Tips Of The Month: April
More glitches ahead.
Software bugs have been around for a while now. But with so much new technology going online – often without sufficient testing – the interactions are getting harder to predict. A glitch grounded 5,000 United Airlines planes for two hours. Other glitches have halted trading at the New York Stock Exchange. And a glitch at Netflix caused this odd summary: “This Disney film follows a gentle, crippled bell ringer as he faces prejudice and tries to save the eyes of individual dinosaurs.” Unlike software bugs, which can be tested and corrected, glitches happen when technology breaks in unexpected ways. Bottom line? No need to abandon technology – just monitor systems and communicate with IT managers more frequently.
-Harvard Business Review
Naturally successful people "sprint," then relax.
An American schoolteacher who moved to Finland in 2014 was skeptical of the Finnish practice of giving students 15 minutes of free time every hour. Until he tried it. He was astounded when they went from dragging their feet to having a bounce in their step and more focus in their studies. The makers of DeskTime, a software that tracks employee time use, studied the habits of the most productive 10% of their 36,000-employee user base. The surprising results? They work for 52 minutes then break for 17 on average. They treat the 52 minutes like a sprint. During the break they tend to go for a walk or tune out, rather than checking e-mail or Facebook.
Your tech: Productive…or distracting?
With constantly evolving technologies, it’s getting harder to know where your time is best spent. To help you stay on track, here are three questions to ask about any situation in your business where technology is involved. 1) Who’s the right person to handle this? For example, let your IT partners help employees with tech support questions. 2) Will this save us time and money? Cloud-based productivity solutions, for example, can give your firm access to the resources of big IT without the need to build it yourself. 3) Is this making your job easier or harder? Syncing devices, for instance, could free you and your sales force from the desk to meet with customers.
What’s your business missing by not accepting bitcoin?
Here’s what you need to know: on the plus side, bitcoin allows direct transactions between end users and product or service providers. That makes it fast and free from transaction fees. It’s also extremely difficult to counterfeit, and virtually guarantees user anonymity and security. And promoting that you accept it could enable you to tap into a lucrative demographic. On the other hand, since bitcoins aren’t maintained by a single repository, daily exchange rates can fluctuate rapidly. A bitcoin payment you accepted yesterday could be worth half as much today. And although Parliament has enacted legislation regarding regulatory oversight towards bitcoin, it is somewhat limited, suggesting a wait-and-see approach.