Making Business Sense
When the culture of “bigger is better” gets in the way of building on a working business model that gives back strength and resilience to the company. In business money must serve, not rule.
- Demolition Man: why does Fab's CEO keep building big companies that suddenly implode? The Verge: “There is this myth that flash sales were a flawed model and that Jason was leading the company in a better direction,” says one Fab director. “But the truth is that they were working really well for us; it was the engine of our growth.” It might have made sense to create a business that wasn’t entirely reliant on this one approach, “but Jason acted like it was a fad whose time had passed.”
- Pope Francis: “We can no longer trust in the unseen forces and the invisible hand of the market” Quartz: Business is a vocation, and a noble vocation, provided that those engaged in it see themselves challenged by a greater meaning in life; this will enable them truly to serve the common good by striving to increase the goods of this world and to make them more accessible to all. [...] Economy, as the very word indicates, should be the art of achieving a fitting management of our common home, which is the world as a whole. Each meaningful economic decision made in one part of the world has repercussions everywhere else;
Making the Leap with Technology
- Software is reorganizing the world. Balaji Srinivasan, Wired: The future of technology is not really location-based apps; it is about making location completely unimportant. [...] What we can say for certain is this: from Occupy Wall Street and YCombinator to co-living in San Francisco and co-housing in the UK, something important is happening. People are meeting like minds in the cloud and traveling to meet each other offline, in the process building community — and tools for community — where none existed before.
- How 10 people built a competitor to Amazon.com for $1 million—in 90 days. Quartz: Scaling at that rate is easy for software-only companies. Doing it for a nationwide retail operation, with supply chains and warehouses and delivery logistics, using a team of just 10 engineers and project managers who mostly came from building mobile games, feels like a minor miracle. [...] So what next? Having carved out a niche, Boxed now wants to help people shop in a smarter way. [...] Many other online stores do something similar. Huang wants to go further, and understand how customers are living their lives and how fast they consume the things they buy in bulk.
Making it Real
Bots exist because the system and conversation are still focused on how many and how much vs. how good a fit, in effect rewarding those who game it.
- Inside a Twitter robot factory. WSJ: Italian security researchers Andrea Stroppa and Carlo De Micheli say they found 20 million fake accounts for sale on Twitter this summer. That would amount to nearly 9% of Twitter's monthly active users. The Italian researchers also found software for sale that allows spammers to create unlimited fake accounts. The researchers decoded robot-programming software to reveal how easy it is for spammers to control the convincing fakes.
- Why Did 9,000 Porny Spambots Descend on This San Diego High Schooler? The Atlantic: This is the current state of play in the Internet economy. At the top of the heap, there are the Twitters and the Apples, the name technology companies that are creating billionaires. Then, down at the bottom, there are the bots, simple pieces of code that do one thing and one thing only, but do it relentlessly. [...] Which is, perhaps a kind of reasoning that we can understand: It's the core logic of fame and celebrity itself. Attention flows to Snooki because attention flowed to Snooki. Attention flows to Olivia because attention flowed to Olivia.
Valeria is an experienced listener. She designs service and product experiences to help businesses rediscover the value of promises and its effects on relationships and culture. She is also frequent speaker at conferences and companies on a variety of topics. Book her to speak here.