Drops from the Fire Hose – September 15, 2012

The 3 Big Design Dilemmas Facing Apple, Twitter, And Google — Co.Design

In reporting this month’s essay about the convergence of design and business that’s being ushered in by Silicon Valley, a handful of companies kept cropping up: Apple, obviously, but also some less obvious ones such as Google and Twitter. Each of these companies has, in some way or another, caught the design bug. Google has begun to realize that it can’t continue as a simply scattershot grouping of products and services. They’ve realized that they need to think in terms of product ecosystems and user delight. We’re only seeing hints of this new ideal, via projects such as Google+, but the intent is there. Twitter, meanwhile, is very much a company that sees itself in Apple’s mold: That is, design-driven, savvy about every last detail, and hyper user-focused.

Scientists Offer New Formula to Predict Career Success — Chronicle of Higher Education

First there was the “impact factor.” Then came the “h-index.” Now, for those who believe that scientific prowess can be measured by statistical metrics, comes the Acuna-Allesina-Kording formula.

The formula, outlined on Wednesday in the journal Nature, is intended to improve upon the h-index—a tally of a researcher’s publications and citations—by adding a few more numerical measures of a scientist’s publishing history to allow for predictions of future success.

The idea, said the paper’s senior author, Konrad P. Kording, an associate professor of physical medicine and rehabilitation at Northwestern University, is to help universities and grant-writing agencies “fund someone who will have high impact in the future.”

Let Spain, Greece (and maybe Italy) Exit the Eurozone Temporarily, Devalue and Grow — Knowledge @ Wharton

Wednesday’s favorable German court ruling is a major step forward for European Central Bank head Mario Draghi’s proposed unlimited sovereign-bond purchase program to rescue the eurozone. But even if implemented, it misses the most pressing problem — a desperate need for short-term economic growth. The best way to achieve that: a temporary exit from the eurozone by Spain, Greece, and possibly Italy that would allow for major devaluations, says Wharton finance professor Franklin Allen. Once growth redresses regional imbalances, the countries could rejoin the currency union.

Cut Through Career Uncertainty with Two Forecasting Tools — Harvard Business Review

Any time you make an important career decision, you’re predicting where you’re headed and whether your decision will move you toward your aspirations. Forecasts help you decide whether to accept a job offer or decline. They help you choose whether to stay put at your current position or move on. They can even help when you’re unsure about committing to a significant education program or other future endeavor.

But if you don’t know where to begin, two forecasting tools used in business strategy can be a smart way to start. Applying these strategy tools to your career can help you make better decisions.

Setting Prices Based on Customer Value — MIT Sloan Management Review

Could you be charging 25% more than you do right now?

Companies generally use one of three methods to set prices, but many pricing scholars think one of those ways is preferable.

Here are some excerpts from Andreas Hinterhuber and Stephan Liozu’s recent MIT Sloan Management Review article “Is It Time to Rethink Your Pricing Strategy?” about how one company came around to a new strategy.


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