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Stuff Worth Reading – November 2017

Stuff Worth Reading – November 2017

We’re fully into the cold weather in New England, watching the snow-guns fire away in the northern ski areas, recovering from Thanksgiving, and closing in on year-end numbers. We wish you all a blockbuster Q4. Here’s some of what we’ve been reading:    

Industry Themes

In Innovation That Matters 2017, sponsored by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation and others, Boston leads the country as an innovation hub for the second year in a row. The report notes (you’ll need to download a PDF for all the juicy details):

The city has the most dense population of startups of the cities measured and ranks first in access to capital. Boston’s growing access to talent is a boon for the city, and its steady pipeline of next-wave innovators contributes to its vibrant startup community. Investment by city and civic leaders, universities and other research institutions also contributed to its rise in this year’s connectivity ranking.

We don’t know if Amazon read this report or not, but Boston has pitched the retail giant as a home for its second headquarters, and, well, who knows? In one study, we’re number 8. In another, we’re number 1.

Gil Press of Forbes offers 10 Predictions for the Internet of Things (IoT) in 2018, choosing the growth of voice-based services as his top finding. Meanwhile, China’s industrial IoT has grown six times since 2009 to $140 billion, China Daily reports, with an announcement last summer of even faster growth expected. And Tom Spring at Threat Post quotes security experts as saying the IoT can’t be secured, but it can be tamed. “Don’t be surprised if the IoT toothbrushes of the world get hacked. Focus on the important stuff.”  

Since it’s that time of year for predictions, the folks over at Forrester Research have made their 2018 cloud predictions in Cloud Innovation Will Power Enterprise Transformation in 2018. (This one comes with a video that starts on its own, so keep your volume down.) Forrester offers ten ideas, closing with, Take note: Cloud is no longer about cheap servers or storage — it’s now the best way to turn great ideas into amazing software, faster. In 2018, cloud computing will accelerate enterprise transformation everywhere as it becomes a must-have business technology.”

Operations

There’s been a lot written in the last couple of years about remote workers, and the Wall Street Journal weighs in with They’re Talking About Me Behind My Back: Remote Workers Feel Unsupported. Remote work is something we’re going to need to get good at, it seems, with more and more employees choosing to work–at least part-time–from home.

After 525 interviews with CEOs, Adam Bryant summarized his findings in How To Be a CEO, From a Decade’s Worth of Them. “The career trajectories of the C.E.O.s I’ve interviewed are so varied that spotting trends is difficult,” Bryant writes, “and a surprising number of the executives do not fit the stereotype of the straight-A student and class president who seemed destined to run a big company someday.” That doesn’t mean that there aren’t themes, including: CEOs practicing “applied curiosity.” They love challenges. And they focus on doing their current job well instead of worrying about the job they want. It’s a good read all around.  

If you’re taking a drive over the holidays, and you have a really forgiving family, you might try the podcast from Start Grind, Fundraising 101 with Joy Randels, CEO of New Market Partners. It’s pretty basic, but sometimes basic is good. And if you can make some time to read, Strategy + Business offers their Best Business Books 2017–In Pictures. The choices are very different, with enough description to help you make a smart selection (or two).

Please let us know if you find an article you would like to have us feature by sending it along to Baiyin at Ascent. And join us on Twitter at Baiyin Zhou (@BaiyinVC) and Eric Schultz (@ericebs).

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