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Who am I? iPhone 6S Denver, Colorado Thursday, October 12th, 2017.

Who am I?
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Who am I? iPhone 6S Denver, Colorado Thursday, October 12th, 2017.

Central Israel
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Central Israel iPhone 6S Herzlia, Israel Tuesday, September 27th, 2016.

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Business

Briefs

Wednesday, January 17th, 2018

Tuesday, January 2nd, 2018

This 1-hour Smithsonian production is a history of America in the Roaring 20s, with amazing newly-colorized footage. Richly effortlessly narrated by Liev Schreiber, it remedies our black & white impression of this not-so-distant mirror. There are things I should have learned about in school but did not, particularly the Greenwood massacre.

Saturday, December 30th, 2017

Inside Apple

Adam Lashinsky

♦♦♦

Engagingly written albeit disappointingly somewhat thin, the useful angle here is how Apple differs from conventional wisdom.

Secrecy, even internally, is paramount; it helps alleviate internal politics and keep people focused. There is little internal promotion, taking seriously the Peter Principle. Unlike the rest of Silicon Valley, perks are minimal; working at Apple is the perk.

A product of its time (2012) and of the author’s lack of access, the book is marred at the end by pessimistic obsession with Apple’s viability post-Jobs, but is nonetheless ultimately worth reading because it does convey an impression of what Apple is like.

Wednesday, December 27th, 2017

When Google analysed their hiring, they were surprised to find that “among the eight most important qualities of Google’s top employees, STEM expertise comes in dead last.” Instead, “The seven top characteristics of success at Google are all soft skills.” One smart commenter points out that since everyone will have the STEM skills anyway, these other things are the only differentiators.

Tuesday, December 26th, 2017

Value-Driven Business Process Management

Peter Franz & Mathias Kirchmer

♦♦♦

Enlarging on their idea that 80–85% of process improvements come from just 15–20% of processes, the authors argue that organizations must institutionalize BPM like other now-standard departments such as accounting and human resources.

They explain the mission of such a department (effective organization-wide process improvement), the goals (to determine which processes to focus on and which techniques to use for each) and the method (a series of rubrics for evaluating).

Important though the book clearly is in the field, for me it was a slog; the prose is not crisp and the examples seem vapid — though it’s likely that for a reader more versed in the practice they would come more alive. The book does get more quotable and unabashedly enthusiastic towards the end.

 

Monday, December 18th, 2017

Real-Life BPMN: With introductions to CMMN and DMN

Jakob Freund, Bernd Rücker

♦♦♦♦

With their years of experience as business process management consultants—and now vendors—the authors choose “real-life” as their approach, explicating their own methodology for delivering BPM projects. This book serves as invaluable guidance for newer practitioners.

Saturday, December 9th, 2017

Tuesday, December 5th, 2017

The permanent drop in the US corporate tax rate from 35% to 20% is monumental, reports Forbes columnist Tony Nitti.

Monday, December 4th, 2017

On the EconTalk podcast recorded recently on stage in New York, Simeon Djankov speaks to the global Doing Business Report that he produces annually at the World Bank. This is world-improving stuff by dint of managed competition. It would be cool to see a a canonical BPMN version of each process.

Saturday, November 25th, 2017

50 startups that will boom in 2018, according to VCs. An article at Business Insider.

Wednesday, October 11th, 2017

Clickbait undoubtedly, and for a tiny niche, but Jason Bloomberg suggests in The End of Business Process in the Digital Era that business processes will be replaced by digital journeys. Seems to me though that this is merely a name change to handle some increased complexity, since a process remains a process?

Thursday, September 28th, 2017

Saturday, September 9th, 2017

Enjoy this superb little series on contemporary American commercial aviation by Slate, from security theatre to the pilot shortage.

Monday, September 4th, 2017

On the Y Combinator podcast (episode #29), Jack Dorsey reads from a couple of books he found important and imparts a daily practice.

Sunday, September 3rd, 2017

In defending Amazon against Trump’s recent broadside, Matt Seybold in the beautiful Los Angeles Review of Books brings out the literary big guns: he notes that Mark Twain defended Rockefeller’s Standard Oil against Theodore Roosevelt’s trust-busting.

Monday, July 17th, 2017

I appreciate this nicely laid out summary of wisdom reminders for the working life by Studio Lovelock, This Much We Know.

Tuesday, July 4th, 2017

Robots don’t eat chocolate. James Meek weaves a rich tale of Cadbury’s moving its chocolate factory from Bristol in England to Skarbimierz in Poland. We get EU politics, British commercial history and contemporary Polish politics. It’s a microcosm of the economic game of musical chairs happening in our era. [via Tyler Cowen’s marginalrevolution.com]

Tuesday, May 16th, 2017

Thursday, March 16th, 2017

Customer service needs to be good not great.

Tuesday, March 14th, 2017

Saturday, December 17th, 2016

At the Zapier Blog they note that AirTable, the online database builder, is the fastest-growing app. Competitors include Knack and Zoho Builder. Could be that the online database service might finally be entering public consciousness as a possibility, taking its rightful place alongside word processors and spreadsheets.

Sunday, December 4th, 2016

Francis Fukuyama coins and explains vetocracy. The intricacies are bamboozling—which is the point. Seems to me that fixing this is the first domino.

Tuesday, October 4th, 2016

New British prime minister Theresa May’s first major decision was the nuclear plant at Hinckley Point and it seems she took the easy way out.

Tuesday, August 30th, 2016

Speed of Dark

Elizabeth Moon

♦♦♦

I was brought to this most non-sci-fi of sci-fi novels by the Brighton Science Fiction Discussion Group. Narrated in character by its autistic protagonist, Speed of Light initially reminded me of Mr Robot. Yes, I did like it, but wasn’t sure if the thinness of the other characters is due to our narrator’s limitations or those of the author; I don’t know her other work so can’t say. A mostly unsentimental decency permeates — actually it’s an exploration of decency — which gives it an appreciable pre-cyberpunk, almost square feel.

Friday, August 26th, 2016

Sports are the linchpin holding the entire post-war economic order together.

Ben Thompson, The Sports Linchpin

Saturday, August 20th, 2016

Choose Yourself

James Altucher

If the author has anything to teach here it is self-promotion and then being engaging. How was he able to get then keep my sustained attention for this warmed-over pap? And even get me to pay for it (albeit not much)?

Monday, June 6th, 2016

Lately I’ve noticed an irritating profusion of paid-in-kind reviews on Amazon—see Is Amazon Doing Anything To Fight Latest Wave Of Fake, Paid-For Reviews? in The Consumerist. I think that allowing this is a huge mistake on Amazon’s part—the first I can remember seeing them make. It essentially makes their incredibly valuable review functionality—even other retailers include it in their web sites—valueless. Worse, it’s irritating and draining, because you have to scan to the end of a review to find out if it’s been subsidized by the vendor. See “How to Snag a Deal by Writing an Amazon Review” in USA Today. The current antidote? fakespot.com.

Tuesday, April 26th, 2016

Ben Thompson on Apple: if they really want to become a services company they’ll have to change their fabled organizational structure.

Saturday, April 23rd, 2016

Possibly the world’s most important story at the moment? American middle-class impoverishment, or as the author—himself afflicted—calls it, financial impotence.

Tuesday, December 8th, 2015

All that matters is the quality of the experience and the ability to scale…

Ben Thompson

Wednesday, November 4th, 2015

Thursday, October 15th, 2015

The Practice of Management

Peter F. Drucker

♦♦♦♦

Talk about a dent in the universe! This classy Cold War tome cuts it open to demand space for a new thing: management. The universe complied.

Tuesday, October 13th, 2015

According to Michael Schrage in “Whether You’re Qualified Depends on How You’re Quantified”, being a paid-up participant in the Quantified Self movement will soon be a requirement for getting a decent job. “Best-in-class performers are relentlessly dedicated to measurable self-improvement,” he writes. “Consequently, they relentlessly self-quantify.”

Tuesday, May 19th, 2015

I always thought finger lickin’ good was the best fast food slogan ever. Good idea to return to the brand basics but not sure about the extra flourishes, such as the shoulder-shrugging giggles. [via DrudgeReport]

Sunday, March 15th, 2015

Friday, March 13th, 2015

Wednesday, March 11th, 2015

Tuesday, March 10th, 2015

Tuesday, February 24th, 2015

Saturday, September 6th, 2014

Enjoy this concise and enthusiastic guide to using eBay by photographer Ken Rockwell. He asks for $5 and you’ll likely make much more than that on your first eBay purchase using the techniques he recommends.

Thursday, July 24th, 2014

Tuesday, May 20th, 2014

Monday, May 19th, 2014

Monday, August 12th, 2013

Dr Mark Post of Maastricht University serves the world’s first non-lethal hamburger.

Monday, May 27th, 2013

Released: Steve Jobs’ and James Murdoch’s email correspondence negotiating over HarperCollins e-books for iPad. Note how Murdoch’s careless spelling and grammar improves after receiving a reply in Steve’s impeccable English. Murdoch capitalizes News Corp’s businesses, “Studios, Books, and Newspapers” but then writes lowercase “apple”, which, if deliberate, is kind of thuggy.

Wednesday, March 6th, 2013

Saturday, January 19th, 2013

Sunday, December 2nd, 2012

Stand up for your work! Or as The New York Times puts it, “Taking a Stand for Office Ergonomics”.

Sunday, July 1st, 2012

Mercer’s Worldwide Cost of Living Survey 2012. Most expensive: Tokyo. London is #25, Tel Aviv #31, New York #33, and Rome #42.

Tuesday, June 12th, 2012

TV too is dying. The percentage of people who watch video on a computer once a month—84%—is now higher than the percentage who watch TV.

 
 

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