What does "synergies mean"?
We need to activate them, cause this business case just flipped the PivotTable. // Plus links and weird finds from the World Wide Web.
I implore you to click on the video above because I live for the views, but if you (like me!) can’t stand video, here is the transcript:
Synergies is actually a very useful precise word in the business world but it gets overused and it's not well understood.
What it means is that if you combine two or more things together, you gain a capability that they didn't have on their own.
You often hear this in terms of M&A, where two companies are going to come together, and they get new products, access to market, new innovation, that combined with each other allows them to come up with a new product.
The downside of "activating synergies" is that the easiest, quickest way to activate synergies is to fire people who are duplicative in HR, finance, even in the product delivery groups, [and, well, any group, really] you can "activate the synergies" of getting rid of people and saving that money, which is not great for actual workers.
I would say that's more sad synergies [I really shit the bed there, I should have said "sadnergies"] than good synergies.
But it sure makes [the stock market] happy!
See the other entries from The Business Bullshit Dictionary, watch them all and share them with your co-workers!
Software Defined Talk #450: Workers of the world, don’t let HR hide in darkness - This week, we discuss the role of DevRel, Remote Work and Layoffs. Plus, Matt reveals his latest keyboard recommendation. // I’ve been neglecting to post links to our episodes for many weeks. If you’ve been missing them, don’t worry, we’ve still been doing them weekly: check out the episodes.
Relative to your interests
Gartner Forecasts Worldwide IT Spending to Grow 6.8% in 2024 - IT spend for software estimated to grow 12.7% y/y from $913bn to $1.02tn in 2024. // That’s the highest growth rate in each category. // It’s good to be in software.
Measuring Developer Productivity: Real-World Examples - Lots to read here if you’re into the whole developer productivity metrics thing.
Red Hat Developer Hub: An Enterprise-Ready IDP - “this new Developer Hub is designed to tackle common DevOps challenges, including complexity, lack of standardization, and cognitive overload. It features a self-service portal, standardized software templates, and plug-in management, all underpinned by enterprise role-based access control (RBAC) and robust support systems.” // I love that the reporter picked up on RBAC as a major (differentiating) feature - or that Red Hat would list it. That’s like saying “yes, but this car has tires!”
A quote from Bryan Cantrill - ’Tools are the things we build that we don’t ship—but that very much affect the artifact that we develop.’ // In favor of the DIY stack. // This line of thinking is commercial poison for most tech vendors/clouds. // But, the reaction to that poison might say more about errors in pricing more than “value.” // Also, we’re not all re-inventing enterprise hardware.
CIO ‘change fatigue’ dampens enterprise IT spend - Enterprise people will talk about AI, but not spend money on it: ’Generative AI, however, won’t have a major impact on IT spending, Lovelock said. “2024 will be the year when organizations actually invest in planning for how to use GenAI,” said Lovelock. “IT spending will be driven by more traditional forces, such as profitability, labor, and dragged down by a continued wave of change.' On the other hand, consultant surveys paint a picture of much activity. And, elsewhere: ‘Lovelock said vendors were introducing AI to solve problems – such as reducing customer churn or getting better value for marketing – that companies had been trying to solve for 25 years. “Most of the use cases that we see coming forward are, in fact, something that has already been done. We’re just saying do it better, faster and cheaper.”’
Voices in your head - I read this and I think: yes, and I have become exhausted hearing and running from voice to voice like a harried thought-waiter seeing what new orders and desires the voices have. Some are happy and delighted and leave good tips, others have sent their steak back for the third time, others would like to tell me about their grandchildren as I struggle to hold a tray of tacos and table 6 keeps eyeing me for the check. I used to be able to serve all the voices, but now it’s just a slog. Maybe this is part of what fuels the turn to cranky conservative as we get older: we just want a break. Mix that with fear of the young and new (driven by lack of understanding and fearing your support, money, and identity are being destroyed, or worse, laughed at and mocked), and you have a potent force to drag you to the dark side. Outside of that: good advice for figuring editing content.
IBM Consulting orders a return to office - and means it - This is always the story. The Federal Reserve of San Francisco says: “We conclude that the shift to remote work, on its own, is unlikely to be a major factor explaining differences across sectors in productivity performance. By extension, despite the important social and cultural effects of increased telework, the shift is unlikely to be a major factor explaining changes in aggregate productivity.” And yet, management insists that things are going poorly. In the middle part of my career that I’m in, I’ve worked with “executives” almost exclusively. Most are curious and pragmatic - they “make it happen” inside whatever constraints they have, using whatever tools work, old or new. But the inability of (some) higher level management to adapt in this remote work era is so weird. They’re capable and crafty, that’s how they got the reward of toiling in the glow of the executive suite, but they just can’t wrap their heads around a new way of working. And the whole thing gets even more painful to think about when surveys like this show that management also wants to keep working from home.
Mourning Google - Here, I submit the late term success of Google: even those who loathe it can’t help but use many of the services from it because they like the services and they work. Search may be a gewgaw swamp of As Seen on TV quality shit…but people’s revealed preference is using Google services every day.
Your Child’s Favorite Teacher May Soon Be a Chatbot Yeah, the idea of having a student peer simulator is pretty good for kids who are - however you want to say it - resistant/incompatible with traditional pedantry methods.
You know children are a lot like chocolate syrup. It’s great in almost any quantity on anything. But if you were to submerge yourself in it for too long, you’d suffocate to death.
“specific resource allocation decisions.”
“Which is basically, more often than not, my feeling on the entire generative AI movement now. None of it seems to be making anything better, just a different kind of annoying.” Here. // I would rejoin-quip: yes, and it’s making the pre-existing annoying things slightly better.
“It’s mostly pass-the-sickbag stuff.” Here.
She actually asked to do this. They grow up so fast!
Aside from the remaining usual bucket of edits here and there, I’ve wrapped up a video course I'm doing with O’Reilly. One of the editors there (“my editors”?) was really interested in my how to survive and thrive in a BigCo oeuvre, so they asked me to make a series out of them.
I thought this was, like, kind of ridiculous, but I’ve never turned down someone who gave me a specific content assignment. They came up with the suggested topics - which was what I was spacing out on - and we were off to the races. It’s eight 3 or 4 minute chunks (with an 8 or so minute one on presentations, predictably, since that’s a huge part of my life).
I could look at the timelines and schedules and shit for when it comes out, but, it’s like, sometime (I got some other work I need to get to - that landing page copy for an “invite only executive event” isn’t gonna write itself!)…and I’ll obviously annoy you with repeatedly linking to here it once it’s available.
Anyhow, although this is an uncomfortable amount of polishing my own toot-horn, it came out really well. I don’t mind saying: I somehow managed impress even myself!
In the next few months (next month, maybe even?) you’ll be able to watch it in O’Reilly Safari. Chances are high your big company already pays for a seat for you!