Standard Oil Co. Inc. was an American oil producing, transporting, refining, and marketing company. Established in 1870 as a corporation in Ohio, it was the largest oil refiner in the world. By 1890, Standard Oil controlled 88 percent of the refined oil flows in the United States.Its controversial history as one of the world's first and largest multinational corporations ended in 1911, when the United States Supreme Court ruled that Standard was an illegal monopoly.
Standard Oil dominated the oil products market initially through horizontal integration in the refining sector, then, in later years vertical integration; the company was an innovator in the development of the business trust. The Standard Oil trust streamlined production and logistics, lowered costs, and undercut competitors. "Trust-busting" critics accused Standard Oil of using aggressive pricing to destroy competitors and form a monopoly that threatened consumers.
John D. Rockefeller was a founder, chairman and major shareholder.
Some economic historians have observed that Standard Oil was in the process of losing its monopoly at the time of its breakup in 1911. Although Standard had 90 percent of American refining capacity in 1880, by 1911 that had shrunk to between 60 and 65 percent, due to the expansion in capacity by competitors. Numerous regional competitors had organized themselves into competitive vertically integrated oil companies, the industry structure pioneered years earlier by Standard itself. In addition, demand for petroleum products was increasing more rapidly than the ability of Standard to expand. The result was that although in 1911 Standard still controlled most production in the older US regions of the Appalachian Basin (78 percent share, down from 92 percent in 1880), Lima-Indiana (90 percent, down from 95 percent in 1906), and the Illinois Basin (83 percent, down from 100 percent in 1906), its share was much lower in the rapidly expanding new regions that would dominate US oil production in the 20th century.
Google Inc. is moving its Washington office closer to Capitol Hill after spending $18.2 million on lobbying, more than Northrop Grumman Corp. and enough to rank the technology company as the eighth-biggest advocacy spender.
Amazon, the world's largest online retailer, is testing unmanned drones to deliver goods to customers, Chief Executive Jeff Bezos says. The drones, called Octocopters, could deliver packages weighing up to 2.3kg to customers within 30 minutes of them placing the order, he said.
- Most countries aviation regulation authorities are very against licencing civil/domestic non piloted drones, at best its lots of accidents waiting to happen, at worst its a snoopers charter (plus a lot of accidents waiting to happen) - and these are on the big end, one of these through your windscreen would be no joke.
- Drone battery power is still something to be overcome, and they are not that fast, so reach is limited
- It is more cost efficient to load a van with a lot of packages and run a most efficient delivery route algorithm, especially in densely populated areas where drone economics are also likely to be best (time per drop is likely to be the key drone economic measure)
Social tools/methods are potentially useful for increasing productivity and effectiveness, as seen in the slides above
Potentially they create a difficult-to-replicate advantage, especially over low cost commodity producers
Social tools/methods can potentially move information more quickly through an organisation than previous tools, and can connect to and from both formal and informal channels
There is the (theoretical) potential to restructure the organisation into a more flexible, faster reacting cellular structure.
Strategies designed to help break down cultural barriers, increase staff engagement and morale can be instigated and managed via social networks
Social technologies are emerging, at present they tend to be “point of use” – the challenge is to integrate them to each other
Our experience is that they also need integration into the main systems
Social technologies/methods force a real change in behaviour, both from the managers – and the managed.
It is easier to monitor/measure qualitative behaviours quantitatively, but there is a risk that such measurement, done insensitively, reduces trust.
The structure and/or layout of the physical workplace may need to be adapted to meet the requirements of employee’s new ways of working
Economics of modern work mean attention to multi skilling, multi location working, associates not employees etc
Organisations need to be “lean” – and there are quite a few lessons from Japanese techniques that are similar to Social business ideas e.g. cells, quality circles, continuous improvement, group decision making etc
There is increasing evidence that Social skills are desired by customers, and can create competitive advantage
Social technologies do provide means to monitor and assess themselves (and other skills) but as noted above, insensitive use will cause distrust
Shared Values help to synchronise decisions, ensure that everything is “pointing in the same direction”/”on the same page” – they improve operating efficiency
To attract and retain the best talent, a business either needs to pay top dollar in a global market, or needs to be seen as being more than just a profit machine, it needs to stand for something bigger
People feel more motivated and inspired if there is a bigger purpose to their work than the 9-5 drudge
People like to feel they “belong” to something worth belonging to, it gives work purpose
Research we did of companies with strong founding cultures was that these can last a long time, even several generations in a business
Global versus local company culture, ensuring common understanding is key as the culture of global organisations may be interpreted differently by employees based internationally
Making “company journalism” more possible – as the shared values means informal/employee are easier to ensure employee blogs etc do not need as much oversight.