Neil Perkin


Fred Wilson tells the story in this extraordinary post of how his investment company, Union Square Ventures, missed the opportunity to invest in Airbnb, one of my favourite peer-to-peers. At the time, the founders had ideas but the service was still a marketplace for air mattresses on people's floors. It was, he says, the classic investor's mistake of focusing too much on what the business were doing at the time and "not enough on what they could do, would do, and did do".

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When I Grow Up

I guess it's no big surprise that in a (US) survey of over 10,000 young professionals Google came out as the company that most would like to work at. And by some margin, with nearly a quarter of survey respondents selecting them, almost twice as many as picked the second place business, Apple.
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The Shamrock Organisation (Redux)

Charles Handy, Irish philosopher, management thinker and writer, first coined the phrase The Shamrock Organisation in the late 80's to describe an organisational structure with three distinct parts: 

  • The 'core staff', likely to be experienced or highly trained professionals, essential to continuity and maintaining detailed knowledge of organisational aims, objectives and practices.

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All the Information in the World

I sometimes think that one of the most fundamental issues that content producers (of any kind) consistently fail to get their heads around is just what they are competing against in the new world.


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The Like Log Study

Fascinating study here from Yahoo Labs that analysed 'Like' counts for 45 of the world's most popular news sites over the period of three months. It's worth taking a look at the site, but the findings showed just how well The New York Times is performing in terms of social engagement with no less than 2.3 million Likes per month (which, if you take the average Facebook friend count to be 130, gives an impressive incremental potential reach). Good to see The Guardian also performing well.

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Crowdsourcing, and Purpose

So I've gone and written something about crowdsourcing. The concept du jour. Partly because I think it genuinely has the potential to change how we do what we do, partly because my belief is that (many) media owners are missing out on a big opportunity to incorporate their audiences far more into the fabric of the way in which they work, and partly because I agree with Saneel that "serving as a scaffolding for customers to engage with brands beyond transactions" is a real opportunity for agencies.

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Fashionable Data

London Fashion Week finished this past week (strangely, I wasn't invited) so with my sometime obsession around interesting applications of data streams, it's timely to think about what the collision of two such polar opposite worlds as fashion and data might look like. Fortunately there's already some interesting examples.

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Predicting the Unpredictable

Ever since I read Taleb's Black Swan and Fooled By Randomness I've had a heightened awareness of the limitations of our attempts to predict the future, and our tendency to post-rationalise events, create false narratives and illusions around our own influence and control. Prediction is difficult.

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"Real" Competitive Advantage

According to the Deloitte Centre for the Edge, under 25% of the workers it surveyed are passionate about their work. Worse, the level of passion in the workforce turned out to be inversely related to the size of the company. Unsurprisingly perhaps, the self-employed were the most passionate, but the findings indicated that the larger the company, the lower the level of passion among the workers.

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Closed Publishing Apps? I Don't Get It

Or rather (sadly), perhaps I do.

So The Daily is finally with us. My disclosure right up front is that (since it is not available in the UK) I haven't actually seen it. I applaud bold experimentation of this kind but the written and video reviews of it have left me somewhat underwhelmed. It's a shame. The concept of consuming news and feature driven content via a tablet interface is genuinely exciting.

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