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Archive for July 2010

“The Social Network” – Or, Facebook – the movie

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There may be a new kind of Internet emerging — one more about connecting people to people than people to Websites.  — FORTUNE Magazine, Fall 2003

Facebook, now with 500 million (July 2010) users was created by four students – Mark Zuckerberg, Chris Hughes, Dustin Moskovitz, and Eduardo Saverin – in a dorm room at Harvard University back in 2003.   The rest is history.  Today, Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook at age 26 is worth an estimated $4B dollars.  Good for you guys!

Could a movie be far behind?  No.  Due out October 1,2010 – The Social Network

See the trailer

Read our article on the book –
The Accidental Billionaires: The Founding of Facebook A Tale of Sex, Money, Genius and Betrayal

Is there any doubt?  “The best way to predict the future is to create it”

Written by frrl

July 31, 2010 at 3:37 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Creating the Future

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The Best Way to Predict the Future is to Create It

What better a post than to sandwich more from Tom Peters between 2 postings; one on the demise of the middle class in America and the other on the demise of the traditional business model of print journalism (newspapers)

Everyone is aware, or should be aware, of what is happening to traditional business models in the face of disruptive technology and innovation.

From the Federal Trade Commission article posted recently:

Journalism is moving through a significant transition in which business models are crumbling, innovative new forms of journalism are emerging, and consumer news habits are changing rapidly…

Corporations, organizations, and individuals are necessarily in one of three states when it comes to innovation and change.  They are either: 1) running away.  2) standing still  3) embracing the change.  And maybe I will add a fourth state – 4) creating innovative ways at looking at the world, society, and technology that creates change and builds a new future.  Was created by the booksellers.  No.  Was the personal computer created by a major player in the computer industry?  No.  What business is Google in?  Yours?  What, and who, is next?

It is not “business as usual”.  For those out to, as Steve Jobs says, “Make a dent in the Universe” and for those who envision a future of unlimited possibilities (as opposed to running away), here is more inspiration from Tom Peters on embracing the chaos.

They read Jim Collins and grok on “quiet, humble leaders.”
I say “Give me the Bold, the Brash, the Brassy, the Egocentric
    Dreamers who, like Steve Jobs, ‘Dent the Universe.’”

They say they need a “vision” born of McKinsey.
I say we need a “Grandiose Dream” born of a Passionate &
    Intemperate Belief that the world can be a different, better

They say “no child left behind.”
I say “education” is leaving ALL our children behind, as it is
    totally mis-aligned to deal with tomorrow’s (this afternoon’s)
    uncertain, ambiguous, creativity-driven economy.

They say we need to “bring effectiveness to the supply chain.”
I say we need an IS/IT/Best Sourcing revolution based on
    nothing less than an Entirely Original Vision of what
    organizations are and how they interact.

They say “Globalization is a bumpy road.”
I say India and China and Asia in general are within two
    decades of running the show: Get ready or get trounced.

They say “defense” and “consolidation” are musts for a global
I say encourage Offense, nurture a Generation (or 10) of
    Entrepreneurs, cherish Creativity & Risk-taking from primary
    school onwards … and don’t expect to be saved by a bunch
    of bulky, retro behemoths commanded by a phalanx of Old
    White Guys who think 30 minutes a day on the corporate
    treadmill and 27 holes on the links are a fit defense against

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by frrl

July 27, 2010 at 9:17 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Proposed Government Bailout of the Newspaper Industry

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Or, Misguided solutions that undermine healthy marketplaces
and stall the pace of change

Here is another case of an industry (newspapers) looking for government legislation and protection against a disruptive technology that challenges its business model.  The players are the dying newspapers, the Federal Trade Commission, and Google.

Here is the “get” on this strategy of protectionism against the (inevitable) re/definition of the business model for traditional journalism (read: print media)

The large profit margins newspapers enjoyed in the past were built on an artificial scarcity: Limited choice for advertisers as well as readers. With the Internet, that scarcity has been taken away and replaced by abundance. No policy proposal will be able to restore newspaper revenues to what they were before the emergence of online news.

It is not a question of analog dollars versus digital dimes, but rather a realistic assessment of how to make money in a world of abundant competitors and consumer choice.

“The current challenges faced by the news industry are business problems, not legal problems,” Google says,”and can only be addressed effectively with business solutions. Regulatory proposals that undermine the functioning of healthy marketplaces and stall the pace of change are not the solution.”

Truly, lessons learned by the demise of the Rocky Mountain News

John Temple, former editor, president, and publisher of the Rocky Mountain News, described and applied it to the news industry in his blog post about the lessons he had learned from his newspaper‘s demise on February 27, 2009. 

As Mr. Temple explained, the paper‘s online service was not viewed by management as providing consumer value in its own right, but rather solely as a way to support the print edition. This mistake proved to be fatal:
Read the rest of this entry »

Written by frrl

July 26, 2010 at 4:09 am

Posted in Uncategorized

The statistics on the shrinking middle class in Ameria

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Good article in Yahoo Finance – the full story here

The Stats

  • 83 percent of all U.S. stocks are in the hands of 1 percent of the people.
  • 61 percent of Americans “always or usually” live paycheck to paycheck, which was up from 49 percent in 2008 and 43 percent in 2007.
  • 66 percent of the income growth between 2001 and 2007 went to the top 1% of all Americans.
  • 36 percent of Americans say that they don’t contribute anything to retirement savings.
  • A staggering 43 percent of Americans have less than $10,000 saved up for retirement.
  • 24 percent of American workers say that they have postponed their planned retirement age in the past year.
  • Over 1.4 million Americans filed for personal bankruptcy in 2009, which represented a 32 percent increase over 2008.
  • Only the top 5 percent of U.S. households have earned enough additional income to match the rise in housing costs since 1975.
  • For the first time in U.S. history, banks own a greater share of residential housing net worth in the United States than all individual Americans put together.
  • In 1950, the ratio of the average executive’s paycheck to the average worker’s paycheck was about 30 to 1. Since the year 2000, that ratio has exploded to between 300 to 500 to one.
  • As of 2007, the bottom 80 percent of American households held about 7% of the liquid financial assets.
  • The bottom 50 percent of income earners in the United States now collectively own less than 1 percent of the nation’s wealth.
  • Average Wall Street bonuses for 2009 were up 17 percent when compared with 2008.
  • In the United States, the average federal worker now earns 60% MORE than the average worker in the private sector.
  • The top 1 percent of U.S. households own nearly twice as much of America’s corporate wealth as they did just 15 years ago.
  • In America today, the average time needed to find a job has risen to a record 35.2 weeks.
  • More than 40 percent of Americans who actually are employed are now working in service jobs, which are often very low paying.
  • For the first time in U.S. history, more than 40 million Americans are on food stamps, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture projects that number will go up to 43 million Americans in 2011.
  • This is what American workers now must compete against: in China a garment worker makes approximately 86 cents an hour and in Cambodia a garment worker makes approximately 22 cents an hour.
  • Approximately 21 percent of all children in the United States are living below the poverty line in 2010 – the highest rate in 20 years.
  • Despite the financial crisis, the number of millionaires in the United States rose a whopping 16 percent to 7.8 million in 2009.
  • The top 10 percent of Americans now earn around 50 percent of our national income.

Written by frrl

July 25, 2010 at 3:39 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

The Big Moo – Re/imagining the future

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Many have articulated a depressing “gloom and doom” vision of the future for America  if we follow, or allow to be followed, a linear progression of our current situation and trajectory into the future.  If we can clearly imagine an outcome that is highly probable, and  highly undesirable, then why stay on the path? 

People are used to thinking in a linear fashion.  This is how they have projected the future referenced above.  But what is needed is some non-linear thinking.  A thinking in terms of discontinuities and disruptions to get us out of the linear path.

Is it possible?  What does linear thinking make of the Caterpillar?  Linear thinking says the Caterpillar, undisturbed, and continuing on its life-cycle path and trajectory will just be a bigger Caterpillar and eventually die a Caterpillar.  But that is not what happens.  The Caterpillar becomes a chrysalis and emerges as a butterfly.

The life-cycle of a Caterpillar is the best of nonlinearity – it is a series of discontinuities.  It is a metamorphosis.  Perhaps this is what we need to avoid the linear projection of the gloom and doom future based on our current situation.

Who will do it?  In what new way do we need to think?   What radical re/imaging of the future do we need?  What will place us on the path to metamorphosis?

Excerpts from a contribution by Tom Peters in
The Big Moo: Stop Trying to Be Perfect and Start Being Remarkable by the Group of 33

They say … my language is extreme.
I say … the times are extreme.

They say I’m extreme.
I say I’m a realist.

They say I demand too much.
I say they accept mediocrity & continuous improvement too

They say “We can’t handle this much change.”
I say “Your job and career are in jeopardy; what other options do
    you have?”

They say Brand You is not for everyone.
I say the alternative is unemployment.

They say “What’s wrong with a ‘good product’?”
I say Wal*Mart or China or both are about to eat your lunch. Why
    can’t you provide instead a Fabulous Experience?

They say “Take a deep breath. Be calm.”
I say “Tell it to Wal*Mart. Tell it to China. Tell it to India. Tell it to
    Dell. Tell it to Microsoft.”

They say the Web is a “useful tool.”
I say the Web changes everything. Now.

They say “We need an Initiative.”
I say “We need a Dream. And Dreamers.”

They say Great Design is “nice.”
I say Great Design is “necessary.”

They say “Plan it.”
I say “DO IT.”

They say “We need more steady, loyal employees.”

They say “We need Good People.”
I say “We need Quirky Talent.”

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by frrl

July 25, 2010 at 2:04 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Vintage e-Book Collection – Radio theory, design, engineering…

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Check this link out for a huge collection of  vintage e-books related to Radio Theory, Electrical Engineering, Vacuum Tube Theory, Audio Amplifiers, Test Equipment, and much more

Written by frrl

July 21, 2010 at 3:43 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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Quotable: On Planning

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He who every morning plans the transaction of the day and follows out that plan carries a thread that will guide them through the maze of the most busy life. But where no plan is laid, where the disposal of time is surrendered merely to the chance of incidence, chaos will soon reign. 
—Victor Hugo

An unpolished plan vigorously executed is more successful than an ideal plan implemented with less determination. Better to strike energetically, gain experience, learn what works and what does not, reassess the new situation, devise fresh plans and take another step. Spend too long preparing elaborate plans, and you will lose both time and initiative. 
—Lee Hsien Loong, Singapore’s prime minister

‘Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?’
‘That depends a good deal on where you want to get to,’ said the Cat.
‘I don’t much care where,’ said Alice.
‘Then it doesn’t matter which way you go,’ said the Cat.
—From Lewis Caroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

Written by frrl

July 21, 2010 at 2:01 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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