The word “community” has grown a great deal in the last decade thanks to the advent of social media. While we’ve always had local communities where we live, we now have online communities large, like the San Francisco Giants’ 2.8 million Facebook fans) and small, like scrappy groups of gamers trying to restore an incomplete game. However, the perspective on what an online and offline community is has grown exponentially.
For example, Assembly is a former YCombinator graduate that has created an online community (even a social network) that can easily turn into a software company. Products as early as a simple idea to fully-established projects can join Assembly and members of the community can follow and even join the company, eventually become owners of the company through any skill they have, including coding, design and product strategy. While it’s become common for social networks to include pages dedicated to companies to follow their projects, Assembly takes it a step further by integrating “followers” into projects so intimately that they’re effectively co-founders. This has led to random followers (as diverse as you’d find on Twitter TWTR -1.96% or Facebook) from all over the world helping them create a diverse portfolio of software projects.
The online shoe-seller Zappos has been experimenting with a self-management organizational structure known as Holacracy for nearly two years.
But on April 30 the company plans to be fully manager-free, according to a company-wide memo CEO Tony Hsieh emailed late last month.
“Having one foot in one world while having the other foot in the other world has slowed down our transformation towards self-management and self-organization,” he wrote.
Employees who don’t like the new structure will be offered severance packages if they resign by April 30. To get their severance, however, they must either read the management book “Reinventing Organizations” or just email a statement that they are not reading it.
v.19 n. 16 – Released April 15, 2015
This Week’s Headlines:
Financial stress is bad for business. A 2010 Federal Reserve study estimated that it can cost an employer an average of $5,000 per employee per year.
Dan Price, founder and CEO of the credit card payment processing firm Gravity Payments recently proposed an unprecedented solution to financial stress within his company: a new minimum wage of $70,000 a year.
The European Union has filed a complaint against Google over its alleged anti-competitive behaviour.
The competition commissioner said she had issued a “statement of objections”, stating that the firm’s promotion of its own shopping links amounted to an abuse of its dominance in search.
Margrethe Vestager said Google now had 10 weeks to respond.
The firm said it “strongly disagreed” with the allegations and looked forward to making its case.
Ms Vestager also revealed that she had launched an investigation into whether the way Google bundled apps and services for its Android operating system was unfair.
And the commissioner said the EU would continue to monitor other activities by Google that its rivals had complained about.
In Oklahoma City, a sandwich shop called P.B. Jams is serving up some kindness — and it’s being noticed in a big way.
Last week, owner Ashley Jiron saw signs that someone had been going through the dumpster for a meal — closed bags had holes ripped in them and food looked like it had been removed. Rather than put out mousetraps or call the authorities, she posted a sign on the door reminding whoever was doing this that they are a human being that is worthy of eating food that wasn’t tossed in the garbage. She offered them a free peanut butter and jelly sandwich with a side of veggies and a glass of water for free, no questions asked.
A snap of the message quickly went viral.
Only small businesses pay taxes. Big companies often pay nothing at all.
Think that’s an exaggeration? Look at a new report from Citizens for Tax Justice, a Washington, D.C. group. It finds that some of nation’s most famous brands have paid remarkably little to the government over the last five years. In fact, many actually enjoyed a negative tax rate: They received a nice rebate check from the U.S. Treasury.
The 15 giants highlighted by CTJ were chosen to represent a wide range of industries among Fortune 500 companies. They include CBS, Mattel, Prudential, and the California utility PG&E. Together, they paid no federal income tax in 2014, despite profits totaling $23 billion. CTJ’s point is that these companies are not anomalies, they are examples.