These are the headlines from some of the web sources that I follow.
5 Technical Keys for Employee Engagement
By now, we understand that employee engagement is one of the keys to corporate success. It allows us to reduce our employee acquisition and replacement costs. It provides additional discretionary effort from our best employees. It helps create a culture where companies are able to focus employee efforts on key strategic goals. Everybody loves the idea of having better employee engagement within their own organizations. But are companies truly willing to make the investments necessary to actually improve? The employee engagement problem is readily apparent. Gallup shows that the vast majority of employees are disinterested drudges simply working for a paycheck or for another hour of overtime rather than truly inspired employees who are creative, helpful, and true advocates for the company. Read full story... Follow us on Twitter Join free newsletter View upcoming events Find a new job
Amy Webb: From Gaming Online Dating Sites to Advising Marketers
Amy Webb understands data. In fact, according to her book, Data: A Love Story, she "gamed" online dating sites like JDate, OKCupid and eHarmony – and met her eventual husband. But that’s just the start of the interesting things about her. Webb is a digital media futurist and founder of Webbmedia Group, a digital strategy agency that spots near-term emerging technology trends and develops strategies for media organizations, Fortune 100 and 500 companies, large nonprofits, universities and government agencies. She’s also the co-founder of Spark Camp, which Fast Company described as "the ultimate summer camp for influencers" (only it actually happens year round). The camp encourages "creative conversations between genius strangers.” Read full story... Follow us on Twitter Join free newsletter View upcoming events Find a new job
This Week: Microsoft Loses with Google, Wins with Oracle
Make Customer Experience Seamless The brands that can work out our new technology terrain will thrive. Sharpen B2B LinkedIn Marketing LinkedIn the best B2B social media marketing avenue? Make the most of it. Google Docs Jabs MS Office Take that, Microsoft. Google Docs just got better at collaborating. Collaboration, for Free? A startup is offering a free service to add a Facebook-like collaboration tool to any web page. Microsoft Owns Oracle Oracle’s big data customers are jumping ship for Redmond, Wash. Big Big Data Marriage Hortonworks announces a $50 million investment from HP, but it’s not all about the money. White Paper: The 3 Stages of Digital Marketing Maturity Tame the complex problem of channel explosion and need for cloud speed. Download Now sponsored item Most Popular Microsoft Tightens the Reins on Office 365 Discussion Point: How Will the IoT Change Us? Make the Most of Customer Journey Mapping Stay on Track: Valuable B2B Content Marketing Here’s Gartner’s MQ for Business Analytics Editor’s Picks 6 Ways to Derail Content Marketing Programs One Web CMS Is Never Enough Pivotal, Hortonworks and a New Hadoop Management Standard? Marketo Q2 Results Show Growth of Marketing Automation Dealing with the Reality and Myths of Omnichannel Around the Web Google’s Android Has a Fake-ID Security Problem Google Hangouts Dresses Up For Business Food Trucks Share Social Media Secrets The Bloodiest Tech Industry Layoffs of 2014 (So Far) How To Help Your Digital Marketing Strategy to Succeed Featured Events (all events | post your event) Aug. 21 — (Webinar) 5 Effective Ways to Personalize Web Experiences Sept. 8 — Sitecore Symposium Las Vegas 2014 Sept. 9 — UX Week San Francisco 2014 Sept. 15 — Gartner Portals, Content & Collaboration Summit London 2014 Sept. 15 — O’Reilly Velocity 2014 New York Featured Research The Forrester Wave for Enterprise Social Platforms The Web CMS Buyer’s Guide The 2014 Digital Asset Management Buyer’s Guide White Paper: Top 7 Success Factors for Optimizing Customer Experience 4 Digital-Era Technologies that Change the Customer Experience Game Follow us on Twitter Join free newsletter View upcoming events Find a new job
You Don't Need To Be An Engineering Genius To Start A Billion-Dollar Company
Nearly 10 years ago, Excite founder Joe Krause, now an investor at Google Ventures, declared "there has never been a better time to be an entrepreneur." Kraus was talking about the economics of startups—the cheapness of servers, networks, and other raw ingredients of computing.A decade later, Andreessen Horowitz investor Sam Gerstenzang has one-upped Kraus. He's arguing that it's not just costs that are at historic lows. So, too, is the level of competence required to engineer a product.In other words, even an engineering nobody can start a company.No Money? No Problem!While it seems quaint now, it used to be expensive to build an app and start a company around it. Hardware was expensive. Software was expensive. Storage was expensive.Engineers, however, were relatively cheap. As Kraus noticed in 2005, however, things were starting to change. By that time "hardware [had] literally become 100X cheaper.... Back in the Excite days, we had to buy proprietary Sun hardware and Sun hard drive arrays.... Today, we buy generic Intel boxes provided by one of a million different suppliers."Furthermore, he wrote, "back in 1993 we had to buy and continue to pay for maintenance on everything we needed just to build our service—operating systems, compilers, web servers, application servers, databases. You name it." "Not only was it costly," he writes, but "the need to negotiate licenses took time and energy." By 2005, however, "Free, open source infrastructure [was] the norm," with the ability to "get it anytime and anywhere."As a result, "More people can and will be entrepreneurs than ever before" because "a lot more people can raise $100,000 than raise $3,000,000."Developers Don't Get CheaperOne thing Kraus didn't mention, however, was that even as other costs got cheaper, the cost of a good developer kept going up. The relative cost of a hiring a developer and acquiring storage, for example, looks like this:In 1985, storage was a key expense, running $100,000 per gigabyte, while a developer could expect to get paid $28,000 per year. By 2013, things had changed considerably. Now storage is cheap, costing $0.05 per GB. Developers, on the other hand, are expensive: $90,000 per year.Today, engineering pay is at an all-time high, and rising fast:According to Gerstenzang, whose firm has backed Instagram, Pinterest, and other big Internet names, that may be about to change. The Rise Of The Average DeveloperCiting the acquisitions of engineer-light and user-heavy companies like Snapchat and Instagram, Gerstenzang posits that "fewer engineers and dollars to ship code to more users than ever before" is "the new normal," making "the potential impact of the lone software engineer ... soar."And as impact goes, so does cost.However, Gerstenzang notes that much of the hardest engineering is now done for developers: Amazon Web Services and other platform or infrastructure providers abstract away the most difficult engineering problems, making it easier to code—or downright unnecessary:[T]he barriers to becoming a code creator are falling fast. The same software foundation (open source software, development tools like Github, infrastructure as a service provided by the likes of Digital Ocean, and more) that allowed Whatsapp and Imgur to scale, means that experience and skill writing software become less important.An individual can now scale a web app to millions of users with Digital Ocean, Heroku and AWS (perhaps coordinated by Mesosphere). It no longer requires a sophisticated understanding of MySQL parameters to scale a database on Google App Engine, just as it no longer requires a knowledge of the CPU chip it’s all chugging away on.In other words, there has never been a better time to be average.Sure, there will still be a need for "10x engineers," those superwomen and supermen that are "still needed to build the foundation [e.g., infrastructure]." But, he concludes, "[A]s we build out the common foundation, the skill and experience an individual needs to accomplish a task on top of the platform decreases."Not only does it decrease, but it may actually go away:Today, if you have a great idea for a software product, you need to either be an engineer or find one. Tomorrow, that billion-dollar startup acquisition might not need an engineer at all.For the English majors of the world, life just got much better.
Google To Europe: Sometimes It's Not So Easy To Forget
Turns out there are a lot of people who want the Internet to forget about them—whether they deserve it or not.In May, a European court ruled that Google must remove "inadequate, irrelevant or no longer relevant" search results when an individual in the E.U., or potentially outside the region, asks it to. In a letter to European regulators, Google reported that as of July 18, it has received 91,000 requests to remove 328,000 URLs from search results under this newly created "right to be forgotten."See Also: European Court Orders Google To "Forget" Old Search ResultsIt hasn’t gone entirely smoothly. In July, Google removed and then reinstated links to the Guardian’s website with no explanation.What's more, Google has run into some completely predictable issues with the court's vague ruling. These include people who provide false or inaccurate information, or public figures who are seeking to remove information about themselves from the public record.For instance, Google reports that "some professional journalists have asked us to remove articles that they wrote for a publication to which they are no longer connected." More seriously:Even if requesters provide us with accurate information, they understandably may avoid presenting facts that are not in their favour. As such, we may not become aware of relevant context that would speak in favour of preserving the accessibility of a search result. An example would be a request to remove an old article about a person being convicted of a number of crimes in their teenage years, which omits that the old article has its relevance renewed due to a recent article about that person being convicted for similar crimes as an adult. Or a requester may not disclose a role they play in public life, for which their previous reported activities or political positions are highly relevant.France leads Europe with 17,500 "forget me" requests involving 58,000 URLs, followed by Germany with 16,500 requests involving 57,000 URLs and the UK with 12,000 requests involving 44,000 URLs. Google has removed 53% of the total requested URLs.Balancing Privacy And Public KnowledgeIt’s important to note that Google doesn’t delete the Web pages users ask for, just the links to them displayed in Google searches. So even if Google removes a link, it will still be available to view on the Web—it will just take some extra searching. Google formed an advisory council intended to help it strike a balance between the "right to be forgotten" and the public's right to know. In the meantime, Google is still facing a backlog of removal requests resulting from the ruling earlier this summer. The company says it's working through them as fast as possible. Lead image courtesy of Moyan Brenn on Flickr
What Yo's $1.5 Million Buys: Legal Huffing Against Yo Parodies
Yo is a parody of a chat app in its own right. But the one-click messaging app isn’t amused by parodies of Yo.Yo founder Or Arbel has sent complaints to Apple petitioning to have Yo clones YOLO, Yo, Hodor!, Oi, and others removed from the App Store. The letter, from Yo's sorta-fake corporation, Life Before Us LLC, reads in part: “This is a direct clone of our app Yo and based on the terms of agreement in the iTunes app store, it should be removed.”It’s true that most Yo parodies are near-exact clones of the original. But if Yo is so easy to build that anyone can duplicate the concept in 20 minutes, is it really worth $1.5 million? See also: Friday Fun: Create Your Own Obnoxiously Simple Messaging App Just Like YoAlong the same lines, you might reasonably wonder if it's really Apple’s responsibility to protect the integrity of an app so simple that dozens of people have effortlessly made their own copies?Despite receiving a notice from Apple, YOLO is still active in the Apple Store, and the team told TechCrunch they don’t plan on removing it. Betty Xi, a member on the YOLO team, said the app only took three days to make and was designed to be a parody of Yo. “With a product as fragile as Yo and the app being so easily duplicated, how can people claim this product is worth $10 million?” Xi asked TechCrunch.Fortunately, if you’ve followed ReadWrite’s tutorial for making your own app, you’re not in trouble at all. Arbel said in a statement that he wants to encourage Yo parodies so long as they don’t look and act exactly like Yo does:We value creativity and we are in a free market. Improving upon our concept is welcomed, copying us bit-by-bit isn’t.Lead image by Helen A.S. Popkin for ReadWrite