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Uber’s Travis Kalanick Plumbs New Depths As Silicon Valley’s Biggest “Jerk”


Even in the early golden years of Silicon Valley, there were “Silicon Valley Jerks,” and unpleasant corporate cultures.  Larry Ellison and Oracle are the first to come to mind. Oracle was known as a very hostile, unpleasant place to work and there was a revolving door of senior executives who were fired by Ellison or […]

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John Sperling, University of Phoenix Founder, Dies at 93


I had the great good fortune to know Professor John Sperling, Cambridge don, when I was an undergraduate student at San Jose State University. At that time, our campus was awash in great thinkers: visiting scholars Buckminster Fuller, Alan Watts, and a host of other eminent faculty. I knew Sperling as a friend and mentor, and worked closely with John and my friends with the SJSU student government: Dick Miner, Peter Ellis and others, some of whom went on to work with Sperling at the Institute of Professional Development and later at the University of Phoenix. My fondest recollection of John was as the catalyst for our symbolic burial of an ugly yellow Ford Maverick on the first Earth Day. John challenged us to define ourselves by what we would do to mark that day. It has become one of the defining events of the first Earth Day. But I also view John as the precursor of the current MOOC’s movement. John shook up the academic world with his revolutionary ideas about education. John created immense controversy but he also spawned significant change.

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Super Rich Guy to Billionaires: Get with the 99% Or Prepare for Revolution


Some people seem to be having a problem with Nick Hanauer. He seems to have pissed off a lot of people, but at the same time, he seems to be talking sense and to have achieved significant traction. This often seems to happen in times of turmoil and change. A multi-millionaire in his own right, but also someone with a profound liberal arts and humanities grounding, Mr. Hanauer has called “foul,” with the behavior of the 1%. I am personally fascinated with people like this, because I sense that Hanauer is somewhat like me. I worked with Ivy League MBA’s at Intel who said to me that they wished that they had my humanities education, while I told them that I wished I had their management education. I now teach management in a prestigious university and can comment intelligently.

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Too Many Apps. Too Little Money


Hopefully this comes as no surprise to many, but for some, alas, I am afraid they have yet to get the email. It’s yet another case of the 1% versus the 99%. Only one percent of Web app developers have made any real money, the other ninety-nine percent are SOL. Forty-seven percent of those, make absolutely no money or less than $100 on their app. Not surprisingly there are now over a million apps on the Apple store, and when you add all of the other sources for apps, you can see that the problem is coming to a head. I saw this coming over two years ago and wrote about the problem on this blog, citing a New York Times story published about that time, describing the dark underbelly of the Web app development culture. In a satire of the problem, last year The Onion published a gag story about a new app called “Squander” that enabled users to “geolocate others nearby who had also wasted $2 on the same app.”

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Energy Aware Riding Wave of Innovation and Investment in Energy Efficiency


In October of 2013, I first met Energy Aware’s management team, led by UBC alumni founders Janice Cheam and VP of Software, Ali Kashani in their modest East Vancouver offices. I had encountered Ali commenting on the Internet of Things (IoT) on LinkedIn, and I challenged his arguments, as the skeptic that I am. Ali very graciously invited me to meet with him to discuss it further. Home automation and its new iteration, IoT, has been around for at least twenty years and had been going absolutely nowhere. Added to that was what I termed “the Tower of Babble,” a term now also used by Qualcomm to describe the data communication hairball in the IoT space. Indeed, Energy Aware had struggled for quite awhile in this immature market. What I learned in that first meeting with Ali and Janice turned this skeptic into a believer, and I have enjoyed the opportunity to work with Al and Janice since that time providing them with tidbits of advice here and there. My gut told me that Energy Aware was on to something with significant potential, as IoT was finally achieving technological “convergence,” and the Big Dogs in Silicon Valley were now gearing up their own IoT efforts. There is a Tsunami coming, and Energy Aware is well-positioned to ride it.

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Splinternet: The Web is fracturing into regional internets


Originally posted on Quartz:
The World Wide Web celebrated its 25th birthday recently. Today the global network serves almost 3 billion people, and hundreds of thousands more join each day. If the Internet were a country, its economy would be among the five largest in the world. In 2011, according to the World Economic Forum, growth in the…

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Why I stopped teaching


Originally posted on Quartz:
I have been a professor for 25 years—most of my professional life. Even when I had full-time corporate jobs, I always took salary cuts to be able to maintain my professor role because teaching has given me about as much joy as anything in my life. Watching students learn, improve, and…

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Online Business Education? Harvard versus Stanford


Stanford Graduate School of Business and Harvard Business School are adopting drastically different strategies for delivering business education. These differing strategies are reflected in the debate that has erupted between two of Harvard Business School’s best known professors and their visions for the future of business education, Michael Porter and Clayton Christensen. I have also been personally tire kicking MOOC’s, acting as a mentor for Stanford’s online Technology Entrepreneurship course, hosted by NovoEd. I have been pleasantly surprised by the experience, and among the teams I am mentoring is a group of Xerox senior research scientists acting as an entrepreneurial team.

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I want to start a business. What’s the easiest way to start off on low income to build up a sustainable income I need help?


Answer by David Mayes: The answer is heavily dependent on where you are and your market. It is extremely difficult to launch a new business on zero capital. Cash flow typically will not reach break "even" for some time. Micro loan businesses in emerging economies serving a local community, may be the closest exception, and […]

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How do online businesses organise/articulate their overall architecture? i.e. Marketing, Sales, B2B, Development, Design


Answer by David Mayes: With companies that size, failure to have a strategic long range vision of some kind, owned by the execs and Board is potentially dangerous, turning the company into a lumbering corporate conglomerate with unrelated businesses. It may be in one guy's head, like Jobs, but as we see now that leads […]

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