Teamwork Can Outdo Brilliance

America’s companies should reconsider the value of “a well-assembled team that may not dazzle with individual brilliance but overwhelms with collective capability,” said Bill Taylor in Harvard Business Review.

America’s bosses are too impressed by superstars, said Bill Taylor. Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg claims that employees who are “exceptional in their role” are “100 times better” than those who are just pretty good. But he would say that, wouldn’t he? He has to defend his $47 million purchase of a company, FriendFeed, simply to acquire—or, as some say, “acqhire”—its employees at a cost of about $4 million apiece. Does that really make sense?

“If you are building a company, would you prefer one standout person over 100 pretty good people?” Consider how the team players of the Boston Bruins beat the star-studded Vancouver Canucks in the Stanley Cup, or how the Dallas Mavericks shamed LeBron James and the Miami Heat. Our fascination with “the Free Agent, the lone wolf, the techno-rebel with a cause” has gone too far. America’s companies should reconsider the value of “a well-assembled team that may not dazzle with individual brilliance but overwhelms with collective capability.”
- As seen in The Week



Planning on an MBA? Your tweet could be worth $37,000 - Apply by July 28

The University of Iowa’s Henry B. Tippie School of Management is offering a full scholarship worth $37,240 to the MBA program applicant with the best answer to their essay question. The catch: The answer must be in the form of a tweet, 140 characters or less.


Think of it as a chance for a prospective MBA student to hone his or her elevator pitch, says Jodi Schafer, Tippie's director of admissions and financial aid. "That's sort of the power statement you need to sell yourself quickly and concisely, the way you have to sell yourself quickly and concisely in business," she told Yahoo! Shine as reported by Lylah M. Alphonse.

The question is pretty straight forward: "What makes you an exceptional Tippie Full-Time MBA candidate and future MBA hire? Creativity Encouraged!" But crafting a 140-character answer is harder than it looks. (In fact, this paragraph itself is twice as long as the answer can be.)

So how are you supposed to sell yourself succinctly without selling yourself short? Schafer offered a tip: Just like on Twitter, applicants can use abbreviated links to direct the admissions officers to a more well-rounded answer posted on YouTube, Facebook, or a blog. "Personally, that's what I'd like to see," Schafer said. "People sending me elsewhere."

There's a one-tweet-per-applicant limit, and you shouldn't actually post your tweet on Twitter; to keep things confidential, students should send their tweet-like answers to the admissions office, along with the rest of the official application. The $85 application fee will be waived for students who submit the 140-character answers, and standard-length responses, usually about 450 words, are also acceptable—but not eligible for that full financial award package.

"Social media has been shown to be a powerful tool for business communication, so it makes sense that our applicants demonstrate an ability to use it," Colleen Downie, senior assistant dean of the full-time MBA program, pointed out on the Tippie MBA blog. "This is a way for prospective students to show us that they embrace innovation and are comfortable using the kind of media and technology driving so many changes in business."

According to Business Week, 307 people applied to Tippie's full-time MBA program last year. Schafer said that applications are up slightly so far this year. Given that applying to any graduate program takes a lot of preparation, "We never intended that our applications would jump drastically," Schafer explained. "We really don't expect to see the impact of this until 2012." That's when the "application tweet" will be open to all students, international and domestic. "There are a lot of people who have expressed interest, but they can't move their family or take the GMAT this quickly," she added.

The school's essay-by-tweet experiment is open to U.S.-based students only and runs through July 28. A scholarship winner will be announced on August 4.

A few other organizations are hopping on the Twitter bandwagon, though they aren't offering as generous a package as the University of Iowa. KFC (Yes, that KFC, Kentucky Fried Chicken) is offering high school seniors a chance to be awarded up to $20,000 over four years for a single great tweet. Scholarship.com's "Short and Tweet" program encourages students to "sum up your college experience in 140 characters of less and possibly win $1,000 or a Kindle for school," and The 140 Scholarship offers three different awards for students who "write a Tweet highlighting how we can use Twitter to improve the world."

Brought to you by NetLingo: Improve Your Internet IQ

Is it the end of an era for .com? The Internet faces a domain name revolution!


The world of website names is about to be completely revolutionized. At the moment, a Web address can only end with one of 22 suffixes — .com, .org and .net are among the most popular — but in the near future websites could end with more tailored suffixes such as .kids, .shop or .nyc (for a big city like New York).

The body in charge of deciding the rules for website names, ICANN (International Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers), announced in June, 2011 that it will liberalize the market of address endings — also known as gTLD’s, generic top-level domains — allowing anyone to choose whatever suffix they want for their website, including ideograms and Arabic characters.

The Internet community, governments and companies have been campaigning for the liberalization of websites’ names for years. But with a customized domain name to cost around $185,000, it is expected that only big organizations will apply for now. “It may also take twice that amount to operate and maintain a proper gTLD of their own, a condition ICANN has made obligatory for all applicants,” points out Robin Wauters of TechCrunch.com. “The question is if the advantages of owning a ‘brand domain’ justify the high costs involved.”

As seen in N.Y. Metro, Beatrice Bedeschi interviews Brad White, ICANN’ s director of global media affairs.

What are the main changes you expect to happen after this decision?

That is the most exciting part of it: We don’t know, in the sense that now it is up to the creativity of the people, and their capacity to imagine new ideas. Nobody could forecast the success of Twitter or Facebook, until they completely changed the way we interact on the Web.

Do you think that companies will be forced to buy a customized name just to protect their brand?

There are safeguards built into the system, with strict rules on how to apply and what documentation to present. In other words, if someone applies for a specific suffix with the name of a company or a brand, we check that he is acting on behalf of the company and has the right to do so.

Do you think the $185,000 fee will prevent people from applying?

That’s the fee you have to pay just for the registration of the domain. Then you have to add all the money it needs to be administered. And one can make money by selling second-level domains afterward. The application is open to everyone, but of course we expect big companies to apply mostly.

“This may turn out to be the decision with the most repercussions ever taken by ICANN,” says technology writer Robin Wauters from TechCrunch.com. “It may represent an excellent opportunity for companies, organizations and cities worldwide to benefit from strong branding. On the other hand, the new extensions might cause confusion with end users.”

Still texting while driving? Don't do it!


In May, 2011, Indiana joined 31 other states when it passed stiff new laws prohibiting texting behind the wheel. Under the new law, effective July 1, Indiana drivers face a maximum fine of $500 if caught texting. Drivers under 18 are also prohibited from all cell phone use. With the addition of Indiana, 32 states, the District of Columbia, and Guam have now banned text messaging by all drivers. Furthermore, eight states, the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands have prohibited all handheld cell phone use while driving. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, distraction behind the wheel is still a major factor in many serious car crashes, with texting and hand-held cellphone use being the top culprits.

How Your Web Rep can Ruin Your Job Search


If I've told you once, I'll tell you again, you must manage your digital footprint and keep your digital doppelganger in line! Posting racy photos and controversial remarks won’t get you as much press as former Rep. Anthony Weiner’s sexting display of his political briefs, but they can cost you in your online job search.

This has been a constant warning to job applicants, but the threat is more real than ever now that the Federal Trade Commission has allowed Social Intelligence Corporation to perform background checks on the Internet activity of job seekers. This means that your entire online history is fair game — even if you think it is private.

A recent Vault.com survey as reported in AM NY showed that while 93 percent of employers claim they haven’t rejected a candidate based on their social media presence, more than a third of recruiters do examine the social networks of applicants. That number is probably higher than they would like to admit, and will be even higher in the future now that there are companies out there willing to do such work.

So what’s a job seeker to do?

1. Stop trusting privacy settings - Privacy settings are not 100 percent reliable. If someone wants to find information out about you, they will. The fact that you tried to make it private won’t stop them from using that information against you. The less you trust a privacy setting, the more you might want to stop posting objectionable content.

2. Keep your image professional - According to the Vault survey, 60 percent of recruiters thought candidates should take steps to hide their personal pictures, and only 51 percent of job seekers said they actually do. But why post them in the first place? Pictures of you drinking or scantily clothed, or even that fun shot of you holding a samurai sword, could make you appear to be a risk in a recruiter’s eyes, no matter how cool you look to your friends. The truth is, you don’t look cool without a job, so stop sabotaging your search.

3. Your friends can hurt your career - It only takes one friend tagging a photo of you looking intoxicated — which will put the picture on your profile —to ruin your chances at getting a job. Recruiters will see these pictures. Ask your friends not to tag you in photos, and be vigilant and de-tag objectionable photos.

4. Keep your religious and political views to yourself - Before social media, it was said that you should never discuss religion or politics with friends. Follow that philosophy online.

5. Think of social media as your resume - You know you work hard; you know you always get the job done. Recruiters don’t. Put yourself in their shoes and make sure your online presence represents the type of person you would hire for a job. Until then, DQYDJ!