Archive for May, 2013

When Attackers Become Defenders, Innovation Is Lost

Sunday, May 26th, 2013

From a New York Times interview with Steve Case, conducted and condensed by Adam Bryant:

I think that when people talk about staying small, they’re saying they want to be big but still be nimble and creative and innovative and flexible. They also want to still feel like attackers, not defenders. As companies get larger — and I saw this with AOL even before we merged, but certainly after the merger with Time Warner — we did shift from being an attacker to a defender.

And I realized the world of business really separates into these two groups. The attackers are the entrepreneurs who are disrupting the status quo, trying to change the world, take the hill, anything is possible, and have nothing to lose in most cases. They’re driven by passion and the idea and intensity. Large organizations — and it’s true of Fortune 500s and it’s also true of governments and other large organizations — are defenders. These guys aren’t trying to pursue the art of the possible, how to maximize opportunity. They actually are trying to minimize the downside, and hedge risk. They’re trying to de-risk situations. Entrepreneurs can’t even think this way. It’s not even a concept they understand.

For the traditional executives running these large companies, of course they want to grow, of course they want to innovate, of course they’d rather have revenue grow faster than slower, but they mostly don’t want to lose what they’ve got. But entrepreneurs are deathly afraid that they won’t be able to change the world, and that somebody else will. Again, these generalizations are a little unfair, but corporate executives are all too often deathly afraid that the business they inherit will be less valuable when they leave than when they started.

Fermez le ban !

Sunday, May 26th, 2013


Saturday, May 25th, 2013

Retranscription d’une petite chronique en 4 tweets par Perruche automnale (@PUautomne), néphrologue blogueur :

Dans la série l’humanité est belle. Vieille, démente, dialysée, après sa séance les ambulanciers la ramènent et trouvent porte close.

Sur la porte, un mot : «nous sommes partis en voyage, merci de prendre soin de notre mère». Les ambulanciers nous rappellent

Retour dans le centre et hospitalisation, que faire d’autre un samedi à 14h, on fait SPDA aujourd’hui

SPDA: société protectrice des dialysés abandonnés, je précise le sens de cet acronyme du jour.

CreativeMornings with Seth Godin

Thursday, May 16th, 2013

Thanks to Tina Roth Eisenberg (@swissmiss), we can enjoy 20 great minutes by Seth Godin (@ThisIsSethsBlog):

You can find the Q&A following his talk here.

Bonus: The famous picture of the 1927 Solvay Conference, titled "Électrons et photons".

A. Piccard, E. Henriot, P. Ehrenfest, E. Herzen, Th. de Donder, E. Schrödinger, J.E. Verschaffelt, W. Pauli, W. Heisenberg, R.H. Fowler, L. Brillouin;

P. Debye, M. Knudsen, W.L. Bragg, H.A. Kramers, P.A.M. Dirac, A.H. Compton, L. de Broglie, M. Born, N. Bohr;

I. Langmuir, M. Planck, M. Skłodowska-Curie, H.A. Lorentz, A. Einstein, P. Langevin, Ch.-E. Guye, C.T.R. Wilson, O.W. Richardson


Friday, May 10th, 2013

Petite Poucette (aka Thumbelina), the book by Michel Serres, convinced me that teaching should never ever remain the same old story. Here are some complementary viewpoints on this topic:

In Math You Have to Remember, In Other Subjects You Can Think About It by Keith Devlin.

Why I Let My Students Cheat On Their Exam by Peter Nonacs