Business

“What is your main purpose in life right now?”

As part of my DBA, there is what the university calls a “personal development module.” So people ask me questions that are meant to make you think. The question we got over the holiday period was this: “What is your main purpose in life right now?” I don’t know whether my answer will resonate with you at all, or even is in any way good. I share it anyway.

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Innovate or Exploit? Some thoughts on Rigidity vs. Flexibility, and Myopic Measurement

I’m just reading Schermerhorn et al. There’s an interesting chapter on innovation which captures the topic of flexibility vs. rigidity, or exploration vs. exploitation, that I’ve recently discussed with a group of research fellows in the context of the dichotomy of exploration vs. exploitation: “too much emphasis on exploration will yield a whole list of potential ideas for new products and processes to new clients and customers in new markets, but little pay-off . . . Conversely, an emphasis on exploitation stresses control and evolutionary development. Such exploitation can be planned with tight budgets, careful forecasts, and steady implementation. It is often much easier to stress exploitation because most organizations have a structure and culture that emphasize stability and control.” (2010, pp. 381–382)

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Innovations in Storage Technology…

In the picture below, you see the first hard disk drive. Developed by IBM in 1952, it carried a whopping 5 MB of data on fifty twenty-four inch disks. It was leased to customers at about 3,200 USD (equivalent to 27,500 USD in 2013) a month. It weighted over a ton and was typically delivered via cargo plane. Here is some more information about it.

On the same picture, and massively scaled up so you can even see it, is a 64 GB, USB3 thumb drive developed by pkparis.com in 2013. It is sold at about 80 USD, weighs about two grams and is delivered via normal postal mail, attached to a small card board.

In other words, within 60 years, not only has the price per GB come down from a (very theoretical: neither was the space feasible, nor did you really own the device, so we’ve to depreciate over 12 months) 5.5M USD to about 10 cents and the weight per GB down from about 200 t to 0.3 g.

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By mnott on 2014/01/23 | Business, Computer | A comment?

Miles and Less…

According to a very euphemistic mail sent out by Star Alliance today, Miles and More are going to be even more oriented at the “value of the flight ticket.” Now of course we know there’s no such thing as a free lunch (if we’d even dare to call an in-flight meal a “lunch”), and of course we all know we shouldn’t be whining about not using Business class flights in the first place. Now, if anyone of you has recently had the complete lack of a pleasure not to be able to avoid Lufthansa in any of the major German airports – Munich, Frankfurt, etc. – you’ll have noticed, that the average “Economy” passenger isn’t even looked at by a Lufthansa employee at the time of Check In. No, you’re asked to meet one of the check in machines, next to which you’ll find one of those employees who’re helping their company making themselves redundant too.

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By mnott on 2013/09/19 | Business