The Daily Dose: Episode 46

The Daily Dose for Tuesday, May 17 is all about Data and Data visualization innovations.

McKinsey releases a report on Big Data, Planetary give us a new data innterface,WPP and nPario partner for better analysis of all that data you are generating, PSN recovers from data leaks, and more.

This week on The Daily Dose

IndyGeek was dealing with a family death this week, so some of the shows got understandably posted oddly.
I thought it might be a good idea to round them up and help you find them, since they probably came through oddly.

Monday  May 9  Episode 40: Growing our Geeks and the Follow bit of interview on the Blogging area for TedXBloomington.

Tuesday, May 10.Episode 41: Indiana Innovators, included an interview with Jeff Martin of True Dungeon.

Wednesday, May 11 Episode 42: Homegrown Success Stories. Included an interview with Mira Award winner Kyle Lacy of Mindframe.

Thursday, May12 Episode 43: 3Rs day. The Google I/O fest.

Friday, May 13 Episode 44: TGIF: With a small bit of follow on about Livestreaming TedXBloomington.

Apple’s Parenting Habits Breed Incompetent Kids

There is nothing more frustrating than having some pretty good brains in a room beating around an interesting idea and then stopping a hair short of the truth and leaving it hanging in either conspiracy theory or coincidence.

It was so frustrating this morning that I found myself yelling at my radio as the podcast played ( good thing 26 was quiet and nearly empty this morning). I was listening to the most recent “Cranky Geeks” episode, and they were discussing Rob Enderle’s article ( Rob was on the show, btw) about how it seemed an odd almost conspiracy that ex-Apple employees were causing the ruin of many Apple competitors. He calls it Apple’s Fifth Column with a bit of tongue in cheek. He does end the column with the observation that this is most likely not true, but just a case of companies needing someone in charge to keep them from doing stupid things. In the show discussion, Rik Myslewski points out that this is generally the CEO.Although Adam Curry is pushing for conspiracy theories ( of course— and I say that lovingly, I enjoy NoAgenda, btw) The discussion ends in chuckles and they move on before they get to the important analysis.

The truth is, in most really large companies, smart, proficient CEOs surround themselves with executives and charge those executives to fill top management positions with people who are good at making decisions. In most large companies, there are too many ( and perhaps too disparate or too complex) decisions that need to be made for a single person to have control of all of them. You need bright, independently thinking, creative, insightful execs who are good at business- even if it is a tech company- to stay at the front of the pack once you hit a certain size.

Apple does not do this. Steve surrounds himself with technically great people who will do what he tells them too without too much argument, and does not care if they understand why. It always feels ( from the outside) like he runs the company like a helicopter parent. The people following his directions are smart and from the outside appear brilliant, get hired by other companies hungry for Apple brilliance- and they fail– often spectacularly, as Rob points out in his article- as they try to repeat some of the things they saw Steve doing, but never really understood.

A good company, like a good parent, helps its employees “grow-up” to the best of their capabilities. This sometimes means giving people the chance to make mistakes, the chance to fail and putting more energy into it than if you had just done it yourself– much like teaching your kid how to do laundry. Companies who just do the laundry for their employees because it is easier and safer that way end up with employees like those college kids who ruin entire wardrobes their first week at college because they have no clue what they are doing.

John? Next time– push discussions like this all the way to their natural end— the conclusions are much more interesting than conspiracy or Occam’s Razor.

Neil On the Moth

I have long been a fan of The Moth Podcast. I love the true life tales and confessions from people both known and unknown to me and the hilarious insights into human nature.
Life has, however, recently been a bit busy, and I had about a month’s worth of podcasts to catch up on. I had some time to listen while canning this weekend and did a bit of a catchup session. You can almost imagine my fangirl squee when I discovered that one of the podcasts from earlier this month was Neil Gaimon telling a story about getting left in a train station when he was about 16. Not only is this a story fitting of the typical hilarity levels of a Moth story, it explains why he seems so unflappably cool through all sorts of situations….
If you love Neil, this is a must listen. If you have never checked out the Moth podcast and enjoy modern story telling, this is a good place to start.