Seeing that tomorrow is Thanksgiving, I am thinking about (what else): dessert! Since I am a data geek, I wanted to post these three interactive graphs from Google Trends:
Most searches for pie recipes occur during November, followed by July (see spikes in search volume).
Among searches for pie recipes (apple, pecan and pumpkin), pumpkin pie recipes are most frequently searched for during Thanksgiving. However, apple pie recipes are searches for year-round. This is likely due to apple pie being a traditional July 4th dessert.
Regionally, pecan pie is more popular in the central southern half of the US (see states in dark blue).
And in Georgia, pecan and apple pie recipes are both tied in second place in search volume. Personally, pecan and apple pie are my favorites!
I hope that you and your family have a Happy Thanksgiving!
Photo by Jo.
I recently read an article by Rachel Metz on how smart watches are (still) dumb. In the article, Rachel pointed out that smart watches are marginal at best. They are reasonably useful when it comes to tracking your activity or alerting you of missed calls but they aren’t inherently smart at true personalization (aka, sending you the right message at the right time)! After 6+ months with my Nike Fuelband (see my review after two weeks), I am starting to get Rachel’s point, especially as I log more mileage on my device.
For example, I spent this past Sunday morning walking around our house setting back the clocks since it was the end of Daylight Savings Time. As I checked the time on my Fuelband, I realized that my iPhone automatically updated but my smart watch did not. After a quick sync with my phone, my
glitch minor annoyance was gone but it also made me wonder if this issue was specific to the Nike Fuelband. It turns out that it is a hit or miss with smart watches — the sophisticated Pebble smartwatch won’t update without a sync but the Fitbit Force will!
I guess that it is time to consider an upgrade!
I am no stranger to acquisitions. I’ve
seen experienced them from both angles: at PGi we went on an acquisition spree (where we acquired 4+ technology companies in the span of 18 months) and at Spunlogic we were the acquisition target of the Private Equity firm Halyard Capital.
I learned several valuable lessons from both of these experiences:
- Acquisitions are rarely smooth transactions. Acquisitions require negotiations and on multiple occasions the terms of the deal would hit a snag. The inevitable delay — either days or even weeks — would also result in a roller coaster-like experience where the deal was on and then off and then on again! It was incredibly frustrating for those that knew about it since things that seemed to be settled would have to be changed over and over to accommodate the new terms.
- The buyer, not the seller, gets to make the rules. The acquisition also meant that employees at the target company were going to lose some benefits. Most of the times it was as small as an HR benefit but sometimes it was bigger — much bigger! I recall the day that employees realized that the company cruise ceased to exist. It was a huge disappointment, to say the least.
- It takes a long time for the dust to settle. Acquisitions are about companies and cultures coming together and that kind of meshing isn’t instant. It took months and multiple long nights for the Finance department at PGi to integrate the billing systems from the various acquisition targets. At Spunlogic, it took us a good 12+ months to get over the acquisition distraction and to refocus on the work/clients (which Jeff Hilimire recently talked about in a blog posted here).
- The value of the acquisition may never materialize. In a seminal HBR paper on acquisitions, it was reported that more than 60% of acquisitions “provide zero or slightly positive but disappointing returns on investment.” That may seem surprising, especially when considering the non-stop pace of transactions over the past few years, but there’s also truth in the findings as some acquisitions take longer to bear fruit. For example, it has taken Apple 3+ years to fully leverage the streaming technology from the Lala music service acquisition in the upcoming release of iTunes Radio service. In acquisitions, you don’t really know what you’ve got until it is yours.
- There’s always another player ready to be acquired. There’s no shortage of technology companies or independent ad agencies. Just look at my latest slide of notable agencies in Atlanta – there is no monopoly on talent!
The biggest lesson of all is that an acquisition also brings great opportunities. I used my acquisition experiences to expand my network, learn new professional skills and overcome bigger challenges. I just found that I was lucky to be at the right place at the right time.
What other valuable lessons have you learned from an acquisition?