The end of men?

I just watched the following video on TED:

I must say that it is impressive what a long way we have gone through in just 100 years (as a comparison, it took about 200 years before slavery was abolished both in the New World and in Europe).

However, I must also say that I would not be celebrating yet. With the shift in society towards women being the breadwinners, there may come other tendencies such as:

1) Lower birthrate (choosing career over children)

2) More stressful everyday for women

3) Due to the burden on women, their health might start deteriorating faster than that of men, especially when you take into account giving birth. Inevitably the life span for women will become shorter because of the stress and exhaustion from everyday life

I am curious how this trend will develop and what the new balance will be. Every system always aims at balancing itself. For example, during the 20th century the world shifted towards segregation, division and a lack of collaboration for a long period of time, nowadays we are shifting towards global collaboration; for a long period in history women had fewer rights than men, nowadays in the civilized world they have the same rights; in the middle ages the church played a crucial role in societal processes, nowadays its influence has diminished; due to the heavy industrialization during the last two centuries, the environment has suffered, producing global warming and a shortage of water on a massive scale, we are now trying to reverse that process..and so on. the examples are numerous.

let us wait and see what the new balance will bring. I think it is not the end of men but the beginning of Man 2.0 who will have a completely different mindset and will live his life by different values and expectations.

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Are you asking the right questions?

I just finished reading a book by Roger Martin called “The Design of Business”. I love one of the great messages in it: it is more important to ask good questions than to seek definitive answers. I decided to start collecting creative, provocative, and unexpected questions which one might ask when looking for the next great idea. so far i have the following:
1) If we were legally banned from selling our products to our customers tomorrow, how and to whom would we continue to sell? (used to unravel new client groups and ways of marketing products)
2) What’s stopping you from: marketing/selling/improving something? (usually used to scale down an issue, to make it more specific and to focus on the details) suggested by Min Basadur
3) Why is it important to market/sell/improve something? (used to scale up an issue)
4) What if…?
5) What else?
I would be happy if you contribute creative questions which you have been asking! thanks a bunch

Useful Marketing Infographics

Today I just stumbled upon a very good and rich source of infographics for marketeers. The company PSFK is a New York City based trend research and innovation company. They collect and generate thousands of ideas in many different areas such as marketing, design, sustainability, and so on. They have a very rich source of infographics about numerous interesting aspects. Here are two examples:

The colors of top 100 web brands:

The future of public transportation:

You can check out their infographics (use the search function) here: http://www.psfk.com/

Alice in Wonderland

“Now, here, you see, it takes all the running you can do, to keep in the sameplace. If you want to get somewhere else, you must run at least twice as fast as that.”

Any business analogies?

Education Observation 4: “The only purpose of your GPA is to make your mother happy”

Assessment is quite a big part of university education. It almost kills me to observe how enormous resources are put into it only to arrive at some number that is so highly subjective that it almost means nothing. For example, your results are influenced by so many subjectives factors: you might have personal difficulties at the time, you might have difficulties learning the subject because it is quite frankly boring and your motivation to excel is low, you might have more important projects to work with like starting your own business, etc. Besides, what exactly does it mean that one has for example a B and another has B- or C? Does it mean that my business will be unsuccessful? What is the connection between the grade and the real world apart from the fact that it might be used to get recruited to some company (not a guaranteed position as this is only one criteria)? I have often observed that the grade difference is solely based on whose memory is better in studying and reciting the subject material. Given a particular real life situation, it is very difficult to predict whether the person with C or the person with B- will act better.

Education Observation 3: “There is no economics in the course, so we cannot allow you to take it!”

Probably one of the biggest disadvantages of university education is that the curriculum is largely rigid and predefined, i.e. about 90% of the courses are a “must” take, and the rest are the so-called electives. So the chances are that even if you choose rare electives such as “sports economics” or “corporate greed”, you will not distinguish yourself much from the rest of the crowd. After all, given 10% of flexible curriculum one ends up taking the same stuff as many other classmates. So how is one supposed to beat the job market when there is a whole herd of classmates with almost identical profiles gunning for the same job? Imagine if instead of largely predefined curricula, the universities offered just a database with all the courses available (including courses at other institutions) and asked the students to create a unique curriculum for themselves? Of course, the most common argument here is that one does not know initially very well the discipline and might be confused and lost and end up dropping out of school. Well, the world is full of drop-out billionaires – I’d take a guy like that over a suma cum laude graduate any day!

Education Observation 2: “Being PowerPoint-less”

It does not take much for one to find out that we all have different learning styles. Some learn best through discussing the curriculum with others, some like playing educational games, others just like learning by doing. Yet there is absolutely zero adjustment to that fact when one looks at how the classrooms operate. On the contrary, what happens most often is that in classes which are taught by mathematically minded teachers, mathematically minded students excel; in classes that are taught by spatially minded teachers (teaching through pictures, movement, and action), spatially minded students excel and so on. The examples are countless. And since teachers rarely adjust their style of teaching in relation to different learning styles, you have large chunks of students being left behind in important classes that they cannot easily follow by applying their own learning styles. An example are the PowerPoint tortures which everybody has been through: 60+ slides with huge chunks of text on every slide – thank you very much! I’d rather listen to a 5 min podcast instead.