THE NOVEL: “TWO SOULS IN THE SUN” – THE HISTORICAL CONTEXT

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Giacomo Fatuzzo, then a Lieutenant in the Italian Army, wrote his novel “Two Souls in the Sun” in the late 1920s while he was posted at a remote fort in the African desert in the province of Tripolitania—an Italian possession soon to become part of the Italian colony of Libya. Giacomo called his book a novel and a “colonial romance,” but it is more than those words indicate. It is a story based on some of his actual experiences in the African desert. And in it he intentionally provides a contrast to the typical Italian colonial literature and attitudes of the time.

But the world of “Two Souls in the Sun” is very different from the fast-paced, interconnected one of today; and Giacomo’s story is heavily influenced by the culture and turmoil of that distant past. Therefore, this small window into that past is offered to introduce a place and time that no longer exist.

A LOOK AT EUROPEAN COLONIALISM AND THE “SCRAMBLE FOR AFRICA”

The decade of the 1890s was a period of rapid colonization of the African continent by Europeans. By 1900, in what became known as the “Scramble for Africa,” much of Africa had been colonized by the European powers of Britain, France, Germany, Belgium, Spain, and Portugal. Following the lead of these countries, Italy also had established a presence in Africa, colonizing first Eritrea and later what would become Italian Somaliland.

The main driving forces for this massive European acquisition of territories were commercial interests created by the demand for raw materials and new markets. However the driving force for Italian colonialism differed. It was motivated largely by the desire to enhance the glory and overall international prestige of Italy, rather than by the economic benefits that could be gained from colonies.

Whatever the actual reasons were, Europeans often justified their expansion of colonialism in Africa by claiming that they were bringing civilization to a continent which was backward, undeveloped, and barbaric. In general, Europeans of this time believed they possessed cultural and racial superiority over African societies that were primitive and natives who were childlike savages. The Africans and Africa described in Joseph Conrad’s “Heart of Darkness” (published in 1899) are stereotypes of natives and native societies that reinforced these European attitudes of superiority.

However it also was common for European literature of the early 1900s to romanticize colonialism in Africa. The mostly Arabic community of northern Africa was portrayed as sensual, erotic, and cruel; but also weak. And popular novels represented Africa as a place of escape from the mundane and sometimes unpleasant reality of one’s native country. These stories created the perception of Africa as a land of adventure, a territory free from societal constrictions, and a place where man could find and be his true self.

But reality differed. The European “conquerors” were still vying for control and increased territory and power. Fighting with the natives was ongoing and often deadly, resulting in growing prejudice and racism. There wasn’t much that one could consider romantic.

Italy was no different than the rest of Europe with respect to prejudice and racism stemming from colonialism. The Italians’ new colonies in Africa had forced them for the first time to confront the existence of non-Europeans and non-whites within the Italian Empire. This led to Italians thinking of themselves as superior to the colonized African natives and Arabs and essentially establishing a racial hierarchy in which they, the Italians, (and other white Europeans) were at the top. Arabs and North Africans were somewhere in the middle, and black Africans were at the bottom. These views were commonly held by Italian colonists and soldiers in Africa, as well as Italian citizens at home, and they persisted for many years.

This is the history and the culture that surrounded Giacomo as he arrived in Italian Libya in 1924. And this is the setting for his novel “Two Soul in the Sun.”


 

“Two Souls in the Sun – A Twisted Love Story” is available for purchase from amazon: amzn.to/2sKfE6t

For more information about “Two Souls in the Sun” and other books published by Fatuzzo Books, visit our Web site: fatuzzobooks.com

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Superstar Technologies for Superstar Companies

 

TECHNOLOGY LAUNCHING PADS – AN INTRODUCTION by Carol L. Fatuzzo and Ennio Fatuzzo

Launching-padYes, our book “Creating New Superstars” is a guide for achieving extreme business growth. And yes it addresses topics such as business creativity and brilliant leadership. But it focuses on explosively developing new technologies and their power. Why? A superstar company’s exponential growth requires exponential change in the technology on which the business is based. And today, for the first time in history, the explosion of advances in Microelectronics, the Internet, and Biogenetics offer this possibility. We call these technologies “Launching Pads.”

These three technology Launching Pads, alone and/or in combination, are changing our world and creating new high growth business opportunities at unprecedented rates. Thus, in our fast-paced, technology-rich environment, it is impossible to ignore these technology-based forces that are shaping the future for business and for humanity.

MICROELECTRONICS

Consider Microelectronics. Is Microelectronics-based technology (integrated circuits) THE basic Launching Pad? It has given birth to or at least enabled our other two Launching Pads, so at the very least it is a basic building block for them. Think about it. The Internet wouldn’t have the enormous impact on the world it does today without the rapid increases in speed and data handling enabled by advances in Microelectronics. And Biogenetics would not be making its radical breakthroughs without the advanced computers and digital equipment based on Microelectronics that it uses as tools.

However you look at it, Microelectronics has created an ongoing revolution. It is pervasive and changing the world as we know it due to rapid advances in the technology. But the advances in Microelectronics are not just rapid. They are being made at exponentially increasing rates as the doubling of microprocessor capabilities roughly every two years for the past several decades show. The resulting rapidly shrinking size of integrated circuits and the increased number of these tiny devices fitting on smaller and smaller chips has resulted in dramatic increases in computer processing speeds, data storage capacities, and more—much more. These radical improvements in digital electronics have irreversibly changed nearly every segment of the global economy.

However, keep in mind that nothing is forever. If we had to make a prediction, we would pick the younger and more embryonic Biogenetics Launching Pad to be the successor to Microelectronics in the not-too-distant future.

BIOGENETICS

What is Biogenetics? Today, the process commonly used in Medical Biotechnology is genetic engineering. Genetic engineering refers to scientific procedures that allow the direct manipulation of genetic material to alter the hereditary traits of a cell, organism, or population. Hence the name Biogenetics. Today’s blockbuster drugs and the superstar businesses that have commercialized them are the basis of this newest technology Launching Pad.

But this is just the beginning. Breakthrough advances in Biogenetics are being made at an ever-increasing pace. Four of these emerging and rapidly developing areas—cloning of genes and organisms, stem cell research, and the genome editing technologies of TALENs and CRISPR—appear to us to be the most promising. Clearly, although still in its infancy, Biogenetics is a technologically rich area with perhaps an even greater potential than Microelectronics.

NANOMEDICINE

But what about new Launching Pads? As an example, we turn to a rapidly advancing area of science and engineering—the field of Nanotechnology. Nanotechnology is a very broad area of research involving dimensions less than 100 nanometers, but much of its promise is in the future. However, we believe that Nanomedicine, the rapidly advancing Life Science-based segment of Nanotechnology, has the potential to be a new Launching Pad on its own in the near term.

Simply stated, Nanomedicine is the application of Nanotechnology to medicine. It involves the monitoring, repair, construction and control of human biological systems at the molecular level, using engineered nanodevices and nanostructures. It ranges from the medical applications of nanomaterials to nanoscale biosensors and even to possible applications of programmable nanomachines and nanorobots—devices that would allow medical doctors to execute procedures in the human body at the cellular and molecular levels.

Nanobiosensors for measuring glucose, heart rate, blood pressure, etc. Injectable, wireless nanobots that carry out medical tasks, gather diagnostics and even deliver drugs into the bloodstream. Self-assembled, DNA based nanodevices for molecular scale diagnostics and smart drug delivery. Quantum wires for real-time sensing of biomarker proteins for cancer. Nanorobots for repairing damaged tissue, unblocking arteries, and replacing damaged organs. And the list goes on and on. Nanomedicine technology possibilities are endless and world-changing.

NEW SCIENCE FOR NEW LAUNCHING PADS

And what about technology Launching Pads in the longer term? There are many possibilities, including current areas of research such as Complexity Science, Subatomic Particles, the Makeup of the Universe, and the Search for Life beyond Earth. However, the path from a scientific discovery to a Launching Pad is long. So, the only certainty is that there will be new technology Launching Pads, and they will change the world.

A CAUTION

We are rapidly approaching a technology treasure room with many doors. Beyond each door, there is the potential for both great good and great harm. Only two things are certain. Which doors we open and when will determine the future of humankind and life as we know it. And once a door is opened, it can never be closed. Everything will change forever.

Should we open these doors? Will we?  The answer to the last question is simple: Yes, because humans always have and always will.


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For more detailed and easy-to-understand information on the technologies highlighted above and their impacts, see “Creating New Superstars” by Carol L. Fatuzzo and Ennio Fatuzzo, available from amazon: http://amzn.to/2hAn6dy

The Novel: “Two Souls in the Sun” – A Personal Perspective

 

MY FATHER’S NOVEL – A PERSONAL PERSPECTIVE, by Ennio Fatuzzo

An incredible story. An Italian book, “buried” in the North-African sands of time and war for decades, that I have been able to bring back to life for English speaking readers. It is my father’s novel – a saga of sweeping landscapes, an exotic young girl, and a tormented mind – and it is beautiful literature.

LOST AND FOUND

“Two Souls in the Sun” (Due anime nel sole}, written by my father (Giacomo Due Anime coverFatuzzo), was published in 1929, in Italian, in Italy’s colony of Libya. And then it was forgotten. The publisher ceased to exist long ago, my father is dead, and I only had vague memories of the book’s existence. But my daughter, Laura Fatuzzo, found a copy, covered with dust, buried among old documents belonging to my mother. Laura read it and was captivated by the emotional saga and her grandfather’s exquisite descriptions. She challenged me read it, Two_Souls_in_the_Sun_Cover_for_Kindleand I was equally fascinated. The feelings, the torment, the mixture of dreams, dark desires, and reality – compelling and unlike the father I thought I knew, So, I translated my father’s timeless story of a lonely soldier into English; and with the editing assistance of my wife Carol, we published it, making it accessible to today’s serious readers. “Two Souls in the Sun” is now available in English in paperback and Kindle formats from amazon.com.

MY FATHER

GF 4 2.5x3.5 finalMy father, born in Sicily in 1900, was an Italian career army officer. From what I can reconstruct, as a young officer he spent almost 10 years (from the early-to-mid 1920s to the early 1930s) on assignment in the wild African desert of Italy’s colony of Libya. He was in command of a group of local troops who were responsible for guarding the borders of the Italian territory. He could scarcely communicate with his men, and most of the time he had no colleagues with whom to talk. His only personal interactions were his occasional visits to young Arab girls in a nearby brothel. Alone in a GF 1 Mar 1924 book finalforeign land, isolated by language and culture from those around him, he wrote a story in which he posed daunting questions for himself and his readers: How well do we really know ourselves? Is almost anyone capable of murder? Is madness always looming? My father’s work explores these questions as well as the effects of prolonged silence and solitude on the human soul, including the ultimate toll isolation can take on the human mind. Clearly, in his novel, he was expressing many of his own thoughts and feelings.

A NOVEL OR A MEMOIR OR SOMETHING IN BETWEEN

GF 6 Africa 3.4x2.5 final“Two Souls in the Sun” is the story of a lonely, young, Italian army officer who wanders through the vast dessert that was the Libya of almost 100 years ago – as my father did. It unveils unfamiliar and desolate landscapes of breathtaking beauty and power, and it describes the strange yet enticing people and customs that the young officer encounters. Day by day, the book reveals a mind that wanders farther and farther from what it has known and begins to generate chaotic GF 7 Africa Base A 3.4x2.2 finalthoughts that are a mixture of dreams, dark desires, and reality. A second, more brutal “self” emerges – someone wild, angry, and very different from the lonely Italian officer. As his second “self” becomes stronger, the young officer becomes obsessed with one specific prostitute. But is she real? His mind mixes his hallucinations with his memories; and interwoven with all of this is his enchantment with the wildness and power of the desert itself. It is unclear where reality becomes delusion as the saga winds through the vast desert of Northern Africa and the young officer descends into madness.

Ultimately the reader faces a fundamental question: Who are the two sGF 19 3.4x5.4 finalouls in the sun – the officer and his prostitute or the two selves of the officer? And my thoughts always return to other questions: Is this just a story or is it partly a chronicle of my father’s actual experiences? What really happened, and what was imagined? Is this totally a novel or is it partially or even mostly a memoir? There is no way to know the answers to these questions, even for me, the author’s own son. Therefore, it is up to the reader to decide. What is clear is that my father, as a young officer, turned his lonely time in a foreign desert into a fascinating exploration of the psychology of human nature and the effects of solitude. His novel is truly a literary journey into the depths of one’s soul.

For more information about “Two Souls in the Sun” and all of the other books published by Fatuzzo Books, visit the Web site fatuzzobooks.com.
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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

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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.


 

 

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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