How the Frightful Five Put Start-Ups in a Lose-Lose Situation – The New York Times

“The tech giants are too big. But so what? Hasn’t that always been the case?As the men who run Silicon Valley will be the first to tell you, a company’s size doesn’t matter here. For every lumbering Goliath, there are always one or two smarter, faster Davids just now starting up in some fabled garage, getting ready to slay the giants when they least expect it.

So if you’re worried about the power of the Frightful Five — Amazon, Apple, Google, Facebook and Microsoft — just look at how IBM, Hewlett-Packard or monopoly-era Microsoft fell to earth. They were all victims of “creative destruction,” of an “innovator’s dilemma,” the theories that bolster Silicon Valley’s vision of itself as a roiling sea of pathbreaking upstarts, where the very thing that made you big also makes you vulnerable.

Well, maybe not this time.”

David Lindsay Hamden, CT Pending Approval

Ever since I read the story of the Amazon’s brutal take over of Diapers.com in Bloomberg Businessweek, I have called for the breaking up of Amazon. All the little companies it blackmailed into selling themselves or get taken out by competition, should be taken away, and what is left of Amazon should not be allowed to compete with any of them for 50 years or some serious defensive number.

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Procter & Gamble Is Right About Peltz’s Criticisms – The Procter & Gamble Company (NYSE:PG) | Seeking Alpha

“Summary
Procter & Gamble recently released their Q4 results.
Activist investor Nelson Peltz has lobbied for P&G to cut costs and trim bureaucracy.
However, Procter & Gamble have been engaged in tackling these problems for some time.”

Source: Procter & Gamble Is Right About Peltz’s Criticisms – The Procter & Gamble Company (NYSE:PG) | Seeking Alpha

Struggles at Procter & Gamble Draw Scrutiny of Nelson Peltz – The New York Times

“Tide detergent dominated the American laundry room for decades and helped make Procter & Gamble a consumer products behemoth.But consumers have increasingly been shunning premium-priced brands like Tide for cheaper versions of laundry detergent. And the detergent market is just one of many in which Procter & Gamble is battling to keep bargain-hunting customers.

Across a number of its mission-critical, multibillion-dollar product lines — from Pampers diapers to Olay skin creams to Gillette razors — Procter & Gamble is fighting to retain its market share.Those struggles have now attracted the attention of Nelson Peltz, a billionaire investor and activist shareholder.”

Procter & Gamble vs Nelson Peltz: Trian Partners Launches Proxy Fight | Fortune.com

“The iconic purveyor of Tide detergent, Gillette razors, and Bounty paper towels is shrinking. Since the start of 2014, P&G has shed over 100 products, axing 43 brands in a $12.5 billion deal with Coty, selling Duracell batteries to Berkshire Hathaway for $4.7 billion, and dishing its pet food franchise to Mars for $2.9 billion.Those divestitures helped shrink P&G sales from $74.4 billion in fiscal 2014 (ended 6/30) to $65.3 billion in 2016, a drop of 12.2%. Net profits retreated as well, falling from $11.6 to $10.5 billion in the same period, a decline of 9.5%.”

Source: Procter & Gamble vs Nelson Peltz: Trian Partners Launches Proxy Fight | Fortune.com

Sundar Pichai Should Resign as Google’s C.E.O. – by David Brooks – NYT

“Geoffrey Miller, a prominent evolutionary psychologist, wrote in Quillette, “For what it’s worth, I think that almost all of the Google memo’s empirical claims are scientifically accurate.”

Damore was especially careful to say this research applies only to populations, not individuals: “Many of these differences are small and there’s significant overlap between men and women, so you can’t say anything about an individual given these population-level distributions.” ”

David Brooks impressed my greatly with his points. But here is a comment which claims to overturn the writer.

HT is a trusted commenter Ohio 7 hours ago

I’m a woman engineer, and I’ve heard the argument made by Damore countless times. It’s flawed in two ways.

First, it is obvious to all but the most sexist observers that some women do excel in STEM. To argue that the population-level differences in, say, mathematical abilities between men and women have a biological basis is to argue that women who do excel in math are biologically different from women who do not. Once you make this claim, then none of the other population-level averages in other traits can be applied to women in STEM. In other words, if you are going to claim, as Damore does, that women are underrepresented leadership positions at Google because of innate differences in competitiveness, then you need to look at competitiveness among STEM women, not the general population.

Secondly, companies like Google are striving for a diverse workforce because they believe that it makes their company more competitive. (The literature supporting this is just as strong as the literature on gender differences associated with STEM.) The smaller pool of STEM women means that companies like Google must work harder to attract, recruit, and retain STEM women than STEM men. In other words, diversity is about winning a competition between corporations. Damore completely misses this point, but Pichai, whose job is to maintain Google’s competitiveness, does not.

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Connecticut Should Be Tesla Country – The New York Times

“When President Trump announced plans to withdraw the United States from the Paris climate accord, Gov. Dannel Malloy of Connecticut responded that his state would continue its push to reduce its carbon footprint. “Connecticut has been a national leader in combating climate change,” he declared. “We have no plans of slowing down our efforts.”

Yet Connecticut is a surprising laggard when it comes to one obvious way to cut carbon emissions: Consumers are not allowed to buy electric vehicles without a costly middleman. Connecticut is one of at least six states that bans carmakers — including Tesla, the nation’s largest manufacturer of electric vehicles — from opening their own storefronts and selling their cars directly to consumers.”

Tips for handling a toxic co-worker (and how to avoid becoming one) – The New York Times

“This article is part of a series aimed at helping you navigate life’s opportunities and challenges. What else should we write about? Contact us: smarterliving@nytimes.com.

For many Americans, navigating the modern workplace can be like traversing a minefield of time-crunched, stressed-out colleagues who prefer to keep one another at a safe distance rather than form bonds.That’s tricky enough, but what happens when you come across someone who makes your workday a living hell? The subject of handling toxic co-workers is a popular one on workplace-focused websites and discussion boards, mostly because it’s a tricky subject, and most of us still have to coexist peacefully.

Jean Fitzpatrick and Rachel Sussman, two New York City-based relationship therapists, offered a few tips for dealing with a tough working relationship.

Identify the problemA toxic work relationship can leave a lasting impression, so it’s important to figure out what’s bothering you, Ms. Sussman said.There are many types of uncomfortable work relationships, but there are a few types of bad behavior that can send up red flags: Beware the colleague who talks badly about other people, or the person who complains nonstop. The person who needs to be given credit for everything — or shuts you out of meetings — can also be a bad sign.”

Source: Tips for handling a toxic co-worker (and how to avoid becoming one) – The New York Times