Analysis of the current situation of the VC model in the US, which the author claims is “broken” in many ways, with VC funds concentrating on later-life businesses to reduce their exposure to risks, and are increasingly taking aggressive positions with earlier investors.
This is must-see television: http://www.channel4.com/programmes/show-me-your-money/4od
The owner of Pimlico plumbers decides that the best way to resolve salary issues is to get everyone to reveal what they are earning to the rest of their colleagues. This results in a lot of shocks - a new starter is on £3K more than people who have been there for years and in some cases, people doing the same job are earning almost £9K more than their fellow workers.
Using the same balance of wages, they then have to work out how to equalise wages across the company, meaning that some people will have to agree to take a pay cut in order to fund them.
This strategy results in unexpected changes in the workplace: a PR manager gives up some of his salary when he finds out what a struggle it is for a low paid catering staff to be able to live on her wage. Plumbers give up some of their cash to make sure that the call centre staff are all paid more. Mechanics in the garage find cost savings of £30,000 - something that they had never taken responsibility before.
Starbuck forges ahead with mobile payments. Its Android app is available now in UK and Canada, and US users can reload using PayPal or credit card, as well as PIN protect their cards. “While mobile app updates or expansions aren’t always big news, Starbucks is an example of a company that has not waited for the confusion around mobile payments to sort itself out, and has gone ahead in delivering a system of its own.” via TechCrunch - Image source
A really interesting article in Vanity Fair about Microsoft’s “lost decade” of poor product releases. The author pins the blame squarely on the “stack ranking” performance review method that Microsoft used:
Every current and former Microsoft employee I interviewed—every one—cited stack ranking as the most destructive process inside of Microsoft, something that drove out untold numbers of employees,” Eichenwald writes. “If you were on a team of 10 people, you walked in the first day knowing that, no matter how good everyone was, 2 people were going to get a great review, 7 were going to get mediocre reviews, and 1 was going to get a terrible review,” says a former software developer. “It leads to employees focusing on competing with each other rather than competing with other companies.”
A fantastic example of how culture can kill strategy.
To go with the amazon graphic, a blog post from Niraj Dawar on Insead, asking about what happened to the idea of disintermediation of the value stream.
Amazing little flash infrographic from the FT, detailing how Amazon provides the logistics expertise for a diverse group of sellers.
Article from Freek Vermulen, who says that a good business strategy story has three characteristics:
1. The story must provide clear choices
2. The story must tie to the company’s resources
3. The story must create a competitive advantage
There are six drivers for engagement:
1) Connect: This can be socially, intellectually, or culturally.
2) Shape: Shaping is the process of customizing, personalizing, and tailoring your professional experience based on your preferences.
3) Learn: When people successfully learn and apply new knowledge and skills, it fuels their engagement.
4) Stretch: Stretching means leaving your comfort zone, passing through your discomfort zone, and pushing on to your outer limits.
5) Achieve: Achieving replenishes energy, boosts conﬁdence, deepens fulﬁllment, and elevates engagement.
6) Contribute: when an individual is contributing to another person, a group, or the greater good, he or she reaches the highest level of engagement. Contributing is the driver that brings the other ﬁve together and gives them a higher level of expression and purpose.