Industry News

Top articles of the week | November 2

Every week, we put together a list of our top 5 articles of the past week. Happy reading!

 

 

What does it mean for a machine to “understand”?    Thomas Dietterich   (reading time: 7 minutes)

It’s time to get off the hype train. Machines are not ready to “understand” anytime soon. Professor Dietterich adroitly explains what understanding really means and why machines are far from it. I keep hearing in boardroom conversations that an AI strategy is needed. This is precisely the wrong question to be asking; it should be how AI technology can help with our existing strategy.

 

McDonald’s CEO Wants Big Macs to Keep Up With Big Tech     Bloomberg   (reading time: 17 minutes)

This post in Bloomberg is a great turnaround story. Despite your feelings about McDonalds (I personally never eat there), this is a great business case about adapting to a changing market. The new chief executive Steve Easterbrook started in 2015 and started making important changes. He started with online delivery and slowly started moving into other areas of the business.

 

Meet the Women Leading Netflix Into the Streaming Wars   Fortune (reading time: 22 minutes)

Netflix is about to enter its most tumultuous period of its existence. Deep-pocketed competitors have started entering the so-called “streaming wars” and Netflix is the main target. The tech media darling has had free rein to grow its business over the past 10 years. With 150 million paid subscribers globally, the company is entering a new phase. At the helm, several women are leading the charge to find the tricky balance between art and technology.

For great reading on the tech media landscape, make sure also to follow Matthew Ball whose writing on this is stellar.

 

Why are we here?               Harvard Business Review (reading time: 25 minutes)

“A truly powerful purpose statement is one that achieves two objectives: clearly articulating strategic goals and motivating your workforce. These objectives are important individually and synergistically. When your employees understand and embrace your organization’s purpose, they’re inspired to do work that not only is good—and sometimes great—but also delivers on your stated aims.”

Company purpose is often overlooked. Done well, it can attract talent, align the workforce and help deliver on an organization’s objectives. This is a good refresher in HBR that highlights why you should spend time on your purpose.

 

Companies Used to Have Moats Around Their Products. Now They Have Kill Zones.         Institutional Investor   (reading time: 4 minutes)

This is a fantastic article covering private vs. public markets and the current capital allocation environment.

“In 1975, 50 percent of the earnings of U.S. public companies came from 109 firms. Currently, 50 percent comes from 30 firms.”

“The superstar with a technology or product advantage can effectively protect their network and tech edge by creating a kill zone around their expertise.”

It covers how the nature of competitive advantage has changed and how venture capitalists are weary of investing in startups that might be in the “kill zone”.

 

Bonus:

We held our first Business Agility event this past Wednesday at our office with over 60 attendees.

Here are some pictures from the event