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Posts Tagged ‘mark zuckerberg’

What Not Giving Up Really Looks Like

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Leadership and business literature is rife with dictums and volumes about not giving up. The sentiment was even on a now-ancient Successories poster that said:

Go over, go under, go around, or go through. But never give up.

Here, the message is brute force, as if you’re a Navy SEAL who’s going to achieve his mission or die trying. Failure is not an option!

Nice sentiment, and probably motivational for bristling alpha types, but not altogether realistic. In fact, an acumen dressed with too much bravado leads to problems in the long run. Problems that make “not giving up” very difficult due to a variety of consequences that befalls such behavior.

Instead, perseverance is the root of not giving up, but nowhere does it connote not failing.

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Dear Mark Zuckerberg

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Dalton Caldwell:

Mark, I don’t believe that the humans working at Facebook or Twitter want to do the wrong thing. The problem is, employees at Facebook and Twitter are watching your stock price fall, and that is causing them to freak out. Your company, and Twitter, have demonstrably proven that they are willing to screw with users and 3rd-party developer ecosystems, all in the name of ad-revenue. Once you start down the slippery-slope of messing with developers and users, I don’t have any confidence you will stop.

The entire thing is worth a read, as it highlights the new mission of the post-IPO Facebook: to generate ad revenue to support a stock price, even if it means entering into antagonistic relationships with developers of the ‘platform.’

This isn’t how Facebook started. It was originally a ‘social utility,’ not something that behaves like a media company.

The final sentence in Caldwell’s letter is spot-on: Zuckerberg is indeed in a very challenging position right now.

Who — or what — is Facebook going to be?

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The Great Tech War of 2012

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Utterly fantastic article in Fast Company by Farhad Manjoo about the greatest tech showdown of our time, all likely going fully thermonuclear next year. With players like Apple, Facebook, Google and Amazon in the mix, this isn’t the minor leagues. Who winds up on top here controls the innovation economy moving forward, and there are sane arguments for each as the winner. The following excerpt sums up the vast power and influence these companies have over our technological lives:

To state this as clearly as possible: The four American companies that have come to define 21st-century information technology and entertainment are on the verge of war. Over the next two years, Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google will increasingly collide in the markets for mobile phones and tablets, mobile apps, social networking, and more. This competition will be intense. Each of the four has shown competitive excellence, strategic genius, and superb execution that have left the rest of the world in the dust. HP, for example, tried to take a run at Apple head-on, with its TouchPad, the product of its $1.2 billion acquisition of Palm. HP bailed out after an embarrassingly short 49-day run, and it cost CEO Léo Apotheker his job. Microsoft’s every move must be viewed as a reaction to the initiatives of these smarter, nimbler, and now, in the case of Apple, richer companies.

And:

According to Nielsen, Android now powers about 40% of smartphones; 28% run Apple’s iOS. But here’s the twist: Android could command even 70% of the smartphone business without having a meaningful impact on Apple’s finances. Why? Because Apple makes a profit on iOS devices, while Google and many Android handset makers do not. This is part of a major strategic difference between Apple and the other members of the Fab Four. Apple doesn’t need a dominant market share to win. Everyone else does.

If you asked me to list the four biggest players in the tech space, this is the list I’d jot down.  And the scary thing? I’m a customer of each.  In Google and Facebook’s case, I am the product itself.

2012 will be anything but dull.

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Report: Google’s Social Efforts Slowed By Infighting

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I’d like to go through Nicholas Carson’s piece for SAI/Business Insider, entitled Google’s Facebook-Killer Slowed By Political Infighting bit-by-bit, because there’s quite a bit of good stuff that I can’t just comment on in blanket format.  Here goes.

It begins:

Google is terrified of Facebook, but it’s having a hard time getting its act together to do anything about it.

You’ve probably read reports that Google is working on a Facebook-killer – some kind of “social layer” that will fit over all its products.  At various points this project has been described in the press as Google Me, +1, and Google Games.  Google acquired SocialDeck and Angstro to bolster its engineering roster in the talent space.

‘Fitting over all its products’ is the core problem.  It’s hard enough to build a successful social platform from the ground up (just ask Plaxo), but it’s exponentially harder to try and do it as a tack-on to your core competency, which in this case is search-driven advertising.

The problem, we hear from people close to the company and others who used to work there, is that these various projects do exist – and not as one coherent strategy.

Because the company wasn’t built on social.  It was built on search and ad revenue, and everything Google has done (and is doing) should be looked at through that lens.

Other nibbles of information we’ve heard about what Google is working on point to more confusion.

“They don’t know what they want,” a source close to someone Google tried to hire for its social team tells us.

Google knows what it wants: to beat – or at least compete with — Facebook.  Problem is, they have no idea how to get there.  The infighting comes from current divisions trying to move in a new direction while protecting their organizational capital and turf.  The talking point agenda is one thing; the behavioral is another.

Likewise, a source at a company Google recently tried to buy told us one big reason he turned down Google’s offer is that Google wanted to integrate the startup’s team into its social project, but didn’t know who the people at this acquired startup would be reporting to or how its technology would be used.

Smells like Groupon to me.  Just a guess.  (The social/crowdsourcing aspect of Groupon is its core differentiator.  It’s the reason, in my opinion, Google was interested in them in the first place.)

Finally, another Valley source told us: “It’s called +1.  It sucks.”

Awful name.  The source is correct.

What scares Google about Twitter and Facebook is that people are using them to share links, “like” web pages, and favorite tweets. People are using Twitter and Facebook to say what they think are the most important things on the Internet.

Because Twitter and Facebook are black boxes Google can’t crawl, it no longer has access to anything close to 100% of the best meta-data available for sorting and organizing the Internet.

This gets to the crux of it.  Before Facebook and Twitter, Google used to be able to index and quantify all the metadata about web pages, which it then fed into PageRank, an algorithm that ranks pages higher or lower depending on the number of links directed at a given page.  (Similar to the way academic papers are elevated in status when other papers cite them as an expert source.)  It then offered very strong (even personalized) search results throughout its products.  Search was the way to get around the web.

Now, Facebook and Twitter are driving immense traffic to certain destinations, and Google can’t see the mechanizations of these platforms.  It can’t feed this traffic direction into its current algorithms, and most importantly, it can’t monetize it via advertising.

This is a direct threat to Google’s core operating principle.

Google doesn’t have that data and at from it’s very highest levels on down, the company is worried that its search will slowly become a less important tool for navigating the Internet.

Bingo.

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MIPRO Consulting is a nationally-recognized consulting firm specializing in PeopleSoft Enterprise (particularly Enterprise Asset Management) and Business Intelligence. You’re reading MIPRO Unfiltered, its blog. If you’d like to contact MIPRO, email is a great place to start, or you can easily jump over to its main website. If you’d like to see what MIPRO offers via Twitter or Facebook, we’d love to have you.

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Linkology: The Best of the Internet for 9/17/10

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The other night, my cats were diagnosed with a parasite, which is a fancy way of saying ‘worms.’  To remedy this, the vet gave me pills to administer to the cats.  These pills aren’t cat-sized, nor are they flavored to be appealing to cats.  They’re human-sized and -designed antibiotic pills.  If you know anything about cats, they don’t take well to having things shoved in their mouths while wrapped in a towel and squeezed by a sweating human.  In fact, feeding these pills to a fully-clawed cat is like trying to shove a bucket of rocks into a running lawnmower — it doesn’t end well, and there’s a strong probability of bloodshed.

It took me 30 minutes to get these cats tired enough so that I could cram the pills in their mouths and get them to swallow them.  In the end, I was sweating, covered with enough fur to win a Wookie costume competition and the cats skulked away angrily, checking their calendars to for their next available time to eat my face.

In a word, epic fail.

We have a global interconnected network of computers.  We can take high-res photos of distant galaxies.  We can simulate human intelligence to a scary degree.  But we apparently cannot create a pill that a cat won’t reject and spit back onto the floor in a beige loam.

I tell you this story as a precursor to the links I share below.  Why?  I have no idea.  It makes as much sense as trying to feed a cat a human-sized pill.

So, links.  Here you go.

Twitter has redesigned its web interface in a more complex way than might meet the eye.  Techcrunch’s MG Sieger has a great rundown of the subtleties of the new design.

iPhone drops to 24% smartphone share; Android jumps to 17%.  Again: Apple needs the iPhone on other domestic carriers, stat.

Afraid of heights?  Then don’t watch this video.  I got sweaty palms about halfway through and I tolerate heights reasonably well. (Update: original YouTube video pulled; what you see here is an abridged version.)

Chase Jarvis field tests the new Nikon D7000.  This is on the want list.

Everything Is a Remix, part one in a four-part series by Kirby Ferguson.  This will be the best thing you watch all day.

The New Yorker’s Jose Antonio Vargas as a long, detailed personal profile of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg.  Worth the read whether you’re a Facebook user or not.

And that’s it.  Have a good weekend, everyone.  I’m going dog shopping.

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MIPRO Consulting is a nationally-recognized consulting firm specializing in PeopleSoft Enterprise (particularly Enterprise Asset Management), Workday and Business Intelligence. You’re reading MIPRO Unfiltered, its blog. If you’d like to contact MIPRO, email is a great place to start, or you can easily jump over to its main website. If you’d like to see what MIPRO offers via Twitter or Facebook, we’d love to have you.

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