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  • Generation Facebook (Gen F): What Floats Their/Your Boat?

    Gary Hamel writing in his WSJ blog had a great posting comparing most readers of this blog expectations in the work place with currently entrenched “managers.” He suggests you have “Internet-derived expectations and will impact, change, and rail against current management practices accordingly. The yellow-pad dudes at Krannert AND managers at the Big Three Auto manufactures have no clue to what is descending upon them. So let’s take a look at Gary’s insights into what makes you run:
    (Below direct quote from Gary’s blog. You can read more about Gary here :)

    1. All ideas compete on an equal footing.
    On the Web, every idea has the chance to gain a following—or not, and no one has the power to kill off a subversive idea or squelch an embarrassing debate. Ideas gain traction based on their perceived merits, rather than on the political power of their sponsors.

    2. Contribution counts for more than credentials.
    When you post a video to YouTube, no one asks you if you went to film school. When you write a blog, no one cares whether you have a journalism degree. Position, title, and academic degrees—none of the usual status differentiators carry much weight online. On the Web, what counts is not your resume, but what you can contribute.

    3. Hierarchies are natural, not prescribed.
    In any Web forum there are some individuals who command more respect and attention than others—and have more influence as a consequence. Critically, though, these individuals haven’t been appointed by some superior authority. Instead, their clout reflects the freely given approbation of their peers. On the Web, authority trickles up, not down.

    4. Leaders serve rather than preside.
    On the Web, every leader is a servant leader; no one has the power to command or sanction. Credible arguments, demonstrated expertise and selfless behavior are the only levers for getting things done through other people. Forget this online, and your followers will soon abandon you.

    5. Tasks are chosen, not assigned.
    The Web is an opt-in economy. Whether contributing to a blog, working on an open source project, or sharing advice in a forum, people choose to work on the things that interest them. Everyone is an independent contractor, and everyone scratches their own itch.

    6. Groups are self-defining and -organizing.
    On the Web, you get to choose your compatriots. In any online community, you have the freedom to link up with some individuals and ignore the rest, to share deeply with some folks and not at all with others. Just as no one can assign you a boring task, no can force you to work with dim-witted colleagues.

    7. Resources get attracted, not allocated.
    In large organizations, resources get allocated top-down, in a politicized, Soviet-style budget wrangle. On the Web, human effort flows towards ideas and projects that are attractive (and fun), and away from those that aren’t. In this sense, the Web is a market economy where millions of individuals get to decide, moment by moment, how to spend the precious currency of their time and attention.

    8. Power comes from sharing information, not hoarding it.
    The Web is also a gift economy. To gain influence and status, you have to give away your expertise and content. And you must do it quickly; if you don’t, someone else will beat you to the punch—and garner the credit that might have been yours. Online, there are a lot of incentives to share, and few incentives to hoard.

    9. Opinions compound and decisions are peer-reviewed.
    On the Internet, truly smart ideas rapidly gain a following no matter how disruptive they may be. The Web is a near-perfect medium for aggregating the wisdom of the crowd—whether in formally organized opinion markets or in casual discussion groups. And once aggregated, the voice of the masses can be used as a battering ram to challenge the entrenched interests of institutions in the offline world.

    10. Users can veto most policy decisions.
    As many Internet moguls have learned to their sorrow, online users are opinionated and vociferous—and will quickly attack any decision or policy change that seems contrary to the community’s interests. The only way to keep users loyal is to give them a substantial say in key decisions. You may have built the community, but the users really own it.

    11. Intrinsic rewards matter most.
    The web is a testament to the power of intrinsic rewards. Think of all the articles contributed to Wikipedia, all the open source software created, all the advice freely given—add up the hours of volunteer time and it’s obvious that human beings will give generously of themselves when they’re given the chance to contribute to something they actually care about. Money’s great, but so is recognition and the joy of accomplishment.

    12. Hackers are heroes.
    Large organizations tend to make life uncomfortable for activists and rabble-rousers—however constructive they may be. In contrast, online communities frequently embrace those with strong anti-authoritarian views. On the Web, muckraking malcontents are frequently celebrated as champions of the Internet’s democratic values—particularly if they’ve managed to hack a piece of code that has been interfering with what others regard as their inalienable digital rights.

    These features of Web-based life are written into the social DNA of Generation F—and mostly missing from the managerial DNA of the average Fortune 500 company. Yeah, there are a lot of kids looking for jobs right now, but few of them will ever feel at home in cubicleland.

    So, readers, here’s a couple of questions: What are the Web-based social values that you think are most contrary to the managerial DNA one finds inside a typical corporate giant? And how should we reinvent management to make it more consistent with these emerging online sensibilities?[End quote]

    WeWe will dicuss these insights further in my ENTR200 classes over the next several weeks. I’ve included a short clip from Gary below so you can meet him so to speak. Hank

  • Blowin’ In The Wind

    Tomorrow (Tuesday, 3/31/09) Purdue University is hosting a seminar on wind energy for residential landowners from 9-5 at Pfendler Hall Dean’s Auditorium. Essentially, what a landowner needs to know about how to install, cost, and benefits of wind power will be addressed. Call 317-690-7243 or email cdorman @oed.in.gov for reservations.

    With that as background, several times in my ENTR200 classes I have discussed the number of wind generators needed to replace a “real” power plant. So here are some numbers to chew on: A typical nuclear power plant generates on the order of 1000MW, that is 1 million kilowatts. A typical house (I know this is in the ball park from running TED to measure my own home’s power consumption) with electric heating is in the 7-10 kw load range, let’s say 10kw to make the math powers of ten. Thus 1X106 kw from a nuclear plant would power around 100,000 homes. BTW, newer coal-fired plants are about 1/2 to 3/4 the power output of a nuclear plant and cost about $1.3 billion or so (see here).

    How many typical wind generators would it take to replace this one nuclear plant? One of the wind turbines by Skystream currently for sale (see video below) generates 1.8 kw in ideal conditions, definitely NOT 24/7. A later version is in the 2.4 kw range. So lets say for comparison, 2kw all the time, a gross over statement. So what is 1,000,000kw (output of a nuclear plant in kw) divided by 2? How about 500,000, yes folks 1/2 million typical home wind generators to replace but one nuclear plant. Think about the material and greenness of inputs to create this many wind generators, compared to one nuclear plant. At 1/2 the output for a typical coal-fired plant, it would require on the order of 250,000 wind generators to replace but one such power generating station, still not a trivial number by any means.

    So there’s the “facts.” And a typical Skystream wind generator costs on the order of $14,000, not including permits etc. Such a system WILL NOT adequately power my home, even though we use the most efficient home heating source currently available, geothermal, are insulated to the nth degree, have Anderson state-of-the-art double pane windows, front loading/efficient laundry equipment, etc etc. Recall 2kw is only 20% of our typical load. We pay about $250 monthly for electricity, so potentially, a wind generator would save us $50 per month. At $50 per month, it would take $14,000/$50= 280 months or over 23 years for payback. Technology won’t stand still for 23 years, and the Skystream system only has a 3 year warranty (sucks!) For me, it’s just blowin’ in the wind or more simply, blows. Hank

  • Interesting Offer From Microsoft

    A couple of days ago I received the email below from Bambi of Vator.tv. I checked it out and it appears to be legit. If you are a new startup (less than three years old, and have less than $1 million in sales) you can sign up for and receive tons of Microsoft software – free. Seems to be a decent bridge between using Purdue and/or academic software and the real world. You decide. Hank

    Hi Hank,

    I am pleased to announce that Vator.tv signed a
    deal to provide free Microsoft software to our community of
    entrepreneurs. The deal was signed with Microsoft Bizspark recently,
    after several months of negotiations.

    Here is a sampling of the Microsoft software your startup now has access to as part of the Vator.tv community:

    • Microsoft Office Suite,
    • Microsoft Visual Studio,
    • Microsoft Server Software,
    • And much more…

    Click here to learn more about this offer, register and start downloading free software for your startup.

    We welcome your suggestions for other services, products or brands you
    would like to receive discounts on or promotions for. Send any
    recommendations to .

    Best Regards,

    Bambi Francisco

    CEO, Vator Inc.

    Vator.tv logo

  • Google On Energy

    There is $4.5 billion in the recently passed “get the US rolling again” bill for Smart Grid incentives. But just what a smart grid is, what is entailed in bringing about smart grid, the players, and “what’s in it for me” have not been well articulated. Below is a 39:30 clip from Demo 09 which discusses Google’s Power Meter. This is good background to an understanding of what to expect, if anything, from the expenditure of billions of dollars in this area. Hank

  • Have A Happy Friday: When You Co-founded Apple, You Can Do Anything – Except….

    Steve Wozniak, aka Woz, on Dancing with the Stars last week. Hey, he’s got guts! Hank

  • Coupious Is Live!

    Just received this from Arthur:

    “Thought you guys should be among the first to know… Coupious went live
    into the iTunes App Store last night at 9pm– a mere 7 days after
    publishing it! So now we’re live @ Purdue with about ~20 merchants, and
    still collecting offers from a few more.

    We’ve updated the website with the download links and info..

    www.coupious.com

    The Android app will be posted tonight. The easy part’s done… now
    comes a massive sales & marketing effort. :) If you get a chance to play
    with the app, definitely give us some feedback. We’ll keep you posted
    how the pilot proceeds.

    Best,

    Arthur”

    Check it out. I’m syncing and downloading loading the Coupious app to my iPhone now (8:21 pm Wednesday). Hank

    PS: For students in my ENTR200 classes – download Coupious to your compatible device, use it to purchase something at one of the participating merchants, bring me a receipt, and I will refund up to $5.00 for the first 20 students to do so, one rebate per student please.

  • Indiana REMCs to Become Tax Collectors?

    Indiana state’s 39 REMCs, the providers of electricity to the state’s rural areas, are very fearful of becoming nothing but tax collectors. How is this you may ask? Under the proposed Cap and Trade incentive currently popular by those calling the shots in Washington, industries “guilty” of emitting “stuff” above a level to be decided (along the lines of what has yet to be decided in yesterday’s blog about computerization of health records) will be required to pay into a government-run pot. In Indiana, and much of the Mid West, which depend largely on coal-based generation of electricity for consumer use, the REMCs will be forced to collect this TAX. Call it what you want, it is a TAX.

    Already in a dicey position with many of their customers – did you ever hear anyone speak in glowing terms about the provider of their electrical service? – a doubling or tripling of electrical rates is really going to piss REMC customers off. Aside from generating their own electricity, REMC customers (and most all electricity customers for that matter) have no choice – they are stuck with the utility that owns the power lines feeding their property. Farmers who use large amounts of electricity are already shaking in their collective boots.

    Writing in the WSJ yesterday (p. A15), Fred Drupp, president of the Environmental Defense Fund, stated “A well-designed cap will push our economy towards clean, domestic energy in the most flexible way possible, leaving businsess free to grow and thrive. Investors will be driven by the market’s demand for clean energy. Companies that make clean energy products – from steel for wind turbines to energy-efficient windows, and all the companies that supply them – will become engines of job creation.” Last time I checked, the vast majority of wind turbine components were made in countries other than the US. How many wind mills running full blast would it take to run just one of Nucor’s induction ovens for making steel?

    Of course, all of this will only generate even more opportunity for entrepreneurs. Take your best shot. Hank

  • $19 Billion Down the Drain?

    There is $19 billion in the economic stimulus bill signed into law a few weeks ago for a specific purpose. It is supposed to be used to computerize medical records resulting in seamless communication among doctors, patients, hospitals, and ???? resulting in fewer “mistakes.” But, the government has a history of totally screwing up such efforts. [Lately, they have been screwing up everything! :-)] Get this (reference at end) only 4% of physicians had, at the end of 2008, fully functional electronic record systems. And this is to be totally turned around by 2011??? Keep in mind that no Health Secretary has been confirmed by Congress. No one is at the helm. At the present time what systems are acceptable, and how doctors et al are to use these systems is totally undefined. It’s a $19 billion unknown! Details here:

    And therein lies the opportunity for entrepreneurs. Hank

  • Welcome Back: The New Battles Taking Place

    Welcome back from Spring Break. I had a great one!  The M3 ran great for 1528 miles, good weather etc.

    Meanwhile, a real battle in the energy arena is shaping up on the West Coast. Keep in mind that there are many many parties with a perceived stake in the government’s recent interest in and investment of billions of dollars in “Energy.” All is not good however.

    “California’s Mojave Desert may seem ideally suited for solar energy production, but concern over what several proposed projects might do to the aesthetics of the region and its tortoise population is setting up a potential clash between conservationists and companies seeking to develop renewable energy.”

    Read the entire story here: Aesthetics of a desert versus energy independence? We indeed live in interesting times. More info about the turtles is here.  Hank

  • On Spring Break Until Monday, 3/23/09. Be safe!

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