What are Beacons?

Back in September, our CEO at SavvyCard came into our R&D office and asked a simple question: “Who has heard of beacons?”

…???

Now, it’s not often when a question like that leaves our team in silence. There’s generally someone who is familiar with any given technology in the mobile and web development industries, but this question had the team speechless.

What I’ve since learned is that beacons aren’t new — they’re just not common. Not yet, anyway.

Continue reading What are Beacons?

A Summary of The New Economics, by W. Edwards Deming

In The New Economics for Industry, Government, Education, by W. Edwards Deming, Deming argues that the current system of management in business, government, education, and healthcare is flawed – that we must learn to cooperate, rather than to compete, in order to achieve maximum effectiveness. In his eyes, the present style of management is a “prison created by the way in which people interact.” He views this “climate of competition” as being destructive to the organization. To combat this destruction, Deming devises a System of Profound Knowledge with the goal of transforming the prevailing style of management; from that of competition, to cooperation. His System consists of four parts, providing “a map of theory by which to understand the organizations that we work in.”

Continue reading A Summary of The New Economics, by W. Edwards Deming

A Summary of Six Sigma for Managers, by Greg Brue

Six Sigma for Managers, by Greg Brue, provides its readers with a thorough understanding of the basic principles of Six Sigma and its implementation. To Brue, Six Sigma means many things for an organization. First, Six Sigma is a statistical basis for measurement, allowing the organization to quantify how well they are producing quality material by measuring the Defects Per Million Opportunities (DPMO). Second, it provides a philosophy and a goal for the organization to get behind, and be motivated by. Third, it provides a methodology through a five-step process, also known as the five “vital factors.” And finally, it provides a symbol of quality for the organization, and a sense of pride when the organization achieves its goal.

Continue reading A Summary of Six Sigma for Managers, by Greg Brue

OverDrive E-Book Lending Up in 2011

A few weeks ago, OverDrive — a leading distributor of e-books and audio books — announced that 1.6 billion book and title catalog pages were viewed on OverDrive powered ‘Virtual Branch’ websites in 2011. This is an increase of 130% from 2010.

OverDrive also announced a few other increasing statistics:

Continue reading OverDrive E-Book Lending Up in 2011

A Summary of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, by Stephen R. Covey

In The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen R. Covey presents a series of seven sequential habits, aimed at giving the reader the tools to move along – what he likes to call – the “maturity continuum.” By understanding where one stands on this continuum, Covey argues, one will be better suited to focus their efforts sequentially on the seven habits – and gain a greater interpersonal effectiveness. To covey, this book is a “principle-centered, character based, inside-out approach to personal and interpersonal effectiveness.”

This summary will cover the foundational concepts of the book and give an overview of the seven habits. Though this book is a “self-help” book, it covers many topics that can be helpful to project managers. To give a greater focus to this summary, this will also cover how this book is relevant to the practice of project management. Continue reading A Summary of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, by Stephen R. Covey

A Summary of Quality is Free, by Philip B. Crosby

In Philip B. Crosby’s book, Quality is Free, Crosby puts forth a method of improving organizational efficiencies and output by first understanding the true definition of quality, and then acting upon that understanding using many tools. In his words, this is the “art of making quality certain”. Continue reading A Summary of Quality is Free, by Philip B. Crosby

IBISWorld and E-book Revenue Estimates for 2012

Today I was reviewing IBISWorld‘s industry report for Book Publishing in the US (published in September 2011) and discovered a discrepancy in their estimates for e-book revenues in 2011. Being a long-time fan of IBISWorld and their industry reports, I was particularly proud of myself for spotting the error and promptly brought it to their attention. I emailed their Client Support address to let them know, where I heard back from Lauren — a very friendly and helpful Client Relations Manager (yes, IBISWorld, give her a raise).

Anyway — long story short — in response, they provided me with a sneak-peak at their e-book revenue estimates for 2012.

They estimate that e-book sales will account for 15.3% of industry revenues in 2012.  They also project e-books sales to expand at an annualized rate of 10.3% to account for 22.9% of industry revenues by 2017 (or $6.7 billion).

AWESOME!

If you would like any more information, be sure to buy IBISWorld‘s report when it comes out, or see my post about Four Trends in the Book Publishing Industry.

Note to Self: Affect or Effect?

I, along with many others, have always struggled with the correct usage of the words affect and effect. Well, no longer!

Affect
v. [uh-fekt]
1. to act on; to produce an effect or change in;
2. to impress the mind or move the feelings of;
3. to attack or lay hold of.

(i.e. to change or move)

n. [af-ekt]
4. feeling or emotion;
5. an expressed or observed emotional response;
6. inclination; inward disposition or feeling.

(i.e. a feeling or emotion)

Effect
n. [ih-fekt]
1. something that is produced by an agency or cause; result;
2. power to produce results;
3. the state of being effective or operative;
4. a mental or emotional impression;
5. meaning or sense; purpose or intention.

(i.e. a cause or result)

A Review of A New Brand World, by Scott Bedbury

I recently had the opportunity to read Scott Bedbury’s book, A New Brand World, in its entirety and have found it be one of my favorite business/marketing books to date. The book offers “8 Principles for Achieving Brand Leadership,” but delivers so, SO much more than that. Continue reading A Review of A New Brand World, by Scott Bedbury