UNDERSTANDING IS A POOR SUBSTITUTE FOR CONVEXITY (ANTIFRAGILITY): A Conversation with Nassim Nicholas Taleb

First Friday Book Synopsis

Here is another in the CONVERSATIONS AT EDGE series, in this instance a conversation with Nassim Nicholas Taleb. “The point we will be making here is that logically, neither trial and error nor “chance” and serendipity can be behind the gains in technology and empirical science attributed to them. By definition chance cannot lead to [.].

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The Man Who Is Changing The World.

Rich Gee Group

He started the Khan Academy as a way to tutor his cousins remotely — while he was a hedge fund analyst in Boston, and they were students in New Orleans. He also attended MIT, where he received 3 degrees: a Masters in Electrical Engineering & Computer Science, a B.S.

Hedge 336

What If Google Had a Hedge Fund?

Harvard Business Review

Acutely aware of the competitive edges timely data offers sophisticated investors, the company's ever-entrepreneurial cofounder once proposed that Google launch a hedge fund. The world's biggest and fastest search engine can't help but generate terabytes and petabytes of actionable investment intelligence. In fact, Google chief economist Hal Varian (and other economists and forecasters) already use the search engine's data and analytics to predict economic futures.

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Why an Activist Hedge Fund Cares Whether Apple’s Devices Are Bad for Kids

Harvard Business Review

On January 6, 2017, JANA Partners , a New York–based activist hedge fund, and the California State Teachers’ Retirement System (CalSTRS) sent a letter to Apple’s board of directors that may change the future of activist investing. The term “activist hedge fund” connotes to many a “corporate raider” who creates short-term profits at the expense of other stakeholders and long-term investors. Tim Ellis/Getty Images.

When an Activist Hedge Fund Thinks a Company’s Salaries Are Too High, Who’s Right?

Harvard Business Review

The hedge fund founded and run by billionaire Paul Singer just announced that it now owns 6.2% The company, founded in 1996 by an engineer from Xerox’s legendary Palo Alto Research Center , Pradeep Sindhu (who remains its chief technology officer and vice chairman), was one of the highest flyers of the fin de siècle tech stock boom. That helps explain why salaries are so high at Juniper — engineers sure aren’t going there for the stock options.

IPO 8

The Future of Cities Depends on Innovative Financing

Harvard Business Review

Investors from hedge funds to insurance companies are operating in an environment of low yields, near-zero interest rates, and a glut of savings. Engineering, Construction & Infrastructure ArticleToday’s mega-cities have a footprint problem.

Bond 12

GM’s Stock Buyback Is Bad for America and the Company

Harvard Business Review

” But the only real wins are a victory for the hedge funds, and a Pyrrhic victory for GM in that it managed to keep Wilson off its board and reduced the size of the buyback from the $8 billion the investors had been demanding.

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What Great Data Analysts Do — and Why Every Organization Needs Them

Harvard Business Review

You might be an applied machine learning/AI engineer if your response to “I bet you couldn’t build a model that passes testing at 99.99999% accuracy” is “Watch me.” Engineering excellence is a must. Vicki Jauron, Babylon and Beyond Photography/Getty Images.

Uber Is Finally Realizing HR Isn’t Just for Recruiting

Harvard Business Review

Susan Fowler, a former site reliability engineer at Uber, recently wrote about her “very, very strange year at Uber,” characterized by a pervasive culture of alleged sexual harassment. That is like setting up a finance organization to do exotic risk hedging before putting in place basic reporting and compliance.

Designing the Machines That Will Design Strategy

Harvard Business Review

LTCM’s model continued to predict that it was properly hedged against a potential Russian default; the insight that it actually needed — that it was under-hedged and exposed to liquidity risk — could only have come from outside of the model. kenneth andersson FOR HBR.

Why Business Leaders Need to Read More Science Fiction

Harvard Business Review

Infomocracy , by governance researcher Malka Older, explores how software could change our public institutions through the social and technical engineering of elections. Rising sea levels flood Manhattan in Kim Stanley Robinson’s New York 2140 , prompting hedge fund managers and real estate investors to create a new intertidal market index. Assumptions toppled Kodak despite the fact that its engineers built the first digital camera in 1975.

Great Innovators Create the Future, Manage the Present, and Selectively Forget the Past

Harvard Business Review

Your current business is the performance engine. • Good Box 3 hedging strategies are important. You need to develop a process for hedging risk. Hasbro’s 1970s venture into Romper Room–branded nursery schools might have benefited from better testing and hedging.

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The Key to Adaptable Companies Is Relentlessly Developing People

Harvard Business Review

In the course of research for their recent book , Harvard scholars Robert Kegan and Lisa Lahey (and three other researchers including myself) studied three highly successful companies – Bridgewater (hedge funds), Decurion (movie theaters, real estate, and senior living), and Next Jump (e-commerce). They need to create the culture of a DDO, a jet engine culture for meeting adaptive challenges when most organizations are still flying a prop plane.

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How to Figure Out What Your Side Hustle Should Be

Harvard Business Review

Entrepreneurship, even in the form of part-time work to complement a traditional day job, can provide a useful hedge against economic uncertainty and a way to develop new skills. Facebook ads or search engine marketing might be appealing possibilities, but for now, they’re too much. Yenpitsu Nemoto/Getty Images. A staggering 55 million people — more than 35% of the U.S.

Let Data Ask Questions, Not Just Answer Them

Harvard Business Review

Instead of recommendation engines that suggest what book to read or TV series to watch, AH engines will propose new titles and concepts for media consumption. Similarly, you can be sure that many — if not most — highly-secretive quantitative hedge funds have highly proprietary AH engines relentlessly recommending trading strategies and investment themes that lend themselves to review and refinement.

How Leaders Should React When Someone Disappoints

Harvard Business Review

” the CEO of the hedge fund yelled at one of his portfolio managers. But when he stepped into the meeting and looked at the faces of the engineers, many of whom didn’t even meet his glance, he took a breath and changed his tactic on the spot. “Why?”

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GE’s Fall Has Been Accelerated by Two Problems. Most Other Big Companies Face Them, Too.

Harvard Business Review

GE’s fall accelerated on October 25, 2015, with activist hedge fund Trian announcing a $2.5 Along with a surprise halving of the dividend, Flannery announced a review of the portfolio that would see the divestitures of numerous historic GE businesses, which ended up including light bulbs, appliances, and locomotive engines. hbr staff/stan honda/Getty Images.

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Stop Waiting for Governments to Close the Skills Gap

Harvard Business Review

Examples of this phenomenon have emerged already: The world’s largest hedge fund is developing a capability for an algorithm to make hiring and firing decisions. While an internal combustion engine has thousands of parts, a Tesla electric engine contains a few dozen, each needing different engineering skills. This is why Volkswagen recently announced that it would retrain 7,000 engineers in electric technology.

How to Actually Put Your Data Analysis to Good Use

Harvard Business Review

The competition for talent will be especially intense for companies for whom advanced analytics forms a core part of their proposition — think e-commerce giants, hedge funds and complex system engineers. MirageC/Getty Images.

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Oil’s Boom-and-Bust Cycle May Be Over. Here’s Why

Harvard Business Review

Most major producers with large balance sheets will likely hedge their bets and attempt both. Although efforts to digitize oil operations are still in their infancy, leading producers are working closely with oilfield services companies, engineering firms, and construction teams to incorporate artificial intelligence, robotics, and predictive maintenance into offshore operations. hbr staff/bettmann/Getty Images.

To Build Your Resilience, Ask Yourself Two Simple Questions

Harvard Business Review

One of her engineers, a key employee and the only one who understood how a critical software component worked, left the firm. One of my students at London Business School joined a hedge fund and was bummed when he was laid off at the start of the financial crisis. In an era where business keeps moving faster, it is no small wonder that resilience has become the new must-have executive skill.

Who Killed the GE Model?

Harvard Business Review

Unlike a pure holding company or a modern hedge fund, the GE model intended to create value by actively sharing capabilities among its disparate businesses, which, with one important exception, were all rooted in manufacturing. These strategies eroded GE’s competitive advantage in everything from consumer electronics and home appliances to trains and aircraft engines. afp/stringer/Getty Images. Who killed GE?

When Good Management Is a Matter of Life and Death

Harvard Business Review

The successful CEOs in our study were hyper-vigilant about threats around them (the paranoia part) and also took action to mitigate those threats, whether in the form of building buffers or hedging (the productive part).

The Coherent Conglomerate

Harvard Business Review

2 in its market; he also insisted that every business provide value no competitor could match, and that they all should be able to gain leverage from GE's distinctive strength in complex, engineering-intensive industrial enterprises — or they wouldn't fit. It does not force its medical systems business to adopt the same market positions or capabilities that work for major appliances or locomotive engines.

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Women, Finance the World You Want

Harvard Business Review

This friend also studied engineering in college and knows how to code. Only 5% of venture capitalists, 12% of angel investors, and less than 3% of hedge fund managers are women. To wit, a study by Hedge Fund Research Inc. found that between 2000 and 2009, hedge funds managed by women produced almost twice the returns of those run by men.

P&L 8

How Company Culture Shapes Employee Motivation

Harvard Business Review

In this article, we address each of these to show how leaders can engineer high-performing organizational cultures — and measure their impact on the bottom line. In one hedge fund, the highest performing portfolio managers had higher total motivation. DAVE WHEELER FOR HBR.

Corporate Strategy Is a Fool's Errand

Harvard Business Review

Take Philips Electronics with its lighting, medical equipment, and consumer electronics divisions; ThyssenKrupp with its steel, elevators, and engineering services units; or smaller companies such as Trinity Mirror, which offers newspapers, printing, and digital services.

P&L 10

How to Get People to Collaborate When You Don’t Control Their Salary

Harvard Business Review

” People in industries as different as commercial real estate, pharma, biotech startups, hedge funds, and public school districts worried about how to transform a competitive, star-driven culture into a collaborative one when they had no power to juggle financial rewards and no influence over promotion decisions. Most of us assume that if we want to change people’s behavior, we need to change their incentives.

How to Tell If Machine Learning Can Solve Your Business Problem

Harvard Business Review

For example, hedge funds automatically filtering out bad data in the form of a negative value for trading volume, which can’t be negative.) The machine learning prediction engine with get things right on average but will reliably make mistakes. “AI,” “big data,” and “machine learning” are all trending buzzwords, and you might be curious about how they apply to your domain.

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When Success is Born Out of Serendipity

Harvard Business Review

They decided to pursue their doctorates, and offered their search engine to Yahoo for $1 million. And in 2004 Paolo Pellegrini, a VP at the investment bank Lazard Freres, was fired — then took on a low-level position at a hedge fund after a lucky phone call.

Three Ways to Succeed by Breaking Convention

Harvard Business Review

The company then dedicated engineering resources to add that quirky feature, a more cost-effective approach than engineering a complex suite of features as a hedge that at least one of them might address a real customer need. Looking up from Bossypants , NBC comedy writer Tina Fey's new book , I see a sand flea on a dried out clump of seaweed. Farther on, toward a lifeguard shack, seven or eight sunbathers have books on their towels or laps.

Why Cybersecurity Is So Difficult to Get Right

Harvard Business Review

These types of information can be used to conduct malicious activities such as social engineering, creating dossiers on high-profile figures (with the end game to disrupt their lives in a malicious way), stealing identities, damaging a corporate brand, and more.

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Here Are All the Reasons It’s a Bad Idea to Let a Few Tech Companies Monopolize Our Data

Harvard Business Review

The more people use a particular search engine, the more the search engine’s algorithm can learn users’ preferences, the more relevant the search results will likely be, which in turn will likely attract others to the search engine, and the positive feedback continues. reducing traffic to an independent app by making it harder to find on its search engine or app store. James Graham/Getty Images.

Could a Four-Year-Old Do What Carl Icahn Does?

Harvard Business Review

After using borrowed money in the 1980s and 1990s, then opening up a hedge fund in 2004, he has since 2011 basically just been managing his own money. Reputation: I asked money manager and author Meb Faber , who has for years been studying the strategies of successful hedge fund managers by looking at 13F filings (which detail their holdings), if he had any insight into Icahn’s success.

The Best Investment You Can Make

Harvard Business Review

And the same's triply true for living a life that matters: if you were to invest in, for example, social businesses, instead of the equity of orthodox corporations, or to choose where to work not just based on the immediate paycheck, but on whether or not the boardroom valued making a difference a tiny bit more than which hedge-fund bots it was enriching this nanosecond, well, the economy's gears wouldn't just find a new rhythm — you'd be rebuilding the engine.

If You're Not Micromanaging, You're Not Leading

Harvard Business Review

The horrible irony: The very detail-oriented systems (and people) Dimon had put in place had obscured rather than surfaced his bank's horrible hedge. The executive responsible for the deliverable (but not the software engineering itself) felt something amiss.

Reimagining Capitalism

Harvard Business Review

Capitalism might be the greatest engine of prosperity and progress ever devised, but in recent years, individuals and communities have grown increasingly disgruntled with the implicit contract that governs the rights and responsibilities of business. What does it mean to articulate and instill a vision compelling enough to inspire sacrifice, stimulate innovation, and hedge against expediency?

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4 Models for Using AI to Make Decisions

Harvard Business Review

“The machine learning model is not a static piece of code  —  you’re constantly feeding it data,” says one Google engineer. It’s a different kind of engineering.” Charismatic CEOs enjoy leading and inspiring people, so they don’t like delegating critical business decisions to smart algorithms. Who wants clever code bossing them around? But that future’s already arrived.

How to Brand a "Useless" Degree

Harvard Business Review

For some, the path forward is clear: the math experts will be snapped up by hedge funds, the software engineers will have their pick of start-ups, and elite investment banks and consultancies will duke it out for the top MBAs.

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How Large Food Retailers Can Help Solve the Food Waste Crisis

Harvard Business Review

The Institution of Mechanical Engineers estimates that annually between a third and a half of all food produced is wasted worldwide. This is partly due to the tendency to grow more than needed as a hedge against weather and disease and fluctuating wholesale and retail orders. Tara Moore/Getty Images. If you find yourself having to purge your refrigerator’s crisper bin every few weeks, imagine what goes on at a grocery store.

Do CEOs Really Have the Power to Raise Wages?

Harvard Business Review

Administrative assistants who work alongside highly compensated engineers make more than their counterparts in other fields, because the norm of fairness partially trumps market forces.

Millennials Are Entering a Changed Workplace. Not.

Harvard Business Review

A male engineer, for instance, earned $68,000, on average, while his female peer earned $65,817. Jim,” as he is known to all, not only did pioneering work in mathematics; he also founded Renaissance Technologies, a hedge fund that relied on scientists to make predictions and trade in global markets. Discomfiting Statistics What’s Wrong with Millennial Employment, in Three Charts Fortune Sometimes the U.S.

The Apple Maps Debate and the Real Future of Mapping

Harvard Business Review

The season, time of day, and current weather can all act as valuable signals to the recommendation engine that decides who receives what content and when. What If Google Had a Hedge Fund? The news of the last couple weeks about the stark differences between Apple and Google's maps have shed light on how hard it is to build a mobile map. Showing a destination that's a few hundred yards off becomes a critical flaw, and there are tens of millions of such place markers on these maps.