In his book Misbehaving, Richard H. Thaler tells an interesting story. In a class on decision-making to a group of executives from a company in the print media industry, Thaler puts the executives to a scenario: Suppose you were offered an investment opportunity for your division that will yield one of two payoffs. After the investment is made, there is a 50% chance it will make a profit of $2 million, and a 50% chance it will lose $1 million. When Thaler asked who would take on this project, only three of twenty-three executives would do it. Then he asked the CEO how many of the projects would he want to undertake (suppose all projects were independent, that is the success of one was unrelated to others), the answer is all of them! Continue reading
The best demonstration of agile software development is probably the modernization of China Navy. Following a “Run Swiftly in Small Steps” strategy, China Navy has undergone a stunning modernization push that puts it near parity with the US. Look below how China Navy has steadily improved each class of their destroyers in gradually shorter and shorter time. They are the grand master of agile development. Continue reading
A lot of brain power and money have been poured into FinTech, especially lending and payment areas. These are indeed exciting areas with new business models and technologies. On the other hand, people rarely associate the sexy FinTech with payroll services. Although it may sound boring, payroll is actually an overlooked gold mine for innovators. Traditionally, payroll service companies make money by service fees. New HCM service companies such as Zenefits work as insurance brokers while providing free payroll and HR services. But if we lean under the hood and look at the process, there is an interesting opportunity. Continue reading
Legendary former Intel CEO Andy Grove left us recently. Wearing many hats, he is an entrepreneur, a teacher, a writer, a philanthropist, etc. As Marc Andreessen says on Twitter, he is “the best company builder Silicon Valley has ever seen, and likely will ever see“. Even after more than thirty years, his book “High Output Management” is still a must-read for all middle level managers.
In his another best-seller book, “Only the Paranoid Survive“, he introduced the concepts such as “strategic inflection point” and “strategic dissonance”, which have become part of the lexicon both in academia and in practice. A strategic inflection point is a time in the life of business when its fundamentals are about to change. That change can mean an opportunity to rise to new heights. But it may just as likely signal the beginning of the end.
Andy Grove steered Intel through several strategic inflection points, for example, the shift from the memory business to microprocessors when they realized they couldn’t keep up with Japanese competition. Soon Intel will face another inflection point. Actually this new inflection point already started. Unfortunately, Intel doesn’t have Andy Grove any longer. Continue reading
It is right, you don’t read the title wrong. In most people’s mind, Hadoop was almost a synonym of Big Data. Adding the magic word to your resume means more opportunities and higher pay. How possible is its future misty? Let’s get things clear together. Continue reading
Professor Clayton Christensen’s theory of disruptive innovation has been enjoying a huge success on examining low-end disruptions and new-market disruptions. But it had recently met difficulties to explaining high-end disruptions such as iPhone and Telsa. In fact, technologies that starts from high-end market and then reaches mainstream market are not new. Thomas Edison did it more than 100 years ago.
So did only the rich (and cow boys/girls) ride the horses after Henry Ford invented the Model T. Today, Elon Musk does it again!
Tomorrow, only few can afford driving a car when self driving cars take the mainstream market.
The Sharing Economy is now touching on nearly every aspect of everyday life. Besides the skyrocketing valuations, people also talk things like:
- Uber, the world’s largest taxi company, owns no vehicles.
- AirBnB, the world’s largest accommodation provider, owns no real estate.
It is true that AirBnB doesn’t own a single room. But most hotels don’t own real estate either! They lease. Continue reading
Opinions expressed are solely my own and do not express the views or opinions of my employer.
Today I am in the Oracle Cloud World. I have high hope to learn their cloud strategy because Oracle is the only hugely successful company founded in the time of client/server movement that is still leaded by its founder. Today we are facing another significant change: Cloud and SaaS. It is very interesting to see how Oracle responses to it. Continue reading
“Silicon Valley is coming,” JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon warned in his annual letter to shareholders. Yes, FinTech startups are coming. In fact, there are currently 12,000 FinTech startups in the field. No doubt, most of them will fail but a few will succeed and disrupt financial service market. Of course, the million-dollar question is “How?!” I don’t have a crystal ball to divine the future, but history may teach us something. Let’s look at how technologies disrupted other fields (and themselves). Continue reading
Antony Jenkins, the former CEO of Barclays, says a new wave of tech-savvy startups that can do things better, faster, and cheaper than the big banks will disrupt their traditional businesses like lending, payments, and wealth management. A number of fintech startups are working hard to disrupt. On the other hand, big banks don’t sit still either. Citi, BoA, Capital One are opening up APIs to outsiders. Citi also hopes to innovate much faster through crowd sourcing Mobile Challenge initiative with a mobile-first strategy. There are a lot of interesting moves. Continue reading