January Corporate Development, aka corp dev, is the group within companies that buys other companies.
I never imagined that I would use voice control.
My experience with voice in cars and smartphones has been mediocre. An Echo sat in our house for three years before I began talking to it.
Last fall we connected our system to Alexa and bought an Alexa-compatible power strip for the lamps. So I had to talk to a device. A Killer App for IoT When devices are scattered throughout a physical space, controlling them by voice is a killer app for the Internet of Things  — but only if a simple control standard is embedded in every device.
For the past couple of years, Amazon has been making it very easy for just about any Wi-Fi enabled device to be controlled through an Alexa skill.
Better yet, taking a page out of the old Intel playbook, Amazon sells inexpensive kits and supplies testing support, so designers can easily embed microphones and Alexa intelligence inside their devices.
True, these devices compete directly with Amazon Echos, but as a platform company, Amazon understands that this is a good thing. Amazon was once considered the weakest of the voice assistant competitors, which include Google, Apple, Samsung, Microsoft, and Facebook.
Most voice assistants are, well, assistants. They reserve movie tickets, arrange transportation, find answers to questions.
This turned out to be a good choice. Is it an accident that Amazon discovered the most attractive use of voice while its biggest competitors were heading in a different direction?
Or is there something about Amazon that gives it an edge, something that we might learn from? How does such a massively large company foster the kind of innovation that leads to completely new markets? Followed by excruciating, painful decline.
And that is why it is always Day 1. Most executives lose a lot more sleep over profits, or shareholders, or competitors than they do worrying about customers. Imagine you worked at an airline, for example, and you had an idea of how to make customers really happy: But consider the Amazon team that came up with Lambda.
Some customers report up to an order of magnitude reduction in cost when they switch to Lambda. Yet the Lambda team did not have to answer the sobering question: How does customer obsession get all the way from a statement in a shareholder letter to the actions of front line employees?
Amazon does this by creating a direct line of sight between small teams and the customers they are supposed to be obsessed with, then making the teams responsible for improving the lives of those customers in some way. The leadership team came to a pretty standard conclusion — better communication was needed.
Jeff Bezos was wise enough to realize that if communication was the problem, the solution had to be less communication, not more. He wanted the company to grow much larger, and if communication was impeding growth at this early stage, they had better figure out how to operate with a lot less of it.
How did the Internet grow so large? Through a lot of independent agents following their own agendas. How does Open Source software grow? Bezos decided that Amazon should transition to the independent agent model by organizing into small, independent teams.
What, exactly, does Bezos mean by a team? The leader often recruits the rest of the team, and members usually stay with a team for two or more years. Teams are responsible for a measurable set of external outcomes, usually focused on customers.
Team decide internally both what they will work on and how they do the work. Dependencies between teams are kept to an absolute minimum. Once Amazon decided to structure a company composed of small, autonomous teams responsible for small, independent services, it had to figure out how to build an extensible infrastructure with these teams.
That took a lot of time and experimentation, but in the end, it worked.BigSun Scholarship The BigSun Organization is proud to be able to help young athletes succeed in their academic pursuits.
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March , rev. June Technology tends to separate normal from natural. Our bodies weren't designed to eat the foods that people in rich countries eat, or to get so little exercise. The Purdue University Online Writing Lab serves writers from around the world and the Purdue University Writing Lab helps writers on Purdue's campus.
Every morning I pick up a small black remote, push a button and quietly say, “Alexa, turn on Mary’s Desk.” In the distance, I hear “Ok” and my desk lights come on.