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Perhaps Marissa is making the brand more generic to erase the old brand (over time), and to buy time to properly discover and/or craft the new brand.
Toggle Commented Sep 16, 2013 on Yahoo! From fun to serious and dark. at Ries' Pieces
Californians don't like to pay taxes for services which have benefits that accrue to the public at large. It's a part of their wild west gold prospector heritage. California doesn't have to have good public schools to have educated people. They have Silicon Valley and Hollywood which attract great people (educated on somebody else's nickel) from all over the world to work there. And California has the best weather in the world too which helps to attract those people. By the way, scaling up the "excellence" of the charter school system will hit the brick wall called the "Central Limit Theorem", at which point they will look like a really expensive public school system. Why is this? Because charter schools don't have to take any students that they don't want. That allows them to manage their costs and produce great looking results at low cost. On the other hand, the public school system cannot reject anybody, which removes a degree of freedom or two in their ability to control costs. As charter schools scale up, the quality of their inputs (students, teachers, administrators, physical plant) will start looking more and more like the public system. Charter schools market their value as entities which have superior and efficient education processes, but I don't think that the excellence in charter schools comes from much more than their ability to manage their inputs. I hope I'm wrong, but I doubt it.
A part of the problem is that employers actually believe that employees are equally productive (value per unit time) working 42 hours per week, for example, as they are working 56 hours per week. And if they are equally productive, why not just avoid the fixed costs per employee (e.g. health insurance, facilities, computing, benefits, admin support, etc) and work existing employees more hours? Based on personal experience and watching others as a software developer, once you are coding more than about 40 hours per week, mental fatigue leads to more programming errors, bad system development decisions, and the consequent need to put in even more time to get stuff done on time. I'm sure that this also holds true for other fields of endeavour in varying degrees. And yet employers might be right. Why? If you have 6 employees each working 56 hours per week (336 employee-hours), you only have to manage 15 communication relationships between your employees. If you hire 8 employees to work 42 hours per week (336 employee-hours), you have to manage 28 communication relationships. That is almost twice as much communication between employees to do the same amount of employee-hours. If those employees are working less hours and communicating more, they are going to get noticeably less work done. Employers must balance these competing ideas. The easy way is to hire fewer people and work them super hard. And this works...until they leave, burn out, have kids, have a health crisis, or die. It seems to me that what employers should do is improve their business processes to reduce unnecessary communication, make necessary communication efficient, and to structure work units and teams to reduce the number of necessary communication relationships (e.g. by using smaller work units and smaller teams). If employers did that, existing workers would become more productive and work less hours, hiring new workers would become cheaper (from not adding n new communication relationships to the company which hires its n+1-th worker), and all workers would have an opportunity to be healthier. Alas...when boards and executives are pressuring managers to improve quarterly numbers, it's just easier to drive the workers harder. Such is life.
I have to disagree with this post Laura. I have used Google for 11 years and Gmail for 7 years. Most of my impression about Google is that their brand is "great online utilities". I use search, but I also use News, Docs, Translate, Reader. Furthermore, I have worked for a number of companies which used Google Apps for their core enterprise tools (email, docs, sites, blogs). That only enhances the "great online utilities" brand. Moving Picasa into the Google brand (great online utilities) wan't a bad move. It was number 3 (at best) in the photo-sharing market. Moving Blogger was good too, because although Blogger is a popular blogging platform, it is not the best one. And bringing those tools into Google enhances the "great online utilities" brand. Keeping Android out is good move, I agree. That is because Android is Google's mobile brand, and it is a separate value proposition from the core Google brand. Ditto for YouTube, because YouTube is a media broadcasting platform. The one thing Google didn't do well in the past was social networking, but Plus is a good stab at this. I tried plus, and although it is good and I think I can use it, it is not a Facebook killer for me....yet. I don't think Google is going down Yahoo's path. Yahoo merged "online utilities" with "media company" and ended up with a brand which didn't mean anything. I think that AOL blew it because they set up a walled garden of a large number of dial-up users and didn't realize until it was too late that the rest of the world had migrated to high-speed internet and no walled gardens. (Also, they also confused their "online utilities" and "media company" brands, and their mail servers were slow).
Toggle Commented Jul 8, 2011 on Google Today, Gone Tomorrow? at Ries' Pieces
I remember Dave Reid because he was the guy to beat in those days. Bruce Vickers was our school's great hope to beat Dave. I did a 4:04 once, but it was only for 1000m.
Toggle Commented Jun 4, 2010 on My greatest triumph! at gladwell.com
When I saw Starbucks come out with Via, I knew that you would be posting on this topic. Starbucks is doing to itself what Cadillac did to itself in the 80s by introducing low-end Caddies to grab market share. All it did was help Lexus & Mercedes solidify their market leadership at the high end. What they fail to understand is that there is no more market share to grab under the same brand using the same advertising and distribution methods they have been using. Diluting the brand may bring in a few more people, but it will also drive loyal customers away. I tried Via. As Jay Leno recently said," 'Via' is an ancient word for 'Sanka'", and I agree.