Facebook’s Timeline: 15 Years In – The Wall Street Journal.
Mark Zuckerberg did not invent social media when he founded Facebook, but he certainly changed its trajectory. During its inception, MySpace was the king of the social media hill. Ever since, Facebook now sits atop the social media world and MySpace is no longer a relevant name in the market.
As Facebook alludes to in their marketing campaigns, the social media brought the world closer together. The ability to maintain connections with friends, acquaintances, or relatives improved. Geographic distance or varying time zones no longer served as barriers to remain up to date with those in one’s inner circle. Facebook allowed people to grow their network and identify the six degrees of separation between them and others they come across. Facebook allowed people to communicate more efficiently with a single message instantly reaching multitudes of people.
Facebook not only changes our individual behaviors, but it also sparked changes in how companies market products and engage with consumer markets. User behaviors provide great insight on how brands can construct product offerings and marketing campaigns. Instead of costly television adds, many brands are able to connect with core members of their target markets with social media campaigns. Facebook also greatly impacts our social conscience and political system, as it is a common place for people to display political views or voice opinions.
Like anything that becomes globally popular, there will be some downsides brought to light by inappropriate uses of the product or service. Some people with low moral standards utilize the anonymity of social media to harass, stalk, or bully others. Others used social media to circulate purposefully untruthful content to mislead the public. People evolve over time to understand the need for balance with social media, weighing the level of engagement and separation as well as how to evaluate circulated material.
As it celebrates its 15 years in existence, Facebook should be celebrated for its overall positive impact on society. Whether one simply scrolls to kill time, posts messages to friends and family, or peruses for various products or content, Facebook will continue to serve its over 2.2 billion daily users.
The broken winter: Why baseball must fix free agency ASAP(ESPN)
The anxiety for the fans waiting for free agent decisions is understandably high. But that does not mean market economics failed.
As mentioned in the article, baseball executives are learning from past spending mistakes. Utilizing data and information to make the best informed decision possible. To decide whether to bid or pass on assets. Doing so requires change in offer structures and more time for both sides to analyze contract value.
Market economics at its core reflect the true price a buyer is willing to pay for a product or service and the price the seller is willing to accept. Market economics at its best occurs when both buyer and seller are highly informed about the total value and impact of transactions. Baseball executives are now becoming more informed buyers and more efficient spenders.
Most unionized structures are the exact opposite of free markets. Many deny the individual of the opportunity to maximize value attainment. What is perceptually good for the gander may harm individual geese.
Baseball fans need to be patient. Teams are being more analytical in decision making and players are demonstrating greater patience to maximize value. Monster contracts of the past harmed both teams operation and the reputation of players not living up to fan expectations. Now, the market is correcting itself.
Future of black NFL coaches a concern after round of firings (ESPN)
The NFL should ensure that the limited opportunities to lead and shape the football activities of its franchises are available to all those who have the qualifications and resume. The recent firings of certain NFL coaches reduces the number of minority to coaches to 3, which is not statistically aligned to the percentage of minorities that make up the players that play for them.
The most qualified person should get any job, whether it is leading an NFL team, a business, or an organization. But, the process where decision makers source candidates may not be inclusive for all those with the resume and experience needed for the job. Ideally, decision makers would build a diverse enough pool of candidates for consideration to ensure they truly found the right candidate.
From an outside perspective, many NFL teams appear to identify a select few of head coaching candidates and focus efforts to land the top ranked candidate. For instance, the Miami Dolphins went all in on bringing in Adam Gase, a candidate many across the league had on their short list. A mere three years later he is once again available. In reality, the only coach still employed in the class is Philadelphia Eagles head coach Doug Pederson, who was the least heralded hire and only Super Bowl winning coach.
For the four coaches listed in the ESPN article, there should not be any surprise with the teams’ decisions. The coaches clearly under-performed and did not produce the desired results. There really is not a strong argument for continuing the relationships when Super Bowl victories are not in the forecast. While the results are not completely up to the coaching staff, the head coach is the one burdened with responsibility of the outcomes. The job security risk comes with the job description.
The focus needs to be on identifying effective ways for NFL teams to diversify their candidate pools so that minority candidates have fair access to elite positions. There is difficulty in forcing organizations to not zero in on a single candidate, but more likely than not, that person will not be the right one. The NFL needs to find ways to prevent teams from giving token interviews in favor of substantive evaluations of candidates record and potential.
The best people should get the jobs. The process needs to ensure organizations are able to see the best candidates.
Hospitals must post ‘chargemaster’ prices online. How useful will that be?
The posting will only be useful if the price schedules reflect realistic prices, not list pricing that no one actually pays. If policymakers want to protect competitiveness of hospitals, price schedules could reflect prior year actual pricing.
Without realistic pricing, the policy is a hollow effort to improve affordability in care
AT&T and Verizon Pursue Different Paths Into the Future (WSJ) https://www.wsj.com/articles/at-t-and-verizon-pursue-different-paths-into-the-future-1541999131
One is focusing on acquiring content, while the other seeks to acquire new customer groups. Reminiscent of Coke vs Pepsi, where Coke focuses on being a leader in beverages, while Pepsi aims to diversify in food and beverage.
ATT aims to attract individual consumers, which are content driven and value entertainment. By owning content providers, ATT will not only expand revenue streams, but can create exclusive customer experiences for ATT wireless consumers.
On the other hand, Verizon strives to invest in technology and expanding its industry consumer base, which is more stable than personal consumers. Industry consumers prefer service contracts, which provide cost stability and detailed service guarantees. This could provide Verizon stable revenue streams over longer periods.
ATT will have to manage divergent business unit and balance varying goals and industry norms. Conversely, Verizon will be able to focus on its core competency and strengthen consumer quality in multiple segments.
Both have viable paths forward. Interesting to see how smaller competitors adjust.
After not winning a title for 86 years, the Boston Red Sox captured its 4th World Series championship since 2004. The 2018 Red Sox team was a force to be reckon with since game 1 of 162. A team with a dangerous lineup, ferocious pitching staff, and reliable defense that won more games than any Boston team in the past.
The Dodgers played an interesting World Series. Understandably, Dave Roberts would put together a lineup that counters the strong pool of lefthanded pitchers the Red Sox have, but at some point you have to let the players that got you to the World Series play through the challenge. Some of the strongest bats remained on the bench until a righthanded pitcher came in. Although, David Freese did come up with some clutch hits and provided the only offense of game 5 for the Dodgers.
The Red Sox were the better team coming into and out of the series. Now, the Red Sox focus on repeating and the Dodgers must find a way to capture that elusive prize. Two pennants and twice the runner up. If Kershaw departs, their challenge is much greater.
RED SOX 4 DODGERS 1
MVP: STEVE PEARCE (3HR 8 RBI)
Sears Prepares for Bankruptcy Filing as Debt Payment Looms – The Wall Street Journal. https://www.wsj.com/articles/sears-hires-advisers-to-prepare-bankruptcy-filing-1539136189
The iconic once retail giant may be nearing its final stretch. Or maybe it can dwarf into a profitable condense form of itself. If the latter, it will need to find a way to develop and connect with a new target market not already retired.
At one point Sears dominated the retail landscape, largely because it was the first general retailer to market offerings for the entire family and the one willing to stand by its products. As the market change with new players, Sears never effectively captured a new market group.
If Sears does survive, it needs to have a narrower focus. One approach could be deconstruction of their retail concept by creating two distinct chains. One could be a clothing targeting people that may not be served by more trendy stores or a channel for professionals looking for everyday affordable clothes. Another would be an autonomous Sears Auto not tied to a store.
At this point, the Sears leadership team is probably focused on seeing how many tomorrows it has left. If there some, they need to consider what those days will look like.
WSJ: Samsung Profit Jumps to Record High for Quarter
Samsung bounced back from the Note 7 debacle. For the first time, it outperformed Apple for the quarter.
ESPN LAYOFFS (NYT)
As many already know, ESPN laid off 100 employees, many of which were high-profile personalities. After years of skyrocketing rights fees and people cutting ties with cable companies, ESPN has a cash flow problem. Noble of them to protect employees living paycheck to paycheck, but the impact on broadcast quality could hurt ratings.
ESPN needs to strongly consider alternate revenues streams and reduce its dependence on a declining cable market. In other words, provide direct access to customers outside traditional cable deals. As more customers continue to move away from expensive cable contracts, ESPN can still remain connected with them through a direct service similar to HBO. Currently, WatchESPN requires a cable subscription login.
What About The Fees?
The cost of broadcast rights fees is the cost of doing business at this point. Until the deals expire, ESPN has to honor the terms. Going forward it should take a stronger negotiating position, but now should focus on maximizing revenue to offset the cost. As a sports centric organization, ESPN cannot lose its connections to the content its built around.
Beyond the business aspect, ESPN needs to focus on its core content, setting aside the political commentary and puns. Stop incorporating political attacks and stop promoting stereotypes. Focus on being a true worldwide leader in SPORTS. Companies that forget why they are in business tend to go out of business.
The global automaker cannot seem to navigate past its defeat device scandal. After settling with US regulators, it now must deal with its domestic government that just raided its headquarters.
Many of the environmental regulations may be too stringent. But, the solution was not to cheat the system. Aside from the fines, Volkswagen is spending much more funds in buying back impacted vehicles. Not even considering the brand impact.
In spite of the illegality, the defeat device is clever. Such cleverness should be used to improve the customer experience, rather than erode trust from its customers. While leaders probably costed in the risks of such a program, the non-monetary costs probably outweigh the benefits gained.