The New Net Boom

Fortune writes:

…It’s time to say hello to the new Net boom. And believe it or not, it’s a boom you’ll very likely want to invest in–even if you think (as we do) that Google (Research) at $400 a share is too scary to consider. The Internet, as you well know, didn’t vanish along with all those dubious dot-coms. While shell-shocked investors were licking their wounds (or trying to make back all their money by flipping condos), folks in the Internet industry kept right on dreaming up new ways to use the revolutionary technology that created the fuss in the first place.

You don’t need us to tell you that today the Net is fulfilling many of the visions its wild-eyed prophets were preaching about just a few years ago. All the impossibly cool applications that seemed so elusive in the late 1990s–Internet phone calls, (legal) downloadable music and movies, high-speed web access on cellphones, online bill paying–are a taken-for-granted part of daily life.

Economist’s New Media Survey

The Economist writes: “The era of mass media is giving way to one of personal and participatory media, says Andreas Kluth. That will profoundly change both the media industry and society as a whole.”

In this new-media culture, says Paul Saffo, a director at the Institute for the Future in California, people no longer passively consume media (and thus advertising, its main revenue source) but actively participate in them, which usually means creating content, in whatever form and on whatever scale. This does not have to mean that people write their own newspaper, says Jeremy Zawodny, a prominent blogger and software engineer at Yahoo!, an internet portal. It could be as simple as rating the restaurants they went to or the movie they saw, or as sophisticated as shooting a home video.

This has profound implications for traditional business models in the media industry, which are based on aggregating large passive audiences and holding them captive during advertising interruptions. In the new-media era, audiences will occasionally be large, but often small, and usually tiny. Instead of a few large capital-rich media giants competing with one another for these audiences, it will be small firms and individuals competing or, more often, collaborating.

Employees First at HCL

[via Atanu] David Kirkpatrick writes:

have seen the future of management, and it is Indian. Vineet Nayar, president of India’s 30,000-employee HCL Technologies (Research), is creating an IT outsourcing firm where, he says, employees come first and customers second.

Here are some things I can say about him with confidence: He is good at motivating employees, very committed to building a great team, but a little shaky on getting things done on time. These are not my observations. They are what his employees told him in an extraordinary process of upward evaluation he implemented last year at HCL.

Every employee rates their boss, their boss’ boss, and any three other company managers they choose, on 18 questions using a 1-5 scale. Such 360-degree evaluations are not uncommon, but at HCL all results are posted online for every employee to see. That’s un-heard-of!