jerryking + hidden   46

132. Science Fiction's Hidden Codes | Mad Scientist Laboratory
MARCH 28, 2019 BY USER
132. Science Fiction’s Hidden Codes
[Editor’s Note: Mad Scientist Laboratory is pleased to publish the first of a series of posts from guest blogger Lt Col David Calder
hidden  militaries  science_fiction 
6 weeks ago by jerryking
How 5 Data Dynamos Do Their Jobs
June 12, 2019 | The New York Times | By Lindsey Rogers Cook.
[Times Insider explains who we are and what we do, and delivers behind-the-scenes insights into how our journalism comes together.]
Reporters from across the newsroom describe the many ways in which they increasingly rely on datasets and spreadsheets to create groundbreaking work.

Data journalism is not new. It predates our biggest investigations of the last few decades. It predates computers. Indeed, reporters have used data to hold power to account for centuries, as a data-driven investigation that uncovered overspending by politicians, including then-congressman Abraham Lincoln, attests.

But the vast amount of data available now is new. The federal government’s data repository contains nearly 250,000 public datasets. New York City’s data portal contains more than 2,500. Millions more are collected by companies, tracked by think tanks and academics, and obtained by reporters through Freedom of Information Act requests (though not always without a battle). No matter where they come from, these datasets are largely more organized than ever before and more easily analyzed by our reporters.

(1) Karen Zraick, Express reporter.
NYC's Buildings Department said it was merely responding to a sudden spike in 311 complaints about store signs. But who complains about store signs?....it was hard to get a sense of the scale of the problem just by collecting anecdotes. So I turned to NYC Open Data, a vast trove of information that includes records about 311 complaints. By sorting and calculating the data, we learned that many of the calls were targeting stores in just a few Brooklyn neighborhoods.
(2) John Ismay, At War reporter
He has multiple spreadsheets for almost every article he works on......Spreadsheets helped him organize all the characters involved and the timeline of what happened as the situation went out of control 50 years ago......saves all the relevant location data he later used in Google Earth to analyze the terrain, which allowed him to ask more informed questions.
(3) Eliza Shapiro, education reporter for Metro
After she found out in March that only seven black students won seats at Stuyvesant, New York City’s most elite public high school, she kept coming back to one big question: How did this happen? I had a vague sense that the city’s so-called specialized schools once looked more like the rest of the city school system, which is mostly black and Hispanic.

With my colleague K.K. Rebecca Lai from The Times’s graphics department, I started to dig into a huge spreadsheet that listed the racial breakdown of each of the specialized schools dating to the mid-1970s.
analyzed changes in the city’s immigration patterns to better understand why some immigrant groups were overrepresented at the schools and others were underrepresented. We mapped out where the city’s accelerated academic programs are, and found that mostly black and Hispanic neighborhoods have lost them. And we tracked the rise of the local test preparation industry, which has exploded in part to meet the demand of parents eager to prepare their children for the specialized schools’ entrance exam.

To put a human face to the data points we gathered, I collected yearbooks from black and Hispanic alumni and spent hours on the phone with them, listening to their recollections of the schools in the 1970s through the 1990s. The final result was a data-driven article that combined Rebecca’s remarkable graphics, yearbook photos, and alumni reflections.

(4) Reed Abelson, Health and Science reporter
the most compelling stories take powerful anecdotes about patients and pair them with eye-opening data.....Being comfortable with data and spreadsheets allows me to ask better questions about researchers’ studies. Spreadsheets also provide a way of organizing sources, articles and research, as well as creating a timeline of events. By putting information in a spreadsheet, you can quickly access it, and share it with other reporters.

(5) Maggie Astor, Politics reporter
a political reporter dealing with more than 20 presidential candidates, she uses spreadsheets to track polling, fund-raising, policy positions and so much more. Without them, there’s just no way she could stay on top of such a huge field......The climate reporter Lisa Friedman and she used another spreadsheet to track the candidates’ positions on several climate policies.
311  5_W’s  behind-the-scenes  Communicating_&_Connecting  data  datasets  data_journalism  data_scientists  FOIA  groundbreaking  hidden  information_overload  information_sources  journalism  mapping  massive_data_sets  New_York_City  NYT  open_data  organizing_data  reporters  self-organization  systematic_approaches  spreadsheets  storytelling  timelines  tools 
10 weeks ago by jerryking
How Scotland erased Guyana from its past
Tue 16 Apr 2019 | News | The Guardian 06.00 BST | by Yvonne Singh.

The portrayal of Scots as abolitionists and liberal champions has hidden a long history of profiting from slavery in the Caribbean.
Caribbean  erasures  Guyana  historical_amnesia  hidden  history  invisibility  Scotland  slavery 
april 2019 by jerryking
How to Spot and Overcome Your Hidden Weaknesses - The New York Times
By Tim Herrera
April 23, 2018

So what can we do to stop embarrassing ourselves with, say, our awful French if we don’t know how awful it is? Research suggests two routes to enlightenment.

First, ask for feedback. It’s not easy, and it can sometimes be tough to hear, but outside input is crucial to shining a light on your blind spots. Here are some tips for getting and giving better feedback.

Second, keep learning. The more knowledgeable you are about something, the more you’re able to identify the gaps in your own understanding of it.
weaknesses  self-awareness  feedback  continuous_learning  hidden 
may 2018 by jerryking
Hey Toronto! Take a walk on the wild side in the city's hidden ravines and parks - Toronto - CBC News
By Alexandra Sienkiewicz, CBC News Posted: May 21, 2017

An Enduring Wilderness: Toronto's Natural Parklands, a new book by photographer Robert Burley, you can discover some of the city's hidden gems — from sunken valleys, tree-lined ravines and unpopulated shorelines. ''''''The book itself is a collection of hundreds of photographs and tributes by some of Toronto's best-known writers, including George Elliott Clarke, Alissa York, Anne Michaels, Michael Mitchell and Leanne Betasamosake Simpson.

In describing the project, Burley quotes Robert Fulford: "The ravines are to Toronto what canals are to Venice, and hills are to San Francisco. They are the heart of the city's emotional geography."
ravines  hidden  Toronto  parks  wilderness  books  Rouge_Park 
may 2017 by jerryking
Big Companies Should Collaborate with Startups
Eddie YoonSteve Hughes
FEBRUARY 25, 2016

Growth is increasingly hard to come by, so large companies are increasingly looking to entrepreneurs to help them find it. In the food and beverage category, growth came from 20,000 small companies outside of the top 100, which together saw revenue grow by $17 billion dollars.
Despite that aggregate revenue growth, not every startup is successful — in fact, the vast majority will fail.

Ironically, startups and established companies would both improve their success rates if they collaborated instead of competed. Startups and established companies bring two distinct and equally integral skills to the table. Startups excel at giving birth to successful proof of concepts; larger companies are much better at successfully scaling proof of concepts.

Startups are better at detecting and unlocking emerging and latent demand. But they often stumble at scaling their proof of concept, not only because they’re often doing it for the first time, but also because the skills necessary for creating are not the same as scaling. Startups must be agile and adapt their value proposition several times until they get it right. According to Forbes, 58% of startups successfully figure out a clear market need for what they have.

In contrast, big companies often end up launching things they can make, not what people want.

Successful collaboration between startups and established companies must go beyond financial deals: it must be personal and mission-oriented.....areas of emerging and latent demand are often highly concentrated.... spend time physically in hotbeds specific to your sector. ....met people...walk the aisles ...... explore up and coming datasets. SPINs is a retail measurement company that covers the natural and organic grocers. Yet too many companies don’t even bother to acquire this data because they dismiss it as too small to matter.....Just as important as personal knowledge are personal relationships. ...spend time with customers....skew more toward emerging customers......connect with key people who have tight connections with both startups and established companies in your industry.....collaboration needs to be mission-oriented, meaning it has to be focused on something larger than financial success. ......Executives who wish to tap into the growth of these smaller companies will find that having a big checkbook is not going to be enough, and that waiting for an investment banker to bring them deals is the wrong approach. A mercenary mindset will only go so far. When big companies try to engage with startups, a missionary mindset will create better odds of success.
large_companies  Fortune_500  brands  scaling  start_ups  collaboration  face2face  personal_meetings  personal_touch  information_sources  personal_relationships  personal_knowledge  HBR  growth  funding  M&A  success_rates  latent  hidden  proof-of-concepts  mindsets  missionaries  mission-driven  Mondolez  cultural_clash  Gulliver_strategies 
march 2017 by jerryking
Abused ravines are loose thread in urban fabric - The Globe and Mail
JOHN BARBER
From Tuesday's Globe and Mail
Published Tuesday, Sep. 10, 2002

"There is nothing quite like the ravines anywhere: no other city has so much nature woven through its urban fabric in that way," Robert Fulford wrote in a typical example.

"The ravines are to Toronto what canals are to Venice, hills are to San Francisco and the Thames River is to London. They are the heart of the city's emotional geography, and understanding Toronto requires an understanding of the ravines."

Any serious attempt to understand the ravines would probably include the fact that they are an environmental disaster, hopelessly degraded by generations of neglect, and getting steadily worse despite the green boosterism.

It might also notice that the ravines are not woven through the urban fabric in the least; rather, they are emphatically set apart from it, even suppressed by it. At least the hills in San Francisco make an impression; in Toronto, you can drive over a 100-foot bridge and never know it.

It's also possible that this bizarre dislocation -- two worlds, one right on top of the other, yet almost entirely separate -- might help explain why the ravines are still so abused: They have no constituency.
City_Hall  constituencies  emotional_geography  hidden  iconic  John_Barber  nature  overlay_networks  parks  ravines  Toronto  urban  wilderness 
november 2015 by jerryking
The Sensor-Rich, Data-Scooping Future - NYTimes.com
APRIL 26, 2015 | NYT | By QUENTIN HARDY.

Sensor-rich lights, to be found eventually in offices and homes, are for a company that will sell knowledge of behavior as much as physical objects....The Internet will be almost fused with the physical world. The way Google now looks at online clicks to figure out what ad to next put in front of you will become the way companies gain once-hidden insights into the patterns of nature and society.

G.E., Google and others expect that knowing and manipulating these patterns is the heart of a new era of global efficiency, centered on machines that learn and predict what is likely to happen next.

“The core thing Google is doing is machine learning,” Eric Schmidt....The great data science companies of our sensor-packed world will have experts in arcane reaches of statistics, computer science, networking, visualization and database systems, among other fields. Graduates in those areas are already in high demand.

Nor is data analysis just a question of computing skills; data access is also critically important. As a general rule, the larger and richer a data set a company has, the better its predictions become. ....an emerging area of computer analysis known as “deep learning” will blow away older fields.

While both Facebook and Google have snapped up deep-learning specialists, Mr. Howard said, “they have far too much invested in traditional computing paradigms. They are the equivalent of Kodak in photography.” Echoing Mr. Chui’s point about specialization, he said he thought the new methods demanded understanding of specific fields to work well.

It is of course possible that both things are true: Big companies like Google and Amazon will have lots of commodity data analysis, and specialists will find niches. That means for most of us, the answer to the future will be in knowing how to ask the right kinds of questions.
sensors  GE  GE_Capital  Quentin_Hardy  data  data_driven  data_scientists  massive_data_sets  machine_learning  automated_reasoning  predictions  predictive_analytics  predictive_modeling  layer_mastery  core_competencies  Enlitic  deep_learning  niches  patterns  analog  insights  latent  hidden  questions  Google  Amazon  aftermath  physical_world  specialization  consumer_behavior  cyberphysical  arcane_knowledge  artificial_intelligence  test_beds 
april 2015 by jerryking
Innovation: If you can’t make yourself obsolete, someone else will - The Globe and Mail
GUY DIXON
The Globe and Mail
Published Thursday, Jun. 26 2014

I think at the root of the problem is a deficit of ambition [i.e. a lack of chutzpah or audacity] The larger the corporation, the safer they become. What I’ve witnessed, certainly between 2008, 2009, is this deficit of ambition.....All of our research points to the fact that companies that do manage and measure innovation outperform those that don’t. You can put resources into place, and that’s where managing it comes in: deploying resources that will support innovative, new ideas; ensuring that you have a strong knowledge architecture – and that it is a formal, systemic thing, so that people access knowledge that is already developed; ensuring access to markets – that’s a structural element. Do your people have access to customers and markets?; and actively managing talent and selecting people and promoting them and ensuring that they have an orientation toward innovation and the development of new ideas....What percentage of turnover or revenue is presented by products that have been introduced in the past number of years? And for different companies, in different industries, that’s going to vary. Companies that are very successful treat that number as sacrosanct for the sales projection for next year and the bottom line for next year....Way too many companies are focused on market share versus the modern metric of, ‘Are we gaining a disproportionate share of opportunity?’ [Is this distinction something to be explored with the help of sensors, location-based services and the LBMA??] And then we’re back to this abandonment thing.
Managing_Your_Career  organizational_culture  innovation  metrics  ambitions  opportunities  market_share  complacency  measurements  talent_management  ideas  obsolescence  disproportionality  latent  hidden  self-obsolescence  large_companies  new_products  Fortune_500  brands  Guy_Dixon  outperformance 
june 2014 by jerryking
Deloitte: Companies Engage in ‘Hidden Market for Data Monetization’ - The CIO Report - WSJ
January 23, 2014 | WSJ | By Michael Hickins.

Companies are engaging in “a hidden market for data monetization,” and are starting to “trade data among themselves for mutual benefit,” according to John Lucker, Deloitte LLP’s market leader for advanced analytics and modeling. The question they still haven’t wrestled to the ground is how much is too much data, and when does trading data cause consumers to revolt.
data  monetization  exhaust_data  privacy  data_marketplaces  CIOs  hidden  latent 
february 2014 by jerryking
At Your Service
Autumn 2013 | University of Toronto Magazine| By Janet Rowe.

Personal librarians help first-year students understand U of T’s libraries....For students who haven’t been assigned a personal librarian, Vine offers an insider secret. “One of my favourite ‘hidden’ resources is a set of bibliographies on many subjects,” she says. “Prepared by experts, each item has an abstract that can help you figure out if the article is suitable for your assignment – a big time-saver for busy students. The trick is to look under ‘Oxford Bibliographies Online’ in the library catalogue.” Bonus: many paywall-protected articles are free when accessed through the library website.
personal_libraries  libraries  uToronto  curation  Colleges_&_Universities  research  paywalls  hidden  personalization  outreach  expertise 
november 2013 by jerryking
The Hidden Costs of Starting a Company - NYTimes.com
June 3, 2013 | NYT | By ADRIANA HERRERA.

A friend of mine, Bobby Matson, founded Startups Anonymous with Diego Prats. They are both entrepreneurs who persevered over the challenges of a failed start-up. Startups Anonymous is a Web site that aims to help start-up founders and employees connect anonymously with serial entrepreneurs about the real challenges they face. After being live for just a few hours, the site had received more than 40 e-mails from founders all over the world eager to connect with someone — an indication of how many isolated people there are trying to figure out the challenges that come with building a start-up.
running_a_business  start_ups  work_life_balance  focus  entrepreneur  hidden  serial_entrepreneur 
june 2013 by jerryking
Sears joins retail’s real estate push
Jun. 04 2013 | The Globe and Mail | MARINA STRAUSS - RETAILING REPORTER.

“Everyone is milking their real estate,” said Jack Klaiman, president at retail real estate adviser Oberfeld Snowcap. “This is the hidden asset. … It’s a smart move.”.... “Real estate has always been a valuable aspect of many businesses, particularly in retail,” he added. “This is the right development opportunity for us to pursue.”

Real estate is a hot commodity in retail as a growing array of foreign retailers look for sites here amid a dearth of locations. Retailers, including Nordstrom, are believed to be interested in some Sears sites, especially its flagship store at the Toronto Eaton Centre, where its head office also is located.
head_offices  commercial_real_estate  real_estate  Marina_Strauss  REITS  retailers  Loblaws  Canadian_Tire  hidden  Sears_Canada 
june 2013 by jerryking
The Four Best (and Worst) Uses of Market Research| Page 2
April 9 2013 | | ChiefExecutive.net | Chief Executive Magazine | by Taddy Hall

Experience and research suggest that CEOs of many companies look for growth in the wrong places and in the wrong ways, thereby missing opportunities and leaving them for the newbies. In a sense, though, this is good news: success lies in doing things differently, not spending more.

Specifically, there are four approaches organizations often take, none of which reliably lead to the actionable insights business leaders need:

Seek and profile large, growing and profitable markets
Solicit feedback from current best customers
Segment markets based on customer attributes, such as demographics, or based on product characteristics like “high end” vs. “low end,” “regular” vs. “light,” etc.
Benchmark progress against competitors

In each case, it is easy to see why an industry leader might have interest in the findings; however, these outputs speak primarily to aspects of the existing business or to the franchises of other established players. In other words, mapping current demand reveals little to nothing of the less-visible latent demand that is essential fuel for transformational innovation. As Henry Ford mused a hundred years ago: if he’d asked folks what they wanted, they would have asked for faster horses. Echoing Ford, Steve Jobs noted that consumers can’t describe what they’ve never experienced.
market_research  disruption  Clayton_Christensen  high-end  latent  insights  growth  opportunities  transformational  customer_insights  innovation  large_markets  market_segmentation  customer_risk  actionable_information  hidden  Henry_Ford  Steve_Jobs  market_share  static  dynamic  segmentation  missed_opportunities  hiring-a-product-to-do-a-specific-job  unarticulated_desires 
april 2013 by jerryking
The Scary Hidden Stressor - NYTimes.com
By THOMAS L. FRIEDMAN
Published: March 2, 2013

Consider this: The world’s top nine wheat-importers are in the Middle East: “Seven had political protests resulting in civilian deaths in 2011,” said Sternberg. “Households in the countries that experience political unrest spend, on average, more than 35 percent of their income on food supplies,” compared with less than 10 percent in developed countries.
"The stressor is never the only explanation for the crime, but it is inevitably an important factor in a complex set of variables that lead to a disaster. “The Arab Spring and Climate Change” doesn’t claim that climate change caused the recent wave of Arab revolutions, but, taken together, the essays make a strong case that the interplay between climate change, food prices (particularly wheat) and politics is a hidden stressor that helped to fuel the revolutions and will continue to make consolidating them into stable democracies much more difficult. "...
Everything is linked: Chinese drought and Russian bushfires produced wheat shortages leading to higher bread prices fueling protests in Tahrir Square. Sternberg calls it the globalization of “hazard.”
Tom_Friedman  Arab-Muslim_world  climate_change  food  fault_lines  hidden  multiple_stressors  political_instability  political_unrest 
march 2013 by jerryking
What Data Can’t Do - NYTimes.com
By DAVID BROOKS
Published: February 18, 2013

there are many things big data does poorly. Let’s note a few in rapid-fire fashion:

* Data struggles with the social. Your brain is pretty bad at math (quick, what’s the square root of 437), but it’s excellent at social cognition. People are really good at mirroring each other’s emotional states, at detecting uncooperative behavior and at assigning value to things through emotion.
* Data struggles with context. Human decisions are embedded in contexts. The human brain has evolved to account for this reality...Data analysis is pretty bad at narrative and emergent thinking.
* Data creates bigger haystacks. This is a point Nassim Taleb, the author of “Antifragile,” has made. As we acquire more data, we have the ability to find many, many more statistically significant correlations. Most of these correlations are spurious and deceive us when we’re trying to understand a situation.
* Big data has trouble with big (e.g. societal) problems.
* Data favors memes over masterpieces. Data analysis can detect when large numbers of people take an instant liking to some cultural product. But many important (and profitable) products are hated initially because they are unfamiliar. [The unfamiliar has to accomplish behavioural change / bridge cultural divides]
* Data obscures hidden/implicit value judgements. I recently saw an academic book with the excellent title, “ ‘Raw Data’ Is an Oxymoron.” One of the points was that data is never raw; it’s always structured according to somebody’s predispositions and values. The end result looks disinterested, but, in reality, there are value choices all the way through, from construction to interpretation.

This is not to argue that big data isn’t a great tool. It’s just that, like any tool, it’s good at some things and not at others. As the Yale professor Edward Tufte has said, “The world is much more interesting than any one discipline.”
massive_data_sets  David_Brooks  data_driven  decision_making  data  Nassim_Taleb  contrarians  skepticism  new_graduates  contextual  risks  social_cognition  self-deception  correlations  value_judgements  haystacks  narratives  memes  unfamiliarity  naivete  hidden  Edward_Tufte  emotions  antifragility  behavioral_change  new_products  cultural_products  masterpieces  EQ  emotional_intelligence 
february 2013 by jerryking
Surprise business result? Explore whether it is a hidden opportunity
June 18, 2007 | G&M pg. B8 | George Stalk Jr.

What does it take to capitalize on anomalies systematically?

For starters, you need to have metrics and information systems that are sufficiently refined to identify anomalies in the first place. Knowing the average margins and market share isn’t enough; look at the entire range of outcomes—across customers, geographies, products, and the like. This allows you to surface out-of-the-ordinary results for closer inspection.

The next step is to separate wheat from chaff: those anomalies that signal a potential business opportunity from those that are merely one-time events. The key is to examine the pattern of unusual performance over time. The customer who consistently buys high volumes or the market that outperforms the average year after year are, by definition, not random. Is there an underlying cause that can be identified and then replicated elsewhere?

Finally, you need to understand the precise mechanisms that animate the anomalies you identify. Why is the unusual pattern of performance happening? What specific features of the product or the local environment or the customer experience are bringing it about? Don’t accept the usual first-order explanations. It’s not enough to know that a particular customer has been loyal for years; find out precisely why.

It’s up to senior management to create the forum for asking why and to persist until the question is answered with genuine insight.
metrics  George_Stalk_Jr.  BCG  anomalies  growth  opportunities  customer_insights  surprises  systematic_approaches  quizzes  ratios  pattern_recognition  insights  questions  first-order  second-order  OPMA  Waudware  curiosity  new_businesses  one-time_events  signals  noise  overlooked_opportunities  latent  hidden  averages  information_systems  assessments_&_evaluations  randomness  5_W’s 
january 2013 by jerryking
Learning to Love Volatility: Nassim Nicholas Taleb on the Antifragile
November 16, 2012 | WSJ | Nassim Nicholas Taleb

In a world that constantly throws big, unexpected events our way, we must learn to benefit from disorder, writes Nassim Nicholas Taleb.

Some made the mistake of thinking that I hoped to see us develop better methods for predicting black swans. Others asked if we should just give up and throw our hands in the air: If we could not measure the risks of potential blowups, what were we to do? The answer is simple: We should try to create institutions that won't fall apart when we encounter black swans—or that might even gain from these unexpected events....To deal with black swans, we instead need things that gain from volatility, variability, stress and disorder. My (admittedly inelegant) term for this crucial quality is "antifragile." The only existing expression remotely close to the concept of antifragility is what we derivatives traders call "long gamma," to describe financial packages that benefit from market volatility. Crucially, both fragility and antifragility are measurable.

As a practical matter, emphasizing antifragility means that our private and public sectors should be able to thrive and improve in the face of disorder. By grasping the mechanisms of antifragility, we can make better decisions without the illusion of being able to predict the next big thing. We can navigate situations in which the unknown predominates and our understanding is limited.

Herewith are five policy rules that can help us to establish antifragility as a principle of our socioeconomic life.

Rule 1:Think of the economy as being more like a cat than a washing machine.

We are victims of the post-Enlightenment view that the world functions like a sophisticated machine, to be understood like a textbook engineering problem and run by wonks. In other words, like a home appliance, not like the human body. If this were so, our institutions would have no self-healing properties and would need someone to run and micromanage them, to protect their safety, because they cannot survive on their own.

By contrast, natural or organic systems are antifragile: They need some dose of disorder in order to develop. Deprive your bones of stress and they become brittle. This denial of the antifragility of living or complex systems is the costliest mistake that we have made in modern times.

Rule 2:Favor businesses that benefit from their own mistakes,not those whose mistakes percolate into the system.

Some businesses and political systems respond to stress better than others. The airline industry is set up in such a way as to make travel safer after every plane crash.

Rule 3:Small is beautiful, but it is also efficient.

Experts in business and government are always talking about economies of scale. They say that increasing the size of projects and institutions brings costs savings. But the "efficient," when too large, isn't so efficient. Size produces visible benefits but also hidden risks; it increases exposure to the probability of large losses.
Rule 4:Trial and error beats academic knowledge.
Rule 5:Decision makers must have skin in the game.

In the business world, the solution is simple: Bonuses that go to managers whose firms subsequently fail should be clawed back, and there should be additional financial penalties for those who hide risks under the rug. This has an excellent precedent in the practices of the ancients. The Romans forced engineers to sleep under a bridge once it was completed (jk: personal risk and skin in the game).
Nassim_Taleb  resilience  black_swan  volatility  turmoil  brittle  antifragility  personal_risk  trial_&_error  unknowns  size  unexpected  economies_of_scale  risks  hidden  compounded  disorder  latent  financial_penalties  Romans  skin_in_the_game  deprivations  penalties  stressful  variability 
november 2012 by jerryking
The hidden price of public-private partnerships - The Globe and Mail
BARRIE McKENNA

OTTAWA — The Globe and Mail

Last updated Sunday, Oct. 14 2012
P3  infrastructure  Barrie_McKenna  hidden 
november 2012 by jerryking
Investment Strategies in Private Equity
Summer 2003| The Journal of Private Equity | Varun Sood
Adverse selection arises in a market
where buyers cannot accurately gauge the
quality of the product that they are buying. It
suggests that in such a case, the marketplace
most likely will contain generally poor-quality
products. This concept, also referred to as the
“hidden information” problem, is well known
in areas such as insurance and banking. In
simple terms, the theory is that there will
always be a seller for a poor-quality good,
because a seller of such items will always want
to sell. Therefore, by “self-selection,” poor quality
goods will be overrepresented in offers
made to buyers as well as in those accepted for
purchase.
private_equity  asymmetrical  moral_hazards  investing  strategies  overrepresentation  self-selection  adverse_selection  latent  hidden  Gresham's_law 
november 2011 by jerryking
The Door-To-Door Billionaire Daryl Harms knows how to turn dull businesses into big profits. But can he really do it with your garbage? - May 1, 2003
By Ed Welles
May 1, 2003

Harms spots trends sooner and bears down harder than most entrepreneurs--a combination that has made him wildly wealthy, if not exactly famous. But his next venture--more on that later-- just might transform him into a household name on the order of, say, Warren Buffett. Like Buffett, Daryl Harms, 51, patiently trolls for perfect businesses in which he can build long-term value via his Masada Resource Group, based in Birmingham. He hunts down overlooked opportunities that don't trade on trendy brand names or cutting-edge technologies...When selling cable service, Harms went block to block, zeroing in on houses with the tallest antennas. Other salesfolk reflexively bypassed such homes because they assumed that better reception wasn't an issue for them. Harms targeted those customers first. "I told them, 'I can see you stand tall. Of all the people on the street you understand the value of TV,' " he recalls saying. " 'If we put cable in, you can compare it with what you have now. If you don't like it, we'll come back and take it out.' " Such "influencers," in Harms's lingo, made it easier for him to convert whole blocks....Spurred by a poll that showed that 92% of Americans considered themselves "environmentalists," Harms and his employees spent a year studying the recycling market only to decide that the real money lay in garbage. From there they sought out the best ethanol conversion technology. Having found it--at the Tennessee Valley Authority--they worked for five years to tweak the science, an effort that has earned Masada 18 patents. "Today's risky business climate warrants thoroughness," Harms says..."The theme is that there is always a consumer need to be addressed," explains Wheeler. "People will always talk on the phone, watch television, and produce garbage."...Asking the right question, it seems, comes naturally to Harms. Entrepreneurs fail, he believes, because they "get too microscopic in their thinking. In business it's very easy to get the right answer to the wrong question." According to Wheeler, Harms failed to ask the right question when he set up a venture called Postron, which allowed cable TV subscribers to receive their bills via cable and print them out on a printer attached to their TVs. What Harms didn't ask, says Wheeler, was "whether consumers wanted another piece of hardware." They didn't...Harms finds customers where no one else thinks to look. When he started selling burglar alarms in 1985, he didn't target high-crime areas. Instead he identified places where the perception of vulnerability was greatest--which he determined by calculating how much space the local paper devoted to crime. The first cellphone license he sought was for a desolate stretch of highway between Lincoln and Omaha rather than in a major population center. Why? Because, as Page says, "what else were people going to do in their cars but talk on the phone?" Aside from overlooked customers, Harms seeks another component to every business: recurring revenue of roughly $25 a month per user. "That's a bite that most people can get used to paying," he reasons. For him it translates into healthy cash flow, which fosters predictability and enables a business to survive hard times. Besides, "the more reliable the cash flow, the higher a multiple of that cash flow you can get for your company," he notes.
entrepreneur  moguls  counterintuitive  overlooked_opportunities  unglamorous  latent  hidden  cash_flows  questions  missed_opportunities  wide-framing  hard_times  predictability  consumer_needs  subscriptions  thinking_big  asking_the_right_questions 
november 2011 by jerryking
Hidden Wealth in B2B Brands
March 2007 | Harvard Business Review| by James R. Gregory and Donald E. Sexton
B2B  branding  hidden 
october 2011 by jerryking
The builder who revived a beloved brand brick by brick
Jul 18, 2011 FT. Andrew Ward. Jorgen Vig Knudstorp ; CEO Lego.
as head of the Danish toy maker, he helped restore the fortunes of a
national institution...Knudstorp saw that painful measures were needed
to turn the company around: layoffs, some mfg. was off shored to eastern
Europe & Mexico, and asset sales of theme parks & non-core
products....One of the hardest challenges for any CEO is to get to the
truth of what a biz is doing right & wrong - & to avoid
complacency when things are going well. Don`t dismiss the 1 % who
complain. Listen extra hard to that 1% because they usually represent a
much bigger proportion of silent unhappiness."

Lego tries to get at the truth by basing a large proportion of managers'
bonuses on customer satisfaction surveys of retailers, parents &
children...Knudstorp maintains a wide netwk of global business &
academic contacts from his time at McK and, before that, at biz schools
in Denmark, the UK & US, and describes himself an eclectic reader.
ProQuest  Lego  CEOs  Denmark  Danish  turnarounds  family-owned_businesses  theme_parks  toys  latent  hidden  complacency  customer_satisfaction  McKinsey  dissatisfaction  complaints  unhappiness 
july 2011 by jerryking
Executive Learns From Hack - WSJ.com
JUNE 21, 2011 By EVAN RAMSTAD.

• Trust the authorities.
• Stay open and transparent."
• Learn IT and know where vulnerabilities are. "These days, the CEO
should understand the basic structure of hacking even though he cannot
do programming. A CEO has to make tradeoffs and organizational
decisions.
• Create a philosophy that drives IT decisions. "Up to a few years ago,
the hacking route was very simple. But these days, there are so many
holes. Smartphone applications, so many websites … so the CEO has many
decisions to make.
• Reassess plans for products and services. Understand that each
application creates a new route for hacking. The real cost is not the
development cost. It's also the cost of hacking exposure.
Hyundai  South_Korea  blackmail  consumer_finance  IT  lessons_learned  cyber_security  product_development  product_management  hacks  data_breaches  vulnerabilities  new_products  hidden  latent  tradeoffs  CEOs 
june 2011 by jerryking
Who Is James Johnson? - NYTimes.com
By DAVID BROOKS
June 16, 2011 . Brooks' point is that some of the most serious scandals
are not salacious, occur slowly and receive little media attention. And
so it was with Fannie Mae, a quasi-govt. agency tasked with the effort
to expand home-ownership. Fannie's executives engaged in
self-aggrandizement and Fannie became a cancer that helped spread risky
behavior and low standards across the housing industry....Gretchen
Morgenson, a Times colleague, and the financial analyst Joshua Rosner
have written “Reckless Endangerment,” a brave book that exposes the
affair in clear and gripping form.
scandals  David_Brooks  books  self-aggrandizement  Fannie_Mae  inconspicuous  obscurity  latent  hidden 
june 2011 by jerryking
The Hidden Job Crisis for American Men -
April 7, 2011 BusinessWeek By Peter Coy. Men are
disappearing from the workplace in ways that don't always register on
the official unemployment rate
unemployment  labour  race  Freshbooks  workforce_planning  statistics  crisis  hidden  joblessness 
april 2011 by jerryking
On a smarter planet, answers are hidden in the data
The biggest leaps forward in the next several decades—in
business, science and society at large— will come from insights gleaned
through perpetual, real-time analysis of data. With nearly 2 billion
people on the Internet (and counting), and with more and more of the
world’s systems becoming digitally aware, there is greater diversity in
the forms and shapes data is taking—transactions of every kind, rich
media, social media....Yet, while data is growing at an exponential rate
in volume and
complexity, time is not. Which is why no organization, city or country
can afford “enterprise amnesia.” Whether your goal is
to remain competitive or to change the world—or both—you need to
capture, understand and use all of your data. And that,
in turn, is why the new science of analytics must be core to every
leader’s thinking.
IBM  advertising  data  philosophy  hidden  latent  data_driven  analytics  Freshbooks  massive_data_sets  filetype:pdf  media:document  insights  real-time  leaders 
april 2011 by jerryking
Tories pledge to create national park in Rouge Valley
Apr. 08, 2011 | Globe and Mail | TAMARA BALUJA. The
Conservatives have pledged to create a national park right in the
backyard of the country’s largest metropolis. The promise unveiled on
Friday in the party’s election platform would protect the Rouge Valley,
11,500 acres of Canada’s unique Carolinian forestland teeming with
vulnerable wildlife on the eastern edge of Toronto....A relatively
unknown park, the Rouge does not command the same popularity as the
Toronto Islands or High Park. But Scarborough councillor Glenn De
Baeremaeker called Rouge Valley a “hidden treasure” famous for bald
eagles, bluebirds, salamander, river otters and even an occasional black
bear...Stretching from Lake Ontario to the Oak Ridges Moraine and
Pickering, the area is currently overseen by several municipalities,
including Markham, Toronto, Whitchurch-Stouffville and Richmond Hill.
That creates some logistical difficulties.
elections  Conservative_Party  Toronto  ravines  forestry  wildlife  Southern_Ontario  parks  Rouge_Park  hidden  Scarborough  waterfronts 
april 2011 by jerryking
The New Alchemy At Sears
APRIL 16, 2007 | BusinessWeek | By Robert Berner.

Sears is on the cutting edge of a financial innovation: it has created $1.8 billion worth of securities based on the brand names Kenmore, Craftsman, and DieHard. In essence, it has transferred ownership of the brands to another entity, which it then pays for the right to use the brands. The deal, carried off last May, was the biggest "securitization"
of intellectual property in history....Such daring shouldn't come as a surprise at a Lampert-run shop. When he looks at a company, he sees value hidden from plain view—value that traditional accounting methods often miss. That keen eye is what prompted him to buy up a majority of Kmart's bonds at a deep discount after it filed for bankruptcy protection in 2002. He saw that Kmart's real estate was deeply undervalued by creditors, and figured that would protect his investment.
He was right....Sears says there is nothing unusual about securitizing assets; many companies, including most of the largest retailers, evaluate alternatives to create value from their brands, real estate, and other assets.
Sears  intellectual_property  securitization  brands  hedge_funds  latent  hidden  financial_innovation  undervalued 
december 2010 by jerryking
Why Networking Isn't About Achieving Personal Gain
2004 | Wall Street Journal | By Barbara Moses. Good networkers
extend their connections beyond their immediate professional boundaries.
They cultivate relationships with people who know how to get things
done... They enjoy bringing together interesting people and ideas, and
they are as proud of making things happen for others as they are of how
many people are listed in their personal organizers. Skilled networkers
don't view staying connected with others as networking, seeing it
instead as exchanging information. The best networkers rarely expect a
personal payoff...having benefited from their contacts' kindness and
help, they`re seeking opportunities to reciprocate and hope they'll do
the same...Adept networkers are huge information synthesizers who can
see connections that aren't obvious between people, things and ideas.
From the initial presenting issue, they can identify a higher idea the
other person might not have seen and make creative referrals...they're
idea generators.
personal_connections  Barbara_Moses  connecting_the_dots  networking  tips  serving_others  Communicating_&_Connecting  idea_generation  ideas  non-obvious  latent  hidden  information_synthesis  referrals  value_added  packaging  personal_payoffs 
december 2010 by jerryking
Off the Shelf - ‘Fault Lines’ Concludes Global Economy Remains Vulnerable - NYTimes.com
July 31, 2010 | NYT | By NANCY F. KOEHN reviews “Fault Lines:
How Hidden Fractures Still Threaten the World Economy” by Raghuram G.
Rajan who concludes that the financial crisis erupted “because in an
integrated economy and in an integrated world, what is best for the
individual actor or institution is not always best for the system.” Like
geological fault lines, the fissures in the world economic sys. are
more hidden and widespread than many realize. And they are potentially
more destructive than other culprits, e.g greedy bankers, sleepy
regulators and irresponsible borrowers. Rajan, a finance prof at the U.
of Chicago and former chief economist at the IMF argues that the
actions of these players (and others) unfolded on a larger worldwide
stage, that is subject to the imperatives of political economies. He
cites 3 fault lines: domestic political stresses; trade imbalances among
countries; and the tensions produced when financial sys. with very
different structures interact.
book_reviews  economic_downturn  financial_crises  crisis  threats  interconnections  interdependence  books  systemic_risks  vulnerabilities  fault_lines  hidden  latent  regulators  uChicago  global_economy  imbalances 
august 2010 by jerryking
Googling Growth - WSJ.com
APRIL 9, 2007 | Wall Street Journal | by CHRIS ZOOK. Rapid
shifts in markets and technologies are forcing companies of all sorts to
change direction faster than ever. Many management teams are tempted
by "big bang" solutions: dramatic, transformative mergers or aggressive
leaps into sexy new markets. The success rate for major, life-changing
mergers is only about one in 10. For most companies, reinvention of a
core business doesn't have to involve such high levels of risk. The
solution lies in mining hidden assets -- assets already possessed but
not being tapped for maximum growth potential.
One way to open management's eyes to hidden assets is to identify the
richest hunting grounds, usually camouflaged as hidden business
platforms, untapped customer insights, and underused capabilities.
accelerated_lifecycles  Apple  assets  Bain  big_bang  business_models  Chris_Zook  core_businesses  customer_insights  GE  growth  hidden  high-risk  iPODs  latent  life-changing  M&A  mergers_&_acquisitions  moonshots  Nestlé  Novozymes  rapid_change  reinvention  resource_management  Samsung  success_rates  transformational  underutilization 
february 2010 by jerryking
The Scales Can Lie: Hidden Fat - WSJ.com
* JANUARY 26, 2010 | Wall Street Journal | By RON WINSLOW.
Mayo Clinic study which suggests that fat in your body can get you and
your heart into trouble even if you don't look fat and if the scale
tells you you're healthy. People don't have to be overweight to have
excess body fat. Instead, these people have a higher ratio of fat to
muscle tissue than do people with low body fat.
mens'_health  healthy_lifestyles  exercise  hidden 
january 2010 by jerryking
"The Hidden River of Knowledge"
May 21, 2007 | New York Times | Commencement address by David Brooks.

In short, things are about to change big time. And one of my messages today is that you know that uncertainty you feel today? It never goes away. The question is, do you know how to make uncertainty your friend?....here's one other thing I've noticed that separates the really great people from the merely famous ones. They talk to dead people.

Merely famous people have pictures of themselves on the wall. Really great people have pictures of dead people on the wall, and on their desks. It's one of the first things I look for when I go into somebody's office...And they talk about these dead people....
The dead were alive to them, and looking over their shoulder....The Greeks used to say we suffer our way to wisdom...Success is not something that we do or that happens to us. Success is something that happens through us....We inherit, starting even before we are born, a great river of knowledge, a great flow from many ages and many sources. The information that comes from millions of years ago, we call brain chemistry. The information that comes from hundreds of thousands of years ago from our hunter and gatherer ancestors we call genes. The information that was handed down thousands of years ago we call religion. The information passed along hundreds of years ago we call culture. The information passed along from decades ago we call family. The information you absorbed over the past few years at Wake Forest we call education....We exist as creatures within this hidden river of knowledge the way a trout exists in a stream or a river. We are formed by the river. It is the medium in which we live and the guide about how to live.

The great people I've seen talking to the dead do so because they want to connect with the highest and most inspiring parts of the river. When people make mistakes, often it is not because they are evil. It's because they don't have an ideal to live up to.

These great people also talk to the dead because they want a voice from outside their selves....the best people I've met don't feel that smart or that special. They have powerful jobs, but they don't feel powerful. They don't feel like architects building these great projects from scratch. They feel instead like river boat captains negotiating the currents around them.

They want to step outside their egotism and understand the river of events. They want to feel how people in the past have negotiated its channels. They want other voices in their heads so they can possess the ultimate power, which is the power of facing unpleasant truths.

Finally, I think they talk to the dead because they want to widen their time horizons....Think hard about who you marry. It's the most important decision you will ever make. Devote yourself to your kids. Nothing else is guaranteed to make you happy. The only thing I'd add is, create a posse of dead people. Create an entourage of heroes. Put their pictures on your wall, and keep them in your mind.

They will remind you of your place in the hidden river of wisdom. They'll serve as models. They'll give you an honest perspective on how you're doing. They'll remind you that your blessings don't come from you but from those who came before you.
advice  affirmations  ancestry  blog  brain_chemistry  career  cognitive_skills  commencement  culture  cultural_transmission  David_Brooks  education  family  genes  Greek  hidden  happiness  heroes  humility  hunter-gatherers  ideas  inspiration  Managing_Your_Career  marriage  perspectives  role_models  sense_of_proportion  speeches  success  suffering  the_counsel_of_the_dead  transcendental  uncertainty  Wake_Forest  wide-framing  wisdom 
november 2009 by jerryking
Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces that Shape Our Decisions
Dwight R Lee. Freeman. Irvington-on-Hudson: Jun 2009. Vol. 59,
Iss. 5; pg. 43, 2 pgs

Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces that Shape Our Decisions by
Dan Ariely HarperCollins * 2008 * 304 pages * $25.95 hardcover; $34.95
audiobook (cd); $19.94 e-book

809 documents found for: (business w/2 experiment*) AND
PDN(>1/1/2006) AND NOT (Business Wire or PR Newswire)
book_reviews  behavioural_economics  irrationality  decision_making  hidden 
august 2009 by jerryking
How to be a packager
Posted by Seth Godin on June 29, 2009

Seth was a book packager which has nothing to do with packaging and a bit more to do with books. It's a great gig and there are useful lessons, because there are dozens of industries just waiting for "packaging"....A book packager is like a movie producer, but for books. You invent an idea, find the content and the authors, find the publisher and manage the process. Book packagers make almanacs, illustrated books, series books for kids and the goofy one-off books you find at the cash register. Seth did everything from a line of almanacs to a book on spot and stain removal. It was terrific fun, and in a good year, a fine business.....there are advantages to this model (and not just for books).

First, the world needs packagers. Packagers that can find isolated assets and connect them in a way that creates value, at the same time that they put in the effort to actually ship the product out of the door. ...
Second, in many industries there are 'publishers' who need more products to sell. Any website with a lot of traffic and a shopping cart can benefit from someone who can assemble products that they can profitably sell. Apple uses the iPhone store to publish apps. It's not a perfect analogy, because they're not taking any financial risk, but the web is now creating a new sort of middleman who can cheaply sell a product to the end user. We also see this with Bed, Bath and Beyond commissioning products for their stores, or Trader Joe's doing it with food items.

Any time you can successfully bring together people who have a reputation or skill with people who sell things, you're creating value. If you find an appropriate scale, it can become a sustainable, profitable business.

The skills you bring to the table are vision, taste and a knack for seeing what's missing. You also have to be a project manager, a salesperson and the voice of reason, the person who brings the entire thing together and to market without it falling apart. Like so many of the businesses that are working now, it doesn't take much cash, it merely takes persistence and drive.

Here are some basic rules of thumb that I learned the hard way:

* It's much easier to sell to an industry that's used to buying. Books were a great place for me to start because book publishers are organized to buy projects from outsiders. It's hard enough to make the sale, way too hard to persuade the person that they should even consider entering the market. (PS stay away from the toy business).
* Earning the trust of the industry is critical. The tenth sale is a thousand times easier than the second one (the first one doesn't count... beginner's luck).
* Developing expertise or assets that are not easily copied is essential, otherwise you're just a middleman.
* Patience in earning the confidence of your suppliers (writers, brands, factories, freelancers) pays off.
* Don't overlook obvious connections. It may be obvious to you that Eddie Bauer should license its name and look to a car company, but it might not be to them.
* Get it in writing. Before you package up an idea for sale to a company that can bring it to market, make sure that all the parties you're representing acknowledge your role on paper.
* As the agent of change, you deserve the lion's share of the revenue, because you're doing most of the work and taking all of the risk. Agenting is a good gig, but that's not what I'm talking about.
* Stick with it. There's a Dip and it's huge. Lots of people start doing things like this, and most of them give up fairly quickly. It might take three or five years before the industry starts to rely on you.
* Work your way up. Don't start by trying to license the Transformers or Fergie. They won't trust a newbie and you wouldn't either.
Seth_Godin  howto  business_development  expertise  one-of-a-kind  licensing  patience  large_companies  voids  vision  persistence  change_agents  overlooked_opportunities  packaging  value_added  non-obvious  latent  hidden  information_synthesis  creating_valuable_content 
july 2009 by jerryking
How to be wise before the event
March 9 2009 | Financial Times | By Stefan Stern.

Restraint is back in fashion in these recessionary times. People have lost their appetite for risk.

But hang on a minute. No risk will mean no reward. You need new markets and customers to grow, and that means taking steps into the unknown. I doubt that anyone will be suggesting, in this newspaper’s new series of articles on the future of capitalism, that risk-taking should be abolished.

Bad risk-management helped get us into the current mess. It is vital that we learn the right lessons about risk from the crisis. What are they?

The new edition of Harvard Business Review contains a lucid piece of analysis from René Stulz, professor of banking and monetary economics at Ohio State University’s Fisher College of Business. While his principal focus is on the financial sector, the diagnosis will be helpful to managers in any business or organisation.

Prof Stulz describes six ways in which risk has been mismanaged. First, there has been too much reliance on historical data among today’s decision-makers. Extrapolating from the past can provide, at best, only partial guidance for the future. Financial innovation has created a new world. No wonder some managers were unprepared for the calamitous fall in asset prices and demand. This collapse was unimaginable to anyone basing their thinking on post-war performance alone.

Second, narrow daily measures – in banking these are known as “value at risk” measures – have underestimated the risks that are being run. The assumption behind a daily measure of risk is that action can be taken quickly (through an asset sale) to remove that risk. But, as the current crisis has shown, such rapid moves become impossible when markets seize up.

Third, knowable risks have been overlooked. Managers who work in silos may appreciate the risks that they personally are exposed to. But they may not see how risks being run elsewhere in the business could affect them too. Someone – a chief risk officer? – needs to track them all.

Fourth, concealed risks have been overlooked. Incentives have proved to be particularly dangerous in this regard. Some traders and lenders may have enjoyed taking risky decisions that in the short term appeared to be delivering well for them and their organisations. But they had no incentive to report any downside risk. And unreported risks tend to expand.

Fifth, there has been a failure to communicate effectively. It is dangerous, Prof Stulz says, when risk managers are so expert in their field that they lose the ability to explain in simple terms what they are doing. The board may develop a false sense of security by failing to appreciate the complexity of the risks being managed.

Last, risks have not been managed in real time. Organisations have to be able to monitor fast-changing markets and where necessary respond to them without delay.

Prof Stulz offers a useful technical analysis. But a true understanding of risk also requires a maturity of outlook, an ability to see the big picture, and deep experience. This last is a rare commodity: impossible to fake and acquired only over time.

In a new McKinsey publication called What Matters, the 90-year-old investment manager and author Peter Bernstein offers some sober insights. “What is risk management all about anyway?” he writes. “We use the words as though everybody understands what we are talking about. But life is not that simple. Risk means more things can happen than will happen – which is a fancy way of saying we do not know what is going to happen.”

Mr Bernstein’s central point – not revolutionary, but unarguable – is that downside risks must be assessed rigorously. Someone old enough to remember the Wall Street crash is probably worth listening to right now.

“Nothing is 100 per cent sure,” Mr Bernstein says. “While a 95 per cent probability is statistically significant, that still leaves us in the dark about the remaining 5 per cent; we may decide to accept that uncertainty and bet on the 95 per cent sure thing, but there is still a possibility of being wrong.

“The crucial question to ask is, ‘What would be the consequence if that 5 per cent chance comes to pass?’ ”

Welcome to the less exciting but more soundly based era of calculated risks. For the foreseeable future, business leaders will be trying to be wise before rather than after the event.
beforemath  business  communicating_risks  fast-changing  hidden  management  McKinsey  overreliance  Peter_Bernstein  recessions  real-time  risks  risk-assessment  risk-management  Stefan_Stern  the_big_picture  VaR  wisdom 
may 2009 by jerryking
Pandemics and Poor Information - WSJ.com
MAY 11, 2009 | Wall Street Journal | by L. GORDON CROVITZ.
Whenever there's a threat of epidemic, alongside early deaths comes the casualty of information. Asian governments at least learned from their recent experience of bird flu and SARS the importance of not covering up outbreaks. The still open question is how to assess warnings that health professionals make based on inadequate information. Almost by definition, the risk of an epidemic occurs when the one thing disease experts know for sure is that they don't know for sure what will happen.
"What new information would be sufficient to change your decision?"

Alexander's question (AKA 'Dr. Alexander's question') is a question used to uncover assumptions and associations that may be confusing your judgment. Asking what information would be needed to change your mind can help bring faulty reasoning to light, and it can also point out what facts you should be researching before committing yourself and others to a course of action.

The uncertainty about the longer-term threat of the current swine flu is a
reminder that nature is more complex than mathematical models.Scientific
hypotheses can then be tested, but this approach has limits when it
comes to predictions.
"Alexander's Question," named for a physician who had posed a canny
question of his fellow experts: What information might make the group
change its mind about the need for immunization? Focusing on it would
have led to more focus on uncertainties: the trade-off between side
effects and flu, the difference between the severity of the flu and its
spread, and the choice between mandatory vaccinations and stockpiling in
case of later need. Decision makers should ask themselves what new
"knowns" would change their views.
pandemics  epidemics  risk-assessment  L._Gordon_Crovtiz  information_flows  information  decision_making  immunization  critical_thinking  uncertainty  assumptions  questions  Dr.Alexander's_Question  information_gaps  hidden  latent  facts  change_your_mind  problem_framing  tradeoffs  flu_outbreaks  side_effects  vaccines  stockpiles  information-poor  CDC  unknowns 
may 2009 by jerryking
How to Get a Job - Careers Articles
Mar 30th 2009 |Fortune Magazine | By Jia Lynn Yang,
writer-reporter

It's brutal out there. But the people getting hired aren't necessarily
the most connected -- they're the most creative. From food diarists to
Twitter stalkers to candidates tapping the "hidden" job market, here's
what's working now.
job_search  career  Managing_Your_Career  Trends  résumés  howto  creativity  hustle  coverletters  hidden  latent 
april 2009 by jerryking
Six Ways Companies Mismanage Risk - HBR.org
March 2009 |Harvard Business Review | by René M. Stulz
(Charles Waud & WaudWare)
Financial risk management is hard to get right in the best of times. Stulz explores 6 ways institutions usually drop the ball:
1. Relying on Historical Data
2. Focussing on narrow measures
3. Overlooking knowable risks
4. Overlooking concealed risks
5. Failing to communicate
6. Not managing in real time
HBR  risk-management  execution  failure  risks  measurements  unknowns  financial_risk  hidden  latent  Communicating_&_Connecting  signaling  real-time  disclosure  mismanagement  overlooked 
march 2009 by jerryking
If You're So Smart, Why Aren't You Rich?
December 27, 2008| Adam Smith, Esq.: An inquiry into the
economics of law firms....| Blog post by Bruce MacEwen
# What are the unspoken assumptions behind this piece?;
# If what the author is saying is correct, what happens next?;
# Does this align with most things we read in the past few months or is
it squarely at odds with the consensus--and then who's right?;
# What are the author's presumed biases, predilections, and
hobbyhorses?; and
# Last and most important--but hardest!--of all, does it spark any new
ideas in your mind? What have you been taking for granted that might be
due for a challenge or an update or a revisionist note?
innovation  lawyers  critical_thinking  Bruce_MacEwen  strategic_thinking  assumptions  smart_people  biases  predilections  questions  aftermath  latent  hidden  insights  ideas  next_play 
march 2009 by jerryking

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