Monday, September 14, 2009

orden sobre todo

No sé puede determinar cuál es la mejor táctica sin una clara estrategia. Eso es sabido. Ante las miles de opciones, debemos tener un horizonte, un objetivo claro para poder determinar el camino óptimo.

¿Qué pasa durante ese camino? ¿Queremos caminar, correr, ir en bicicleta? ¿Vamos a dejar todo, exigirnos al máximo? Eso trasciende, entra al terreno de lo intangible.

Juan Pablo Varsky cita a Carlos Bianchi: "La actitud está por encima de cualquier sistema táctico."

Seth Godin propone un reordenamiento de la jerarquía del éxito, imponiendo dos dimensiones poco consideradas entre la mayoría de los que planificamos: la actitud y el enfoque. Quedaría algo así:
  1. Actitud
  2. Enfoque
  3. Objetivos
  4. Estrategia
  5. Táctica
  6. Ejecución
Es imposible determinar el modo de hacer lo que elegís en los puntos 3-5 si no tenés claro los primeros dos ítems.
La ejecución necesariamente tendrá los condimentos determinados por tu actitud y enfoque, por tu modo de hacer las cosas. Más vale tenerlo claro pues los resultados vendrán - o no - en función de ello.
En un entorno con infinitas posibilidades y millones de caminos posibles es menester volver a lo simple y entendernos a nosotros mismos.

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Thursday, September 10, 2009

el email sigue vigente

Fred Wilson escribió una nota muy interesante sobre la relevancia del email.

Concuerdo que la herramiento sigue vigente, sin lugar a dudas es una de las mejores maneras de llegar a un cliente, usuario o socio.

Sin embargo pienso que ha perdido su impacto. Para conseguir que un correo sea consumidor, i.e. descargado, leído y procesado, tiene que ser relevante. Para ser relevante, tenés que saber a quién le estás hablando, ofrecer información crítica y entregar más valor que una noticia.

Son muy pocas compañías las que no convierten sus mailings frecuentes en spam-filter-fodder.

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fundar sin fundir, por Damián Voltes

Damián Voltes participó en el primer Ignite hablando sobre cómo fundar una empresa sin fundirla. Este tipo de charlas me parecen una excelente fuente de sentido común generado por quienes más saben de la materia: aquellos que lo vivieron, con éxito y fracaso.

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Friday, September 4, 2009

aprendizajes de desastre desordenado

La palabra inglesa "mess" tiene varias acepciones pero las dos principales son desórden, desastre o lío.

El artículo publicado por Gary Wolf en Wired está entitulado "Why Craisglist Is Such a Mess". Traducirlo literalmente obligaría al intérprete a elegir una de las dos posturas.

El subsecuente análisis de Fred Wilson en AVC implica el significa más simpático: es un desorden, pero funciona. No es un desastre, más bien está así por diseño. No por nada es el sitio más relevante de clasificados en el mundo, enormemente rentable, aún sin modelo de negocios claro ni desarrollo de negocios alguno.

Algunas estadísticas levantadas por Fred sobre Craigslist:
this site not only beats its competitors—Monster, CareerBuilder, Yahoo's HotJobs—but garners more traffic than all of them combined
With more than 47 million unique users every month in the US alone—nearly a fifth of the nation's adult population—it is the most important community site going and yet the most underdeveloped
One recent report, from a consulting firm that counted the paid ads, estimates that revenue could top $100 million in 2009. Should craigslist ever be sold, the price likely would run into the billions
Craigslist gets more traffic than either eBay or Amazon.com. eBay has more than 16,000 employees. Amazon has more than 20,000. Craigslist has 30
Only programmers, customer service reps, and accounting staff work at craigslist. There is no business development, no human resources, no sales. As a result, there are no meetings.

El perfíl que pinta Wolf del fundador, Craig Newmark, me recuerda mucho a Harvey Pekar. Al igual que el antihéroe de American Splendor, Craig ha conseguido forjar una existencia exitosa entorno a su filosofía de vida. Capaz de ejecutar la misma acción repetitiva día tras día, antes que un peso sus limitaciones son el motivo que lo llevaron a crear ese monstruo.

Aunque debe ser millonario y dueño de la compañía Craig tiene jefe. No sólo responde, teóricamente al menos, al CEO, sino que tiene un jefe de atención al cliente. Lo suyo es contestar emails de usuarios, y es feliz así.

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Wednesday, August 26, 2009

sólo hazlo

En su post de hoy Seth Godin habla de tomar riesgos yendo detrás de un objetivo. Siempre hay quienes quizás se ofenden, sectores de la empresa que deben ser protegidos, formas de hacer las cosas que siempre fueron así.

Todos quieren saber: ¿Cómo las vamos a cambiar todo? ¡Sería una locura!

El asunto es que el ciclo de negocios sigue girando, la competencia seguirá innovando, las tecnologías y start-ups disruptivos no esperán que los dinosaurios se decidan a avanzar.

Saber qué hacer y hacerlo son cosas muy distintas. Estar dispuesto a perseguir ese objetivo que sabés que tenés que alcanzar a toda costa no es una opción: si no lo hacés vos lo hará el de al lado.

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Wednesday, August 19, 2009

socius

Esta noche es la 11va edición de Palermo Valley. Es notable cómo ha progresado y crecido como evento, pasando por diversos estadíos hasta llegar a un formato que aplaudo: el networking.

Soy muy adepto a este tipo de eventos y usualmente es raro que el foco de las personas esté 100% en el orador. El problema es que siempre habrá alguien en el público con quien quieras hablar - por motivos personales o profesionales - aunque sea por demostrar cortesía!

Si te veo ahí, saludá! Más info en PalermoValley.com

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singularis

Me matan los miles de comentaristas tecnológicos aclamando por la apertura del iPhone a más carriers (suelen estar en sólo uno por país, notablemente sólo AT&T en USA).

No está claro que el marketing que ese solitario carrier le da a Apple no sería posible si diversificaran?

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Sunday, August 16, 2009

the future is mobile

Recuerdo muy bien el debate hace unos años respecto a cuál sería el killer app para conseguir que la gente pague los servicios 3G.

Allá por 1999-2000 se debatía si las telefónicas habían pagado por encima de su valor, no se sabía si la gente estaría dispuesta a pagar por esos servicios - ni mucho menos exactamente cuáles serían!

Diez años después lo tenemos mucho más claro - el boom de la música digital, las fotografía amateur y surgieron las redes sociales que nos permiten compartir nuestras vidas.

Los hábitos han cambiado. Es inaceptable dejar de responder un e-mail importante por más de medio día. Lo primero que hacemos a la mañana es chequear si nos etiquetaron en alguna foto de la fiesta en que estuvimos la noche anterior. Bajamos temporadas completas y discografías exhaustivas que incluyen out-takes y bootlegs que desconocíamos.

La carrera hacia el recambio completo de la base de teléfonos celulares está en pleno auge. No conozco nadie que no quisiera tener un teléfono con teclado completo y 3G. La camarita ya es un dado, el punto es cómo subís las fotos o videos.

El killer app se decantó, ganó la integración online y el gasto promedio por usuarios - aquel ARPU que obsesiona - se estará por duplicar? Quizás para cierto segmento.

Acecha la amenaza de los standards abiertos, la voz sobre IP móvil (a-lá Google Voice o Skype) hace perder el sueño a las telcos y conseguir que se paguen por contenidos en vez de cargarlos con un cable desde la PC es misión imposible.

Los mayores ganadores al fin del día son los fabricantes de aquellos smartphones, su ecosistema de provisión de chipsets, sistemas operativos e infraestructura, los innovadores en el espacio de aplicaciones móviles y los usuarios finales - quienes reciben el beneficio de una guerra entre partes antagónicas por ver quién se queda con los U$S 10 o 15 que cargás religiosamente todos los meses.

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Saturday, August 15, 2009

emi

El Wall Street Journal reporta problemas en EMI entorno a su estructura de deuda (deben 950 millones de libras a Citicorp).

Mencionan al pasar que para su CEO "la diversificación es un objetivo a largo-plazo" y que recién ahora están volviendo a contratar firmar nuevos artistas - luego de perder muchas bandas establecidas, the Rolling Stones y Radiohead entre ellos.

Se revela la dictomía en si misma: las compañías está en declive, el poder se concentró en artistas establecidos, quienes pueden ganar cuatro veces más tocando en vivo que vendiendo CDs.

Me causa gracia cómo exponen la práctica de inflar números, mencionando a Capitol y Virgin como los pecadores: "The labels were paying artists too much and were more focused on selling big numbers of CDs -- which record shops often returned -- than generating profits, Terra Firma said in public report."

Es una cuestión cultural, cuando el Titanic está embalado en una dirección es muy difícil hacerlo virar.

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Tuesday, August 11, 2009

mathematica

FB + FF = Twitter killer?

Más bien Google killer (real-time search).

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Sunday, August 9, 2009

diabolus

Cuando apareció el problema por Google Voice en el iPhone pensé que era AT&T el que estaba tomando las decisiones. Limitar la interoperabilidad es muy muy malo.

Después me llegó el newsletter de Calcanis y me preocupé.

Hoy en el diario republicaron este artículo - el Pre se integró a iTunes de modo directo y lo bloquearon..

Apple es peor que Microsoft?!

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Saturday, August 8, 2009

innuo


Es sorprendente que más personas mayores (55+) usen Twitter que adolescentes.

Pero quizás eso prueba que es mucho menos una red social que una herramienta de transmisión de tu marca personal.

Un chico de 12 años quiere pavear con sus amigos, no construir una reputación en el mercado.

Tiene sentido.

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Friday, July 24, 2009

admonitio

 
Me gustan las empresas que ofrecen un servicio pensado, bien ejecutado, con una propuesta de valor clara - y cumplen. 
No hay nada peor que no cumplir con las expectativas. Aunque no sea razonable - o incluso sea ilógico e irracional - si generás que alguien espere algo mejor de lo que entregás vas a hacerte de un detractor.
Quizás sea el colmo, pero tus detractores siempre tendrán más voluntad de hacerse oir que tus fanáticos. Avanzá con cuidado.

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Tuesday, July 21, 2009

novitas

Me gusta la actitud que demuestra la industria cinematográfica ante la baja de ventas de DVDs: ofrece más opciones innovadoras entorno a la elección.

Podés comprar un formato aún mejor (Blu-ray) a mayor precio, pagar un premium ($40) por streaming de una película apenas sale o bajarla por iTunes.

Pienso que lo crítico acá es la disposición a incorporar la tecnología y hacer menos atractiva la piratería antes que intentar seguir vendiendo VHSs o pochoclo para ganar plata.

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Wednesday, July 1, 2009

information wants to be free

Pocas cosas me resultan más provechosas de la web que los debates entre eminencias.

Chris Anderson, autor & editor de Wired, escribió un libro - Free - donde aduce que la reducción a "casi cero" de los precios de bienes basados en las ideas será una revolución que hará irrelevantes todos los modelos actuales (pagos). Ganaremos plata con lo que se pueda hacer entorno a un producto gratuito.

Por ejemplo, regalar música y ganar plata con shows y merchandising.

Malcolm Gladwell, escritor, dice que exagera, que "casi cero" no es cero, el contenido gratuito usualmente carece de valor y basicamente no es todo tan revolucionario. Lo único que sabemos respecto a la revolución es que no está todo dicho.

Su ejemplo? YouTube, considerado el epítome de la gratuidad, tiene gravísimos problemas para vender publicidad entorno a videos generados por usuarios, sólo consigue hacerlo licenciando contenido profesional.

Seth Godin, gurú de marketing, comenta que Malcolm está equivocado. El periodismo impreso debe morir (teoría que popularizó Marc Andreesen), sólo pagaremos por tener algo más rápido o más convenientemente, en un mundo donde todos podemos ofrecer un producto por no haber limitantes de espacio.

El ejemplo más claro para él son sus libros: la gente los compra porque son prácticos, podrían encontrar las mismas ideas - un poco menos ordenadas - gratis en internet.

Mi resumen es limitado y sesgado, pueden ver más sobre el debate en este website.

¿En el futuro todo será gratuito?

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Sunday, June 28, 2009

goodwill

Hacer lo correcto en todos los ámbitos de cualquier cosa que uno emprende no deja de ser increíblemente importante en tiempos de crisis.

Durante mi adolescencia nadé religiosamente dos veces por semana - durante tres o cuatro años era la única actividad física que podía hacer.

Recuerdo que nuestro entrenador Fernando era casi obsesivo en corregirnos las brazadas, patadas, respiración y demás partes que deben ser coreografeadas para nadar bien. Cuando nos cansábamos y protestábamos él remarcaba que cuando más atención debes prestar a tu estilo es cuando más cansado estás: nadar desprolijamente consume el doble de energía.

MySpace aparentemente no fue muy respetuoso en su trato a los 480 empleados que echó en todo el mundo (incluyendo íntegramente su operación en LATAM).

Sin tener información interna puedo deducir que MySpace está quedando detrás de competidores como Facebook y Twitter en la maratón hacia la ubicuidad. Hace unos meses hice un trabajo de consultoría donde conocí una estadística sorprendente: MySpace era la red social más grande de USA en términos de tráfico pero había crecido sólo 1% en los últimos 12 meses; el crecimiento de Facebook en el mismo período era de 116%.

Me pregunto cuál es la posibilidad de ser exitoso en revertir esa situación si perdés la capacidad de generar negocios y rifás el capital social necesario para atraer talento. Una vez que empezás a hacer las cosas de la manera incorrecta cuesta el doble generar resultados positivos.

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Tuesday, June 23, 2009

accelerate

Me toca muy de cerca el último post de Seth Godin: destruí tu industria antes que tu competencia te destruya a vos. Si no te movés, no te adaptás, perdés.

Si hay algo que quedó - y seguramente quedará - del boom punto-com es el ciclo de negocio acortado por la tecnología. La velocidad con la que rotan los negocios y las tendencias es decididamente mayor a lo que era.


* * * 

Por cierto, me encantaría que todos los blogs de negocios fueran como el de Seth. Corto, claro y constante.

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Friday, June 19, 2009

petitio principii

Un dilema existencial me quita el sueño. Está evidenciado claramente en el ranking de los temas más populares de HypeMachine: los temas están arriba de todo porque la gente los vota, quien los vota porque los escucha porque están arriba de todo. Claramente son buenos tracks, pero caerían si no estuvieran destacados?

Lo mismo me pasa cuando monto una promo o armo una tienda: ¿lo que está arriba siempre vende mucho porque es bueno o porque está arriba de todo?

Me encantaría saber si vino primero el huevo o la gallina, el que sepa me manda un mail? Gracias.

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Thursday, June 18, 2009

women know

Recomiendo esta serie de videos de Guy Kawasaki hablando en Stanford. Su foco son los emprendedores, pero ciertamente aplican las reglas a cualquier cosa que hagas - dentro o fuera de una organización.



Una teoría interesante que propone es que valides tu plan de negocio con una mujer antes de avanzar. Los hombres, dice Guy, tenemos un defecto genético: queremos matar cosas. Queremos matar plantas, queremos matar animales, queremos matar otras personas. Usualmente esto está controlado por la sociedad, pero no tanto cuando fundamos una compañía nueva. Siempre quieren matar a Microsoft, quieren matar a Cisco, quieren matar a Google. Las mujeres, superiores a nosotros en muchos aspectos, carecen de este defecto. Validá tu plan con un miembro de ese sexo antes de avanzar.

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Tuesday, June 16, 2009

rock the boat

Me encanta que se estén financiando compañías como Boku, quien está mostrando el potencial que tiene el mobile para hacer micropagos online. Las implicancias son interesantísimas, no sólo en ese espacio sino para toda la producción de contenidos pagos en internet.

Sin embargo un punto crítico son las tasas de transacción que cobran los carriers, en muchos casos llegando a 40-50%. No es saludable asumir que podrás cambiar partes fundamentales de una industria, podés encontrar que ese día llega después de haberte quedado sin fondos.

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Thursday, June 4, 2009

common sense?

La final de la NBA la van a ganar los Lakers. No tengo ninguna duda. Bill Simmons, uno de mis escritores deportivos favoritos, dice que Orlando tiene oportunidad pues debemos tirar la sabiduría convencional por la ventana:

[...] It makes my head hurt and defies everything we ever thought we had learned about playoff basketball: The team with the best guy usually wins a series; defense wins championships; you live and die by the 3 (and always, you die); and playoff experience matters more than anything else. Not anymore. Throw that crap out the window. The Magic are OK defensively; they don't have the best guy; they're living by 3s; and they don't have much playoff experience.

Cuando leo eso sólo puedo pensar en los 45,354 libros de management que se escribieron entre 1995 y 2001 explicando con muchísimo detalle cómo todo lo que sabíamos sobre economía y negocios no aplicaba, las valuaciones de las punto-com eran adecuadas y todos los planes de negocios eran razonables.

* * *

Nota de color: leyendo The Age of Turbulence de Alan Greenspan, en el capítulo pos-boom de la New Economy, cuenta de fenómeno maravilloso que fue el superávit fiscal que tuvo USA en 97.

Fue festejado por Clinton en una gala donde - en un rapto de lucidez poética - no fue invitado un sólo Republicano pues ninguno había votado positivamente el presupuesto revolucionario presentado al Congreso en el 93 que lo generó. Menciona que tenían el feliz problema de decidir qué hacer con el excedente, pues la riqueza debe ser gestionada tanto como un déficit. De todos modos no sería un problema, pues para cada $1 billion que tiene un político para gastar inventará "excelentes" lugares para invertir $22 billions.

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Wednesday, April 22, 2009

fingir más

Andres Werner





Andres Werner Me causa gracia que sistemáticamente adjetiven "Steve Jobs" con "carismático" cuando todos los reportes internos indican algo muy distinto.

Santiago Siri
 Santiago Siri at 1:44pm April 22
El carisma no tiene nada que ver con la simpatía. El tipo puede ser duro y exigente, pero eso no quita la indudable devoción que genera.
Andres Werner
 Andres Werner at 1:48pm April 22
En el público o en su equipo?

Son todos rumores pero he leído más sobre su despotismo y necedad que soy la devoción de sus colaboradores.

(Dicho esto, nada es blanco ni negro, estoy seguro que no es ni tan magnético ni tan insufrible.)
Santiago Siri
 Santiago Siri at 1:50pm April 22
En ambos lados.. En público, no hay duda de lo que genera. Y con su equipo es conocido por haberlos hecho trabajar 90 horas semanales. Si eso no es devoción, estoy crazy macaya. Es muy dificil que el iPhone, el iPod, la Mac sean productos gestados con un equipo resentido..
Andres Werner
 Andres Werner at 1:58pm April 22
Esos resultados también se pueden generar con incentivos distintos al amor al líder (miedo, prestigio por el proyecto, puesto o compañía, dinero, etc.)

Respecto a los productos, casualmente una de las supuestas críticas a su estilo de liderazgo es que inventa algo y no permite modificaciones, comentarios o salvedades.

Pienso que muchos de los features que se fueron implementando en las sucesivas versiones del iPod le habían sido sugeridas a Steve pero desechadas por él.


También hay un cuento sobre un mouse anti-ergonómico que Jobs insistió en que fuera incluido en las primeras NeXt para luego ser reemplazados cuando llegó el feedback de los usuarios.
Santiago Siri
 Santiago Siri at 2:03pm April 22
Todas salvedades... estamos hablando de un tipo que cambio las reglas de juego de la informatica (Mac), del cine (Pixar), de la música (iPod) y de las telefónicas (iPhone).
Andres Werner
 Andres Werner at 2:05pm April 22
Ser un genio no lo hace un buen jefe!

El comentario era claramente capcioso, por supuesto que es carismático, cualquier video de un keynote de él es suficiente para comprobarlo.

Me causa gracia el contraste entre su persona pública y privada-laboral, ergo el twit.
Santiago Siri
 Santiago Siri at 2:08pm April 22
Una sola persona no cambia 4 industrias. Ergo un mal lider no puede dirigir equipos que logran esa clase de cambios.

Bueh.. se me nota a la legua mi falta de objetividad con Jobs :)

Igual el punto interesante que me pareció de tu twit original es el de la definición de carisma. Hitler, era un tipo inmensamente carismatico a mi criterio, movilizando masas enormes. Pero que duda hay de quera un parco y un tanto hijo de puta?
Andres Werner
 Andres Werner at 2:15pm April 22
Es un excelente punto, gracias por trascender la banalidad original para llegar al fondo de lo que estoy diciendo.

Pienso que el carisma se puede separa en al menos 4-5 distintos sub-traits, por ejemplo:

- Comunicación interpersonal

- Oratoria
- Magnetismo personal (apariencia)
- Fortaleza de ideas/conceptos
- Habilidad para debatir

Tu punto de Hitler se lo hice a una chica por Twitter, es exactamente eso a lo que voy. Una persona puede convencer a miles (o a su equipo inmediato) pero seguir siendo muy desagradable como ser humano.







Andres Werner




Andres Werner Me retracto, es un genio! Evidentemente es muy potente el campo de distorsión de la realidad que ejerce Steve Jobs (http://bit.ly/8rK7v).

Santiago Siri
 Santiago Siri at 2:10pm April 22
jajaja conocía ese concepto.. ese era el argumento que necesitaba para retrucarte! (gracias wikipedia) :)
Andres Werner
 Andres Werner at 2:12pm April 22
Ahaha, mejor dejar de hablar en círculos...

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Wednesday, March 25, 2009

killer app

Desde el principio de los tiempos se habla de cuál será la función que hará que las personas aumenten significativamente el ARPU de los carriers al consumir más tráfico de datos. Ok, quizás desde 2002 se habla de esto, pero de todos modos es importante entender la relevancia de este killer app.

Con el lanzamiento de iPhone Scrabble con Facebook connect por EA Games me pregunto: ¿será online gaming lo que haga que la gente pague por tener 3G?

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Thursday, April 17, 2008

sign o' the times

Una franquicia emblemática de software de escritorio, líder indiscutido en su nicho y claramente el jugador establecido a vencer ha decidido que la pata online de su negocio es demasiado grande para ignorar: Adobe lanzó Photoshop Express, destinado claramente a competir con Flickr, Picasa, Facebook photos, y todos los demás.

Lo estoy probando, la integración con Picasa promete, pero si querés leer una reseña sugiero la columna de Walt Mossberg en WSJ, siempre son muy objetivas.

Más interesante que el servicio específico es la tendencia del mercado. Claramente tendremos cada vez más aplicaciones críticas online, dependiendo menos y menos de los programas instalados en una terminal específica. Las ventajas de esto son fáciles de notar, desde portabilidad, limitación de overlap y sincronización, velocidad de actualización e integración entre servicios.

Me divierte mucho, stay tunned.

Update: probé el servicio y lo amo con delirio.

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Monday, February 4, 2008

mete miedo

Google aparenta estar tan preocupado por una posible fusión entre Microsoft y Yahoo que ya empezó a hacer una movida legal para impedirlo. Incluso el WSJ reporta que Eric Shmidt, CEO de Google, llamó a Jerry Yang (co-fundador y actual CEO de Yahoo) para ofrecerle ayuda en repeler invasores indeseados.

Mientras que eso en si mismo pareciera indicar que es una buena idea, yo dudaría. Es más bien una suerte de takeover hostile, sin mucho sentido en términos de choque cultural pero sí en términos de masa total. Sin embargo cuando ese tamaño no es adquirido orgánicamente tiende a ser difícil de manejar.

La nueva unidad online de MSFT-Yahoo ciertamente no abarcaría todo el negocio tradicional del gigante de software, pero pasaría a ser el g grupo con más tráfico de internet, aún perdiendo en la parte más redituable del negocio, las búsquedas.

Algunos números cortesía de Wired nos ayudan a entender el contexto competitivo:
  • Yahoo's stock price three months ago, versus its stock price today: $31/$28
  • Microsoft's stock price three months ago, versus its stock price today: $37/$31
  • Yahoo's current market capitalization: $37.10 billion
  • Microsoft's current market capitalization: $283.96 billion
  • Number of Yahoo full-time employees as of the fourth quarter earnings report (before the recently announced 1,000 layoffs): 14,300
  • Number of Microsoft full-time employees as of the fourth quarter: 79,000
  • Combined search market share of Yahoo and Microsoft (according to Nielsen): 31.5 percent
  • Google's search market share as of Dec. 2007: 56.3 percent
  • Number of unique visitors to Microsoft Domains in Dec. 2007 (according to Compete): 120,216,186
  • Number of unique visitors to Yahoo.com in Dec. 2007 (according to Compete): 133,685,137
  • The ranking of a combined Microsoft/Yahoo in terms of domain level traffic (as measured by page views to Yahoo.com and all of Microsoft's domains): No. 1 at 70 billion
  • The number of page views a merged Microsoft/Yahoo would get over its closest competitor, MySpace: 35 billion
  • Value of each Yahoo visitor based on Microsoft's $44.6B offer: $1,200/visitor
  • Dollar amount of each Facebook user based on Microsoft's $240 million stake (and $15B valuation): $306/user

El volumen total adquirido sigue siendo irrisorio comparado con el share de Google. También es ridículo que Google pretenda frenar esto desde el lado del anti-monopolio: ciertamente seguirán dominando el mercado de avisos de texto (AdWords), mientras que el conglomerado nuevo tendrá atrapado el (fallado) mercado de banner ads.

No veo que la fusión revierta esa tendencia. Se podrá convertir en un error muy caro para Microsoft e implicar el fin del sueño para Yahoo.

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Tuesday, January 29, 2008

networking

El valor de una red es exponencial en relación a la cantidad de nodos que tiene. Esto es una verdad irrefutable. Sin embargo en el caso de las redes sociales se debe considerar además el valor de esos nodos.

Para sitios como LinkedIn es crítico que las conexiones entre profesionales sean valiosas, que quienes conozcan a quienes vos conocés sean realmente socios de trabajo signficantes, de modo tal de poder pedir recomendaciones, referencias o presentaciones y ellas tengan algún valor.

En el caso de Facebook el valor de los nodos es menos crítico pero igual de interesante. No solo sirve entender quién conoce a quién sino que es valioso que esas conexiones no sean triviales o superficiales al extremo. Si todos tuvieramos a todos entre nuestros contactos dejaría de tener relevancia el listado de amigos de cada uno.

Esta premisa aplica para el valor de la red en su totalidad, representa el valor que tiene esa red para su creador o administrador. El óptimo para quienes manejan una red social es que cada nodo tenga el valor más alto posible.

Para un miembro individual los incentivos son opuestos. Mientras más conexiones tenés más valor tiene la red para vos. El óptimo para el individuo es maximizar la cantidad de intercambios entre personas, no maximizar el peso del vínculo.

Esto tendería hacia una trivialización completa del valor del cyber-networking, pero el límite nunca se va a aproximar a infinito porque los participantes de las redes no están 24hs por día agregando gente a sus listados.

Del mismo modo que los mercados sólo son perfectos en la academia y las oportunidades de arbitraje existen, en teoría las redes sociales no tienen valor en el largo plazo, pero en la práctica son increíblemente útiles (y divertidas).

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Saturday, March 10, 2007

flashback alvear wine tasting:

Hace más de un año que fui a tomar vino sin escupir al Alvear Palace Hotel. Tenía otra roommate, otra compañía, estuvo divertido.

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Monday, March 5, 2007

no me transporto más

El casamiento fue un 10, more on that later.

Ahora mismo solo quiero hablar del viaje.

La ida fue un poco lenta pero razonable. Vinieron los chicos a casa para festejar que Ale M. entró a más de un prestigioso programa para doctorarse en Economía en USA, financiamiento incluido. 1am, con más de una copa encima, voy a Retiro esperando tomar el micro de las 230am. Tengo suerte y llego justo para el de las 130am, con lo cual 530am me encuentro en la terminal de ómnibus de Rosario. Me sentí Zoolander cuando va a visitar a su padre y hermanos a una mina de carbón todo lookeado y con una Samsonite con rueditas. Yo estaba con remera rosa escote-en-v de Kosiuko, campera estilo militar de Zara, pantalones cargo de Airborn y una valijita igual. Parecía una propaganda de TNT. Huí hacia un bar externo, tomé un café y leí Economist hasta que se hizo la hora.

Subte en Lisboa

A las 815am (en vez de 730am como estaba estipulado) partimos hacia Ascochinga, un pueblo cerca de Santa Catalina, donde estaba el hotel en que se quedaría la mayoría de los amigos de mis primos. El micro en el que fuimos era el más lento de la historia del transporte motorizado. Tardamos 9hs en hacer un viaje que usualmente demanda 6. Encima en una parada de rutina eligieron una estación de servicio con una sola vendedora y un micro lleno de barras de Estudiantes. Nos dejaban entrar de a 4, estuvimos una hora perdiendo tiempo para comprar algo de comer.

Paseo de Gracia, Barcelona

En teoría ese mismo micro nos llevaba y traía del casamiento, a 13kms de Ascochinga. Cuando estamos llegando nos enteramos que no les había avisado nada, y lo que es peor, se negaban a hacerlo por miedo a romper el micro. Conclusión: nos dejaron a pata. Tuvimos que empezar frenéticamente a coordinar auto particulares complementado con combis para poder tener transporte hasta el lugar. (Buen trabajo, Martín C!)

Subte camino al Nou Camp, Barcelona

La vuelta fue más divertida todavía: el micro que nos llevaba a Rosario llegó 415pm en vez de 330pm, tardamos 8hs en llegar, muertos, a Rosario. Mi ilusión era tomarme un micro tipo 8pm y estar 2-3am durmiendo en mi casa. Resulta que no había espacio en ninguno hasta las 3am, en una empresa de segunda. Lo acepté y un amigo me hospedó durante 2hs en su casa, al menos para dormir un poco. (Gari y Teté, les debo una. Gato, la intención es lo que cuenta, gracias!)

Ingleses fanáticos de Liverpool con sombreros mexicanos, Barrio Gótico, Barcelona

Por supuesto que no podía salir todo bien. A las 630am, cuando deberíamos haber estado llegando, se rompió un eje del micro, a la altura de Campana. 40mins después pasó uno de la misma línea, lechero, y levantó la mitad de los pasajeros. Claro que no entramos, así que terminé sentado en el pasillo durante los últimos 80mins de viaje.

Llegué 915am a mi casa y 1030am al laburo. Feliz.

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Thursday, January 11, 2007

happy days

Nunca me canso de hurtar articulos del Economist. Tengo un gusto especial por artículo críticos sobre la economía kirchnerista:

Tucking in to the good times
Dec 19th 2006 | BUENOS AIRES
From The Economist print edition

The durability of economic recovery has surprised many. But is the government mortgaging the country's future?

IN DECEMBER five years ago, crowds of Argentines angry at years of deflation and recession took to the streets of Buenos Aires and ousted the president, Fernando de la Rúa. Amid chaotic scenes, three further presidents came and went in ten days, one of them declaring the biggest-ever sovereign debt default. In what a century ago was the world's seventh-richest country, the economy shrank by 15% in the year to March 2002, poverty rose from 38% to 56% and unemployment climbed to 21%.

To the surprise of many, recovery from this national catastrophe has been swift. Since the nadir in March 2002, Argentina's GDP has grown by 45%, an average of 8.6% a year. “You have to look back to the Argentine golden age to see this [rate of growth],” says Ricardo Delgado of Ecolatina, a consultancy. “No one was expecting it.”

On the streets of Buenos Aires, the change is tangible. Cars and white goods are flying out of the showrooms thanks to cheap credit. Cinemas and restaurants are packed at weekends. Seaside resorts are heavily booked for the southern-hemisphere summer. Unemployment has fallen to 10.2% (excluding people on make-work programmes).

The question, as it has been for the past four years, is how long the growth can continue. The debate has an ideological edge. Supporters of the fixed exchange-rate that brought growth and then collapse in the 1990s have poured scorn on the sustainability of the recovery. Fans of Néstor Kirchner, the president since 2003, like to claim that Argentina will continue to grow apace because it shrugged off the IMF's advice and is following “heterodox” policies.

Many economists in Argentina are now coming round to the view that the country can continue growing at a reasonable rate—partly because some of the policies are less “heterodox” than is claimed.

At a brutal cost, the collapse rebalanced the economy. A steep devaluation and the debt default turned deficits in the public finances and the current account into surpluses. Roberto Lavagna, the finance minister from 2002 to 2005, kept spending under control. The government relied mainly on monetary policy to boost demand. The central bank stopped the peso from appreciating, issuing pesos to buy up exporters' dollars. The government meets its fiscal targets partly by taxing farm exports, which are unusually profitable because of the artificially cheap peso and high world prices.

These policies have had the effect of supercharging growth. Their obvious drawback is inflation, which began to rise again in 2004 as spare capacity was used up (see chart). Mr Kirchner's response was to bully producers with “voluntary” price-freezes, outright price controls and export bans. Similar tactics caused several foreign investors, such as France's Suez and EDF, in privatised utilities to pack up and go.

Mr Kirchner's critics said these measures would halt investment. Anyway, they said, investment was of the wrong kind, in housing rather than factories. So far they have been wrong. Argentina does lack foreign investment. But its own smaller companies have moved quickly to expand capacity in response to demand. The boom in construction and tourism has created many new jobs. Overall, investment has almost doubled as a percentage of GDP since 2002, from 11% to 21.4%, enough to sustain growth of 4% a year. “Most people thought that security, credibility and structural reform were the key to attracting investment,” says Javier Alvaredo of MVAS Macroeconomía, a consultancy. “But it's actually profits.”

Some serious doubts remain. The biggest worry is energy. Because of the price controls Argentines pay less than half as much for energy as their neighbours in South America's southern cone, according to Daniel Montamat, a former energy secretary. In this industry, the arguments of Mr Kirchner's critics ring true. Consumption has risen but investment has collapsed. Argentina has depleted its gas reserves, from 15 years' worth of production to fewer than ten. Industry sources warn of blackouts in 2007 if weather conditions are unfavourable. Fear of blackouts has suppressed investment in energy-intensive businesses, such as steel, aluminium and petrochemicals.

Other bottlenecks will make it harder to sustain growth even at a more modest pace. The economy is still benefiting from private investment in infrastructure under Carlos Menem in the 1990s. Now roads are again becoming congested. There are some shortages of skilled workers, too.

After Mr Lavagna's sacking, fiscal policy has become looser. Provincial governments are already running a deficit. On the other hand, the central bank is quietly tightening monetary policy. Many assume that Mr Kirchner will relax price controls and allow the peso to appreciate after an election next October at which he is likely to seek a second term.

The risk is that inflation might then take off, unless the authorities act to slow the economy. But officials remain bullish. “What do we have beyond two more good years?” the foreign minister, Jorge Taiana, asks. “We have higher investment than ever before. We have an extended commodity boom. We have cancelled our debt. We have a favourable exchange rate. We have trade and budget surpluses. This growth can be sustained.” At what pace remains to be seen, but it has become harder to doubt the overall argument.

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Tuesday, December 19, 2006

ajo

Si mudás a Caballito, horrorizando a todos tus amigos, jodete si te pasa esto.

En mis últimos dos viajes a Montevideo paré en un hotel centrico rodeado de pizzerias y "chiviterías" (juro que les dicen así). Lo único que tienen para almorzar son milanesas napolitana, chivitos y "franfurters" (PANCHOS).

Estoy subsistiendo a base de merluza a la plancha con puré de papas. Puré de calabaza es demasiado sofisticado, ninguno tiene.

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Monday, December 18, 2006

pro-blogging

Me encanta cuando encuentro un artículo similar a un post mio. Acá va un ejemplo:

Blogging
Going pro

Nov 16th 2006 | SAN FRANCISCO
From The Economist print edition
More people are quitting their day jobs to blog for a living

ON HER blog, called Dooce, Heather Armstrong chronicles her life as a disenchanted Mormon in Salt Lake City, her former career as a high-flying web designer in Los Angeles, her pregnancy and postpartum depression, and so on. A year ago, her blog started generating enough advertising revenue to become the main source of income for her family. She is not alone. There are now just enough people like Ms Armstrong to signify a new trend: blogging as a small business.

Until recently, there were two main kinds of blogs. Most of the 57m blogs in existence are personal diaries that happen to be online. These blogs have tiny audiences and make no effort to sell advertising. Services such as Google's AdSense, which places text advertisements on blogs and generates a few cents per mouse click, might bring in some spare change. But according to Pew, an American research organisation, only 7% of bloggers say their main motivation is to make money.

The second main kind of blogs are, in effect, niche magazines that choose to publish in a blog format. These blogs are explicitly run as businesses, with paid staff doing the writing and sales departments selling advertising. The best example is Gawker Media, a stable of blogs that includes Gawker, a New York gossip site, and Gizmodo, a blog devoted to gadgets. Collectively its 14 blogs get 60m page views a month. Such blogs are “the most profitable media business today,” says Jason Calacanis, who runs Weblogs Inc, another stable of popular blogs that he sold to AOL, the web arm of Time Warner, a year ago. His sites, including Engadget, another gadget blog, are “an eight-figure-a-year business” with negligible distribution costs compared with the huge printing and shipping bills of traditional magazines.

Now, however, a third category is emerging: the mom-and-pop blog. “In the old days, we used to be called newsletter publishers,” says Om Malik, a technology writer who quit his job at Business 2.0 magazine in June to work full-time on his blog, GigaOm. He has hired two other writers, and his blog now attracts about 50,000 readers a day, generating “tens of thousands” in monthly revenues. Costs, including salaries, are around $20,000 a month.

One big reason why his blog works as a small business, says Mr Malik, is that an ecosystem of support is appearing. Like Ms Armstrong, he farms out advertising sales and administration to a firm called FM, launched last year by John Battelle, who once ran magazines such as Wired and the Industry Standard. In his old business of magazines, says Mr Battelle, the cost of acquiring an audience was “stupendous”—at Wired it was about $100 per subscriber. The cost of building a readership for a blog, by contrast, is nil. Once you have a lot of readers, however, the bandwidth costs become significant, and most medium-sized blogs cannot afford to hire the sales people needed to generate sufficient revenue. So FM's 15 sales people negotiate with advertisers on behalf of blogs they represent, keeping 40% of the resulting revenues.

For people like Ms Armstrong, who has about 1m visitors to her site a month, this makes blogging worthwhile. But it is not for everybody, she notes. She works about seven hours a day on her site, and continues to work while on holiday. Mr Malik concurs. “It's not easy,” he says. Building his audience has “taken me five years, and a lot of sleepless nights.”

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Thursday, December 7, 2006

onda onda

Mala onda: llegar agotado al hotel y que no tengan listo tu cuarto por un check-in ridículo de 15hs
Buena onda: que te den un upgrade con hidromasaje

Nota: el Four Points by Sheraton Montevideo recibe la calificación de WWW (tres W's de cinco posibles, por un muy lindo edificio, cuarto enorme con vista excelente, mala atención en el front-desk y un desayuno más pobre que el de mi novia con mi heladera vacía - no saben cómo se las rebusca para hacer cosas ricas!)

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Wednesday, December 6, 2006

Yahoo: the Peanut Butter Manifesto

Salió a la luz un documento interno escrito por Brad Garlinghouse, senir VP de Yahoo! Este tipo de cosas me fascinan. Lean el memo, y después vean este artículo de BusinessWeek para ver el impacto.

Three and half years ago, I enthusiastically joined Yahoo! The magnitude of the opportunity was only matched by the magnitude of the assets. And an amazing team has been responsible for rebuilding Yahoo!

It has been a profound experience. I am fortunate to have been a part of dramatic change for the Company. And our successes speak for themselves. More users than ever, more engaging than ever and more profitable than ever!

I proudly bleed purple and yellow everyday! And like so many people here, I love this company

But all is not well. Last Thursday's NY Times article was a blessing in the disguise of a painful public flogging. While it lacked accurate details, its conclusions rang true, and thus was a much needed wake up call. But also a call to action. A clear statement with which I, and far too many Yahoo's, agreed. And thankfully a reminder. A reminder that the measure of any person is not in how many times he or she falls down - but rather the spirit and resolve used to get back up. The same is now true of our Company.

It's time for us to get back up.

I believe we must embrace our problems and challenges and that we must take decisive action. We have the opportunity - in fact the invitation - to send a strong, clear and powerful message to our shareholders and Wall Street, to our advertisers and our partners, to our employees (both current and future), and to our users. They are all begging for a signal that we recognize and understand our problems, and that we are charting a course for fundamental change. Our current course and speed simply will not get us there. Short-term band-aids will not get us there.

It's time for us to get back up and seize this invitation.

I imagine there's much discussion amongst the Company's senior most leadership around the challenges we face. At the risk of being redundant, I wanted to share my take on our current situation and offer a recommended path forward, an attempt to be part of the solution rather than part of the problem.

Recognizing Our Problems

We lack a focused, cohesive vision for our company. We want to do everything and be everything -- to everyone. We've known this for years, talk about it incessantly, but do nothing to fundamentally address it. We are scared to be left out. We are reactive instead of charting an unwavering course. We are separated into silos that far too frequently don't talk to each other. And when we do talk, it isn't to collaborate on a clearly focused strategy, but rather to argue and fight about ownership, strategies and tactics.

Our inclination and proclivity to repeatedly hire leaders from outside the company results in disparate visions of what winning looks like -- rather than a leadership team rallying around a single cohesive strategy.

I've heard our strategy described as spreading peanut butter across the myriad opportunities that continue to evolve in the online world. The result: a thin layer of investment spread across everything we do and thus we focus on nothing in particular.

I hate peanut butter. We all should.

We lack clarity of ownership and accountability. The most painful manifestation of this is the massive redundancy that exists throughout the organization. We now operate in an organizational structure -- admittedly created with the best of intentions -- that has become overly bureaucratic. For far too many employees, there is another person with dramatically similar and overlapping responsibilities. This slows us down and burdens the company with unnecessary costs.

Equally problematic, at what point in the organization does someone really OWN the success of their product or service or feature? Product, marketing, engineering, corporate strategy, financial operations... there are so many people in charge (or believe that they are in charge) that it's not clear if anyone is in charge. This forces decisions to be pushed up - rather than down. It forces decisions by committee or consensus and discourages the innovators from breaking the mold... thinking outside the box.

There's a reason why a centerfielder and a left fielder have clear areas of ownership. Pursuing the same ball repeatedly results in either collisions or dropped balls. Knowing that someone else is pursuing the ball and hoping to avoid that collision - we have become timid in our pursuit. Again, the ball drops.

We lack decisiveness. Combine a lack of focus with unclear ownership, and the result is that decisions are either not made or are made when it is already too late. Without a clear and focused vision, and without complete clarity of ownership, we lack a macro perspective to guide our decisions and visibility into who should make those decisions. We are repeatedly stymied by challenging and hairy decisions. We are held hostage by our analysis paralysis.

We end up with competing (or redundant) initiatives and synergistic opportunities living in the different silos of our company.

YME vs. Musicmatch

Flickr vs. Photos

YMG video vs. Search video

Deli.cio.us vs. myweb

Messenger and plug-ins vs. Sidebar and widgets

Social media vs. 360 and Groups

Front page vs. YMG

Global strategy from BU'vs. Global strategy from Int'l

We have lost our passion to win. Far too many employees are "phoning" it in, lacking the passion and commitment to be a part of the solution. We sit idly by while -- at all levels -- employees are enabled to "hang around". Where is the accountability? Moreover, our compensation systems don't align to our overall success. Weak performers that have been around for years are rewarded. And many of our top performers aren't adequately recognized for their efforts.

As a result, the employees that we really need to stay (leaders, risk-takers, innovators, passionate) become discouraged and leave. Unfortunately many who opt to stay are not the ones who will lead us through the dramatic change that is needed.

Solving our Problems

We have awesome assets. Nearly every media and communications company is painfully jealous of our position. We have the largest audience, they are highly engaged and our brand is synonymous with the Internet.

If we get back up, embrace dramatic change, we will win.

I don't pretend there is only one path forward available to us. However, at a minimum, I want to be part of the solution and thus have outlined a plan here that I believe can work. It is my strong belief that we need to act very quickly or risk going further down a slippery slope, The plan here is not perfect; it is, however, FAR better than no action at all.

There are three pillars to my plan:

1. Focus the vision.

2. Restore accountability and clarity of ownership.

3. Execute a radical reorganization.

1. Focus the vision

a) We need to boldly and definitively declare what we are and what we are not.

b) We need to exit (sell?) non core businesses and eliminate duplicative projects and businesses.

My belief is that the smoothly spread peanut butter needs to turn into a deliberately sculpted strategy -- that is narrowly focused.

We can't simply ask each BU to figure out what they should stop doing. The result will continue to be a non-cohesive strategy. The direction needs to come decisively from the top. We need to place our bets and not second guess. If we believe Media will maximize our ROI -- then let's not be bashful about reducing our investment in other areas. We need to make the tough decisions, articulate them and stick with them -- acknowledging that some people (users / partners / employees) will not like it. Change is hard.

2. Restore accountability and clarity of ownership

a) Existing business owners must be held accountable for where we find ourselves today -- heads must roll,

b) We must thoughtfully create senior roles that have holistic accountability for a particular line of business (a variant of a GM structure that will work with Yahoo!'s new focus)

c) We must redesign our performance and incentive systems.

I believe there are too many BU leaders who have gotten away with unacceptable results and worse -- unacceptable leadership. Too often they (we!) are the worst offenders of the problems outlined here. We must signal to both the employees and to our shareholders that we will hold these leaders (ourselves) accountable and implement change.

By building around a strong and unequivocal GM structure, we will not only empower those leaders, we will eliminate significant overhead throughout our multi-headed matrix. It must be very clear to everyone in the organization who is empowered to make a decision and ownership must be transparent. With that empowerment comes increased accountability -- leaders make decisions, the rest of the company supports those decisions, and the leaders ultimately live/die by the results of those decisions.

My view is that far too often our compensation and rewards are just spreading more peanut butter. We need to be much more aggressive about performance based compensation. This will only help accelerate our ability to weed out our lowest performers and better reward our hungry, motivated and productive employees.

3. Execute a radical reorganization

a) The current business unit structure must go away.

b) We must dramatically decentralize and eliminate as much of the matrix as possible.

c) We must reduce our headcount by 15-20%.

I emphatically believe we simply must eliminate the redundancies we have created and the first step in doing this is by restructuring our organization. We can be more efficient with fewer people and we can get more done, more quickly. We need to return more decision making to a new set of business units and their leadership. But we can't achieve this with baby step changes, We need to fundamentally rethink how we organize to win.

Independent of specific proposals of what this reorganization should look like, two key principles must be represented:

Blow up the matrix. Empower a new generation and model of General Managers to be true general managers. Product, marketing, user experience & design, engineering, business development & operations all report into a small number of focused General Managers. Leave no doubt as to where accountability lies.

Kill the redundancies. Align a set of new BU's so that they are not competing against each other. Search focuses on search. Social media aligns with community and communications. No competing owners for Video, Photos, etc. And Front Page becomes Switzerland. This will be a delicate exercise -- decentralization can create inefficiencies, but I believe we can find the right balance.

I love Yahoo! I'm proud to admit that I bleed purple and yellow. I'm proud to admit that I shaved a Y in the back of my head.

My motivation for this memo is the adamant belief that, as before, we have a tremendous opportunity ahead. I don't pretend that I have the only available answers, but we need to get the discussion going; change is needed and it is needed soon. We can be a stronger and faster company - a company with a clearer vision and clearer ownership and clearer accountability.

We may have fallen down, but the race is a marathon and not a sprint. I don't pretend that this will be easy. It will take courage, conviction, insight and tremendous commitment. I very much look forward to the challenge.

So let's get back up.

Catch the balls.

And stop eating peanut butter.

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Thursday, July 27, 2006

alan

Obvio que los chicos conocían a los chicos del show

El viernes pasado fui a comer afuera

Comimos unas pastas riquísimas en el bar-café de un restó para viejos en Barrio Parque

Pablo me llamó con una invitación de lo más divertida: cabaret en el hotel de Alan

El show fue de lo más genial, carcajadas de risa por partes, muy baile y show semi-erótico

En realidad esta es una de las únicas fotos legales

Me acusaron de levantarme uno, pero solo me miró. El guiño fue para Pablo.

Fotografiar el show era estrícticamente verboten.

Había filmado pero lo borré accidentalmente.

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Saturday, July 8, 2006

por fin pude volver!

Extendí el viaje y no tenía vuelo para volver... finalmente anoche me confirmaron que se abrió un hueco en el de las 6am. Una paja, tuve que estar 4am en el aeropuerto. Encima tenía ganas de ir a una Expo que hay en Asunción, y volver por la tarde. El problema es que no tenía ninguna garantía, quizás me tenía que quedar hasta el martes por la noche! Ni en pedo... así que ya estoy en casa.

Para colmo anoche el hotel se quedó sin internet. Me quema la cabeza cuando pase eso, ¡de la peor manera!

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Friday, July 7, 2006

pump't

Hoy me puse las pilas y me fui a entrenar al gimnasio del hotel.

Estaba un poco aburrido, no había nadie.

De hecho tuve que pedir que lo abran para poder hacer un poco de bici.

Terminé motivandome, hice biceps mezclado con abdominales.

Y un poco de fútbol.

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Wednesday, July 5, 2006

el avión es feo, el hotel es lindo

  • Me hice un masaje porque desde el domingo que no puedo mirar para la izquierda.
  • Me tocaron todo. TODO. Fue genial.
  • Viene room service: sopa de esparragos con entrée de suprema de ave, mar y tierra.
  • Este artículo de Bill Simmons, de Page 2, es lo más gracioso del mundo
  • Creo que es porque estoy sensible de tanto que extraño a mi hijo, pero cosas como esto me enternecen al infinito

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Monday, July 3, 2006

portugal: sábado

La reunión finalmente no fue en Estoril sino en Cascais, cerca de ahí. Es un pueblito costero muy paquete, con un hotel lindísimo llamado Albatroz.

Voy a empezar por el medio del viaje: Portugal 0 (3) - Inglaterra 0 (1).

Estaba cansadísimo pero igual hice lo mejor que pude, intenté no decaer ni ceder ante el cansancio, para poder aprovechar el viaje al máximo.

Hablando un poco del Mundial, aclaro acá que la racha de Felipao se cortó, ese partido contó como empate. Una lástima, me encantan ese tipo de records, especialmente cómo marca la diferencia que hace un entrenador. Que no tuvimos en esta copa.

De todas maneras no se puede ignorar la eliminación de Argentina.

Acabo de oir en la radio una gran verdad: "A Bilardo el papelito de Lehmann no se le escapaba".

Para mi las claves de la derrota fueron claras:

  • No se preparó bien la llegada al partido con Alemania, Messi debería haber estado para entrar
  • Los cambios defensivos de Pekerman no son aceptables
  • Mala suerte la salida del Pato, le deberían haber inyectado algo y listo
  • Fuimos muy superiores pero la pelota no entró, no deberíamos haber llegado a eso
  • Leo Franco es buen arquero, pero tiene que al menos amagar a atajar, aunque él diga que los grandes pateadores cambian el palo
Por lo menos el sábado tuvimos premio consuelo. No es lo mismo quedarse afuera y que también quede afuera Brasil e Inglaterra, en la misma ronda. No sacó la pena pero al menos ayudó un poco.

Me alegró mucho el festejo Portugués, a la noche hubo un gran festejo en Lisboa, pero no podía evitar pensar: "Ese podría ser yo."

Hace mucho que no veo un festejo tan desaforado. Realmente era envidiable, contagioso. ¿El grito de guerra? "Portugal 0lé, Portugal olé, Portugal olé"

Por otro lado los brasileros en Portugal son miles, del mismo modo que en España hay argentinos.

De todas maneras sostuve todo el día que me alegraba de sobremanera, y exclamaba "Allez les Bleus!" Me di cuenta después que eso podría ser interpretado como aliento para el partido Portugal-Francia.

Sé que están todos sensibles, pero para mi la final es Alemania-Francia y ganan los locales.

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Saturday, July 1, 2006

portu portu portugal!!

Vi el partido en un hotel cerca de Estoril, con unos pocos ingleses y muchos portugueses y simpatizantes. Fue una locura, cuando gano Portugal salieron todos a la calle a toca bocina, flamear banderas y festejar como locos!
 
Yo le dije a todo el mundo que queria que ganen ellos, por supuesto, asi se me iba un poco el trago amargo de ayer. De algo sirvio, pero tambien pedi que Francia le ganara a Brasil.
 
Ahora estoy mejor, aunque hay muchos brasileros aca que van a estar muy tristes. Lo cierto es que me importa muy poco, ver eliminar a Inglaterra y Brasil el mismo dia no tiene precio!
 
Esta noche salgo con una amiga de la familia (hija de... tiene mi edad) y sus amigas, junto con mis companieros de laburo, que estan felices de que les presente chicas. Parece que tiene que venir un argento para que conozcan chicas! Ridiculo... ahaha!
 
Estoy absoluta y totalmente pasado, dormi tres horas en el hotel, cuatro anoche y hoy una siesta de 40 minutos. Ahora voy a salir, maniana ver si puedo hacer un poco de playa (topless europeo... sweet) y quizas algo de turismo, por supuesto.
 
Me voy que nos esperan. Portense bien!

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cascais

Estoy escribiendo esto desde una sala de reuniones en el Hotel Albatroz-Cascais, cerca de Estoril, obviamente en Portugal.

Iba a poner más pero me voy a almorzar!

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Monday, June 26, 2006

google master plan

Parece que quieren meterse con todo el mundo. Ebay correctamente empezó a hacer maniobras defensivas, además del sistema de pagos tipo Paypal "Gbuy", ahora los señores 'hago todo' van a lanzar una extensión del sistema AdSense.

Sería pasar a tener una red de gente afiliada (sitios) que recomiendan productos. Es más que una publicidad, más bien una recomendación directa de compra. Es como que yo ponga un link en este post, dicendo "Esto es bueno, clickeá para comprarlo."

Además de tener mucho más valor para quien paga el aviso, permite que Google cierre más el loop, habilitando la transacción con Gbuy.

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Google Finance

Para mi que llega un punto donde hay dos personas haciéndose café en Google y tienen una conversación más o menos así:

"¿Nosotros no tenemos una página del arte del azulejo, no?" Lo miran con cara de nada y dicen: "No, no tenemos." "¿Lo hacemos?", se encoje de hombros y dice "Y dale, total."

Así nacen cosas como Google Finance.

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Monday, June 12, 2006

captioning is fun

Sacarse fotos el baño, coolísimo

Cuando el Chino maneja yo fotograféo su velocidad

A Agustín siempre le coparon mal las "compus chiquitas" de Papá

Papá siempre fue un sacado de mierda, especialmente en cuanto a la anaranjada

Pato W acompaña la locura

Pato V acompaña la locura riverplatense, se puso la gorra y tomó más que yo

Que copado que tu viejo justo resulte ser Spiderman

¡Que plato ir al 69 con un peruano!

Galo es un perro muy muy mugroso (mentira, pero siempre lo cargo con eso. Él se lo toma re mal)

Fotografiar a Marian es un milagro de la ciencia

Meki y yo en BoBo, hotel boutique

Naty es media loquita

Manu, ni te cuento. El americano ese que tiene al lado: completamente de la nuca, mal.

Cuanto amor! Cachete con cachete es más divertido.

Esta foto creo que va al MSN

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Monday, May 29, 2006

fotos viajeras pedorras

Probablemente postee algo sobre los nuevos cells que vienen con cámaras de calidad comparable a las que vienen en cámaras digitales de nivel medio.


También quiero hablar sobre los méritos relativos de los smartphones, la especialización de gadgets y el futuro de la integración de funciones.

Por ahora tengo estas fotos de mi viaje, en la primer semana de trabajo, a Uruguay y Paraguay.

Comimos en el Mercado del Puerto de Montevideo, en un restó de comida marina para turistas. Salió caro pero valió la pena, riquísimo el brasero de mar.

Los pescados en el brasero incluía merluza, trucha, salomón rosado, pez espada, calamares, almejas y camarones.
Disculpen la calidad paupérrima, el V3 no saca buenas fotos al aire libre. Ni en movimiento. Ni en la oscuridad.

Los aviones de Pluna tienen los asientos muy muy juntos, no me gustan para nada!

TAM es un poco mejor, pero no mucho. Con ellos mi queja es que las azafatas son bastante irreverentes.

Les juro que el hotel de Paraguay no merecía más de 4 estrellas. Era muy viejo, el Wi-Fi no servía y la atención, aunque amable, no es world-class.

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Saturday, May 6, 2006

por fin uno bueno

El jueves a la noche salí, me quedé boludeando hasta las 4.40am. Mi avión salía 8.45am, el taxi pasaba a buscarme para ir a Ezeiza 6.30am. No tenía ni el bolso hecho, entonces dije: duermo media hora, armo el bolso y después duermo hasta el aeropuerto. Me acosté tipo 4.45, y a las 6.32 suena el teléfono: "Señor Werner, su auto le está esperando." FUCK!

Ahí me visualicé perdiendo el avión, perdiendo el ticket, perdiendome el entrenamiento, la oportunidad de conocer al jefe de mi jefe... entonces me calmé. Tranquilamente me asomé y le avisé al chofer que espere, me vestí, tiré una camisa en el bolso, agarré una botella de agua y una barrita de cereales, y me fui.

Llegué bien, check-in, bla bla bla, avión hasta Lima. Cambio en el aeropuerto, otro hasta Quito, ahí no nos hicieron bajar, cargaron nafta, llego a Bogotá. Claro que esperaba un paraíso tropical... estaba lloviendo. El chofer nos informa que pronosticaron 40 días de lluvias sin parar. Por lo menos hace calor.

El hotel: fantástico! Cinco estrellas como corresponde, bien puestas, Casa Dann Carlton, felicitaciones. Llegamos 6pm, reunión 7.20 hasta 10.40pm. No daba más! No podía más de café, no habíamos comido, los tramos entre escalas eran tan cortos que no hay ni tiempo para comer (al menos eso dijo la azafata).

El diseñador local de la compañía me invita a salir a tomar algo, le tengo que decir que no. Gracias a Dios cuando subí agarré la segunda mitad de San Antonio-Sacramento, un poco de buen entretenimiento, Caesar Salad del room service, baño de inmersión con Liar's Poker y a la cama!

Ahora son 8.22am, me voy para la sala de reuniones porque en ocho minutos empezamos de nuevo. Whee!

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Wednesday, May 3, 2006

necesser

Me preguntaron, así que les cuento, para pasar la noche lejos de casa es clave tener un necesser bien stockeado.

Para este viaje traje traje las siguientes cosas:
  • cepillo de dientes (pasé de Colgate a GUM)
  • pasta de dientes
  • jabón bueno (el del hotel es pedorrísimo)
  • (shampoo no traje porque por un día no vale la pena, pero tampoco uso el del hotel, tengo un set de Pantene en tamaño mini para ocasiones que lo ameriten)
  • hilo dental
  • escarbadientes medicinales (esos triangulares con olor a menta)
  • peine
  • desodorante
  • cafiaspirina (soy adicto, debo tener una úlcera)
  • chapstick
  • tylenol
  • pastillas de carbón (esta la aprendí cuando fui a bolivia dos semanas, les juro que hacen falta en ciertas latitudes!!)
Los forros los tengo en la billetera. Igual me porto bien cuando viajo por negocios, no da caer a un reunión con ojeras y cara de que cogiste toda la noche.

Update: me olvidé de poner en la lista la rasuradora! y las curitas!! Ahora además agregué un Listerine Cool Mint que me acabo de comprar.

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blogueando desde el llano

Estoy tirado en un hotel de Asunción, totalmente destroyer, pero tranquilo. Mañana tenemos una seguidilla de reuniones y vuelvo a la tardecita, por bendición de Diós!

Es que me iba a quedar hasta el jueves, pero finalmente decidí volver antes, tengo un entrenamiento en Colombia de viernes a domingo e iba a estar totalmente zombie, incapaz de incorporar un solo concepto, no daba.

....

Mañana siguiente, levantadito y dispuesto a ir a desayunar algo, para meter una media horita de gym, ducha y salir corriendo. Estamos cerca de la primer reunión, así que pancho. Este hotel de 4 estrellas me parece medio pedorro, la próxima voy a elegir yo! (El de la vez pasada también era choto).

p.d. Este post no tiene nada de interesante adrede!

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Monday, April 10, 2006

Linked In

Este sitio de social networking para adultos, enfocado al mundo de los negocios me copa, mal.

Lo de "adultos" responde a que no es para adolescentes ni universitarios, como lo son otros sitios similares.

Leer más en Business Week, visitar LinkedIn.com.

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Thursday, April 6, 2006

la porteñidad


Como todo buen argentino (mis amigos rosarinos o cordobeses dirían que más por porteño que otroa cosa), me encanta que me chupen el culo.

Esta nota del NY Times que hizo notar TFU me pareció super halagadora, especialmente este extracto:

YOUR FIRST TIME OR THE 10TH See a soccer game. Argentina's soul bleeds for the sport, and the most fearsome rivalry is that between Boca Juniors and River Plate. If you can, go to one of the biannual Superclásicos between the two teams. The near-riot experience is really about watching passionate fandom, learning the songs and taunts, and discovering why visiting-team fans get a 30-minute head start after a game (their safety). Tickets to a Superclásico, usually scalped via a hotel concierge or ticket broker, run around 300 pesos. La Bombonera, home of the Boca Juniors, is a place of soccer legend (Brandsen 805; 4309-4700).


Eso si, para mi Buenos Aires siempre tuvo onda. Quizás él habla de Bulnes Class y ni me entero, ¿no? Ah, si estás leyendo, TFU, poner links en HTML es muy fácil, mandame mail y serás ilustrado.

Update (vieron que loco postear antes de terminar de leer lo que posteás?), esto también está divertido:

WHAT TO DO DURING THE DAY With relatively few must-see sites besides the Casa Rosada, the Obelisk, Recoleta Cemetery and Teatro Colón (closing in late October for renovation), a visit to Buenos Aires tends to be less about ogling architecture than absorbing culture. You can join those who pass the day in a park with ice cream or mate, the local herbal tea — start with a cone of frutilla granizada at Persicco, Salguero and Cabello (www.persicco.com), one of the best of the city's innumerable Italian-named ice cream shops. From there, stake out Las Heras Park, Avenida Las Heras and Avenida Coronel Diaz, where an array of dog walkers and bikini-clad (male and female) sunbathers attest to Argentines' twin loves, sometimes simultaneous, of canines and bronzing.

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Monday, April 3, 2006

gonch emergency

From: Andres Werner
Date: Apr 3, 2006 11:42 AM
To: "Mr. John Steed"


Hey,

Esto es mi versión de fan art, ¡no se usar el Photoshop pero te puedo ayudar a gestar un artículo!

Empecé en una compañía nueva, dónde debo modificar levemente mi vestuario de trabajo. La cuestión es que mi metier durante los últimos dos años era consultoría, donde el riguroso traje y corbata era rey. Hoy debo usar más bien business casual, lo cual limita mi poder de matchear ítems. Antes mis 10 trajes y 5 camisas blancas era usados todas las semanas, hoy debo limitarme a camisas a rayas y khakis, lo cual tengo en menos abundancia.

Me gustaría una sugerencia de outfit de pies a cabezas, teniendo en cuenta todos los elementos a usar, incluyendo calzoncillos (prefiero boxer-briefs, especialmente de microfibra, Caro Coure por ejemplo, pero no me cierro) y soquetes. Además debe considerarse que sea prendas matcheables con mi wardrobe existentes, de nada me sirve algo que no sea versátil.

Gracias!!
Andy

[usar tono de voz de Cantona]: Watch this space!

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Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Google watch, day 453

Google to buy radio ad company
G
oogle is acquiring a radio advertising company, broadening the reach of its ad business.

The search giant said Tuesday that it will pay $102 million in cash for DMarc Broadcasting , a Newport Beach, Calif., company that works with radio advertisers in the sales, scheduling, delivery and reporting of radio ads.

The deal calls for Google to make additional cash payments based on product integration, net revenue and advertising inventory targets. Those payments could total $1.13 billion over the next three years, Google said.

Google plans to integrate DMarc technology into its AdWords platform, creating a new radio ad distribution channel for Google advertisers.

"Google is committed to exploring new ways to extend targeted, measurable advertising to other forms of media," Tim Armstrong, Google's vice president of advertising sales, said in a release.

The Mountain View, Calif.-based search company has been expanding its advertising business beyond the Internet, branching out into print ads and possibly into television.

Google's stock climbed $1.23 to $467.48 a share Tuesday, and analysts were pleased with the company's new buy.

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Monday, December 12, 2005

entonces el labor stud me contestó:

Andrea,
Thanks for responding, I like your attitude....and that your a romantic woman.

I enjoy sports and playing sports, music, cooking, beach walks day or night, I love to ride bikes and meet interesting people.

Here in the US, I run my own business....and my trip to brazil is 1/2 business and rest pleasure. I work with stone from around the world.

Me; I a very straight person, meaning: I'm honest and very up front with my feelings. I'm a gentleman, a businessman, and a sports stud rapped into one solid body. I love south american women, and I hope to meet a beautiful person during my stay.

Here are 2 pictures (I can send more later) , may I see your picture please?

sincere regards,
Brison

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Thursday, December 8, 2005

success & motivation

He mencionado a Mark Cuban en el pasado, tiene algunos conceptos interesantes. Perosonalmente no me impresiona mucho, pero cualquier persona que le ha ido tan bien como a él debe haber hecho algo bueno en algún momento.

Es como el jefe de una amiga, no es muy imponente en vivo pero le va tan bien que algo habrá hecho...

Cuban repitió algunos posts interesantes en su blog, cosa que acá también hice, por lo cual aprovecho para pegarles los links y sugerirles que los lean, si tienen media hora. Hay algunas cosas rescatables.

Success & Motivation Part 1 Coming to dallas without a job.

Success & Motivation Part 2 My first job in Dallas, lessons learned and teaching myself how to use a PC

Success & Motivation Part 3 Fired - and ready to start MicroSolutions

Success & Motivation Part 4 Some early lessons learned

Success & Motivation - You only have to be right once

The Sport of Business - Competition in the businessworld puts any sport to shame

Goals - An Interview I did with Young Money

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Tuesday, December 6, 2005

Ten Golden Rules @ Google Inc.

Getting the most out of knowledge workers will be the key to business success for the next quarter century. Here's how we do it at google.

By Eric Schmidt and Hal Varian
Newsweek
Updated: 11:33 a.m. ET Dec. 2, 2005

Issues 2006 - At google, we think business guru Peter Drucker well understood how to manage the new breed of "knowledge workers." After all, Drucker invented the term in 1959. He says knowledge workers believe they are paid to be effective, not to work 9 to 5, and that smart businesses will "strip away everything that gets in their knowledge workers' way." Those that succeed will attract the best performers, securing "the single biggest factor for competitive advantage in the next 25 years."

At Google, we seek that advantage. The ongoing debate about whether big corporations are mismanaging knowledge workers is one we take very seriously, because those who don't get it right will be gone. We've drawn on good ideas we've seen elsewhere and come up with a few of our own. What follows are seven key principles we use to make knowledge workers most effective. As in most technology companies, many of our employees are engineers, so we will focus on that particular group, but many of the policies apply to all sorts of knowledge workers.
  • Hire by committee. Virtually every person who interviews at Google talks to at least half-a-dozen interviewers, drawn from both management and potential colleagues. Everyone's opinion counts, making the hiring process more fair and pushing standards higher. Yes, it takes longer, but we think it's worth it. If you hire great people and involve them intensively in the hiring process, you'll get more great people. We started building this positive feedback loop when the company was founded, and it has had a huge payoff.
  • Cater to their every need. As Drucker says, the goal is to "strip away everything that gets in their way." We provide a standard package of fringe benefits, but on top of that are first-class dining facilities, gyms, laundry rooms, massage rooms, haircuts, carwashes, dry cleaning, commuting buses—just about anything a hardworking engineer might want. Let's face it: programmers want to program, they don't want to do their laundry. So we make it easy for them to do both.
  • Pack them in. Almost every project at Google is a team project, and teams have to communicate. The best way to make communication easy is to put team members within a few feet of each other. The result is that virtually everyone at Google shares an office. This way, when a programmer needs to confer with a colleague, there is immediate access: no telephone tag, no e-mail delay, no waiting for a reply. Of course, there are many conference rooms that people can use for detailed discussion so that they don't disturb their office mates. Even the CEO shared an office at Google for several months after he arrived. Sitting next to a knowledgeable employee was an incredibly effective educational experience.
  • Make coordination easy. Because all members of a team are within a few feet of one another, it is relatively easy to coordinate projects. In addition to physical proximity, each Googler e-mails a snippet once a week to his work group describing what he has done in the last week. This gives everyone an easy way to track what everyone else is up to, making it much easier to monitor progress and synchronize work flow.
  • Eat your own dog food. Google workers use the company's tools intensively. The most obvious tool is the Web, with an internal Web page for virtually every project and every task. They are all indexed and available to project participants on an as-needed basis. We also make extensive use of other information-management tools, some of which are eventually rolled out as products. For example, one of the reasons for Gmail's success is that it was beta tested within the company for many months. The use of e-mail is critical within the organization, so Gmail had to be tuned to satisfy the needs of some of our most demanding customers—our knowledge workers.
  • Encourage creativity. Google engineers can spend up to 20 percent of their time on a project of their choice. There is, of course, an approval process and some oversight, but basically we want to allow creative people to be creative. One of our not-so-secret weapons is our ideas mailing list: a companywide suggestion box where people can post ideas ranging from parking procedures to the next killer app. The software allows for everyone to comment on and rate ideas, permitting the best ideas to percolate to the top.
  • Strive to reach consensus. Modern corporate mythology has the unique decision maker as hero. We adhere to the view that the "many are smarter than the few," and solicit a broad base of views before reaching any decision. At Google, the role of the manager is that of an aggregator of viewpoints, not the dictator of decisions. Building a consensus sometimes takes longer, but always produces a more committed team and better decisions
  • Don't be evil. Much has been written about Google's slogan, but we really try to live by it, particularly in the ranks of management. As in every organization, people are passionate about their views. But nobody throws chairs at Google, unlike management practices used at some other well-known technology companies. We foster to create an atmosphere of tolerance and respect, not a company full of yes men.
  • Data drive decisions. At Google, almost every decision is based on quantitative analysis. We've built systems to manage information, not only on the Internet at large, but also internally. We have dozens of analysts who plow through the data, analyze performance metrics and plot trends to keep us as up to date as possible. We have a raft of online "dashboards" for every business we work in that provide up-to-the-minute snapshots of where we are.
  • Communicate effectively. Every Friday we have an all-hands assembly with announcements, introductions and questions and answers. (Oh, yes, and some food and drink.) This allows management to stay in touch with what our knowledge workers are thinking and vice versa. Google has remarkably broad dissemination of information within the organization and remarkably few serious leaks. Contrary to what some might think, we believe it is the first fact that causes the second: a trusted work force is a loyal work force.

Of course, we're not the only company that follows these practices. Many of them are common around Silicon Valley. And we recognize that our management techniques have to evolve as the company grows. There are several problems that we (and other companies like us) face.

One is "techno arrogance." Engineers are competitive by nature and they have low tolerance for those who aren't as driven or as knowledgeable as they are. But almost all engineering projects are team projects; having a smart but inflexible person on a team can be deadly. If we see a recommendation that says "smartest person I've ever known" combined with "I wouldn't ever want to work with them again," we decline to make them an offer. One reason for extensive peer interviews is to make sure that teams are enthused about the new team member. Many of our best people are terrific role models in terms of team building, and we want to keep it that way.

A related problem is the not-invented-here syndrome. A good engineer is always convinced that he can build a better system than the existing ones, leading to the refrain "Don't buy it, build it." Well, they may be right, but we have to focus on those projects with the biggest payoff. Sometimes this means going outside the company for products and services.

Another issue that we will face in the coming years is the maturation of the company, the industry and our work force. We, along with other firms in this industry, are in a rapid growth stage now, but that won't go on forever. Some of our new workers are fresh out of college; others have families and extensive job experience. Their interests and needs are different. We need to provide benefits and a work environment that will be attractive to all ages.

A final issue is making sure that as Google grows, communication procedures keep pace with our increasing scale. The Friday meetings are great for the Mountain View team, but Google is now a global organization.

We have focused on managing creativity and innovation, but that's not the only thing that matters at Google. We also have to manage day-to-day operations, and it's not an easy task. We are building technology infrastructure that is dramatically larger, more complex and more demanding than anything that has been built in history. Those who plan, implement and maintain these systems, which are growing to meet a constantly rising set of demands, have to have strong incentives, too. At Google, operations are not just an afterthought: they are critical to the company's success, and we want to have just as much effort and creativity in this domain as in new product development.

Schmidt is CEO of Google. Varian is a Berkeley professor and consultant with Google.

© 2005 Newsweek, Inc.

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Sunday, December 4, 2005

lavagna by economist

After Lavagna, an uncertain tilt towards populism
Dec 1st 2005 | BUENOS AIRES
From The Economist print edition

The sacking of a successful economy minister suggests a turn away from the IMF and towards Chávez's Venezuela


OSTENSIBLY, he had gone to see the president about export taxes on leather. But Roberto Lavagna, Argentina's economy minister since April 2002, may not have been too surprised on November 28th when Néstor Kirchner sacked him as part of a cabinet reshuffle. Their relationship had been rocky for months. Mr Lavagna had been appointed by Eduardo Duhalde, Mr Kirchner's predecessor, a fellow-Peronist but now a foe. When he disagreed with the president on policy, he did not conceal it. His fate was probably sealed on November 22nd, when he accused the planning ministry—whose head, Julio de Vido, is Mr Kirchner's closest aide—of allowing contractors to overcharge the government for building roads.

Mr Kirchner is in a stronger political position since a congressional election in October, in which his candidates defeated those of Mr Duhalde. Mr Lavagna's departure may mark a turning point for Argentina—and a move further away from market economics and towards populism. The new minister, Felisa Miceli, who had been president of the state-owned Banco de la Nación, is a disciple of Mr Lavagna but has none of his political clout.

Mr Lavagna can claim much of the credit for the speed and vigour of Argentina's recovery from its debt default and devaluation of 2001-2 (see chart). He took office at the darkest moment, when Argentina appeared poised for hyperinflation. By imposing fairly tight fiscal and (at first) monetary policies, he stabilised prices and the exchange rate. High prices for Argentina's commodity exports, devaluation and the existence of much idle capacity in the economy did the rest.



The minister was no neo-liberal. He was tough both with the IMF and with holders of Argentina's defaulted bonds. But unlike Mr Kirchner and his clique of advisers from his remote Patagonian province (dubbed "the penguins" by Argentines), Mr Lavagna knew and understood the financial world. His technical competence gained the grudging trust of investors, local businessmen and outsiders. He clashed with the president over how to tackle a recent surge in inflation, which is likely to end the year at 12%. With it has come a rash of strikes.

Some analysts had expected Mr Kirchner to tack towards the centre after the congressional election. The IMF and investors have a long wish-list. It starts with allowing public utilities to raise their tariffs (many have been frozen since 2002). It includes re-opening this year's debt deal to bondholders who had rejected its terms. The best way to tackle inflation would be to allow the peso to appreciate.

This seems unlikely to be Ms Miceli's agenda. She recently accused the IMF of "frighteningly simplistic theories" of economics, and dismissed concerns about inflation as "an argument to maintain low wages." Many analysts now expect the government to impose further price controls. If so, local business may start to fall out of love with Mr Kirchner: the Buenos Aires stock-exchange index fell 5.9% in the two days after Ms Miceli's appointment.

This is the real Kirchner," said one insider. "He was always going to wait for the debt restructuring and the elections but now he's going to implement his ideals." The other cabinet changes also point leftwards. Jorge Taiana moves up to the top job at the foreign ministry where he was the number two. Mr Taiana belonged to the Peronist Left in the 1970s. The new defence minister, Nilda Garré, had links to the Montonero guerrillas in that era. Ms Garré had been the ambassador in Caracas. Like Mr Taiana and Mr de Vido, she favours stronger ties with Hugo Chávez's leftist government in Venezuela.

That suggests that Argentina might tilt away from friendship with the United States and engagement with the IMF and towards Mr Chávez. The government has been paying its debts to the IMF. But repayments are due to rise sharply over the next two years. The government would like an agreement to roll over some of the $4.4 billion due in 2007—but without the reforms the Fund is likely to insist on. At last month's Summit of the Americas, which Argentina hosted, Mr Kirchner asked for George Bush's support on this. The American president was non-committal. Argentina ended up siding with Venezuela at the summit in opposing any resumption of talks on an American-backed Free-Trade Area of the Americas.

Since the summit, Mr Kirchner has continued to court Mr Chávez. He visited Caracas last month, where he apparently obtained a promise that Venezuela will invest more of its oil windfall in Argentine bonds (of which it already holds almost $1 billion). That might just allow Mr Kirchner to escape an IMF agreement. In exchange, Mr Chávez may revive a request to buy a nuclear reactor from Argentina—something which would alarm the United States because of his friendship with Iran. Mr Kirchner brought a handful of nuclear engineers on his trip to Caracas.

Such a realignment may not happen. In politics, unlike motoring, when preparing to turn right, signal left, was the advice once famously proffered by Juan Perón, the founder of the movement which Mr Kirchner leads. But having cast off the reliable Mr Lavagna, Argentina's president has embarked on a more uncertain course.

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Sunday, November 6, 2005

after wine: Jade's

Caitlin nos invitó a lo de Jade a una fiesta de Halloween. Si, somos amargos, pero nos agarramos de que veníamos de probar vinos para ir vestidos de yuppies. Je. Que pillos.

Aquí está Jade con un sombrero de piel y unos lindos cuernitos.

Me impresionó la cantidad de ingleses sub-23 que hay en la ciudad. Al parecer vinieron todos para Fitz Roy, porque se llenó de gente. Los pobres anfitriones usaron horario inglés para invitar todos a las 10.30, hora en la cual estaban todos en otra (nosotros aún en el hotel!).

Para las 2am la fiesta explotaba, llena de gente. Incluso vino Fefo, para completar la noche culinaria. Registren su cara, algún día pronto van a oir de sus habilidades culinarias.

La otra chica de la casa, Zoe, aprovechó la ocasión para hacer lo que toda mujer hace cuando se tiene que disfrazar: se viste lo más perra posible sin miedo a represalia.

La cocina obviamente era el punto neurálgico de la fiesta, pues allí estaba todo el chupi, que era abundante. Para ese punto de la noche yo no quería saber más nada, desde las 7pm que estabamos parados y chupando, así que arranqué con el agua.

Para no limar, vió?

Obvio que Ale y Luli nos acompañaron. Flopy la quiere mucho a Luli, que en si misma es un amorcis, así que la besa.

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Thursday, November 3, 2005

mañana nos vemos en:

Vinos de lujo '05 elgourmet.com

Organizan elgourmet.com y Grupo Q

La exposición dedicada sólo a etiquetas de alta gama más importante del país tiene fecha y escenario; se realizará en noviembre, en el lujoso hotel de la avenida Alvear. Dese el lujo y pruebe alguno de los 150 mejores vinos argentinos.
Los días 1, 2, 3 y 4 de noviembre se realizará, en el Alvear Palace Hotel –Ayacucho 2071, Recoleta– Vinos de Lujo ’05 elgourmet.com. Será una oportunidad para conocer, degustar y comparar la mayoría de los vinos de alta gama que se encuentran en el mercado. Una posibilidad única en la que los expositores presenten solamente vinos de entre 30 y 250 pesos.

A partir de este año, la organización estará a cargo de Grupo Q y elgourmet.com. La marca líder en contenidos de vinos y gastronomía, suma su prestigioso nombre y su expertise en realización integral de exposiciones.

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Wednesday, October 5, 2005

Sun Microsystems and Google
Team Up on Software Offerings

With an Eye on Microsoft,
Companies Agree to Work
On a Range of Products
By DON CLARK and KEVIN J. DELANEY
Staff Reporters of THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
October 5, 2005; Page B3

Sun Microsystems Inc. and Google Inc. announced a software alliance that could effectively open a new front in Google's increasingly heated competition with Microsoft Corp.

The agreement also could help Sun improve distribution for its own software as well as provide a high-profile endorsement of its slow-growing computer business.

[Eric Schmidt]

Though they revealed few details of their plans, the companies disclosed that Sun will begin distributing Google's toolbar software for Web browsers along with a version of Sun's Java software for desktop computers. Google will pay Sun an undisclosed amount each time a user downloads the Google toolbar software from a Sun Web site.

The companies also said they will work together to popularize productivity software, called OpenOffice.org, that Sun helped create. OpenOffice includes a word processor and other programs, and competes with Microsoft's dominant Office franchise. The suite of programs is distributed free and is refined by an informal network of programmers under a development model known as open-source software.

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Sunday, September 18, 2005

skype vs. eBay?

Cuando me enteré que eBay compró Skype en $2.6 billones (4.3 si se cumplen ciertos criterios), me pregunté, junto a otras personas de la industria, ¿cuál será el match? Mientras que no es muy obvio, existe, como hace notar The Economist:

As Meg Whitman, eBay's boss, and Mr Zennstrom explain it, a combination of eBay and Skype is not all that far-fetched. From eBay's point of view, placing cute Skype buttons on the web pages where people trade used cars, houses and other items that usually require voice bargaining “reduces friction”, says Ms Whitman. Buyers can simply click on the button and talk to sellers. Another idea is to make money from “pay-per-call” advertising, where advertisers would place voice links (ie, Skype buttons) on certain pages just as they now place text links on, say, the search-results pages of Google. Whenever a web surfer clicks on one of these links and talks to a salesperson, the advertiser would pay eBay and Skype a fee. Google got rich by doing this in the text world; there is no reason why eBay might not be able to do it in the voice world.

From Skype's point of view, the deal strengthens its existing link with PayPal, eBay's online bank, which it uses to charge for services such as calls from computers to conventional telephones (called SkypeOut) or from conventional phones into Skype (called SkypeIn). This involves prepaid accounts, which Skype users can top up via PayPal with their credit cards.

For Skype, however, the main attraction may be that eBay, unlike the other potential suitors, plans to leave it largely alone, both as a brand and as a business. “When Yahoo! and Microsoft buy companies, they typically disintegrate them,” says Mr Zennstrom. His vision for Skype, by contrast, is to become the world's biggest and best platform for all communications—text, voice or video—from any internet-connected device, whether a computer or a mobile phone.


Me parece que no me gustaría tener dos millones de acciones de una telefónica en este momento. Cómo dice en ese mismo artículo, la cuestión ya no es "si va a pasar", sino "cuando" va a pasar que todas las llamadas se hagan gratis por internet.

Por suerte SI estoy en el negocio de la VoIP...

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Friday, September 9, 2005

Google watch unlimited

Ya que me hice la fama de fana de Google, sigo con eso. Está bien fundada, obviamente.
Acquisition hysteria grips Reuters

Neil Hume
Wednesday September 7, 2005
The Guardian


Reuters, the news and financial information group, became the latest stock to be caught up in the acquisition craze sweeping the London market.

Its shares, which have underperformed the wider market by nearly 15% over the past three months, closed 6.75p higher at 368.5p yesterday, excited by wild talk of a bid from Google.

The search engine recently announced plans to raise $4bn (£2.2bn) through a secondary share issue, a move that triggered speculation that the company, which already has $3bn on its balance sheet, is to hit the acquisition trial.

However, analysts reckon Google is more likely to follow rival Yahoo! and use its cash resources to buy overseas, possibly in China.

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Tuesday, September 6, 2005

moria was here

ELECCIONES 2005 - FALTAN 47 DIAS: EXITOSA CONVOCATORIA EN UN HOTEL CENTRICO

De Carrió a Moria, de Chiche a Ripoll: las candidatas se juntaron y dijeron lo suyo

Hubo definiciones fuertes, ironías y un marcado tono de debate electoral. Fue en un foro que congregó a 900 dirigentes políticas, sociales y empresarias.


Natasha Niebieskikwiat.
natashan@clarin.com

Fueron las mujeres quienes lograron ayer, en plena campaña, reunir por primera vez a un buen número de candidatos a las elecciones legislativas de octubre.

En realidad, el encuentro fue de candidatas, y estuvieron casi todas las más importantes. Elisa Carrió, Chiche Duhalde, Patricia Bullrich, Moria Casán, Vilma Ripoll, María José Lubertino, Paula Bertol. Salvo la que encabeza las encuestas, Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, que según el Foro Internacional de Mujeres, que organizó el encuentro de ayer, fue invitada pero argumentó "problemas de agenda" para faltar a este acontecimiento que reunió en el hotel Alvear a 900 líderes empresarias, dirigentes, y féminas de distinto poder adquisitivo en puestos de decisión.

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Tuesday, August 23, 2005

game on!

De the este artículo the Economist:

Click to buy from Amazon.com: “Everything Bad is Good for You”, by Steven Johnson (Amazon.co.uk); “Got Game”, by John Beck and Mitchell Wade (Amazon.co.uk).



Screenshots of the sexual content hidden in “Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas” are available online. Mrs Clinton has proposed legislation to better regulate the gaming industry. Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo will launch new consoles in the coming months. “Narc” and “25 to Life” have upset politicans. “Asheron’s Call 2” is a MMORPG. “Black & White” and “Halo 2” are morally complex. Games used for educational purposes include “Sim City” and “Rollercoaster Tycoon”. Becta announces Tim Rylands's award for using “Myst” to improve students’ English. Dmitri Williams posts his paper. See also games2train.



Del artículo:

Another analogy can be made between games and music—specifically, with the emergence of rock and roll in the 1950s. Like games today, it was a new art form that was condemned for encouraging bad behaviour among young people. Some records were banned from the radio, and others had their lyrics changed. Politicians called for laws banning the sending of offending records by post. But now the post-war generation has grown up, rock and roll is considered to be harmless. Rap music, or gaming, is under attack instead. “There's always this pattern,” says Mr Williams of the University of Illinois. “Old stuff is respected, and new stuff is junk.” Novels, he points out, were once considered too lowbrow to be studied at university. Eventually the professors who believed this retired. Novels are now regarded as literature. “Once a generation has its perception, it is pretty much set,” says Mr Williams. “What happens is that they die.”

Like rock and roll in the 1950s, games have been accepted by the young and largely rejected by the old. Once the young are old, and the old are dead, games will be regarded as just another medium and the debate will have moved on. Critics of gaming do not just have the facts against them; they have history against them, too. “Thirty years from now, we'll be arguing about holograms, or something,” says Mr Williams.

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Friday, August 19, 2005

Destéfano informa

Sigo con las bombas. Numeral 15 será la ficción de ocho capítulos hecha a medida para Telefónica que empezará en Telefé, posiblemente a partir de octubre. Serán ocho capítulos y el hilo conductor, obviously, son ciclos de llamadas telefónicas. Si cada piso del Hotel de las Américas de Madrid que me recomendó Horacio de Dios fue diseñado por un arquitecto diferente, Numeral 15 no podía ser menos. Cada capítulo tendrá un director distinto. Anotá la lista de buena fe: Carlos Sorín, Eliseo Subiela, Eduardo Mignona, Pucho Mentasti, Juan Taratutto, Albertina Carri, Flavio Nardini y Diego Kaplan. La idea fue de Rodrigo Figueroa Reyes (rodrigo@fire.com.ar), y la producción de Endemol.

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Monday, July 11, 2005

Rolfi


Rolfi, el hermano de Nec, ganó un concurso de viedojuegos el domingo. Le dan un pasaje a Singapour con todo pago en hotel cinco estrellas, además de un iPod, remeras, gorros, buzos, etc.

Capo, ¡felicitaciones! Si gana en Asia se lleva USD 50,000.






Dice el hermano orgulloso:

From: Ehrhorn, Nicolas (AR - Buenos Aires)
Date: Jul 11, 2005 12:17 PM
Subject: rolfi
To: Andres Werner

Andy, mira estas páginas:

http://foros.gamersx.com.ar/showthread.php?t=36222&page=1&pp=10

http://www.lanparty.com.uy/noticias.php?idnews=591

La de arriba es sobre el campeonato de ayer

La de abajo es sobre un campeonato que gano en Uruguay!

Es obvio que tenes que postear la foto de Rolfi , alias "Virus" abrazado a las promotoras (que aparece en la 2da página). Es un grande el pendejo!

NEC

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Wednesday, June 29, 2005

el colmo

Ok, definitivamente es matufia, creo que el punto es sacarte tu dirección. Claramente... Notar que se equivocaron y pusieron dos respuestas, una común y la otra en italics.

Además me mata que son todas "originalmente de USA viviendo en África". Obviamente esa mudanza convierte norteamericanas en personas que no saben hablar inglés. Magia.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: magret jane < janeymagrety016@yahoo.co.uk>
Date: Jun 29, 2005 8:02 PM
Subject: $200 - Room available in Belgrano

am interested in renting your room and i am willing to pay whatever amount you are willing to collect for the room.Here is a little info about myself.
I am janey boynson ,i am 32 years old.I am originaly from Usa but presently in africa but I am relocating to your country in a couple of WEEKS.
Consequent to this and in order to make settling in easier and quicker i am searching for accomodation early and i saw your ad on the web and i want to make a reservation for your apartment.
I am ready to pay any amount per month I can assure you that you will not have any regrets letting out this apartment to me.I am a quiet person and can get along well with any body,i am coming over alone,with no family or pets,i do not smoke and i drink very lightly.Please reply me as soon as you read this email.You can contact me via email.Hope to hear from you soon.Also if you have a yahoo messenger you could add me.My yahoo id is janeymagrety016 and email is janeymagrety016@yahoo.co.uk so you could add me.Hope to hear from you soon.Please feel free to ask me any questions
i wont be able to come by to see the place but Heres a little info about myself,my full name is lora bells,I am a british citizen but have lived in Texas Houston,i left there when i was 13 years old,i hold a degree in BUSINESS AND RESOURCES MANAGEMENT FROM THE METROPOLITAN UNIVERSITY IN LONDON U.K,i worked for two years in UK before leaving for West Africa where i am at present with my mum who is on a missionary project here.
I have always nursed this dream of going to back to America,As regards payment,this is what i am going to do;I have a client in the uk who is owing me US$5,000 i would instruct him to make out certified check to you in that amount you can now deduct your money from it and send me my balance, Although the value of the check is more than the total price but it think i should be able to trust you with my balance. The reason why i am doing this is that it would take a check sent from over here in Africa 21 days to clear over there,where as a check sent from the! US would clear tops within 48hrs. .Please let me have your full contact address where the checkwill be mailed out to.,also i will like to know the full name the check will be made out to. so that i can instruct my client to make out the check to you. Pls get back to me as soon as you get this mail so that we can round things up in a timely fashion.you will email or fax me a copy of the reciept after mpayment as been recieved.Please get back to me with the name and address that u will want the payment to be made out to.

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Monday, June 27, 2005

Endless parade: What's developing for Ginobili

San Antonio Express-News

More than a thousand miles from the River Walk cheers, other sounds resonated Saturday. They resonated in Times Square cash registers.

A store that sells sporting goods there displays this month's featured merchandise near the front door. No. 20 Spurs jerseys.

Most are already sold. "These jerseys," said the store manager, "are the biggest seller."

Across the country, passing over the River Walk on the way, is a West Coast NBA general manager. Saturday he sold No. 20 with as much enthusiasm.

This exec works in basketball, not marketing. So he said something he didn't know for sure, but he acted as if he knew.

"No. 20," he said, "will be our league's most popular player."

Few in San Antonio would have argued that Saturday, as No. 20 floated down the river on Barge No. 20. But there is something else going on here, from the East Coast to the West and beyond, and it's bigger than most think.

Isn't Manu Ginobili's parade just starting?

Going by the crowd Saturday, all of the Spurs are worth a few jersey sales. Devin Brown cried out, "What's up, hometown?" and Sean Marks even got a turn at a barge microphone.

Tim Duncan drew cheers that should accompany a three-time NBA Finals MVP. And when Bruce Bowen kept chatting on their barge, Duncan did something no one thought possible. He reached for the mike — if just to get it away from Bowen.

When they got to the Alamodome, Brent Barry showed a personality sometimes hidden this season. Barry poked fun at everyone from his teammates to his son, then demanded Tony Parker rap in French.

It might have been Parker's best performance this month.

And when Bowen introduced Ginobili in Spanish and the crowd roared, Ginobili used an international word. "Wow."

Wow, all right. As popular as the Spurs are in South Texas, they've rarely crossed over into the mainstream. George Gervin always has had a cult following, and David Robinson and Duncan have their admirers.

But mass appeal? In those same stores in New York City, for example, there were few Spurs jerseys for sale in either 1999 or 2003 during the NBA Finals.

No. 21 isn't moving this year, either. "We don't sell many of those," said the manager.

Understand the power, then, of last week. Ginobili didn't merely capture his second title. He captured a crowd looking for someone special.

The globalization of the NBA is part of this. Yao Ming brings in parts of Asia as Dirk Nowitzki and Parker bring in Europe.

But it's much more than demographics with Ginobili, and it's not glitz. Parker, after all, is more Hollywood.

Ginobili, instead, brings in fans by bringing them out of their seats. His determination is visual and his fearlessness is captivating. He doesn't play for attention; attention comes to him because of how he plays.

Ginobili was at it Saturday night, too. "I can guarantee you one thing," he said. "I'm not leaving town until I win another (championship)."

Who doubts him?

Not the West Coast GM. "Not since Michael Jordan," he said, "has anyone attacked the rim as this guy does."

Ginobili is not the next Jordan, and no one should say that. The hype did nothing for Grant Hill or Vince Carter.

But Ginobili is likely the next pop star in the NBA culture. If the NBA chooses to market him and if marketing whizzes notice the jersey sales, then national companies will step in and endorsements will make his fame official. That's how it works in this business.

For the Spurs' franchise, this is as much a dream as championships. They've always prayed for a Spanish-speaking star, and this one is likeable and sensational.

No wonder Peter Holt sat on Ginobili's barge Saturday. Any owner would want to keep such an asset close by.

Russ Bookbinder, the Spurs' executive vice president, saw this a long time ago. Before Ginobili ever played in an NBA regular-season game — in the fall of 2002 — Bookbinder made a prediction. He said that, outside of Robinson and Duncan, Ginobili would have more impact than any newcomer in franchise history.

Bookbinder was reminded of that prediction earlier this month. And Bookbinder smiled and held up one finger — signifying Ginobili wasn't behind Robinson or Duncan.

"I was wrong," Bookbinder said.

He was half-joking.

But half of him wasn't, too.

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Thursday, June 23, 2005

almost famous

Como dijo un famoso economista llamado John Maynard Keynes, "in the long term we're all dead" o en criollo, "en el largo plazo estamos todos muertos".

Al buscar el autor de la frase en internet llegé a un artículo que empieza de modo gracioso, y lo pego a continuación:
In the long term, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes' warning may have been directed at overly theoretical economists, but his words hardly offer a pep talk for thinking beyond the next fiscal quarter. And with the pressures of the recent business cycle, it's no wonder that terms like "short-term payoff" and "near-term deliverables" are so often the driving force behind business technology strategy.

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Thursday, June 9, 2005

blog?

Franco tiene mucho para decir, incluyendo esto. Me interesó la temática por razones obvias, le contesté, terminó siendo tan largo que lo pegué, acá está:
Franco, no sé mucho, pero sé esto:

1. La primera regla de hacer algo *ahem* "creativo" (un blog en este caso) es hacer lo que se te cante, te gusta, te viene bien, tenés ganas de hacer, etc. Sino no vale.

2. Creo que postear depende un poco de inspiración y otro poco de oportunidad. Yo estoy más horas que Gugú frente a una pantalla, tengo amplia oportunidad. Es más, creo que el ratio Oportunidad-Inspiración es 100-1, sino mi blog tendría 45 posts por día.

3. El hecho de postear una vez (o más) por día definitivamente satisface más a los lectores que pocos posts semanales. Referirse a la Regla 1 para ver si esto debería ser importante para el autor.

Te recomiendo los banners de AdSense por varios motivos:

- Podés usar una herramienta que ha convertido a Google es la compañía de medios mejor valuada del mundo (pasó a Time Warner con un market cap de US$ 77 mil millones)

- Te sirve para contar los hits de modo confiable

- Si llegás a los US$ 100 te mandan un cheque (largué el 31 de agosto de 2004, con 58 impresiones del banner, ayer hice 1578 y estoy muy orgulloso y agradecido por eso; llevo acumulados US$ 26, no creo que sirva como fuente de ingresos)

Para cerrar este comment que pronto será post te sugiero usar "Blog This", posteo por email y demás pequeñas cositas si estás interesado en postear de modo más fácil.

Felicitaciones por tu blog, está muy bueno.
Update: en una evolución fascinante el tema, esto podés seguirlo también acá. Lo cual convierte esto en una discusión de tres blogs en modo cruzado. Como dije, fascinante.

Updated: si querés saber cómo hacer un blog: Raymi. Punk rock.

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Monday, April 25, 2005

siete tipos antes de casarte

Estos, según no se quién, son los siete tipo de hombre con los que se debe relacionar toda mujer antes de casarse:

1- El bolichero:
es necesario haber conocido a ese típico hombre que es relaciones públicas de algún boliche o simplemente por la cantidad de relaciones cotidianas que tiene. Son esos que siempre están invitados a todos lados y que tiene tiempo para salir a bailar desde el lunes hasta el domingo, da igual la noche.

2- Un modelo: hay que experimentar un romance con un hombre casi modelo, dueño de un físico que sólo ves en revistas y en los avisos de ropa interior de Calvin Klein. Al menos servirá para alegrarte cuando seas vieja y te hará valorar que lo importante no es la belleza física, pero hay que comprobarlo.

3- El aprendiz: dicen que no hay nada mejor para la psicología femenina que creerse la maestra particular de un hombre. Siempre este debe ser menor que vos y con algunas características básicas como la ansiedad de los pocos años, la impulsividad de la inexperiencia y la gracia de un inexperto. "Claro que este lujito hay que dárselo por muy poco tiempo, ya que termina por agotar", dicen los testimonios de Terra.

4- El experimentado: esta clase es esencial para la experiencia de una mujer. Es de esos affaires que te marcan para toda la vida porque son por lo general hombres mayores que tienen vida propia, te tratan como reina, tienen sus ingresos y además se comportan a su altura, sin escándalos de celos y cosas de ese tipo.

5- El hombre Edipo: otro de los tipos de hombres con los que hay que estar antes de casarse es con uno que considere que su madre es lo mejor que existe en el planeta y que te lo deje en claro siempre que tenga oportunidad.

6- Aquel que te amó de verdad y al que amaste irremediablemente: es necesario haber conocido a un hombre que te haya amado de verdad, que sea bueno del alma, que te llame todo el tiempo, que te mime, que te haga regalos, que se lleve bien con tu familia, todo.

7- El tipo cruel y manipulador: este es uno de los males que yo llamo "mal necesario". Esas relaciones que son tan tortuosas que cuando uno las termina piensa que no quiere nada más con los hombres y que casarse no es para uno, sino para otro tipo de mujeres. Lo más importante es saber que no hay que comprometerse con esta clase, porque son peligrosos.

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Thursday, April 14, 2005

Googledance

Googledance | News.blog | CNET News.com: "First there was Sundance. Then there was Google for independent films.

Or at least that's the plan over at the search mogul. Late Wednesday, Google began inviting people to submit their digital videos to its new database of searchable television and broadcast content. Its free to submit the videos, but Google has a review process before they're accepted, searchable and playable from Google Video, the company's newest experimental service. Google did not specify when the independent videos would be available.

But there's an emerging business model for the service. Google will let video producers charge visitors to play back their videos if they so choose. 'Google will take a small revenue share to cover some of our costs,' according to its Web site.

Rival Yahoo is also soliciting videos from the Web community at large. And sites like AtomFilms and iFilm may want to brace themselves."

Crédito a News.com

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Tuesday, March 8, 2005

BA update

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BUENOS AIRES BRIEFING
March 2005


News this month

Back to the party

The city's nightclubs are reopening, after a two-month closure. The city council had shut them down after 192 people died in a fire at the República Cromañón nightclub on December 31st. But at the end of February, after rigorous security checks, inspectors allowed two clubs to open and reckoned that around 40 would soon follow by the end of March.

The capital's tourism and entertainment industries have suffered under the crackdown. Musicians have had to escape the city to find clubs to perform in, and the city's formerly thriving alternative-theatre circuit has also been stymied by suddenly diligent safety inspectors. Even the Hotel Faena, one of the city's most fashionable and exclusive hotels (which opened in October), had to turn guests away for a week during tiffs with zealous inspectors. Assailed for not doing enough to avert December's disaster, the city has worked to demonstrate its toughness. The city council has beefed up controls on public venues, and the General Justice Inspectorate has decreed a ban on offshore companies operating in the capital. This is to mitigate one of the contributing factors in the República Cromañón case, in which the club's ownership was obscured by arrangements with a series of Uruguay-based companies.


Cartel air

Security officials at Barajas airport in Madrid intercepted 60 kilos of cocaine that had been shipped from Buenos Aires' main airport, Ezeiza, revealing serious breaches in security there. Though the packages were discovered in September, their existence was not made public until February. The government has blamed the air force for keeping the discovery quiet. The chief executive of Southern Winds, the airline responsible for the shipment, denounced the case in the Argentina courts in October, and blamed rogue employees. But the judge on the case suspects the incident points to larger problems in airport security, and has arrested several Southern Winds executives.

The packages had fake labels claiming they were the property of the Argentine embassy in Madrid, and were sent as unaccompanied luggage, which is prohibited. They also were not passed through the airport's scanners. Shortly after the cocaine was found, security videos that could have identified the smugglers were erased. The government, under fire for its handling of the scandal and concerned about systemic security gaps, has acted with characteristic vigour. It has removed the senior command of the air force, previously responsible for security at airports; dissolved the force's National Aeronautical Police, replacing it with a civilian force; and cancelled a joint venture between the state and Southern Winds.


Also in the
Buenos Aires guide

History lessons

What better reprieve from high-pressure city life than an afternoon in the company of real-life gauchos?...

Read more

In the streets again

After a lull in activity at the beginning of the year, the capital's piqueterosunemployed protestors—returned to the streets in February. In the most serious incident, a 24-year-old piquetero was arrested after attacking a car that tried to pass through a column of marchers. Demonstrators smashed several of the car's windows, covered it in dents and inflicted cuts and bruises on the occupants, including three young girls. The organisation responsible, which has ties to Quebracho, one of the city's most radical left-wing groups, later apologised, calling it “an error”. But the family of those assaulted rejected the apology, and said they would sue the government for not guaranteeing the free passage of traffic.

The attack was another blow for the image of the piqueteros, who have drawn ire after repeated roadblocks and clashes (incited by some more extreme groups). In response, the city's prosecutors have ordered a firmer crackdown, as opposed to the national government's soft approach. In a first step, prosecutors have demanded that participants not cover their faces during protests, and banned the sticks carried by the demonstrators' security forces. The piqueteros have, for now, obeyed the command.


Last ride

Norberto “Pappo” Napolitano, an Argentine rock legend, was killed in a road accident at the end of February, shortly before his 55th birthday. He was hit by a car after falling from his Harley Davidson motorbike near the city of Luján, outside Buenos Aires. Before the accident he had been drinking heavily.

BB King, an American blues legend, called Pappo “Latin America's greatest guitarist.” He was a pioneer of local rock music, briefly forming part of the legendary Abuelos de la Nada, before starting his own band, Pappo's Blues, and later launching Argentina's first heavy metal band, Riff, in 1980. During his career he recorded with virtually all the big Argentine rock bands and appeared with several American stars (including Mr King). Blunt and irascible, Napolitano had once been accused of fascism; just before he died he was being prosecuted for punching another musician. But there was a gentler side: he lived at home with his mother until her death in the 1990s. Thousands of fans turned out to salute his funeral cortege and participate in the services at the city's Chacarita cemetery.


Raising the dead

Scientists recently found the long-lost body of Facundo Quiroga, a brutal provincial leader known as the “Tigre de Los Llanos” (Tiger of Los Llanos). His burial site had been a secret for 170 years. Quiroga and his mentor, the equally tyrannical Juan Manuel de Rosas, were denounced by Domingo Sarmiento, a revered 18th-century figure, for their bloody vision of federalism in Sarmiento’s tremendously influential book “Facundo”. His coffin was found entombed in the wall of his family's crypt in the famous Recoleta cemetery. As local legend held, he had been buried standing upright and with a sword, so he could fight against Death. Historians think his burial site was kept secret to stop his many enemies from digging up and burning his remains.

Two centuries later, Quiroga continues to generate controversy. Politicians from La Rioja, his native province, demanded that his remains be sent there, alleging that the tomb where he was buried had been neglected. Burial rows are a regular topic in Buenos Aires. There were recently proposals to make a mausoleum in Buenos Aires province for General Juan Domingo Perón and his wife Evita, and to bring to Argentina the remains of Ernesto “Che” Guevara.


Catch if you can
March 2005




(c) Henri Cartier-Bresson/Magnum Photos
(c) Henri Cartier-Bresson/Magnum Photos

Until April 10th 2005

With the support of the French embassy, the Borges Cultural Centre hosts an expansive retrospective of the work of Henri Cartier-Bresson, a Parisian photographer who championed a photojournalistic style. This show features 155 of his pictures. Born in 1908, Cartier-Bresson was trained to be a painter; by 1932 he became inseparable from his Leica camera, which he wielded with a painterly eye. After documenting the liberation of Paris in 1945 (he spent three years as a Nazi prisoner-of-war), he travelled the world, mostly India and China, where he captured iconic images of Gandhi and of Mao's rise to power. Though he rejected photography for drawing in the last 25 years of his life, he has left an unrivalled body of work.

See obituary: Kingdoms of the world in a moment, August 5th 2004

Centro Cultural Borges, corner of Viamonte and San Martín, Centre. Tel: +54 (0)11 5555-5359. Open: Mon-Sat, 10am-9pm. For more information, visit the museum's website.


More from the Buenos Aires cultural calendar

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Monday, January 3, 2005

FILM REVIEW; In War of the Sexes, the Walking Wounded


By STEPHEN HOLDEN
Published: December 24, 1998, Thursday

''So what kind of friendship is this?'' pleads Eddie (Sean Penn) to his suave housemate, Mickey (Kevin Spacey), in David Rabe's pitch-black comedy ''Hurlyburly.''

''Adequate,'' Mickey replies with a shrug.

No, there's hardly any nurture in the friendships shown in the teeth-grinding Hollywood shark tank of ''Hurlyburly.''

In evoking the casual cruelty of contemporary life in a certain time and place, this screen adaptation of David Rabe's play is a misanthropic triumph. The film, which takes place ''a little while ago,'' is set in a movie-industry milieu that feels like the 1980's, when the play was first produced and when cocaine was still conspicuously fashionable in Hollywood. In this toxic social climate, friendships are duplicitous power games and male-female encounters ugly skirmishes in a never-ending series of battles.

The main characters in this bilious study of macho camaraderie, sexual exploitation and substance abuse are Eddie, a casting director coming apart from drugs and alcohol, and his cool, sarcastic business partner and roommate, Mickey. These two party animals share a sleek mirror-and-glass-filled condominium in the Hollywood Hills. As the movie begins on a morning of runny noses and hacking coughs, the only breakfast food in the refrigerator turns out to be a package of moldy Snowballs.

Mr. Penn's Eddie is a whiny, hysterical motor-mouth, a sort of improvisatory philosopher of doom whose unstrung rants are inspired by television images gleaned from his compulsive channel-surfing. Blond and reptilian, Mr. Spacey's Mickey gazes at the world through hooded eyes, his mouth curled in a supercilious sneer.

What kind of friendship do they have? On this particular morning, the atmosphere is sharpened by Eddie's certainty that his sometime girlfriend, Darlene (Robin Wright Penn), has just slept with Mickey. As the friends argue by car phone, Mickey calmly reminds Eddie that he gave him tacit permission to sleep with Darlene when he announced that ''everybody's free.''

Dropping by the house to snort cocaine, smoke dope and swap nasty sexual war stories are Artie (Garry Shandling), a beady-eyed Hollywood bigwig, and Phil (Chazz Palminteri), a thuggish would-be actor with ''three kids in Toledo I haven't seen since I went to prison.'' One afternoon Artie brings his buddies a sexual ''care package'' in the person of Donna (Anna Paquin), a brash, itinerant teen-ager he met in an elevator.

Phil, a human pit bull who idolizes Eddie, is desperate to save his unraveling marriage to a wife he has been regularly beating up. Should he stop taking pills to reduce his sperm count and give her the baby she craves? In the movie's chilliest moment, after that child has arrived, Artie picks up the baby girl and marvels at the fact that ''this sweet little thing, this innocent little thing, guys, this is a broad of the future.''

That tender moment arrives long after Eddie has fixed up Phil on a disastrous blind date with Bonnie (Meg Ryan), a stripper, single mother and self-described ''drug person'' who in another of the movie's nastier moments is recalled having had sex in the back seat of a car while her traumatized 6-year-old daughter looked on.

As directed by Anthony Drazen, ''Hurlyburly'' has been opened up somewhat. (A crucial act of violence not shown in the play is portrayed in the movie.) The film nevertheless still captures the play's claustrophobic sense of being trapped in a smoke-filled room with people who might explode at any second.

The film's close-up photography magnifies every reddened eyelid and plume of cigarette smoke. After a while the images of dissipated faces and the rhythm of the characters' aimless, ugly, hard-boiled banter settles into a woozy, sodden tango of word and image. These are people most of us would rather not be in the same room with, but the movie shoves them in our faces.

The ensemble acting surpasses that of any other film this year. Mr. Penn, his face swollen and crumpling, his voice rising in childish hysteria, burrows so deeply into Eddie that he almost vomits his character onto the screen. Mr. Spacey's cobralike Mickey is as slippery and cool as Mr. Penn's Eddie is volatile, while Mr. Shandling's Artie is the loathsome distillation of a particularly repulsive kind of sleaze: think Larry Sanders without charm or scruples.

Mr. Palminteri, in a heaving, tragic performance that matches Harvey Keitel's stage original, finds the vestige of a soul under the leathery skin of a stupid, compulsively violent thug with delusions of talent.

''Hurlyburly'' has been called sexist because of its female characters' slatternly eagerness to gratify these misogynists. Yet each of the film's three women is capable of standing up for herself. Ms. Wright brings a defensive sang-froid to Darlene, whose dispassionate attitude toward sex drives Eddie into a frenzy. (In a ghastly comic set piece, her refusal to choose between a French and a Chinese restaurant sets him off.) Ms. Ryan, muting her customary perkiness, finds a core of pugnacious resilience under Bonnie's bleary-eyed dishevelment. Ms. Paquin's Donna (the least credible of the three women) also has a prickly edge of defiance.

As it traces Eddie's downward spiral, ''Hurlyburly'' touches on many themes. But above all, it is a contemplation of male friendship and power that proposes the existence of an immutable pecking order. As Mickey is to Eddie (superior, condescending, and betraying), so Eddie is to Phil. Or as Mickey coldly assures Eddie, ''Phil is very safe, because no matter how far you manage to fall, Phil will be lower.''

In this bleak vision of male bonding, the quest for dominance (or if not dominance, approval from above) is so all-consuming that women are little more than trophies and bargaining chips. The war between men and women, the movie proposes, is only an offshoot of a larger and more deadly war: the one waged by men against themselves.

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Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Swinging in Tango City

Nerve.com - Swinging in Tango City by Daniel Maurer



The joke goes, I'm not a sex tourist, but I play one on vacation.

I'm in a cab in Buenos Aires, on business. The driver is a young kid with a shaved head and wire-rim glasses — not the typical paunch-bellied porteño cabbie. After a dinner of pork intestines and Quilmes beer, I'm just buzzed enough to forget that my girlfriend Kyona is sitting next to me. Before I know it, I've asked about the zona roja. The driver takes us around the block to a cobblestone street in Jorge Luis Borges's old neighborhood. But tonight there are no transvestite hookers, just policemen at every corner. The driver offers to take us to the strip of actual niñas instead; he sounds like a waiter sorry to have run out of the house special.

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Monday, December 13, 2004

Oracle > PeopleSoft

Oracle Signs Definitive Merger Pact
To Buy PeopleSoft for $10.3 Billion

WALL STREET JOURNAL ONLINE NEWS ROUNDUP
December 13, 2004 7:25 a.m.

REDWOOD SHORES, Calif. -- After more than a year of legal wrangling, PeopleSoft Inc. agreed to be acquired by Oracle Corp. for $26.50 a share, or about $10.3 billion.

The agreement, which comes 18 months after Oracle launched its hostile-takeover bid for Pleasanton-based PeopleSoft, represents a $2.50 boost in Oracle's last offering price. The deal has the approval of the boards of both companies and should close by early January.

SOFTWARE FIGHT
See complete coverage of Oracle's pursuit of PeopleSoft

Oracle agreed to revise its $24-a-share offer by Wednesday, Dec. 15, and the tender will remain open through Dec. 28, unless extended.

The agreement announced by both companies Monday halts all pending litigation.

"This merger gives Oracle even more scale and momentum,'' said Oracle Chief Executive Larry Ellison. "The real highlight of our most recent quarter was the 57% growth in our applications business, and this merger is going to make that applications business bigger and stronger.''

"After careful consideration, we believe this revised offer provides good value for PeopleSoft stockholders and represents a substantial increase in value from October," said A. George "Skip" Battle, Chairman of PeopleSoft's Transaction Committee. "This has been a long, emotional struggle, and our employees have consistently performed well under the most challenging of circumstances."

Mr. Ellison said, "This merger works because we will have more customers, which increases our ability to invest more in applications development and support.''

Oracle's last bid had been for $9.2 billion, or $24 a share. PeopleSoft shares closed Friday at $23.95 on the Nasdaq Stock Market.

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Thursday, December 9, 2004

IBM Veteran Sees an Opportunity With Lenovo

WSJ.com - IBM Veteran Sees an Opportunity With Lenovo:
New PC Business Chief
To Rely More on Resellers;
Keeping Grip on Customers

By WILLIAM M. BULKELEY and EVAN RAMSTAD
Staff Reporters of THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
December 9, 2004; Page B3

Stephen M. Ward Jr., a 26-year veteran of International Business Machines Corp., suddenly has the job of turning China's Lenovo Group Ltd. into a strong and profitable No. 3 in the global computer market -- something he couldn't do with IBM's own PC business.

As a result of the agreement by Beijing-based Lenovo to acquire IBM's PC business for $1.25 billion in cash and stock, Mr. Ward, who has headed the PC operation inside IBM, will now be chief executive of a public company traded on the Hong Kong stock exchange with combined sales of about $12 billion a year and an indicated 8% market share. As part of the deal, IBM will own an 18.9% stake in Lenovo.

Mr. Ward said he plans to set up a small headquarters in Armonk, N.Y., IBM's hometown, and plans to keep IBM's PC group's 10,000 employees, including the 2,200 in the U.S.

In an interview, Mr. Ward said he expects Lenovo to continue IBM's strategy of trying to develop innovations that will persuade buyers to look at features other than low price when picking PCs. 'Like any product in the world, it's commoditized until someone finds a way to make it better,' he said. He said IBM has had favorable sales results with recent innovations, such as a built-in fingerprint reader for logging on to a PC and a one-button recovery feature for starting up again if a virus shuts down a PC."

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Saturday, December 4, 2004

BUENOS AIRES BRIEFING
December 2004


News this month

Looking for suspects

Buenos Aires was briefly the centre of international attention in November after a series of bomb blasts at three banks, including two branches of Citibank. The attacks killed a security guard, injured a police officer (during the controlled detonation of a bomb), and caused minor structural damage to the banks. The bombs were unsophisticated, rigged with gunpowder of the sort that is available in fireworks. They were similar to one used in an attack on demonstrators last December, and one left in a bank in the Belgrano district in August. No one has claimed responsibility for the attacks.

Closed-circuit television cameras captured the offenders on tape, but poor image quality and covered faces make identification unlikely. The government has suggested that the attacks may be the vengeful work of those who have been purged from the police or armed forces, in order to provoke a sense of insecurity.


Sex appeal

In December the city legislature will debate a controversial bill to make sex education compulsory in city schools. The bill, proposed by deputies from the left and right, puts the city in charge of the curriculum, although it lays out certain compulsory subjects. In response to intense pressure from Catholic groups, masturbation is no longer included, but “eroticism” is, to the clear annoyance of Aníbal Ibarra, the city's mayor. The curriculum would affect students who are at least 11 years old.

The bill's advocates have met with religious authorities to try to reach a compromise. But it seems little will change the mind of the city's cardinal, Jorge Bergoglio, who has described the bill as “more fascist than could have been achieved by Goebbels”. Church authorities argue that parents should have the final say. But the bill's authors point out that many parents are unable to educate their children adequately on the subject. They were backed by the national health minister, Ginés González García, who said that more education was necessary to reduce the number of illegal abortions in the country, which he estimated at around half a million a year.


Also in the
Buenos Aires guide

Kill an hour

In keeping with its literary tradition (Jorge Luis Borges and Julio Cortázar were both natives), Buenos Aires is one of the best places on the continent to buy books...

Read more

Damned either way

An October fire killed three teenagers held in a police station in the suburb of Quilmes. Responding to the tragedy, the courts have ruled that juvenile offenders can no longer be held in police stations; the province's governor promised to comply. But the conditions in the juvenile-detention centres are scarcely better, as they are crowded well beyond capacity. In the last 12 years, the number of children arrested in the province has tripled, to over 15,000. And for every child arrested, another eight are put into children's homes because of they are suffering from poverty or abuse.

One provincial judge declared that children face a worse fate when they are not incarcerated, arguing that they then run the risk of being shot by the police. This case gained credibility in November, when a judge found two members of the provincial police force, La Bonaerense, guilty of executing a teenager. The judge then ordered an inquiry into the possible existence of police death squads in the suburbs around the capital.


A brutal problem worsens

Violence against women is on the rise in Buenos Aires, according to the general prosecutor's office. In the first half of the year there were 513 sexually motivated attacks, compared with 872 in all of 2003 and 793 the previous year. Women's groups have denounced the trend.

But disturbing figures are only part of the problem. The capital's Women's Office, for instance, received almost 11,000 calls from women who were victims of violence in the first nine months of 2004. According to some estimates, only one in ten women inform the police of sexual attacks and only a tenth of such reports result in conviction. The Women's Office has speculated that as many as 60% of women suffer from domestic violence. In response, the city council has announced that it will provide free legal assistance to women who are attacked, and launch a publicity campaign urging them to report any incident.


Hiding in plain sight

A recent visit from Prince Harry, a member of the British royal family, lured some of the more feverish members of the British press. Ironically, the prince reportedly came to lay low after a series of bust-ups with the press over lurid stories about his drunken behaviour, which culminated in a fight with a photographer. During his fortnight in late November on an English-owned ranch in Buenos Aires province, there were plenty of articles about the prince's debauched escapes to a nearby town. Local authorities fretted over his safety after other reports claimed that local criminals were plotting to kidnap him. The prince's security was duly bumped up.


Catch if you can
December 2004






Until February 27th 2005

This exhibition comprises 400 works—sculptures, drawings, collages and video installations—from one of Argentina's most talented multimedia artists. The show testifies not just to the breadth but also to the complexity of Mr Ferrari's work. With sensuality, humour and violence, he often examines the nature of power and challenges mainstream cultural values.

A retrospective of Mr Ferrari's groundbreaking works from the 1960s is scheduled to run until December 15th. Local Catholic fundamentalists are trying to cancel it as it contains a series of controversial works dealing with church discrimination. From December 16th, the show will be replaced with a less contentious display of some later works.

Centro Cultural Recoleta, Junín 1930, Recoleta. Tel: +54 11-4803-1040. Open: Tues-Fri, 2pm-9pm; Sat, Sun and holidays, 10am-9pm. For more information, visit the museum's website.

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Friday, December 3, 2004

IBM said to be eyeing a sale of its PC business | CNET News.com

IBM said to be eyeing a sale of its PC business | CNET News.com: "IBM, which gave legitimacy to the personal computer business in the 1980s, is said to be negotiating the sale of its PC unit in a move that could reshape the industry.

The company is negotiating with Chinese manufacturer Lenovo Group, formerly known as Legend, and at least one other buyer to sell its PC business unit, according to a report in Friday's New York Times. The unit could fetch as much as $2 billion, the report said."

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EA memo

We got our hands on a hot little internal memo written by EA Senior VP Rusty Rueff that amounts to a mea culpa to the company’s sweatshop employees. In it, Rueff promises that changes are coming, including reclassifying more employees so they can receive overtime.

For those of you who have some how missed out on the EA scandal this is it in a nutshell:

An anonymous letter written by EA Spouse complained of the treatment of employees by EA and their Byzantine overtime practices.

An employee filed a suit against EA, asking for it to be classified as a class action.

An on the record employee complains of EA’s treatment of employees.

Which brings us to the Memo, which I now present to you in full:

The last few weeks of reading blogs and the media about EA culture and work practices have not been easy. I know personally how hard it is when so much of the news seems negative. We have purposefully not responded to web logs and the media because the best way to communicate is directly with you, our team members.

As much as I don’t like what’s been said about our company and our industry, I recognize that at the heart of the matter is a core truth: the work is getting harder, the tasks are more complex and the hours needed to accomplish them have become a burden. We haven’t yet cracked the code on how to fully minimize the crunches in the development and production process. Net, there are things we just need to fix. And the solutions don’t apply to just our studios — the people who market, sell, distribute and support the great games that our Studios create, all share a demanding workload.

Three weeks ago we issued our bi-annual Talk Back Survey and more than 80 percent of you participated – much higher than the norm for a company our size. That tells me you care and are committed to making EA better. In the next 30 days we’ll have the survey results and we will share them openly with you by the middle of January.

Your feedback in the Talk Back Survey will help us make changes in the coming year, but we’re not waiting — some changes are already in the works in the Studios. Here are just a few:

The Studios will be moving to a consistent application of the Renderware Platform. We bought Criterion because we believe there is no better technology platform (25% of all games in our industry are being built on RW). Having a standardized technology approach will save us from having to re-invent the wheel over and over. It will save time and effort we used to spend navigating technology issues.

Every member of the Studio will have gone through Pre-Production Training by the end of December (Tiburon will be going through their training in January when they move into their new facility). We understand the toll taken on our teams when we change directions late in the process. We are putting more teeth in our preproduction discipline to ensure that we more fully define and agree (at all levels) on what the features of the game will be before we scale up teams.

We’ve started a Development Process Improvement Project to get smarter and improve efficiency. Just as we have revamped the Pre-Production process, we are now creating a Product Development Map that will provide earlier decision-making (on SKUS and game features), improve our consistency of creative direction, and lessen the number of late in the process changes, firedrills, and crunches. We will be rolling these changes out over the next year.

We are looking at reclassifying some jobs to overtime eligible in the new Fiscal Year. We have resisted this in the past, not because we don’t want to pay overtime, but because we believe that the wage and hour laws have not kept pace with the kind of work done at technology companies, the kind of employees those companies attract and the kind of compensation packages their employees prefer. We consider our artists to be “creative” people and our engineers to be “skilled” professionals who relish flexibility but others use the outdated wage and hour laws to argue in favor of a workforce that is paid hourly like more traditional industries and conforming to set schedules. But we can’t wait for the legislative process to catch up so we’re forced to look at making some changes to exempt and non-exempt classifications beginning in April.

So, there are things in the works short-term, longer-term, along with those ideas that will come from you over the next few months.

Here is what I know about our progress as a Company.

First, we have the best people in this industry and arguably in the entire entertainment industry. Globally, we are now over 5000 strong and we continue to win in the market place. Year after year, our games finish at the top of the charts with the best ratings. We like to compete and we like to win.

Second, we’re doing something that no one has ever done before: No entertainment software company has ever scaled to this size. We take it for granted sometimes, but it’s important to recognize this fact. Every day is a learning day with new competitors, new consumers, new people working on bigger teams – and all of this amid rapidly changing technology. We experiment, we learn from our mistakes, we adapt and we grow.

Most important: we recognize that this doesn’t get fixed with one email or in one month. It’s an on-going process of communication and change. And while I realize that the issue today is how we work – I think we should all remember that there are also a lot of great benefits to working at EA that are not offered at other companies. With some smart thinking and specific actions we will fix these issues and become stronger as a company.

Thanks for taking time to read this.

Rusty

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Monday, October 18, 2004

John Kerry for President

The New York Times > Opinion > John Kerry for President

Transcript:

The New York Times
October 17, 2004
John Kerry for President

Senator John Kerry goes toward the election with a base that is built more on opposition to George W. Bush than loyalty to his own candidacy. But over the last year we have come to know Mr. Kerry as more than just an alternative to the status quo. We like what we've seen. He has qualities that could be the basis for a great chief executive, not just a modest improvement on the incumbent.

We have been impressed with Mr. Kerry's wide knowledge and clear thinking - something that became more apparent once he was reined in by that two-minute debate light. He is blessedly willing to re-evaluate decisions when conditions change. And while Mr. Kerry's service in Vietnam was first over-promoted and then over-pilloried, his entire life has been devoted to public service, from the war to a series of elected offices. He strikes us, above all, as a man with a strong moral core.



There is no denying that this race is mainly about Mr. Bush's disastrous tenure. Nearly four years ago, after the Supreme Court awarded him the presidency, Mr. Bush came into office amid popular expectation that he would acknowledge his lack of a mandate by sticking close to the center. Instead, he turned the government over to the radical right.

Mr. Bush installed John Ashcroft, a favorite of the far right with a history of insensitivity to civil liberties, as attorney general. He sent the Senate one ideological, activist judicial nominee after another. He moved quickly to implement a far-reaching anti-choice agenda including censorship of government Web sites and a clampdown on embryonic stem cell research. He threw the government's weight against efforts by the University of Michigan to give minority students an edge in admission, as it did for students from rural areas or the offspring of alumni.

When the nation fell into recession, the president remained fixated not on generating jobs but rather on fighting the right wing's war against taxing the wealthy. As a result, money that could have been used to strengthen Social Security evaporated, as did the chance to provide adequate funding for programs the president himself had backed. No Child Left Behind, his signature domestic program, imposed higher standards on local school systems without providing enough money to meet them.

If Mr. Bush had wanted to make a mark on an issue on which Republicans and Democrats have long made common cause, he could have picked the environment. Christie Whitman, the former New Jersey governor chosen to run the Environmental Protection Agency, came from that bipartisan tradition. Yet she left after three years of futile struggle against the ideologues and industry lobbyists Mr. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney had installed in every other important environmental post. The result has been a systematic weakening of regulatory safeguards across the entire spectrum of environmental issues, from clean air to wilderness protection.



The president who lost the popular vote got a real mandate on Sept. 11, 2001. With the grieving country united behind him, Mr. Bush had an unparalleled opportunity to ask for almost any shared sacrifice. The only limit was his imagination.

He asked for another tax cut and the war against Iraq.

The president's refusal to drop his tax-cutting agenda when the nation was gearing up for war is perhaps the most shocking example of his inability to change his priorities in the face of drastically altered circumstances. Mr. Bush did not just starve the government of the money it needed for his own education initiative or the Medicare drug bill. He also made tax cuts a higher priority than doing what was needed for America's security; 90 percent of the cargo unloaded every day in the nation's ports still goes uninspected.

Along with the invasion of Afghanistan, which had near unanimous international and domestic support, Mr. Bush and his attorney general put in place a strategy for a domestic antiterror war that had all the hallmarks of the administration's normal method of doing business: a Nixonian obsession with secrecy, disrespect for civil liberties and inept management.

American citizens were detained for long periods without access to lawyers or family members. Immigrants were rounded up and forced to languish in what the Justice Department's own inspector general found were often "unduly harsh" conditions. Men captured in the Afghan war were held incommunicado with no right to challenge their confinement. The Justice Department became a cheerleader for skirting decades-old international laws and treaties forbidding the brutal treatment of prisoners taken during wartime.

Mr. Ashcroft appeared on TV time and again to announce sensational arrests of people who turned out to be either innocent, harmless braggarts or extremely low-level sympathizers of Osama bin Laden who, while perhaps wishing to do something terrible, lacked the means. The Justice Department cannot claim one major successful terrorism prosecution, and has squandered much of the trust and patience the American people freely gave in 2001. Other nations, perceiving that the vast bulk of the prisoners held for so long at Guantánamo Bay came from the same line of ineffectual incompetents or unlucky innocents, and seeing the awful photographs from the Abu Ghraib prison in Baghdad, were shocked that the nation that was supposed to be setting the world standard for human rights could behave that way.



Like the tax cuts, Mr. Bush's obsession with Saddam Hussein seemed closer to zealotry than mere policy. He sold the war to the American people, and to Congress, as an antiterrorist campaign even though Iraq had no known working relationship with Al Qaeda. His most frightening allegation was that Saddam Hussein was close to getting nuclear weapons. It was based on two pieces of evidence. One was a story about attempts to purchase critical materials from Niger, and it was the product of rumor and forgery. The other evidence, the purchase of aluminum tubes that the administration said were meant for a nuclear centrifuge, was concocted by one low-level analyst and had been thoroughly debunked by administration investigators and international vetting. Top members of the administration knew this, but the selling went on anyway. None of the president's chief advisers have ever been held accountable for their misrepresentations to the American people or for their mismanagement of the war that followed.

The international outrage over the American invasion is now joined by a sense of disdain for the incompetence of the effort. Moderate Arab leaders who have attempted to introduce a modicum of democracy are tainted by their connection to an administration that is now radioactive in the Muslim world. Heads of rogue states, including Iran and North Korea, have been taught decisively that the best protection against a pre-emptive American strike is to acquire nuclear weapons themselves.



We have specific fears about what would happen in a second Bush term, particularly regarding the Supreme Court. The record so far gives us plenty of cause for worry. Thanks to Mr. Bush, Jay Bybee, the author of an infamous Justice Department memo justifying the use of torture as an interrogation technique, is now a federal appeals court judge. Another Bush selection, J. Leon Holmes, a federal judge in Arkansas, has written that wives must be subordinate to their husbands and compared abortion rights activists to Nazis.

Mr. Bush remains enamored of tax cuts but he has never stopped Republican lawmakers from passing massive spending, even for projects he dislikes, like increased farm aid.

If he wins re-election, domestic and foreign financial markets will know the fiscal recklessness will continue. Along with record trade imbalances, that increases the chances of a financial crisis, like an uncontrolled decline of the dollar, and higher long-term interest rates.

The Bush White House has always given us the worst aspects of the American right without any of the advantages. We get the radical goals but not the efficient management. The Department of Education's handling of the No Child Left Behind Act has been heavily politicized and inept. The Department of Homeland Security is famous for its useless alerts and its inability to distribute antiterrorism aid according to actual threats. Without providing enough troops to properly secure Iraq, the administration has managed to so strain the resources of our armed forces that the nation is unprepared to respond to a crisis anywhere else in the world.



Mr. Kerry has the capacity to do far, far better. He has a willingness - sorely missing in Washington these days - to reach across the aisle. We are relieved that he is a strong defender of civil rights, that he would remove unnecessary restrictions on stem cell research and that he understands the concept of separation of church and state. We appreciate his sensible plan to provide health coverage for most of the people who currently do without.

Mr. Kerry has an aggressive and in some cases innovative package of ideas about energy, aimed at addressing global warming and oil dependency. He is a longtime advocate of deficit reduction. In the Senate, he worked with John McCain in restoring relations between the United States and Vietnam, and led investigations of the way the international financial system has been gamed to permit the laundering of drug and terror money. He has always understood that America's appropriate role in world affairs is as leader of a willing community of nations, not in my-way-or-the-highway domination.

We look back on the past four years with hearts nearly breaking, both for the lives unnecessarily lost and for the opportunities so casually wasted. Time and again, history invited George W. Bush to play a heroic role, and time and again he chose the wrong course. We believe that with John Kerry as president, the nation will do better.

Voting for president is a leap of faith. A candidate can explain his positions in minute detail and wind up governing with a hostile Congress that refuses to let him deliver. A disaster can upend the best-laid plans. All citizens can do is mix guesswork and hope, examining what the candidates have done in the past, their apparent priorities and their general character. It's on those three grounds that we enthusiastically endorse John Kerry for president.

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Thursday, October 14, 2004

Baires

Economist.com now offers e-mail updates covering 22 cities. Click here to receive more newsletters.

BUENOS AIRES BRIEFING
October 2004


News this month

Bowling for Carmen

The sleepy town of Carmen de Patagones, in the south of Buenos Aires province, was left in a state of shock after a troubled adolescent ran amok with a gun at his school on September 28th. The youth, identified only as Rafael, stole the gun from his father, a junior naval officer; he killed three fellow students and wounded five more.

The media, politicians and locals all tried to make sense of the attack, with little success. Suggestions for Rafael's motives ranged from friction with his father to fondness for dark clothes and the music of Marilyn Manson, a creepy rock singer. He had scrawled nihilistic messages into his desk, including one that read, “The most sensible thing that human beings can do is kill ourselves”. He is under psychological observation, but the judge heading the investigation into the shooting declared that despite Rafael's “obsessive and phobic symptoms...he understood perfectly what he was doing” during the attack. The provincial governor has so far resisted calls for metal detectors at all schools. Instead, authorities have promised more resources for social work and psychological care in schools, and have written to parents inviting them to reflect on the current levels of violence.


Cracking down

After months of controversy, the capital's legislators in late September finally approved a harsher set of penalties for minor offences. The new laws impose prison sentences for a range of crimes, such as drag-racing on city streets, using unauthorised fireworks and selling alcohol to minors. Blocking city streets, a frustrating tactic of unemployed protestors (piqueteros), will now result in fines and community service. Prostitutes who solicit within 200 metres of schools, religious buildings or houses—which in effect encompasses every point in Buenos Aires—will meet a similar fate.

Opponents argue that giving the Federal Police more power will only lead to more corruption. The city council's executive branch has also promised to veto regulations it sees as unworkable, potentially preventing any of the new measures from taking effect.

For background see: The battle for safer streets, October 2nd 2004


Also in the
Buenos Aires guide

Tango

Here are some of our favourite places to see Argentina's national dance...

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The market's down

Over 50,000 visitors each day flock to the La Salada market, just outside Buenos Aires in the Lomas de Zamora district. Its 7,000 stalls do $400m worth of business per year, selling cheap clothes, shoes, electrical goods and pirated CDs. The market is illegal, though, and authorities have spent months trying to formalise its activities, with little success. Violence flared after a dawn raid by police in late September. When they removed several thousand stalls that were supposedly blocking roads, one protesting stall-holder died in the ensuing pitched battles. Peruvian and Bolivian officials in Argentina intervened in the dispute; their citizens comprise the bulk of the displaced stall-holders. So far, though, local authorities have refused to back down.


City works

Buenos Aires plans to double its spending on public works in 2005: at the end of September, the city council approved infrastructure spending of more than $400m, or almost 25% of their total budget. The council's top priority is the extension of the city's subway system: a new line is due to open in 2006, and several new stations are planned for existing lines. Another big investment is improving flood defences in the wealthier northern suburbs, a long-time demand of residents. The city plans to repair much of the city's dilapidated roads, including several central avenues, and will give the venerable Teatro Colón a much-needed facelift. Despite the spending spree, though, local taxes have not been raised; in fact, the 2005 budget includes a 10% rebate for those who pay on time.


Elephants' rights

Circus owners took to the streets after city legislations passed a law imposing closure and a $3,000 fine on any circus that uses animals. The councilman who proposed the measure argued that animal acts are inhumane, claiming that animals are trained with electric shocks, kept in cramped conditions and, in the case of elephants, forced onto hot surfaces to make them stand on their hind legs. Owners denied the charges, though, filling the streets outside the legislature with circus performers (no elephants, though) on the day of the vote.

Though some councillors were persuaded—one argued, rather weakly, “if I were an animal, I would rather be in a circus than a zoo”—the measure passed handily. It takes effect in October 2006, giving circuses time to replace trained animals with people, who will, legislators hope, receive better treatment.

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Friday, August 20, 2004

Google IPO

Terminó el primero día de intercambio de acciones de Google en el NASDAQ. Menos de lo esperado, pero bien de todas maneras.

Wired News: Google Stock's Wacky Debut: "$100.34 with more than 22 million shares traded"

Click para ver el resumen de WSJ:

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Monday, July 5, 2004

Business tips

Despair, Inc. diseña y vende posters motivacionales. Recomendados.

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Friday, June 11, 2004

MS en problemas

Microsoft está en problemas.

Igual que todos nosotros. Realmente me siento muy cercano a la corporación cuando leo esto, ya que es parecido a lo que me pasa.

Microsoft tiene US$ 56 000 millones y no sabe que hacer

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Thursday, May 27, 2004

Gmail swap

Hay gente dispuesta a hacer cualquier cosa por una cuenta de Gmail.

Ahora salió gmail swap, un sitio con una lista de canjes ofrecidos a cambio de una invitación a probar el servicio.

Aparentemente ahora se extendió de solo empleados de Google a unos cuantos miles de beta-testers, incluyendo mucha gente que usa el Blogger.

Para todos aquellos que no sabe ni que es Gmail: es un email ofrecido por Google que te da 1GB de almacenamiento y un sistema interesante de administración de mails, a cambio de escanear tu correo y ponerte publicidad direccionada al contenido del mismo.

Yo ofrezco aconsejar sobre alguno de los siguientes temas a cambio de una cuenta:

Finanzas personales (programas gasoleros, etc), salud e higiene, fútbol pos-2002, basket de plaza, ciencia-ficción de los 90s, como piratear por internet, comics 1990-96, hip-hop o electrónica y sus artistas imprescindibles, gimnasio: puntos claves, otros a elección.

Dejar mensaje.

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