maandag 30 maart 2009

Jim Pinto: Strategies for the downturn

Article from Jim Pinto's e-news:

No one really knows whether or when the current economic slide will turn around. My own view is that this is an inflection point, a serious break from the past, a wake-up call from old illusions.

For well-managed companies, this downturn offers the chance to re-examine fundamental value propositions and develop new strategies. Here are seven key strategies not just to survive, but to thrive, in the current business environment:

  1. Upgrade human capital: Look around your organization. Who is rising to the current challenges? Look for leaders and support them.
  2. Conserve cash: Reduce and restructure debt, preserve cash.
  3. Invest in innovation: Re-direct your best people to innovation projects. Move early to anticipate emerging needs.
  4. Acquire innovative start-ups: Look for attractive sources of future growth. Do NOT acquire ailing competitors just to consolidate.
  5. Focus on customers: Double the amount of communication with existing good customers. Don't acquire your competitors' cast-offs. Rebalance your customer portfolio.
  6. Don't stop advertising: Sign longer-term contracts with good media that's anxious to serve winners. Refine your advertising bang-for-the-buck, specifically with performance-based pricing.
  7. Don't cut prices: Don't try to match low-cost competitors-they'll eliminate themselves. Work your sales relationships to keep price-conscious customers loyal.
Developing a positive mindset is crucial. It's important to keep asking, "What's the opportunity?" as opposed to, "How am I going to survive?" If you keep your eyes focused on opportunity, you can see it and create it. Remain agile; be poised to grow. You can not only ride out shaky economic times, but emerge stronger and more successful.

For positive individuals at levels below top management, I have simple advice: Don't wait to be riffed, laid-off or whatever the expression. Look for good, complementary partners, and start your own company. This is a GOOD time to DO something different. 

dinsdag 24 maart 2009


Sometimes, you wonder how you manged it before you used an application.
Dropbox is certainly such an application. If you are working on different computers and always looking for files, where you did store it, this is an application you want to have. You get an initial 2G free of charge.

Just download Dropbox and appoint folders to synchronize. The data is store on a server somewhere and everytime you start a computer the contents is synchronized. Whoopy. Never searching for files, always a good backup, all your files available all the time via web access. SMASHING THING to have. Applause... Thank you .... Thank you.

Bye the way if you consider to install it on your computer, please let me invite you. I will get an extra 250 MB and you will get an extra 250 MB.

dinsdag 17 maart 2009

Maaseik Terra Cotta leger

Afgelopen vrijdag 13/03/09 zijn wij naar de Terra Cotta tentoonstelling in Maaseik gegaan.

Deze tentoonstelling was eerst in Drente. Toen al zeiden wij dat wij er naar toe zouden gaan. Dat zeiden wij zelfs een aantal keren. Totdat de tentoonstelling voorbij was.
Gelukkig voor ons kwam hij daarna in Maaseik. Vlak voordat die weer ten eide liep (eind van deze maand) zijn wij dus op bezoek gegaan. Een indrukwekkend geheel in een gezellig plaatsje.
Goed georganiseerd. Van te voren kon je de kaarten boeken en uitprinten. Vervolgens werd aangegeven wanneer je verwacht werd. Ter plekke schuif je aan in de rij behorende bij je binnenkomsttijd.
Per kwartier mogen er 100 mensen in. Dan is het welliswaar nog steeds druk, maar in ieder geval gedoseerd druk!
Foto's mogen genomen worden, maar flitslicht is verboden. De foto's komen er dus niet altijd uit zoals ze bedoeld zijn. Ik heb de foto's van de tentoonstelling geupload. Hier staan ze.
Verder is er nog een mooi filmpje op Youtube. Dat staat hier.
Als je op de titel klikt kom je op de website van de tentoonstelling

Jack Welch Elaborates: Shareholder Value

March 16, 2009 Article Business Week:

Welch told the Financial Times the emphasis on shareholder value is "misplaced." In this Q&A, he puts his comments in context.

On Mar. 12, the Financial Times ran a front-page story with the headline "Welch Denounces Corporate Obsessions." The article, which generated widespread reaction in the media and on blogs, asserted that in an interview with theFT, Jack Welch, the former head of General Electric (GE), had described the business emphasis on shareholder value as "misplaced."

"On the face of it, shareholder value is the dumbest idea in the world," Welch was quoted as saying. Below, in a question-and-answer session conducted by his wife, Suzy Welch, Jack Welch elaborates.

Jack, your comments about shareholder value being "dumb" sure ignited a debate, both pro and con. Did you really say what the FT said you did?

Every direct quote in the FT is accurate. In a wide-ranging interview about the future of capitalism, I was asked what I thought of "shareholder value as a strategy." My response was that the question on its face was a dumb idea. Shareholder value is an outcome—not a strategy.

Is that a new position for you? Some people seemed to think you'd had some kind of conversion experience.

Absolutely not. It's obvious that strategies are what drive a business. You might, for instance, have a strategy around innovation aimed at producing the leading products in every cycle, or you might have a strategy to become the low-cost global supplier, or you could have a strategy to globalize a company, taking its strengths in one market and translating them to every market. But you would never tell your employees, "Shareholder value is our strategy." That's not a strategy you can touch. That's not a strategy that helps you know what to do when you come to work every day. It doesn't energize or motivate anyone. So basically my point is, increasing the value of your company in both the short and long term is an outcome of the implementation of successful strategies. I've always felt that way, and I've always said I felt that way.

The article implied you were the chief proponent of "short-term" management, based on a speech you delivered in 1981. What do you think about that?

The article also noted that I never mentioned the term "shareholder value" in that particular speech. In fact, that speech was all about a long-term strategy for General Electric and how the company was going to operate over the next 20 years. Somehow, that speech got spun in theFT article to equate short-term earnings and shareholder value. That I just don't get.

O.K., so how do you feel about a short-term earnings focus?

Look, the job of a leader and his or her team is to deliver to commitments in the short term while investing in the long-term health of the business. Bottom line: That's management. Good managers know how to eat today and dream about tomorrow at the same time. Any fool can just deliver in the short term by squeezing, squeezing, squeezing. Similarly, just about anyone can lie back and dream, saying, "Come see me in several years, I'm working on our long-term strategy." Neither one of these approaches will deliver sustained shareholder value. You have to do both.

And if you do?

You'll see everyone win. Employees will benefit from job security and better rewards. Customers will benefit from better products or services. Communities will benefit because successful companies and their employees give back. And obviously, shareholders will benefit because they can count on companies who deliver on both their short-term commitments and long-term vision.

Why do you think your comments caused so much reaction?

As people struggle in the current economic climate, everything is being questioned. People are asking what corporations do, how they reward people, and who they're for. The context of theFT interview was about the future of capitalism. That's on everyone's mind right now, and it's a good debate to have.

Jack and Suzy Welch write the weekly Welch Way column for BusinessWeek. You can e-mail them and view their new website at For their podcast, go

donderdag 12 maart 2009

Web cubed – the network of everything

ICT Results publication

Handsets, laptops, cars and even clothes: they are all part of the ‘network of things’, an incarnation of the future internet, and European researchers are working hard to create that future now.

The future internet promises to be a lot bigger than Web 2.0. Call it Web cubed, if you will, but it promises to usher in pervasive networks that link electronics, clothing, cars and pretty much everything in between.

The upshot will be a network that can accompany and support users in any situation, dynamically adapting not only to the location, but also the contexts like work and leisure.

But there are some big problems facing this rosy future. “The first problem is scale. A network capable of linking everything together will be huge, and it will take some serious engineering to create a framework and platform capable of attaining this sort of scope,” explains Daniele Miorandi of CREATE-NET, coordinator of the BIONETS project.

The future internet will link billions of devices, or at least must be capable of doing so. It makes the most powerful network paradigms of today appear puny.

And that is just the beginning of the challenges. Miorandi cites a series of obstacles of a similar magnitude that stands between the engineers of today and the internet of tomorrow.

Heterogeneity is problem number two. So far, there is no standards body working simultaneously on, for example, clothing and cars in a network. Many of the other major devices of the future internet will be similarly diverse.

Natural-born killer solutions

Complexity is another issue, and is the key theme facing the design and deployment of a system on this scale. Dynamism, the constant creation and destruction of networks and services, will be another feature of the future internet, one that poses a whole new set of problems.

BIONETS is a concerted European effort to overcome these obstacles. It comprises major European players in the telecommunications space, companies like Nokia, Telecom Italia and Sun Microsystems, and it enjoys a budget of nearly €7 million, the lion’s share funded by the European Union.

BIONETS has been studying the problem for the past three years and believes it has come up with an answer to the question: How do you develop solutions for a very large-scale, heterogeneous, dynamic and complex problem like the future internet?
Rest of story >>

woensdag 11 maart 2009

Free Web Conferencing - A Web Worker's Dream

Dimdim is a free web conferencing service where you can share your desktop, show slides, collaborate, chat, talk and broadcast via webcam with absolutely no download required to host or attend meetings.

Twitter Could Bring Search Up to Speed

Technologie Review article

Some say that Twitter may be as important to real-time search as YouTube is to video.

When Twitter was introduced in late 2006, asking users to post a 140-word answer to the question "What are you doing?," many criticized the results as nothing more than a collection of trivial thoughts and inane ramblings. Fast-forward three years, and the number of Twitter users has grown to millions, while the content of the many posts--better known as "tweets"--has shifted from banal to informative.

Twitter users now cover breaking news, posting links to reports, blog posts, and images. Twitter's search box also reveals what people think of the latest new gadget or movie, letting visitors eavesdrop on often spirited conversations and some insightful opinions.


Brice Croft, a professor of computer science at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, says that Twitter search could perhaps help make news alerts more relevant. "If you could search or track large numbers of conversations, then there would be the possibility of developing alerts when something starts happening," he says. "And, of course, it's yet another opportunity to do massive data mining on people's activities to learn even more about what they are doing and when they are doing it."


Meanwhile, Twitter is clearly thinking about ways to better mine its users' tweets. When you search Twitter, its search engine looks for keywords in the most recent tweets, explains Biz Stone, one of the company's cofounders. The results are then ranked based on the time when they were posted; for some popular topics, this can mean just seconds ago.


When asked whether Twitter and Google could work together to build a real-time search engine, Stone is a bit more optimistic. "We're huge fans of Google," he says. "And we'd be delighted to partner or work with them in the future."

Whole article >>>

donderdag 5 maart 2009


woensdag 4 maart 2009

I teach, therefore you learn... or do you?

A presentation of Boxoftricks, I saw at Slideshare:

Exploring the changing expectations of our students

dinsdag 3 maart 2009

Twitter in Journaal (Vincent Everts)

Hoorbaar! Journaal over Twitter lang interview Vincent Everts en Tim Overdiek

Ipv 19 seconden in het journaal 8 minuten waarin Tim Overdiek en Vincent Everts praten over de rol van twitter.

zondag 1 maart 2009

Pingvine test

Dit werkt dus NIET

Pingvine will generate a Twitter update whenever a new blog is created.

Well, let's test it.
If you see this at Twitter, it works.