TheSunnyMag: The Gift That Came Back from Steve Jobs; China Cant Innovate & More

Every week we bring you a collection of stories from around the Internet on TheSunnyMag. These stories are typically longer and insightful in nature. In this edition, there are a few stories on strategy on management and the inside story on why Steven Sinofsky left Microsoft. The Wired story on Polio is a must read.TheSunnyMag


Why Steven Sinofsky Really Left Microsoft: About every six weeks, a small group of Microsoft (MSFT) executives gathers at a Seattle restaurant to talk strategy. The location varies, but the cast of characters tends to stay the same: Don Mattrick, the head of the division that produces the Xbox, will be there sitting alongside Qi Lu, the head of search and advertising, as well as top executives from the mobile team. “If Qi is paying, it’ll be somewhere very cheap,” Mattrick joked in an interview last year. More here.
Bill Gates: Here’s My Plan to Improve Our World — And How You Can Help: I am a little obsessed with fertilizer. I mean I’m fascinated with its role, not with using it. I go to meetings where it’s a serious topic of conversation. I read books about its benefits and the problems with overusing it. It’s the kind of topic I have to remind myself not to talk about too much at cocktail parties, since most people don’t find it as interesting as I do. More here.

How Google Sold Its Engineers on Management: Since the early days of Google, people throughout the company have questioned the value of managers. That skepticism stems from a highly technocratic culture. As one software engineer, Eric Flatt, puts it, “We are a company built by engineers for engineers.” And most engineers, not just those at Google, want to spend their time designing and debugging, not communicating with bosses or supervising other workers’ progress. In their hearts they’ve long believed that management is more destructive than beneficial, a distraction from “real work” and tangible, goal-directed tasks. More here.

Analytics 3.0: Those of us who have spent years studying “data smart” companies believe we’ve already lived through two eras in the use of analytics. We might call them BBD and ABD—before big data and after big data. Or, to use a naming convention matched to the topic, we might say that Analytics 1.0 was followed by Analytics 2.0. Generally speaking, 2.0 releases don’t just add some bells and whistles or make minor performance tweaks. In contrast to, say, a 1.1 version, a 2.0 product is a more substantial overhaul based on new priorities and technical possibilities. When large numbers of companies began capitalizing on vast new sources of unstructured, fast-moving information—big data—that was surely the case. More here.


A Gift From Steve Jobs Returns Home: On a recent night at an elegant Beaux-Arts ballroom in San Francisco’s financial district, Laurene Powell Jobs received a computer with an unusually rich history. Around 1980, Ms. Powell Jobs’s husband, Steven P. Jobs, donated the computer to a nonprofit organization, the Seva Foundation, to help the group manage data from its efforts to restore sight in the developing world. More here.

60 Signs Your Brand Is Dying: It’s often not hard to see why other brands have died – especially after the fact. There’s also one interesting and abiding constant in all the casualties. What kills a brand, more often than not, is what it lacks rather than what it does: conviction; energy; value; humility; cash; discipline; imagination; focus. More here.

Life Hack

The Most Important Question You Can Ask Yourself Today: Everybody wants what feels good. Everyone wants to live a care-free, happy and easy life, to fall in love and have amazing sex and relationships, to look perfect and make money and be popular and well-respected and admired and a total baller to the point that people part like the Red Sea when you walk into the room. More here.


March Of The Indies: The Punk Rockers Of Video Games: Anyone with even a cursory interest in the video game industry already knows that it has exploded over the past two decades into a mainstream, multibillion-dollar business. Triple-A titles from the major developers and publishers like EA, Sony, Microsoft and Activision Blizzard often have production and marketing budgets that rival blockbuster films. More here.

Big Picture

Chinese Can Innovate–But China Can’t: China produces more than a million engineering graduates a year—which is seven times as many as America. It is second in academic publications to America and by 2015 will file more patents annually than America. China has already invested tens of billions of dollars in research and has labs and infrastructure that are at par with the best in the world. Its government is focused on building an innovation economy and will do whatever it takes to leap ahead—even if that means stealing technology from the West. More here.

In 1988 there were 350,000 cases of Polio worldwide. Last year, there were 223. But getting all the way to zero will mean spending billions of dollars, penetrating the most remote regions of the globe and facing down taliban militants to get to the last unprotected children on earth. More here.

The New Climate Economics: This Friday, in its latest comprehensive assessment of the evidence on global warming, the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change will show that the world’s climate scientists are more certain than ever that human activity – largely combustion of fossil fuels – is causing temperatures and sea levels to rise.
Read more here.

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