martes, marzo 08, 2011

Black Swan 101

istockphoto_4665539-black-swan Hace unos años un típico best-Seller era "black swan" de Nashim Talib donde explica como un suceso no esperado puede cambiar la situación actual de una forma inesperada. Tipicamente estos sucesos son: inesperados , difícil de predecir y generan un gran impacto.

El concepto se basa en la simple historia donde todos creen que los cisnes solo pueden ser de color blanco, entonces cuando aparece un cisne negro (algo totalmente inesperado) derriba varias creencias y cambia las cosas de una forma que no era posible predecir antes (siguiendo el mismo patrón de como se estaban desarrollando los acontecimientos hasta ese momento). El libro pone (entre otros) como ejemplo los ataques de 11 de setiembre, aunque este eso no es un buen ejemplo para mi. Porque en la cabeza y fantasías de alguien estaba enterrada la remota posibilidad de que lo que estaban planificando creara justamente todo lo que surgió después.

Para mi un verdadero cisne negro es tendedero ambulante tunecino Mohamed Bouaziz, que se inmoló prendiéndose fuego a lo bonzo luego que una mujer policía lo matratara y humillara. Su acto fue personal y sin mirar todo lo que sucedía a su alrededor. Pero dos meses después Túnez y Egipto ya no tiene a sus dictadores en el poder, Gadafi se sigue intentando aferrar en el poder haciendo todo lo inimaginable y todos los analistas de política internacional intentan aprender (como funciona) del medio oriente a gran velocidad.

102390406Toda esta revolución se da en la misma región que produce un tercio del petróleo mundial. Esto sucede mientras todos los programas de energías alternativas están en pañales y todo lo que conocemos esta fuertemente ligado y dependiente del petróleo.

Yo espero que este cisne traiga un cambio y un buen impulso para dejar los combustibles fósiles y que la humanidad de su próximo salto tecnológico desde la llegada del vapor.

miércoles, febrero 09, 2011

'Nokia, our platform is burning' Stephen Elop

" Hello there,

There is a pertinent story about a man who was working on an oil platform in the North Sea. He woke up one night from a loud explosion, which suddenly set his entire oil platform on fire. In mere moments, he was surrounded by flames. Through the smoke and heat, he barely made his way out of the chaos to the platform’s edge. When he looked down over the edge, all he could see were the dark, cold, foreboding Atlantic waters.

As the fire approached him, the man had mere seconds to react. He could stand on the platform, and inevitably be consumed by the burning flames. Or, he could plunge 30 meters in to the freezing waters. The man was standing upon a “burning platform,” and he needed to make a choice. He decided to jump. It was unexpected.

In ordinary circumstances, the man would never consider plunging into icy waters. But these were not ordinary times - his platform was on fire. The man survived the fall and the waters. After he was rescued, he noted that a “burning platform” caused a radical change in his behaviour.

We too, are standing on a “burning platform,” and we must decide how we are going to change our behaviour.

Over the past few months, I’ve shared with you what I’ve heard from our shareholders, operators, developers, suppliers and from you. Today, I’m going to share what I’ve learned and what I have come to believe. I have learned that we are standing on a burning platform. And, we have more than one explosion - we have multiple points of scorching heat that are fuelling a blazing fire around us. For example, there is intense heat coming from our competitors, more rapidly than we ever expected. Apple disrupted the market by redefining the smartphone and attracting developers to a closed, but very powerful ecosystem.

In 2008, Apple’s market share in the $300+ price range was 25 percent; by 2010 it escalated to 61 percent. They are enjoying a tremendous growth trajectory with a 78 percent earnings growth year over year in Q4 2010. Apple demonstrated that if designed well, consumers would buy a high-priced phone with a great experience and developers would build applications. They changed the game, and today, Apple owns the high-end range. And then, there is Android. In about two years, Android created a platform that attracts application developers, service providers and hardware manufacturers. Android came in at the high-end, they
are now winning the mid-range, and quickly they are going downstream to phones under €100. Google has become a gravitational force, drawing much of the industry’s innovation to its core.

Let’s not forget about the low-end price range. In 2008, MediaTek supplied complete reference designs for phone chipsets, which enabled manufacturers in the Shenzhen region of China to produce phones at an unbelievable pace. By some accounts, this ecosystem now produces more than one third of the phones sold globally - taking share from us in emerging markets. While competitors poured flames on our market share, what happened at Nokia? We fell behind, we missed big trends, and we lost time. At that time, we thought we were making the right decisions; but, with the benefit of hindsight, we now find ourselves years behind. The first iPhone shipped in 2007, and we still don’t have a product that is close to their experience. Android came on the scene just over 2 years ago, and this week they took our leadership position in smartphone volumes. Unbelievable. We have some brilliant sources of innovation inside Nokia, but we are not bringing it to market fast enough. We thought MeeGo would be a platform for winning high-end smartphones. However, at this rate, by the end of 2011, we might have only one MeeGo product in the market.

At the midrange, we have Symbian. It has proven to be non-competitive in leading markets like North America. Additionally, Symbian is proving to be an increasingly difficult environment in which to develop to meet the continuously expanding consumer requirements, leading to slowness in product development and also creating a disadvantage when we seek to take advantage of new hardware platforms. As a result, if we continue like before, we will get further and further behind, while our competitors advance further and further ahead. At the lower-end price range, Chinese OEMs are cranking out a device much faster than, as one Nokia employee said only partially in jest, “the time that it takes us to polish a PowerPoint presentation.” They are fast, they are cheap, and they are challenging us. And the truly perplexing aspect is that we’re not even fighting with the right weapons. We are still too often trying to approach each price range on a device-to-device basis. The battle of devices has now become a war of ecosystems, where ecosystems include not only the hardware and software of the device, but developers, applications, ecommerce, advertising, search, social applications, location-based services, unified communications and many other things.

Our competitors aren’t taking our market share with devices; they are taking our market share with an entire ecosystem. This means we’re going to have to decide how we either build, catalyse or join an ecosystem. This is one of the decisions we need to make. In the meantime, we’ve lost market share, we’ve lost mind share and we’ve lost time. On Tuesday, Standard & Poor’s informed that they will put our A long term and A-1 short term ratings on negative credit watch. This is a similar rating action to the one that Moody’s took last week. Basically it means that during the next few weeks they will make an analysis of Nokia, and decide on a possible credit rating downgrade.

Why are these credit agencies contemplating these changes? Because they are concerned about our competitiveness. Consumer preference for Nokia declined worldwide. In the UK, our brand preference has slipped to 20 percent, which is 8 percent lower than last year. That means only 1 out of 5 people in the UK prefer Nokia to other brands. It’s also down in the other markets, which are traditionally our strongholds: Russia, Germany, Indonesia, UAE, and on and on and on. How did we get to this point? Why did we fall behind when the world around us evolved? This is what I have been trying to understand. I believe at least some of it has been due to our attitude inside Nokia. We poured gasoline on our own burning platform. I believe we have lacked accountability and leadership to align and direct the company through these disruptive times. We had a series of misses. We haven’t been delivering innovation fast enough. We’re not collaborating internally. Nokia, our platform is burning. We are working on a path forward — a path to rebuild our market leadership. 

When we share the new strategy on February 11, it will be a huge effort to transform our company. But, I believe that together, we can face the challenges ahead of us. Together, we can choose to define our future. The burning platform, upon which the man found himself, caused the man to shift his behaviour, and take a bold and brave step into an uncertain future. He was able to tell his story. Now, we have a great opportunity to do the same.

Stephen. "

miércoles, febrero 02, 2011

Esperando el tren de la educacion

School-bus 1

Hace unos dias Barack Obama en su discurso del “estado de la union” (State of the Union) hizo enfasis en la importancia de la educacion (*).Queda claro que la educación no puede ser algo opcional dentro de las politica de un pais y es parte de la apuesta al futuro que todos los gobiernos deben hacer pensando mas alla de periodo que les toca gobernar. Es por eso que considero un gran acierto al plan ceibal que fue inspirado en la vision de Nicholas Negroponte de “Un computadora para cada niño” (OLPC) Porque ese proyecto requiere de un compromiso de largo aliento y los resultados que no son tangibles hoy, seran espectaculares en el futuro. Por eso me molestan las discusiones infertiles sobre cuanto porcentaje del PBI asignarle a la educación, no es una cuestion de poner dinero sino de poner cabeza y corazon. No quierio decir que a educación no se merezca el 4.5%, pero sin un claro espiritu de educar pensando en el futuro ese dinero solo es para cubrir el gasto corriente que tipicamente corresponde son los sueldos.

Lost-trainHoy lei una columna de Thomas Friedman en el NY Times sobre la educacion y un ejemplo de lo que sucede en Singapur.  Nadie puede negar que el gobierno de USA tiene una capacidad superior para invertir en la educación en comparación con Uruguay o Singapur. Justamente el punto es que no solo es volcar billetes, sino saber como hacerlo orientado en una politica de estado; que va mas alla de la propaganda politica hecha como una promesa electoral y escrita en el programa de gobierno del partido de turno.    La educación de su gente es la locomotora que va a empujar el pais en el futuro, pero que se comienza a construir 20 años antes. Sino se ve asi, cuando llega el turno de pasar la posta a la nueva maquina, puede que no este lista para empujar como debiera ser.


(*)“…Maintaining our leadership in research and technology is crucial to America’s success.  But if we want to win the future -– if we want innovation to produce jobs in America and not overseas -– then we also have to win the race to educate our kids.

      Think about it.  Over the next 10 years, nearly half of all new jobs will require education that goes beyond a high school education.  And yet, as many as a quarter of our students aren’t even finishing high school.  The quality of our math and science education lags behind many other nations.  America has fallen to ninth in the proportion of young people with a college degree.  And so the question is whether all of us –- as citizens, and as parents –- are willing to do what’s necessary to give every child a chance to succeed… ” [Barack Obama, 25 enero 2010 ]

martes, enero 18, 2011

Revista Orsai: La crónica del deportado

Cronica de lector desbaratado

Hernán Casciari deberia agradecerle a Alejandro Seselovsky (por lo menos en mi caso) que me haya hecho fan de la revista Orsai. Finalmente conoci la existenicia de la revista por un simple twitt que trai un link, ya habia visto en otras veces que algunos de las personas a las que sigo en twitter habia hablado de la revista Orsai, pero tontamente pense de que era una version distinta de un sumplemento de futbol como Ole u Ovación 

Esta revista que ya es casi de culto (y recien van pocas semanas de su primer ejemplar) me cautivo cuando lei “La crónica del deportado”. Luego cuando lei la editorial me dieron ganas de tener la revista en mis manos y no solo bits en mi pantalla. Fue asi que busque la lista de las librerias que lo distribuyen y encontre que en Uruguay lo hace El Narrador Libros, agarre mi auto y fue a cargar combustible en la estacion de Ellauri y Pereyra. Asi que mientras completaban de combustible mi auto, me fui caminando 1/2 cuadra a buscar combustible para mi cabeza.

Mala suerte la mia, la edición #1 solo la trajieron bajo pedido a quienes estan en una lista que separaba los que habian confiado y conocian el proyecto de los que no sabiamos de la revista o de lo que hablaba la gente. Asi que luego de leer esta narración quede enganchado con este formato, que se encuentran libre pero con suficiente magia como que igual la gente lo quiera en sus manos.

Leyendo los comentarios del articulo veo que mucha gente buscaba cosas distintas al leerlo mismo. Muchos buscando la justificación o la prueba irrefutable de la xenofobia en españa, otros para confirmar que no existia, incluso creo que los editores buscaban lo mismo.

Yo me senti mas cerca de Seselovsky, alguien que corrio la aventura para conocerla y poder escribir sobre ella. Tener una excusa para describir una situacion, un lugar, una serie de sentimientos y vidas que se cruzan en un instante. No para hacer un panfleto procenitista o documentar y justificar una u otra postura. A mi me cautivo mas la redacción y la forma de presentar gente y lugares. Las pequeñas guiñadas y chistes simples mezclados dentro del texto.

Vayan y desen la oportunidad de dedicarles unos minutos a leer simplemente por el gusto de leer

Descargar: Revista Orsai

domingo, octubre 10, 2010

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