A Blog by Jonathan Low


Aug 24, 2016

What Happened After 7 Sites Got Rid Of Reader Comments

In short, not much, because those who want to comment - and there are many of them - will do so wherever and whenever they want. They don't need you to create a space for them - they've got plenty of options and they tend to be very creative, especially when they think comments are being discouraged. JL

Justin Ellis reports in Neiman Lab:

Social media is the new arena for commenting, replacing the old onsite approach that dates back many years. The benefits to social are that people are already on those networks, already holding conversations and sharing stories.

Last Month Was the Hottest. Ever.

Just in case there was any confusion about what anyone meant by 'hottest.' JL

Henry Fountain reports in the New York Times:

Because July is always the hottest month of the year, this July was the hottest of any month since adequate record-keeping began in 1880.

The Age Of the Never-Ending Performance Review

 Darwinian, Orwellian or simply unmanageable? JL

Justin Fox reports in Bloomberg:

Among the complaints about periodic performance reviews are that they’re perfunctory and backward-looking. Real-time feedback is (more) substantive, and organizations are taking steps to make it future-oriented. (If) corporate America really do(es) get better at measuring performance and finding, keeping and promoting the most valuable employees the best will hire the best people, pay them the most money, and everybody else will be left by the wayside.

The Benefits of Using Big Data To Create Value For Customers, Not Just Target Them

Affluent western consumers are over-represented in most contemporary data bases because they are the ones with the money to make purchases of products and technology, as well as having the credit histories to justify the faith in their willingness to continue to buy.

The reality, though, is that the upside in monetizing data from a growth perspective probably lies with the hundreds of millions, even billions, who are only on the cusp of entering marketers' consciousness. And rather than simply targeting them, explaining the benefits of working with you may offer the richest payoff given the shrinking margins as data availability increases while consumer affluence decreases. JL

Niraj Dawar reports in Harvard Business Review:

When every competitor becomes equally good at predicting each customer’s next purchase, marketers will inevitably compete away their profits from that marginal transaction.

Why Research and Development Spending Is Not A Measure Of Innovation

Solving technical problems and addressing technological risk is only one part of the equation when determining how to invest in innovation.

Operational excellence, process improvements and market acceptance are among the crucial elements often neglected when attempting to quantify the economic outcome.

Which is why, as the following article explains, R&D is not a proxy for innovation, nor, more importantly, for innovation success. JL

Tendayi Viki reports in Forbes:

Spending on R&D is not related to growth in sales or profits, increases in market capitalization or shareholder returns. In every annual report Strategy& published, the top 10 innovative companies are rarely the top 10 spenders on R&D. Innovation is about solving for technical and market risk. R&D labs focus on solving for technical risk. While this might increase patentable technologies, it does not guarantee the success of those technologies in the market.

Aug 23, 2016

Wifi Signals Can Identify Individuals By Body Shape


Daniel Oberhaus reports in Motherboard:

Due to the difference of body shapes and motion patterns, each person can have specific influence patterns on surrounding WIFI signals while she moves indoors, generating a unique pattern on the CSI time series of the WIFI device. The team found that the ideal number of people that can be identified is somewhere between 2-6, which would capture the range of most nuclear families.

Innovation Is Everywhere

The lesson is that tech now underpins everything, which means talent is now everywhere. JL

Silvia Sam reports in Medium:

Love and a desire brought Lennon to Ica, a rural city 4 hours from Lima. Lennon’s wife owned an onion export business in this city and in 2013, its demand started growing exponentially. Ica (had) constant power outages and low bandwidth, (its) economy supported by agriculture. He was obsessed with the idea that you don’t need to live in a big city  to build a company, so started building creating (his) own network. Today, he is the CEO of one of Peru’s leading software companies.