Friday, March 6, 2020

Value Creation

My employer offers courses to employees via Udemy, and one of the available courses is Seth Godin's Master Class in Value Creation.

The course strongly recommends that you apply the course materials to a specific problem, and use the course questions to better understand the problem. I can't reveal the problem that I am trying to solve, but I can say that the course material includes some very specific questions that you can ask to better understand how to solve the problem.

It doesn't take a doctoral degree to figure out the basic question you want to answer:

This project you’re working on, the new business or offering, what sort of value does it create?

This is a loaded question but a vital one.

And this loaded question raises others, as Studiorupt notes, word for word.

Tuesday, March 3, 2020

Half the time, Amazon doesn't deliver its packages. Who does?

If you go to, you'll see a picture of a happy person with a bright future in logistics.

If you love building and leading teams, start your own business as an Amazon Delivery Service Partner, delivering smiles to customers across your community.

And you can read on about how wonderful this opportunity is, and the great success stories, and then some yahoo comes up to you and shares a story from GeekWire:

Amazon stops working with several small delivery contractors, forcing companies to lay off hundreds

And then someone else shares a story from BuzzFeed:

3,200 Amazon Drivers Are Going To Lose Their Jobs

All of these facts are not mutually exclusive. It turns out that Amazon needs new delivery contractors to replace some of those that have been terminated.

Both GeekWire and BuzzFeed report the same facts about the contractors that are being terminated, but the authors choose to emphasize different parts of the story. GeekWire:

In an emailed statement sent to GeekWire, Amazon said these companies did not meet safety or performance requirements....

"“Some of these companies have not met our bar for safety, performance or working conditions, and we’re in the process of exiting them from the program."

Sounds great! Amazon, the force of good, is protecting the people who work WITH them from hazardous working conditions.

BuzzFeed's article, while stating the same facts, has a slightly different emphasis:

But since mid-2018, Amazon has been aggressively shifting its delivery model toward smaller contractors that work from a single location and manage no more than a few dozen routes.

Because of their size, those smaller companies have less negotiating leverage with Amazon, which in some cases pays them as much as 5% less than it paid its so-called legacy or 1.0 carriers for the same work, court records show. While Amazon pays legacy carriers a monthly stipend to cover the cost of dispatchers, for example, there is no such payment for the newer firms.

Sounds bad! Amazon, the force of evil, is racing to the bottom by dumping established firms with ones that will work even more cheaply.

Of course, both could be true. Amazon could be using its power to churn its delivery partner relationships so that it always has top-performing talent working WITH them. And then in a few years or a few months, if there's a better alternative partner, then Amazon could shift to that one.

Meanwhile, because of branding, none of us know the difference. We see an Amazon logo on a truck, and we automatically assume that the driver is with Amazon.

And we assume the same when we see a FedEx logo.

Or a
McDonald's logo.