Wednesday, August 15, 2007

How to Predict a Company's Future

From Science Daily:

"The answer lies in the words of the CEO," said Rajesh Chandy, professor of marketing at the university's Carlson School of Management. "By simply counting the number of future oriented sentences in annual reports we can predict future innovation by the firm."

In the paper "Managing the Future: CEO Attention and Innovation Outcomes," forthcoming in the Journal of Marketing, Chandy and co-authors Manjit Yadav of Texas A&M University and Jaideep Prabhu of Imperial College, London University, show that CEOs who focus their attention on future events, as well as external activities, lead their firms to earlier adoption and invention of new technologies and greater and faster development of innovations. In contrast, more attention to internal operations leads to slower detection, adoption and implementation of new technologies.

Chandy and his co-authors studied empirical data collected from the online banking industry over eight years to determine innovation outcomes such as speed of detection, speed of development and the breadth of deployment of technology.

Unfortunately, the paper has yet to be released so I can't pick it apart. My question is whether the online banking industry is a good proxy for all industries. It does seem that it's a good choice when looking at entrenched industries. Startups, of course, are focused completely on innovation, so the study is not very relevant in regards to them.

If you predicted the future of a startup based on what the CEO says publicly, then every company in the Valley would be the next Google. Except mine, we're the next Oracle. Because I'm short and greedy and to quote Mark Zuckerberg, "I'm the CEO, be-yotch!"

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

How to Stop Wasting Time on the Internet.

This is going to be a quick post - I don't want to suck away anymore of your time than necessary. After all, if you're reading this you probably have a hardcore Internet addiction.

How many times have you got up from your computer looked at the clock and realized that 4 hours just went by and you have no idea where it went? What the hell was I looking at?

Well, there's an answer. It's called Meetimer. It's a little app that runs on your computer that tracks how much time you spend on each website you visit.

And yes, you can exclude sites from being tracked, you know like your favorite porn sites. Because if you really knew how much time you spend looking at porn, you'd be sliding a razor across your wrists right now. Or should I say your palms.

Anyway, Meetimer allows you to plop sites into whatever category you want. My categories are communication, research, and procrastination. Oh, and blogging.

So last week, I spent around 60 hours on the Internet. Here's how it was broken down:
35 hours on - Email
8 hours on - Reading blogs.
2 hours on facebook - communicating with friends/researching facebook apps
15 hours on random crap - shopping, porn, wikipedia

Frankly, I'm appalled that I spent that much time on the internet, even if half of it was sending email. And by the way, I actually cut down on my emailing since last month.

Honestly, just seeing that I spent more than a forty hour workweek online is enough to jolt me to cut down on my internet usage. But Meetimer also lets me identify my problem areas. Now I know exactly how much time I was spending playing Desktop Tower Defense. Answer: way too much. *shiver*I'm going cold turkey in case you wondered.

Why Meetimer vs some other solution?

It's free. It's private - only I can can see the data it collects.