Thursday, April 20, 2006

Cool...and useful (?) tool

I ran across this little tool just now, and couldn't resist posting it up here. What is it? It's a webtool that allows you to view the PageRank (Google) of links visually rather than in text on a particular domain.

I'll leave it up to you to figure out how this helps your life. ;)

Firing Back

It's always interesting to see once-invincible titans of industry get passed by fresh upstarts every now and then. It's the age old tale of David vs. Goliath. Except in business, Goliath typically gets so big that they are slow to move on new ideas and technology...whereupon David enters the picture and is able to sidestep everyone in the industry with a "WOW" idea.

What's even more interesting than that?

When these titans attempt to fire back on these young upstarts to "protect their turf."

I came across this little news tidbit that claims AOL is joining the social networking foray that is currently dominated by MySpace. In fact, it appears AOL isn't even being shy about confronting MySpace "head on."

As comedian Russell Peters likes to say, "somebody gonna get a hurt real bad."

It'll be interesting to see who comes out on top for this one.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Offshore Teams: The Next Big Thing?

I've noticed an interesting thing while working in US-based organizations that utilize offshore teams: somehow, it's always the offshore team that's vilified for stuff that goes wrong (and there's always something that goes wrong).

In recruiting, the most often use of offshore teams tends to be in what has traditionally been called "research and sourcing" (I dislike that name, which is one of the reasons why I've re-branded it Talent Research within my company). I've also seen organizations delegate more process-oriented work to their offshore counterparts.

In nearly every case, I've heard the US-based organization complain about their offshore team's incompetence. "They aren't sending me the right candidates" is a typical lament. "Why are they sending me rodeo clowns when I obviously want bozos" is another one. "They just don't pay attention to the details" get the idea.

And yet, I have a hard time imagining how these offshore teams are THAT incompetent. I will admit that sometimes offshore teams just aren't up to fluff. However, I still argue that it's ultimately the US-based organization's fault--after all, they're the ones that put that team together.

This whole situation is a little ironic to me. You see, what it boils down to is our unwillingness to devote time to develop these offshore teams to the level of "competence" we want. Once we have a team in place, we (the mighty US multi-national) expect the offshore team to automatically overcome language barriers, cultural differences, and other idiosyncracies in business and provide "great" deliverables.

This approach has obviously failed. Many times. And yet, companies continue to do this.

Why is it ironic? Because as I've ranted before, the next big thing in business is going to be Talent Development. As more and more organizations begin to realize that there simply aren't enough people with "perfect" experiences...developing "raw" talent is going to become ever so important on the corporate agenda list.

And are these same organizations...unwilling to put aside time to develop offshore talent.

Don't get me wrong. I'm sure there are great examples of organizations that have made remarkable strides in utilizing offshore teams (and I'd love to hear about them). These are the "WOW" companies.

Right now, I'm simply addressing the unremarkable companies.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Kan't Zpell? Try Orangoo.

For all you aspiring bloggers, here's a cool little tool I came across this morning. You're reading the first posting here that used Orangoo's application.

So does anyone else doubt that we're in the "Age of Creation Intensification?" Web 2.0, you have officially become the catalyst for this new era.

Here's the question: which one of the Big 3 (Google, Yahoo!, MSN) is going to look at this thing and try to either 1) Copy it or 2) Buy it?

Friday, April 14, 2006

Idiotic Product Design

I've been on the road for the past couple of days, and there's one thing that I've decided I can't live without: smartphones.

The problem is, I don't have one.

But after lugging around a 6 pound laptop with a battery that lasts no longer than it takes me to type this blog, I've come to the realization that carrying a smartphone would have allowed me to pack ridiculously lighter. It would have also saved me the irritation of having to sit next to a power outlet at the airport. (For those wondering, my laptop isn't ancient; it's a new Sony VAIO)

Or perhaps it's not the fact that I need a smartphone at all. Maybe I just need a better designed laptop.

This is what happens when you have bad product design: you get customers who begin to wonder how much life would be easier with SOMEthing else.

End rant.

Monday, April 10, 2006

The Growth of an Organization

By now we're all familiar with Google's meteoric rise. Their formula was pretty simple: take a simple concept (search) and then make it free to the masses. Once the masses become addicted to it ("hey, Google it"), charge corporations advertising fees using an innovative scheme.

As with all organizations, Google is beginning to look at other growth opportunities outside its core function. Check out this interesting alliance between BearingPoint and Google. Wonder if this is a blueprint for what Google would like to do in the future for the corporate world? It'll be interesting to see if this thing takes off with BearingPoint...

Friday, April 07, 2006

The Age of Creation Intensification

I recently mentioned Murakami Teruyasu's prediction that we're shifting from an Age of Information Intensification to an Age of Creation Intensification. As you can probably tell, I agree with this theory.

Why? Check out this story. And this site. When 15 year old kids are creating things that actually address legitimate business needs, you KNOW something's about to happen.

All of this boils down to what I've been ranting about for a while: like it or not, younger kids are going to be the leaders of this new age we're about to step into. The Baby Boom generation had its moment in the spotlight. As they begin to retire in the next 5-15 years, it's the young ones that will be taking over in increasing numbers. And it's the young ones that will be asked to handle leadership tasks sooner than any other generation previous to them.

We all see the signs: technology is increasing efficiency more than ever, outsourcing is here to stay, and the pace of business is getting faster by the second. In order for the US to remain on top of the developed world, we'll need people (in increasing numbers as the Baby Boomers retire) who are capable of "architecting" and managing ever complex organizations and situations/problems. In essence, the business world is going to be handed to the "knowledge workers."

Which makes me think: in this new age, recruiting might not be the key to the War for Talent after all. It might be the first step in the important process (the MOST important process that a company will ever do), but not the most important. Rather, I think (more than ever) that an organization's ability to DEVELOP its talent will be the key to this whole thing. Put another way, an organization's ability to take raw talent and create the all-stars that it will need...THAT will be the single most important thing in the coming years.

Yes, coming from someone who is in the recruiting industry, that might sound blasphemous. But at the same time, doesn't it make it that much more powerful?

It's one of the reasons why I refuse to accept that recruiting and HR cannot co-exist together under the same department. Having the two functions work separately on their own little islands is a one way ticket to irrelevance in my mind.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Feelin' Too Busy?

If you're one of those people who just can't seem to find enough time in a single day...I welcome you to this creation I just came across.

Makes you wonder...are people living too fast? Maybe the best thing to do in this Age of Creation Intensification is to slow things down a bit. Maybe then we'll actually be able to think.

Behold...the Future of Advertising

As you all know, Web 2.0 is in full force. Whether you've embraced the term or hate it, the reality is that new business models are popping up on the Internet every single day. Of course, most of them are doomed to failure, but there are some intriguing ones that if done right, could actually alter industries.

Here is the newest tool for aspiring companies trying to gain the attention of the masses: Spot Runner. It's still in "beta" (as all these Web 2.0 things are)...which basically means they're still working out the kinks in their business model in order to actually churn a profit after year 10.

So what's Spot Runner? It allows businesses to place 30 second TV commercials during prime time. Want to run a commercial on ESPN during SportsCenter? It costs as low as $44.

A very cool concept...granted, it still costs money to make a fairly decent commercial nowadays. But being able to afford prime time TV spots just might alter the way small businesses market themselves in the future.

For those that thought mighty Fortune 500 firms couldn't be defeated by small 5 person organizations...welcome to the "Era of Creation Intensification" (as Teruyasu Murakami would say). And say goodbye to the "Era of Information Intensification."

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Are You Feeling the Net?

Here's a cool little tool from a company called Netvibes. What's so cool about their service? It lets you customize your own "web page," where you can put things such as RSS feeds, frequently visited sites, and anything else at your leisure. And as any new Web 2.0 tool, you can access this page anywhere as long as you have an Internet connection.

But the thing that I'm looking forward to: if this site catches on with people, it could be a very cool tool in the researcher's utility belt. Why? A "search for feeds" ability is currently in the works...

Is Jigsaw Really Evil?

We all know people have strong feelings. Especially when it comes to products or services that companies offer to the public. Ever bump into someone who swears by Apple? What about someone who loathes Bill Gates and all his evil empire ways? (I think Google is beginning to replace Microsoft as the new evil empire, but I digress...)

So I came across this one posting on Techcrunch that basically villifies Jigsaw. Jigsaw is one of those tools that many business people (and recruiters) use to connect to others all over the world. But according to the author of this blog, it's evil.

Which makes me wonder...what other tools out there are evil? :o

Monday, April 03, 2006

Are You A Heyoka?

Today's posting actually appears on Jim Stroud's blog site. For those of you not in the know, Jim is a member of the Elite Cybersleuthing community, and a good guy all around. If you guys are ever curious about what's going on in the recruiting industry, his blog is a must read...and no, I promise he's not paying me on the side for saying that! ;)