Drops from the Fire Hose – November 2, 2012

LifeSwap Is Airbnb for Careers — Mashable

Entering the job market — let alone finding a job you love — can be daunting. A new startup called LifeSwap aims to ease the stresses of networking during the job search by coordinating career shadowing opportunities throughout the Bay Area.

Called the “Airbnb for careers,” LifeSwap allows users to connect with professionals in a specific job position or company and shadow them for a predetermined length of time, at a price set by the host. Current swaps range from shadowing a Ph.D. student to observing a henna tattoo artist, but the LifeSwap founders hope to provide experiences that educate professionals as they make career choices.

Building Your Company’s Capabilities Through Global Expansion — MIT Sloan Management Review

Today, global strategists need to go beyond such traditional questions as which are the most attractive markets for their company, and which markets are “closest” to them in terms of institutions, level of development and culture. They must sharpen their global strategies by focusing on how to exploit, enhance and renew or even transcend their home-based sources of advantage. The question is, how? What critical questions do global strategists need to answer before committing their companies’ resources to new markets?

Talent Grab: Why do we pay our stars so much money? — The New Yorker

ANNALS OF BUSINESS about market pricing and changes in the way compensation is determined in baseball, publishing, investment banking, modelling, and other talent-based industries. There was a time, not very long ago, when people at the very top of their profession—the “talent”—did not make a lot of money. In the postwar years, corporate lawyers, Wall Street investment bankers, Fortune 500 executives, all-star professional athletes, and the like made a fraction of what they earn today. That era was an upside-down version of our own: when society gazed upon captains of industry and commerce, it marvelled at how ordinary their lives were. The truly rich in the nineteen-fifties and sixties were people who had inherited money. And then, suddenly, the world changed. Taxes began to fall. The salaries paid to high-level professionals—“talent”—started to rise. Baseball players became multimillionaires. C.E.O.s got private jets. As Roger Martin argued, people who fell into the category of “Talent” came to realize that what they possessed was relatively scarce compared with what the class of owners, “Capital,” had at their disposal. Writer describes how Marvin Miller transformed the Major League Baseball Players Association in the nineteen-seventies. Miller, a former labor negotiator for the United Steelworkers, would talk to the players about how unfair their contracts were and how much better things would be if they organized themselves. Visiting the San Francisco Giants at spring training one year, Miller predicted that if they could get rid of the system as they knew it then, the son of Giants right fielder Bobby Bonds would, if he made it to the major leagues, earn more in one year than Bobby earned in his career. Bobby Bonds’s son, Barry, ended up making more in one year than all of his father’s team made in their entire careers, combined. Tells about Mort Janklow’s sale of William Safire’s memoir about his time in the Nixon Administration. When Safire’s publisher, William Morrow, turned down the book and asked that the advance be returned, Janklow fought back. The case went to arbitration and Morrow settled. Other authors, including Judith Krantz, Barbara Taylor Bradford, and Sidney Sheldon, called Janklow asking him to represent them. Tells about Hollywood agent Tom Pollock’s negotiations with Twentieth Century Fox on behalf of George Lucas, and model Lauren Hutton’s demand for a contract from her biggest client, Revlon. Hutton had been inspired by reading an article about baseball player Catfish Hunter. Considers how executive compensation has changed in recent decades. The lingering question left by Miller’s revolution is whether the scales ended up too far in the direction of Talent.

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