The Weekend Digest: The perfect team, good logo, and great listeners edition

by Larry Brannan ([email protected]) 147 views 

On this week’s TV edition of Talk Business & Politics, which airs Sundays at 9:30 a.m. on KATV Channel 7 in Central Arkansas and now in Northeast Arkansas on KAIT-NBC, Sundays at 10 a.m.:

• Election Insight
The primary elections are over, but we’ve only just begun to sift through the results. KATV’s Janelle Lilley and TB&P’s Roby Brock pour through the election returns to bring insight on the outcomes.

• Political Analysis
TB&P contributors John Burris and Michael Cook offer analysis. What are the Republican and Democrats’ reactions to Tuesday’s primaries? What does it bode for an upcoming special session? And how do these results play out in November and beyond?

• Feeding Bureaucracy
And, your state tax dollars are feeding bureaucrats. You’ll be surprised at how much is being spent wining and dining on the taxpayers’ dime. KATV’s Elicia Dover reports in an exclusive in-depth report.

Tune in to Talk Business & Politics in Central Arkansas on KATV Channel 7, Sundays at 9:30 a.m. and now in Northeast Arkansas on KAIT-NBC, Sundays at 10 a.m.

Although as Marketplace says it will be a $100 billion business by 2020, “a new report on the Verge shows how all that money is masking seismic shifts in the industry, and once-profitable app start-ups are tanking.”

It’s not enough to sell ads against novelty apps like an aquarium or simple tools like a flashlight. It’s not even enough to sell apps for a one-time payment. The gold rush Apple and Google started seven years ago is over, the Verge reported. In 2016 the most successful apps need sophisticated ad software, a subscription model, in-app purchases or a marketing budget big enough to hire Mariah Carey.

Why? Find out here.

The New York Times Magazine reports, “Today, on corporate campuses and within university laboratories, psychologists, sociologists and statisticians are devoting themselves to studying everything from team composition to email patterns in order to figure out how to make employees into faster, better and more productive versions of themselves.”

“Yet many of today’s most valuable firms have come to realize that analyzing and improving individual workers ­— a practice known as ’employee performance optimization’ — isn’t enough. As commerce becomes increasingly global and complex, the bulk of modern work is more and more team-based.”

Five years ago, Google – one of the most public proselytizers of how studying workers can transform productivity – became focused on building the perfect team. In the last decade, the tech giant has spent untold millions of dollars measuring nearly every aspect of its employees’ lives. Google’s People Operations department has scrutinized everything from how frequently particular people eat together (the most productive employees tend to build larger networks by rotating dining companions) to which traits the best managers share (unsurprisingly, good communication and avoiding micromanaging is critical; more shocking, this was news to many Google managers).

So what happened and what is Project Aristotle? The reveal is at this link.

Vanity Fair posts, “Facebook appears to be making a major play for the live-T.V. space. Facebook C.E.O. Mark Zuckerberg has ambitions to make Facebook a destination for live-streaming content, but the company’s video potential could be even grander.”

The social-media giant, with a market capitalization of around $311 billion, has recently started pushing a new initiative. Instead of being a platform where you read your buddies’ statuses or get friend requests from old classmates, Facebook wants to tell you what’s going on right now. To do so, the company has an internal product called Live, which lets people broadcast video to their friends directly from Facebook.

Zuckerberg said in a town-hall-style Q&A session on Friday that live video is “one of the things I’m most excited about.” Sources close to the company tell Recode that Zuckerberg has been “obsessed” with the concept of live-streaming and has made it a priority at the company.

“But live-streaming aside, Zuckerberg could have bigger ambitions for Facebook’s video tools.”

Learn more about those ambitious details by clicking this link.

Shape matters, at least when it comes to company logos says Fast Company. In other words, “Welcome to a world in which curves are a good thing.”

Think about the iconic brand names you know: Apple, Target, McDonald’s, Gap. What images come to mind? For many of us, probably their logos. That’s because whether it’s an apple or big golden arches, a logo is crucial to a company’s identity. Now, new research says that logos are even more important than businesses and consumers realize. A recent study in the Journal of Consumer Research found that even just a basic element of logos – their shape – affects how people perceive a company and its products.

Explore why by connecting here.

Evening Standard posts, “If the old adage of ‘follow the money’ is any guide, the strangely coiffeured one has the momentum. An 8/1 outsider after defeat in the Iowa primary a month ago, Trump has been backed all the way into 7/4.”

Come November, we could be looking at a Trump presidency. But business leaders have called his lack of an economic plan “alarming.”

Nigel Green, chief executive of financial consultants deVere, was even moved to add that it “seems like economics is not top of his priority list.” That’s not particularly helpful when you’re running the world’s biggest economy, and Trump’s demagoguery over immigration risks crashing it.

You’ll have heard about the “Wall” he’s going to build along the border with Mexico and charge them for. But he also appears to want to tear up one of the U.S. economy’s major advantages by putting a “pause” on immigration while employers hire from the domestic pool of unemployed immigrant and native workers, at a stroke dampening potential growth for the sake of burnishing populist credentials.

What do “saner voices” have to say? Click on this link to find out.

New York Magazine reports billionaire and former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg “has been watching the primaries unfold with outrage and frustration.”

“On virtually every issue, from trade and immigration to gun control and abortion, Trump’s positions are an affront to Bloomberg’s worldview. Even putting aside politics, it would be difficult to find two billionaires who are more stylistically opposed: Trump, the fact-denying, faux populist who jets around in a gilded 757; Bloomberg, the hyperrational, Wall Street–defending technocrat who takes the subway (when he’s not flying his helicopter). Bloomberg’s idea of public service still has the whiff of noblesse oblige; Trump’s is more ignoble megalomania.”

What surely galls Bloomberg the most is the fact that Trump has somehow successfully stolen Bloomberg’s core political message: that he’s a job-creating billionaire who can’t be bought by party elites and special interests. What’s more, Trump is actually doing what Bloomberg, who explored presidential runs in 2008 and 2012, twice concluded is impossible. “I am 100 percent convinced that you cannot in this country win an election unless you are the nominee of one of the two major parties,” he told this magazine in 2013. “The second thing I am convinced of is that I could not get through the primary process with either party.”

“Since December, about a half-dozen of the mogul’s closest political hands have been working in stealth out of the Beaux-Arts mansion on East 78th Street that serves as headquarters of Bloomberg Philanthropies to lay the groundwork for him to jump into the race.”

Will he run and what do the polls say about a Bloomberg independent candidacy? Surprising details at this link.

“It was earnest, substantive, respectful and important. It was the best five minutes of television in the presidential campaign,” reports The Washington Post.

CNN analysts Van Jones and Jeffrey Lord got into an animated argument about Donald Trump and race during the cable network’s Super Tuesday coverage. Whatever, you say — talking heads fight all the time. True enough. But this was different. You really have to watch it.

What started it and why was the banter so compelling? Find out here.

Well Mashable posts, “John Cox, a business owner in California, thought that was a brilliant idea.”

“If that idea sounds familiar to you, it might be because it was made semi-famous following a Robin Williams stand-up skit. In his routine, the late comedian lambasts the flow of money in politics, riffing that members of congress should have to wear jackets tagged with their sponsors’ logos.”

Partly inspired by the comedian’s joke, he started California Not For Sale, a ballot initiative that would require legislators in the Golden State to display their top 10 donors on clothing whenever casting votes or advocating for policies. Currently, supporters of the initiative are canvassing California in an effort to muster up the approximately 365,000 signatures needed to get the initiative on the November ballot. Since January, they’ve gotten about 70,000.

“Cox is completely serious about wanting to see the dress code become a reality, undeterred by possible setbacks and previous petitions that have tried and failed.”

Could Cox’s ballot initiative actually succeed? Prognosis at this link.

He mostly was the tough guy, but he could also be funny.

George Kennedy, the Oscar-winning American actor known for playing tough guys in movies such as “Cool Hand Luke” and “The Dirty Dozen” during the 1960s before handling comic roles in the “Naked Gun” films, has died. He was 91.

Learn more and about his brilliant movie and television legacy by following this link from BloombergBusiness.

It’s called the Chiron and it’s from French luxury automaker Bugatti. Forbes posts Bugatti plans to unveil the “fastest production car in the world” at the Geneva International Motor Show.

… the Chiron accelerates from 0 to 60 in 2.5 seconds and handles top speeds of 260 m.p.h. Bugatti will produce 500 Chirons; one-third of those have already been earmarked for the world’s best-heeled customers, who will take delivery of the car next year.

How much will it cost, and what about the clandestine route potential buyers have to approach? Take a look at this gorgeous car and check-out the details on how you might own one, by clicking here.

Forbes says, listening is a bit like intelligence – most everyone thinks they’re above average, even though that’s impossible.

“And listening is a skill you want to be great at. A recent study conducted at George Washington University showed that listening can influence up to 40% of a leader’s job performance.”

“The word listen contains the same letters as the word silent.” – Alfred Brendel

Click on this link for seven great strategies to make you a better listener.