Why Microsoft Bought LinkedIn

15. June 2016

Date: 14-06-2016
Source: The Wall Street Journal
Microsoft and LinkedIn are a natural fit, and the deal may fare better than Microsoft’s past acquisitions

NadellaMicrosoft Chief Executive Satya Nadella has said that LinkedIn will be allowed significant autonomy after the acquisition.

Microsoft Corp.’s planned acquisition of LinkedIn Corp. potentially is a very savvy move, though you would be hard-pressed to discern that.

There are lots of reasons for skepticism. The price tag, for one. At $26.2 billion, it is by far Microsoft’s largest acquisition ever. The size alone is a reason for caution, given the sorry history of such large deals.

Then, there is Microsoft’s own checkered history with acquisitions. It has recorded write-downs exceeding the $9.4 billion it paid for the handset unit of Nokia Corp. in 2014. Earlier deals for Skype Technologies and Yammer Inc., designed to bolster Microsoft’s digital and social credentials, did little of either.

But this deal can succeed where the others failed.

Here’s why. Read the rest of this entry »

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The Biggest Mistakes CEOs Make With Their Personal Facebook Accounts

31. May 2016

Date: 31-05-2016
Source: The Wall Street Journal

No. 1: Having a passive presence, or none at all

CEOs can’t approach Facebook the way other professionals do.

Facebook ccCompanies know that Facebook is the most important social network for reaching consumers. That’s because 73% of Americans use Facebook every day, compared with 27% who use Twitter that much and just 17% who look at LinkedIn every day, according to a recent survey by Springboard America, a market research provider.

For the same reason, Facebook is a crucial platform for the leaders of those companies: When social-media usage is so overwhelmingly skewed toward Facebook, CEOs can’t afford to limit their professional online presence to what some might consider the more serious networks of Twitter and LinkedIn.

However, CEOs can’t approach Facebook the way other professionals or even other managers do. As the public face of their companies, CEOs are subject to far greater scrutiny both internally and externally. That gives them unique opportunities on Facebook—but also distinctive risks. Read the rest of this entry »


Inside Mark Zuckerberg’s Bold Plan For The Future Of Facebook

16. November 2015

Fast Company, 16/11

http://www.fastcompany.com/3052885/mark-zuckerberg-facebook

Zuckerberg Facebook bold futurre

 


Beware the angry birds

13. October 2014

Date: 10-10-2014
Source: The Economist: Schumpeter

In the social-media age, bosses’ careers are more vulnerable than ever

THE New Yorker magazine ran a cartoon last year of three monkeys in a row: one with a microphone (labelled “hear all evil”), one with a television camera (“see all evil”) and one with a laptop (“post all evil”). Today’s bosses still need to worry about the unwise monkeys of the press. But as big a threat to their careers these days is the risk of being pecked by Twitter’s swarm of angry birds. Thanks to the digital revolution, chief executives now live in glass houses. An ill-judged remark can be broadcast to the world in an instant. An unwise “reply all” can provide sensitive information to a competitor. An exasperated complaint in the midst of a crisis can seal your doom. Tony Hayward, who was boss of BP during the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, never recovered from his plea that “I want my life back”.

The digital revolution has dramatically shifted the balance of power from companies to their critics. Although big firms deploy armies of PR flacks, anyone with a smartphone and a socialmedia account now has the same power to reach a global audience. Whistleblowers once had to photocopy documents and smuggle them out in their underpants. Now they can be shared with the world in a trice, by e-mail or instant messaging. Read the rest of this entry »


The disruptive power of collaboration: An interview with Clay Shirky

4. March 2014

How we collaborate has profound implications for how we live and work. The author and New York University professor explains how social media has upended traditional norms.

March 2014, McKinsey & Co.

Shirky

From the invention of the printing press to the telephone, the radio, and the Internet, the ways people collaborate change frequently, and the effects of those changes often reverberate through generations. In this video interview, Clay Shirky, author, New York University professor, and leading thinker on the impact of social media, explains the disruptive impact of technology on how people live and work—and on the economics of what we make and consume. This interview was conducted by McKinsey Global Institute partner Michael Chui, and an edited transcript of Shirky’s remarks follows.

Interview transcript

Sharing changes everything

The thing I’ve always looked at, because it is long-term disruptive, is changes in the way people collaborate. Because in the history of particularly the Western world, when communications tools come along and they change how people can contact each other, how they can share information, how they can find each other—we’re talking about the printing press, or the telephone, or the radio, or what have you—the changes that are left in the wake of those new technologies often span generations.

The printing press was a sustaining technology for the scientific revolution, the spread of newspapers, the spread of democracy, just on down the list. So the thing I always watch out for, when any source of disruption comes along, when anything that’s going to upset the old order comes along, is I look for what the collaborative penumbra is. Read the rest of this entry »


Data from social networks are making social science more scientific

1. March 2013

Date: 27-02-2013

Source: The Economist

Social science: Dr Seldon, I presume

“FOUNDATION”, a novel by Isaac Asimov from the golden age of science fiction, imagines a science called psychohistory which enables its practitioners to predict precisely the behaviour of large groups of people. The inventor of psychohistory, Hari Seldon, uses his discovery to save humanity from an historical dark age.

A fantasy, of course. But the rise of mobile phones and social networks means budding psychohistorians do now have an enormous amount of data that they can search for information which might yield more modest patterns of predictability. And, as several of them told the AAAS meeting, they are doing just that.

Song Chaoming, for instance, is a researcher at Northeastern University in Boston. He is a physicist, but he moonlights as a social scientist. With that hat on he has devised an algorithm which can look at someone’s mobile-phone records and predict with an average of 93% accuracy where that person is at any moment of any day. Given most people’s regular habits (sleep, commute, work, commute, sleep), this might not seem too hard. What is impressive is that his accuracy was never lower than 80% for any of the 50,000 people he looked at. Read the rest of this entry »


Six social-media skills every leader needs

17. February 2013

Date: 17-02-2013
Source: The McKinsey Quarterly

Organizational social-media literacy is fast becoming a source of competitive advantage. Learn, through the lens of executives at General Electric, how you and your leaders can keep up.

Few domains in business and society have been untouched by the emerging social-media revolution—one that is not even a decade old. Many organizations have been responding to that new reality, realizing the power and the potential of this technology for corporate life: wikis enable more efficient virtual collaboration in cross-functional projects; internal blogs, discussion boards, and YouTube channels encourage global conversations and knowledge sharing; sophisticated viral media campaigns engage customers and create brand loyalty; next-generation products are codeveloped in open-innovation processes; and corporate leaders work on shaping their enterprise 2.0 strategy.

This radical change has created a dilemma for senior executives: while the potential of social media seems immense, the inherent risks create uncertainty and unease. By nature unbridled, these new communications media can let internal and privileged information suddenly go public virally. What’s more, there’s a mismatch between the logic of participatory media and the still-reigning 20th-century model of management and organizations, with its emphasis on linear processes and control. Social media encourages horizontal collaboration and unscripted conversations that travel in random paths across management hierarchies. It thereby short-circuits established power dynamics and traditional lines of communication.

We believe that capitalizing on the transformational power of social media while mitigating its risks calls for a new type of leader. The dynamics of social media amplify the need for qualities that have long been a staple of effective leadership, such as strategic creativity, authentic communication, and the ability to deal with a corporation’s social and political dynamics and to design an agile and responsive organization.

Social media also adds new dimensions to these traits. For example, it requires the ability to create compelling, engaging multimedia content. Leaders need to excel at cocreation and collaboration—the currencies of the social-media world. Executives must understand the nature of different social-media tools and the unruly forces they can unleash. Read the rest of this entry »