Infographic on ‘How StartUp Funding Works’. See the original and explanatory blog post here.
Infographic on ‘How StartUp Funding Works’. See the original and explanatory blog post here.
A few months ago, LinkedIn celebrated 1 billion endorsements by releasing an infographic (see below). Considering the passage of time and the increasing velocity of endorsement giving, this number may be over 3 billion by now.
On the face of it, LinkedIn Endorsements seemed to be a good idea. Users can endorse specific skills of others, thereby helping potential employers to more easily shortlist candidates (the ‘placement’ market is after all, the main revenue stream for LinkedIn). Users will also benefit from ‘social recognition‘ of their skills and capabilities.
However, all is not well in wonderland. The manner in which the Endorsement system has been implemented is resulting in several, hopefully unforeseen, problems. Three main issues are:
A user does not necessarily have control over what skills are being endorsed by others. Thus a skill which one does not wish to emphasize might get ‘suggested’ by LinkedIn for endorsement by others, while the skills a user has selected as part of his/her ‘online brand’ are not always visible. While a one can opt not to display a particular endorsement, the overall result is either a wasted endorsement or dilution of the personal brand.
As per the current implementation, anyone can endorse any skill for any connections on LinkedIn. As a result, one may get endorsed for a particular skill by someone who is not is a position to make a genuine evaluation of the skill. For example, a Scientist’s mathematical skills can be endorsed by his/her basketball teammate – not exactly someone who maybe in a position to make such a judgement. Alternatively, one might get endorsed for a skill that one does not possess [In jest, I've received an endorsement for Quidditch! Unfortunately, I cannot tell a Quaffle from a Bludger]. When combined with the fact that there is no way to verify endorsements, this results in the value of a LinkedIn endorsement being zilch.
There was a time when one could view the LinkedIn activity stream and garner the major happenings in one’s professional network. Who changed jobs, who got promoted, who started something new. Now, the stream is largely unreadable, with the majority of updates simply stating that X got endorsed by Y for a skill Z. Which has made the LinkedIn Activity Stream unusable.
List of Resources to learn the fundamentals of design
In the spirit of the famous quote by Steve Jobs “It’s technology married with liberal arts, married with the humanities, that yields us the result that makes our hearts sing“, we cover several aspects of the principles and fundamentals of design during the UI Design session in my course #HKUiSAD. Below is a list of links to various resources used in the session:
2. Mac Developer Library’s “The Philosophy of UI Design: Fundamental Principles” Page (under the OS X Human Interface Guidelines)
3. Mac Developer Library’s “User Experience Guidelines” Page (under the OS X Human Interface Guidelines)
“Stuff Designers Do” is a series of video tutorials that will help you learn the fundamentals of design. Whether you’re interested in graphic design, art, photography, or anything where design fundamentals can help — this series will be helpful. Brent Spore, the host, is a professional designer who is passionate about making things look beautiful.
5. An article on the evolution of Foursquare’s mobile app towards a simple design titled “The hardest trick in mobile design: making the product simpler“
The company’s dilemma, though, is that new features typically add complexity, which is the Achilles’ heel of mobile products. Apps that succeed on phones are often simple in the extreme, hiding their intricacies from the main view. What’s remarkable about Foursquare is that the company has managed to add features and make its product simpler at the same time.
6. An article listing “20 Incredibly useful tools and resources for Web designers“
As part of its ‘Delivering Tomorrow’ series, DHL has created a scenario study on “Logistics 2050.” One of the five scenarios visualized in this report is a world of 3D printing; or what we call in my class #hkuiom as ‘A Future of Mass Customization’.
2050. Our world is much more colorful, diverse and local. Technical progress, especially in 3D printing, turns consumers into producers. ‘Self-made’ and ‘individually tailored’ become the new ethos for society. New types of production processes facilitate a world with a multitude of individual lifestyles.
Uniform goods and mass-produced items have vanished from display windows and apartments. The consequence of this development is not only a revolution in supply chains. Awareness about the need for recycling is growing, creating new commercial perspectives. Recycling ensures replenishable supplies and keeps 3D printing running. It’s a world characterized by diversity — but are more possibilities out there?
See the segment below:
The full video, with all five possible scenarios is below
The full report also contains some excellent essays on Future Studies and Future Forecasting, besides scenario analysis and future predictions. The full report and other future predictions can be read at www.delivering-tomorrow.com
Here is an alternative link to Logistics 2050.
This infographic by MBAOnline.com highlights how Samsung is catching up with Apple in the numbers game and exceeds Apple in everything, except the thing that matters – profits. A key point is that Samsung’s R&D spending is 3 times that of Apple. Implications are long term …
The advent of Facebook and other online social networks has made the Dunbar Number a well known concept. This article provides a nice layman’s explanation of the Dunbar number, in the words of Robin Dunbar himself. The article also points out that recent research shows that while people can have several thousand Facebook or Twitter friends, the number of people with whom they have meaningful interactions remains at around 150.
It seems as though the concept of a ‘Technology Assisted Dunbar Number’, which I had attempted to conceptualize 5 years ago has not found empirical support – as of yet. Hope remains that technology will one day enhance the limits of human cognition and thus enable us to evolve beyond this natural barrier.
Key passages from the article are highlighted below:
Over the past two decades, he and other like-minded researchers have discovered groupings of 150 nearly everywhere they looked. Anthropologists studying the world’s remaining hunter-gatherer societies have found that clans tend to have 150 members. Throughout Western military history, the size of the company—the smallest autonomous military unit—has hovered around 150. The self-governing communes of the Hutterites, an Anabaptist sect similar to the Amish and the Mennonites, always split when they grow larger than 150. So do the offices of W.L. Gore & Associates, the materials firm famous for innovative products such as Gore-Tex and for its radically nonhierarchical management structure. When a branch exceeds 150 employees, the company breaks it in two and builds a new office.
For Dunbar, there’s a simple explanation for this: In the same way that human beings can’t breathe underwater or run the 100-meter dash in 2.5 seconds or see microwaves with the naked eye, most cannot maintain many more than 150 meaningful relationships. Cognitively, we’re just not built for it.
Dunbar actually describes a scale of numbers, delimiting ever-widening circles of connection. The innermost is a group of three to five, our very closest friends. Then there is a circle of 12 to 15, those whose death would be devastating to us. (This is also, Dunbar points out, the size of a jury.) Then comes 50, “the typical overnight camp size among traditional hunter-gatherers like the Australian Aboriginals or the San Bushmen of southern Africa,” Dunbar writes in his book How Many Friends Does One Person Need? Beyond 150 there are further rings: Fifteen hundred, for example, is the average tribe size in hunter-gatherer societies, the number of people who speak the same language or dialect. These numbers, which Dunbar has teased out of surveys and ethnographies, grow by a factor of roughly three. Why, he isn’t sure.
Another link to the article is here.
Remember the first version of the Microsoft Surface? The version that was aptly named the ‘Table Computer’. Lenovo has just introduced their version of the table computer at CES 2013. Key talking points – it is a large flat screen, running Windows 8, with multi-touch capabilities. Another play towards taking the computer from a personal to a social device.
Here is a CNET review:
Here is the original Microsoft Surface:
One of my research papers was recently nominated as a candidate for the Best Paper award at the 2012 International Conference on Information Systems (ICIS), the flagship conference and most prestigious gathering of information systems researchers in the world. Titled “Juggling Paradoxical Strategies: The Emergent Role of IT Capabilities”, the paper has been co-authored with Benn Konsynski, the George S. Craft Distinguished University Professor of Information Systems & Operations Management at Emory University. In this study, we assert that in the 21st century, different IT capabilities act in differing ways to individually and jointly enable or impede firms to simultaneously pursue paradoxical strategies as an emergent means of attaining competitive advantage.
Such an ability to follow two conflicting strategies at the same time is termed organizational ambidexterity. Firms which concurrently engage in the paradoxical strategies of exploration (or radical innovation) and exploitation (or incremental innovation) are able to address the needs of new and existing customers and thereby attain higher competitive performance. Our research finds that Transform IT capability, which leads to redefining and recreating business practices, strongly supports this instance of ambidexterity. On the other hand, IT Informate Capability, which results in greater information access across the organization, and IT Automate Capability, which facilitates automation of existing business processes, both hamper ambidexterity by ossifying business processes and reducing flexibility. Transform IT capability reduces these harmful effects. Our findings also suggest that a balance of IT Automate, Informate and Transform capabilities enables organizational ambidexterity, hitherto a challenging competitive possibility.
Data for the study was gathered from 352 manufacturing firms of all sizes in high growth sectors in India – a setting that provides an exemplar for the world’s enterprises undergoing rapid changes in the 21st century. These findings not only showcase the emergent role of IT in facing the complexities inherent in juggling paradoxical strategies, but also throw light upon previously unexplained variance in IT payoffs in the emerging economy and small and medium enterprise contexts.
A link to the paper in the conference proceedings is here.
This infographic, by MDGadvertising, highlights several social media blunders by major celebrities and businesses.
See the original image here.
Key tech trends include wearable computing, contextual apps, big data and maturation of social networks.
While these trends will surely change commerce practice in the coming years, the nexus of these trends will be immensely disruptive. Think convergence – contextual apps on wearable computers that provide services based on real-time analysis of social and location data, delivered via omnipresent wireless internet access.
Wearable computing: Think Google Glasses or Motorola Solutions’ new HC1 headset computer that you attach to your head and operate with voice commands
The “open world”: Android’s relative openness has encouraged “contextual apps” to emerge from the woodwork. “Apple doesn’t let them [developers] talk to the WiFi radio or bluetooth radio,” said Scoble.
Weird databases and the rise of “big data”: “We are seeing weird databases spring up like mushrooms,” said Scoble. These include NoSQL, Firebase, and MongoDB.
The maturation of social networks: The leading social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn are accumulating a massive store of user-generated data. What will they do with it?