After a weak annual shareholders’ meeting, Ford fired their CEO, Mark Fields yesterday and immediately announced his successor — Michigander legend, Jim Hackett.
Jim was the head of Ford’s Smart Mobility subsidiary where he oversaw the acquisition of SF-based public ride-sharing startup, Chariot, for $65m and a $1B investment into the self-driving startup, Argo AI.
Keep those ride-sharing and self-driving buzzwords in mind. We’re going to get back to them in a sec.
Where there’s smoke, there must be a fire
While Fields took over as CEO only 3 years ago, Ford shares dropped almost 40% during his tenure (despite the company reporting a record $10.4B in pretax earnings last year).
So when Fields was removed it was not about just revenue, but about Ford not moving fast enough to develop the cars of the future, and fostering innovation.
Not only are they facing competition from new tech companies like Tesla, Google, and Uber, but even old industry veterans are doubling down on self-driving technology.
GM acquired self-driving company Cruise Automation and invested $500m into Lyft, and is expected to release the largest fleet self-driving Chevy Bolts. Meanwhile, Fiat Chrysler sent over 500 minivans for use by Waymo.
So they’re bringing a little Silicon Valley to the Midwest
Which brings us back to the Jim Hackett, who has made the reputation of “turnaround” kind of guy for older organizations.
He led the 105-year-old Steelcase furniture for over two decades, overhauling the cubical-focused corporate culture to be more collaborative, and open floorplan-esque.
For that real Silicon Valley flair, however, rumor has it that Ford’s next big bet will include an IoT smart speaker, selfie drone, meal replacement chatbot that costs $700 even though it’s totally unnecessary.
Nary a day passes in which Amazon isn’t accused of ruthlessly crushing small businesses and local economies. They’ve been blamed for everything from the death of shopping malls to the decline of great literature.
And now, for monopolizing Seattle’s banana market.
Wait, bananas? Like the fruit?
Yup, you heard that right. Back in December 2015, Jeff Bezos decided he wanted to do something good for the community, so he did what any multi-billionaire would do: he opened community banana stands.
The stands have dedicated “bananagers” to hand out the fruit for free — not just to Amazon employees, but anyone in the general vicinity of the company’s downtown Seattle office.
Initially, they gave away a reported 1.2k bananas per day. Today, that number has risen to more than 8k, or about 1.7m total bananas over the last 1.5 years. At 7” per fruit, that’s 188 miles of yellow fruit (yeah, we did the math).
But it’s not a-peeling to everyone
According to the Wall Street Journal, some local businesses aren’t happy. At least one nearby vegetarian cafe has seen a sharp decline in its $1 banana sales (can’t compete with free).
In this sense, it’s a classic Amazon move — good for people who want bananas, bad for small-time banana peddlers.
You know that weird friend always ranting about how you should invest in Bitcoin? Well, they might be right.
The digital currency’s value skyrocketed recently, jumping 49% since last month (and over 100% year over year) to cross the $2k per coin mark.
And it’s not just Bitcoin. Lesser known cryptocurrencies like Ripple and Ethereum have surged 10x and 2x since last month, respectively.
So, what gives? Electronic coin collectors on the rise?
Turns out one man’s chaos is another man’s treasure
Bitcoin isn’t printed by any central government, rather its supply is predetermined by an algorithm, which allows individuals to “mine” it by solving complex equations.
Which benefits Bitcoin during times of perceived political instability, as its independence is seen as a safeguard for value — similar to gold.
And given the unpredictably of recent political figures, cryptocurrencies have been a boomin’.
Bubble Bit, bubble bubble bubble Bit
Bitcoin’s reputation is historically volatile. The last time it broke record value it promptly imploded for 3 years.
Not to mention, paper speculation doesn’t necessarily transfer to real life value.
Just ask the WannaCry hackers who, despite infecting 200,000 computers with ransomware, were only able to fetch $50k because (unsurprisingly) most people who still use Windows XP don’t know how to withdraw cryptocurrencies.
A company in Sweden is testing a traffic light system to cut down those pesky office interruptions.
Measuring mouse and keyboard activity, the “FlowLight” turns red when a person is 9% above their average activity, indicating it’s not a great time to gush to Jackie in sales about how much you LOVED Big Little Lies.
And, it seems to be working. In a 449 person trial, subjects dealt with 46% fewer interruptions. Which is good in theory, but…
It could also be used to monitor you
While FlowLight is focused on helping workers be more productive, employee monitoring bots could very well be a part of a future Orwellian workplace.
Think we’re paranoid? Companies like WorkSmart already monitor keystrokes to make sure everyone is “on task.”
Even employee favorites like Slack have acknowledged they have an eye on measuring and monitoring productivity, in the form of “manager bots.” Heck, even now you can already check stats on which employees are Slacking the most.
Want to take a peek? Click on your company’s dropdown menu inside the top left corner of Slack. See that “statistics” tab?
How did a man who knew nothing about electronics, make one of the world’s most popular portable battery packs — beating out Apple and Samsung at their own game?
Trick robots into getting your resume in front of recruiters (Fast Company)
In today’s fast paced hiring world, the sad reality is that algorithmic “applicant tracking systems” are potentially filtering out your application before a human even sees you. A recruiter shares tips on how to beat the robots and get to human eyes.
Stop reacting to proxies, and start paying attention — it might save your life (Medium)
Do you think anti-collision brakes make you safer? This author argues they don’t, but rather they train you to pay less attention to the world around you. Just try and remember the last route you took using Google Maps.
There are many different classes and grades of sand and they’re used in everything from concrete to beach volleyball tournaments. But one of the world’s more versatile products has become an increasingly scarce commodity.
After completing a 12-0 playoff sweep, the Warriors are headed to their third straight NBA finals. And while their talent is dizzying, so is their strategy, using off the ball screens 400 times more than their next closest opponent.
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“We do it because we must”
This isn’t Samwise talking Frodo into hiking Mt. Doom. It’s your office manager telling the interns why they have to stay 3 hours late to manage shipping out 80 boxes.
Anyone who’s ever shipped stuff knows that the process can be slow and most systems are cumbersome … maybe more work than packaging a box itself.
The pages on pages to click through on a website means boxes on boxes stacked in the office.
The team at ShipStation feels your pain, so they’ve made it their business to make the process easy for sellers.
That means processing orders, labeling packages, even handling returns. The less time you think about shipping, the happier they are.
ShipStation has one easy-to-use portal that works with all major online selling channels and popular carriers, so it can fit into virtually any business.
That’s probably why they’re one of the highest rated shipping platforms.
But hey, you don’t have to listen to internet strangers, you can try it free for a whole month. After that, it’s only $25/month. Well worth the price of a clutter-free office (and frazzle-free office manager).