In the previous part of this series covering LinkedIn, we saw how the professional network took shape, how it has become what it is now, and how it aspires to be the global driver for a changing workforce. LinkedIn has grown from a one-bedroom apartment to a multi-billion dollar company, encompassing the vast global labour force and bringing in newer solutions to embark on its path to improve the operational efficiency of global economies.
As LinkedIn adapts itself, we, as observers of, participants in and contributors to the changing global technological landscape, need to grasp the intricacies of its business with respect to its solutions, users and benefits. LinkedIn is no longer just a technology company; it is one of the core tenets of global organisations in the fields of recruitment, sales and jobs, as it begins its battle against broader global labour challenges.
This is the first part of a series of posts about LinkedIn, which I have initiated here. The purpose of this series is to bring forth an understanding and perspective towards LinkedIn and create a base to engender opinion that will benefit all.
LinkedIn, the world’s largest online professional network, has redefined the way we associate as professionals, be it as recruiters trying to source candidates or salespeople trying to generate leads in a market or even job-seekers looking for opportunities in a field or company of our desire and aspirations. It has completely changed the labour landscape across the globe, but the moot point is that it is just getting started. According to a piece by The Economist – Workers of the world, log in – LinkedIn’s aspirations do not halt at its current stance; rather, they extend much beyond those to broader goals that impact the global labour force.
Technological platforms have always fascinated me. All internet-based ventures (Google, Facebook and the like) have been the focus of my learning and education. Aroused by this curiosity to learn more, I read an article by The Economist – Workers of the world, log in.
It is a long piece that takes LinkedIn’s platform as a basis to expand on how it plans to achieve its grander objectives. Jeff Weiner, CEO of LinkedIn since 2008, has some really grand ambitions to use the technological platform to change the economics of the global workforce and improve the efficiency of global economies. As the Economist explained its facets, I was intrigued by the entire concept of LinkedIn.
Sixty years ago, India threw off the chains of the British Empire and became a free nation. And now the world’s largest democracy is rushing headlong into the future. As the brief heyday of the West draws to a close, one of the greatest players in history is rising again. India has seen the ebb and flow of huge events since the beginning of history. Its tale is one of incredible drama and the biggest ideas. It’s a place whose children will grow up in a global superpower and yet still know what it means to belong to an ancient civilisation. This is the story of a land where all human pasts are still alive. A 10,000-year epic that continues today. The story of India.
Thus began Michael Wood’s narrative in the famous BBC documentary – The Story of India. The documentary, which was released almost a decade ago, revolves around India and the subcontinent, right from the beginning of the first civilisation to how India has shaped up the world around it and how it has been moulded by the influence of the West and the East.
But you get the irony in the series right? A British historian travels through the lush green landscapes and modern cities of India and Pakistan (which was India till 1947) to uncover, discover and unravel the culture that abounds India to air it on British television via Britain’s pride in the media industry, BBC. All this comes after the British ruled India for ages. The rulers now have become the researchers who want to know further how the world’s largest democracy was formed and how it is rising again to be a global force, despite the saga of ebbs and flows.
News reading is fun, especially when someone is as nerdy and hungry as me. I love reading and I love knowing. It keeps me abreast of the world around me. Reading is a joy. But not when it is penned down in incorrect English.
I read several newspapers, magazines, blogs, websites and journals online. My favourite, as you might have gleaned from the string of posts in the recent past, is The Economist, which offers intellectual insights into the globe. Business, economics, art, science, people profiles et all… It’s all there in impeccable English, fit for GRE/GMAT aspirants.
But when prominent newspapers err on their English, it pains me. I’m not even talking about complex sentences that make up paragraphs and minor omissions of commas; I’m talking about the wrong idiomatic usage in basic sentences.
Source: Long Ridge Editors Blog
The Economist’s article Replacing the board took me to the history of outsourcing and the way it has evolved with time. The internet proliferation, aided by the opening up of the labour markets, brought about a drastic change in the business models of the Western organisations, which came to rely on cheaper yet labour-intensive menial tasks to be outsourced to the East.
With such rapid change occurring in the East, the West wasn’t sipping a mojito relaxing on a hammock in Hawaii either. With its labour-intensive operations outsourced, it began to focus on more high-value tasks as more time was available to its employees with the burden of operational nitty-gritties lifted from their shoulders. Research and development, innovation, ideation and strategy formulation were still areas that the West prided itself on and retained control of.
Consulting firms such as McKinsey, Boston Consulting Group and others provided their strategic guidance to organisations willing to go global and reduce operational costs. These firms provided high-level consulting to organisations to fulfil their aspirations, leaving out the arduous implementation of these strategies to service firms in cheaper labour economies. The West focused on strategy and the East focused on outsourced work.
Corporate boards are among the most important institutions in capitalism. Their job is to police the relationship between shareholders who own companies and managers who run them. This means keeping an eye out for managerial incompetence and fraud. It also means standing back and offering strategic advice on hiring new managers or buying competitors.
Thus begins The Economist’s article, Replacing the board, which cites how the board of directors of contemporary organisations has succeeded in some cases and failed miserably in some (Enron and WorldCom). The success of boards across industries and countries cannot yet be attributed to a specific common underlying theme, but, in most cases, the theme for failure has similar foundations. The board’s duties are confined to limited oversight. Cites Schumpeter:
Board members are part-timers with neither the knowledge nor the incentives to monitor companies effectively. And they are beholden to the people they are supposed to monitor. Boards are thus showcases for capitalism’s most serious problems: they are run by insiders at a time when capitalism needs to be more inclusive and are dominated by part-timers at a time when it needs to be more vigilant about avoiding future crises.
Business models are continuously evolving and are becoming more innovative, as competition heats up and start-ups face more hassles getting their foundations established. One of the new ways to obtain money from its engaged customers was listed by The Economist in its piece – Hitting up the customer.
They mention a Mexican food chain in London, Chilango, which started selling bonds, or rather, mini-bonds, with their burritos. This may seem very weird initially, but the more I thought about it, the more appealing it seemed.
Source: Chilango UK
Time and again, we have read and learned about how people vie for information. Everyone wants to know everything. Even media powerhouses want to know more so that they can assimilate that into news to be fed to the world. The race is to be the first to know.
Omniscience, as a virtue, is lucrative indeed, but nowadays, everyone wants to be God. Even atheists.
In TV series, characters are shown to possess enormous (eidetic) memory that they use to obtain their goal. Case in point: Mike Ross from Suits. Once this guy reads anything, it remains imprinted in his mind forever. He can then bring that out when he has to.
As I read The Economist‘s book review of Nick Davies’ “Hack Attack: The Inside Story of How the Truth Caught Up with Rupert Murdoch“, I couldn’t help but draw similes between Rupert Murdoch, the Australian media mogul, and the mind-mapping character of Charles Augustus Magnussen, another media mogul shortly introduced in the final episode of Sherlock Season 3.
Magnussen, throughout the episode, has been depicted as the conniving, cunning media owner who possesses secrets of people which he uses to gain leverage of when in need. He is the epitome of media high-handedness, with his arrogance manifested through his actions at Sherlock’s residence, 221B Baker Street, and his control over the lady who wants to bring him to justice.