Buffett offers success traits

Buffett offers keys to business success

Speaking to a class of MBAs, Buffett advised the group that high IQs will not differentiate business leaders. Instead, he listed traits required to succeed:

  • Fulfill your promises
  • Be honest
  • Be trustworthy
  • Give credit where credit is due
  • Be mindful and emotionally intuitive
  • Manifest humility
  • Be willing to admit you’re wrong
  • Offer help when it’s needed
  • Treat others with respect
  • Be charitable
  • Be patient


dis-rup-shun: While high IQs without integrity may lead to problems later in the journey, there is no quantitative score card available to rank workers on Buffett’s list of integrity traits. So for the foreseeable future, organizations will continue to use IQ as a unit of measure for recruiting and hope that their members possess, or will develop, Buffett’s leadership traits.

India going to the moon

India delayed, on Sunday, the launch of its lunar lander and rover project, called Chandrayaan-2 due to technical problems. The mission includes a lunar lander and rover that will explore the Moon’s south pole. Space.com

dis-rup-shun: Lunar landings are so 1960s — why bother? The moon is a convenient platform for a country to showcase its space travel capabilities. To be not only a global, but universal super power, a country now has to have a formidable space program, not so much to colonize the moon, but to operate a fleet of orbiting satellites that will provide future broadband and 5G services, as well as play important military roles including spying, weapons hosting, and communications. India will be the fourth country to land on the Moon (USA, China, Russia have landed, Israel missed).

Employee leaked recordings of Google Voice conversations

Google revealed that employees listen to conversations from Google Assistant that are not related to the watch phrase, “Okay Google,” or “Hey Google.” All of the smart speaker vendors have disclosed that real people listen to samplings of customer recordings to improve quality of speech recognition. ArsTecnica

dis-rup-shun: Listening to conversations for the purposes of development of the technology is not the big deal. The big deal is that 15% of the conversations listened to were not in response to the watch phrase, and therefore should not have been recorded. The fact that the recordings were leaked to a company in Europe, where the European Union is currently enforcing its new data privacy safeguarding law, GDPR, means that Google will certainly face additional investigations from the EU. The article provides instructions for settings that turn off voice recordings and delete conversation history.

Amazon building Sonos-killer 

Amazon continues to expand its line of Echo products. Bloomberg reports that the company will introduce a high fidelity version of the player that will seek to deliver a music experience akin to Sonos or Apple’s HomePod. eMarketer reports that the Echo family owns 63% of this year’s smart speaker market. Bloomberg

dis-rup-shun: Amazon will continue to flood the market with many shapes, sizes and variants of Echo devices as it seeks to establish critical mass as the voice control standard for all types of appliances, cars, players and even light switches. The smart speaker makers are buying market share, selling devices below cost, as sales of the devices are, more importantly, sales of a voice control network standard. The Network Effect states that the value of a network standard such as Echo increases with the number of nodes, making competition nearly impossible once one company grabs a high share of market. Building a high fidelity version of Echo puts Amazon in competition with Echo licensing customer Sonos, but alienation of a customer is a small price to pay when Amazon’s game is massive scale.

A recipe to reverse tech decline

Make America tech again (MATA)

Here are depressing stats on the U.S.A.; the country ranks 25th in the world in R&D tax credits, is no longer in the top 10 in global innovation, is behind in the race for AI development, is behind in creating scientists and computer scientists, and is ranked #11 in world technology readiness.

Forbes provides specific instructions for government policy to reverse these trends:

  1. Implement a consistent data security and privacy policy similar to Europe’s GDPR standard. This provides a consistent standard for data protection and a guideline for enforcing violators.
  2. Use satellite technology to provide broadband to all citizens, and restore net neutrality.
  3. Increase the R&D tax credit to 25% to keep cutting edge tech development companies from setting up shot elsewhere.
  4. Increase annual STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) funding by at least tenfold.
  5. Healthcare must be pushed to adopt a standard for electronic health records (EHR) and must encourage the use of telemedicine and telecare technologies to lower costs and increase care across populations.
  6. Encourage the funding of digital technology to measure and analyze climate change and better quantify changes from year to year.
  7. Make it easy for knowledge workers to obtain H1-B visas (and their spouses).
  8. Increase competition within the Internet economy by shrinking the tech oligarchies.
  9. Spend generously on cyber security, increasing the budget by 25% per year until the problems diminish.
  10. Outline specific and substantial spending initiatives to lead in the development of artificial intelligence. Forbes

dis-rup-shun: Perhaps the U.S. Federal government can accomplish all of these objectives by breaking up the tech oligopolies, but rewarding the new baby techs lucrative contracts to accomplish these tasks, and giving them large tax credits and visa allotments. Break-ups could be bitter sweet launches into new businesses with new partners and plenty of government assistance.

Trouble on the horizon with fake nudes

A new app imagines photos of women with no clothes. The AI-powered app uses its database of images of nude women to find a best replacement for the clothed portions of the image. It only works for pictures of women. The Verge

dis-rup-shun: While this app may be the X-Ray glasses dreamed by many a schoolboy, it will get a lot of people in trouble. Scandal, libel, lawsuits. This may boost the tattoo industry as women feel the need to wear a “unique stamp” to disprove the authenticity of  fake nude photos.

Amazon using smart home as Prime Day feature

Amazon’s annual Prime Day campaign to pry open wallets which are generally funding other activities in July will include a number of smart home products from Nest, Ring, Echo, and others. The products will be offered at steep discounts.

dis-rup-shun: The smart home industry growth is currently attributed to the increasing availability of interesting ‘hero’ products like doorbells, IP cameras, and voice assistants. The big challenge, however, is converting the successful sales of end point products to systems that enable whole home functionality and a robust monthly service fee. A large number of companies including traditional home security players, as well as energy utilities, insurance companies, telcos, and retailers are determined to convert the 80% of the population without home security system, and the path to their wallets appear to be through cool, connected devices.