Thursday, August 11, 2005

Buried Perspicacity

There are numerous articles I wish to share, comment on, and simply offload from the last few weeks. I haven't had a chance. Blame the interruption of life. But that's a good thing. No it is.

  • Raunchy Burger King -- Burger King's has gone and done it again with marketing that targets the 18-to-34 set. First they had Subservient Chicken -- now, they have Coq Roq. Guys dressed as cocks, playing rock music. They certainly got some attention -- especially for the sexual overtones.

  • BusinessWeek: August 15, 2005
  • Podcast: David vs. Goliath -- Apple, the iPod and especially some do-it-yourselfer evangelists have combined to make podcasting one of the fastest technology adoptions in recent times. In less than a year, podcasting has moved from the realm of the geek domain of early adopters to the mainstream media companies. Sure, podcasting's potential is still being realized -- but, already the popular shows are more and more becoming those of the large media companies.

  • Blogging As You Go Belly Up -- here's a tale of a CEO of a small business that discovers blogging, as a means to getting closer to his customers and suppliers -- just when his business starts going under. He was advised to create a scandal in order to increase attention -- he got a little more than he bargained for. While he was blogging, his company went under. Was it because of his blog? Did it steal his attention away from his business? What he didn't expect, but also didn't stop, was the ferocious complaints from his customers and the soliciting from his competitors.

  • The Debate Over Doing Good -- For a long time, businesses didn't pay much attention to philanthropy -- yes, they gave, but it there wasn't much vision in the giving -- no direction. Now social responsibility is becoming a strategic imperative for businesses. It has become a requirement for them to be a participative member of their communities, the communities of their customers and employees. Companies are now beholden to not just shareholders, but also their stakeholders. And there is a value proposition. Companies that address their stakeholders are more likely to fare better under public scrutiny; attract an inspired workforce; and gain customer loyalty.

  • Big Mess on Campus -- here's a book review of a book parents with kids heading to post-secondary education would do well to read. Binge: What Your College Student Won't Tell You, by Barrett Seaman, is quite the revelation. I never had this university experience. I had experiences -- but I was never experienced.

  • BusinessWeek: August 8, 2005
  • Revenge of the Nerds -- Again -- Google and Yahoo! are on a hiring binge, and the best and brightest from other tech companies are slowly being lured away. The nerds are on the move, and it's not for money or status -- it's for the primary motivator of the brilliant -- compelling problems and freedom to be creative in solutioning them. Makes me jealous, but I realize I'm not smart enough to be jealous.

  • Blogs Under Its Thumb -- blogs are rapidly growing in China, despite the censorship of anything democratic, political or explicitly sexual -- those wanting that content have to host somewhere else. Try as they might though, the Chinese government has already opened Pandora's box. There is no closing it. Call it the quiet, peaceful, social revolution.

  • The State of Surveillance -- to some degree, Britain was more prepared for terrorism at home than the US was in 2001. They had years to prepare, due to the IRA operating in their backyard. Despite that preparation, and the heightened alert since 9/11, some amateurs still managed to wreck havoc. All the preparation wasn't prepared to stop someone who didn't care if they were on camera, as they were bent on killing as many people as they could, and themselves. The future of the high-tech surveillance society is coming however, and it promises to stop the bad guys before they can kill -- but it will do so most likely by taking away some of our freedoms -- or making us all watchers. Today we have cameras, bomb sniffers, biometrics and chemical/bio detectors. Coming soon are millimeter-wave cameras and vein maps. Not too far off are t-ray cameras and nano-chemical sensors. And, on the horizon are remote iris tracking, ears and gait detection, odor sensors, saliva scans and universal sensors.

  • How Motorola Got Its Groove Back -- the recent success of Motorola's Razor is an example of a new push by western companies to emphasize creativity and innovation. Read how Motorola did it.
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