Category Archives: Industry News

News You Can Use: 5/17/2017

  • LinkedIn’s Reid Hoffman: To Scale, Do Things That Don’t Scale

    “Over the last 20 years, I’ve worked on or invested in many companies that scaled to 100 million users or more,” says Hoffman. “But here’s the thing: You don’t start with 100 million users. You start with a few. So, stop thinking big, and start thinking small.”

    Adds Chesky, “It’s really hard to get even 10 people to love anything but it’s not hard if you spend a ton of time with them.”

    https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/293393

  • Why ‘Vacation-Shaming’ Hurts You More Than Your Employees

    Gary Beckstrand, vice president of O.C. Tanner Institute, in Salt Lake City, described an acquaintance who worked for a smaller company where long hours and lots of work travel were common. “While she was very passionate about her work — in fact, she says she loved it — after three years and only one very short vacation mixed in, she was completely burned out and she left the company,” Beckstrand told me.

    “You lose great experience and talent with employees who leave, and it costs the company money to bring in and train a new person.”

    https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/293711

  • Irrational Thinking Is a Virtue, Not a Vice
  • DHS ‘likely’ to expand laptop ban on flights

    Expanding the ban to and from other countries, including European countries, is being weighed by DHS, according to various reports. There is also an internal debate at DHS about what to do about lithium batteries inside devices stored in the baggage hold of a plane that could overheat and catch fire, causing a catastrophic explosion, according to Reuters and others.

    Expanding the DHS ban would require a herculean adjustment for many business travelers, some accustomed to writing and editing reports and presentations for hours on long flights. Suggested workarounds include the ability to check out a lightweight laptop or Chromebook near an airport gate to use just for that flight. It would then be checked in after all data was erased at the end of the flight.

    http://www.computerworld.com/article/3196146/it-industry/dhs-likely-to-expand-laptop-ban-on-flights.html

  • Why your mom is the best CPO you know

    By the time my son was 5, I had learned a valuable lesson: the $30 double-reinforced-knee pants from the catalog were a smarter purchase than the $9 pants from the big-box store. Why? Because my son, God bless him, can wear holes in the knees of his pants in no time flat. The $9 pants seemed like a bargain, but I had to replace them often. After two winters of trying to find long pants in his size when the stores had transitioned to Spring duds, I realized that the better quality, more expensive pants saved me time, gas, frustration in the long run.

    https://www.jaggaer.com/mother-procurement-posts-mom-best-cpo-know/

Photo: Eva Darron

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News You Can Use: 5/10/2017

  • Microsoft’s CEO Just Gave Some Brilliant Career Advice…

    “I was reading it not in the context of business or work culture, but in the context of my children’s education. The author describes the simple metaphor of kids at school. One of them is a ‘know-it-all’ and the other is a ‘learn-it-all,’ and the ‘learn-it-all’ always will do better than the other one even if the ‘know-it-all’ kid starts with much more innate capability.”

    Going back to business: If that applies to boys and girls at school, I think it also applies to CEOs like me, and entire organizations, like Microsoft.”

    https://www.inc.com/justin-bariso/microsofts-ceo-just-gave-some-brilliant-career-advice-here-it-is-in-one-sentence.html

  • How to plan for future supply chain leadership

    To keep up with the growing demand for supply chain leadership, companies need to have a succession plan that helps them identify and develop new leaders who can replace existing leaders as they transition out of the company. Unfortunately, most have no such plan in place. According to a recent study from the American Management Association, only 18 percent of managers and executives have a succession plan in place to respond to a sudden loss of key executives—not nearly enough to keep business productivity up as people retire, despite the added number of supply chain undergraduate and graduate programs.

    http://www.supplychainquarterly.com/news/20170428-how-to-plan-for-future-supply-chain-leadership/

  • Alison Bing: ” High-impact Travel”
  • Tech employees quit their jobs mostly because of unfair work environments, study says

    The study looked at four main types of unfair treatment, behaviors and experiences: unfair people management practices, stereotyping, sexual harassment and bullying/hostility. As it turns out, turnover due to unfairness is a $16 billion per year problem, according to the study. The silver lining, as pointed out in the study, is that people would be down to stay if companies took steps to improve culture.

    Other takeaways from the study were that experiences differ dramatically among groups of people, depending on their race, gender and sexual orientation. For LGBT people and women, bullying was the main reason for reporting unfairness. For people of color, stereotypes were the main driver for leaving due to unfairness. Nearly one in four people of color surveyed (23%) reported being stereotyped at past jobs.

    https://techcrunch.com/2017/04/27/tech-employees-quit-their-jobs-mostly-because-of-unfair-work-environments-study-says/?ncid=rss

  • How to find friends when you move for your job

    Doing so takes a bit of creativity, plus courage to put yourself out there. Oh, and one other thing: “When you’re moving into a new community and trying to find your tribe, let your freak flag fly a little bit,” she says. It’s easier to find real friends when you’re sharing what you’re passionate about and not trying to fit in for the sake of making friends. Relationships built on false impressions aren’t the ones that are going to stick, anyway. And here are some ways you can find likely prospects.

    https://www.fastcompany.com/40413637/how-to-find-friends-when-you-move-for-your-job

Photo: Sam Burriss

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News You Can Use: 5/3/2017

  • Tech Firms, Cable Companies Take Sides in Net-Neutrality Battle

    Mr. Pai has said he wants to eliminate what he regards as the excesses of the Obama -era rule, while preserving the basic principles of net neutrality.

    His plan—to be announced in a speech to conservative groups—is expected to focus on building a case for rolling back the reclassification of internet providers as common carriers.

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/tech-firms-cable-companies-take-sides-in-net-neutrality-battle-1493200800

  • How the most productive CEOs keep email in check

    Brad Smith, the CEO of Intuit, the maker of TurboTax and parent company of Mint, sums up his email approach as “read, act, file, or delete.” By limiting himself to these four options—and requiring that he performs one of them—Smith says he manages to clear his inbox daily without the help of an assistant. It “requires real commitment,” he concedes, but the goal is simple: “Never touch something more than once.” In order to leave time for regular inbox maintenance, Smith schedules meetings that can’t run longer than 45 minutes so he can catch up on emails during the 15 minutes in between meetings.

    https://www.fastcompany.com/40407454/how-the-most-productive-ceos-keep-email-in-check

  • Why It’s Good to Think You’re Bad at Your Job

    In this video, Entrepreneur Network partner Chris Haddon sits down with Mike McDevitt, CEO of Terra’s Kitchen and former CEO of Medifast. In the interview, McDevitt talks about Terra’s Kitchen, a Baltimore-based food delivery service, why he thinks retail grocery is the last “fat and happy” retail industry and how his company is tapping into an unmined industry.

    https://www.entrepreneur.com/video/293136

  • How Juicero’s Story Set the Company Up for Humiliation

    Their moment came this week, after some Juicero investors who received the product noticed something strange. The pouches didn’t require a $400 piece of equipment to yield juice. They required something less proprietary—fingers. Two Bloomberg reporters, Ellen Huet and Olivia Zaleski, performed their own test. They found that squeezing Juicero’s pouches in their hands for 90 seconds yielded as much juice from the bags as the industrial strength machine, which actually took 30 seconds longer to produce a similar amount of liquid. It appeared that Juicero’s vaunted product, which had so beguiled Silicon Valley, was basically a simple press—functionally the equal of a waffle iron, except one that can’t make waffles.

    https://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2017/04/juicero-lessons/523896/?utm_source=feed

    I am calling this story out because this is what happens when hype goes unchecked.

  • The Best Place to Stand at Networking Events for Better Schmoozing

    Aim for the social zone, usually around the bar, so that you can catch people once they’ve settled in and grabbed a drink to relax. Now people are in networking mode and ready to find someone to meet. As they walk away from the bar, there you are! Once you start chatting, you have a couple techniques to keep the conversation flowing and make a good impression: ask questions rather than just making small talk, focus on the other person’s passions to make things more interesting, or follow the FORD technique. And since networking events are about connecting with more than one person, have an exit line ready so you can gracefully move on after a few minutes.

    http://lifehacker.com/the-best-place-to-stand-at-networking-events-for-better-1794610102

Photo: Frances Gunn

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News You Can Use: 4/26/2017

  • Buy American, Hire American – Coming Soon to Impact a Supply Chain Near You

    The Buy American, Hire American order is two-fold. The Buy American agenda will: (1) instruct agencies to conduct comprehensive assessments; (2) target waivers and exceptions allowing foreign goods advantages in U.S. government procurement; (3) require a review of WTO’s Agreement on Government Procurement and other trade deals to ensure compliance with new standards; (4) require Buy American bidding processes to take into account unfair trade practices; and (5) promote American-made steel. The Hire American agenda will: (1) enforce laws governing entry of foreign workers in order to promote rising wages and more employment; and (2) direct agencies to propose reforms to H-1B program.

    Industry trade groups, including the American Petroleum Institute and Interstate Natural Gas Association of America, claim the order will reduce competition leading to higher prices. Ken Simonson of the Association of General Contractors, states he expects prices to go up on key materials for construction projects, such as fuel, lumber, steel, and copper. Simonson warns trade restrictions limit the ability of contractors and manufacturers to control costs leading to projects being deferred or even canceled.

    http://www.natlawreview.com/article/buy-american-hire-american-coming-soon-to-impact-supply-chain-near-you
    Note: I have been trying to keep up with this topic personally and put together this post last week and Episode 58 of SourceCast.

  • FCC Chairman Ajit Pai Faces Balancing Act in Net Neutrality Rollback

    No matter which path he eventually chooses—fast or slow—Mr. Pai might feel he has to start soon. That is because he faces at least some risk that the lone remaining Democrat on the commission, Mignon Clyburn, could leave at some point after her term expires in June. There are already two vacancies on the five-member commission, so her departure could leave the FCC without a quorum, at least until a successor is confirmed. Then it would be far more difficult for the agency to vote on major policy changes—even just initiating them.

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/fcc-chairman-ajit-pai-faces-balancing-act-in-net-neutrality-rollback-1492340400

  • Has supply chain growth outpaced the talent it requires?

    “There have been a lot of changes. There’s more and more automation; transacting purchases with artificial intelligence (AI) is a radical change,” he told Supply Chain Dive. “Will you need people doing these things? [Currently] you find a supplier, put out the RFIs (requests for information) and get sourcing recommendations. I don’t know if that will be there in five or 10 years.”

    http://www.supplychaindive.com/news/talent-crisis-education-tech-supply-chain-nature/440392/
    Flashback to SourceCast Episode 55 – I go deep on this topic:

  • Most employees willing to share sensitive information, survey says

    According to an end user security survey released this morning, 72 percent of employees are willing to share confidential information. In the financial services sector, the percentage was even higher — 81 percent said they should share sensitive, confidential or regulated information.

    This is despite the fact that 65 percent said that it was their responsibility to protect confidential data.

    “There is an acknowledgment by employees that security is important,” said Brett Hansen, vice president for endpoint and data security at Dell, the company that sponsored the survey. “But their actions are not consistent with good data security.”

    http://www.csoonline.com/article/3191286/security/most-employees-willing-to-share-sensitive-information-survey-says.html

  • Why Tesla’s Future Is So Hard to Predict

    Earlier this month, Navigant Research published a report that declared the worldwide leader in self-driving tech is Ford, followed by GM, Renault-Nissan, Daimler, and Volkswagen—all car companies. Tesla finished 12th. One research report isn’t gospel. But it suggests that the “Tesla Is Apple, and Cars Are Smartphones” thesis has some serious limitations. In 2007, Apple’s competitors thought the iPhone was a terrible idea. But in 2017, almost all of Tesla’s competitors are engaged in a global race to build electric and autonomous vehicles, and some of them are arguably ahead of Musk in software and distribution capacity.

    https://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2017/04/tesla-future-of-driving/523224/?utm_source=feed

Photo: Sebastian Unrau

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Outsourcing industry facing more immigration complexity

This week, President Trump is revisiting United States immigration policy.

The President signed an executive order on Tuesday to prevent immigration “fraud and abuse”:

“It’s America first—you better believe it,” Mr. Trump said during a speech at Snap-On Inc., a tool manufacturer in Kenosha, Wis., before signing an executive order that calls for a government-wide review aimed at stricter enforcement of immigration and other laws governing the entry of workers into the U.S.

A by-product of the Trump administration’s attempts at modifying immigrant labor regulation is a drop in H-1B applications for the first time in years:

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services said Monday it had received 199,000 H-1B applications for the next fiscal year, according to the federal immigration agency. This is a steep decline from the 236,000 received last year and the 233,000 it received in 2015.

SFGate.com spoke with Martin Lawler, a Bay Area immigration attorney that suggests H-1B applications declined due to frustration. Applicants are selected at random and have to wait months to learn the final decision on their status.

Companies operating in US technology hubs like San Francisco have been complaining that these modifications will result in access to less qualified resources with math-based skills.

The biggest companies using H-1B visas are large Indian outsourcing firms like Tata, Cognizant, Infosys, Wipro, and Accenture. The Trump administration specifically called out Tata and Infosys as abusers of the existing program by supplying low-paid, low-skilled workers instead of the high-skill labor the program was designed to support.

The Trump administration is looking to raise the minimum salary requirements to issue a visa and would also like to place a limit on the number of employees with H-1B visas a company can hire. With these rules in place, Trump is expecting American companies will have no choice but to hire from the domestic labor pool.

Interestingly, even with all of the labor turmoil, Tata Consulting is reporting an actual rise in profits:

Mumbai-based TCS said profit in the fiscal fourth quarter ended March 31 stood at 66.08 billion rupees ($1.02 billion), up 4.2% from 63.41 billion rupees a year ago. That was just below the 66.23 billion rupees consensus estimate of analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters. Revenue grew 4.2% to 296.42 billion rupees.

As the President refines his immigration policy, will Tata and its competitors be able to maintain growth? More importantly, is President Trump taking actions that will help the US economy in the long run by giving US workers (potentially) more opportunities, or will these decisions ultimately inhibit economic growth?

Update: Epilogue 

The Atlantic published an article detailing how a “buy American” strategy could backfire economically:

Laura Tyson, a professor at Berkeley’s Haas School of Business who chaired President Clinton’s Council of Economic Advisors, described much the same fundamental problem with the policy. “For every dollar spent, the amount you get for that dollar is going to depend on the price you have to pay,” she explained. “This kind of policy will reduce competition and raise the price of the product. So, instead of a global set of suppliers competing for U.S. government contracts, only U.S. suppliers will compete. And in some product areas, there won’t be a large number of U.S. suppliers, and [they] may not have the superior products or the superior technology. So, in those cases, both the quality and the price of the product that the government faces with a limited budget to spend on procurement will actually deteriorate.”

The critiques seem to focus on government procurement and explains that by closing bids to foreign companies, products and services will cost more and potentially provide inferior solutions.

Here is a podcast I did a few months ago on the H-1B topic:


Photo: himanshu-singh-gurjar

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