ramblings of an aimless mind

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Do we need management?

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I read an interesting article on Technology Review describing how a new company is trying to make predict the success of products by giving the people who directly work on it a pool of imaginary money and asking them bet on the success/failure of each project the company undertakes.

This was first tried in a videogame company where the software engineers bet on the success of all the current projects the company was working on. It is a longish article, but a surprising outcome was that the engineer’s predictions were dramatically more successful than those by the marketing department. Apparently, they also uncovered that as people moved up the hierarchy, their predictions were less accurate. Most amusing was the observation that companies are ignoring this new technique of prediction to protect their “awesome management”.

Here’s a thought. Technology now seems to be able to allow the frontline workers to identify the products most likely to be successful. It also allows them to discuss and float new ideas via social networking and wikis. Finally they are allowing them to sell (eBay. Barnes and Noble self publishing etc). In essence, it is allowing them to takeover the functions of the marketing, creative and sales departments. So will we see a massive number of companies driven completely by the frontline workers? I remember during my time as a software engineer how everyone used to complain about the “awesome management” who supposedly did nothing. Will engineers grasp the nettle and try to go it alone?

I also think that followers of the ideology who advocate ultimate power to the workers should sit up and take notice. It is a fantastic opportunity to adopt cutting edge technology to show how their ideology is feasible and workable.

on the whole, very thought provoking…


Written by clueso

December 10, 2010 at 12:02 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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