August 12, 2014

Google And Apple Diversity Reports. And Why Workforce Diversity Is Important For Firms?

Research on workforce diversity generally suggests that a diverse workforce can bring about increased creativity and innovation within the firm, and, with the right organizational initiatives and management related to diversity, could be a source of competitive advantage that leads to better firm performance. Let's see how Google and Apple performed on the workforce diversity front.

August 1, 2014

Google Announces A $1 Million Contest: Little Box Challenge

Around about the same time of the year, back in 2007, Google had announced a massive $30 million contest (YES! If you had missed that, or have forgotten about it, it's a $30,000,000 contest, and there are 18 teams that are still competing for it!), called the Google Lunar XPRIZE. And, my guess is that this contest is going to get exciting over the next few months, given the December 31st, 2015 deadline.

And now, coming to the new contest that Google has announced about a week ago, the $1 million 'Little Box' Challenge.

Little Box Challenge.
Little Box Challenge.

July 22, 2014

Perceived Value - It's Complex Nature And Operationalization

In one of my earlier posts +Rory Sutherland  asserts that a change in the 'perceived value' of a product/service can be as potent as changing it's "real" value, and costs less. This raises the question as to why more companies do not take this approach, and even if they do, why it's consequences are so hard to discern. This post tries to lay out, at least in part, some of reasons for the this, and at the same time tries to look at how it can be tackled.

Research reaffirms that the complex and multi-dimensional nature of interaction between a consumer and a product makes 'perceived value' a very complex construct to study and operationalize. Another reason that Lindgreen and Wynstra point out to, in measuring 'perceived value', is the difficulty in differentiating the value a consumer places on the goods and services as against the value he/she places on the buyer-seller relationship (they call for a clear separation of the two). Case in point, consumers of Apple's products/services (or me with respect to Google's products/services).

The Complex and Multi-Dimensional Nature of Perceived Value
The Complex And Multi-Dimensional Nature Of Perceived Value

June 5, 2014

Sergey Brin: Current Role At Google, Google X And Google Self-driving Car

In an interview with +Kara Swisher and +Walt Mossberg+Sergey Brin speaks about his current role at Google, his views on privacy, some of the projects that the company is currently running at Google [X] - Loon, Glass, self-driving car and Calico. He also tries to explain why innovation take so long.

"In the external view, Google is Goliath. In the internal view, we’re David." - Sergey Brin. Code Conference, May 27, 2014.

May 20, 2014

Coverage Of National Elections On Google Is Not Just About News. There's More.

Elections in any democratic nation are a big deal. Thousands of people follow the event closely - voting trends, their favorite candidates, debates on major policy matters, so on and so forth. If you are one of those people then you should keep an eye on Google's Politics & Elections.

Currently the site covers eight countries - Belgium, Colombia, Germany, India, Indonesia, Kenya, South Africa, and the United States. I can vividly recollect following the 2012 French general elections, which was also covered on Google, as were the elections in Egypt and Senegal. However, since then, Google seems to have brought down these sections (probably because they were outdated?!).

This clearly shows the intent of the company in wanting to stay at the forefront of easy access to political and election related information owing to the growing impact that the internet is having on political campaigns around the world. The site not only aggregates all the news related to a particular country's elections, but also presents important information and data regarding the elections through interactive interfaces. Below are some interesting examples from the coverage on elections in India and Germany (Note: Not all features are available under all countries).

India - Final Results.
India - Final Results.

November 19, 2013

Rory Sutherland's Taken On Perceived Value

Every product has a certain value ("real" and "perceived"). +Rory Sutherland, one of my favorite speakers on +TED, asserts that all value is perceived, and that solutions to most problems can be easily achieved by focusing on the "perceived" value. That is, companies should focus on ideas which deal with the psychological and behavioral aspects related to the product, rather than the mechanistic ones. He further goes on to say that such solutions, i.e the ones based on the "perceived" value, other than costing much less, are also more potent and often involve very small changes.

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