links for 2010-01-06

  • Curious why so many seemed to know so much about Google's new Nexus One before its official rollout on today? Well, that's because VIPs like venture capitalist Fred Wilson have been carrying them around for more than two weeks.

    Google's new Nexus One phone rolls out today.
    Google's new Nexus One phone rolls out today.
    "In mid December as holiday gifts and cards were arriving daily at our office, I received a gift from Google. It was a Nexus One," Wilson wrote on his blog, adding that Google asked him to "keep quiet" about it until Jan. 5.

  • The botched bombing of Northwest flight 253 from Amsterdam to Detroit haunts millions of air travelers facing (and wanting) tighter airport security. The lucky passengers on NW 253 subdued the terrorist and witnessed minor fires but no explosion. Now the important question is why was he allowed to board the plane in the first place?

    Leaders should ask themselves the equivalent question about what can go wrong and how to prevent it in their own domains. Global financial crashes, regional power outages, laptops with pyrotechnic batteries, or tainted food ingredients, to name just a few, present similar problems. The NW 253 scare offers an instructive example of the roots of systemic failures. Every leader can learn a few lessons.

    (tags: leadership)

  • I’ve only had brief bouts with commissioned salespeople but I learned two things from my experience that I carry with me to this day whenever I talk to people about this subject:

    1. It is one of the toughest jobs to start and be successful in.
    2. It is one of the toughest jobs to hire for.

    As for point one, I don’t know what to say. We’ve tried a ton of different programs to help people get their start in these sorts of positions. The most successful people don’t seem to need too much guidance though. We’ve tried giving training pay for a month or two just to see if we could get them over the hump but it never made much sense in the dollars and cents department.

    (tags: sales hr)

  • Looking to build on the momentum of its iPhone and iPod, Apple Inc. will unveil a new multimedia tablet device later this month, but isn't planning to ship the product until March, say people briefed by the company.

    While the device's ship date hasn't been finalized and could still change, people briefed on the matter said the new product will come with a 10 to 11-inch touch screen—which would make it closer in size to Apple's line of MacBook laptops than its smart phone.

    (tags: apple tablet)

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