TaskUs Study Hall August Edition

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Michael Buenaventura

September 28, 2012

TaskUs Study Hall, August Edition

3 Ridiculously Good Reads (Posted Thursday, August 30th 2012)

“Average Is Over, Part II” by Thomas L.Friedman

Topic: Friedman discusses the current state of labor and work solutions while making grander assertions about the below average status of education levels and standards in the US.

Highlights: “In today’s seamlessly connected world, there is no “out” and no “in” anymore. There is only the “good”, “better” and “best” places to get work done, and if they don’t tap into the best, most cost-efficient venue wherever that is, their competition will.”

“American politicians are still citizens of our states and cities, while C.E.O.’s are increasingly citizens of the world.”

“Globalization and the Internet/telecom/computing revolution together challenge every town, worker and job. There is no good job today that does not require more and better education to get it, hold it or advance it.”

Why You Should Read This Article:

1) Because it’s in the New York Times silly. Respect the prestige (sometimes confused with arrogance/pretentiousness).
2) Thomas L. Friedman is smart enough to include a middle initial in his name. Boss.
3) It’s a bright and some of the points made should be alarming to American citizens.

“How To Structure A Marketplace” by Simon Rothman of Greylock Partners

Topic:Rothman discusses how marketplaces like Etsy, oDesk, Airbnb and Kickstarter were able to survive by achieving liquidity.

Highlights:“It’s an understatement to say that building a thriving marketplace is tough. Getting both sides of a transaction at the same place at the same time for the same thing can feel like it’s an order of magnitude more difficult than a more traditional one-sided commerce business.”

“Marketplaces strengthen with scale and scale comes from liquidity.”

“Until you reach liquidity, you’re vulnerable. After, you have the opportunity for dominance.”

Why You Should Read This Article:

1) Because Simon Rothman knows a thing or two about marketplaces.
2) Liquidity is hard to achieve and any insight helps.
3) TechCrunch is hip. Don’t be a square.

“Screw and get data, says Ben Huh of I Can Has Cheezburger” by John Koetsier (starring Ben Huh of Cheezburger)

Topic:

Ben Huh’s advice to stop focusing on how cool your site design is or could be. Make a product or site or service that works for your users and your company.

Highlights:

“We confuse good design with good product”

“When making design changes, look at four things: desired outcome (business outcomes, not warm and fuzzies), intended user, data on the existing condition, and data on the new condition when the company retests for validity.”

“Ugly sites, all but the ugly doesn’t impede the real design goal: converting visitors into users and traffic into money.”

Why You Should Read This Article:

1) You have always been a sucker for people that substitute S’s for Z’s. Cause thatz coolio.
2) Great points are made. Craigslist has an ugly design, but is extremely functional and timeless.
3) Content & Data is king. You should know that by know. Preach on Brother Ben!

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