- Apple CEO becomes latest tech bigwig to warn of social media’s dangers
Cook joins a multitude of tech personalities in recent years worrying about the negative impact of technology, and social media in particular, on our lives. Sean Parker, Facebook’s first president, admitted last year that he’d helped Mark Zuckerberg build “a monster,” stating: “God only knows what it’s doing to our children’s brains.”
Another former Facebook exec, Chamath Palihapitiya, told a group at Stanford Graduate School of Business that the social network could be “destroying how society works” through “short-term, dopamine-driven, feedback loops.”
- Is Procurement Responsible If Suppliers Are Stupid and Bid Too Low?
So during our discussion, my friend and I had a philosophical debate about whether it was in any sense “our problem” as buyers if a supplier put in a stupidly low bid. At what point should procurement worry that an offer is too low? Does procurement have a moral or ethical obligation to stop firms getting themselves into trouble?
Our conclusion – after another beer – was no, we don’t. We must protect our own organisation, so we should think hard about the issues if, for instance, a firm was likely to go under because of the deal. Do we have contingency plans in place for that? (It’s rarely a positive for the buyer obviously if this happens to an important supplier).
And we should build protection into the contract to make sure the supplier can’t just walk away from the deal if it becomes too onerous – or at least, to ensure we are very well compensated if they do. But it is not our role to protect suppliers from their own stupidity, particularly if it is a large firm with many customers and financial strength itself. Indeed, our role is to drive competitive advantage, which often means we are paying less than our competitors for a similar product or service.
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- Good-bye, Fluffy Office Perks, and 3 Other Tech Business Predictions for 2018
Office perks are always a hot topic in the tech world. However, more companies realize that fluffy office culture doesn’t actually attract the best talent or cultivate the highest performing team. Those perks you think your employees want can actually be more distracting and detrimental to productivity. To really reap the benefits of the “perk” in the first place, find out what motivates employees. Ping-pong tables and nap rooms will move out and more meaningful perks will take their place. Companies that attract the most talented and passionate teams will do it with job descriptions and mission statements that inspire a deep sense of purpose.
- On Second Thought, You Should Maybe Talk Less In Meetings
Research on creativity suggests that the people who have the most ideas are also most likely to have the best ideas. So it’s a good idea to generate a lot of ideas while you’re in a meeting–at least inside your own head to start with. But before deciding to contribute your latest thought in the meeting, write it down. Take a look at it, and decide whether you think it’s one of the best you’ve come up with. If so, go on and share it! Then you can keep your others in reserve in case the group isn’t happy with the options they have so far.
There are two benefits to writing your ideas down and looking them over before speaking. Obviously, one is that you can privately rank your own contributions rather than subjecting all of them to your team’s assessment (or risk even the good ones getting lost in the shuffle). This way you’re maximizing the chance that other people will actually rally to your point of view–and form a positive impression of you in the process.
Photo: Daniel Cheung