situation

How the US Air Force Wasted $1 Billion on a Failed Software Plan

Source: http://gizmodo.com/5967081/how-the-us-air-force-wasted-1-billion-on-a-failed-software-plan

How the US Air Force Wasted $1 Billion on a Failed Software PlanThe US Military makes its fair share of mistakes when it comes to technology—but over the weekend, the New York Times revealed that even upgrading a single software system can go horribly wrong for it.

The New York Times describes the situation:

Last month, [the Air Force] canceled a six-year-old modernization effort that had eaten up more than $1 billion. When the Air Force realized that it would cost another $1 billion just to achieve one-quarter of the capabilities originally planned – and that even then the system would not be fully ready before 2020 – it decided to decamp.

You might expect the project to be exotic and experimental. If that were there case, the expense and failure might be understandable, if not desirable. But in fact the project was the implementation of commercial off-the-shelf software. Known as the Expeditionary Combat Support System, the plan was to improve the management of logistics using software from Oracle. Four years of development—and over $1 billion dollars—later, and neither Oracle nor the Air Force have anything to show for their labors.

So what went wrong? According to the New York Times, the plan was scuppered by constant redesigns, poor time management and lack of accountability:

[The System] was restructured many times, including three separate times in the last three years, Ms. McGrath says. “Each time, we chunked it down, breaking it into smaller pieces, focusing on specific capabilities.” But this was not enough to save the system, she says, because program managers did not succeed in imposing the short deadlines of 18 to 24 months that the department now requires for similar projects…

[A] report cited many concerns, but the main one was a failure to meet a basic requirement for successful implementation: having “a single accountable leader” who “has the authority and willingness to exercise the authority to enforce all necessary changes to the business required for successful fielding of the software.”

If anything, we should be grateful that the Air Force decided to kill the project before it haemorrhaged more cash. If you want more detail, you should definitely read the Times piece. [New York Times]

Image by expertinfantry under Creative Commons license

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Monday, December 10th, 2012 news No Comments

Amazon Appears To Be Inflating The List Prices Of Some Discounted Items (AMZN)

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/amazon-appears-to-be-inflating-the-list-prices-of-some-discounted-items-2012-2

 

Amazon Weird Pricing

You know how when you shop on Amazon there is a price and a then a “list price” which is usually much higher?

The effect is that you feel like you’re getting a big discount shopping on Amazon.

It turns out Amazon might be publishing list prices that are too high.

Mouse Print first noticed the problem with an array of general consumer products such as Kraft’s Mac & Cheese and a 100-count box of Splenda.

As if this afternoon, most of these prices have been fixed, except for a ton of pet food items.

Take for example the dog treats you see above. The retail value of one Merrick Flossies is approximately $4, making a 50-count supply valued at no more than $200. Yet Amazon claims the list price stands at a whopping $422.89, more than doubled what it should cost.

Click here to see more examples of Amazon’s wacky prices >

We tried to contact Amazon for comments, but did not receive a response.

The incident reminds us of last year when Amazon listed a seemingly normal book about flies for $23,698,655.93. Biologist Michael Eisen blogged about the unrealistic selling price, and documented how Amazon’s price for the book The Making of a Fly constantly went up day after another.

Here’s what happened: A professor required this book for a class and students naturally flocked to Amazon to purchase the text. Eventually, only two sellers still had the product available.

Because the book quickly became an exclusive, hot ticket item, Amazon’s algorithm for retailers to competitively price their product catapulted the retail value to more than $23 million.

We’re not sure if this is the same situation with the pet food offerings on the site, but it seems hard to believe the world is running out of doggie treats.

Deli Cat Dry Cat Food

Ok, we know having pets can be expensive but you can’t fool us, Amazon.

Higgins Celestial Blend Bird Food

Who can resist 89 percent off retail list price? Only ten left in stock!

Redbarn Filled Bone – Peanut Butter

Dog foods are getting so fancy these days, but at $6.70, the bone’s a steal.

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Wednesday, February 29th, 2012 news No Comments

Source: http://gizmodo.com/5882173/the-dominos-super-bowl-pizza-war-room-oozes-pepperoni-cheese-and-sadness

The Domino's Super Bowl Pizza War Room Oozes Pepperoni, Cheese, and SadnessOn Super Bowl Sunday, 55 IT specialists will huddle together in a dark room to keep their company’s website afloat on the biggest day of its entire year, since it’s going to be bombarded by millions of ravenous fans. But the company they work for isn’t the NFL.

It’s freaking Domino’s.

Here’s how Domino’s social media specialist explained the roles of who’s in the room to The Atlantic:

* Application owners check the initial code of our applications, making up our defensive line.
* Those watching our operating systems are our second line of defense, or “line backers”… who react to every situation on the “field.”
* Those observing the network will jump in and “cover” if anything looks dicey on a larger scale, serving as our “cornerbacks.”
* In case someone tries a “Hail Mary” play to hack into part of our system, we have our Security team there as our “safeties” – our last line of defense!

Which is about the caliber of sports metaphor you’d expect from a social media specialist. But it doesn’t make it any less cool that Dominos stuffs bunch of nerds into a room during the super bowl to make sure you get your pizza. [Dominos via The Atlantic]

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Sunday, February 5th, 2012 Uncategorized No Comments

Americans Haven’t Been This Angry About The Economy Since March 2009

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/americans-havent-been-this-angry-about-the-economy-since-march-2009-2012-1


According to the Chicago Booth/Kellogg School Financial Trust Index (h/t WSJ’s Sudeep Reddy), only 23% of Americans trust the financial system.  And 62% are either “angry” or very “angry” about the state of the economy.

Trust in the financial system hasn’t been this low and anger in the economic situation hasn’t been this high since March 2009.  And March 2009 was when the S&P 500 hit that horrific low of 666.

“In an election year, this certainly indicates the importance of the economy to the political agenda,” wrote Paolo Sapienza.  Sapienza co-authored the index with Professor Luigi Zingales.

chart

chart

Then again, March 2009 turned out to be an amazing time to buy stocks.

Please follow Clusterstock on Twitter and Facebook.

Join the conversation about this story »

See Also:



Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Friday, January 27th, 2012 news No Comments

Bloomberg Didn’t Sell Enough Terminals So Now Everyone’s Bonuses Are Getting Whacked

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/bloomberg-didnt-sell-enough-terminals-so-now-everyones-bonuses-are-getting-whacked-2012-1


Bloomberg Terminal

The lower bonus situation on Wall Street isn’t just for the bankers, but for the companies that service the bankers as well.

Since Bloomberg LP failed to meet its quota for selling its famous terminals, everyone at the financial media giant will receive lower bonus payouts, the New York Post reported citing an internal memo.

That means your favorite Bloomberg News reporters and Bloomberg TV anchors will take home a lower paycheck, according to the report.

If you’re not already familiar with the Bloomberg terminal, it’s basically a computer that’s targeted toward financial professionals so they can message other users, obtain real-time market data, news and stock quotes among many other functions.

They’re really awesome.

According to the Post, there are currently 310,000 terminals that are being used worldwide.  However, the company only added 13,672 in 2011, which was short of its internal sales goal of 15,000.

So if they sold 1,328 more they wouldn’t be having this lower payout problem.  Of course, it’s not exactly the best environment out there on Wall Street.

On a side note, revenue at Bloomberg climbed $720 million, or 10.5%, to $7.59 billion, the Post reported.

Please follow Clusterstock on Twitter and Facebook.

Join the conversation about this story »

See Also:



Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Thursday, January 26th, 2012 news No Comments

There’s Only One Way To Make A Ton Of Money And Be Happy Selling Your Start Up

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/theres-only-one-way-to-male-a-ton-of-money-selling-your-start-up-2012-1


Venture Capital Ad

There is a common belief that venture capital has become a necessity to get start-ups off the ground.

The seemingly endless flow of funds is very appealing to the up-and-coming company looking to sling-shot themselves to instant growth.

While VC funding can give an important vote of confidence and is absolutely necessary for large infrastructure projects, there’s another side to VC funding— it can actually become a huge hindrance. As I’ve discussed before, skipping venture capital can leave your company with the freedom to grow in a sustainable way, creating more value for all stakeholders.

This means when you do sell – as my company AdoTube did recently— you are able to reap all the rewards of selling a healthy profitable company while being a big part of its future. Read below for the 5 reasons why skipping the VC can leave you with more money and probably more importantly a better company legacy.

1.       VCs just want their return

Venture capitalists have a portfolio of investments consisting of multiple start-ups, and therefore only care about average portfolio results. On the other hand, founders have all their eggs in one basket. Not only is this company their brainchild, but it is also their savings on the line. While founders are interested in the eventual payout, providing a product or service that consumers are excited about can be even more important. This focus on the long-term can lead to a greater eventual pay-out as well as a better company legacy.

2.       It’s easy to waste VC money, diminishing overall value

It is easy to overspend when it is not your money. When a small company comes across millions of venture capital, a lot of that cash can get thrown out with the bath water. Keeping the company small and growing it with your own sweat, blood and hard earned cash can lead you to be thriftier in your decisions. When AdoTube started, we made sure every purchase would earn us back revenue, otherwise why waste the money? Ultimately, this allowed us more value for our investment and helped us get a better return.

3.       VCs go big or go bust

Multiple rounds of VC can put founders in a situation where the company either becomes extremely successful or goes bust. Venture Capitalists’ are looking for the big payday, and if the instant pay-out is not immediately apparent, the company can come to a screeching halt. Founders, on the other hand, can take their time building the company up growing it organically. Without venture capitalists looking for their end return, there is still a lot of middle ground available to time a company’s growth spurt with the market.

4.       VCs don’t care about company culture

VCs aren’t incentivized to make deals that are best for the company and the founders. They are incentivized to sell for the most money. The problem is that while every founder dreams of retiring to the Caribbean after they sell, the reality is that their role with the company is often far from over. Founders are often needed to stay on board to steer transitions or integrations are also often the best person to run the newly acquired company. Culture is paramount in making sure all of this happens smoothly and benefits everyone.

5.       VCs don’t know what’s best for the company

Venture Capitalists don’t understand your business like you do. They study revenues and look for synergies with other companies. VCs can even value companies differently depending on how they might merge with another. Valuing a company based on this can take away from the goals of founders, forcing companies to work more like a widget factory than a company. A simple sale could also mean the instant death of your company, destroying all the value that you created (just talk with the guys at Foursquare). While the VCs walk away with a pay-day the company that you spent years creating is gone in an instant.

Please follow War Room on Twitter and Facebook.

Join the conversation about this story »

See Also:




drag2share – drag and drop RSS news items on your email contacts to share (click SEE DEMO)

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Thursday, January 12th, 2012 news No Comments

Sports Fans Coalition intends to lobby against NFL blackouts

Source: http://www.engadget.com/2011/11/16/sports-fans-coalition-intends-to-lobby-against-nfl-blackouts/

We know how it is, you have a big HDTV and inexpensive adult beverages at home and you just don’t feel compelled to spend the bucks to go to the game in these tough economic times. We feel for you, but the NFL does not as your situation doesn’t exactly pay all those player’s salaries. Well, starting this Friday the Sports Fans Coalition, along with other organizations, plans to petition the FCC for change to the current blackout rule. The groups argue that since many of the stadiums are built with public funds, Joe Consumer has the right to watch those games at home. As is, we’re mostly just glad the old NFL blackout policy, prior to 1973 that made all home games unavailable to the home market, isn’t still in effect. Of course that doesn’t mean that we believe the current blackout policy actually helps sell those $100+ tickets and believe the NFL might realize more profits if it sought out more modern supplemental revenue strategies.

Sports Fans Coalition intends to lobby against NFL blackouts originally appeared on Engadget on Wed, 16 Nov 2011 23:57:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink   |  sourcePolitico  | Email this | Comments


drag2share – drag and drop RSS news items on your email contacts to share (click SEE DEMO)

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Thursday, November 17th, 2011 news No Comments

The Best Days of the Week to Buy Big-Ticket Items Online [Buying]

Source: http://lifehacker.com/5855776/the-best-days-of-the-week-to-buy-big+ticket-items-online

The Best Days of the Week to Buy Big-Ticket Items OnlineWe’ve looked at the best times to buy throughout the year, but when shopping online prices tend to fluctuate on a day-to-day basis. Discounts, deals, and price-comparison site Extrabux calculated the statistics and figured out when certain items are cheaper during the week.

Computers are cheapest on Mondays because manufacturers apply their rebates early in the week. This means online retailers can purchase computers for less and pass the savings on to you. This is not the case with every manufacturer, but Dell and Sony are among the companies that do this with their computers.

Mondays are also cheap days for TVs (and Tuesdays aren’t bad either) not only because of the same rebate situation, but because big sales days tend to be earlier in the week. This gives retailers an opportunity to draw more buyers in, and lower prices are a good way to do that. Cameras and video games also benefit from lower prices earlier in the week for the same reasons.

Major appliances tend to be cheapest on Sundays because that’s when the majority of people are searching for them. Washers, dryers, ovens, microwaves, refrigerators, and more are all Googled like crazy at the end of the week, so online retailers adjust their prices to draw people in.

Jewelry prices drop down on Wednesdays because that’s when searches take place as well. Apparently women tend to shop online most often in the middle of the week, and since women are the target market for most jewelry we see price drops to help attract buyers.

Books are at their lowest on Saturdays, although there isn’t a solid reason why. Perhaps people read more on Saturdays, or at least thing they should be reading more when the weekend finally rolls around.

For more information on why these prices fluctuate online on certain days, plus lots of pretty graphs, check out the full post over on Extrabux.

The Cheapest Days of the Week to Shop Online | Extrabux Blog


You can follow Adam Dachis, the author of this post, on Twitter, Google+, and Facebook.  Twitter’s the best way to contact him, too.


drag2share – drag and drop RSS news items on your email contacts to share (click SEE DEMO)

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Thursday, November 3rd, 2011 news No Comments

Inflation Is A Thing Of The Past

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/chart-of-the-day-inflation-going-back-to-1872-2011-10

People who blast the Fed for creating raging inflation or what not don’t know what they’re talking about.

Doug Short put together this fantastic chart of inflation going all the way back to 1872.

It couldn’t be more obvious: Inflation just isn’t that big of a deal either in numerical terms, or from any historical perspective.

Policymakers have gotten excellent at keeping things tame, both on the upside and on the downside.

chart of the day, monthly inflation, oct 2011

Please follow Money Game on Twitter and Facebook.

Join the conversation about this story »

See Also:


drag2share – drag and drop RSS news items on your email contacts to share (click SEE DEMO)

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Sunday, October 23rd, 2011 news No Comments

"Success Comes Through Rapidly Fixing our Mistakes Rather than Getting Things Right the First Time" [Quotables]

Source: http://lifehacker.com/5842592/success-comes-through-rapidly-fixing-our-mistakes-rather-than-getting-things-right-first-time

"Success Comes Through Rapidly Fixing our Mistakes Rather than Getting Things Right the First Time"This quote comes from Tim Harford, who argues that success is really just a product of failure. He believes we have to try, fail, and quickly correct our mistakes in order to properly succeed. Because failure is just an inevitability, no matter who you are, the key is to get better at recovering from it rather than trying to avoid it altogether.

Harford suggests that there are a few key things we need to pay attention to when dealing with failure. First is avoiding the denial that we’re wrong. He says, “It seems to be the hardest thing in the world to admit we’ve made a mistake and try to put it right. It requires you to challenge a status quo of your own making.” Sometimes we’ll go so far as to chase our losses just to avoid failure, as if accepting the failed situation will make all our effort worthless. In the end, we can’t predict what’s going to work. We can only experiment with trial and error. Failure is an important part of this process, and accepting it makes us capable of actually finding success in the long run.

For more information, check out the full article on The 99 Percent. For another take on the same idea, check out this article in the New York Times.

Why Success Always Starts With Failure | The 99 Percent


You can follow Adam Dachis, the author of this post, on Twitter, Google+, and Facebook.  Twitter’s the best way to contact him, too.


drag2share – drag and drop RSS news items on your email contacts to share (click SEE DEMO)

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Thursday, September 22nd, 2011 news No Comments

Dr. Augustine Fou is Digital Consigliere to marketing executives, advising them on digital strategy and Unified Marketing(tm). Dr Fou has over 17 years of in-the-trenches, hands-on experience, which enables him to provide objective, in-depth assessments of their current marketing programs and recommendations for improving business impact and ROI using digital insights.

Augustine Fou portrait
http://twitter.com/acfou
Send Tips: tips@go-digital.net
Digital Strategy Consulting
Dr. Augustine Fou LinkedIn Bio
Digital Marketing Slideshares
The Grand Unified Theory of Marketing