Behind the Scenes of OpenViews CulturalFitology March Madness Tournament

first_imgCultural-Fit-ology March Madness Bracket_Finals Soundtrack for this post: “You’re the Best” by Joe Esposito This year’s NCAA championship tournament is officially underway, but at OpenView we’ve been reveling in the wonderfully strange and obsessive affliction of March Madness for a week now. Last Friday we launched our first annual Cultural-Fit-ology tournament, pitting 16 of today’s top tech companies against each other to determine who has the best company culture in tech. The winners of the Final Four matchups were just determined this morning, and the championship match is currently live (vote now!) to crown a winner on Monday. So far the tournament has been a big success with over 1,000 votes pouring in to decide who has advanced and who got sent home packing. Both the voting and the competition have really heated up as the tournament has progressed, and today’s final has the makings of a barn burner. But why did we decide to do this? What are we hoping to accomplish with it and how did we put it together? Even more importantly, what could we have done to make it even better? Those are questions I’m hoping this blog post can help answer.First Question: Why?I generally think the best answer to this question is “why not?” but in this case a slightly more detailed response revolves around two primary points:Brackets ruleCompany culture is incredibly, frustratingly, wonderfully nebulousBrackets rule There’s no denying it. Everyone loves a good tournament, but in addition to that there’s also something inherently satisfying about brackets, themselves. Maybe it’s the symmetric order it allow us to impose on an otherwise complex and confusing world. The simplistic beauty of breaking things down to either or. Or maybe it’s just that we love putting two things together and deciding which wins. The point is the concept of brackets is something we can all get behind, and lately their popularity has exploded past the confines of college basketball and sports in general. Two shining (dork-tastic) examples: Grantland’s “Smacketology” — a tournament determining The Wire‘s greatest character — and “This Is Madness” — The Star Wars Character Tournament (currently underway, so vote now, even if it is obvious Boba Fett is going to win). That’s the other beauty of brackets — you can set one up around just about anything. Even complex concepts, which brings us to point #2: Company culture is incredibly, frustratingly, wonderfully nebulous Nearly everyone agrees company culture is powerful and important, but try asking someone to explain what it is in 160 characters or less (Not a bad idea, right? Give it a shot #CultureIs). It’s easier to talk about what it does or doesn’t consist of. But as far as defining exactly what good company culture is, it’s a little like defining love or porn or a great idea you can’t believe hadn’t been thought of before: you know it when you see it. Hosting a tournament to determine which company has the best company culture in tech may not help us pin down a concrete definition directly, but it does give us an opportunity to get a conversation going around what particular factors we value higher or find more central to a strong company culture than others.Second Question: How Did We Build the Tournament?There was certainly a method to our March Madness, though the methodology behind choosing the field of 16 and establishing seeding was admittedly fairly loose (see more below). We relied heavily on resources like Glassdoor’s Best Places to Work list, but also took into account the level of focus and attention placed on each contender’s company culture and policies, both by the media and the companies, themselves. In the case of the two finalists, HubSpot’s dedication to formulating, packaging, and publicizing its unique company culture (see the recent of the release of the HubSpot Culture Code) helped to make it a clear #1 seed, while SEOmoz’s dedication to transparency and the rest of its guiding principles (see the TAGFEE Code) has been well-documented by its CEO Rand Fishkin, and put it ahead of other perhaps more well-known and further established companies that didn’t make the cut. Every bracket needs to be divided up into “regions,” and in this case, drawing the lines based on geography made sense. In the end, this didn’t result in the cleanest or evenly balanced divisions — any of the Silicon Valley companies could arguably been a #1 seed in their own regions, and, yes, I know, “Rest of the West” is a bit of a stretch — but it provided a structure that at least made sense and delivered some great Round 1 matchups (Google vs. Apple; Amazon vs. SEOmoz in the “Battle for Seattle”). Once the bracket was in place all that was left was to create profiles for each company and it was off to the races.Third Question: What Could We Have Done Differently?We had a lot of fun with this tournament and judging by the response, many of our readers enjoyed it, too. We absolutely want to do it again next year, and we have nearly a full 365 to come up with ways to make it bigger and better. There are three areas I think we can make some exciting improvements in and I would love any and all input and recommendations. Selection How could we improve the selection process? Widen the field? Open it up to nominations? Match Schedule This year we held voting for all eight first round matchups on one day, the four Round 2 matchups another day, and both the Final Four and the Championship matches on their own days. Does that schedule make sense? Would it have been better to break the first and second round matches up? Layout, Features, and the Bracket Is there anything you would have enjoyed seeing included or in addition to the company profiles? Would it be good to include additional guest commentary and predictions? Would you have preferred an interactive bracket and/or the option to make your own predictions? Thank you for any recommendations you can offer, and if you’ve already voted in this year’s championship, thank you very much for participating, as well! Note: We will be announcing the winner of this year’s tournament on Monday.  AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to PrintPrintShare to EmailEmailShare to MoreAddThislast_img read more

Australias new innovation agenda leaves little room for science

first_img Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Email SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA—Australia’s scientific leaders are cautiously hopeful that the government’s new innovation policy marks a more positive stance on research. “Science is the center of industry policy under the Abbott government,” Industry Minister Ian Macfarlane—who has responsibility for science—told Australian Broadcasting Corporation radio after the release Tuesday of its Industry Innovation and Competitiveness Agenda.The 132-page report sets out four goals to foster innovation, including a better business environment, a more skilled labor force, and improved infrastructure. But science is mentioned in only two of the six initiatives to be implemented over the next 18 months. Macfarlane says the Industry Growth Centres Initiative will see the government invest AU$188.5 million over 4 years to establish “corporate entities” in five areas where Australia has what he calls a “natural advantage.” Three reflect the country’s traditional strengths in mining, energy resources, and agribusiness, while advanced manufacturing and medical technology represent areas in which the government hopes to stimulate growth.center_img Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) The government also plans to spend an additional AU$12 million in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education. As part of this initiative, the Prime Minister’s Science, Engineering and Innovation Council, which is 17 years old, will be replaced with a Commonwealth Science Council (CSC) chaired by the prime minister.Australia’s Chief Scientist Ian Chubb “welcomed” the additional STEM funding, an area that he highlighted in his 2 September strategy document Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics: Australia’s Future. Chubb also backs the move to identify areas of comparative advantage and sees the new council as an opportunity for Australia to develop a “strategic, whole-of-government” approach to science policy.Chubb’s comments reflect the careful response from community leaders. They quietly express hope that the agenda is a move away from the government’s previous hard stance on science, including the failure to appoint a dedicated science minister, closure of the independent Climate Commission, and an AU$420 million cut to the nation’s lead research agencies, among them the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO). Les Field, the Australian Academy of Science’s secretary of science policy, says he “welcomes” the focus on STEM skills and establishment of the CSC. “Anything which aligns science more closely with industry has got to be a big plus, especially when this is an area where Australia traditionally struggles,” he said.Similarly, Catriona Jackson, CEO of industry body Science & Technology Australia, says “we hope” the agenda is the first of further announcements supporting a “prosperous, knowledge-based economy.” Still, Jackson notes the tight science budget in recent years. “We know thousands of practicing scientists are out of work.” Some science and innovation experts say the initiative reflects the government’s failure to address the country’s long-term needs. While he notes that as a result of a report by the Business Council of Australia the government recognized the lack of a science and innovation strategy, Roy Green of the University of Technology, Sydney, says the agenda is a “dismal” series of “ad hoc” announcements, none of which is adequately funded.last_img read more