Archivos diarios: 23 abril 2010

8 things I wish everyone knew about email

  1. Change your settings so that email from you has a name, your name, not a blank or some unusual characters, in the from field. (ask a geek or IT person for help if you don’t know how).
  2. Change your settings so that the bottom of every email includes a signature (often called a sig) that includes your name and your organization.
  3. Change your settings so that when you reply to a note, the note you’re replying to is included below what you write (this is called quoting).
  4. Don’t hit reply all. Just don’t. Okay, you can, but read this first.
  5. You can’t recall an email you didn’t mean to send. Some software makes you think you can, but you can’t. Not reliably.
  6. Email lives forever, is easy to spread and can easily show up in discovery for a lawsuit.
  7. Please don’t ask me to save a tree by not printing your email. It doesn’t work, it just annoys the trees.
  8. Send yourself some email at a friend’s computer. Read it. Are the fonts too big or too small? Does it look like a standard email? If it doesn’t look like a standard, does this deviation help you or hurt you? Sometimes, fitting in makes sense, no?

And a bonus tip from Cory Doctorow, who gets more email than you and me combined: When you go on vacation, set up an autoreply that says, “I’m on vacation until x/x/2010. When I get back, I’m going to delete all the email that arrived while I was gone, so if this note is important, please send it to me again after that date.”

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How to Crowdfund your Startup

In November 2009, my business partner and I successfully Crowdfunded a business designed to provide independent filmmakers with an alternative method of film distribution, OpenIndie. The result of our month-long campaign was over $12,400 to bootstrap our company, a good amount of press interest and a built-in audience and user base for our site.

What is Crowdfunding?

Before discussing the pros and cons of Crowdfunding I should explain a little about how the process actually works. The most important thing to considering when Crowdfunding your venture is that this isn’t like taking investment. The process can take many forms, and just like taking investment, won’t be right for everyone. That said, here’s the most common model being used by everyone from startups and non-profits to artists, musicians and filmmakers…

An individual or organisation states that they need X amount of money to fund their venture. This venture can be anything, from a cupcake shop to an independent feature film; and the amount of money can be a small part or all of the total cost of the venture. The individual or organisation then uses their existing networks to leverage the crowd, that’s you, to donate money to their venture in return for a reward.

Often this reward is directly related to the venture being funding, so it could be a batch of cupcakes or a credit at the end of someone’s film; but equally it could simply be a very small thank you for your contribution. I recently came across someone who successfully crowdfunded enough money to pay for the hull of her ship that she needed to circumnavigate the globe.

In return for a small contribution she promised a postcard from a random location on her travels delivered to your door. As you can see, this isn’t investment in the traditional sense, in fact rule number one of Crowdfunding is that you don’t offer a percentage of your venture as a reward. Rather this process is something akin to patronage by a different name. However, there is an important difference between Crowdfunding and patronage that I will explain using the example of my own experience.

Pre-Selling your Product to Fund your Business Sigue leyendo

Dachis Group welcomes The 2.0 Adoption Council

Susan Scrupski is a thought leader and advisor to leading companies; her name might not be familiar to readers of this blog but she is a kingpin of the Enterprise 2.0 space. Proof to back up this assertion: she has built The 2.0 Adoption Council, a group of over 175 global members from over 100 companies; see the graphic that outlines its members, a who’s who of the business world. These practitioners who have a daily look – for better or worse – into what’s going on with the social business world. Sigue leyendo

Congratulations, you’re a manager … now what?


Managing relationships, sharing feedback and hiring staff are just some of the challenges facing managers.

Career-enhancing tips for first-time managers that will make you look like a seasoned pro.

You’ve paid your dues. You’ve worked your way up from assistant to management level. And now what?

How friendly should you be with your team? Is it better to delegate or be a hands-on boss? Is honesty always the best policy, especially when managing up? How should you decide on your replacement? Being a first-time manager can be overwhelming. So we asked a team of experts to create a game plan to bring to your first day in a management position.

Be friendly, but not a friend

You can still be supportive and you can still be understanding. But as you rise through the ranks, being respected is more important than being liked by your employees.

A management role calls for you to make increasingly weighted decisions, and there’s not a chance that you will please every member of your team every time. Additionally, cultivating friendships with only a select number of staffers can create feelings of distrust and resentment. Instead, aim to be both firm and caring with direct reports, but be wary of crossing the communication line too far into the personal.

“It’s much harder to ask someone to meet a deadline when you both polished off a bottle of wine together at the bar the night before,” says Amy Hutchens, a San Diego-based business strategist and relationship author.

When you’re tapped from within a group for a leadership role or move into management, the challenge of addressing the changing hierarchy of relationships can be hard to finesse. Sharon Daniels, CEO of training and development company Achieve Global, says the best way to get over this hurdle is head-on.

“I’d encourage a first-time manager to talk to their own supervisor specifically about this challenge,” she says. One good technique is to “try some role-playing on how best to talk to colleagues about moving into a managerial role and how it will affect the dynamic-particularly if those colleagues are also people you consider friends.” Most importantly, an up front and direct conversation with your former colleagues is the best tactic at relieving the tension of fluctuating roles.

Manage 360 Sigue leyendo

Why our wired lifestyle is a pain in the neck

Person with PDA handheld device.
Image via Wikipedia

Limit texting… if your thumbs or wrists hurt from texting it could be time to cut back.

Smart phones and laptops, handheld video games and MP3 players, and now, perhaps, Apple‘s new iPad – the latest technology is great, but it is also a literal pain in the neck, doctors say.

And not just the neck, either. All these newfangled gadgets also are hurting our backs, shoulders, arms and hands. Teens are suffering from ”text thumb” and their parents are getting ”BlackBerry neck”.

”I have a lot of patients who come in and say, ‘My mum is 80 years old, I’m 50, and I’ve got more pain than her,’ ” said Dr Srinivas Ganesh, a sports-medicine specialist with Kaiser Permanente in Redwood City, California. ”But we have a much more sedentary lifestyle, and much more computer interfacing … We see a lot of poor posturing, a lot of stress on the wrists.”

Strains and pains caused by modern technology are hardly new. But orthopaedists and others who specialise in muscle and joint injuries say there’s no question that the surge of handheld technology is leading to a new wave of aches and pains.

Doctors say they struggle now to keep up with the latest equipment and what it might mean for their patients. Apple’s new iPad, for example, has caught the attention of doctors, who wonder what new complaints they’ll hear.

”The engineers spend a lot of time thinking about how people use new devices. But when you release them to a large population, you run into issues that were never perceived beforehand,” said Dr Matthew Smuck, an assistant professor of orthopaedic surgery at the Stanford Spine Centre. ”That’s what happened with desktop computers, and there’s a whole science behind ergonomics now.” Sigue leyendo

Facebook Open Graph: The Definitive Guide For Publishers, Users and Competitors

Written by Alex Iskold

Facebook just shook the tech world by announcing several major initiatives that collectively constitute an aggressive move to weave the social net on top of the existing Web.The rumors were that the leading social network would launch a “Like” button for the entire Web. Instead, Zuckerberg & Co. unveiled a bold and visionary new platform that cannot be ignored.

// The bits of this platform bring together the visions of a social, personalized and semantic Web that have been discussed since pioneered Web 2.0 back in 2004. Facebook’s vision is both minimalistic and encompassing – but its ambition is to kill off its competition and use 500 million users to take over entire Web.

Whether we like it (pun intended) or not, we have to understand what this move means. It impacts users, publishers, competitors and, of course, Facebook itself. In this post, we summarize what Facebook announced and ponder the impact this will have on everyone.

Facebook Open Graph: Publisher Plugins

The Open Graph is a set combination of publisher plugins, semantic markup and a developer API.

“This new API turns Facebook into a read/write storage of user’s tastes.”

Login with Faces & Facepile: The simpler publisher plugins enhance Facebook Connect. They makes it easy and compelling to sign in by leveraging Facebook cookies and showing faces of Facebook friends who are already members of the service.

Like Button and Like Box: These plugins add the liking feature to any content, typically the whole page. Both can be enhanced with semantic markup, described below. But the very basic intent for these is to get users to Like on the site and post a link to Facebook, which is then permanently stored on a user’s profile and points back to the original site.

Activity Feed and Live Stream: These plugins show static and dynamic activity on the site. Activity Feed lists recent likes and comments from the site, while Live Stream shows a real-time view of activity on the site and is intended for interactive events.

Recommendations: This plugin surfaces personalized recommendations for the user based on what friends and everyone else is liking on the site. It is intended to drive the users to other pages on the site.

Facebook Open Graph: Semantic Markup

Facebook announced simple, RDF-based markup to make the plugins smarter. In a nutshell, the markup enables publishers to say what object is on the page – a movie, a book, a recording artist, an event, a sports team, etc. This automatically enables semantics, that is, an understanding that the user is not just interacting with a webpage, but that he or she is liking a specific kind of thing. Semantics then leads to bucketing of the objects into categories like books, movies, music, etc., and gives rise to all sort of applications, including personalized recommendations.

Perhaps even more importantly, the markup helps Facebook connect the users across common interests across different websites. For example, if both Pandora and annotate a page about The Beatles using Facebook’s markup, then users will be able to see their friends, who like the Beatles across different sites. This is very significant, because the data around friends is sparse and scattered around the sites. Previously, Facebook would surface this data in the stream without persisting it. Now, the information about a friend’s likes of movies, music, books, recording artists, events, sports team, etc. will be permanent on Facebook profiles and readily available in context around the Web. Sigue leyendo

Pautas estratégicas de la asombrosa recuperación de Ford

Ford Motor Company of Canada
Image via Wikipedia
En 2006, cuando Alan Mulally asumió como CEO, Ford había perdido 12.600 millones de dólares. En 2009, en cambio, ganó 2.700 millones. ¿Cuál fue la estrategia?
Por Alberto Levy

En la edición del 01/03/10 de The Wall Street Journal Americas, Paul Ingrassia escribe “Alan Mulally: el ejecutivo que, a golpe de presentaciones PowerPoint, salvó a Ford”.

Podemos analizar el caso Ford sobre la base del modelo Penta, que vincula la creación de valor económico con cinco pilares básicos: la estrategia, la cultura, los recursos, la organización y los mercados.

Comencemos presentando la situación. En 2006, cuando Mulally asumió como presidente y CEO, Ford cerraba el año con pérdidas por 12.600 millones de dólares. En 2009, en cambio, ganó 2.700 millones.

A finales de 2008, la acción de la compañía valía menos de 2 dólares. Hoy supera los 12. Así, se aprecia la gran creación de valor económico ocurrida bajo el mandato de Mulally.

Después de varios años de declinación, la participación de mercado de Ford se ha incrementado sustancialmente. Incluso, es altamente probable que, este año, sus ventas superen a las de General Motors, por primera vez en más de ocho décadas.

El posicionamiento

En líneas generales, tanto en la Estrategia de Portafolio como en la Estrategia Competitiva, el plan de Mulally consistió en una simplificación sistémica y sistemática: “Mejorar el enfoque, simplificar las operaciones”.

Con respecto a la Estrategia de Portafolio, la clave de la simplificación fue la eliminación de marcas de la cartera. Se fueron Jaguar, Land Rover, Aston Martin y está a punto de irse Volvo.

Con respecto a la Estrategia Competitiva, se hizo una fuerte asignación de recursos a la marca Ford para implementar el núcleo del empuje estratégico competitivo que consiste en reemplazar los modelos viejos y reposicionar el Ford Fiesta y el Ford Focus, a través de diseños y desarrollos europeos enfáticamente orientados al resultado de investigaciones de los requerimientos de la demanda.

La productividad

Derrik Kuzak, responsable de Desarrollo de Productos, está implementando la consigna “One Ford”, que consiste en desarrollar automóviles “globales” en una región, como Europa o Estados Unidos, para luego venderlos en el resto del mundo, evitando adaptaciones locales en los modelos para reducir costos.

Con respecto a los chasis (plataformas globales), el recorte fue de más de 29 a sólo 8. Asimismo, Ford pasó de fabricar 97 marcas a “apenas” 25.

Estas cifras son muy significativas. Debemos tener en cuenta que desarrollar cada chasis y cada modelo cuesta millones de dólares.

Y esta es una inversión dificilísima de recuperar con una diversificación demasiado amplia que reduce la Economía de Escala al privilegiar demasiado la Economía de Foco (pareciera una vuelta a la original frase “Que me compren cualquier color de auto con tal de que sea negro”).

Pero atención al equilibrio entre Productividad y Posicionamiento, filosofía sistémica central del Penta. Mulally dixit: “Lo más importante es fabricar productos que la gente quiere”.

Con estas pautas estratégicas, el CEO logró salvar a una empresa que se encontraba al borde de la ruina, y posicionarla como la principal corporación automotriz de los Estados Unidos.

Alberto Levy
Director de la división de Innovation & Growth de Deloitte LATCO. Profesor Titular Consulto de la Facultad de Ciencias Económicas de la Universidad de Buenos Aires. Autor del libro Empuje Estratégico

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