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Silicon Valley Culture

More Pressure on Telecommuting: Now It's Hewlett-Packard

As the pressure on struggling Silicon Valley companies Yahoo, and now Hewlett-Packard have increased, the pressure on telecommuting has increased. Now, Meg Whitman, CEO of Hewlett-Packard has joined Yahoo’s Marissa Mayer in calling HP’s telecommuting employees back to work. The problem seems to be that telecommuting employees are now being perceived like recipients of food stamps and welfare: freeloaders taking advantage of corporations, being less productive and costing corporations more than they are worth.

France and My French Culture

My New "In Focus" Profile

David Mayes is an advocate for change. However, he is not just someone who shouts slogans from the sidelines, but has actually rolled up his sleeves to see change happen. Whether it is working with coalitions to influence global policies or teaching the next generation, David has had a chance to make a difference for the future. He currently teaches Entrepreneurship at UBCO where he has brought his experiences working in Silicon Valley to bear. He is known for being down to earth, easy to talk to and very friendly. Today David Mayes is In Focus.

Smart meter

Industry Analysis: Utilities Dig In Against Distributed Rooftop Solar

This is another of my Industry Analysis discussions for UBC students. This time it is perhaps as big an industry issue and clash of competing values as big as the smart mobile phone market, which I call the Mega Market War of Titans. It is about the intersection between two industries, which has recently morphed into a contentious clash. This is about disruptive new technology and strategic inflection points. So what has happened?

Silicon Valley Culture

What's the shrewdest, smartest maneuver you've ever seen in business?

I will sanitize this Silicon Valley story. A very large technical workstation company tried to bully a smaller workstation company I worked for. The big company was OEM’ing the small company’s superior technology. The big company stopped paying their bills, running up a huge delinquent payable amount, believing they could leverage the small company into additional concessions. We met with them secretly over Thanksgiving in our offices. In an arrogant gesture, the big company tried to offer 1/3 of their delinquent payables. We literally threw the very large handwritten check back at them and told them to leave. A week later the full delinquent amount was paid, and they complimented us, saying “nothing had impressed them more, than when we threw the check back at them. The supreme irony was that the two senior execs who had flown from Boston to Silicon Valley to meet with us over the holiday weekend, never bothered to look at our financials before trying their arrogant scheme. We had $65 Million in cash in the bank.”

Silicon Valley Culture

Time To Thin Out Ineffective Startup Accelerators

If properly managed and matched to local economic need, resources and capabilities, local accelerators can be a significant local economic asset. However, the problem with so many of these “everywhere else” accelerators, is highly unrealistic expectations to be “the next Silicon Valley”, failure to connect with local economic needs, excessive focus on any and every new Web app, and most importantly, poor management. It is also apparent to me that many of these more remote smaller communities are so distant from the mainstream economy, that many of the “great ideas” that come out of them, are embarrassingly late.

Nuclear Fusion

The Other "Big Idea" Taking Root in Greater Vancouver: Nuclear Fusion

Maybe three years ago, I recall hearing something about a “nuclear fusion” company starting up in Burnaby. In my mind, the thought of a nuclear fusion company in Burnaby was outlandish and preposterous. Growing up in southern California, and later northern California, I had grown up close and personal with the Space Program, and nuclear physics at UC Berkeley Lawrence Nuclear Labs and the super secret Lawrence Livermore National Labs.

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