely challenged.

Health care: Christensen’s latest book, The Innovator’s Prescription, is on disruptive innovation in health care. He focuses on many of the systemic and process issues, however aspects disrupting doctor’s provision of expertise include medical tourism and tele-surgery. Venture capitalist Vinod Khosla says technology will replace 80% of doctors, and while doctors not surprisingly object to the idea, it is possible.

Financial services: Many parts of financial services are being disrupted, ranging from Liquidnet, which disintermediates stock exchanges by connecting investors directly, to Nobel Prize winning economist Bill Sharpe’s Financial Engines, which provides analysis and advice often superior to that given by financial advisors.

Professional services: Classic professional services such as law, accounting, and consulting are being particularly disrupted by process automation, with for example many of the world’s largest legal firms choosing to offer a wide range of online services (See Allen & Overy, Clifford Chance, Linklaters etc.). In addition, new virtual firm structures, illustrated by the highly successful Axiom Legal, are challenging traditional structures such as partnerships.

I have long said that an increasing proportion of value creation in the global economy will be from professional services based on deep specialist expertise. However many of the traditional forms of delivering those services will be challenged.

One of the key implications for professional firms is the need to identify and acknowledge where disruption may come from, especially remote provision of services, process automation, or artificial intelligence.

From that recognition, firms can examine how to create a modular approach, in which elements of service provision that are suited to remote or automated execution can be done efficiently, and integrated into human judgment work.

This is the only way that human expertise can maintain its premium place across a whole range of high-value services markets that are in the midst of massive disruption.

from Trends in the Living Networks http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/TrendsInTheLivingNetworks/~3/Iv5TlS2LMlQ/disruptive-innovation-in-professional-services-the-value-in-expertise.html