LinkedIn: Home — OK I am faced with a moral dilemma. Two invitations in the past week to add connections. One from a guy I don’t know that well and who has only a modest number of connections — the benefits in our connection may flow mostly to him. And one from a guy I know perhaps a little better, and who is very well connected — the benefits in our connection may flow more to me. Accept both? Neither? Split the hairs and accept the guy who I know a little better and who has substantially more benefit for my network connectedness? I am very confused about what the criteria should be for accepting connections as I know most people are. A LinkedIn connection is so binary…
inessential.com: Weblog: Comments for “On shipping software” — good summary. One of my first mentors at Booz-Allen summed it up for me — “Your strategy IS what you ship”. Nothing matters if you can’t ship.
I am starting to find these discussions of applied microeconomics to be fascinating — for instance ProfessorBainbridge.com: The Starbucks v. Subway Puzzle and all the links it includes. I always enjoyed micro in grad school, and you can argue that my 4 years at Booz-Allen were an extended exercise in applied microeconomic analysis. Whatever, good stuff.
The Problem With Presentations — pointed to by many blogs — “It’s the story, stupid”. Great guidance — the points about making it personal ring very true. I’d also add one more piece of guidance — think hard about your audience, where they are coming from, their hopes and fears, and make sure you are connecting to their concerns.
Good conversation about outsourcing to overseas developers at Due Diligence. The distinction between low-level coding work which can be outsourced, and more architecture/design-heavy work which perhaps can’t be, is important. I am starting to believe that the boundary is moving in favor of outsourcing as communications and practices improve.
Going Commercial: Airline Economics: Fasten Your Seat Belt — good article about airline economics and the fact that as an industry, airlines have been a net money loser over their entire existence. I wonder if this is not typical of any capital-intensive industry, I seem to remember seeing the same analysis of the pulp and paper industry at one point tho I can’t lay my finger on it now. I don’t think this necessarily means a lot for society, society will still find a way to fund these industries as they have a lot of utility. As an individual investor or employee though, it certainly suggests that you should run away from these industries.
The Shifted Librarian has a good reference on the growing importance of IM, particularly to the younger generation. Isn’t it AOL’s hugest strategic error — that they decided to give away AIM? It is the only thing we really need on our broadband connection and it is free. If I was AOL, I’d bite the bullet now and start charging for AIM (free for kids, nominal fee for college students, full price for adults). Sure you might drive some users away — but you are losing your user base anyway, might as well try some active measures rather than just letting them passively disappear.
Joel on Software – Rick Chapman is In Search of Stupidity — According to Rick Chapman, the answer is simpler: Microsoft was the only company on the list that never made a fatal, stupid mistake. Boy there is a lot of truth in this. During my tenure at MSFT I watched competitor after competitor blow their own foot off — Lotus, Novell, Netscape, AOL more recently, IBM, etc. MSFT pushed these companies hard in the marketplace but more often than not, it seems like the competitor did themselves in.
I have recently been hearing a lot of positive word-of-mouth on Vonage DigitalVoice .::. The BROADBAND Phone Company…. People seem very enthusiastic about. I personally don’t quite get it — within our extended family, everyone has a cell phone with a huge bucket of minutes, they’ve moved their long distance usage to the cell phone, and so their local phone bill has dropped to the basic $20-30/month level. Thus Vonage has little draw for them. Maybe the excited users are people with a lot of overseas calling?
Great counsel — Fool.com: Living Below Your Means [Post of the Day] July 17, 2003 — we lived well below our means for the first 10-15 years of our married life and it has paid off huge. We didn’t really miss any of the “stuff” we didn’t have then, and our savings then contributed to our improved lifestyle later.
Dana thinks that an MSFT dividend is a bearish, bad thing. As a stockholder I think it is a wonderful thing. I don’t want MSFT to buy ATT stock, to buy Nextel stock, to invest in a bunch of hare-brained startups, to try to start a VC fund, or to do any other non-software adventure. I’d even like to see them shut down some of their money-wasting non-PC adventures like their smartphones and xbox efforts. MSFT is really really good at PC software, and they run a really really profitable PC software business. Everything else is just a money-wasting adventure and is not their core competence. So please, give the money back to the shareholders, let us make our own decisions about what other ventures to invest in. This isn’t bearish at all, I will invest the money elsewhere, and I trust the market economy to efficiently direct that investment towards opportunities that are high growth and that may not be MSFT’s core competence.