Archive for the ‘Internet/Social Media’ Category
Well, it looks like texting is no longer a teenager. LOL, OMG! These silly idioms that we know so well today would probably not be present in our popular culture if not for the lineage of short message services that go far back beyond texting’s 20th birthday. In the beginning there was fire-smoke signals. Separating smoke was the first method of conveying information quickly across a great distance. I’ve always wondered though, was there ever a codified system for smoke-signaling or was it basically information that would carry regardless of smoke pattern? Regardless, smoke signaling has since evolved into more and more elaborate mediums and devices in subsequent centuries.
In regards to Mr. Text however, it seems that there has been a decline in text messaging in general for the first time in 20 years. Is it true? Is text messaging really dying? Well, yes and no. It seems that a large reason for the decline has to do with the rise in IP messaging. Because of Apple’s iMessage, iPhone users can text fellow iPhones for free. This has lead to nearly 300 billion text messages sent as of last October. This is a huge move on Apple’s part, and it will be interesting to see where SMS messaging will go in the future. Happy Birthday texting!
US employee ‘outsourced job to China’ http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-21043693 …..now that’s whats I call good thinking! Whats other jobs could outsource!
Email and most meetings aren’t work. We all know this to be true. But huge swaths of our days are allocated to meetings and answering email. It’s impossible to accomplish much aside from information dissemination.
A close friend, who like me is a productivity nut, asked me a question that made this point clearly: What fraction of your day is spent in meetings you asked for compared to meetings that were asked of you? I didn’t know the answer but I calculated it. I was disheartened by the result. Over the past three weeks, my ratio is 6 to 4. For every 6 minutes I spend in a meeting I arranged, I spent 4 in a meeting I was invited to. What is your ratio? And what should it be?
Presuming meetings I request are more productive than meetings I’m invited to (because I’m driving the agenda and accomplishing my goals), if I could shift that ratio by just one minute to 7 to 3, I would improve my productivity by 17%. The bigger the company, the worse the problem becomes. Last week, I chatted with a friend who joined had just joined a large company. He found his team to be incredibly unproductive even though his reports were smart. After he asked the team to their tasks in 30 minute blocks, he realized 6 of every 8 hours of their days were spent either responding to emails to attending irrelevant meetings. In other words, it took four employees to accomplish the work of one focused worker.
With the new year around the corner, it’s that time to make New Year’s Resolutions. My theme in 2013 is “return to fundamentals.” Set objectives and key results by quarter. These are clear goals with quantifiable metrics. For example, spending 50% of my time helping portfolio companies. Block the time every week on my calendar to achieving these goals. Control my calendar to make sure I’m maximizing my meeting ratio (as mentioned above). Prepare for meetings. Send agendas with precise questions, agendas and rough timings for each item ahead of time. Measure and tune.
I’m going to track these time allocation metrics and my productivity goals. I hope to improve my focus and have a more positive impact with my teams. Email and meetings consume big chunks of time. And though it’s easy to convince ourselves they’re productive, they aren’t. It’s hard work that moves companies forward. Time to get back to fundamentals.
Following a very interesting Autumn Statement Speech from George Osbourne today, it becomes increasingly clear that the problem we face is growth. Sustainable growth in output, incomes, spending, taxes, delivery, shopping, inflation, interest etc… will act as a self-righting mechanism for the UK (and wider World) economy. I’ve collected together several views on this subject……
Mark Berrisford-Smith, Head of Economics for HSBC UK Commercial Banking
“The concern over further fiscal stimulus is that it might not work, and while at the moment the British government can borrow money very cheaply, that privilege shouldn’t be taken for granted. It would be nice if we could have a Swedish-style, export-led recovery, but Sweden did not run budget deficits in the years before recession; nor did its banking system suffer a meltdown. In any case, the deficit has to be tackled at some point; we can’t leave this mountain of debt to our children.
Getting consumers spending again will do much more for the economy. The annual rate of consumer price inflation is now falling fast, and by the end of the year should be back below the 2% target. It will then be roughly in line with growth earnings, which will mean that the savage squeeze on disposable incomes will have ended. Many people will then feel that they can start spending again. It won’t be a return to the free spending days prior to 2007, but it will be enough to make the difference between mild recession and modest growth.”
Jonathan Portes, National Institute of Economic and Social Research
“Long-term government borrowing is at its cheapest in living memory. However with unemployed workers, plenty of spare capacity, and with the UK suffering from both a creaking infrastructure and a chronic lack of housing supply, now is the time for government to borrow and invest. If the government were to fund a £30 billion investment programme by borrowing through issuing long-term index-linked gilts, the cost to taxpayers (the interest on those gilts) would be around £150 million a year. To put this in perspective, it is roughly the revenue that the Office for Budget Responsibility estimates will be raised by the ‘loophole-closing VAT measures’ in the last Budget.”
Philip Booth, Institute of Economic Affairs
“There is no evidence that increasing government spending stimulates economic activity, except in the very short run. Instead, we need spending cuts sufficiently deep to allow for a permanent reduction in taxation.
The liberalisation of labour markets and land-use planning would stimulate infrastructure spending. Infrastructure projects should be treated on their own merits in good times and in bad. It is important to ensure that private finance (and ownership) is not inhibited.
Tax breaks and temporary tax cuts are deeply damaging, as the former distort economic activity and the latter have to be reversed – and can cause damage at that stage.”
Professor John van Reenen, Centre for Economic Performance
“Monetary and fiscal stimulus programmes are needed in the UK, directed at areas which are more likely to stimulate long-run growth (such as infrastructure, schools and research) rather than public sector payrolls or welfare transfers.”
Here’s a fact you never knew: in 2007, the business card industry was a 12 billion dollar industry. Yup, billion. Since the 19th century business cards have been passed out as a form of communication and marketing and is still growing today. Business cards now are more than a name and number. Personal twitter, Facebook and Linked-in accounts are present on a good majority of business card now-a-days.
Many young professionals think having an innovative business card design is pivotal to gaining important people’s attention. People will use metal or plastic for their cards instead of paper or even change the function to even include a catapult.
The innovative progression of business cards will continue as long as society keeps looking at them as a form of entertainment as well as a marketing tool. I can’t wait to see where business cards are like in 50 years. [MOO]
I must confess, I don’t really get Google+. It is not that I am against social networking. I use LinkedIn and Twitter a great deal for BBB and I am a big user of Facebook in my personal life, Picassa (which of course now is just a hope from G+) for all my photo storage/sharing and LinkedIn holds over 1000 business contacts and I genuinely get value from this network.
But Google+ I don’t get. It is probably because I don’t participate in the things that make it different from the others, but the reality is that I can’t make the feeds make sense for me. I follow stuff but then get random stuff and that just winds me up so I don’t use it.
However I cam across this infographic (below) today, which has spurred me on to having another look at this, that is when I’ve stopped making today’s sandcastles!