August 23, 2023

A Living Test File

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💬 Who Said it

💬 Who Said it

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June 9, 2023

Will AI Benefit People - Or Corporations?

Will AI Benefit Us All?Will AI Benefit Us All?

People First Technology
May 4, 2023

Small Businesses in New Zealand - And Elsewhere.

The particular comment I was responding to was in a private group hosted in New Zealand - hence the opening paragraph. BUT - I think it pertains to any country. In that post, this link was provided — I think New Zealand has more businesses (and hence ‘small’ businesses) per capita than pretty much any New Zealand just doesn’t have the people to support it.

BUT - when you leave New Zealand … there has been something happening for a while now. I will try to discover the article I wrote a while back ….

Here’s the nub … In the US (but I am pretty sure this applies to most countries) 50 to 60 years ago, big employers like GM and GE were the dominant market cap companies on the financial exchanges. Not entirely un-coincidentally, they were also the companies that employed the most people. Fast forward to today … the market caps of the biggest companies are an order of magnitude higher than the ones back then and the number of people they employ is an order of magnitude less. Meanwhile the population of America has doubled? Tripled?

So where are all those people now working? Answer small … or at least smallER businesses.

Some of this has been achieved by improved efficiencies … we no longer need banks of people directing calls, typing up documents, manufacturing cars …. But also … since the 70s there has been a steady drip of those organizations getting those people ‘off the books’ .. why employ people if you can off shore, outsource, automate processes … and the new one - use AI. The result is that more and more people are in smaller and smaller businesses but often working in service to a larger organization.

Quite simply - If I am building a house (actually - or metaphorically) .. do I employ everyone full time … or contract with the right resources at the right time to get the job done?

Tongue in cheek .. but for the longest time, I have had this vision of the ideal company comprising a single individual with ‘agents’ managing their ‘virtual supply chain’ that they need to deliver value to their customers.

This thought informs the graphic below - ‘The Business Equation’ - and is foundational thinking in the People First domain.

The Business Equation 001The-Business-Equation.001.png

business equation Work
May 3, 2023

Ten things that you can do to embrace the future of AI whilst mitigating the threat of losing your liveliehood.


The Newsletter.

1. Stay informed: Keep up-to-date on the latest developments and trends in AI and automation, and how they are affecting your industry and job market.

2. Develop new skills: Continuously learn new skills to stay relevant in the job market, such as programming, data analysis, or other skills related to AI.

3. Pursue higher education: Consider obtaining a degree or certification in a field related to AI, such as computer science or data science, to prepare for the jobs of the future.

4. Explore new career opportunities: Look for opportunities to work with or alongside AI, such as in fields like robotics, automation, and machine learning.

5. Be adaptable: Embrace new ways of working and be open to adapting to changing work environments as AI and automation continue to transform the workplace.

Photo by Andrea De Santis on Unsplash

6. Build a strong professional network: Connect with other professionals in your field and seek out mentorship and guidance to stay up-to-date on the latest developments in AI.

7. Be creative: Explore new ways of applying your skills and expertise to stay ahead of the curve and capitalize on emerging opportunities in the AI economy.

8. Consider entrepreneurship: Starting your own business or pursuing self-employment can provide greater control over your livelihood and allow you to take advantage of emerging opportunities in the AI economy.

9. Advocate for policies that support workers: Encourage policymakers to create policies that support workers and address the potential negative impacts of AI on employment, such as job retraining programs and income support for displaced workers.

10. Stay positive: Embrace the potential benefits that AI can bring, such as increased productivity and efficiency, and stay positive about the opportunities that lie ahead.

chatGPT Work
May 3, 2023

Ten things that corporations can do to empower their employees and their use of AI whilst NOT reducing their workforce to increase profits.


The Newsletter.

  1. Invest in upskilling and reskilling: Provide opportunities for employees to learn new skills and develop expertise in areas related to AI, such as data analysis, programming, or robotics.

  2. Foster a culture of innovation: Encourage employees to experiment with new technologies and processes, and provide the resources and support necessary to implement new ideas.

  3. Promote collaboration: Encourage cross-functional collaboration and knowledge sharing, to bring together employees from different departments with diverse skill sets and expertise.

  4. Ensure transparency and communication: Be transparent about the company’s AI strategy and communicate clearly with employees about how AI is being used and how it will impact their work.

  5. Emphasize ethical considerations: Ensure that AI is being developed and used in an ethical and responsible manner, and prioritize the well-being of employees and society as a whole.

Photo by Andrea De Santis on Unsplash

  1. Implement AI for augmentation rather than automation: Use AI to enhance human decision-making and productivity, rather than replacing human workers with automated systems.

  2. Prioritize employee well-being: Consider the impact of AI on employee well-being, and take steps to mitigate potential negative effects, such as stress or burnout.

  3. Encourage employee feedback: Solicit feedback from employees on how AI is being used and how it could be improved, to ensure that employees feel empowered and engaged in the process.

  4. Reward creativity and innovation: Recognize and reward employees who come up with innovative ways to use AI to improve the company’s operations or products.

  5. Invest in long-term goals: Focus on the long-term benefits of AI, rather than short-term cost savings, and invest in initiatives that will create sustainable growth and benefit both the company and its employees over the long term.

chatGPT Work
April 23, 2023

People: The Driver


I spotted this car parked near a Farmers Market - I walked on, wondering about the owner and what their story was.

The DriverThe Driver.jpeg

Returning a few hours later, I saw a couple of cars stopped at a junction. They weren’t moving and as I got closer saw an elderly man using his feet to propel him and his wheelchair backwards across this small, pot hole riven junction … up a small incline.

I walked over and asked him if he needed any help.

“No thanks. I’m fine.

Are you sure?

“No really. I’m ok … Thankyou.

Pushing harder with his feet for the final assault on the slope.

I waved to him … ok then … and kept going. He shouted out.

“Thankyou. Thankyou very much. I’m ok … really.”

I turned around to wav to see him by his car, wrestling with the door to get in, carefully watched by his lady friend, sitting patiently to one side of the road in her wheelchair.

I still don’t know the story of the car, nor it’s owner - but clearly, despite what the car might say to a passer by … he was a proud, well mannered, graceful man. I really wish I knew his story.

Travels Without Charley
February 19, 2023

A Substack with bundles of links : 🔗 Digital Countries are the Next New Thing

Who’s already started : 🔗 The Network State Dashboard

The Book : 🔗The Networked State Book (free and downloadable)

Originally posted on John.Philpin.Com

Cross Post Aside
February 18, 2023

Wherever you go in the world, New Zealand, Scotland, Austin Texas, Raleigh North Carolina, Hyderabad, Shenzhen …. pretty much anywhere, you will find there are tech centers. Tech centers that often adopt ’Silicon’ or ‘Valley’ or variations on such in their names, but there are many more. The local government will often declare they are investing and building a tech center of excellence to ‘rival’ Silicon Valley. Except they aren’t. Let me explain.

cross-post Technology
February 18, 2023

It has occurred to me that while I have been posting to this blog at the rate of knots, this blog has been not feeling the love. I have some thoughts on how to fix that. I am going to try the first idea for a while and see what happens. Stand by!

People First
November 9, 2022

My Speciality ? Generality !


A slightly edited version of a post originally published on February 14th 2016 @ Beyond Bridges, now archived here

A friend and reader of this blog just sent me this link, which is a third party version of the LinkedIN map below. It seems to be limited due to LinkedIN’s API constraints, so it can’t map more than 499 of your connections. That said, there does seem to be a lot more information and analysis that surrounds the graph. Andy it means YOU can go try it out on your network. Thank you David.

A good friend of mine messaged me through LinkedIN. He is a fast thinking, witty, bright, intelligent, big thinking kind of guy. He’s also interested in his next gig - so let me know if you want an introduction. Anyway, to my point. He had been on my LinkedIN profile and commented;

I think you would be well served to pare that list (of skills I had listed in my summary) to maybe 4-5 distinct and specialized areas where you really shine better than the rest. Things like Leadership, Marketing, Communications are too generic and readily available in the marketplace.

And I agreed. In fact, so much so that I pared it down to zero. My skill list is summarized in another part of the profile anyway. But it got me to thinking.

I am a big fan of Mike Pesca over at Slate who delivers a daily podcast called The Gist. Try it. You won’t regret it. A couple of weeks ago he had Eric Weiner on as a guest, and they spent some time talking about where genius comes from. Turns out that Eric has just written a new book about ‘how genius happens’. One of my takeaways was that genius emerges from generalism - not speciality. For example, he talked about the fact that Einstein was not the most knowledgeable physicist of his time, but his value was that he was broad in both interest and knowledge. A ‘Renaissance man’ if you will. This an absolute opposite to what we live with today. We eschew the ’polymath’ in favor of the ‘monomath’. From the site Gain Weight Journal;

Unfortunately, we live in an era of monomaths now. This means specialists. The problem with that is that people get stuck with one way of thinking, they have blinders on, and cannot see the big picture, including the relationships and similarities between different things.

I know, even our education system is driven to a singular focus and it seems to be getting worse. For myself, I focussed on Maths and Physics in my education from the age of 15. Maybe I was bored. Maybe I could see the future, but despite that formal focus, I did put an effort into ensuring that I didn’t get locked up in that world and miss out on everything else that there was to offer. (Though I probably shouldn’t have read all three volumes of Lord of the Rings over a two week period shortly before some year end exams!). Back to the plot. Reading that quote reminded me of what we used to say back in my Group Partner days … “The Last Thing You Ever Need Near A Problem Is An Expert” Good. Because I am not. LinkedIN ‘Labs’ used to run something that visually mapped your connections so you could see clusters of people in your network. They closed it a while back, but at the time I wrote about it, dubbing it ‘Cloud Hopping’. I also observed that most people had a very tight network of very few ‘clouds’. This was mine.

A highly distributed interconnected network, emerging from European and American networks in finance, technology, application  and social disciplines. I think Derek was spot on. My strength is not my speciality. My strength is my generality. And, while I would absolutely not describe myself as a genius, I am definitely a cloud hopper. A connector. And there are not many of us around, or at least we tend to keep quiet, because we live in an age where value is placed on ‘what you know’. The ‘who you know’ is almost written off as ‘the old boys club’ . But once you understand the value of the role that Gladwell calls out in The Tipping Point - the pieces fall into place.

My Speciality? Generality!

I first published this post on Beyond Bridges on February 10th, 2016. That site has gone, the words archived,

linkedin mike peska Work