John Hunter
Photo of John Hunter at Olympic National Park

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Posts selected from Management Blog - Engineering Blog - Investing Blog and other blogs

  • More Evidence of the Damage Done by Kleptocrat CEO Pay

    Today I see many CEO’s are acting as kleptocrats do – taking food out of others mouths to build their castles. The damage done to everyone else involved is of no concern. Both groups love bankers that flood them with cash for new and larger castles at the expense of the futures of their company (or country).

  • How Healthy Is Squid for Us?

    I try to eat healthfully, especially when I can tweak what I eat to gain a health advantage. I know fish have good qualities. I live in Malaysia now and squid (called sotong here) is often available. I often prefer squid to fish here as the fish use here are often fairly small with bones to deal and not much meat for the effort (it is great sometimes but I am often lazy).

    This is what I found out about squid...

  • Using Drones to Deliver Medical Supplies in Roadless Areas

    This is an awesome use of technology to tackle important problems. Engineers are great.

  • Toyota Understands Robots are Best Used to Enhance the Value Employees Provide

    Toyota has always seen robotics as a way to enhance what staff can do. Many USA executives think of robotics as a way to reduce personnel. Toyota wants to use the brainpower of employees to continually improve the organization.

  • Alternative Career Paths Attract Many Women in Science Fields

    The challenge of how to maximize the opportunities for those interested in careers in science, technology, engineering and math is important to all economies. There are difficulties in doing this and so continued focus on this area is good. My personal belief is we focus too much on the gender issue. Yes, we should reduce discrimination. I think we have done well but still have further to go.

    Most of the suggested changes in how things should be done help women and also plenty of men that are turned off by the old way of doing things.

  • Steve Jobs on Quality, Business and Joseph Juran

    "The importance of customer focus is obvious at the companies Jobs led. It wasn’t a weak, mere claim of concern for the customer, it was a deep passionate drive to delight customers."

  • Analysis Must be Implemented by People to Provide Value

    "The greatest statistical analysis is nothing if it can’t be implemented by people. But people learn in different ways."

  • Refusal to Follow Scientific Guidance Results in Worms Evolving to Eat Corn Designed to Kill The Worms

    An understanding of natural selection and evolution is fundamental to understanding science, biology, human health and life. Scientists create wonderful products to improve our lives: vaccines, antibiotics, etc.; if we don’t use them or misuse them it is a great loss to society.

  • Deming and Software Development

    "Dr. Deming’s ideas are about finding ways to improve the effectiveness and reliability of delivering value going forward. That idea is natural for many software developers. I find that software developers understand the value of designing the process to achieve repeatable success over the long term more than others (including managers)."

  • Kleptocrat CEOs and Their Apologists

    "These CEOs act like kleptocrat dictators, taking what they can and challenging anyone to do anything about it. As with the kleptocrats they surround themselves with apologists and spread around the looting (from corporate treasuries for the CEO and the countries for the dictators) to those that support their kleptocrat ways.'

  • Bako National Park, Sarawak, Borneo, Malaysia

    Bako National Park is a wonderful location less than an hour outside of Kuching, Sarawak, Borneo.

    I only spent a day in the park. There are several intersecting trails. The “small” loop trail includes the Lintang trail and intersects with Pandan Kecil path, Pandan Basar path and more. I hiked through several trails and completely exhausted myself, actually. It was a wonderful hike.

  • Chart of Net Government Debt from 1980 to 2013 by Country

    Bloomberg converted the data to look at debt load per person (looking at gross debt – estimated for 2014). Japan has ill-fortune to lead in this statistic with $99,725 in debt per person (242% of GDP), Ireland is in second with $60, 356 (121% of GDP). USA 3rd $58,604 (107%). Singapore 4th $56,980 (106%). Italy 6th $46,757 (133%). UK 9th $38,939 (95%). Greece 12th $38,444 (174%). Germany 14th $35,881 (78%). Malaysia 32nd $6,106 (57%). China 48th $1,489 (21%). India 53rd $946 (68%). Indonesia 54th $919 (27%).

  • Modified Cockroach Portfolio

    I think something along the lines of this would make sense today for someone living in the USA (but I would vary it a fair bit depending on the person’s situation and it would change in different market conditions)

    • 35% Total Stock Market Index Fund (VTSMX)
    • 15% Total International Stock Index Fund (VGTSX)
    • 10% Vanguard emerging markets fund (VWO), or something similar
    • 20% high quality “dividend aristocrat” type stocks
    • 10% REIT Index Fund (VGSIX) or direct real estate ownership
    • 5% bonds
    • 5% cash
  • Why Don’t All Ant Species Replace Queens in the Colony, Since Some Do

    There are lots of examples of method is very effective at creating lots of successful offspring but happens to be less than ideal in some situations. Natural selection is pretty amazing and awesome at creating effective genes but we certainly can look at the results sometimes and see improvements that would be useful.

    Likely if losing the queen was very common a good way of dealing with that would be found (or that species would be disadvantaged and at risk). If the queen happens to evolve to being very reliable (and able to produce offspring that produce more - often by leaving to found new colonies) coping with her death becomes less important.

  • Amazon Using a Costco Strategy?

    Amazon Prime is in some ways is similar to Costco’s membership fees. Costco make the vast majority of their profit on membership fees and largely breaks even otherwise.

    Amazon Prime costs $79 a year (in the USA) and provides free 2 day shipping and access to their streaming video content. Amazon doesn’t disclose the numbers of prime members (that I can find anyway) but educated guesses seem to say 20 million (or more). That would be $1.6 billion a year.

    Amazon’s net income for the full year was $274 million. Fees for Prime customers were $1.6 billion


            

John Hunter has experience in management improvement (customer focused continuous improvement, process improvement, systems thinking) and related areas. Since 1995, I have used the internet and internet technology to improve the results of management improvement efforts.

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