All Praise Kickstarter!

Kickstarter has been around for six years and it is now an established way to fund creative ideas. Fred Wilson writes that they have now provided over $2bn in project funding.

The next step? Kickstarter helps take new ideas to production. This broadens the range of new products that are developed, bringing more people into the product development field. But it presupposes that a team backs the project. Can we find a way to buildĀ  betterteams faster?

Companies Built to be Mobile

Fast Company offers an interesting article about how work will change in 2016. The ideas presented reflect best thinking about how trends will extend into the next period.

One idea in particular is worthy of deeper reflection. Companies are less fixed institutions than they are aggregations of teams. And teams operate in more autonomous manner than ever before Teams work more and more from remote locations — not from a single location. Here is an example. tech workers being lured out of London.

Enabled by advancements in communication technology, the “remote-firs”t structure provides a variety of conveniences. For example, research by online freelance marketplace Upwork suggests that finding and onboarding talent in the brick-and-mortar world takes an average of 43 days, compared with three days in the virtual world..

This imposes a new leadership paradigm

“Most companies, even big companies, are much less hierarchal and much less top-down in their execution than they used to be,” says Bersin. “Leaders are finding that they have to be more inspirational, they have to be more collaborative. The traditional approach to performance management and performance appraisals is being revolutionized, they’re throwing away ratings, they’re putting in systems to provide feedback, and the gap that’s being created is, ‘Who are the right leaders?'”

So who is the right leader? Leadership in this setting means delivering the right vision in order to focus a team’s attention. It requires an appreciation of strategy and learning from doing.

Layoffs and Basic Income

Al Wenger makes a good point today about the Twitter layoffs. The bottom line is that Twitter had to choice but to do this in order to move faster in its development plans.

Indeed, layoffs are inevitable in industry in general. They are painful, but firms will over-hire and will have to pair down their staff from time to time. So, if this is just going to happen, workers should have some support to ease the pain. A guaranteed income? Perhaps.