The Management Myth

A friend forwarded me an article that was published in a recent The Atlantic Monthly (subscription required). Written by a guy name Matthew Stewart, The Management Myth is a clever (but quite smug) article summing up the origins & science of management theory and discussing the values of management practices (or management consulting).

His entree is: "Most of management theory is inane, writes our correspondent, the founder of a consulting firm. If you want to succeed in business, don’t get an M.B.A. Study philosophy instead."

That's an extreme statement, and one that probably bothers a number of folks, but the article takes a pretty unique approach to explaining why Stewart believes such is true. Paul Kedrosky takes a jab at Stewart (he obviously doesn't like the angle), but doesn't really offer much else other than a personal attack. Nick Carr, a fellow management consultant, has a different opinion. I tend to agree with Carr and Stewart.

Da Vinci Code

I was pleasantly surprised by the film. Having read both The Da Vinci Code and Angels & Demons about six months ago, the movie was easy to follow and exciting throughout. It's always tough to watch a film that's been adapted from a book due to the general inconsistencies that exist throughout and the boredom of having to hear the story again. I felt that this movie was different. Or maybe my expectations were just set very low from the critics early comments on the film...who knows.

I think David Galbraith sums up a very good analysis of the impact of this book/film on today's society....

Google Reckoning

This gossip/press in The Mercury News about Google going through extensive diligence to acquire Olive Software and then passing at the final hour does not surprise me one bit. It's troubling as hell and extremely disappointing, and its a bad reputation to start building in Bay Area. We experienced Google wanting to meet with one of our portfolio companies without signing a confidentiality & non-solicitation agreement and they wouldn't.

It looks like, from the amount of comments on this SiliconBeat posting, that this has happened to a lot of folks... It's saddening that a company who's mission is to "Do No Evil" acts in this manner.

Avaya Goes Hosted VoIP

I just read in Network World that Avaya will be launching a hosted VoIP service for its channel partners. Its first partners are XO and Sprint. Starting at $25 per month (don't know what that includes), this is a really nteresting move to really energize the SME VoIP market. And, it's a really good move for Avaya in my opinion.

Intellectual Happy Hour

Yeah, it's Friday night and rather than writing some well-thought out piece on some unique subject here are some articles I enjoyed this week:

For starters, it's really hard to believe this actually happened. I'm extraordinarily impressed with Colbert (a fellow Northwestern alum) for his thrilling, insulting, hilarious, & uncomfortable discourse in the company of his subjects. This dinner for the White House Correspondent's must have been one of the most awkward events in history.

Using one's voice to control a device has long been a dream of a lot of techies. It appears that Google has been making noise in this space with the announcement of a patent. Recognition is still clearly the biggest challenge in making voice truly a workable search solution and (from what I can gather) it seems that in this patent Google is more focused in the age old debate of ontology search. Watch this space - it should get a lot of attention in the next years.

Having spent most of my life living in emerging markets and a good chunk of my life working in emerging markets, I couldn't agree any more with this commentary on China. Washington DC, please let it be.

In the same train of thoughts, Kudlow also comments on the amazing fact that although oil prices have ballooned, we still are managing to experience a booming economy...

I've been working with VoIP companies now for about five years and it still just boggles my mind how drastically changing the landscape really is. This Skype article in the Washington Post reminded me of how my parents now even use VoIP. It continues to amaze me the sheer magnitude of deconstruction this telecoms industry still faces.

Karlgaard, once again, sythensizes a fantastic viewpoint on politics (and really business, in general).

This guys claims to analyze the real effects of the Laffer Curve in a two page thesis. He's completely clueless. Gilder summarizes it best by saying, "The fact is that countries with low or declining tax rates increase their government spending (the best measure of revenues) three times faster than do countries with high or rising tax rates. The reason is that the low tax countries grow six times faster than the high tax countries. The benefits of the tax cuts cascade through the entire economy and yield increased revenues at every level of government while massively increasing the size of the private sector measured by income or market cap." Done.