Friday, May 30, 2014

China's energy independence

From Bloomberg:

"China’s effort to catch up with the U.S. in developing shale gas and become more energy independent is coming at a big cost: It’s spending four times as much developing some fields, according to a new report."

Curious about how much of an opportunity this is for the US oil and gas service providers?

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Intangible assets

I have been leading efforts on data analytics or the generic term big data, though I focus on the analytics part.  Tobin's Q has been rather an interesting aspect of analyzing the value of information for a company.  Manufacturing companies are valued against their hard assets, but then what about the global giants of the information age, which have come to grow bigger?

A good blog by Mr. Doug Laney, VP Research, Gartner on what is Tobin's Q and how it is impacting the valuations of the companies today.

"… a study by intellectual capital research firm, Ocean Tomo, shows that the portion of corporate market value attributable to intangibles has grown from 17% in 1975 to a whopping 81% in 2010."

Now, if there is any CEO out there still with their head buried in deep productivity gains through automation, and process improvement, they can see the sunset of their companies quickly coming.  The American automakers are the ideal examples.

The question is how do these companies gather data, turn it into information, yet information is not enough.  It is the creation of knowledge from information that leads to extraction of value.  The world is filing up with a plethora of massive data collectors though with minimal idea of how to transition from data to information to knowledge.  Opportunity remains high for analytics providers.

Read the complete blog here at Gartner.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Multilingualism and the business world

Hiring individuals who know more than one language for a multinational is some what a necessity these days.  But does it imply that there is higher value in learning a second or third langauge.

The Economist analyzes the question here, in "Johnson: What is a foreign language worth?"  It seems like there are premiums paid for different second languages.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

On monopolies and capitalism

Gigaom writes on "Giants behaving badly: Google, Facebook and Amazon show us the downside of monopolies and black-box algorithms."  Read the complete article here.

Nothing new that we have not seen in capitalism before, though with an interesting 21st century spin.  Though the analysis of Facebook is interesting:

"You can stop using Facebook, but that’s not going to stop a billion or so other people from using it, and therefore it’s not going to stop them clicking on what Facebook decides is newsworthy or not newsworthy, and driving traffic to those sites, and thereby helping to determine whether they live or die. And unlike Google or Amazon, there isn’t even much of a case for antitrust, because it’s not clear what market Facebook dominates."

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Brain trust at Apple, Google, Microsoft, Facebook, Yahoo, Twitter,and IBM

Excellent infographic at Wired showing where the hiring is done at most of the San Francisco Bay Area companies.  Perhaps I can look at some of those schools myself.

Interesting how significantly IBM leverages Indian universities, while most companies, other than Google maintain geographically close ties.

Click the image to enlarge.