Tuesday, May 5, 2015

MOTIVATING PEOPLE The Hard Data on Being a Nice Boss

Harvard Business Review
https://hbr.org/2014/11/the-hard-data-on-being-a-nice-boss?utm_campaign=Socialflow&utm_source=Socialflow&utm_medium=Tweet
by Emma Seppälä

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There’s an age-old question out there: Is it better to be a “nice” leader to get your staff to like you? Or to be tough as nails to inspire respect and hard work? Despite the recent enthusiasm for wellness initiatives like mindfulness and meditation at the office, and despite the movement toward more horizontal organizational charts, most people still assume the latter is best.
The traditional paradigm just seems safer: be firm and a little distant from your employees. The people who work for you should respect you, but not feel so familiar with you that they might forget who’s in charge. A little dog-eat-dog, tough-it-out, sink-or-swim culture seems to yield time-tested results and keep people hungry and on their toes. After all, if you’re a leader who seems like you care a little too much about your employees, won’t that make you look “soft”? Won’t that mean you will be less respected? That employees will work less hard?
New developments in organizational research are providing some surprising answers to these questions.
“Tough” managers often mistakenly think that putting pressure on employees will increase performance. What it does increase is stress—and research has shown that high levels of stress carry a number of costs to employers and employees alike.
Stress brings high health care and turnover costs. In a study of employees from various organizations, health care expenditures for employees with high levels of stress were 46 percent greater than at similar organizations without high levels of stress. In particular, workplace stress has been linked to coronary heart disease in both retrospective (observing past patterns) and prospective (predicting future patterns) studies. Then there’s the impact on turnover: research shows that workplace stress can lead them to look for a new job, decline a promotion, or leave a job.
Is it any better with “nice” managers? Do their employees fare better — and do kind bosses get ahead?
Contrary to what many believe, Adam Grant’s data shows that nice guys (and gals!) can actually finish first, as long as they use the right strategies that prevent others from taking advantage of them.In fact, other research has shown that acts of altruism actually increase someone’s status within a group.
Harvard Business School’s Amy Cuddy and her research partners have also shown that leaders who project warmth – even before establishing their competence – are more effective than those who lead with their toughness and skill. Why? One reason is trust. Employees feel greater trust with someone who is kind.
And an interesting study shows that when leaders are fair to the members of their team, the team members display more citizenship behavior and are more productive, both individually and as a team. Jonathan Haidt at New York University Stern School of Business shows in his research that when leaders are self-sacrificing, their employees experience being moved and inspired. As a consequence, the employeesfeel more loyal and committed and are more likely to go out of their way to be helpful and friendly to other employeesResearch on “paying it forward” shows that when you work with people who help you, in turn you will be more likely to help others (and not necessarily just those who helped you).
Such a culture can even help mitigate stress. While our brains are attuned to threats (whether the threat is a raging lion or a raging boss), our brain’s stress reactivity is significantly reduced when we observe kind behavior. As brain-imaging studies show, when our social relationships with others feel safe, our brain’s stress response is attenuated. There’s also a physical effect. Whereas a lack of bonding within the workplace has been shown to increase psychological distress, positive social interactions at work have been shown to boost employee health—for example, by lowering heart rate and blood pressure, and by strengthening the immune system. In fact, a study out of the Karolinska Institute conducted on over 3,000 employees found that a leader’s qualities were associated with incidence of heart disease in their employees. A good boss may literally be good for the heart.
In fact, what may come as a surprise to many HR directors, employees prefer happiness to high pay, as Gallup’s 2013 Workplace Poll shows. In turn, happier employees make not only for a more congenial workplace, but also for improved collegiality and customer service. A large healthcare study showed that a kind culture at work not only improved employee well-being and productivity but also improved client health outcomes and satisfaction.
Taken together, this body of research shows that creating a leadership model of trust and mutual cooperation may help create a culture that is happier, in which employees help each other, and (as a consequence) become more productive in the long run. No wonder their nice bosses get promoted.
But what constitutes a compassionate leadership style and workplace exactly? That is a trickier question. Many companies try to offer well-being “perks” such as the ability to work from home or receive extra benefits. A Gallup poll showed that, even when the workplace offered benefits such as flextime and work-from-home opportunities,engagement predicted well-being above and beyond anything else. And most of the research suggests that a compassionate workplace fosters engagement not so much through material goods as through the qualities of the organizations’ leaders, such as a sincere commitment to values and ethics, genuine interpersonal kindness, and self-sacrifice.
What is clear is that we’re going to have to start valuing kindness at work more. One depressing study out of Notre Dame suggests that for men, the more agreeable they are, the lower their pay rate. Because agreeableness does not impact women’s salary, the researchers theorize that when we don’t conform to gender norms, we’re punished. The answer is not for men to be cruel, but for us all to help change the norms. With a little skill, there are ways to be agreeable while not being a pushover or a softy. And then maybe we’ll all be a little bit happier at work.
Emma Seppala, PhD, is a Stanford University research psychologist and the Associate Director of Stanford University’s Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education. She consults is a corporate well-being consultant as well as a science journalist with Psychology Today, Huffington Post, Scientific American Mind and the e-magazine she founded, Fulfillment Daily. Follow her on Twitter @emmaseppala or her website www.emmaseppala.com.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

5 Signs It’s Time for a New Job

Harvard Business Review
https://hbr.org/2015/04/5-signs-its-time-for-a-new-job?utm_campaign=Socialflow&utm_source=Socialflow&utm_medium=Tweet
by Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic

APR15_07_175162378

Regardless of your age, background, or accomplishments, you have probably fantasized about the possibility of a new career at some point in your life – those who haven’t are the exception.
LinkedIn reports that of its 313 million members, 25% are active job seekers, while 60% can be considered passive job seekers – people who are not proactively searching for a new job, but seriously willing to consider opportunities. In addition, there has been a steady increase of self-employed and temporary workers over the past two decades. This is true even in rich economies with low unemployment rates, like theU.S. and the U.K., partly because of the glamorization of entrepreneurship, the rise of the sharing economy, and the ubiquity of incompetent management, which makes the prospect of not having a boss rather alluring.
Yet at the same time, humans are naturally prewired to fear and avoid change, even when we are decidedly unhappy with our current situation. Indeed, meta-analysesshow that people often stay on the job despite having negative job attitudes, low engagement, and failing to identify with the organization’s culture. And, since career changes are often driven by emotional rather than rational factors, they often end up disappointing. So at the end of the day, there is something comforting about the predictability of life: it makes us feel safe. As the Danish philosopher Søren Kierkegaard observed: “Anxiety is the dizziness of freedom.”
The inability to make a decision is in itself anxiety-provoking, because it increases uncertainty about the future. In addition, most people, even millennials, value long-term job stability, not just in themselves but also in others. Unsurprisingly, theOECD sees job security as a key component of quality of life, while academic studies report that job insecurity is a major cause of psychological stress.
All this explains why it is so hard to leave a job, no matter how uninspiring or monotonous it may be. In order to help you decide whether it may be time for a career change, here are five critical signs, based on psychological research, that you would probably benefit from a career switch:
  • You are not learning. Studies have shown that the happiest progression to late adulthood and old age involves work that stimulates the mind into continuous learning. This is particularly important if you are high on Openness to Experience/Inquisitiveness, a personality trait associated with curiosity, creativity, love of learning, and having a hungry mind.
  • You are underperforming. If you are stagnated, cruising in autopilot, and could do your job while asleep, then you’re almost certainly underperforming. Sooner or later, this will harm your resume and employability. If you want to be happy and engaged at work you are better off finding a job that entices you to perform at yourhighest level.
  • You feel undervalued. Even when employees are happy with their pay and promotion prospects, they will not enjoy their work unless they feel appreciated, especially by their managers. Furthermore, people who feel undervalued at work are more likely to burnout and engage in counterproductive work behaviors, such as absenteeism, theft, and sabotage. And when the employee in question is a leader, the stakes are much higher for everyone else because of their propensity to behave in ways that could destroy the organization.
  • You are just doing it for the money. Although people tend to put up with unrewarding jobs mostly for financial reasons, staying on a job just for the money is unrewarding at best, and demotivating at worst. As I pointed out in a previous post, employee engagement is three times more dependent on intrinsic than extrinsic rewards, and financial rewards extinguish intrinsic goals (e.g., enjoyment, sheer curiosity, learning or personal challenge).
  • You hate your boss. As the saying goes, people join companies but they quit their bosses. This implies that there is a great deal of overlap between employees who dislike their jobs, and those who dislike their bosses. In our research, we find that 75% of working adults find that the most stressful part of their job is their immediate supervisor or direct line manager. Until organizations do a better job at selecting and developing leaders, employees will have to lower their expectations about management or keep searching for exceptional bosses.
Of course, these are not the only signs that you should pay attention to. There are many other valid reasons for considering a job switch, such as work-life balance conflicts, economic pressures, firm downsizing, and geographical relocation. But these reasons are more contextual than psychological, and somewhat less voluntary. They are therefore less likely to lead to decision uncertainty than the five reasons I listed.
At the end of the day, real-world problems tend to lack a clear-cut solution. Instead, the correct answer depends on its consequences and how pleased we are with the outcome, and both are hard to predict. As Abraham Lincoln said, “the best way to predict the future is to create it,” so the only way to know whether a career move is actually right for you is to make it.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

How Super Angel Chris Sacca Made Billions, Burned Bridges And Crafted The Best Seed Portfolio Ever

http://www.forbes.com/sites/alexkonrad/2015/03/25/how-venture-cowboy-chris-sacca-made-billions/?utm_campaign=Forbes&utm_source=TWITTER&utm_medium=social&utm_channel=Technology&linkId=13116990
by Alex Konrad
This story appears in the April 13, 2015 issue of Forbes.


Chris Sacca's signature cowboy shirts make the trip to his new Montana home. (Credit: Jamel Toppin for Forbes)

Between the parade of wet suits and abundant seafood and yoga joints, Manhattan Beach, just south of Los Angeles, tries to cling fast to its surf town roots. It’s a tough battle. Strolling the boardwalk, I pass beach volleyball gold medalist Kerri Walsh Jennings practicing spikes close by glitzy homes locals say belong to Mark Cuban and former Oracle boss Ray Lane.


My guide, tech investor Chris Sacca, represents another evolution: The beach serves as his de facto office, and the 39-year-old eagerly points out spots more notable for his startup stakes than surf breaks. Here’s where Instagram cofounder Kevin Systrom pedaled beach cruisers with Sacca as he wrestled with fundraising options for his photo-sharing app. Nearby, Twitter cofounder Evan Williams pondered the future of social media. There’s the beach house from Beverly Hills, 90210 , past which WordPress founder Matt Mullenweg and Sacca biked toward Redondo Beach. And that’s the spot where Twitter CEO Dick Costolo and Sacca endured an early morning workout. “Kevin Rose did half of it and told me I was crazy and he wouldn’t come anymore,” Sacca says, mentioning, unprompted, the founder of Digg.

All these boastful highlights have an underlying number: $1.2 billion, the amount of money that FORBES estimates Sacca is now personally worth, up from pretty much nothing just nine years ago. The young former Google employee suddenly finds himself in the same financial league as veteran venture billionaires such as Jim Breyer, John Doerr and Michael Moritz. And in terms of a hot streak he rates even higher. Sacca has already had two ground-floor bonanzas: Twitter, in which his funds held more at its IPO than any outside investor, and Uber, in which they hold 4% of a company valued at $41 billion. And he’s sitting on investments in billion-dollar startups Stripe, Lookout and WordPress parent Automattic.

“Chris has found every hot startup in the Valley and found them all during angel rounds,” says Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer, who has invested in Sacca’s funds. “This is completely without precedent or equivalent.” The 39-year-old ranks third on FORBES’ 14th annual Midas List of tech’s 100 top investors.
Sacca didn’t study business or engineering, doesn’t know how to program a computer, never started a company of his own or worked at a big venture firm. What he does is buddy up with well-chosen founders, console them when they’re down and cajole them when they’re wary of big risks. “I don’t feel like I have a big institution to protect,” says Sacca. “That’s made me faster than the big investors.”

But his track record is also flecked with broken friendships and hard feelings. While he keeps a relatively low media profile–this story marks the first time he’s cooperating for a major story–his big mouth, incessant name-dropping and blunt elbows cause eyes to roll. “He’s got a bit of a hero complex,” says a peer who knows him well. “He’s an amazing investor, but that’s not enough–he has to do this heroic stuff.” At Google he crashed every meeting he could and then wouldn’t shut up. Twitter eventually had to pass a rule, driven in part by Sacca, barring nonemployees from showing up at all-staff meetings. He and Uber CEO Travis Kalanick, once close friends, now barely speak, despite Sacca’s major stake in the company.

“Chris is brutally honest about everything,” says mentor Steve Anderson of Baseline Ventures, an Instagram backer and No. 5 on the Midas List. “And he’s aware that he’s insecure.” But don’t mistake insecurity for timidity. “I get close to people easily,” says Sacca. “But do something to me, I will light that bridge on fire.”

As we’re talking on the Manhattan Beach pier, Sacca’s iPhone buzzes. It’s a Twitter direct message from Ben Rubin, CEO of Meerkat, a white-hot new app for live-streaming video. Sacca is not going to invest in Meerkat but had been playing with it ahead of its early challenge at the popular conference, South by Southwest. He rapidly types back with a thumb and forefinger combination. “I told Ben that the festival is the first big test, and if you keep the stream up, you win,” Sacca says, thrusting the DM thread toward my face quickly, then back away. “You have to offer value without expecting anything in return.” Such is how new bridges are built, amid the smoldering embers of the old ones.

Sacca is busy building what will be one of the premier houses in Manhattan Beach, a terraced 5,000-square-foot place powered by solar panels. It should be ready by August, but until then, he, his wife, Crystal, and their two young daughters (a third child is on the way) have been camping out at a nearby guesthouse.

Due at a board meeting, Sacca bounds in, ripping off his beach T-shirt to get into his investor uniform. Steve Jobs had his black turtleneck. Chris Sacca has his embroidered cowboy shirt. He bought his first one, impulsively, at the Reno airport en route to a speech, and the reaction prompted him to buy out half the store on his return. He now owns almost 70, in various flavors, which he keeps near his front door and in the trunk of his car in case of emergency. “Entrepreneurs get disappointed when I show up without one of these,” he says, donning a black shirt with silver stitching.

The Howdy Doody look is just one more of Sacca’s incongruities. He’s only from the West if you define it as western New York. He grew up in a suburb of Buffalo, the son of a college professor and a lawyer. A top student, he wound up at his father’s alma mater, Georgetown, and then Georgetown Law.

Sacca did not, however, make for a natural lawyer. As an associate at Fenwick & West’s Silicon Valley office he sat in on a meeting one day with John Doerr, the famed partner at venture firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. “It became obvious to me that the investing side was where the action was.” Let go during the dot-com bust, Sacca wound up cold-calling members of the FORBES Midas List for a job, with no luck. Finally he landed at a startup, Speedera Networks, helping to fend off continual lawsuits from its larger rival Akamai.

In November 2003 he jumped to Google, where he got a job on the legal and business development team going undercover to scout locations with low taxes–and cheap electricity–for Google’s new data centers and then creating nondescript holding companies to buy up the land.

Sacca started sponging up intel in whatever senior executive meetings he could muscle into. Former Google manager turned investor Hunter Walk remembers walking into a meeting with Larry Page one day to update him on AdSense. Sacca, with no advertising role or background, chimed in with advice. “Google then was a culture that rewarded people who got things done,” says Susan Wojcicki, a longtime Google executive who is now the CEO of YouTube. “He gravitated toward interesting projects and the new important ideas, always trying to work on the next big thing.”

He sometimes put his foot in his mouth. Sacca was on a fellowship at the University of Oxford when, speaking publicly at a conference, he blamed wireless carriers for Google Maps not appearing on U.K. phones, sparking a headline that embarrassed the Google Android group. His boss, general counsel David Drummond, told him to start prepping his résumé. Instead, Page reassigned Sacca to work on wireless projects, including an ambitious but ultimately failed effort to bring free Wi-Fi to San Francisco. “During one of our meetings Chris volunteered to drive around the city and rubber-band routers to street lamps,” says Mayer, who got to know Sacca at Google because of the project.

Sacca tried other projects as well, such as head-faking a multibillion-dollar bid in a spectrum auction (a ploy that succeeded in driving up the price for carriers), but hit a wall with Eric Schmidt when his group pushed to acquire two satellite companies. Schmidt, then the CEO, wanted Google to hoard cash and brace for a downturn. In December 2007, with most of his options vested, Sacca quit.

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For the next 18 months Sacca took his spectrum project and helped execute it on behalf of Philip Falcone’s investment firm Harbinger Capital, netting several million dollars in fees for himself. While he spent an increasing amount of time at a house in Truckee, a town that sits atop Lake Tahoe, he decided to focus on angel investing in Silicon Valley.

He’d done a bit of it at Google, but it was somewhat rogue. One of Sacca’s Google friends had gone off to launch a podcasting startup called Odeo. By 2006 the guy, Evan Williams, had decided instead to start a new microblogging service called Twttr and asked Sacca if he wanted in. Sacca wrote a check for $25,000 and started tweeting madly, intrigued by the service’s revenue and data potential. Sacca even caused one of the service’s first gaffes, when he privately messaged graphic details of a fatal car accident he had witnessed in San Francisco and Twitter posted it unintentionally on a public feed.

“He became an investor, an advisor, a friend,” says Williams. “But the most helpful thing was that he’s such an enthusiast. He made us believe in our own product more.” When early celebrity adopter Shaquille O’Neal sent out a viral tweet or when a Twitter handle appeared on a TV talk show, Williams and his core team would get a one-word note from Sacca: “BIG.”

Through 2009 Sacca continued to make savvy individual investments in companies like Kickstarter, Twilio and Lookout, until he started running out of cash. He’d joined Google too late to make tens of millions. Hans Swildens, an old contact from his Speedera days, was running a firm called Industry Ventures in town. Swildens liked what he saw in Sacca’s angel investments and suggested he raise a fund. Industry would sign the first check for Lowercase Capital, joined by Google friends like Mayer and, improbably, Schmidt. “It’s easy to forget now, but in 2009 or 2010 early-stage stuff was still risky-feeling, and the market was still a big question mark,” says investor Brad Feld, a mentor and eventual investor in the fund.

His bet on Instagram, started by another ex-Googler, Kevin Systrom, would follow, but in late 2009 he scaled up his investing to another level when he decided to deepen his position in Twitter. “I wasted months trying to get others to believe it could be a real business, not just a toy,” he says. “And I decided to just buy it all myself.” Emulating his Google land-buying, he created four funds with generic names to buy up privately held Twitter shares from former employees. He wasn’t the only one. Ron Conway, a former mentor and the cofounder of SV Angel, began raising tens of millions with much the same goal.

Sacca had been content to raise a few million more, but a little-known friend with billions under management named Suhail Rizvi convinced him to go big. The coup came when Ev Williams approached Sacca to sell $400 million of his Twitter shares. Sacca then went traveling in Southeast Asia, with a secret plot to propose to his girlfriend (now wife) in the place where her parents had gotten married. That accomplished, he rolled up his sleeves on the Williams deal.

Sacca secretly secured commitments for up to $1 billion in 30 days from J.P. Morgan and municipal endowments. He and Rizvi spent it over the next 18 months, buying out former employees and other investors right up until the cap table closed in May 2013, before the IPO. When the positions became known, other investors were ticked off to see Sacca’s camp had accumulated the largest outside position in Twitter right under their noses. “He was an innovator with that secondary, structuring a number of vehicles that didn’t really exist like that before,” says Anderson at Baseline. “He saw the chance before other people saw, so they asked: ‘How did this no-name dude come up with all this capital?’ ”

The person who gave up the most potential upside in raw dollars, Williams, sees no problem with what Sacca did. “

In retrospect, if I had perfect knowledge I wouldn’t have sold any stock then,” Williams says. “Some people didn’t like what he was doing, but he did what anyone would.” The value of Sacca’s first Twitter fund, Lowercase Industry, has soared about 1,500%. All told, his various Twitter deals have returned $5 billion to investors.

Jamel Toppin for Forbes

Well before the Twitter machination came to light, Sacca was cementing his reputation as a reliable friend to startups post-financial-crisis. A group of San Francisco entrepreneurs and investors would often soak for hours in Sacca’s hot tub at the Truckee house, drinking and laughing and talking. The so-called Jam Tub had its own check-in on Foursquare, and serial entrepreneur Travis Kalanick was its unofficial mayor.

The Jam Tub was an annex to Kalanick’s Jam Pad, his home in the Mission district of San Francisco, where a rotating crew of techies would brainstorm, party and enjoy a home-cooked meal. Sacca went at times, but Kalanick’s friend Garrett Camp, the founder of the website discovery tool StumbleUpon, was a fixture. Camp, who sold StumbleUpon to eBay for $75 million in 2007, had the idea to make an app so his friends could book a black car to take them around town. He first called it UberCab. Camp’s friend and early advisor, the author Tim Ferriss, remembers that the idea seemed “ridiculous” to many outside the Jam Pad circle. “People who had the opportunity to invest laughed it off as this one-percenter vanity service,” Ferriss says. “Chris was not one of them. He had faith very early on.”

Kalanick became a mega-advisor of sorts to the fledgling startup, and Sacca wanted a piece. The pair cemented the startup’s angel $1.3 million financing at the Truckee house, with Sacca ponying up $300,000, a large check for an $8 million fund. “I went all-in,” he says. More than just money, he helped negotiate Kalanick’s compensation and secure the Uber name from Universal Music Group. Lowercase would add another $400,000 worth of Uber at the Series A round in early 2011, led by Benchmark Capital’s Bill Gurley (see story, p. 78), and Sacca would make more side investments later on.

Through a spokesperson, Kalanick declined to comment, but conversations with those with knowledge of the pair and the startup’s early days indicate that the Uber CEO got upset with Sacca for trying to repeat his Twitter move of buying up secondary shares in Uber from other initial investors. “Travis was 110% about the company, and with Chris it became a ‘What about Chris?’ issue,” says one of these sources. Kalanick told Sacca to stop coming to board meetings, which Sacca monitored as an advisor. They barely speak today.

“What’s frustrating is I honestly don’t know what’s wrong,” Sacca says. “I’ve apologized multiple times.” When pushed, he concedes that his efforts to buy shares might have created a rift. Kalanick kept telling him it was impractical to do, Sacca says, yet Sacca kept coming up with workarounds. “I guess I wasn’t hearing what he was really saying, which was ‘Don’t f–king do it.’ ”

If shunned by management, Sacca remains loyal to the product: Back in Manhattan Beach Sacca orders an Uber to take him, cowboy shirt and all, to the board meeting.

En route a famous founder asks him to tweet in support of a new hire. Sacca gobbles up every one of the ensuing Twitter mentions before we arrive at a small, poorly ventilated office building in Santa Monica. This, he says, is the home of his next big score.

Sacca met InVenture CEO Shivani Siroya at a TED dinner when he spotted Siroya sitting by herself on the fringe. Hours later he was sold on the former financial consultant and UN analyst’s vision for a new way to score credit in the developing world. “

Once I determined she wasn’t allergic to money, it was a no-brainer,” Sacca says. Sacca greets Ted Rheingold, the COO he helped match with Siroya, and the other staff like old friends as each discusses the group’s progress.


Six months ago these meetings were depressing. In Venture’s business wasn’t working in India, and since it didn’t handle the loans itself, the payback wasn’t there. Now it’s growing rapidly in Kenya, and the team shows Sacca detailed breakdowns of how Kenyans’ spending varies in different neighborhoods and what they take loans for and why. Their repayment rates, Siroya tells him, are higher than those for loans in the U.S. “How much more fun is this?” he asks one manager whose last project was shuttered. Sacca then leans forward and looks across the table right at his founder, waiting for eye contact. “You’ve got more data on users even than Travis,” he says. “This is freaking big. It’s time to move from the dreamy hypothesis phase to wanting to fan the flames.”

Friends wonder out loud, though, how much more fire Sacca has for the kind of startup discovery and coaching that has defined his rise–especially when success seems twinned with friction. Sacca now oversees a few billion dollars in more than a dozen funds, with cowboy names like Stampede, Frontier and Spur. But he’s going to far fewer meetings, preferring to spend time at the beach and a new house in Montana. Rivals feed this narrative, whispering that he’s dialing back. Sacca is not denying it. Two years ago he brought in his first partner, Matt Mazzeo, a rising CAA agent, who is taking on more of the seed investing for Lowercase’s funds. Says Mazzeo: “I don’t think Chris is one of those guys who makes a ton of money and drops the mic and leaves the room. He loves the people in the room so much that he’ll stay.”

“He’s young,” adds Sacca’s close friend actor Edward Norton, who has cofounded startup CrowdRise, “and I could imagine the appeal of not wanting to manage other people’s money forever.” If Sacca wants to amp it up, given his base in L.A., his outsize personality and his signature look, there’s surely a future for him in show biz, extolling and beating up entrepreneurs in the vein of a Cuban or Trump. Sacca smiles at the thought: “Being quiet is not a natural state for me.”

Follow Alex on ForbesTwitter and Facebook for more coverage of startups, enterprise software and venture capital.


Saturday, March 21, 2015

Editorial Bloomberg: Mengapa Indonesia Bisa Ketinggalan Target Pertumbuhan 2015

http://www.fiskal.co.id/berita/fiskal-4/4756/editorial-bloomberg:-mengapa-indonesia-bisa-ketinggalan-target-pertumbuhan-2015#.VQ5m5_mUdqU

Editorial Bloomberg: Mengapa Indonesia Bisa Ketinggalan Target Pertumbuhan 2015 | Fiskal.co.id
Sumber Foto: worldproperty

Presiden Indonesia Joko Widodo mengatakan Indonesia, negara dengan ekonomi terbesar di Asia Tenggara dapat mencapai target pertumbuhan resmi 5,7 persen tahun ini. Hal ini lbisa jadi lebih sulit dari apa yang diantisipasi.

Joko Widodoyang menjabat mulai Oktober 2014, mewarisi negara dengan ekonomi yang terbelenggu oleh investasi yang minim di bidang infrastruktur, jatuhnya harga komoditas, dan penarikan stimulus moneter AS. Bank sentral telah mempertahankan kebijakan moneter ketat untuk melindungi rupiah yang rentan dan produk domestik bruto yang mungkin tumbuh 4,9 persen dari kuartal terakhir di tahun sebelumnya, laju paling lambat sejak tahun 2009, menurut survei Bloomberg.

Jokowimenjanjikan untuk memperbaiki infrastruktur dimulai dengan jalan, pelabuhan, dan listrik yang merupakan proyek-proyek besar. Dia berusaha untuk merayu investastor dan meningkatkan ekspor non-komoditas, menargetkan perluasan sebanyak 6,3 persen menjadi 6,9 persen di tahun depan.

"Kami yakin untuk mencapai target pertumbuhan ekonomi dari 5,7 persen tahun ini”, Presiden mengatakan dalam sebuah wawancara pada 2 Februari 2015 di Jakarta. "Tapi kita harus meningkatkan volume ekspor kita dan kita harus mereformasi birokrasi kita. Kita harus mengundang FDI."

Namun Bank Dunia melihat Indonesia tumbuh 5,2 persen tahun ini dan 5,5 persen pada 2016. Perekonomian mungkin diperluas 5,06 persen pada tahun 2014, menurut survei Bloomberg menjelang data karena 5 Februari di Jakarta. Berikut adalah lima hal yang bisa menghambat target pertumbuhan Indonesia tahun ini.

Harga komoditas
Harga ekspor komoditas utama Indonesia mungkin tidak sembuh dalam waktu dekat. Batubara telah jatuh lebih lanjut tahun ini dan sekarang sudah lebih dari separuh harga sejak akhir 2010. Kelapa sawit mengalami penurunan terbesar sejak Januari 2010 karena permintaan melemah di tengah tingginya pasokan, setelah merosot 16 persen pada tahun lalu.

Sementara harga minyak mentah yang jatuh dapat membantu Jokowi membuat keputusan memo subsidi bensin, namun hal ini juga menyerap pendapatan pemerintah.

Negara akan kehilangan sekitar 158 triliun rupiah pendapatan karena penurunan harga minyak, menurut Nomura Holdings Inc catatan penelitian oleh ekonom termasuk Euben Paracuelles di Singapura.

Defisit
Indonesia dijuluki sebagai negara berkembang yang rapuh oleh Morgan Stanley pada tahun 2013 karena defisit eksternal yang besar membuatnya rentan terhadap arus keluar modal. Sedangkan kekurangan transaksi berjalan menyempit dari rekor 4,4 persen dari produk domestik bruto pada kuartal kedua tahun itu, Bank Indonesia memperkirakan defisit 3 persen menjadi 3,5 persen dari PDB tahun ini, dibandingkan dengan perkiraan sekitar 3 persen pada tahun 2014.

Proyek-proyek infrastruktur besar yang dijanjikan oleh Jokowi bisa memacu impor, menempatkan tekanan pada keseimbangan, menurut Ndiame Diop, ekonom utama Bank Dunia untuk Indonesia. Defisit terus-menerus ini membuat lebih sulit bagi Bank Indonesia untuk mengikuti rekan-rekan global dalam memotong biaya pinjaman untuk mendorong pertumbuhan ekonomi.

Risiko implementasi
Perseteruan antara kepolisian Indonesia dan lembaga anti-korupsi, KPK, telah mendominasi media lokal dalam beberapa pekan terakhir. Kegagalan presiden untuk menunjukkan kepemimpinan yang kuat bisa merusak kredibilitasnya untuk mendorong ke depan dengan reformasi ekonomi dan menindak korupsi.

"Mungkin ada efek beriak," kata pihak Bank Dunia. Dia juga menunjukkan bahwa sekitar 50 persen dari anggaran pemerintah pusat sebenarnya dikelola oleh pemerintah daerah, meningkatkan kemungkinan bahwa pelaksanaan infrastruktur dan belanja sosial akan lebih lambat dari yang diharapkan karena kesulitan dalam mentransmisikan kebijakan dari atas.

Resiko Global
Ekonomi global tidak mungkin memberikan banyak dukungan kepada Indonesia tahun ini, dengan kelemahan di Jepang, Eropa, dan China, yang merupakan pasar ekspor terbesar di Indonesia. Sementara itu, pemulihan ekonomi di AS diperkirakan akan mendorong Federal Reserve akan menaikkan suku bunga, mengurangi daya tarik aset yang lebih tinggi agar unggul di pasar negara berkembang seperti Indonesia.

"Ini akan menjadi tahun yang sangat sulit secara eksternal," Mari Pangestu, mantan menteri perdagangan Indonesia, mengatakan dalam sebuah wawancara dengan Bloomberg Television, Rabu (3/2).

Penguatan ekonomi AS dan perlambatan pertumbuhan di China adalah "kombinasi yang buruk" bagi Indonesia karena harga komoditas mungkin akan terus jatuh, kata Benedict Bingham, perwakilan residen senior Dana Moneter Internasional di Jakarta.

Selang Waktu
Perombakan ekonomi yang dijanjikan oleh Jokowi akan butuh waktu sehingga bisa bermanfaat. Proyek infrastruktur besar mungkin memerlukan waktu yang cukup panjang. "Apakah kita benar-benar bisa menggelar proyek infrastruktur cukup cepat adalah tanda tanya besar," kata Mari.

Pemerintah juga perlu meninjau kebijakan perdagangan dan ketenagakerjaan, yang terlihat lebih defensif ketimbang fokus pada memenangkan pangsa pasar global, menurut Bingham.

"2015 harus dilihat sebagai tahun yang menjadi dasar bagi strategi jangka menengah yang ditetapkan," katanya. "Ini tidak akan menjadi tahun yang menguntungkan kecuali jika strategi sudah menjadi jelas." ***intan (Sumber: Bloomberg)