Who Owns Who?

President Trump has recently created a(nother) media stir by expressing his concern about the selling power of the on-line retail giant we call Amazon. While personal opinions about this matter will vary, it signals a quiet but important industry trend – the consolidation of companies. We cannot assume that a business’s name is synonymous with ownership.

For example, did you know that Amazon owns IMDB, Twitch and Whole Foods? Or that eBay owns Craigslist and StubHub? Or that Apple owns Shazam (yes, that’s why ‘OK Google’ can’t tell you song titles like Siri can!). The chart below is one helpful way to understand the complex web of brand ownership

While you may (or may not) find this chart interesting, it contains an important lesson. In an increasingly connected society we need to do our homework. If you are selective about who you do business with, you need to spend time researching who owns who!

Head ShotDr. Jeff Suderman is a futurist, consultant, and professor who works in the field of organizational development. He partners with clients to improve culture, leadership, teamwork, organizational alignment, strategy and organizational future-readiness. He resides in Palm Desert, California. Email: jeff@jeffsuderman.com


Chart Source


A Zuckerberg Sized Conundrum: Assessing a Leaders Motive

If you pay attention to pop culture you will have noticed that Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla, recently gave birth to their first child (a daughter named Max). Along with this life-changing event, Mark and Priscilla also decided to announce another momentous decision – the donation of approximately 99% of their wealth to a charity.

Sort of.

This is where the story gets interesting and complex. The donation was not given to the place we expect donations to go – a charity – something with official government status and a bevy of regulations and guidelines to keep ensure ethical operations. Instead, they created another company by which to accomplish their noble goals of improving global education, health and community development. This technically means that this charitable gift is free from any of the guidelines that we typically consider – well, charitable!

As you have likely noticed, the media has jumped all over this issue and turned it into something that feels scandalous. I’m sure you also have your own opinion about the Zuckerberg’s decision (and I trust it is informed by more than your Facebook feed!).

Wherever you stand on this unusual event, I believe there is an important principle at work. At the heart of this issue is one of the most important matters of leadership. It is called motive. If Aretha Franklin believes that love boils down to R-E-S-P-E-C-T then leadership boils down to M-O-T-I-V-E. Most of the media stories about the Zuckerberg’s are simply guessing at the motive behind this decision.

So how does one measure motive? Initially, by our words. But more importantly, over time, our motive is measured by our actions. This is why I believe that most of the diatribe about this donation is premature. Over time, Mark and Priscilla’s actions will reveal the true motives of this decision. It will be shown through choices about how they establish accountability, who they place on their board, how they prioritize efforts and how they manage operating costs.

A leader’s motive can be stated but their true measure is best discovered in practice. Mother Theresa is appreciated because she told us that we need to love the poor. Mother Theresa is loved and honored because she spent her life doing it. Her actions revealed her motive.

The Zuckerberg conundrum should also make us look at ourselves and ask some hard questions. While it may be easier to point your finger and judge others, what are you doing with your money that isn’t simply for your own good? During this Christmas season, a time for giving, where are your gifts directed? Are you using a charity to channel your giving or are you donating directly to your own priorities (as the Zuckerberg’s did).

So Mark and Priscilla, I laud your donation gesture. It is a wise first step to wealth management. I strongly believe that wealth is entrusted to us rather than bestowed upon us. However, time will tell whether this non-traditional approach is effective. Because, over time, the motives of our leaders will become clear. And in the same way, yours will too!


Head ShotDr. Jeff Suderman an educator, consultant and pracademic who works in the field of organizational development. He regularly donates to charity but has not yet set up his own company to do this. He partners with clients to improve culture, leadership, teamwork, organizational alignment, strategy and organizational future-readiness. He resides in Palm Desert, California. Twitter: @jlsuderman

What Happens in an Internet Minute?

Most of us acknowledge that the internet has become the hub of our lives. But have you considered what actually happens in an average internet minute? TechSpartan recently answered that question and compared our activities between 2013 and 2014. Here’s what our play (and work!) looks like in 60 seconds:

Internet Minute3



The March issue of WIRED magazine presented another interesting phenomenon that we are not tracking yet – Internet Minute2screenshots. You have likely observed many conference attendees raise their phones above their head and take screenshots of slides. We also snap photo’s of events, of notes, of texts or things we want to remember later. These screenshots can be both humorous and incriminating and their use is also increasing. This trend is demonstrated by Evernote users who saved 45% more screenshot in their notes than they did a year ago (WIRED).

Some believe that screenshots will help improve productivity and group learning. For example, an individual recently tweeted an article link and received 109 retweets. When he reposted it as a readable screenshot he received over 4,200 tweets (WIRED). So far, the screenshot trend is not occurring through a centralized app but it is plausible that we will see an app claim this market in the upcoming months!

Years ago The Eagles wrote a song about A New York Minute. It appears that even the city that never sleeps can’t even keep up with the internet anymore!


Head ShotJeff Suderman is a futurist, professor and consultant who works in the field of organizational development. He works with clients to improve leadership, teamwork, organizational alignment, strategy and organizational Future-Readiness. He resides in Palm Desert, California. Twitter: @jlsuderman

Clive Thompson (March 2015). Screenshot effect: Display your display. Wired Magazine.



Rules for Living in the Digital Age (According to Wired Magazine)

In the July issue of Wired magazine, they offered up their “Guide to behavior, manners and style” for those of us who live part of our lives on-line. While it was tongue-in-cheek, it provided some great tips that are worthy of sharing in this blog episode. Here are my ten favorites.

10. Yelp is a restaurant review, not an autobiography!

9. Don’t describe yourself as a guru or ninja on LinkedIn unless you read Sanskrit or kill people with throwing stars.

8. No posting ultrasound photos on Facebook.

7. You should favorite compliments you get on Twitter, not reteweet them.

6. Say no to #nofilter tags.

5. Please correct errors in Wikipedia.

4. Don’t follow brands or your followers will get ads.

3. Don’t start your Ted Talk with “so”.

2. During meetings, put your phone on the table, facedown with notifications off.

1. Do not ‘reply all’.

Credits: Wired Magazine (July, 2014). The Code: A Wired guide to behavior, manners and style. Pages 81 – 95.