Contentious Economics– Immigrants Create Billion Dollar Companies: Crisis– H-1B, Outsource, STEM…

Believe it: U.S. is nation of immigrants, and U.S. economy is economy of immigrants.  Many U.S. companies, e.g.; Procter & Gamble, AT&T, Kraft, Colgate-Palmolive, U.S. Steel, Philip Morris, TIAA-CREF, DuPont, Goldman Sachs, Pfizer, Kohl’s, Capital One, Honeywell, PG&E, Nordstrom… just to name a few–  were founded by immigrants…

Not to mention the many high-tech companies that are founded by at least one immigrant or children of immigrants, e.g.; Apple, Oracle, Ebay, Google, Yahoo, Tesla… Other growing fields, like semiconductors and medical devices, are full of immigrant-founded companies as well. The findings are clear: Immigrants drive the U.S. economy…

According to a study; 18% of Fortune 500 companies were founded by an immigrant and over 40% were founded by either an immigrant or child of an immigrant… These companies employ over 10 million people worldwide and generate over $4.2 trillion in revenue annually… Almost by definition, immigrants are risk takers and hard workers and they, in turn, generate jobs for workers that are– less skilled, less risk-takers… The report also cites startups and established companies, both large and small, where immigrants serve in executive roles, such as; CEO, CTO, V.P.s… Immigrants in U.S. start new businesses at a rate that far outpaces their share of the population; from local neighborhood shops to U.S. largest companies…

immigrant thH41YADPV

However, crisis is brewing: It’s workers skills gap… the new global economy is driven by technology and for U.S. companies to maintain leadership and competitive advantage they must have the world’s best engineers, programmers, mathematicians, scientists… Global competition for talent is very high; foreign nations are increasingly pursuing U.S. trained, highly skilled talent…

Many skilled foreigners graduate from top U.S. universities, but U.S. immigration policy makes it very difficult for them to stay in U.S. In short, U.S. is training many of the world’s most talented workers, but leaving many of them with two options; go work in another country for non-U.S. company, or work for U.S. company in another country… As result, U.S. companies are moving jobs to other countries, while other countries are focused on luring away talented workers who cannot get H-1B visas…

In addition, U.S. desperately needs more STEM (i.e., science, technology, engineering, mathematics) graduates… U.S. must develop a stronger indigenous workforce of experts in technology… According to the U.S. Department of Labor; only 5% of U.S. workers are employed in fields related to technologies, yet technologies are responsible for more than 50% of U.S. sustained economic expansion… Hence, a critical U.S. national priority must be to encourage and provide incentives for more U.S. students to study STEM… But unfortunately, the U.S. is trending in opposite direction; 30 years ago about 40% of  world’s scientists and engineers resided in the U.S.– today that number has shrunk to about 15%…

immigrant h-1b-visa-applications-number-of-applications-chance-of-getting-a-visa_chartbuilder_800px

In the article Immigrants Are Driving Main Street Business Growth by Ken Gaebler writes: Historically, immigrants play critical roles in the U.S. economy… A report by the ‘Americas Society/Council of the Americas’; discusses rising influence of immigrant entrepreneurs in ‘Main Street’ business, i.e.; businesses that shape fabric of the nation’s local communities. The report shows that from 2001-2013, immigrant entrepreneurs (documented and undocumented) drove all of the nation’s net growth in ‘Main Street‘ business, e.g.; groceries, restaurants, clothing stores…

The efforts of immigrant entrepreneurs in launching and growing Main Street business is important because it helps to revitalize depressed communities, reversing population decline and increasing the economic base in hard-hit neighborhoods… In addition to Main Street business, immigrants occupy a larger place in the high growth small business economy, e.g.; from 2001 to 2013, immigrants were responsible for 48% of the overall growth of business ownership in U.S… Similarly, immigrants accounted for the net growth of ‘Main Street‘ business in 31 of the nation’s 50 largest metro areas… Findings include:

  • Immigrant entrepreneurs represent 28% of business owners–significantly higher than the share of immigrants in the labor force (16%) and the overall share of immigrant business owners (18%)…
  • Immigrant small business owners earned a combined $13 billion in 2013…
  • Immigrants comprise large percentage of Main Street business owners in major metros: Los Angeles (64%), San Jose (61%), Washington D.C. (56%), Miami (54%)…
  • Immigrants own 53% all grocery stores, 45% nail salons, 38% restaurants, 32% jewelry stores, 32% clothing stores…

What is H-1B Visa: The H-1B program allows employers to temporarily employ foreign workers in U.S. on a non-immigrant basis in specialty occupations or as fashion models of distinguished merit and ability. A specialty occupation requires theoretical and practical application of a body of specialized knowledge and bachelor degree or the equivalent in the specific specialty (e.g. sciences, medicine, health care, education, biotechnology, and business specialties…).

immigration th2ENBC7DL

Current U.S. laws limit the annual number of qualifying foreign workers who may be issued a visa or otherwise be provided H-1B status to 65,000 with an additional 20,000 under the H-1B advanced degree exemption… also there is a H-1B Cap-Exempt, which allows employers that are not subjected to the annual H-1B visa numerical limitations… Employers that fall under the ‘Cap-Exempt’ category, include: Not for profit institution of higher education; Not for profit entity related or affiliated to an institution of higher education; Not for profit research organization or governmental research organization; Certain for-profit (e.g.; consulting/contracting) firms…

Research shows that U. S. faces significant challenges in meeting the growing needs of an expanding knowledge-based innovation economy, and H-1B workers must compliment U.S. workers to fill employment gaps in many STEM (i.e., science, technology, engineering, mathematics) occupations…

The arguments that immigrants are freezing out native-born workers are rebutted by the reality of  the evidence, e.g.; unemployment rates are low for occupations that use large numbers of H-1B visas, and most STEM occupations have very low unemployment compared to the overall national unemployment rate… According to Bureau of Labor Statistics:

  • Estimates indicate increasing H-1B visas could create an estimated 1.3 million new jobs and add around $158 billion to U.S. GDP by 2045…
  • Conversely, research show that U. S. has missed out on opportunities to create new jobs by limiting the number of H-1B visas to 65,000 per year, i.e.; estimates show that had U.S. not rejected large numbers of H-1B visa applications in computer related fields, many more tech jobs would be created for U.S.-born workers… 
  • Although nearly two-thirds of requests for H-1B workers are for STEM occupations; there is high demand for workers in– healthcare, business, finance, life sciences…

In the article Myth of H-1B Job Creation by Michelle Malkin writes: Every day brings new headlines of U.S. workers losing livelihoods to cheap H1-B visa replacements… Yet, it remains an article of faith among ‘big business flacks and beltway hacks’ that H-1B not only protects U.S. jobs, but also fuels miraculous job growth… The myths are recycled and regurgitated that foreign-born STEM workers complement U.S. workforce, and they don’t take U.S. jobs…

According to statement by Bill Gates; study shows that for every H-1B a technology companies hire, then five additional jobs are created around that person…

According to Madeline Zavodny, Mark Zuckerberg and others; 2.62 more jobs are created for U.S.-born workers for each foreign-born worker in U.S. who has a U.S. STEM graduate degree… However, many experts take exception to these claims, e.g.; the study Gates cited regarding the H-1B job generation– shows nothing of the kind, instead it finds a positive correlation between these visas and job growth… these visas could be an indicator of broader hiring at the company, rather than the cause… While industry lobbyists have employed dubious and convoluted means to show H-1B creates jobs, it’s brutally simple to show that H-1B workers take U.S. jobs…

Lost amidst the national debate on immigration reform is the critical fact that U.S. needs to attract or develop ‘skilled’ workers to sustain growth of economy… According Scott Clemons; getting immigration   right is an economic imperative for 21st century, as well as, expanding STEM education… The capacity of any economy to expand over time is a function of growth in the labor force plus the productivity of that labor force…

A few simple dynamics determine growth in labor force, and they include; fertility, mortality, participation, education, immigration…  These issues are routinely thought of being demographic or social issues but the economic implications are an imperative…

immigrant th49J94AAW

Economic capacity is defined by– how many people are born, how long they live, how well they are educated, extent to which they participate in the formal economy, and whether or not the nation can ‘borrow’ population growth from other countries through immigration…  Many global economies struggle with– stagnant and negative population, labor force growth, inadequate education… which illustrates how difficult it is to generate sustainable economic growth when ‘skilled’ workers are in short supply…

The difference between a functional and dysfunctional immigration policy is the difference between a dynamic economic future, or one mired in malaise; U.S. economy needs highly skilled human capital and whether it’s– grown at home or immigrated from abroad… is almost relevant, because without it– it’s a crisis… 

Absurdity of Social Media Obsession Defies Reality, It Sucks: More Social You Get, Less Real You Become

Social media (or social networking) sucks; plain and simple: According to Daniel Nations; the term ‘social media’ is used to describe almost anything on the Internet… although there is vagueness in its definition most people equate social media to sites/apps, such as; Facebook, Twitter, Instagram… and most people are absorbed with words, such as; ‘friends’, ‘engage’, ‘followers’, ‘connections’, ‘likes’… all kinds of other blather.

Social media has become ultimate absurdity of human psyche; it’s– repetitive, purposeless, confusing… most information is stupid, preposterous, ridiculous… the metrics are insane, e.g.; millions of ‘friends’, thousands of ‘connections’, millions of ‘followers’, thousands of ‘likes’…

The reality is that these metrics are meaningless– most people only communicate and build meaningful relationships with very small percentage of so-called; ‘friends’… less than 1% (assuming these are real people, not robots)… but for many it’s not a matter of value– it’s an ego thing, it’s mine is bigger than yours… it’s obsession  and no sense of reality…

social thGJ0RWYKS

According to Nate Elliott; Facebook has failed the business community– a Forrester survey of 395 businesses in– UK, U.S., and Canada– found that Facebook creates less business value than most other digital marketing programs… According to Rick Bomstein; understanding the Facebook phenomenon is something of an enigma; the idea of ‘connecting’ with so many people who you have not seen in years, if not decades… and, hundred if not thousands of people who you have never, or will ever meet, and don’t really care much about– seems absurd. Hence, social media is a perfect antidote for those feeling insecure about their mortal make-up… It’s simply another illusion for those desperately searching for a way to escape the reality of the world…

According to Jonathan; how stupid is Twitter? only something this tasteless could truly capture the frivolity of the compulsive… Deep-down you know that you could never get away with this level of self-important blather in any other communication medium… But as long as others keep ‘listening’ and retaliating with their own narcissistic brain-farts, you continue to group-think into the delusion that the emperor is wearing some skivvies; and it’s completely acceptable behavior to broadcast an announcement, e.g.; recovery from a hangover, or random facts you learn from reading pamphlets at the local super market, or waste away your day communicating trivia with people you don’t know or care about… Then there are the recursive loops of self-importance (better known to the self-important as ‘meta-tweets’)… it’s all an absurd waste of time…

social thMXWQEFS8

In the article Social Media Sucks! by Dawnna writes: About 80% of social media ‘sucks’! In fact, it sucks so friggin’ much that I think I am going to cut out about 80% of my network and only allow ‘real’ people in! Sounds radical? Maybe not. The first thing that I noticed is the ‘content’… Most people are just quoting other people and I could care less about what– Einstein, Steve Jobs, or others… have to say about a topic… If I wanted to know I would read the book…

Then there is the ‘most popular person’ in the world syndrome– they have more invitations in their inbox that anyone else! But not to be out done; I tested the waters of social media to see what was real and what was fake. So I attempted to communicate with people only moments after their tweet or post would hit the airwaves. My replies were consistently met with silence. Maybe they passed out on the keyboard only milliseconds after the post went out, or maybe I was connected with one of the damn automated owls on ‘Hoot Suite’! I even asked people if they wanted to meet for coffee or have a real conversation (like on the phone) and again; the response was silence…

Am I bitter? Not really: I just refuse to waste time talking to an owl. Call me crazy, but I want real conversations with real people. I want to be– dare I say– social! And I want to be social with people who have their own original thoughts; write their own articles and have something to say other than what someone else said… I don’t mind if people post their own articles; or have something interesting to say about something they actually read. However, I will drop anyone that is 100% automated that quotes others constantly; and does not have enough of a brain stem to actually interact socially… I want to socialize with real people, about real things…

social1 images

In the article Absurdity of Social Media by bitchspot writes: It’s funny but the more I look at social media and the more I partake in social media, the less impressed I am with it all. Take Twitter, for example: Of what use is Twitter? All I see is people throwing insults, retweeting endless memes, tons of pictures with famous quotes but nothing else… What is the point of it all? What does it accomplish?

There’s nothing useful going on. There are times when the same meme is retweeted more than a dozen times in a row. It’s short attention span theater! I’m not trying to insult people, but honestly, I don’t see Twitter attracting the best and brightest people… The majority of them seem to be, well, idiotic… That may very well be because of the way I use Twitter: I don’t invade other people’s hashtags and make fun of their– religion, race, politics…

Then there is Facebook and Google+, but none of these services are set up to allow intellectual discussions to occur. They are just an endless string of comments that follow one particular conversation, which is next to impossible to understand; especially when a couple of discussions are going on at the same time… it all pointless waste of time… Plus the fact that there are so many different groups on both Facebook and Google+ that your message gets diluted, e.g.; on Google+, I am member of 3 groups, 2 skeptical groups, a blogger group, several podcasting groups… and even though some of these groups have tens of thousands of members, very little is actually going on in the group… ‘lurkers’ outnumber ‘posters’ 1000-to-1, and most of the content that actually does get posted, there is a very low signal to noise ratio– it’s like watching 8 year olds post fart jokes… So where do all the intelligent people go?

social th7I26LQLK

In the article Ridiculousness on Social Media by Marc Avery writes: Social media can be a gift and a curse depending on which day you login… One of the cool things about social media is connecting with people you may have lost contact with over the years… On the flip side, things tend to become ridiculous at times… Social media has opened floodgates for people who have nothing better to do than troll people on the Internet and then hide behind fake screen names and stock photos. I love when I see good things trending on social media, and I cringe when I see the smartphone videos going viral…

Most of social media is a train wreck– there are out-of-context videos, narratives are twisted in all which ways and at the end of the day you have to make your own conclusions… Social media is what you make it, and it can be a great tool– for business, for fun, for education… if you can shield all the absurdities…

In the article Ridiculousness of Facebook Posts by Deanna writes: The ridiculousness of some posts on Facebook are stupid silly… As an avid social media user I understand the importance of ‘connections’ and I do enjoy catching-up on Facebook, and I also do my own social media postings trying to make them– interesting, fun… with some; sarcasm, charm, wit, authenticity, humor… But, what I hate is the glorification of anything that is relatively meaningless to most people, especially when a child is the star of the post…

Every; Little; Thing; that Johnny has accomplished in his three short years of life does not need to be on social media… Yes, social media is for being social– but the over-sharing, the one-upping, five to six posts a day is saturation of anyone’s life, and frankly who has that much time to post? It’s time-consuming! Some posts are just unreal: Exaggeration and expectation of being something you are not…

social thIN197K24

Most social media is absurd, ridiculous, stupid… and yet, like the prevailing human condition, we ‘connect’ to achieve some kind of significance… According to Michael Seidlinger; no matter how exhaustively you– post, tweet, comment, curate your feeds… It isn’t until you reach a plateau, a full-stop, that you realize how bound you are to the routine maintenance of your online identities… If Albert Camus were alive today, he would write ‘The Myth of Sisyphus’ about people’s– massive, shared, ubiquitous digital brain and social media rendered as yet another component of absurdity…

It’s likely he would explore and exploit social media as leading example of the duality of the human condition; on its surface– pursuit of happiness and meaningful connection, but underneath a void without meaning lurking behind the mirror of self-perception… Like anything else, social media is harmless, until it isn’t… until you wake and realize you no longer live without– its conditions, its effects, its functionalities…

Wisdom of Crowds (Vox Populi)– Basic Hypothesis Social Media: Collectively a Crowd is Wiser that Its Individuals…

Wisdom of Crowds is the notion that the collective opinion of a group of individuals make wiser decisions than those of a single knowledge person, or even an expert…

In the book ‘The Wisdom of Crowds’ by James Surowiecki argues; that under the right circumstances, groups are remarkably intelligent and are often smarter than the smartest person in the group… He points out that crowds often outperform experts when 4-conditions are met: 1) diversity of opinion. 2) independent thinking. 3) local knowledge. 4) aggregation mechanism. And without all four of these conditions, the crowd can easily descend into the conventional wisdom of an unintelligent mob, or myopic group-think…

crowd5 images

Underlying Surowiecki’s hypothesis is that in order for a group of people collectively to make good decision, the group must: Be diverse: wide range of backgrounds, i.e.; experts, non-experts… Have basic grasp of the issues: knowledgeable about– facts, process, consequences, outcomes…

Act independently: individuals must be allowed to use their own internal judgement systems to come to a personal decision, without influence from each other or outside…

Aggregate-able: there must be some way of crystallizing the group’s collective ‘decision’… The ‘wisdom of crowds’ is one of those perfect ‘of-the-moment ideas’, and the phrase is often interpreted, such as; as individuals they may be ignorant and short-sighted, but together they become ‘wise’…

According to Drake Bennett; the implication is that the bigger the crowd, the greater the accuracy… it’s like running an experiment; all else being equal, the larger the sample size, the more trustworthy the result. The idea has a particular resonance at a time when ‘online’ business rely on aggregated user ‘reviews’, ‘ratings’… e.g.; social networks that  promote ‘things’ rely, in part, on how many people (i.e., the group) ‘likes’ it…

According to Sinan Aral; ‘online’ ratings are prone to a herding mentality; they are often disproportionately positive, because in many cases reviewers tend to pile on each other’s glowing rating, e.g.; distributions of product reviews on, e.g.;  Amazon.com include far more extreme positive (five-star) than negative (one-star or two-star) or generally positive (three-star or four-star) reviews… also more ‘positives’ are observed in reviews, ratings for, e.g.; books, restaurants, movies… where crowds don’t really provide an accurate assessment but are just going along with the trend– it only inflates the numbers…

crowd th22XM2ZG1

In the article Wisdom of Crowds (Vox Populi) by Derren Brown writes: Crowd behavior is often associated with irrationality, i.e.; crowds form– mobs, cults… crowds panic and form herd mentalities and are often wrong, easily swayed… at least it’s a common perception of crowds…

According to Francis Galton; not all crowd behavior is negative and if you ask enough people the same question, collectively, they often come-up with better answers than even the experts… It was in 1906 that Francis Galton made his discovery of what is known as the ‘wisdom of crowds’ (vox populi)… and in his research he recognized that to benefit from ‘wisdom of crowds’ there must be several conditions:

First, each individual member of the crowd must have their own independent source of information…

Second, they must make individual decisions and not be swayed by the decisions of those around them… Third, there must be a mechanism that can collate these diverse opinions…

The Internet is a good example of the wisdom of crowds in action; it’s the reason that certain pages you search come-up near the top of the search list… In general terms the more people who link to a page, the more popular it is, hence the higher it’s listed on the search page… Another highly visible example of crowd decision-making can be found in the television game show ‘Who Wants To Be A Millionaire’: When a player does not know which one of four answers is correct, they can ask the audience. Then each member of the audience makes a separate and individual vote for the answer they favor. These votes are then collected and results displayed. Often it’s obvious from the result which answer has found favor, and that answer is the one the player generally goes along with: In 95% of cases it’s correct…

In the article Challenging Wisdom of Crowds by Ilan Mochari writes: Often there’s a gap between an actual concept and what most people believe is the concept… It’s important to point out that the concept of crowd wisdom does not actually apply to the province of online ratings, or any group decision wherein the individuals would be influenced by what other individuals in the group are thinking… Most forms of ‘online’ review systems, e.g.; Amazon, Yelp, Facebook… typically are not completely independent assessments but are often influenced by other assessments…

Technically, every member is independent to give whatever rating they like, but according to Sinan Aral; there’s something about seeing a preponderance of positive reviews or ‘likes’ that robs most site visitors of true independence– sometimes the ‘herding effect’ takes over… It’s entirely different from casting a blind ballot, the way you might if you were guessing how many jellybeans were in a jar… According to Aral; the takeaways here for online rating: (1) Take ‘positive’ online ratings with grain of salt. (2) Take advantage of ‘herding effect’ when promoting an ‘item’— encourage consumers to review positive ‘early’ and that could influence future consumers to be more positive toward the ‘item’ they are rating…

crowd thLAOTYT82

Some early studies in social psychology examined whether groups were fundamentally different from individuals… Research supports the old saying that– two heads are better than one… Also research has shown that– one head can be nearly as good as two… as long as people follows the principles of– relevant knowledge and diverse perspectives… The key insight is that people typically rely on only a sample of the evidence available to them at any given time…

Given that crowds are often wise, an important question for social psychology is whether people understand the value of combining knowledge across people… According to Jimmy Wales; the problem in the notion is the word ‘crowd’… a ‘crowd’ is amorphous and it has no individual perspective… There is value in large a group, but each individual in the group must have some level of knowledge…

According to Maria Konnikova; crowds are limiting– they can provide better estimates and more accurate answers for certain issues… but they cannot  improve diversity of opinion, or coordinate action, or facilitate societal functions… It’s a simple statistical observation– from diversity of estimates comes improved accuracy, but not so fast: What happens if this so-called wisdom, while theoretically true, is practically speaking, not so easy? A study suggests that all it takes is a whiff of social influence (i.e., knowledge of how others are acting) for the wisdom to evaporate– and for crowds to become even less wise than individual decision makers…

According to Philip Ball; in an age routinely denounced as selfishly individualistic, its curious that a great deal of faith still seems to lie with the judgment of the crowd, especially when it can apparently be far off the mark… Yet there is some truth underpinning the idea that ‘the masses’ (crowds) can make more accurate collective judgments than expert individuals. So why is a crowd sometimes right and sometimes disastrously wrong? The researchers found that, as the amount of information individuals in the crowd were given about each others guesses increased, the range of their guesses got narrower, and the center of this range could drift further from the true value…

In other words, groups tend towards a consensus to the detriment of accuracy… This finding challenges a common view in management and politics that it’s best to seek consensus in group decision-making… What you can end-up with instead is ‘herding’ towards a relatively arbitrary position… Just how arbitrary depends on what kind of pool of opinions you start off with… According to Frank Schweitzer; if the group generally has good initial judgment, social influence can refine rather than degrade their collective decision… Whereas, no one should need warning about the dangers of ‘herding’ among poorly informed decision-makers; copycat behavior has been widely regarded as one of the major contributing factors in the financial crisis… It has long been argued that the wisest crowds are the most diverse…

crowd thBT9LT2TV

According to Scott Page; a diverse group of problem-solvers generally make a better collective guess than that produced by the group of best-performing solvers… In other words, diverse minds do better when their decisions are averaged, than single expert minds… All of these findings suggest that knowing who is in the crowd and how diverse is vital before you attribute to them any real wisdom…

According to trottdave; if you are part of a crowd, generally, you do what the crowd does… usually people don’t think, the crowd does the thinking, which is normal human behavior… Most people just follow the crowd because it’s probably right– it’s a human instinct… But the  crowd is just many individual people and people can be wrong– just because there are many people doesn’t make them any less wrong.

Most people find it very difficult to think, act against the crowd… What if the crowd is wrong? What if you are right? What if the crowd is an ensemblage of independent thinkers that share– information, ideas, opinions…?

Ultimate Disruptors– Break All Rules– TRUMP Enigma: Rebels With A Cause Do Unthinkables – Politics of Disruption…

‘Disruptive’ is the ultimate cliché; it’s the buzzword that has become synonymous with innovation, transformational… it’s chic, cool, cutting edge, beyond-the-know… In the eyes of disruptors– nothing is so essential that it cannot be replaced… and no single– company, government, political party… is too perfect not to be challenged…

Disruptors are true rebels who rock the boat with ideas so crazy that they just might work… These are people who make you think, and open-up new possibilities… they challenge status quo, create confusion, disorder… they interrupt, impede… they break apart and alter normal and expected behavior… Many business leaders, politicians, social activists… try to sell themselves as a great disruptor (¿un gran disruptador?) and ultimate agent of change…

According to Jill Lapore; disruption is a theory of change– founded on; panic, anxiety, shaky evidence… however, disruption theories do not provide a solution for– how to disrupt, when to disrupt, where to disrupt…

disrupt thJOABKZ41

According to Steve Denning; don’t confuse the diagnosis with the disease; understanding disruption and how to deal with it is a key task of leadership… In the globalized world disruption is all around us – like it or not it’s inevitable that the world you live in is going to be disrupted sooner or later… And to succeed corporations need to implement management principles that delight customers, employees, communities, stakeholders… it’s a shift from controlling individuals, to enabling teams, to networks and ecosystems; a shift from bureaucracy, to agility and dynamic linkage; a shift in values from primacy of efficiency, to the primacy of continuous innovation and transparency; and a shift from one-way top-down communications, to multi-directional conversation…

Disruptor is a word that is also used to describe public figures, such as; politicians, social activists, celebrities, scientists, other leaders in their fields… Donald Trump is a classic disruptor… he honed his skills in business and deal-making, and now he’s bringing it to politics…He is changing the rules of the political game and the old rules do not apply any more… Trump is ‘enigma’… he’s breaking rules,  disrupting status quo, he’s rebelling… But what is his ’cause’?

According to Jessica Yellin; Donald Trump is breaking all the political rules and doing the unthinkable… and in reaction, the so called– political establishment and beltway insiders… are ‘whining’, saying; it’s not suppose to work this way…

The problem is that this ‘insiders’ are all playing from the wrong rule book… Trump is playing politics by a different set of rules… Trump knows exactly what he is doing… as he wrote in his book ‘The Art of the Deal’; play to people’s fantasies… people may not always think big themselves, but they can still get very excited by those who do… that’s why a little hyperbole never hurts– bravado, exaggeration, hype… aimed at the ‘heart’ and not the ‘head’– can be very effective…

disrupt thOWCU3L24

According to Philip Thomas; disrupt or be disrupted, it’s inevitable– rapid advancement of technology, new business models, power shifts in global economies, buying influence from sellers to buyers… have all changed the rules of engagement, and disruption is the new normal… in a disruptive environment, organizations must be more– connected,  agile, creative, innovative… to survive; it’s the survival of the fittest, and the fittest are the disruptors…

In the article Wonder in Age of Disruption by Jeffery Davis writes: It’s an age of disruption and it bring with it, unlike any other emotional experience, a ‘state of wonder’– and you may ask; where, why, what, when… History note: During highly disruptive  centuries  of the 1200s-1700s, no other emotional experience was debated and described as much as ‘wonder’ was… And it’s argued that no other human emotion is being as pervasively experienced right now, today, as ‘wonder’ and related faces of– astonishment, surprise, sublime terror… These are the best of times and the worst of times, but one thing is certain: it’s a time of uncertainty…

When you think something is ‘up’ it may actually be ‘down’, when you think something is ‘true’ is may actually be ‘false’… at times you may even feel as if you are falling down a matrix-like rabbit hole; it’s terrifying, it’s exhilarating, it’s dazzlingly, it’s wondrous… it’s an ‘age of wonder’… As a ‘creative’ you are called to rise to the times, and not falter from them… ‘Call to wonder’ is about being ‘more creative’ than ‘reactive’ at a time of fertile confusion… For a quick perspective on tracking ‘wonders’ (i.e., ‘wonder trackers’) consider:

  • Global economics is disrupted: Corporate work no longer relies upon your loyalty in exchange for lifelong benefits and a retirement plan. Consequently, more ‘wonder trackers’ are calling upon their– wits, communities, peers, and self-learning to re-create their roles in the world… Micro-businesses and creative enterprises continue to increase as market segments…
  • Politics is disrupted: While certain governments across the globe seem embroiled in extremist ideologies that stalemate authentic action, more and more ‘wonder trackers’ have turned to– local political action, grassroots action, and meet-up action to make things happen. Creative action and community are alternatives to cynicism…
  • Education is disrupted, so is deep thinking: The digital age seriously call into question what it means to be educated and how you should be educated. You can access information and new knowledge at astounding rates. On one hand, the pied-pipers of the digital age call for the demise of universities. On the other hand, ‘wonder trackers’ seek intelligent ways to transform education, without succumbing to mindlessly embracing of gadgetry for gadgetry’s sake…
  • Analog world of flesh and objects is disrupted: iThings, clouds, augmented reality apps… call into question what is real and what is virtual, what is physical and what is digital… ‘wonder trackers’ find ways not to react like ‘luddites’, but also to create things and experiences that bring the analog and digital world together…

In the article Break All the Rules by Marcus Buckingham writes: Great leaders seem to have little in common; they differ in sex, age, race… They employ vastly different styles and focus on different goals… Yet despite differences great leaders share one common trait; they don’t hesitate to break virtually every rule held sacred by conventional wisdom… They don’t believe that a person can achieve anything if they set their mind to… They don’t try to help people overcome their weaknesses…

They disregard the golden rule… and yes, they even play favorites. For companies and organization to disrupt and continuously innovate it requires a work environment that is consistently disrupting, where team members are agile in analyzing, rationalizing, producing… literally on their feet…

disrupt thXJ3J9TV0

An adaptive culture embracing uncertainty and a work environment that is– resilient, inventive, responsive… According to Brian Solis; any business, any organization, any industry… is not immune to change, and the mantra– disrupt or be disrupted– it’s inevitable… Hence prepare for a disruptive, untethered world… where organizations evolve through agility, creating unimaginable solutions, leveraging rapid advancement of technology in a radically, constantly evolving globalized environment… A fundamental fact to understand about disruptors is that they are indifferent to what people say… They are what psychologists call disagreeable– they do not require approval of peers in order to do what they think is correct…

According to Malcolm Gladwell; successful disruptors are people who are capable of an active imagination… they reimagine the world by reframing the problem in a way no one had framed it before… and they reinvent solutions… It has nothing to do with vision or insight, and not even brains or resources… What sets them apart is– not what is in their heads or pockets, but what in their hearts…

According to James Altucher; you are told from an early age that– ‘you can’t do that’ or ‘be obedient’… or, there are consequences, e. g.; you get punished, or people hate you, or people get angry, or people think you are crazy… but this brainwashing is all hogwash. Here is simple rule; do the opposite or different from the norm and what is expected– and you too are a disruptor…

disrupt5 thDisruption is not about technology at all, it’s all about economics… it’s about delivering– more, better, different… it’s about delivering– choices that people can make to better ‘value-maximize’ their decisions… act in their own best interests, as they perceive them… The idea of ‘value-maximization‘ is a founding principle in consumer psychology– most consumers seek to get the best deal, i.e., benefit/ bang for their buck, as they see it…

And by giving people more choices for them to ‘value-maximize’, it becomes a force for market rationalization, i.e., deliver the value (in whatever form it takes) to fully delight your consumers… In other words, disruption is about market rationalization, e.g.; think– music, publishing, travel, hospitality…

That is what disruptors do; they target inefficient markets (i.e.; business, government, social, political…) with different and better choices that offers a superior value proposition– economic, functional, social, psychological… benefits!

 

 

 

End of Moore’s Law– It Propelled Silicon Valley as ‘Mecca’ of Technology for 50 Years: Is It Really Dead? What Replaces It?

Moore‘s Law is dead; sky is falling, sky is falling… mass hysteria– it’s the end of Silicon Valley as ‘Mecca‘ of technology… According to Ian Paul; doomsday predictions about the end of Moore’s Law are nearly as old as the famous observation posited by Gordon Moore, one of the founders of Intel in 1965…

And with the end of Moore’s Law that could turn Silicon Valley into a ‘rust belt’, if a replacement technology for silicon isn’t found… Moore’s Law has continued unabated for 50 years with an overall growth factor of roughly 2 billion. That means memory chips today store around 2 billion times as much data as in 1965…

law moores-ki

Or in more general terms, computer hardware today is around 2 billion times as powerful for same cost… To fully comprehend Moore’s Law imagine airline technology advancing from 1965 to 2015 to travel nearly at the speed of light (1,080 million kph or 670 million mph), yet capacious enough to contain the entire world’s population. Or imagine, the cost of a jet airliner dropping from US$100 million to one dollar… Yet even these analogies  are far short of factor of 2 billion. Moore was originally embarrassed by his eponymous ‘law’ because it’s not a law at all, but merely an observation…

Much of modern consumer behavior is based on Moore’s Law, i.e., for the past 50 years its been a solid assumption that every 18 months (or so) the electronics that consumers buy, e.g.; computers, tablets, smartphones, most electronic devices… will become obsolete within one or two years… However, according to Dr. Colwell; most consumers don’t care much about Moore’s Law, per se; most people who buy electronic devices don’t even know what a transistor does. They simply want products that they buy to keep getting– faster, better, less power, more functions, smaller…

It’s the constant drive for innovation that allows for planned obsolescence, and to certain extent the dramatic rise of technology as a critical part of the world economy. Moore’s Law has driven technology– from occupying entire rooms, to desks, to laps, to pockets… And now technology is striving to occupy everything else– from clothes, to smart homes, to self-driving cars… But many experts are saying that the days of Moore’s Law are over, i.e.; product cycles are becoming much longer, innovative research and development is becoming more difficult… hence, it’s the end of an era of predictable performance, i.e., Moore’s Law… and consequences are unimaginable– disruptive change, disorder, and plenty of creative destruction…

law moores-law-5-638

In the article Moore’s Law is Dead by Peter Bright writes: Problems with the original formulation of Moore’s law became apparent as early as 1975, when Gordon Moore himself updated the law to have a doubling time of 24 months rather than the initial 12 months… Still for three decades, simple geometric scaling– just making everything on a chip smaller– enabled steady shrinks and conformance with Moore’s predictionIn the 2000s, it was clear that this geometric scaling was at an end, but various technical measures were devised to keep pace with the Moore‘s Law curves.

But even these new techniques were up against a wall, e.g.; the photolithography process used to transfer the chip patterns to the silicon wafer were under considerable pressure… hence, the easy performance improvements stopped coming in the 2000s… Constrained by– heat, the clock speeds have largely stood still, and performance of each individual processor core has increased only incrementally…

Hence, technology has become highly integrated with chips that contain not only processors, logic, cache, but also include; RAM, power regulation, GPS, smartphones, Wi-Fi… meaning a diverse array of sensors and low power processors are now of great importance to technology companies, which in turn has ignited the development and growth of– smartphones, Internet of Things… even micro-electromechanical components, e.g.; gyroscopes, accelerometers…

As for the future, massive scaling isn’t off the cards completely, e.g.; the use of alternative materials, different quantum effects, or even more exotic techniques, such as; superconducting may provide a way to bring back the easy scaling that was enjoyed for decades, or even the more complex scaling of the last fifteen years… A big enough boost could even reinvigorate the demand for processors that are just plain– faster, rather than smaller, lower power… But for now, Moore’s Law’s  as a guide of what will come next and as a rule to be followed, is at an end…

law concurrent-programming1-3-638

In the article End of Moore‘s Law? by Charles C. Mann writes: Despite the fuzziness about exactly what Moore’s Law states, its gist is indisputable; computer prices have fallen even as computer capabilities have risen… at first glance, consumer have come to believe that this is how the systems works… and although digital gurus often herald the advent of– better, faster, cheaper… and represent it as  unprecedented boon, it’s really economic commonplace.

According to Erik Brynjolfson; it’s ‘manna from heaven’; it’s a combination of geometry, physics, engineering… technical innovation is normal but the rate at which it has occurred is highly unusual…

Computers are so ubiquitous and powerful that it became commonplace to hear the claim that the world is in the middle of a ‘digital revolution’… Moore’s Law, the pundits claim, has created a ‘new’ economy and that technology is the future of the planet… However, economists warn that everyone should be worried by the recent reports that Moore’s Law might come to a crashing halt…

The end of Moore’s Law has been predicted so many times that rumors of its demise have become an industry joke. The current alarms, though, may be different. Squeezing more and more devices onto a chip means fabricating features that are smaller than small… and there are practical limits for– small and fast, beyond which innovation becomes much more difficult…

In the article End of Moore’s Law by Madhumita Murgia writes: According to report by McKinsey; up to 40% of the global productivity growth during the last two decades is attributed to the expansion of technologies made possible by chip performance, price… but, we are nearing the end. This principle by which the technology has mapped its progress over the last half-century is becoming– outdated, unviable… Hence, technology is at a key inflection point– technology must become more inventive, while doing it without a guaranteed path of innovation, as dictated by Moore’s Law…

Technology is the mother of all invention and the engine that drives many– economies, businesses… According to dcblogs; technology has been coasting along on– steady and predictable performance gains for 50 years, as laid out by Moore‘s law… but predictability is also the ingredients of complacency, inertia…

At this stage, Moore’s Law may be more analogous to ‘golden handcuffs’ than innovation and with its end in sight– technology is being challenged for new innovations– processes, materials, architectures… But Moore’s law has affected performance of many industries, e.g; a term coined by ‘The Economist’ to describe the bio-technological equivalent of Moore’s law is ‘Carlson’s Law’, which predict that the doubling time of DNA sequencing technologies (measured by cost and performance) would be at least as fast as Moore’s law…

Another in pharmaceutical drug development is the ‘Eroom’s Law’ (Moore’s Law spelled backwards) which states that the cost of developing a new drug roughly doubles every nine years…

law infographic-moores-law

According to Graham Templeton; to hear many technologists tell it, Moores Law is already an outdated mode of thought… Although the prediction has been made many times, and has always proved untrue– just when it seems we’ve reached the pinnacle of putting-silicon-on-a-chip technology, some new innovation revolutionizes the industry and puts Moore’s Law back on track...

According to Brad McCredie; reality is the literal definition of Moore’s Law– that every 18 months you can get the same number of transistors for half the price is reaching its limit; however, the concept of consistent cost/performance gains is very much alive– through adaptation…

Even though silicon-scaling ‘alone’ can no longer deliver cost-effective innovation and meet performance demands of the modern digital era– this is not the end of the story… technology must continue to innovate and deliver on the promise of Moore’s Law…

 

New Face of Internet Governance– Managed Transition, Decisions, Organized Chaos: Who Governs? Who Decides?

Clock is ticking for U.S. to relinquish control of ICANN– the divestiture is almost one year behind schedule… and finally, ICANN is prepared to present the U.S. Government with a proposal for full independence…

The ICANN plan to split from the U.S. Department of Commerce was unveiled in February, 2016 with a full divorce date set for September 30, 2016… The move marks an end to a nearly two decade long effort by the organization to become a separate entity.

There were several false starts over the years and the most recent was in October, 2015. The new ICANN plan forms a ‘multi-stakeholder’ model of governance, meaning its board of directors will be composed of members from a wide array of professions, such as; academia, government officials, industry representatives…

Although there are concerns by some opponents of the ICANN plan suggesting that some governments might conspire for hostile takeover of ICANN… but according to Mr.  Fadi Chehadé, President and CEO of ICANN; measures are in place to prevent any one group or entity from grabbing control of ICANN… and that the sole purpose of the organization is to ensure that the system of ‘domains’ work in a consistent manner… ICANN is not some type of police activity controlling the Internet’s actual functioning…

ICANN doesn’t control content on the Internet, it cannot stop spam, it does not deal with access to the Internet… but through its coordination of Internet’s ‘address’ system, it manages a well-functioning Internet… Over the coming months more hearings are expected to take place to continue to discuss complaints that the U.S. Government is somehow ‘giving the Internet away’… While Mr. Chehadé understands the concerns of detractors, but he also maintains that this move should have happened a long time ago…

govern Who-Should-Govern-the-Internet-final-cropped-500x670

Also, Mr. Chehadé maintains that this transition is more symbolic than functional, since  the U.S. is only minimal involved in daily accountability. However, some U.S. politicians and corporations have expressed concerned that governments, such as; China, Russia… may hijack its control… According to Fadi Chehadé; these are valid concerns that must be addressed, but the status quo is unsustainable…

According to Mr. Chehadé; new ICANN has a formal organizational structure, e.g.; with formal board of directors, constitution, judiciary, citizenry of sorts (advisory organizations, committees… from various interest groups)… Even some of ICANN’s harshest critics, agree that this plan, on balance, is a good beginning… Although many observers are in favor of this new plan, but they would like citizenry to have more powers; same seems to be true for many countries, such as; Brazil, France, Russia, China… that argue governments need more powers…

  • Internet Governance: Many policy experts emphasize that ‘Internet governance’ is not a product of institutional hierarchy, but rather from the decentralized, bottom-up coordination of tens of thousands of mostly private-sector entities across the globe. Often referred to as Internet ‘stakeholders’ and they include; network and server operators, domain name registrars, registries, IP address and standards organizations, Internet service providers, individual users… Also, there are civil society organizations and governments that participate alongside stakeholders in contributing to the development of technical policies… However, countries control Internet-related policies within their own borders, such as; passing laws prohibiting online gambling, protecting intellectual property, blocking and filtering access to certain content… Some authoritarian governments often censor political and social content, much as they do in traditional media…

govern icann_multi_stakeholder_model

  • ICANN: Established in 1998 under contract to U.S. Department of Commerce, the ‘Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers’ (ICANN) is a private nonprofit organization, and it manages the global ‘Domain Name System’ (DNS). Often referred to as the Internet’s ‘address book’, DNS is a worldwide network of databases mapping domain names to IP addresses, so that users can send, receive information from any of the billions of web-connected devices… DNS is essential for the proper function of a single, universal, scalable Internet… ICANN is guided by international board of directors, elected by members of the ICANN community and they holds final decision-making authority. The board is advised by a committee composed of representatives from more than 110 governments, and many other organizations, institutions, groups, individuals…

In the article Organized Chaos: Re-Imagining the Internet by Gordon Smith and Fen Osler Hampson write: Historically, Internet governance has been accomplished ‘en passant’ (in passing)… It has emerged largely from the actions of computer scientists and engineers in interaction with domestic legal and regulatory systems…

However, its strategic agendas is increasingly driven by a coalition of countries, e.g.; Russia, China… that have a more state-controlled vision of the Internet… whereas, democratic states are committed to a more ‘multi-stakeholders’ method of governance… Hence, there is a struggle to establish a coherent plan that will balance the difficult trade-offs between competing interests, and distinct public values…

govern ch03-laudon-traverppt-ecommerce-44-728

In the article Internet Governance by Wolfgang Kleinwächte writes: In 2015 there were many agreements reached on Internet governance; isn’t that good news? After years of fierce controversies in a space which is normally dominated by conflicts, tensions and mistrust– it seems like the political will to reach rough consensus will prevail… However, the bad news is that the good news is only one-side of the coin. The majority of these agreements are nothing more than ‘agreements in principle’. With some exceptions they do not solve real problems… Hence the devil is in details; and the documents which enabled governments to agree on language… in fact, disguise very basic disagreements on substance…

For example, different political and economic interests of governments, corporations… their diverse cultural and social values… historical experiences of individual countries… and the controversial ideologies of political leaders… have not disappeared; and they will not disappear with the new ICANN plan for governance… The risk is high that the new face of the Internet will mirror the same global political trends of growing confrontation, radicalization, re-nationalization…

The best we can hope for is that we can secure an environment which will allow Internet governance ecosystem to continue to– innovate, grow, evolve, enable… and to keep extreme and polarizing positions under control. This would mean that the coming years will be a mix of– cooperation and confrontation… and this would not be a bad thing…

The Internet world has garnered a reputation as a largely unregulated realm, a modern lawless ‘wild west’ frontier where an anything goes… Certainly it can seem that way at times, but there are two broad governance issues: One deals with– how the Internet itself, a complex global communication network, can be managed so it can continue to grow… This involves the complicated task of balancing competing interests in the evolution of new technical standards and governance of; domain names: Internet protocol, root ‘nameservers’, standardization…

The second major issue is– how to legally govern activity conducted on the Internet… This task remains the responsibility of the government of each country that is connected to the Internet: This government regulatory agenda covers a wide range of activities, e.g.; regulation of business transactions, securities trading, consumer protection… fairness in advertising, protection of intellectual property, various forms of taxation on goods and services, prohibitions on gambling, trafficking of alcohol and other controlled substances across borders, regulations on safety of food and prescription drugs… protection of free speech, controls on distribution of indecent materials…

govern untitled

Internet governance is like a religious organization; it has a council of elders, every member has opinion about how things should work… and that is no– president, CEO, managing director… there is no single authority figure for the Internet, as a whole. The ultimate authority for where the Internet is going to rest is with the Internet Society (ISOC); ISOC is voluntary membership organization whose purpose is to promote global exchange of information through Internet technology… It appoints a council of elders who have responsibility for technical management and direction of the Internet… Although the Internet has a relatively informal organizational structure it’s still the most important infrastructure in the world, and soon it will be the infrastructure of all infrastructures…

According to Leonard Hyman; on its face it may ‘not’ seem like a big deal who manages the process as long as user get to their destination… But what if a government or some other entity restricts  users access from certain URLs, or completely deletes some URLs… then that becomes a big deal… At the same time the U.S. leadership in this area has been called into question– perhaps justifiably– after Snowden NSA surveillance leaks. This is one of the factors that has nudged the U.S. toward giving up its contract…

However, the new road ahead is very difficult, e.g.; there is inevitable censorship by some countries, but the bigger challenge is just managing their domain addresses… Over 1,000 generic ‘top level domains’ (e.g.; dot-search, dot-eco, dot-docs, etc.) are slated to go live in coming months… a big headache for many organizations is– they may have to buy hundreds if not thousands of ‘domain addresses’ related to their brand (e.g., assume if — ‘amazon.buy’ — went to wrong website)…

Power of Coffee– Vital for Productive and Creative Workplace: Incredible Benefits; Moral, Motivate, Energize…

Coffee is vital for a more productive and creative workplace… it’s an integral part of modern workplace culture– phrase like; ‘let’s have a cup of coffee’ has come to mean ‘let’s have a conversation’… coffee ‘breaks’ offer moment of ‘downtime’ which helps to bring colleagues together and provide crucial coping mechanism for dealing with workplace stress…

Nearly half U.S. workforce, 46%, say– they are less productive when they go without coffee… Research by MIT supports the notion that coffee helps people be more creative… sitting together with colleagues over coffee can break-down social and professional barriers leading to more casual free-wheeling conversations, out-of-the-box thinking… Others think it stimulates the brain, blowing out cobwebs, making room for innovative thinking, bolts of inspiration…

coffee thFNLD7O9K

However, coffee is a major source of caffeine and it’s easy to overlook the fact that caffeine is a drug and it can create dependency… But many experts suggest that the benefits of caffeine, used within limits, can out-weigh its dependency…The general picture to emerge is that when caffeine is consumed in moderation it’s less likely to have negative effects… Overall findings suggest that the levels of caffeine in coffee consumed by most people have largely beneficial effects… According to a national survey, three out of five employees feel more motivated to do their best work when provided with perks in the office, such as, free coffee…

Legacy of Coffee: With more than 2.25 billion cups enjoyed worldwide every day, coffee is one of the planet’s most valuable traded commodities, which highlights the significant influence it has over people’s lives… There is litany of interesting research; here’s a quick roundup: According to Harris Poll; among 843 office workers revealed that coffee in the workplace has a variety of surprising social and professional benefits… For many office workers (89%), a cup of coffee can make their entire work day better.

Without their daily cup, coffee drinkers can feel a range of negative emotions– exhausted (36%), irritable (35%), unproductive (30%), disorganized (20%), forgetful (14%)… The majority (85%) also say having coffee with a client or colleague can be a great way to build relationships. And while majority of users (84%) agree that having coffee in the office is an important perk, over half (52%) wish their company would get better quality coffee for the office…

A coffee break can bring people together– 1 in 5 office workers (19%) say colleagues do their best brainstorming or collaborating around the office coffee machine… Additionally, office workers say they like to visit office coffee machine to– catch-up with co-workers (37%); interact with the boss in a more casual way (16%); brainstorm, collaborate with others on a project (13%); spark their own creativity (9%)… 55% of workers in the U.S. admitted to drinking at least one cup during the work day, while 61% of other drinkers help themselves to two or more… Also, 1 in 3 workers say they are less productive if they forego the daily caffeine intake, and 59% of workers would rather have a coffee break than a snack break at work…

coffee1 th

In the article Workplace Culture: The Perks of Coffee Breaks by Zoryana Cherwick writes: Hey, let’s meet for ‘fika‘… That may sound like an exotic destination or event, but fika is actually a Swedish word for coffee break… ‘Fika’ at the office is not about grabbing a coffee and then drinking it at your desk while you work… It’s about sitting down with co-workers and taking a break from what you’re doing so you can socialize, de-stress and seek support, advice… Fika can happen any time of day and is typically observed several times throughout the day, often with something sweet on the side. These breaks are seen as important social events used to help keep-up moral and boost group spirit, so companies prioritize coffee time for employees…

Elsewhere, such as; in UK– ‘elevens‘ is a traditional coffee or tea break taken around 11 a.m.; but coffee breaks in UK are not limited to only late morning… In many circles tea breaks are seen as an integral part of the working day, with some businesses creating central areas where workers from different departments can gather, socialize… Grabbing a cup of coffee or tea allows colleagues to communicate eye-to-eye rather than through email and it gets people out of their desks and moving…

In Japan; tea is the drink of choice with many companies making green tea available to workers during breaks and preparing tea for important visitors… A lot of workplace communication is done through conversations over tea or coffee, rather than formal channels… There are a number of studies supporting the idea that taking regular ‘breaks’ boosts workplace culture and productivity, e.g.:

  • Keep people focused: A study in the journal ‘Cognition‘ found that brief diversions from a task can dramatically improve one’s ability to concentrate…
  • Relieve stress: A study in ‘Symbolic Reaction’ found that having coffee breaks helps coworkers cope with major events, distractions…
  • Boost productivity: MIT studied call center workers and found that workers who took coffee breaks, talked to co-workers felt less stress and were more productive…
  • Recharge your energy: The ‘Energy Project’ found that without downtime, people are less efficient, make more mistakes, and are less engaged…

In the article Pros And Cons Of Coffee by Delialah Falcon writes: Many people express concern about the possible negative side effects of drinking coffee. While current research suggests that there are indeed some negative health effects associated with the popular beverage, coffee drinkers may be surprised to learn that there are actually more health benefits associated with coffee than there are risks. Here is breakdown of pros and cons:

  • Pro– Decreased Risk Of Diabetes: People who drink coffee on a daily basis have a lower chance of developing Type 2 Diabetes than non-drinkers…
  • Pro– Decreased Risk Of Parkinson’s And Alzheimer’s: Current research suggests that there may be an unidentified ingredient found in coffee that, when combined with caffeine, may elevate GCFS levels. These are growth factor levels that may have the ability to ward off the development of Alzheimer’s disease…
  • Pro– Protects Against Heart Disease And Stroke: Some people mistakenly believe that drinking coffee can have a negative effect on the heart. To date, there have been no documented studies that prove this to be the case. In fact, some current research suggests that consuming moderate amount each day may actually improve heart health and protect against heart disease and stroke…
  • Pro– Lowers Cancer Risk: Coffee has been shown to significantly lower the risk of developing certain types of cancer. Men who drink it every day can decrease their risk of developing prostate cancer…
  • Pro– High In Antioxidants: Although caffeine is the main ingredient found in coffee, it’s also full of healthy antioxidants… High levels of antioxidants are associated with a wealth of health benefits ranging from immunity boosting effects to protection from cancer and other serious diseases…
  • Con– Can Raise Cholesterol Levels: One negative aspect of coffee is its linkage to  possible increase in cholesterol levels. Increased risk is only present in unfiltered coffee such as espresso and lattes…
  • Con– Can Lead To Weight Gain: People attempting to lose weight or maintain current weight may be discouraged to learn that drinking coffee may cause increased weight gain. However, it’s not the coffee itself, but the condiments that people add to coffee that have the unwanted effects. ..
  • Con– It’s Addictive Stimulant: Caffeine is in coffee and it’s highly addictive, and for some people who consume just one cup per day can go through severe withdrawals symptoms if they eliminate the daily cup…
  • Con– Increases Heart Rate, Elevates Blood Pressure: The stimulants in caffeine provide an energy boost and increased alertness, but it can also cause an elevated heart rate and temporary rise in blood pressure…
  • Con– Causes Sleep Disturbances: Sleep disturbances are common in many people who consume coffee…
  • Con– Can Stain Teeth: One thing is certain, if you drink coffee teeth will eventually become stained…

Bottom Line: Although the health risks of drinking coffee can be significant, the risks only appear to increase as the level of consumption increases… As with most things in life, it appears that moderation is the key– if you want to capitalize on health benefits of coffee.

Coffee in the workplace is an interesting conundrum… According to Reed Parker; in an office environment, the coffee pot is the supreme gathering place… Especially in the morning, everyone gravitates toward it so they can make the same sad jokes about not having had their coffee yet… Coffee in the workplace is an easy common ground for employees… But are all of its benefits really helping employee performance? Although there is no definitive proof– results from many surveys suggest nothing but good things, e.g.; 89% of office workers said that– good cup of coffee can make the entire workday better, and without it they feel– irritable, unproductive, disorganized, forgetful…

coffee imagesZN5N84HY

Hence the message is simple– when management provides coffee in the workplace, particularly when it’s– quality, gourmet, and free– it shows that management cares about employees being happy; a happy business is a fast growing business

Employers take note; by all means spend money on– nice furniture, top-equipment, work-out room, ping-pong tables… these things are nice-to-have. But, the best-loved workplace benefit and surely the most cost-effective is– coffee, especially when it’s free. So, fire-up the espresso machine, get out the grinder, go find the filters… it’s time for a fresh cup of coffee!

Power of Images in Social Media: Embracing Visual Thinking– Shift ‘Text’ to ‘Image’, ‘Video’, ‘Photo’…

Compelling social media is all about– visuals, images, photos, videos… human history is a history of images… The act of visualizing the world by adding shape and color to its essence and structure, is a fundamental part of human nature…

According to Dr. Lynell Burmark;… unless words, concepts, ideas are hooked onto an image, they will go in one ear, sail through the brain, and go out the other ear. Words are processed by short-term memory where you can only retain about seven bits of information (plus or minus 2). Images on other hand, go directly into long-term memory where they are indelibly etched… Furthermore this effect increases over time:

A study found that after 3-days users retained only 10-20% of written or spoken information, but almost 65% of visual information… All this suggests that humans process visuals more efficiently than text…

images3

Visuals cause a faster and stronger reaction than text… visuals help users engage with content and, as such, emotional reactions influence information retention… 90% of information transmitted to the brain is visual and it’s processed 60,000X faster in the brain than text… A study by ROI Research found that when users engage with friends on social media sites, they enjoy photos the most, photos generate 53% more ‘likes’ than the average post… The same goes for consumer engagement with brands; 44% of respondents are more likely to connect with brands if they post visuals  than any other media…

Posts with videos attract 3 times more inbound links than plain text posts. Viewers spend 100% more time on pages with videos and 85% more likely to buy/react after watching a video… content with images get 94% more ‘views/shares’ than those without… content with photos (or other visuals) are ‘bookmarked’ much more often than those without

In the article Age of Visual Culture by Jeff Bulla writes: We live in the age of the ‘camera in everyone’s pocket‘ and with more than 2.5 billion camera phones we are in a dynamic era of image creation and content, which can be broken into three phases as we enter the age of a visual culture and language. Three phases: (1) Massive increase in photo creation… (2) Rise of image-centric social media networks… (3) Images becoming interactive… If you have an online store, or issue press releases, or Facebook business ‘page’, then here are 6 reasons to publish images and photos as part of your business tactics:

  • Articles with images get 94% more total views…
  • Photo and video in a press release increases views by over 45%…
  • 60% of consumers are more likely to consider or contact a business when an image shows up in local search results…
  • 67% of consumers say the quality of product’s ‘image’ is very important in selecting and buying decision…
  • Customers think that the quality of a products ‘image’ is more important than product-specific information (63%), long description (54%), ratings/reviews (53%)…
  • Engagement rate on Facebook for photos averages 0.37% where text only is 0.27% (this translates to a 37% higher level of engagement for photos over text)…

In the article Rise Of Visual Social Media by Ekaterina Walter writes: Social media has ushered in ‘visuals’ as the breakout trend… When it comes to selling, business is learning– to show, not tell– and visual content sites fuel people’s desire for beautiful photography and sensational design… the maxim– ‘content is king’ is now supersede by the maxim– ‘image is worth a thousand words’… This trend toward visuals is shifting people’s habits– as they engage with social media via smartphones… they discover that taking a photo ‘on the go’ using a smartphone is much less tedious than typing out a status update on a two-inch keyboard…

A study by ROI Research found that when users engage with friends on social media sites, it’s the pictures they took that are enjoyed the most… 44% of respondents are more likely to engage with brands when they post pictures than any other media. Pictures is the default mode of sorting and understanding the vast amounts of information we’re exposed to every day…

According to Detavio Samuals; pictures are a short form way of communicating lots of information quickly and succinctly… The need for most business people to get to the point quickly and not lose their audience’s attention is a picture, it’s the only thing shorter than– words, tweets, posts…

image the-power-of-visual-content

In the article Harnessing Power of Images by Rebecca Swift writes: Choosing images to represent a brand is just as important as word messages or mission statement… According to Jerome Butler; a study shows that people only remember 10% of what they hear and 20% of what they read, and around 80% of what they see and do… Hence, business must take note of the power of images and position visuals at the forefront messaging… and it’s crucial that the target audience remains central to image selection and the imagery used conjures an instant picture of the brand and its core values…

Most important, images should be kept simple, clear, uncluttered… when a website or blog is too cluttered with visuals, it becomes counter-productive and difficult for viewers to understand the fundamental business offering… Images should be used for at-a-glance comprehension and never misused or end-up diluting the company’s key messaging… To ensure the audience instantly absorb the key points– whether in text, image, video format– imagery should be a focal point on the page. This may all seem obvious, but it’s surprising how many websites are difficult to navigate because designers have cram too much information on the page…

In the article Harnessing Power of Images in Social Media by Benny Coen writes: The power of social media comes not through great written tweets, but through an image which truly sums-up everything in a thousand words… According to a survey, 87% of the most shared post on Facebook are photos… and even a good chunk of the other 13% are videos, albums, visual content to attract fans… people are more likely to engage and share when there are images or video… people on average spend 100% more time on a web page which has videos or images that attract their interest…

Sometimes, a picture is worth a thousand words, but other times a picture is just a bizarre, jumbled mess which confuses followers about a business… too many confusing visuals can hurt a business…

So while images are very important, the combination of images being re-enforced with words improves the overall effectiveness of brand messaging… Also, an inspiring quote, business slogan, or other simple pithy words can emphasize the business message and inspire more followers… According to Shona Marsh; its human nature to communicate visually and connect emotionally with images, videos… It’s not hard to see the value of images on social media when you look at the statistics:

  • 80% of online visitors watch videos while only 20% take the time to read content…
  • Between 65% and 85% of people describe themselves as ‘visual learners’ meaning that they organize thoughts and generate meanings based on visual stimulus…
  • 93% of the most engaging posts on social media are photos…

images4

In the article Compelling Power of Visuals in Social Media by cpcmmunications writes: Images are attention grabbing pieces of ‘snackable’ content which users can understand and engage with easier… Images used in social media are more likely to evoke emotional reactions in viewers and can portray information more efficiently than text

As people are becoming overwhelmed with content, business must change their social media strategy to engage with users in a more inventive, exciting way… Using images allows users to inspect the product/service/cause… and that helps them decide (better than text) whether to buy it or not… But it’s important to be original and make content as interesting, brief, relevant, focus on the target audience…

Humans are visual thinkers… Tapping into this innate ability is essential, especially in a society where people are bombarded by information they don’t have time to read… Hence add personality to content, people are more likely to engage with business that feels like a friend, particularly on social media…

Images tell a better business story… share the message, show-off products, show-off workplace culture, show-off fans, show-off events. Don’t just stop at one image– create series of images, put images into content calendar… post high quality interesting images… Better yet, use videos when appropriate– videos are great for unique storytelling opportunities…

image thBRVW45JN

Power of images: you see them everywhere; billboards, magazines, bus placards… they come by mail, newspapers, magazines… in stadiums, entertainment venues… Many are compelling to watch, some are seductive, others are entertaining… they revolutionize social media content … According to Sarah Lawrence; brands that use visuals have greater and more intimate engagement… visuals tell stories quicker with greater emotions and connection…

According to James Balm; images grab attention, images explain  difficult concepts, and inspires… Powerful visuals, whether they are– images, photos, videos… is all about telling stories, creating a closer connection to audiences… making it easier and more effective to  embrace cultural relevance… Visuals is a storytelling tool; powerful visuals that elicit emotional reaction delivery deep personal and intimate engagement…

The Non-Profit Economy– New Wave of Philanthro-Capitalism: Convergence Capitalism, Philanthropy

Mixing capitalism with philanthropy: What a concept! Combining the non-profit and for-profit worlds for the greater good, and providing philanthropists with a smarter and more meaningful way to give. A hybrid organization– part business, part foundation; it’s the new wave of philanthro-capitalism…

The business of non-profit is a multi-billion dollar economy… though not many people are aware of it, the non-profit community is an enormous contributor to the U.S. economy; it provides about 6% of the nation’s entire GDP or about trillion dollars to the U.S. economy…

According to Bureau of Labor Statistics; non-profits provide about 12 million jobs, accounting for about 11% of the country’s private-sector workforce… According to National Center for Charitable Statistics (NCCS); more than 1.5 million non-profit organizations are registered in the U.S…

non1 images

Quick Facts About Non-profit Organizations:

  • 1,548,644 tax-exempt organizations, including: 1,076,208 public charities; 103,356 private foundations; 369,080 other non-profit organizations…
  • Non-profits accounted for about 10% of all wages and salaries paid in the U.S…
  • Non-profit Share of GDP is about 6%…
  • Non-profit charities reported over $1.75 trillion in total revenues and over $1.65 trillion in total expenses. Of the revenue: 21% came from contributions, gifts and government grants… 72% came from program service revenues, which include government fees and contracts… 7% came from ‘other’ sources including; dues, rental income, special event income, gains or losses from goods sold…
  • Non-profit public charities reported over $3 trillion in total assets
  • Non-profit volunteers (not paid) make-up about 25.3% of workers in non-profit organizations. This proportion has remained relatively constant since 2003 after a slight increase from 27.4% to 28.8% in 2003…
  • Non-profit charitable contributions by individuals, foundations, bequests, and corporations reached $358.38 billion in 2014, an increase of 7.1% from the revised 2013 estimates and after adjusting for inflation. Of these charitable contributions: Religious organizations received the largest share, with 32% of total estimated contributions. Educational institutions received the second largest percentage, with 15% of total estimated contributions. Human service organizations accounted for 12% of total estimated contributions in 2014, the third largest share…

In the article Importance of Non-profit Organizations in the Economy by Matt Berg writes: It never occurs to many people who are not involved with non-profits how integral these organizations can be to the overall functioning of the economy… To many, non-profits are just innocuous little entities existing in their own isolated corner of the economy. Non-profits serve one distinct purpose, i.e., bettering the world while zeroing out the books…

Even the most cursory economic impact study demonstrates the indispensable value of non-profit organizations in any economy. The jobs they provide help sustain the economy in same way any properly-functioning for-profit organization does… In fact, in terms of day-to-day operations, non-profits run very similar to for-profit corporations… Non-profits, like for-profits, rely on the same skill-sets; computer programmers, accountants, graphic designers, specialized workers to ensure smooth operation… Non-profits are businesses; they simply receive preferential tax treatment…

Non-profit organizations, like any other business, consume third-party goods and services in their day-to-day operations. They require computers, Internet, phone services, building materials, utilities… in order to run. This generates revenue for companies that distribute goods and services and that provides added economic growth. Non-profit organizations provide paying jobs… just like for-profits, and indirectly stimulate endless other facets of the economy… Hence, non-profit workers earn wages and spend money; they pay for house mortgages, car payments, restaurants, theaters, entertainments… they support the economy just like for-profit workers…

non npt_5info_npq1

In the article Non-profit Funding Models by William Landes Foster, Peter Kim, & Barbara Christiansen write: Funding is a constant topic among non-profit leaders: How much is needed? What are the sources? In tough economic times, these types of questions become more frequent and pressing. Unfortunately, the answers are not readily available. That’s because non-profit leaders are much more sophisticated about ‘creating’ programs than they are about ‘funding’ programs, and they often struggle to understand the impact (and limitations) of sources of funding sources… And there are consequences to this financial fussiness: Too often, the result is that promising programs are cut, curtailed, or never launched– hence the chaotic fundraising scramble– leaders begin their ‘dialing for dollars’ campaigns…

In the for-profit world, by contrast, there is a much higher degree of clarity on financial issues. This is particularly true when it comes to understanding how different businesses operate, which can be encapsulated in a set of principles known as ‘business models’. Although there is no definitive list of corporate business models, there is enough agreement business leaders about what they mean, such that– investors and executives can engage in sophisticated conversations about a given business strategy…

When a person says that a business is a ‘low-cost provider’ or a ‘fast follower’, the main outlines of how that company operates are pretty clear. Similarly, stating that a business is using ‘razor and razor blade’ model it describes a type of ongoing customer relationship that applies far beyond shaving products…

The value of such shorthand is that it allows business leaders to articulate quickly and clearly how they can succeed in the marketplace, and it allows investors to quiz executives more easily about how they intend to make money. This back-and-forth increases the odds that businesses will succeed, investors will make money, and everyone will learn more from their experiences…

However, the non-profit world rarely engages in equally clear and succinct conversations about an organization’s long- term funding strategy; that is, because the different types of funding that fuel non-profits have never been clearly defined…  More than a poverty of language, this represents and results in, a poverty of understanding and clear thinking…

According to Clara Miller; non-profits are in two ‘businesses’– one related to ‘program’ activities and the other related to ‘funding’ activities… As a result of this distinction; non-profit funding models need to be understood separately from those of the for-profit world. It’s also why the term ‘funding model’ rather than ‘business model’ is used to describe this framework… A ‘business model’ incorporates choices about the cost structure and value proposition to the funder… A ‘funding model’, however, focuses only on funding, not on the programs and services offered…

non th5BNPUXJ7

In the article Run Non-profit Like For-profit Organization by Mohan Sivaloganathan writes: Having a business with a noble goal is good, but does that mean you should run it like a charity? The non-profit model isn’t broken, but can be better… For-profit is a mindset in high performing organizations of all shapes and sizes, including non-profits. Here are three for-profit considerations for driving non-profit impact:

  • Impact Through Purpose: Profit need not be limited to financial gain, e.g.; profit is derived when a person becomes the first in their family to go to college, or when a veteran experiences a healthy and productive transition when they return to their community… Simply relegating organizations that improve the lives of millions to a tax status creates an uneven playing field that limits vision, resources, and commitment. Similarly, the best achieving businesses are more than the literal definition of the word: They strive to disrupt, grow, improve lives… Non-profit organizations must think big; strive to solve major social problems; generational poverty, widening income, academic gaps, inequality, refugees… The reality is non-profit issues are very complex, but locking the organizations into a ‘non-profit’ box won’t satisfy the purpose…
  • Impact Through Talent: Some critics argue that non-profits suffer from ‘too much overhead’… However, non-profit and for-profit share the same wide range of vital costs, such as; technology, finance, fundraising, marketing, staff development… And most important, they must invest in high quality people… Businesses are applauded for recruiting and retaining the best talent, which requires a robust culture and comprehensive benefits… Non-profit organizations, on the other hand, are expected to keep salaries low, minimize staff-related costs… The result of this thinking is a brutal cycle at the crossroads of purpose and unfair expectations, leading to crippling turnover… ‘Lean’ and ‘hustle’ have their place in business operations, but not when it comes to the quality of the people who are entrusted with solving very difficult social problems…
  • Impact Through Innovation: Non-profit organizations face a return on investment (ROI) conundrum… In the for-profit world, companies are encouraged to take risks; they are expected to step into new horizons and disrupt the status quo… But in the non-profit, funders are increasingly focused on immediate, measurable ROI… Most funders are risk-averse and won’t fund initiatives tied to high risk potential or uncharted opportunities. It’s no surprise that non-profit organizations are rated on leanness… Fortunately, there are signs of some real change– smart, responsible innovation– not lean and hustle…

There are many fundamental differences between non-profits and for-profits, not least of which is that non-profits’ objective is to make a ‘difference’; not to make profit. That said, there are some valuable lessons that can be applied to non-profit management that can translate into a more efficient, stable, successful organization which can have a greater impact…

At their core, nonprofits operate with two bottom lines; social impact and fiscal success… Impact may trump the bottom line, but when the two work hand in hand, it’s easier to make wider strides toward social good. Some non-profits that run organizations like a business have stopped using the term ‘non-profit’ altogether…

According to Melissa Beck; we have started using ‘social impact’ in place of ‘non-profit’: We are incredibly conscious of being financially sustainable, just like a for-profit business…