May 2013
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Month May 2013

Mary Meeker’s Internet Trends Report

The waiting is over. Here is Mary Meeker’s now famed 2013 Internet Trends report.

Meeker, the Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers partner, highlights growth of Internet usage and other activities on mobile devices and updates that now infamous gap between mobile internet usage and mobile monetization.

But there are many new additions. Among them are the rise of wearable tech as perhaps the next big tech cycle of the coming decade and a look at how Americans’ online sharing habits compare to the rest of the world.

Here’s Meeker’s full presentation.

Foundations of organization structure

An old @markkirkwood “tweet,” and some interesting organizational design math and information to consider thereto.

Tweet: Two management models to contemplate… Bottom-up, horizontal [= transparency] v. top-down, vertical [= secrecy]. New v. old…


An organizational structure defines how tasks are formally divided, grouped, and coordinated.  The six elements of an organization’s structure—Key design questions and answers for designing the proper organization structure:

  1. Work specialization. To what degree are activities subdivided into separate jobs?
  2. Departmentalization. On what basis will jobs be grouped together?
  3. Chain of command. To whom do individuals and groups report?
  4. Span of control. How many individuals can a manager efficiently and effectively direct?
  5. Centralization and decentralization. Where does decision-making authority lie?
  6. Formalization. To what degree will there be rules and regulations to direct employees and managers?

Chain of command

  • “To whom do I go to if I have a problem,?” and
  • “To whom am I responsible?”

Authority and unity of command discussions also belong with the chain of command concept…

Span of control

Here is where things get really interesting, and this point was the root of my earlier tweet…

How many employees can a manager efficiently and effectively direct? This question of span of control is important because it largely determines the number of levels and managers an organization has. All things being equal, the wider or larger the span, the more efficient the organization.

Example: Assume two organizations each have about 4,100 operative-level employees. One firm has a uniform span of four and the other company a span of eight.

Members at each level:

  • Span of 4: i.e., 1, 4, 16, 64, 256, 1,024, 4,096, or 7 levels. Operatives = 4,096; Managers [Levels 1-6] = 1,365
  • Span of 8: i.e., 1, 8, 64, 512, 4,096. Operatives = 4,096; Managers [Levels 1-4] = 585

As the example illustrates, the wider span will have two fewer levels and approximately 800 fewer managers. If the average manager makes $50k a year, the wider span will save $40 million a year in management salaries! Obviously, wider spans are more efficient in terms of cost. However, at some point when supervisors no longer have time to provide necessary leadership and support, they reduce effectiveness and employee performance suffers.


Three of the most common organizational designs: the simple structure, the bureaucracy, and the matrix structure.


Two new structural options to consider that can better help a firm to compete more effectively are: the virtual organization, and the boundary less organization.


Consider two extreme models:

Model 1

  • High specialization
  • Rigid departmentalization
  • Clear chain of command
  • Narrow spans of control
  • Centralization
  • High formalization

Model 2

  • Cross-functional trams
  • Cross-hierarchical teams
  • Free flow of information
  • Wide spans of control
  • Decentralization
  • Low formation

The major causes or determinants of an organization’s structure are:


Because structure is a means to achieve objectives, and objectives derive from the organization’s overall strategy, it is only logical that strategy and structure should be closely linked. In fact, structure should follow strategy. If management significantly changes the organization’s strategy, the structure must change to accommodate said.

Organization size

Large or small …


How does the organization transfer inputs into outputs?


What outside institutions or forces affect the firm’s performance? For instance, suppliers, customers, competitors, government regulatory agencies, public pressure groups, uncertainty, etc. An organization’s environment typically has three dimensions: capacity, volatility, and complexity.


Rational decision-making model

Steps in the Rational Decision-Making Model

1. Define the problem.
2. Identify the decision criteria.
3. Allocate weights to the criteria.
4. Develop the alternatives.
5. Evaluate the alternatives.
6. Select the best alternative.

Source: E. F. Harrison, The Managerial Decision-Making Process, 5th ed. (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1999), pp. 75-102.

A presentation to achieve the greatest impact

Developing the Introduction, Body, and Conclusion

For almost every presentation, follow this traditional rule:

  • Tell them what you are going to tell them.
  • Tell them.
  • Then, tell them what you have told them.

This is the same method that the ancient Greeks taught about the introduction, the body, and the conclusion.

Introduce the overall message and each of the supporting topics, like “I am going to cover (1), (2), and (3).” Then, discuss each of the supporting points in order and say in conclusion “I have covered (1), (2), and (3).”

For the opening to the presentation, use the “CPF” acronym:

C = Context—What is the impetus for the presentation? What surrounds it that could influence it?

P = Purpose—Why am I delivering this presentation? What is my reason?

F = Foreshadowing—What is coming in this presentation and in what order? What should the audience expect to hear as they listen to it?

Use the Pyramid Principle or write out a storyboard to insure a tight, logical story that flows easily from slide to slide.

Leadership presentations

Examples of Agenda Pages for a Presentation

How Not to Do an Agenda

Today’s Agenda

  • Introduction
  • Understanding of current situation
  • competitive analysis
  • Niche capabilities
  • How you measure your success
  • Project objectives
  • Overview of approach
  • Proposed approach
  • Team structure
  • Next steps
  • Conclusion
  • Q & A

How to Do an Agenda

Today’s Agenda

  • Understanding of current situation
  • Project objectives and approach
  • Team structure and our capabilities
  • Next steps

An agenda, or setup, slide should be concise but meaningful. Avoid using the following words as bullets points on the agenda: “Introduction,” Conclusion,” and “Questions.” These just take up space without communicating anything to the audience. Every bullet should capture a “so what?”


Emerald: 2013 Pantone Color of the Year

PANTONE 17-5641 Emerald, a lively, radiant, lush green, is the Color of the Year for 2013.

From Pantone [who studies color trends extensively]: The color reminds us of simpler things such as grass and Mother Nature…Green is the color of growth and signifies America in 2013…The rich tone is all about luxury, just like jewels and money…. Whichever theory you prefer, Pantone is describing the choice as, “Lively. Radiant. Lush…A color of elegance and beauty that enhances our sense of well-being, balance and harmony.”

This site will feature Emerald for one week …