Saturday, December 22, 2012

US postal service

I guess the whole world knows at this time of the challenges that the US postal service is facing. In this article on USPS, the author looks at the problem is more detail.

The author does show how revenue is going down faster than the expenses. This results in an loss incurring enterprise which is not sustainable. Therefore, this needs to be fixed and the author proposes various measures. These measures boil down to
  • reducing costs by cutting unprofitable services. This includes closing several offices and reducing the frequency of mail delivery since it does not make sense to have the same level of service when the demand for such services has gone down.  
  • increasing revenue by increasing the cost of other existing services and introducing new services 
Nothing revolutionary but just plain old common-sense. But we need strong leadership to execute on this. An illustration of why execution is very important in the life of an enterprise. 

interesting articles

Some interesting articles that i have come across recently. 
  • A deep look into the recent Presidential election and why Romney lost. While somewhat verbose, the author has provides a detailed review with numbers. So Colorado was lost due to the immigration position, Virginia lost over women's issues, Ohio lost due to Romney's position on the auto bailout and Florida lost due to the impact on Medicare due to Paul Ryan being the vice-presidential candidate. 
  • A very interesting article focused on domestication of a raccoon. 
  • The author laments the loss of the web world as we knew it in this article. Probably the latest efforts by Twitter, Facebook etc towards closing their ecosystems could have been the catalyst for this article. These companies might have been forced by the demands of Wall Street to do this. 
  • And then the author suggests solutions to the concerns expressed above here. The proposed steps include changing the funding model, build applications that provide great user experiences, democratizing the talent pool etc. 
  • Good ideas for some DIY projects. Something to explore in the near future.
  • Will robots take over? Well humans will still have to plan what the robots will have to do. 
  • Coolest gadgets. I would be interested in some of these.