17. March 2017
Source: The Economist
The world’s biggest software firm has transformed its culture for the better. But getting cloud computing right is hard
A DECADE ago, visiting Microsoft’s headquarters near Seattle was like a trip into enemy territory. Executives would not so much talk with visitors as fire words at them (one of this newspaper’s correspondents has yet to recover from two harrowing days spent in the company of a Microsoft “brand evangelist”). If challenged on the corporate message, their body language would betray what they were thinking and what Bill Gates, the firm’s founder, used often to say: “That’s the stupidest fucking thing I’ve ever heard.” Read the rest of this entry »
13. March 2017
Source: The Wall Street Journal
Artificial intelligence is changing the way managers do their job—from who gets hired to how they’re evaluated to who gets promoted
The growing use of AI in the workplace raises many questions. Among them: Is it too intrusive?
Move over, managers, there’s a new boss in the office: artificial intelligence.
The same technology that enables a navigation app to find the most efficient route to your destination or lets an online store recommend products based on past purchases is on the verge of transforming the office—promising to remake how we look for job candidates, get the most out of workers and keep our best workers on the job. Read the rest of this entry »
21. January 2017
Source: The Economist
IT firms need an upgrade in the face of technological and political shifts
COMPUTERS slow as they age, and before long must be replaced by newer models. Something similar is true of the business models of Indian IT firms. Specialised in running global companies’ outsourced back-offices, the likes of Infosys, Wipro and Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) used to be national champions growing at double-digit rates. Their prospects have dimmed of late; an entire industry built on the back of globalisation is fretting about the incoming American president. But Donald Trump is merely the latest threat to their operating systems.
Over three decades, Indian IT has become a $140bn industry built on a simple proposition: rich-country companies could trim costs by getting tedious behind-the-scenes IT work done by cheap engineers in India. The Indian firms hoovered up bright graduates—the big three have over 700,000 employees in total—paying them starting salaries of $5,000 or so, a decent local wage. After gaining some experience, tens of thousands were dispatched to client sites in Europe or America, along with a few expensive local staff. The rest ensured their clients’ computer systems kept ticking over from cosy cubicles in Bangalore, Hyderabad and elsewhere. Read the rest of this entry »
5. October 2016
Kelli Wells is Executive Director for Education and Skills at the GE Foundation.
OCT 5, 2016 Project Syndicate
NEW YORK – Understanding the future of work is difficult, if not impossible. According to the MacArthur Foundation, 65% of today’s schoolchildren will eventually be employed in jobs that don’t exist yet.
As technology, globalization, and many other factors continue to redefine work, one constant will be the need for soft skills, or “skills for life.” Peer-to-peer deliberation, brainstorming, and collaboration are familiar to working professionals today, but we can’t assume that they come naturally, especially to the millions of students without access to proper training and college- and career-planning resources. In fact, a growing global skills gap suggests that many young workers are already falling behind.
According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, the US economy has 5.9 million job openings, while 7.8 million people remain unemployed. In Europe, 5.6 million young people are unemployed, while another two million are neither working nor in school. Read the rest of this entry »
22. August 2016
Source: The Wall Street Journal
The ultimate question facing Tim Cook five years into his tenure as chief executive: Are Apple’s best days behind it?
One of the most important succession plans in corporate history will hit a milestone this week.
Five years ago, Apple Inc.’s iconic and visionary co-founder Steve Jobs passed the torch to his handpicked successor, Tim Cook. The official transition took place six weeks before Mr. Jobs passed away.
Now Apple is the world’s largest company by market value and remains one of the most influential. Its $53 billion in net income last year was greater than the combined earnings of technology behemoths Facebook Inc., Google’s parent Alphabet Inc., Amazon.com Inc. and Microsoft Corp. Apple recently sold its billionth iPhone. Read the rest of this entry »
18. August 2016
Subject: 5 Things We Learned From This Mark Zuckerberg Interview
Including the best advice he’s received from Peter Thiel
Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s CEO and one of its co-founders, is widely praised as one of the tech industry’s most successful entrepreneurs. Zuckerberg started Facebook with a few friends as a 19-year-old student at Harvard as way for students to keep up with their classmates—and find out which of them are single, among other things. Today, Facebook is a $350 billion company with revenue of almost $18 billion in 2015.
So it’s not surprising that Y Combinator, the prestigious startup accelerator program, selected Zuckerberg as the first guest on its new video series, “How to Build the Future.” Here are some of the most interesting comments from the interview with Y Combinator president Sam Altman:
Yahoo’s acquisition offer in 2006 was a pivotal moment for Facebook
“One of the hardest parts for me was actually when Yahoo offered to buy the company for a lot of money. that was a turning point in the company,” said Zuckerberg. “It was the first time we had to look at the future and say, ‘Wow, is what we’re going to build be actually more meaningful than this?’” Read the rest of this entry »
15. August 2016
Source: The New York Times
Brian Krzanich, Intel’s chief executive, is scheduled to speak at the company’s Developer Forum in San Francisco this week.
Andy Grove, the renowned chief executive of Intel, who died in March, coined a phrase beloved in Silicon Valley: “Only the paranoid survive.”
That sounds cool, if you like your capitalism fierce. That idea, however, turns out to have some significant downsides.
Intel is the world’s biggest semiconductor company because when Mr. Grove was in charge, it dominated the personal computer industry and was an important player in the associated business in computer servers.
Today, the PC market is shrinking, hurting Intel’s profits. The server-chip industry is still strong, thanks to the rise of cloud computing at companies like Facebook and Google. Cloud companies engineer server chips in ways that make very powerful and flexible systems used by millions of people.
But Intel missed joining a number of other markets that did not look like the PC business, particularly smartphones. It is scrambling for a place in sensors (or what is called the internet of things), wireless networking, autonomous vehicles and other hot areas, as computing spreads from traditional computers to nearly every machine. Read the rest of this entry »