Brilliant! Why Microsoft buying LinkedIn is Satya Nadella’s finest move to date

Today’s announcement that Microsoft is buying LinkedIn for 26.2 Billion in cash is the best move to date by Satya Nadella, Microsoft’s CEO.

Microsoft’s primary success comes from business users. LinkedIn has 433 million users on its service… all business users. This move is a no-brainer. It is both an excellent offensive move as well as a great defensive move to prevent someone else from acquiring LinkedIn.

Think of LinkedIn as Facebook for Business. This is the “no-brainer” of acquisitions.

LinkedIn-Microsoft-Nadella

LinkedIn is trusted. Few people fake their experience on LinkedIn. In fact, most HR departments look at LinkedIn for resumes as they also include social proof of a person’s experience as noted by recommendations and endorsements for various skills. The connections a person has provide a built-in reference base. You can easily find your mutual links and do your own reference checks as a result.

Microsoft’s Skype for Business and Office 365 have huge potential benefits to gain from the acquisition.

Additional intelligence that can be gained for users is exemplified by plug-ins like Rapportive. I use this Google Chrome plug-in as it quickly helps me understand who a person is and how I may be connected to them when I receive an unidentified email or a known person recommends someone to me. Even if I am in Outlook on my Surface Book, it is worth a few seconds to drop the email into Gmail to see if Rapportive/LinkedIn knows the person. In seconds I can learn a little about the person and how we are/are not connected. Now Microsoft can integrate this level of intelligence in the Office. And Skype can truly be the connector for all business. Skype’s combination of video, audio and text across all platforms plus the intelligence of the LinkedIn network brings huge value with a variety of ways to make our lives better. It appears Microsoft is already thinking of ways to benefit users as it plans to sell more subscriptions and professional plans to the users of LinkedIn.

A few suggestions:

  • Get rid of the artificial limit on the number of groups a person can belong to in LinkedIn. Free or paid, this has been an annoying limitation.
  • Offer even tighter integration with Contacts in Outlook (on the PC, Mac and phone and tablet platforms) and the People app in Windows 10. (See BusyContacts on the Mac to get an idea of how it can be done very well.)
  • Offer Calendar integration with Outlook on all platforms and the Windows 10 Calendar app. Meetings can be more effective with deeper contacts and calendar integration
  • Integrate Skype deeply into LinkedIn… Contacts, Skype addresses, etc. Make Skype for Business my default business phone app (even more so than the actual phone). As our data plans get better and bandwidth gets bigger, our home and office networks get better and better. Skype for Business is a better and clearer phone than my phone. Skype for Business PBX capabilities will let me form office phone networks with real and virtual team members. And LinkedIn can be my PBX directory and Caller ID.

Microsoft also benefits by getting Lynda, a significant training resource that LinkedIn acquired. Microsoft just became the leading provider of training for all business applications. Want to win the hearts and minds of business computer users and the development and designer communities? Give them great training and even better tools to support their work.

There are many more benefits to discuss… A lot more will be written about this move. I believe history will show it to be strategically important for both Microsoft and LinkedIn. And I believe business users will benefit in many ways.

Brilliant move today Microsoft. Absolutely brilliant.

The Project Management Trifecta

Project Management skills are critical to the success of any project. These skills apply to projects big and small as well as professional or personal.

My recommended tools for Project Management are (in order):
1) MindMapping software – iMindMap / XMind
2) Information Gathering – Evernote / OneNote
3) Project Execution – Trello

Each applies to a phase of the project. All three play a role in the wrap up of the project.
1) The Start – MindMapping
2) Gathering data and organizing the plan – Information Gathering
3) Running the Project – Project Execution / Operation
4) The Wrap Up – All Tools

Over the next few weeks I will detail how I use each of these tools in my project management trifecta.

Project Management Trifecta

Why Digital Books Beat Physical Books

ilovebooks

Photo courtesy of Glen Noble at Unsplash.com

I love to read. And I still hear the debate come up as to whether digital books are better than physical books. In my case, I love to read and I absolutely love digital books. Why?

I love to highlight phrases, sentences or whole sections. When I highlight I am thinking “if I was to read just the highlights of this book as a refresher, what would I want to know… what really mattered here.”

Now comes the great part…

You never know when you might want to recall your notes or where you will be when you want that information. Every highlight I have made is available from virtually any device. I simply login to my Amazon account (or Nook/Barnes and Noble for books I purchased there or on my original Sony Reader) and I can access the original texts with the highlights. Even better… to see just my highlights, I login to Amazon at https://kindle.amazon.com/your_highlights and, in a matter of seconds, I can be reviewing just my highlights from any book in my Kindle library. Brilliant!

If I want to make notes about sections or pages in the book I do so in Evernote or OneNote (especially when I want to write with a digital stylus.) I often paste the Kindle highlights into these digital notebooks and add discussion notes and questions if I am reviewing a book with friends. And the power of search makes even the handwritten notes easy and quick to find. In fact, the power of searching inside of notes, pdfs and documents has made the filing and tagging system less of a requirement.

When I read off my computer display I can easily zoom in or enlarge the text. This helps tired eyes. šŸ™‚

And when I get tired of reading off a lit display and my eyes want and need a break… For this I am forever thankful for the E-Ink technology. Enter my Kindle Paperwhite (with the backlighting turned off, and in an area lit well enough to enjoy the “natural light on e-ink” view and not strain my eyes.)

Physical books are great too. I just find digital advantages outweigh them. And, speaking of outweighing them, the most dreaded boxes during our recent move were the ones labeled “Books”. Those boxes almost always outweigh the others in our move. My back was super thankful for the digital books. Our devices let us keep a massive library with us. The library and our notes are accessible on all our devices without adding an ounce to the load.

What about those of you who already have a big library of physical books and want to change them to digital? I know several who have repurchased their books in digital form. There’s a fairly new app called “Shelfie” that lets you take a picture of your physical books. If the publisher lets you have the digital version at low cost or no cost, you are then able to easily add it to your digital library. You can learn more here. You can get a free book when you sign up for Shelfie with promo code DAVJ1357.

From my first Sony Reader to my present Kindle Paperwhite plus the magazines I read on the Zinio app and everything I clip for reading in Evernote and OneNote, I am a digital guy.

Digital or Physical? What’s your preference and why? I’d love to hear your thoughts on Twitter @DaveJaworski, Facebook or in the comments.

Going Green

No, this isn’t about being eco-friendly. It is about March 17. Bringing back a personal favorite post… St. Patrick wasn’t Irish. Who knew! For one day we can all be honorary Irish and “go green”.

St. Patrick wasn’t Irish?

Two By Two

If you are not a software developer, I encourage you to read this post anyways. Stick with me and I’ll do my best to make it worth your while…

Software development is better when two developers work together. Called “pair programming”, the agile software development practice literally has two developers on the same computer. Blockages get knocked down a lot faster. Code quality is generally higher. And the benefits go on and on. Here are a few articles on the topic:

Atlassian BlogsĀ – Pair Programming Is Kryptonite!

All About Agile’s take on Pair Programming

Agile Alliance’s Guide to Pair Programming

Wikipedia on Pair Programming

There are many more articles on pair programming and almost as many of them are not favorable as are favorable to the practice. My experience is that pairing typically speeds development and increases quality. It is also my experience that it takes the right kind of developers to work in pairs. If you can get your team to have the right attitude and truly give pair programming a shot you will most likely stick with that approach going forward.

My experience is that pairing typically speeds development and increases quality. It is also my experience that it takes the right kind of developers to work in pairs. If you can get your team to have the right attitude and truly give pair programming a shot you will most likely stick with that approach going forward.

One of the premises of AGILE development is that you adapt it to work for your organization. In fact, a hybrid approach may work in which you pair in certain circumstances and not in others.

There are many types of pairing that are not “equal pairs”. In SCRUM, a SCRUM Master and a Product Owner are often “paired”. Sales teams often pair a sales person with a systems engineer, especially in the case of large technical sales situations. The examples go on and on.

To push the point beyond software development, Jesus sent out the disciples in pairs. Pairing works great onĀ much more than just software development.Ā If you have not tried it, I encourage you to try pairing in your work. Here in Nashville, the music industry is very much a believer in pairing… co-writing is one of the revered practices that has brought us some of the greatest songs of all time.

I also encourage you to try the concept in your personal life. The best relationships are typically those where both people get on the same page and set common goals. Not all goals need to be common… just the key ones for the relationship. And the feeling of “success” when goals are achieved is as great in personal situations as in business scenarios, if not much greater.

We live in a time where there are more “solo-preneurs” (companies of 1 person) than ever before. Even in these situations, finding ways to partner can accelerate business growth and opportunities. In fact, the most successful “solo-preneurs” that I know are also great at partnering.

I also encourage you to try it in your personal life. The best relationships are typically those where both people get on the same page and set common goals. Not all goals need to be common… just the key ones for the relationship. And the feeling of “success” when goals are achieved is as great in personal situations as in business scenarios, if not much greater.

My message toĀ the “soloists” is simple… Soloing is great. Partnering, when done well, can be even more gratifying. Try it and let me know what you think.

 

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