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Archive for the ‘Analysts Reports’ Category

China ‘to overtake US on science’ in two years

As many of you who have followed my blog know, I am very skeptical of China politically and economically which is why I find this latest article from the BBC interesting. In it, the BBC asserts based on a report from the Royal Society, an eminent organization, that China is on course to overtake the US in scientific output possibly as soon as 2013 – far earlier than expected.

What the BBC and the Royal Society dont mention with clarity is that they are basing their “output” measure on “white papers” and other technical documentation. The output of White Paper’s and technical documents is not the true measure of one’s scientific or innovation leadership. Particularly with the Chinese who are know to steal, copy and plagerize just about anything they can get their hands on. Don’t believe me? Just ask the Russians.

What is note worthy is that I don’t believe China currently posses the “innovation gene”…yet. Where the U.S. has this as part of our DNA. This is why the U.S has been the worlds leader in innovation, science and technology advances for two centuries. What does this mean in regards to China? Well, I believe they will find new and different ways to innovate, acquiring their own “Innovation Gene”.  As long as the U.S., EU, Japan, and others outsource their manufacturing to China, the Chinese will eventually figure out how to innovate through a method called Lead User Innovation (for more on this search MIT Professor Eric Von Hipple).

Will China be a bigger player in the innovation of new technologies, scientific advances, etc….. yup. Maybe not in 5 years or even 1o. But the Chinese are smart, resourceful, adept and willing to learn and grow. More importantly, they have the financial and political systems in place to hit innovation really hard over the next 25 years.

Probably the most important issue when looking at the Chinese and their innovation growth potential is that they are patient. They can afford to wait and do it right. Through decades of practical and effective reverse engineering, the Chinese will acquire the skills they need to start applying process frameworks to their ideas and then China will be a major player in both development and manufacturing. This will cause huge financial, technological, political, geopolitical, economic, military and product development issues for the rest of world.

The writing is on the wall for the rest of the world. Step up and get moving or get plowed over by China.  No one should under estimate the potential the Chinese have to compete on the global stage of ideas. Its not enough for just MIT, Harvard,  Stanford, and other research universities to carry the weight of scientific output and innovation leadership. We need a culture of innovation and the means and diverse resources to continue to lead, otherwise we will find ourselves in perpetual catch up mode. Check out the BBC article here!



Written by David Frederick

March 29, 2011 at 1:37 PM

Japan’s Disaster Sparks Serious Tech Supply Shortage Concerns

As if Japan didn’t have enough problems. Its economy may take decades to recover. But the related consequences on a global scale for technology and consumer electronics could equally devastating. Components such as memory chips and liquid crystal displays that are used in consumer electronics ranging from smartphones to televisions will likely be in short supply in the weeks ahead. This could have huge supply and economic implications for companies like Motorola, Apple, HTC, Samsung, Vizio, Sony and many others both in OEM and Retail.

I remember back several years ago when a memory chip manufacturer’s facility in Taiwan caught fire and burn to the ground. That single event raised the price of RAM to huge levels. In the current case, Japan is home to several memory chip makers, including Elpida Memory Inc. and Toshiba Corp., the world’s second-largest NAND flash memory chip producer by revenue after Samsung Electronics Co. of South Korea. Obviously, this is a very volatile industry with a select group of manufactures, most located in Japan, Taiwan, or Korea.

To underscore my point, “We expect phenomenal price swings and large near-term shortages as a result of this earthquake,” said Jim Handy, an analyst at Objective Analysis. “Over 40% of the world’s NAND flash … are manufactured in Japan. It doesn’t take a large production decrease to cause prices to increase dramatically.” All I can say is what a mess. Humanitarian crises, energy crisis, economic crisis all on unprecedented levels and that’s just in Japan. The fragile world economy can not sustain huge hits like this without major economic repercussions. I fear, we are only at the beginning of the economic aftershock of this catastrophe for both the people of Japan and the world.

The WSJ has a very interesting article on this topic. Check it out here!

Written by David Frederick

March 15, 2011 at 10:07 AM

The State of the Future

This is kind of a big read, but extremely relevant, interesting and somewhat comprehensive. The one area that the report does not really cover or take into consideration is the direct impact of local, regional, state, government and sovereign debt, deficits and spending and their impact on Countries ability to positively impact or negatively contribute to the articulated challenges. Check it out if you dare!

– DF

The state of the future
July 14, 2010 by Jerome C. Glenn

As noted in our 2010 State of the Future (the 14th annual report from the Millennium Project, just published), the world is in a race between implementing ever-increasing ways to improve the human condition and the seemingly ever-increasing complexity and scale of global problems.

If current trends in population growth, resource depletion, climate change, terrorism, organized crime, and disease continue and converge over the next 50 to 100 years, it is easy to imagine an unstable world with catastrophic results. However, if current trends in self-organization via future Internets, transnational cooperation, materials science, alternative energy, cognitive science, inter-religious dialogues, synthetic biology, and nanotechnology continue and converge over the next 50 to 100 years, it is easy to imagine a world that works for all.

Fewer children are dying, more children are going to school, people are living longer, the world powers are at peace, and the US and Russia have signed a nuclear weapons reduction treaty. Yet the numbers of malnourished children in Africa and Asia are increasing; education is poorly preparing the next generation for a more knowledge-oriented future; aging populations will overburden the financial capability to provide retirement benefits and health care without new policies; and the sophistication and diversity of terrorism continues to proliferate. The 2010 Peace Index in the report shows that while the risk of war is declining in most areas of the world, violent crime has increased.

Our study has found eight specific problem areas where things are getting worse: Global Surface Temperature Anomalies, People Voting in Elections (% population of voting age for 15 largest countries), Unemployment (% of total labor force), Fossil fuel energy consumption (% of total), Levels of Corruption (15 largest countries), People killed or injured in terrorist attacks (number), and Refugee population by country or territory of asylum.

To Read more of this article click here

To purchase the report, click here

How Executives Can Make Bad Decisions

Oh boy! I love that title!! I could write a book on this subject and throw in a couple of case studies for good measure!! There is no shortage of bad decisions by bad executives. Dont even get me started! I could think a couple of “executives” I know personally who are real winners and what a fun book that would be to write. But, I digress.

Here is the point, with the proliferation of new social media mediums i.e. Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Ning and many many more, most folks today are struggling personally and corporate wide on how to leverage this new technology. Worse however, is the fact that senior executives who don’t know how to use, analyze, leverage and engage this medium are setting themselves up for failure and mistakes, not to mention looking like knuckleheads. Thats why there are great firms out there that help specifically in this niche.

This article from Sloan Management Review is a perfect example. I would highly recommend a read.


How Executives Can Make Bad Decisions

July 1, 2009

Social networks provide greater access to information, which improves people’s judgment and decision making, right? Not always, according to some recent research.

The conventional wisdom is that social networks are good for decision making because they help people to acquire knowledge that then enables them to make better choices. In other words, the more extensive and active your social networks, the better decisions you’ll presumably make. But could social networks actually impair your judgment and decision making? Consider a recent study conducted by Francis J. Flynn, an associate professor of organizational behavior at the Graduate School of Business at Stanford University, and Scott S. Wiltermuth, a Ph.D. student in organizational behavior there. (Their paper, “Who’s with Me? False Consensus, Advice Networks, and Ethical Decision Making in Organizations,” is under invited resubmission at the Academy of Management Journal.)

In their research, Flynn and Wiltermuth asked participants for their opinions on different ethical dilemmas. For example, in one of the hypothetical scenarios, an employee is caught pilfering pens, paper and other small office supplies. Corporate policy requires that the person be fired on the spot, but she is one of the best workers at the company and is also a long-time employee. So her manager decides to give her a second chance. Was that ethical? The study participants were also asked to estimate how their colleagues might view those same dilemmas. Lastly, they were asked for information that helped determine their position in a social network of their peers. Whom, for instance, did they turn to when they needed advice?

Flynn and Wiltermuth conducted the experiment with three groups: graduate business students, executive education students and employees in the marketing department of a large manufacturing company. For all three samples, the results were the same: The more that people were centrally connected to their peers, the more they tended to overestimate the degree to which their judgments were in agreement with the views of others (a phenomenon called “the false consensus effect”). This was true even when the study participants held a minority opinion on an issue — but mistakenly believed they were in the majority. Simply put, social ties tended to exacerbate — and not mitigate — the false consensus effect. In essence, social ties strengthened the illusion of consensus even when none existed.

To Read More Of This Article, please click this link the Sloan Management Review: http://sloanreview.mit.edu/the-magazine/articles/2009/summer/50402/how-executives-can-make-bad-decisions/

Written by David Frederick

September 29, 2009 at 7:25 PM

Online Retailers Focus On Checkout To Increase Sales, According To State Of Retailing Online Companies Hope Shipping Changes Lower Cart Abandonment

Online Retailers Focus On Checkout To Increase Sales, According To State Of Retailing Online
Companies Hope Shipping Changes Lower Cart Abandonment

Cambridge, Mass., July 15, 2009 . . . When it comes to how people buy online, retailers are paying as much attention to how the shopping experience ends as to how it starts. According to “The State Of Retailing Online 2009: Merchandising Report,” conducted by Forrester Research, Inc. (Nasdaq: FORR), which surveyed 117 respondents, this year retailers plan to focus heavily on improving customers’ checkout experience. Companies will also place an emphasis on image enhancement located on product detail pages and site search filters to aid shoppers more easily in their search. The report will be released this morning at Shop.org’s Online Merchandising Workshop in San Diego. “In today’s economy, retailers need to be one step ahead, especially when it comes to attracting shoppers who have money to spend,” said Executive Director of Shop.org Scott Silverman. “Companies are investing in their Web sites to set them apart from their competition and make the shopping experience informative, efficient, and even fun.” Retailers Focus On Transparency Of Shipping Charges, Checkout Experience According to the survey, eight out of 10 retailers (79 percent) said enhancing the checkout process was on the top of their to-do lists for the remainder of the year, with 90 percent of medium-sized retailers* listing checkout as a top priority. The largest initiative in this area among retailers seems to be an emphasis on shipping, with retailers specifically increasing the transparency around shipping charges to reduce shopping cart abandonment. According to the survey, 88 percent of retailers will focus on providing more shipping information within the next year, including such details as when a customer can expect to receive a package and information about when products have left the warehouse. In addition, two-thirds of retailers (67 percent) said they would pay special attention to calculating the loaded cost of an order prior to checkout. “Retailers realize that, particularly during an economic downturn, shoppers who understand shipping charges at the beginning of the checkout process are less likely to abandon their purchases,” said Sucharita Mulpuru, Forrester Research vice president, principal analyst, and lead author of the report. In an era of tight budgets, the increased focus on checkout is balanced by a somewhat lessened focus on home page improvements, with 60 percent of companies saying they would concentrate on improving their home page, down from previous years. According to the report, retailers have learned that many shoppers bypass the home page altogether because comparison shopping engines and search engines often direct them to specific pages on retailers’ Web sites instead. As a result, retailers are focusing more on product detail pages and search results pages. Companies Prioritize Image Enhancement On Product Detail Pages With customers wanting as much information as possible before buying, retailers continue to enhance the quality of information on product detail pages. According to the survey, retailers will focus on adding alternative images of products (50 percent), zoom, and color or fabric swatches (31 percent) this year. Retailers are also relying on shoppers themselves to provide key information on product detail pages. According to the survey, more than half of retailers (60 percent) use customer ratings and reviews, and 55 percent of companies will make ratings and reviews a priority for the coming year. In addition, 34 percent of companies will incorporate automated recommendation tools by third parties for their site. In addition to improving detail on current pages, retailers are adding new pages to their sites to better accommodate shoppers on a budget. According to the survey, 89 percent of retailers say that they are introducing sale or clearance pages to their sites in the coming months. Retailers Invest In Search Capabilities To Help Shoppers Find Products Many online shoppers have specific items in mind, and retailers are paying special attention to site search features to make customer searches easier. According to the survey, nearly three-quarters of retailers (73 percent) plan to add different skins or filters to their search functions, which would enable shoppers to choose multiple attributes like brand, color, price, and size to their site search. In addition, 41 percent of retailers surveyed said they are evaluating introducing an entirely new search engine to their Web sites. “The State Of Retailing Online 2009: Merchandising Report” is currently available to Shop.org members and can also be purchased directly at http://www.shop.org/soro. Forrester clients will be able to access the report directly on http://www.forrester.com as part of their subscription service starting on August 14, 2009.

About Forrester Research

Forrester Research, Inc. (Nasdaq: FORR) is an independent research company that provides pragmatic and forward-thinking advice to global leaders in business and technology. Forrester works with professionals in 19 key roles at major companies providing proprietary research, consumer insight, consulting, events, and peer-to-peer executive programs. For more than 25 years, Forrester has been making IT, marketing, and technology industry leaders successful every day. For more information, visit http://www.forrester.com.


Jon Symons
Director, Media Relations
Forrester Research, Inc.
+1 617.613.6104

Written by David Frederick

August 20, 2009 at 6:57 PM