In this era of LinkedIn and software processing your resume, cover letters seems like a relic. But hop over to here and read this one: Benedict Cumberbatch Reads “the Best Cover Letter Ever Written” | Open Culture.
It’s a treat to hear Cumberbatch read it, but even if you don’t, go and relish that one. You might want to write you own afterwards and send it unsolicited to organizations. They might enjoy it and want to have a chat with you!
(Photo by Álvaro Serrano on Unsplash )
Most companies come and go, as do organizations. Even former great ones can collapse or merge with others.
Most do, but not all. Here’s two really good studies of companies and organizations that have lasted for a very long time:
- The Data of Long-lived Institutions | by Alexander Rose | Long Now | Medium
- See the oldest company in each country around the world
That may seem snarky, but it’s true. Despite efforts by firms like JPMorgan hiking entry-level pay, it remains to be seen if it will be enough to attract young people to come and work with them. It’s true, many are not attracted to the extreme hours required to do the job. It’s more than that, though. As Bloomberg argues, the real reason…
… isn’t only the hours. All the exciting work has been regulated within an inch of its life, leaving millennials and Gen-Z employees searching elsewhere.
And that is great news. It means regulation of banks is working. Sure the work is boring. Boring banking is stable banking. After the Great Recession of 2008, the last thing we need for a long time (i.e. eternity) is exciting banks.
Let the young people looking for exciting careers look elsewhere. Let them go join firms and fight climate change, pandemics, world inequality. Leave the people looking for stable jobs to go into banking. Everyone wins that way. Even the banks. (Ask the people who used to work at Lehmans if you disagree.)
(Photo by Sean Driscoll on Unsplash )
When I first started following Web 2.0 companies over 15 years, Zoho was an early player. Since then, some companies became very successful and many failed. I used to joke with a friend every time a story of Zoho came up I was surprised it still existed. Not only does it still exist, but it is rolling out new features: Zoho’s pipeline-centric CRM solution built for small businesses gets new features
I’m happy to see it is a going concern. It’s easy to think companies should “go big or go home”. It’s better to think that there is another path to success. Zoho seems to have found that path.
More on them here.
If you are in business, you need to start thinking today about how everything will change after the pandemic. If you need help, review this piece in HBR: Preparing Your Business for a Post-Pandemic World
If you are not responsible for a business, it could still benefit you to read it. I see plenty of people fantasizing about what they might do after the pandemic. Why not go further and start planning to do it? If you are thinking of moving after the pandemic, what will that take? If you are planning on travelling, what do you need to have in place to make that happen?
The pandemic will end. Not soon enough, but sooner than you are prepared for. Get started on that today. The world is only temporarily closed.
(Photo by Edwin Hooper on Unsplash)
You may have a view of trade as being straightforward: one country either buys or sells a product to another country. However as this older piece shows, it’s never quite that simple: One Tiny Widget’s Dizzying Journey Through the U.S., Mexico and Canada.
That’s not to say all products are like that. As we learned during the pandemic, all it takes is for a shutdown of one country and suddenly we can’t get a product. But for many products, the journey isn’t from A to B. It’s from A to B to …Z? It’s complex. And if there is a disruption along the way, disaster can occur.
One thing for sure, given how the pandemic disrupted supply chains, I expect many companies are countries are going to be revisiting how they get products and how they can better protect themselves against not being able to get it in times of emergency.
I don’t know, but I do know this is a good piece to read for anyone interested in establishments having some degree of success with them: Meal kits were dying. Covid-19 brought them back to life. | The Counter.
I am not sure what the future of restaurants will be. Or any places that depend on having many people close together for periods of time. If COVID-19 sticks around for months and years, we are going to be forced to find out. Whatever that future is, it will be substantially different to the time before the arrival of this disease.
Nothing, of course, unless you are playing by the rules and goals of Silicon Valley, where VC money comes at a cost. In this piece He Wanted a Unicorn. He Got … a Sustainable Business | WIRED, we hear
(this) story is one part cautionary tale for entrepreneurs seduced by the allure of venture capital and billion-dollar valuations, and one part an example of how a company can thrive outside those expectations.
I liked the angle of this story and found it fascinating. I think we need more stories of people quite nicely achieving a sustainable business. It’s not that having a blockbuster business is terrible, but it is rare, like all exceptional things are. It’s a winner takes all approach to business. To me, a better approach is that people can be successful in many different ways. Ways like having a sustainable business that provides a service that people really need. That’s a good measure of success to me. I hope we can get more such stories.
Stratechery is always great and this piece is no different: The WeWork IPO – Stratechery by Ben Thompson.
What makes it good is that rather than just slamming WeWork superficially, as many takes have, it delves into what could possibly justify why WeWork is a good investment.
My take is that if WeWork had a different executive, it could be a successful company. I think the comparison to AWS is somewhat valid, and in the gig economy with lots of short term work, it could become very successful. (It worked really well for a recent project I was on).
That said, I believe the executive team of WeWork will not be able to handle any drying up of capital or a recession of any length. Or investors will wake up and ask themselves why WeWork should be valued way more than IWG/Regus. Time will tell, of course.
One last thing: my understanding is that WeWork had to start from scratch in terms of buying up / leasing real estate, but AWS did not start from scratch and took advantage of existing capacity Amazon currently had.
(Image link to the original piece in the article reference)
August 20, 2019 in ideas, new!
Tagged AWS, business, entrepreneur, ideas, investment, realestate, startup, strategy, WeWork
Did you guess 50? No? If you didn’t you should read this: A Study of 2.7 Million Startups Found the Ideal Age to Start a Business (and It’s Much Older Than You Think) | Inc.com
And in general terms, a 50-year-old entrepreneur is almost twice as likely to start an extremely successful company as a 30-year-old. (Or, for that matter, a successful side hustle.)
It’s never too late to pursue that business dream.
Arguably they are the ones in this article: I read the 8 best business books of all time—here’s what I learned. If you want to know what they are and get a synopsis, read that piece.
Chatbots are relatively straightforward to deploy these days. AI providers like IBM and others provide all the technology you need. But do you really need them? And if you already have a bunch of them deployed, are you doing it right? If these questions have you wondering, I recommend you read this: Does Your Company Really Need a Chatbot?
You still may want to proceed with chatbots: they make a lot of business sense for certain types of work. But you will have a better idea when not to use them, too.
One, It’s always terrible when this type of thing happens: Jamie Oliver’s U.K. Restaurants Declare Bankruptcy – The New York Times.
But two, I am curious about what has been happening with his businesses based on this:
… his British restaurants ran into financial trouble in 2016 and got into such dire straits that Mr. Oliver had to inject millions from his own savings to salvage the business. Even then, he had to close about 20 restaurants and pizzerias in the months that followed.
What has been happening in the past three years? I remember reading that at the time and it seemed like they had turned the corner at were going to be ok. They turned a corner but they were the opposite of ok.
I’d really like an in depth article of what happened.
Lots of people on twitter giving Chase heat for this tweet today:
Part of me understands that. I mean, how could a company that received such a big bailout have the nerve to tweet that? But the other part of me knows that big organizations work in silos and compartments. There is likely no-one at a high level at Chase scrutinizes low level communications like tweets. You know how Amazon sometimes sells T shirts with offensive messages? Same problem.
People believe big organizations are homogenous and aware of every aspect of the people who work there and what they are doing. This belief is wrong. Some orgs may be that way, but the majority are not.
Something to think about the next time this occurs.
First off, what is it? It’s this, via the About section of the site:
Stratechery provides analysis of the strategy and business side of technology and media, and the impact of technology on society. Weekly Articles are free, while three Daily Updates a week are for subscribers only.
Recommended by The New York Times as “one of the most interesting sources of analysis on any subject”, Stratechery has subscribers from over 85 different countries, including executives in both technology and industries impacted by technology, venture capitalists and investors, and thousands of other people interested in understanding how and why the Internet is changing everything.
Everything I’ve read on it has been insightful and in depth, including this piece on IBM and the acquisition of Red Hat.
Should you become an entrepreneur if you are older? If you are an entrepreneur, should you hire older workers despite worrying they won’t be a good fit? This piece, Don’t Let Your ‘Senior Citizen’ Status Kill Your Entrepreneurial Spirit, makes the case that the answer to both questions is yes. Well worth reading if you have been asking yourself these questions.
And why is Colonel Sanders shown here? The article will explain.
(Image linked to is on Wikimedia)
And by here, I mean this site: Startup Stash – Curated resources and tools for startups. It is an amazing collection of tools you likely will need, for one thing. Plus, it has a superb user interface that not only groups the tools well, but gives you a sense of all the things you need to think about if you are going to go forward and create your own startup.
If you aren’t seriously thinking about startups, but would like to know about new tools to make you more productive at work, then I recommend you check out this site too.
Kudos to the creator of the site. Well worth a visit.