Leadership: Stagnation Kills Your Business, 3 Times

Petronas Twin Towers
Petronas Twin Towers held the title of the tallest building in the world for six years (Flickr)

Your business has been thriving, and the pipeline is well filled with work? Don’t get comfortable too soon. Stagnation kicks in fast nowadays, and kills your business’ innovation, its growth, and its people.

1. Innovation 

The speed of transformation that we are currently witnessing is challenging all of us to think differently. Every industry can be disrupted, there is no safe habour. So we need to deliver our products and services in a way that is relevant today, not yesterday.

Minor product iterations do not work forever. We need to prepare product revolutions, not just iterations on what we were selling since ten years. Establishing an innovation lab engages our employees to think in innovative ways and lift our business to new heights.

2. Growth

We need to adjust our business development plan to drive business growth. This should not be a static document. Customer and market definition are changing fast and we need to adopt this in our sales strategy and in our product development.

This does not work without data. Therefore we need to implement a data strategy. Our data strategy guides our entire business how to collect and analyze data, and how to generate the insights that we use for our decisions. If we do not take advantage of data, our competition will do.

3. People

Sushi Google DoodleIt is essential for leaders to recognize that you cannot possibly manage everything. We need to employ great people. But recruiting is not the end. We need to keep your talents, empower them, and motivate them to take initiative in their roles. Stagnation will rotate employees out of the company.

Offering free sushi and laundry service might impress our new hires from university. Experienced and independent employees will be more interested in career perspectives. We should establish personal development plans for everyone, not just for the designated managers.

Although it is important for leaders to set such a career framework, we should not forget to invest in your employees’ training. Both, hard skills (technical) and soft skills (non-technical), are mandatory because they each play very important roles in the development of our employees.

In Summary

Yesterday’s innovations are tomorrow’s commodities. We need to invest in innovations, otherwise we will face disruptive competition. Creating insights from data is important for the iterative adjustments on our business development plan. Offering personal development plans and proper training avoids stagnation for your employees, which is causing brain drain.

This post is also published on LinkedIn.

Hyper Kickoff Event: 5th Frankfurt Analytics + Tableau User Group Meetup

Tableau Hyperfest: Hyper Kickoff Event at Tableau's Frankfurt office
Tableau Hyperfest: Hyper Kickoff Event at Tableau’s Frankfurt office

We’d like to invite you to the 5th Frankfurt Analytics + Tableau User Group Meetup.

Join us for the global launch of Tableau’s super fast data engine, Hyper! Hyper brings faster data refreshes and query performance to Tableau extracts, plus increased scalability in a platform-wide update.

This is your opportunity to get to know the Hyper dev team, hear from Tableau beta customers about their hands-on Hyper experience, and participate in live Q&A. Best of all, learn more about Hyper’s patent-pending technology as well as some of the other features headed your way in 10.5. (Viz in Tooltip, anyone?)

Tableau is hosting the Hyperfest meetup – come and celebrate with the community and the world on the upcoming release of Hyper. In addition to the Hyper presentation, we will also have food, drinks and Tableau swag, so don’t miss it!

-> Sign Up <-

Tableau Hyperfest meetup event page
Sign up for free at the Hyperfest meetup event page

Agenda

9:00pm: Doors Open

9:30pm: Presentations:

10:30pm: Drinks & Networking

11:00pm: Live Hyperfest Viewing Party

Midnight: Event Concludes

Livestream: Follow us on Twitter @FraAnalytics and check for the livestream and additional content!

Feedback and ideas: Let us know if you’d like to discuss a particular topic or if you want to become one of our future speakers – email or twitter.

Bitfinex Invitation Code: Binance als Alternative für IOTA

Bitfinex Mobile App Screenshot
Bitfinex ist nun eine geschlossene Platfform, Anmeldung nur noch mit Einladungscode

Seit einigen Wochen ist die Plattform Bitfinex besonders beliebt, da sich dort Ether in IOTA tauschen lässt. Auch die Konvertierung von Euro ist seit einiger Zeit direkt auf der Handelsplattformen möglich. Jedoch ist, auf Grund des Ansturms, Bitfinex seit gestern eine geschlossene Plattform („members only“). Die Registrierung bei Bitfinex ist nur noch mit einem Einladungscode möglich.

Bitfinex-Einladungscodes bald limitiert verfügbar

Sobald Bitfinex neue Kontingente an Einladungscodes freischaltet, werde ich diese nach dem Prinzip first-come-first-served per Email versenden. Sollten Sie Interesse an einem sogenannten Bitfinex Invitation Code haben, können Sie sich hier eintragen:

Binance als Bitfinex-Alternative für IOTA-Handel

Sie möchten mit dem Handel von IOTA nicht auf Bitfinex warten?

Bitfinex ist nicht die einzige Plattform, die derzeit den Handel mit IOTA ermöglicht. Auch Binan​ce​ bietet IOTA an, die Website gibt es mittlerweile sogar mit deutscher Oberfläche. Dort steht als Handelspaar momentan BTC-IOTA zur Verfügung.

Sie müssen also zuerst Bitcoin kaufen und an Binance senden, wenn Sie auf Binance IOTA kaufen möchten. Falls Sie noch keine Bitcoins besitzen, können Sie welche bei Coinbase (Kreditkarte oder Überweisung) oder bei bitcoin.de (Marktplatz) kaufen.

IOTA attraktiv für Beimischung im Kryptoportfolio

Viele Anleger sehen IOTA zunehmend als interessante Beimischung zur Diversifizierung in einem Kryptoportfolio, wie jenes, das ich kürzlich vorgestellt habe. Einer Twitter-Umfrage zufolge, wird IOTA neben Ripple als zukunftsträchtige Komponente gewertet:

How to diversify a Long-term Crypto Portfolio

Last Friday it was my pleasure to give an Executive Talk at the Frankfurt School of Finance & Management. While the focus of my presentation was Digital Transformation, plenty of the questions raised by the audience were about the cryptocurrencies use case – and how to build a crypto portfolio. After I received some more emails from the participants asking for some guidance, I decided that is might be worth to publish this blog post.

The cryptocurrency market has returned over 1200% since the beginning of 2017. It is very hard to find this kind of return on investment (ROI) in the stock market or anywhere else. If you had made an investment of $500 in January, you would have made $6000 in less than a year! This guide is aiming to show you how to implement a cryptocurrency portfolio for a long-term investment.

In general, I recommend balancing your portfolio with up to five coins in the Top 10 market cap, making up 90-95% of your total cryptocurrency investment. And then add smaller coins (a.k.a. altcoins) – in projects you believe in – to fill up the remaining 5-10%. This mirrors the more technical analysis done by Timothy Chong on exploring a Markowtiz-style crypto optimization.

Bitcoin (30%)

Bitcoin (BTC) is the father of all blockchains, and is considered to be gold of cryptosphere. It is expected to grow step-by-step, without dramatic events. It is a safe long-term investment choice for many.

Price (as of time of writing): $16,708
Gain Over Past Year: 2,170%
Market Cap: $278 B (#1)
Circulating Supply: 16,734,237 BTC

Ethereum (30%)

Ethereum (ETH) is different to Bitcoin in that its sole purpose is not to be used as a medium of value exchange. Instead, Ethereum allows developers to build dApps using smart contracts. The tradeable currency of the Ethereum project is known as Ether.

Price (as of time of writing): $470
Gain Over Past Year: 5740%
Market Cap: $45 B (#2)
Circulating Supply: 96,272,074 ETH

Bitcoin Cash (10%)

Bitcoin Cash (BTC) is similar to Bitcoin in that it too is supposed to be a currency that is dedicated to serving as a medium for the purchase of various goods and services. The key difference between Bitcoin Cash and Bitcoin is that the former has an 8MB block size, whereas Bitcoin has a 1MB block size. A bigger block size allows Bitcoin Cash to process transactions faster than Bitcoin, and at a lower fee.

Price (as of time of writing): $1385
Gain Over Past 4 Month: 502%
Market Cap: $24 B (#3)
Circulating Supply: 16,849,738 BCH

Litecoin (10%)

Litecoin (LTC) is often marketed as being the silver to Bitcoin’s gold status. Being a hard fork of Bitcoin, Litecoin shares many similarities to the original coin. Litecoin can also be used as a value exchange coin. However, Litecoin’s block generation time of 2.5 minutes, compared to Bitcoin’s 10 minutes, and a different hashing algorithm (Scrypt), are features designed to produce a more innovative cryptocurrency.

Price (as of time of writing): $170
Gain Over Past Year: 4690%
Market Cap: $10 B (#5)
Circulating Supply: 54,255,483 LTC

Monero (10%)

Monero (XMR) is similar to Bitcoin in that it allows value exchange. However, Monero differs from Bitcoin in that it is focused on providing greater privacy to those that utilize their blockchain, using their stealth address mechanism. Anonymity is likely to become more and more important in a world where Bitcoin addresses can be traced. As more regulation starts entering the cryptocurrency space, an increasing number of individuals will gravitate towards privacy-focused coins such as Monero that can mask their transactions.

Price (as of time of writing): $264
Gain Over Past Year: 3370%
Market Cap: $4 B (#9)
Circulating Supply: 15,449,232 XMR

Electroneum (5%)

Electroneum (ETN) is a brand new cryptocurrency launching on September 14th – and is one of the projects were I see tremendous potential. Electroneum is developed to be used in the mobile gaming and online gambling markets, its goal is to be the most user-friendly cryptocurrency with wallet management and coin mining all possible on a mobile app.

Price (as of time of writing): $0.12
Gain Over Past 1 Month: 30%
Market Cap: $257 M (#44)
Circulating Supply: n/a (launched recently)

Zclassic (5%)

Zclassic (ZCL) is a great initiative as it is the first major fork of Zcash. Zclassic improves Zcash by removing the “founders fee”, which means that 100% of the coins mined go to the miners instead of 20% going to the founders. Like Zcash, Zclassic features zk-SNARKs, a new form of zero-knowledge cryptography. The privacy guarantee of Zcash and Zclassic is derived from the fact that shielded transactions can be fully encrypted on the blockchain. Furthermore, an upcoming fork of Zclassic is currently under discussion, which could dramatically boost the price of Zclassic.

Price (as of time of writing): $1.67
Gain Over Past Year: 328%
Market Cap: $3 M (#435)
Circulating Supply: 1,809,800 ZCL

Other altcoins have high potential as well. WTC, VTC, and VEN are also good worth to be considered. What is your cryptocurrency investment strategy? I’m happy to discuss more ideas in the comments!

This blog post is an opinion and is for information purposes only.  It is not intended to be investment advice. I am an investor and I contribute to the Zclassic fork project, and it is to my benefit that the project succeeds.

[Update 12 Dec 2017] Frequently asked questions after blog post release:

Q: Isn’t it too late to start buying Bitcoins now?
A: No. I’m very confident that Bitcoin will hit the 100,000 EUR/BTC mark by the end of 2018.

Q: Where can I buy bitcoins, ether and other coins?
A: Coinbase is a US-based cryptocurrency exchange where you can buy and sell Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Litecoin. bitcoin.de is the first Germany-based exchange where you can buy and sell Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Bitcoin Cash.

Q: Where can I buy alternative coins, such as Monero or Zclassic?
A: I prefer Cryptopia for most altcoin transactions (XMR, ETN, ZCL). If a coin is not available on this exchange, eg. IOTA, I’ll trade them on Binance.

Q: How can I store my cryptocurrencies in a secure way?
A: Either you can generate and print a paper wallet, or you can get a hardware wallet, such as the Ledger Nano S.

[Update 14 Dec 2017] Join the poll to find a name for our upcoming Zclassic fork:

5 Takeaways from Tableau’s Hybrid Transactional/Analytical Processing

What makes Hyper so fast?
The Future of Enterprise Analytics: Hyper can handle both OLTP and OLAP simultaneously. In the future it will address NoSQL and graph workloads.

1. What is Hyper’s key benefit?

Hyper is a Hybrid transactional/analytical processing (HTAP) database system and replaces Tableau Data Extracts (TDE). The change will be mostly transparent for end users, other than everything being faster. Hyper significantly improves extract refresh times, query times and overall performance.

2. What is Hybrid transactional/analytical processing?

As defined by Gartner:

Hybrid transaction/analytical processing (HTAP) is an emerging application architecture that “breaks the wall” between transaction processing and analytics. It enables more informed and “in business real time” decision making.

The two areas of online transaction processing (OLTP) and online analytical processing (OLAP) present different challenges for database architectures. Currently, customers with high rates of mission-critical transactions have split their data into two separate systems, one database for OLTP and one so-called data warehouse for OLAP. While allowing for decent transaction rates, this separation has many disadvantages including data freshness issues due to the delay caused by only periodically initiating the Extract Transform Load (ETL) data staging and excessive resource consumption due to maintaining two separate information systems.

3. Does Hyper satisfy the ACID properties?

Hyper, initially developed at the Technical University of Munich and acquired by Tableau in 2016, can handle both OLTP and OLAP simultaneously. Hyper possesses the rare quality of being able to handle data updates and insertions at the same time as queries by using hardware-assisted replication mechanisms to maintain consistent snapshots of the transactional data. Hyper is an in-memory database that guarantees the ACID properties (Atomicity, Consistency, Isolation, Durability) of OLTP transactions and executes OLAP query sessions (multiple queries) on the same, arbitrarily current and consistent snapshot.

4. What makes Hyper so fast?

The utilization of the processor-inherent support for virtual memory management (address translation, caching, copy on update) yields both at the same time: unprecedentedly high transaction rates as high as 100,000 per second and very fast OLAP query response times on a single system executing both workloads in parallel. This would support real-time streaming of data in future releases of Tableau. These performance increases come from the nature of the Hyper data structures, but also from smart use of contemporary hardware technology, and particularly nvRam memory. Additional cores provide a linear increment in performance.

5. What does this mean for Tableau?

With Hyper now powering the Tableau platform, your organization will see faster extract creation and better query performance for large data sets. Since Hyper is designed to handle exceptionally large data sets, you can choose to extract your data based on what you need, not data volume limitations. Hyper improves performance for common computationally-intensive queries, like count distinct, calculated fields, and text field manipulations. This performance boost will improve your entire Enterprise Analytics workflow.

Join our “The Future of Enterprise Analytics” events and get a sneak peak at upcoming features and the Tableau Roadmap: 14th of November in Düsseldorf and 6th of December in Frankfurt.

[Update 20 Dec 2017] Hyper Kickoff Event: Join us for the Hyper Kickoff Event at the 18th of January 2018 in Tableau’s Frankfurt Office.