Curating the Internet: Business and leadership micro-summaries for October 23, 2019

11 months ago
(edited)
4 Min Read
813 Words

Bitmain launches new bitcoin mining facility in Texas; 99% of Uber passengers don't tip on every ride; Americans are planning to spend half a billion dollars on pets' Halloween costumes; Harvard professor recommends using AI to set sales targets; and a Steem book-review of Target America, by Scott McEwen


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  1. Bitmain Opens 50 MW Bitcoin Mining Center in Texas - The mining HQ in Rockdale, TX, is being opened in collaboration with the Rockdale Municipal Development District, and Canadian blockchain firm, DMG Blockchain Solutions. The 33,000 acre site will begin mining with 25 MW of hash power, with plans to expand to 300 MW (Don't ask me to explain the headline.). The site will be managed and maintained by DMG, while Bitmain and the municipal development district will provide workers. Bitmain will also conduct blockchain training for locals who want to learn about the technology. This comes at a time when other firms are also being attracted to mining in Texas because of the state's competitive energy prices and favorable policies.

  2. Only 1% of passengers always tip their Uber drivers, a new study of 40 million rides found - According to a study from University of California at San Diego, and the University of Chicago, 16% of trips earn tips, but only 1% of the riders tipped for every trip. In general, riders tipped on about 25% of rides. Highly rated drivers earned more in tips, and so did females - up to a certain age. Perhaps surprisingly, female drivers were tipped more by both male and female riders.

  3. Americans are spending almost half a billion dollars on Halloween costumes for their pets - According to the National Retail Foundation, Americans will spend $490 million on pet costumes for Halloween. This represents a 100% increase over 2010 spending. The top-5 costumes are pumpkin, hot dog, superhero, bumblebee, and cat costumes.

  4. Use Artificial Intelligence to Set Sales Targets That Motivate - Harvard's Doug Chung specializes in finding the sweet spot for sales targets. If the sales target is too low, it will demotivate sales staff, and they'll be less productive. On the other hand, if it's so high that it's achievable, that will also discourage sales personnel and reduce productivity. Ideally, he says, you'd like to be able to experiment with trial and error to find the right range for the sales target, but this is hard to do, and employees think its unfair to be used in that sort of experiment, so the practice is discouraged. Instead, he says, many companies have begun using machine learning to find the right targets. Companies that succeed with AI tend to follow the following practices: (i) Consider the company's broader goal; (ii) Identify and collect as much relevant data as possible; and (iii) Develop an algorithm that goes deep. Chung adds that employees are often resistant to the targets at the start of a program, but over time, they become more accepting.

  5. STEEM Book Review: Target America - @brian.rr reviews the book, Target America, by Scott McEwen. According to @brian.rr, the book is a fictional account of a Navy Seal team that's operating in the US to find two nuclear suitcase bombs. Overall, @brian.rrr says that the book was enjoyable, moves fast, and was packed with action. The review gives one warning, noting that some scenes are gruesome, and it contains unpleasant language. @brian.rrr scores the book with 5 stars out of 5. (A 10% beneficiary setting has been applied to this post for @brian.rrr.)


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