Just Released: A Novel – “Two Souls in the Sun” by Giacomo Fatuzzo

 

JUST RELEASED: A NEW NOVEL FROM FATUZZO BOOKS

In our newest published book, Two Souls in the Sun: A Twisted Love Story, the author, Giacomo Fatuzzo, explores obsessive love and the effect of isolation on the mind. This novel is a beautifully described journey in a strange and foreign land in a forgotten time.

Written by Giacomo Fatuzzo almost 100 years ago, this is the story of a lonely young soldier, alone in a vast desert, and his love for a young, beautiful and exotic woman, Keria. But as their love turns sour, the young soldier descends into the depths of madness and obsession.

This book is more than a tragic love story. It is about the toll isolation takes on the human mind and spirit and the dark and deadly twists of an obsessive romance gone wrong. The saga is exquisitely presented by Giacomo, but he leaves it up to the audience to decide where the line exists between reality, fantasy and horror. And he forces the reader to grapple with the question, “Where is the line between love and hate?”

ABOUT THE BOOK

Two_Souls_in_the_Sun_Cover_for_Kindle

Two Souls in the Sun: A Twisted Love Story by Giacomo Fatuzzo.

“Two Souls in the Sun” is a novel drawn from the experiences of Giacomo Fatuzzo, while he was a young officer stationed at a military post in Italy’s colony of Libya in the 1920s. It was originally published in Italian, in Libya, in 1929 with the title Due anime nel sole. But then it was lost in the sands of war and time for decades.

An old copy of this soul wrenching work of art was recently found by Giacomo’s granddaughter, and now has been translated into English by Giacomo’s only son, Ennio Fatuzzo. This newly published translation gives readers the opportunity to be transported to the wild and enticing Libyan dessert of the past. But it also challenges readers to look at the young soldier through modern eyes and consider the price paid by both the mind and body during isolation from one’s family and culture – an issue very relevant in today’s uncertain world.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Giacomo Fatuzzo was born in Vittoria, Sicily in 1900. After graduating from the Italian Military Academy of Modena, he joined the Italian Army and became a career military officer. His long and distinguished military career culminated with his appointment as General of the Italian Army Corp. As an author, General Fatuzzo wrote and published a number of articles and books, including his best-selling memoir “Storia della <Julia> nella Campagna di Grecia.” This book was recently translated into English and published by Fatuzzo Books with the title “The Death of the Julia Division (available from amazon.com). General Fatuzzo died in Albisola Marina, Italy in 1975.

Giacomo’s only son, Dr. Ennio Fatuzzo, has revived Giacomo’s early novel in order to share with today’s readers this timeless quest to understand love, identity, and the soul itself.

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Two Souls in the Sun: A Twisted Love Story

 

MORE INFORMATION
Two Souls in the Sun is available in both paperback and Kindle formats from amazon.com.

For additional information about this novel, Giacomo’s memoir, and books and articles by Carol L. and Ennio Fatuzzo, visit their authors’ Web site: fatuzzobooks.com.

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Technology Supremacy: U.S. versus China

Technology Supremacy: U.S. versus China

by Carol L. Fatuzzo and Ennio Fatuzzo

 

USA versus China

Today, the U.S. is clearly the overall, global technology leader.But the U.S. and China are in a technology race for the future, and U.S. continued superiority is not a given. As evidence, just look at the titles of a few recent news articles (references at the end):

  • “China’s Intelligent Weaponry Gets Smarter”
  • “Plan for $10 Billion Chip Plant Shows China’s Growing Pull”
  • “These 6 Chinese Tech Giants are Ramping Up the Pace of Innovation for the World”
  • “China’s Plan to Build Its Own High-Tech Industries Worries Western Businesses”
  • “These 6 Chinese Tech Giants Are Ramping Up the Pace of Innovation for the World”
  • “China’s Plan to Build Its Own High-Tech Industries Worries Western Businesses”
  • “As U.S. R&D languishes, China pushes precision medicine envelope”

RESEARCH SPENDING ON TECHNOLOGY/SCIENCE

Why does China’s growing technology presence matter? To better understand the concern and the dangers, take a step back and consider how the U.S. gained technology leadership in the first place, and what its importance has been. Basically, in the last century, the countries with highest investment in R&D (Research and Development) ended up with technical superiority and significant competitive advantage. Specifically, in the second half of the 20th century the race was between the U.S. and the Soviet Union, with the U.S. spending more and winning. And this supremacy resulted in world and business leadership for the U.S. in many ways—a position the U.S. still enjoys today. But is this vanishing?

We assume that this relationship between R&D spending and leadership will continue, so consider current R&D expenditures by country. The two countries that top the list of actual dollars spent in 2016 are the U.S. with $457 billion and China with $369 billion. Japan is a distant third with $166B in spending, and it goes downhill from there. So what is the concern? The U.S. is still leading.

Current R&D spending isn’t the whole story. It’s also important to consider changes in the rate of spending. Starting from far behind (primarily as a result of Mao’s “Cultural Revolution”) China has shown a surprising and consistent average annual growth rate of around 18% in R&D spending over the last few years. And its newest government mandated and controlled 5-year plan forecasts that rate to continue. Compare this to the U.S. which has had an average (but variable) 3-4% increase in R&D spending over the same time. Even more concerning, it is expected that the current government policies will decrease this. The result? Even if the U.S. maintains its current rate of spending, China is on a path to surpass the U.S. in total R&D spending in less than a decade.

Where is China focusing its efforts? The new 5-year plan highlights the following priorities/initiatives, and we have added examples to show some already notable Chinese accomplishments:

  1. Quantum Communications and Computation (government saying they will spend over $100 billion to bring chip factories and research facilities to China, successful launch of world’s first quantum communications satellite with developing/implementing secure encryption a goal)
  2. Brain Research (an operational Institute with more than 4,000 working scientists, a new15 year project focusing on early detection of brain diseases and brain-machine intelligence)
  3. National Cyberspace Security (intelligent weapons with a focus on robotics and artificial intelligence, closely related to the Quantum Communications Initiative)
  4. Deep Space Exploration (completion of the world’s largest radio telescope – Five-hundred-meter Aperture Spherical Telescope [FAST] to understand how the cosmos evolved and search for extraterrestrial life, successful launch of the Long March 5 rocket, focus on missions to the moon and Mars)
  5. Clean, Efficient use of coal (development of processes such as high efficiency combustion and carbon capture and storage, increased focus on renewable energy)
  6. Industrial, Medical and Military Robots (Hong Kong chemists create micro swimmers that can be controlled by light, robotics industry explosively growing)
  7. Applications of Gene Science (plans to spend more than $9 billion on “precision medicine” which will match patients to drugs based on genetics, active research in cloning including success in cloning human embryos)
  8. Big Data Applications (comprehensive personal data collection and analysis project being run by the Chinese communist party to develop what they call a “social-credit system”)
  9. Deep Sea Experimental Platform (manned, deep sea platform in the South China Sea to hunt for minerals, also military purposes)
  10. New Arctic Observatory. Antarctic Station (construction of a research facility in Iceland, positioning to protect/expand China’s economic, scientific, political, strategic ambitions—climate change, mineral rights, geothermal energy)

INNOVATION

R&D spending is important, but there is another critical factor determining technology supremacy. We (and many other) believe innovation, or “creativity” as we called it in our book “Creating New Superstars: A Guide to Businesses that Soar above the Sea of Normality” (available from Amazon.com), is an essential companion to R&D spending for developing and maintaining technological supremacy and using that power. And the U.S. has long been the leader in creativity and innovation and its application to business. This has resulted in the vast majority of the most innovative companies (including the top 10 from Fast Company’s 100 list) being U.S. based.

But we aren’t alone in our belief. China states that its top priority is “innovation,” and they are devoting dollars and people to this purpose as a part of the first sub-plan under the new Five Year Plan. Chinese efforts to enhance innovation include building key science innovation parks and attracting top-tier science and technology researchers from all over the world. Research emphasis is on areas that include clean and efficient energy and fifth-generation mobile telecommunication.

And innovation in research isn’t all the Chinese are doing. Numerous Chinese companies are now focusing on innovation with growing success. As evidence, in their newest list of the world’s 100 most innovative companies, Fast Company lists 6 Chinese companies (ranked 11-16). Fast Company also clearly summarizes the developing US-China situation:

“China now ties or tops the U.S. market in online retail, mobile device sales, digital payments, gaming, renewable energy investments, and more. With more than half of its 1.37 billion citizens online, 90% of them via smartphone, China has seen an explosion of tech behemoths and upstarts driving innovation hubs like Beijing and Shenzhen to become more hypercompetitive than even Silicon Valley.” (Reference 3)

Yes China is making progress, but the U.S. is still leading. Why does creativity prosper here in the U.S., and why do we believe the U.S. will continue to be the innovation leader? We posit that creativity and the resulting business innovation prospers in Countries where there is most freedom—freedom not only to create new ideas but also to make mistakes and rebound. And we guess that there is more freedom in a scientific institution here than in a large government institute in China.

But there is an exception. In the field of Biotechnology and the applications of Gene science there are moral and ethical concerns in the U.S. that are placing constraints on research. Apparently, this isn’t the case in China, foreshadowing a growing global dilemma.

So, in the end, what will happen? Who will “win?” There is no simple answer. Yes, there is a technology race between the U.S. and China with fierce competition, but there also is a growing co-dependency—in trade, in business, and even in science. In a world of growing complexity, it is difficult to predict the future, but the concerns are clear.

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REFERENCES

Following are references which provide the data and other information provided above. In most cases, the titles clearly explain the content. For those seriously interested in the developing and complex U.S.-China technology relationship, we suggest taking the time to read a few of these articles.

  1. John Markoff and Matthew Rosenberg, “China’s Intelligent Weaponry Gets Smarter,” New York Times, February 3, 2017, https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/03/technology/artificial-intelligence-china-united-states.html?
  2. Paul Mozur, “Plan for $10 Billion Chip Plant Shows China’s Growing Pull,” February 10, 2017, https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/10/business/china-computer-chips-globalfoundries-investment.html?smprod=nytcore-ipad&smid=nytcore-ipad-share&_r=0
  3. Austin Carr, “These 6 Chinese Tech Giants are Ramping Up the Pace of Innovation for the World,” Fast Company, February13, 2017, https://www.fastcompany.com/3067467/most-innovative-companies/these-six-chinese-tech-giants-are-ramping-up-the-pace-of-innovatio
  4. Keith Bradsher and Paul Mozart, “China’s Plan to Build Its Own High-Tech Industries Worries Western Businesses,” New York Times, March 7, 2017, https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/07/business/china-trade-manufacturing-europe.html?
  5. Paul Murphy, “As U.S. R&D languishes, China pushes precision medicine envelope,” Bloomberg Government, January 6, 2017, https://about.bgov.com/blog/u-s-rd-languishes-china-pushes-precision-medicine-envelope/
  6. Loren Grush, “China is catching up to the US on science and engineering spending, report finds,” theverge.com, Jan 19, 2016, http://www.theverge.com/2016/1/19/10793294/science-engineering-investment-china-vs-us-national-science-board
  7. Kathleen McLaughlin, “Science is a major plank in China’s new spending plan,” sciencemag.org, Mar. 7, 2016, http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2016/03/science-major-plank-china-s-new-spending-plan
  8. “Report: U.S. Global Lead in R&D at Risk as China Rises,” American Institute of Physics, Feb 1, 2016, https://www.aip.org/fyi/2016/report-us-global-lead-rd-risk-china-rises
  9. Crisp in Maslow, “Asia-Pacific Analysis: R&D spending boosts development,” scidev.net, October 24, 2016, http://m.scidev.net/asia-pacific/r-d/analysis-blog/asia-pacific-analysis-r-d-spending-boosts-development.html
  10. “2016 GLOBAL R&D FUNDING FORECAST,” http://www.iriweb.org, http://www.rdmag.com, Winter 2016, https://www.iriweb.org/sites/default/files/2016GlobalR%26DFundingForecast_2.pdf
  11. “How much do countries invest in R&D? New UNESCO data tool reveals emerging players,” Unesco.org, September 14, 2016, http://www.unesco.org/new/en/media-services/single-view/news/how_much_do_countries_invest_in_rd_new_unesco_data_tool_re/
  12. Kevin Holden, “South China: A rising power in science,” Science, December 16, 2016, http://www.sciencemag.org/careers/features/2016/12/south-china-rising-power-science
  13. Stephen Clark, “Chinese satellite to begin quantum communications experiments,” spaceflightnow.com, August 15, 2016, https://spaceflightnow.com/2016/08/15/chinese-satellite-to-begin-quantum-communications-experiments/
  14. “China Brain Project to Launch Soon, Aiming to Develop Effective Tools for Early Diagnosis of Brain Diseases,” English.cas.cn, June 17, 2016, http://english.cas.cn/newsroom/news/201606/t20160617_164529.shtml
  15. Andrew Jones, “China outlines its space exploration ambitions: Missions to the Moon and Mars will dominate China’s focus,” planetary.org, December 27, 2016, http://www.planetary.org/blogs/guest-blogs/2016/1227-china-outlines-its-space-ambitions.html
  16. Rebecca Morelle, “China’s colossal radio telescope begins testing,” BBC News, September 25, 2016, http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-37453933
  17. Mike Ives, “China’s drive to clean up its coal power, one plant at a time,” New Scientist, August 22, 2016, https://www.newscientist.com/article/2101780-chinas-drive-to-clean-up-its-coal-power-one-plant-at-a-time/
  18. “Robotics industry booms in China,” China Daily, October 28, 2016, http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/business/tech/2016-10/28/content_27199664.htm
  19. Soap Tin Soh, “The rise of China’s medical robotics sector,” Robohub, December 22, 2016, http://robohub.org/the-rise-of-chinas-medical-robotics-sector/
  20. Prachi Patel, “These Microscopic Bots Could Swim through the Bloodstream to Deliver Drugs,” Scientific American, February 1, 2017, https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/these-microscopic-bots-could-swim-through-the-bloodstream-to-deliver-drugs/
  21. “China invents the digital totalitarian state: The worrying implications of its social-credit project,” The Economist, Dec 17, 2016, http://www.economist.com/news/briefing/21711902-worrying-implications-its-social-credit-project-china-invents-digital-totalitarian
  22. “China Is Planning a Massive Sea Lab 10,000 Feet Underwater,” Bloomberg News, June 7, 2016, https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-06-07/china-pushes-plan-for-oceanic-space-station-in-south-china-sea
  23. Dorothee Thiesing and Jill Lawless, “China’s Arctic Ambitions Take Shape In Remote Iceland Valley,” Associated Press, November 16, 2016, http://www.apnewsarchive.com/2016/China%27s_Arctic_ambitions_take_shape_in_remote_Iceland_valley/id-9804071dd97844cbaa53980ce517def2#
  24. Andreas Raspotnik, “Solar-terrestrial” interaction between Iceland and China,” High North News, April 4, 2016, http://www.highnorthnews.com/solar-terrestrial-interaction-between-iceland-and-china/
  25. Shang Yue and Hu Yongqi, “New plan gives innovation top priority,” chinadaily.com.cn, July 21,2016, http://usa.chinadaily.com.cn/china/2016-07/21/content_26173564.htm
  26. “China’s Latest Five-Year Plan to Focus on Innovation,” Asian Scientist Magazine, April 6, 2016, http://www.asianscientist.com/2016/04/topnews/china-five-year-plan-innovation-science-spending/
  27. Ennio Fatuzzo and Carol Fatuzzo, Creating New Superstars: A Guide to Businesses that Soar Above the Sea of Normality (USA: Createspace, September 2016)

Big Data: An Exploding Agent of Change

January 26, 2017 Leave a comment

 

Big Data: An Exploding Agent of Change

by Carol L. Fatuzzo and Ennio Fatuzzo

 

Futuristic abstract background and binary code and the words big dataToday, thanks to the internet, many kinds of data (Variety) are being sent, received, and accumulated at unprecedented rates (Velocity) in unprecedented quantities (Volume). So, how can we manage this rapidly increasing amount of data and benefit from them? How can we discover hidden patterns and reveal unknown correlations?

Storing such massive quantities of data is only the beginning. To be useful we also must be able to access and analyze them rapidly and reliably. Following is an excerpt from our latest book, “Creating New Superstars,1” which addresses this opportunity.

BIG DATA AND BUSINESS ANALYTICS

“Business analytics refers to “the extensive use of data, statistical and quantitative analysis, explanatory and predictive (computer) models, and fact-based management to drive decisions and actions.2 The rapid development and adoption of advanced business analytics technologies is already altering the business landscape.

Big data refers to data sets too large for traditional data processing. These data sets have the potential for “huge new benefits—but also heartaches.3 The explosive emergence and availability of such huge, fast-changing, unstructured data from various old and new sources, mostly external to a business, and attempts to analyze them, has created the “age of information” ― an age where knowledge is power. But in many companies these unwieldy data sets have also created an “analysis bottleneck” that limits their usefulness.

But now it is possible to combine big data with advanced business analytics. Unparalleled and real-time access to vast quantities of data and the ability to rapidly analyze them in meaningful ways are already realities. Business management is being challenged with the rapidly growing technical capability of harnessing the vast potential that is hidden in multiple sources of massive data/information.

Today many companies already are analyzing big data to achieve significant competitive advantages―to improve products and services, cut costs, attract repeat customers, and more. An IBM Global Business Services Executive Report documents several big successes: “Companies like McLeod Russel India Limited completely eliminated systems downtime in the tea trade through more accurate tracking of the harvest, production and marketing of up to 100 million kilos of tea each year. Premier Healthcare Alliance used enhanced data sharing and analytics to improve patient outcomes while reducing spending by $2.85 billion. And Santam improved the customer experience by implementing predictive analytics to reduce fraud.4

Still embryonic though, are advanced analytical methodologies that can be applied to big data to build useful models for predicting and optimizing future outcomes. Such tools would enable leaders to make better decisions and make them faster and with lower risk; and might even help scientists make fundamental discoveries. This is the promise of the emerging field of data science, the marriage between big data and advanced analytics, the former providing the information, the latter supplying the tools that can be applied to that information to develop insight and guide action.5 However, there is one giant caution for business leaders. Big data and analytics, no matter how sophisticated and expertly used, will not replace or necessarily even predict disruptive innovations. Analyzing the past and extrapolating to the future is not likely to accurately predict a future shaped by unparalleled disruptive and exponential change.”

A CAUTION AND A CONCERN

There is no question that the future benefits arising from the combination of big data and advanced analytics will be immense, but not everything is positive. For example, even with advances in analytics technology, including artificial intelligence, keep in mind the caution expressed above:

“Analyzing the past and extrapolating to the future is not likely to accurately predict a future shaped by unparalleled disruptive and exponential change.”

And for those who worry that big data collection may infringe into their privacy: Yes, large companies and organizations already have access to a lot of personal data and are using it. On the positive side, this is already leading to things such as improvements in healthcare outcomes and understanding new market trends for better business management.

But it is an entirely different situation when governments enter the arena. A number of articles have been written about “big data” in the hands of government evolving into “big brother.”  A recent article in the Economist entitled “China invents the digital totalitarian state: The worrying implications of its social-credit project6” illustrates a concerning example.

The article describes a data collection and analysis project being run by the Chinese communist party to develop what they call a “social-credit system.” To summarize, using “big data” technologies, the project’s objective is to develop a system to collect and categorize as “good” or “bad” all available information for each individual citizen. Ultimately, rewards for good behavior (e.g., prizes, better housing) and punishments for bad behavior (e.g., denial of permissions to travel or access to loans and services) would be handed out – all this aimed at improving the allegiance of citizens to the State.

Will China be successful? How far will other governments go towards using big data to become “big brother” watching over each citizen? Certainly valid concerns. However, keep in mind that every breakthrough new technology has the potential for both good and bad. It all depends on the intentions of those who develop and apply the technology.


 

  1. Ennio Fatuzzo and Carol L. Fatuzzo, Creating New Superstars: a Guide to Businesses that Soar above the Sea of Normality (USA: September 2016)
  2. Thomas H. Davenport and Jeanne G. Harris, Competing on Analytics: The New Science of Winning (Boston: Harvard Business School Press, 2007), 7.
  3. “Data, data everywhere,” The Economist, Feb 25th 2010, http://www.economist.com/node/15557443.
  4. Michael Schroeck, Rebecca Shockley, Dr. Janet Smart, Professor Dolores Romero-Morales, and Professor Peter Tufano, “Analytics: The real-world use of big data,” IBM Global Business Services Executive Report, IBM Institute for Business Value (2012), accessed June 27, 2016, http://www-935.ibm.com/services/us/gbs/thoughtleadership/ibv-big-data-at-work.html.
  5. Foster Provost and Tom Fawcett, “Data Science and its Relationship to Big Data and Data-Driven Decision Making,” Big Data, 1, no. 1 (March 2013), 51-59, http://online.liebertpub.com/doi/pdfplus/10.1089/big.2013.1508.
  6. “China invents the digital totalitarian state: The worrying implications of its social-credit project,” The Economist, Dec 17, 2016, http://www.economist.com/news/briefing/21711902-worrying-implications-its-social-credit-project-china-invents-digital-totalitarian

Thoughts on Business Leadership

January 18, 2017 Leave a comment

 

Thoughts on Business Leadership

by Carol L. Fatuzzo and Ennio Fatuzzo

Liderazgo

 

There are all kinds of leadership found in all walks of life, and much has been written about what comprises good or exceptional leadership.

For example, our book “The Death of the Julia Division1” is a moving memoir illustrating the struggles of military leadership. It chronicles the agony of a man who doesn’t believe the war he is fighting is justified but fights as hard as he can; the anger of an officer who knows that his superiors are making poor decisions from a remote location but still must follow the resulting orders; and the commitment of a leader who does his best in impossible circumstances for his soldiers and who suffers tremendously, as do all of those involved on the battlefield.

But what about business leadership? We provide some of our own views in our newest book “Creating New Superstars.”2 Following is some background and an excerpt from this book. Not everyone will agree with our opinions, but we hope this provides some food for thought.

Once Upon a Time

Once upon a time, companies developed strategic plans, in some loose fashion inspired by the strategic plans of the military. These corporate strategies commonly were reviewed only once every year because change usually occurred at a very slow pace, and gradual change is very seldom disruptive. In this peaceful time, certain practices became the norm and accepted as the standard for good management, including things such as:

  • New product definition based totally on market research
  • Extreme delegation to subordinates and teams for prioritizing and implementing programs
  • Decisions through consensus
  • Forecasting the future based on an extrapolation of the past

The general idea seemed to be that a “dull” and predictable company, managed well, would be a good and successful company. However, today the world is undergoing an explosion of disruptive change, driven primarily by rapidly advancing technology. And in these unsettled times, many dull but successful companies are struggling.

However, there are outliers or rebels—very successful, once small but now large companies where the “rules of traditional management” have generally not been followed, at least for significant periods in their lifetimes. These are the companies we call Superstars.

What is a Superstar

There is a new phenomenon emerging that we call “Superstar” companies. These are the few, extraordinary, publicly-traded, Fortune 500 companies that have managed to sustain exponential growth over more than a decade, even as they became giants. The list of Superstars and almost Superstars includes Amazon, Apple, Alphabet, Facebook, Genentech, Amgen, and Gilead Sciences. What has driven these outliers to such extreme success in the face of explosive change?

Our Views

Although not the only important factors in creating Superstars, the repeated flashes of insight, out-of-the-box thinking and acting, and powerful personalities of the leaders are critical. Such exceptional individuals are not bound by tradition and thus can rapidly adapt to and take advantage of a changing environment. They have passionate beliefs, are intensely focused on their goals, and take pride of being the best in their industry or maybe even the best in the world. And they are dedicated almost beyond reason to building their companies. These unique business leaders are rebels and often considered dictators, and they are shaping our future.

Exceptional Leadership (Excerpt from “Creating New Superstars”)

“Much has already been written about the importance of leadership in general, and the leaders of today’s Superstars more specifically. We highlighted some of this information in our brief histories of the Superstars in Chapter 2. Drawing on this information and our own experiences and research, we provide here a short summary of some of the common leadership characteristics that we believe are essential for Superstars.

First, an intelligent, strong-willed leader whom people will follow (not necessarily like) is required. This leader must be a risk-taker who is unafraid of making mistakes, and who enthusiastically embraces the unconventional, ranging from unusual management styles to untested business models. This leader also must be able and willing to rapidly reinvent (or support and partner with those creative individuals who can reinvent) everything again and again as circumstances dictate—from business models and business definitions to entire product lines.

To say this in a different way, to create a Superstar a leader must be able to think and act “outside of the box.” Does this mean that these leaders have to have that nebulous ability called “vision?”

Our answer is: not always. Remember that some of the “visions” of leaders like Steve Jobs or Jeff Bezos led to actions that were clearly mistakes. But these same leaders also made correct decisions repeatedly, year after year. Clearly, in some cases the vision of a strong leader can create and drive markets.

One last commonality among Superstar leaders. The leaders must have exceptional commitment, persistence, and stamina to be able survive seemingly disastrous occurrences in their business and personal lives without declaring defeat—incidents we highlighted such as getting fired, ending up in hospital for stress, or having to work impossible hours, sometimes for no compensation. How many people are willing and capable to endure all of that to end up winning in business? The answer, of course, is only a few—those few capable of leading their enterprise to Superstar status.


 

 

The_Death_of_the_Jul_Cover_for_Kindle

 

1. Giacomo Fatuzzo, The Death of the Julia Division: Memoirs of an Officer (USA 2014). Available from amazon in both paperback and kindle formats: http://amzn.to/2jAi45r

 

 

creating_new_superst_cover_for_kindle

 

2.  Ennio Fatuzzo and Carol L. Fatuzzo, Creating New Superstars: Businesses that Soar above the Sea of Normality (USA 2016). Available from amazon in both paperback and kindle formats: http://amzn.to/2hAn6dy

 

Artificial Intelligence: A Door to the Future

January 9, 2017 Leave a comment

Artificial Intelligence: A Door to the Future (And the Future is Now)

by Ennio Fatuzzo and Carol L. Fatuzzo

 

Brain. Cpu. Circuit board. Vector illustration. Eps 10“2016: The year artificial intelligence exploded.” This is the title of a recent article in the SD Times that begins like this:

“Artificial intelligence isn’t a new concept. It is something that companies and businesses have been trying to implement (and something that society has feared) for decades. However, with all the recent advancements to democratize artificial intelligence and use it for good, almost every company started to turn to this technology and technique in 2016.”1

The article goes on to give examples of recent developments by Facebook, Microsoft, Google, and IBM. These are interesting, but only touch the surface of this rapidly developing technology area.

A December article in the New York Times Magazine2 does more to open one’s eyes to progress and competition in this explosive area of technology which has developed mostly “under the radar.” The title of the Times’ article is informative: “The Great A.I. Awakening: How Google used artificial intelligence to transform Google Translate, one of its more popular services — and how machine learning is poised to reinvent computing itself.” The article tells the story of how Google formed a new department (Google Brain) to focus on artificial neural networks and how that led to the radical transformation of their machine translation platform.

However, the Times article does more than focus on Google’s advances. It considers some of the broader issues associated with A.I. In the author’s own words:

“Google’s decision to reorganize itself around A.I. was the first major manifestation of what has become an industry wide machine-learning delirium. Over the past four years, six companies in particular — Google, Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Microsoft and the Chinese firm Baidu — have touched off an arms race for A.I. talent, particularly within universities… What is at stake is not just one more piecemeal innovation but control over what very well could represent an entirely new computational platform: pervasive, ambient artificial intelligence.”

Pervasive, ambient artificial intelligence— the author’s words. But is that in the future, or is it now? Virtual assistants are everywhere. And Google Brain is only one example of the race to develop more and more products that parallel human intelligence, not only in memorizing data, but also in following instructions. Many companies are now working on machines that can self-instruct on how to reach pre-determined goals. Apple, Facebook, Amazon, Microsoft and Baidu, a Chinese company, are all developing such types of products. A subsidiary of Samsung, a Japanese company, announced a machine-enhanced detection of breast cancers. And the list goes on.

But now consider a broader perspective. In the end, will all this effort on A.I. result in good for humanity or something else? For example, as we state in our recent book “Creating New Superstars”:

“We haven’t even mentioned numerous other technology advances with the potential for both great good and great harm such as robots with advanced artificial intelligence capable of learning and redesigning themselves and potentially acting independently from the humans that are supposed to be controlling them.”3

Consider what we said: robots with artificial intelligence, thinking and acting independently of the humans who control them. Such robots could theoretically be capable of redesigning themselves, or of designing and building computers or other robots better than themselves. And maybe these “super machines” could even rebel against the humans that originally created them.

Intelligent robots and other advanced artificial intelligence applications and devices may seem like science fiction, but new capabilities in this disruptive technology area are arising at an ever-increasing pace. This door to our future is rapidly opening, but what waits on the other side? Is it good or bad for humanity? According to experts such as Stephen Hawking and Bill Gates, artificial intelligence poses significant threats.4

But all major scientific and technology advances offer possibilities of great good or evil for humanity. Today:

“We have reached a room with many doors. Behind each door, there is a different future for us and our world. Should we open these doors? Do we want to? Will we?  The answer is simple: Yes, because humans always have and always will.”5

And, as we open each new door, it is up to us to follow the new paths carefully and wisely.

 

References

  1. Christina Cardoza, “2016: The year artificial intelligence exploded,” com, December 26th, 2016, http://sdtimes.com/2016-year-artificial-intelligence-exploded/
  2. Gideon Lewis-Kraus, “The Great A.I. Awakening: How Google used artificial intelligence to transform Google Translate, one of its more popular services — and how machine learning is poised to reinvent computing itself,” com, December 14, 2016, http://www.nytimes.com/2016/12/14/magazine/the-great-ai-awakening.html?smprod=nytcore-ipad&smid=nytcore-ipad-share
  3. Ennio Fatuzzo and Carol L. Fatuzzo, Creating New Superstars: Businesses that Soar above the Sea of Normality (USA: September 2016) p. 261. Available from amazon: http://amzn.to/2hAn6dy
  4. James Barrat, “Why Stephen Hawking and Bill Gates are Terrified of Artificial Intelligence,” com, April 9, 2015, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/james-barrat/hawking-gates-artificial-intelligence_b_7008706.html; Eric Mack, “Bill Gates Says You Should Worry About Artificial Intelligence,” Forbes online, January 28, 2015, http://www.forbes.com/sites/ericmack/2015/01/28/bill-gates-also-worries-artificial-intelligence-is-a-threat/#684260ef3d10
  5. Ennio Fatuzzo and Carol L. Fatuzzo, Creating New Superstars: Businesses that Soar above the Sea of Normality (USA: September 2016), p. 259. (Available from amazon: http://amzn.to/2hAn6dy)

Superstar Companies: Two Points of View

January 2, 2017 Leave a comment

OHuge businessman goes across the townn September 13, 2016, we published a book entitled “Creating New Superstars: A Guide to Businesses that Soar above the Sea of Normality.” A few days later (September 17, 2016) an independently created “special report companies” appeared in The Economist entitled “The Rise of the Superstars.” What are the differences between our Superstars and those of The Economist, and how do our views differ?

The Economist report defines Superstars generally as very large and powerful companies: “a handful of corporate giants … generating unparalleled wealth for a small number of people and exercising growing control…” We, on the other hand, define Superstars as only those specific, large, Fortune 500 companies that have been growing exponentially for at least a decade. Thus, our Superstars are an exclusive sub-set of the companies considered by the Economist. Yes, they are giants, but more important, they are unique because of the exceptionally high growth they have been able to sustain over time, despite their large size.

To be more specific, the Economist’s list of Superstars includes corporations such as Exxon Mobile, General Electric and Johnson and Johnson and more—older, very large companies that over time have been slowly increasing in revenues and market capitalization. Our list of Superstars and almost Superstars is much more limited. Only Apple, Amazon, Alphabet, Facebook, Genentech, Amgen, and Gilead Sciences meet our criteria. These are relatively young, technology based companies with sustained exponential growth in revenues. Yes, the Economist list also includes these companies; but in our opinion, putting both types of companies in the same “basket” leads to an apples and oranges comparison. Thus, some of the Economist’s conclusions and insights are different from ours.

And there is another fundamental difference. The focus of our book is on creating new, exponentially growing Superstars, now and in the future. The focus of the Economist is on the evolution and survival of the current “super powers.” This leads to a much stronger emphasis on technology and science (what we call Launching Pads) and on creativity in our book, and more of a focus on excellent management and mergers and acquisitions in the Economist. To say it another way, we focus on sources of exponential growth, and the Economist focuses on expanding corporate power.

And yet, even with the differences, we and the Economist share several key insights:

— Technology is pervasive and transforming everything in today’s world.
Technology and globalization are key driving forces for creating corporate giants.
There is often a symbiotic relationship between Superstars and new start-ups or other small companies.
Superstars must keep undergoing radical and disruptive change to thrive.

Are giant companies good or bad? The Economist directly addresses this question, while we chose not to consider it. However, we do explore the potential impact of developing technologies and areas of science on business and hence humanity.

If you are interested in learning more about Superstars and the impact of technology, our book, “Creating New Superstars: A Guide to Businesses that Soar above the Sea of Normality,” is available in both paperback and kindle formats from amazon: http://amzn.to/2iQyWRP

The Economist Special Report about corporate giants is available as a pdf file at: http://www.economist.com/sites/default/files/20160917_companies.pdf

 

Creating New Superstars – Background

December 2, 2016 Leave a comment

Following is the PREFACE that can be found in our newest business book “Creating New Superstars: Businesses that Soar above the Sea of Normality.” It explains how and why this we wrote and published this book.

Book Preface

exponential

Why have a few, extraordinary, Fortune 500 companies grown exponentially in revenues (annual growth rates of more than 30%) for at least the last 10 years, compared to a median Fortune 500 company that has grown at a mediocre 3.9% per year over the same period of time? Is the emergence of these giant “Superstars” a new phenomenon; and if so, why? What would it take for existing, healthy companies to achieve similar extreme growth, or at least significantly improve their performance? How can entrepreneurs maximize their chances for creating new Superstars? How can those seeking exceptional careers or investments identify high growth areas? On what types of companies should they focus?

Intrigued, we began a quest to answer these questions and others about extreme growth and highly successful, large businesses. Only later, did we consider writing a book. But why would we write one more business book? The answer is we believe we have uncovered important and exciting new information that can provide insight and direction to ambitious business leaders (both existing and potential). We also feel that our perspectives from the real world of business are a practical complement to advice from the often theoretical world of academia.

Thus we decided to turn the answers to our questions into a book, but what kind of a book? Yes, we wanted it to be a guide for achieving extreme business growth. But is that a book about business creativity and brilliant leadership, or is it one about identifying and building on fast-developing technology super-platforms (what we call “Launching Pads”)?

As we followed the evolution of our identified Superstars, it became clear: both are essential. For example, if the goal is starting a new business, the question of which type of business is obvious. But the answer can be elusive because a “flash of insight” or a “life-changing scientific discovery” or a “disruptive technology” is needed for the creation of a highly successful one. Without that innovation, nothing “big” happens. And that isn’t all. The desire for exceptional results also becomes a question of what kind of leadership is needed to achieve “extreme” success in today’s rapidly-changing, chaotic world.

So, while our book addresses exceptional leadership and the needed revolution in business management, it is just as much about the power of new technology and science. In our fast-paced, technology-rich environment, it is impossible to ignore these forces that are shaping the future for business and for humanity. Successful new businesses and new technologies have become irreversibly intertwined. Because of this, we first focus on the technology Launching Pads that have created or enabled the current Superstars and may still create others.  But what comes next? To provide new entrepreneurs, job seekers, and even investors with a head start, we explore several rapidly-advancing areas of science and technology that we predict will be the breeding grounds for future Superstars.

Summing it all up, with its focus on how to identify and/or create highly successful new businesses capable of extreme growth, our book is aimed at job-seekers and investors seeking exceptional opportunities, and at entrepreneurial “free spirits” who are ambitious enough to want to make a big difference, who are willing to take risks, and who are open to embracing new and unconventional concepts and technologies to achieve “far better than average” results.

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“Creating New Superstars: Businesses that Soar above the Sea of Normality”

by Ennio Fatuzzo and Carol L. Fatuzzo

Available from amazon.com in both paperback and kindle formats.