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Comment Re:Yes, go ahead...Blame Apple (Score 1) 189

Apple bears part of the blame for coming up with the lopsided agreement in the first place. That's not to detract from the blame GT deserves for signing.

The whole point of any business deal is there's negotiation room. It's not too unusual for one of the sides to ask for the moon and see what they can get away with.

GT could - and should - have pushed back hard. Sounds like someone let the ego boost of selling to Apple get in the way of sensible negotiation.

Comment Re:Why highly paid CEOs underperform. (Score 1) 204

That was pretty much my point.

You'll find similar results at every level in every business: put simply, hiring good staff is so difficult that it's a totally unsolved problem.


Nobody knows how to do it with any degree of reliability. All those weird interview questions that seem to serve no purpose but to puff up the interviewer? Pointless. They might as well put everyone's name into a hat to pick who they're going to hire.

Comment Re:Why highly paid CEOs underperform. (Score 2) 204

This is a fairly common problem, and it stems back to one thing.

Finding staff is easy. You or I could place an advert tomorrow and we'd be snowed under this time next week. Problem is, drill through those applications and you'll probably find that 60% of the applicants couldn't even be bothered to make sure the job was vaguely appropriate for their skill set - and most of the remainder have such shocking interviews that you wonder why you bother.

Finding good staff - people who will turn out to be a real asset - that is damnably difficult. And it's a problem that gets worse the higher up the management chain you go.

I suspect that by the time you get to the very top of a huge organisation, you run into a problem: the number of people on the surface of the planet who have the experience, skills and ability needed are so few and far between that you'll be lucky if there's half a dozen potential candidates in the whole country.

Comment Re:Wha? (Score 1) 204

Not a microsoftie, but my guess is that "flatten the organisation" refers to the organisational chart - he reckons there's too many layers of management.

He may well be right. Too many layers of management often leads to stagnation because you wind up with every little decision having to be scrutinised to ensure it passes muster at every level of the chain. Personally, if I was a middle manager at Microsoft right now I'd be looking very seriously at polishing up my CV.

Comment Re:Why didn't they just listen to users? (Score 1) 681

Rumour has it - I don't know how true this is so take it with all the salt you think it needs - that Microsoft built a thumping great process around the idea of listening to their beta testers.

Huge. Vast. Really clever. And it only worked if you were testing on a computer that was connected to the Internet.

You think Metro is bad normally, think how much fun it'd be on a non-Internet connected PC.

Comment HP lost their way. Dell never had a way to lose. (Score 2) 173

The computer industry has been in a state of mild panic for several years.


I think Dell have a lot to answer for.

See, you go back in time twenty years, there was a lot more competition. Small computer stores in every town, larger companies doing mail order and such - you could pick up any computer magazine and 50-70% of it would be adverts.

But there is one small problem. Virtually none of those companies were run by people who had a fucking clue how to design or sell a product. About all they knew was how to assemble components into a functioning computer and flog the end result - they'd essentially industrialised the process of buying components and building your own computer.

Easiest business model in the world, on paper at least. You just had to get the components in, build your computers and get adverts in the magazines quickly enough that you could shift everything before it became obsolete and you were left with stock that you'd have to sell at a loss just to shift it.

There was just one small problem. There was precisely no imagination behind it. Pretty much the only selling point anyone could come up with was "We are cheaper than our competitors!". And if an entire industry spends twenty years using that as their selling point, sooner or later what will happen is it really will be the only noticeable difference. Once that happens, you are competing with the Wal-Marts and the Dells of this world and you're competing with them on their terms. A combination of mergers, acquisitions and wholesale business collapses has led us to where we are today - if you tried to resurrect some of those old print magazines and called up all your old advertisers to ask if they'd be interested in taking out an ad, 90% of them are out of business.

HP, it seems, have finally had enough. They're throwing in the towel in this race to the bottom - they've decided that rather than bet the company on being 2% cheaper than Dell on average this quarter, they're going to bet the company on doing the same thing but doing it better. Frankly, this is a refreshing change and one that the entire industry is in dire need of.

Comment Re:Blatant Slashvertisment (Score 1) 103

Only barely a mention of some minor hiccups, that get treated as an industry problem, rather than the realities of an incompetent start-up that simply didn't know WTF it was doing.

I tend to agree with you on that one. The PSU was refused certification in the EU three times? How the hell is that even possible? The damn things use a USB charger, I cannot believe you can't just buy one off the shelf in bulk at a decent price that has already been through all the international certification process.

Comment Re:Raise the Price (Score 2) 462

I suspect "have to make X cars" means "have to make X cars available to purchase" as opposed to "have to build X cars and have them sit in a car park somewhere until some bugger buys them".

If they build them to order (not unusual in the motor trade), then Fiat haven't actually lost the money until the order is processed.

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