The Gong Blog

Snap Decision: HodgePodge for Mar. 4

Work it

In New York Times Magazine’s The Work Issue, they featured articles on work-life balance, hiring practices, lunch breaks and this interesting long piece on how to build a team:

“Yet many of today’s most valuable firms have come to realize that analyzing and improving individual workers ­— a practice known as ‘employee performance optimization’ — isn’t enough. As commerce becomes increasingly global and complex, the bulk of modern work is more and more team-based. One study, published in The Harvard Business Review last month, found that ‘the time spent by managers and employees in collaborative activities has ballooned by 50 percent or more’ over the last two decades and that, at many companies, more than three-quarters of an employee’s day is spent communicating with colleagues.”

Snap this

With scores of hidden features and a grammar all its own, Snapchat is basically custom-tailored to make you feel old. And that’s a major 🔑 to its success.

“Compared with Twitter or Facebook, Snapchat can seem almost aggressively user-unfriendly. If you’re new to the app and looking for posts by your kid, your boyfriend, or DJ Khaled, good luck. It’s hard to find somebody without knowing his or her screen name. This is by design.”

A whole new world

A breakthrough that’s been “10 years away” my entire life may soon become a reality: We’re on the verge of an artificial intelligence revolution, says Rolling Stone.

“All this is spooky, Frankenstein-land stuff. The complexity of tasks that smart machines can perform is increasing at an exponential rate. Where will this ultimately take us? If a robot can learn to fold a towel on its own, will it someday be able to cook you dinner, perform surgery, even conduct a war? Artificial intelligence may well help solve the most complex problems humankind faces, like curing cancer and climate change – but in the near term, it is also likely to empower surveillance, erode privacy and turbocharge telemarketers.”

Bank on it

Here’s an good story for anyone with even a passing interest in economics: did the barter economy ever actually exist?

“No academics I talked to were aware of any evidence that barter was actually the precursor to money, despite the story’s prevalence in economics textbooks and the public’s consciousness. Some argue that no one ever believed barter was real to begin with—the idea was a crude model used to simplify the context of modern economic systems, not a real theory about past ones.”

Follow up

According to the New Yorker, our romantic ideal of leadership sets us up to be disappointed in the leaders we have. Perhaps we’re thinking about leadership all wrong?

“Leaders, moreover, used to command; now they suggest. Conceptually, at least, leadership and power have been decoupled. In 1927, Personnel Journal cited an expert who defined leadership as ‘the ability to impress the will of the leader on those led and induce obedience, respect, loyalty, and cooperation.’ But after the Second World War the concept of leadership softened. Leaders, it was said, weren’t dictators or tyrants; instead of ordering us around, they influenced, motivated, and inspired us.”

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Tony Scida

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