All posts by John Psarouthakis

drjohn11aDr. John Psarouthakis, Executive Editor of www.BusinessThinker.com, Distinguished Visiting Fellow at the Institute of Advanced Studies in the Humanities, University of Edinburgh, Scotland, publisher of www.GavdosPress.com and Founder and former CEO, JP Industries, Inc., a Fortune 500 industrial corporation

Better Makes Us Best

By Dr. John Psarouthakis, Founder and Former Chairman and CEO, JP Industries Inc. and Executive Editor, The Business Thinker.

I wrote a small book on my believe that “Better Makes Us Best” to explain my belief that anyone can achieve his / her potential by setting milestones / goals for constant improvement. It is a philosophy that I began to think and implement while a tee ager particularly in sports.

 I got the same satisfaction if I did better than the previous time though I wished I could be the best. In time I applied this “Credo” to the over 20 underperforming manufacturing businesses in the USA and western Europe I bought for JP Industries, Inc that I founded with the strategy of acquiring such businesses, paid the expected lower price and create a higher value by improving the performance significantly by implementing this philosophy by providing the opportunity to employees to improve their ability through training and special coerces at the near by community colleges and /or equipment suppliers. This required, often, higher relevant technology. In a related article back then, BusinessWeek magazine described my approach as a “blending high tech with worker involvement”. You will find details of this book in the recently launched platform on Knowledge Transfer: Click on www.jpmcenter.com You can also connect with me on this book by sending me your questions via email as instructed in site.

JP Management Center, llc.

Dr. John Psarouthakis,

Executive Editor , www.businessthinker.com
Managing Director. JPMCenter

Hello Friends, Colleagues, and Associates. Short time ago I posted my intention of soon to launch the Knowledge Transfer platform. I did this last evening. You will find it by going to www.jpmcenter.com. I hope you go through it and find it engaging. Please let me know of your comments.

Below you’ll find a comment about me:

Izak Duenyas, Professor of Technology and Operations Ross School of Business The University of Michigan, September 17, 2015,

“Dr. John is a respected academic and business leader. He has helped multiple organizations with his extensive leadership abilities, strategic thinking and great skills in organization development. His books and articles have also significantly contributed to a better understanding of manufacturing, and building competitive businesses. It has been a pleasure to get to know Dr. John and I have benefited tremendously from his wisdom”

Briefly for those that have not looked for my background in LinkedIn or other sites let me briefly mention that over 1250 Linkedin members have endorse my skills and most for developing business strategies, and strategic growth plans as well as for start ups.

I was born in the Greek Island of Crete where I finished a Science Curriculum High School. Then I got a Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees at MIT, moved to Maryland to work in the space program at the Martin Company and in parallel got my PhD from the University of Maryland at College Park. Subsequently I moved to managerial non-space related work at the Allis Chalmers (A-C) and Masco Corporation. Allis Chalmers sent me to attend the Program for Executives, today’s equivalent for an Executive MBA, at the School of Business at Carnegie Mellon University.

At A-C, I developed managerial strategies for the Corporate R&D center to conduct R&D closer to the operating units product lines. At Masco developed strategic growth plan for the plumbing devision and for Masco to become operational in Europe. Masco’s Faucet unit within five years captured 50% of the market and Masco became operational in Germany and Italy.

Later on I started JP Industries, Inc with the strategy of acquiring underperforming companies in manufacturing and distribution business fix them by using relevant technologies and making these units more productive and strongly more competitive.

At that time many of manufacturing businesses were moving overseas.. None of improved units relocated even within the USA. A very successful strategy.

After JPIndustries was sold I moved to academia teaching at Ross School of Business, U of Michigan, and lecturing at MIT, business strategy and acquisitions, and authored / Co-authored several books and provided as a consulting service senior executive level coaching.

Through lectures I was invited to give I began to think of a business on transferring knowledge.

One of my great strategies was and is writing the book “Better Makes Us Best”. When I was a young scientist the presidents of the companies used to send to the employees letters for an update on the company. I found them not very helpful, so I came up with the idea of writing a motivating book on the importance on doing “Better” to day than yesterday and tomorrow than today. It worked very well in turning around problem companies we acquired. It was distributed to all employees free of cost for USA operations as well as for those overseas. The book and the connection with me is available in the new site launched, www.jpmcenter.com

Here are a couple reviews of this book:

“Dr. Psarouthakis thought he wrote a book exclusively for his own industry. But in fact, Better Makes Us Best knows no limits. It contains some fabulous truths for [anyone] seeking fulfillment in today’s stressful working world.”—Peter G. Hanson, M.D., Author of The Joy of Stress and Stress for Success

“Dr. John is an American success story. Every one of us can learn from the lessons and principles in his life. This book is a good place to begin.”—David Lawrence Jr., Publisher and Former Chairman of Detroit Free Pres

CHANGES IN THE INFORMATION INDUSTRY


Dr. John Psarouthakis

Executive Editor

 

In addition to the major shifts that have already occurred, we now have also other shifts caused by the explosion occurring in front of us in the information industry.

  • One change is globalization that has rendered national borders meaningless.  This in turn has increased competition for goods and services by several orders of magnitude.  Today, companies anywhere in the globe can compete in markets which in the recent past were not accessible to them.  They can have the advantage of new technologies, low-paid and highly skilled labor, and capital availability as they need it.

  • Second change:  Quality of labor.  In 1972, one third of the work force in the USA were “brain power” related, while two thirds were people that used “muscle power.”  Now, it is exactly inversed ?  two third’s “brain power,” one third “muscle power.”

  • Third change:  Whether the worker is “brain power” or muscle power, he or she must be able to think for themselves.  They must be involved and make critical decisions on the goods and services they are engaged to produce.

  • Fourth change:  We must be a team
  • Fifth and most important:  Business executive leadership is redefined.
    – Make technology your friend
    – Be innovative
    – Communicate
    – Motivate
    – Solicit participation by teammates
    – Be a Visionary
    – Be involved in the affairs of the community
    – Be sensitive to employees problems beyond the workplace
    – Attract the financial community
    – Be analytical / conceptual
    – Be sensitive to the bottom line
    – Be aware and sensitive to societal needs and the corporation’s
      participation in fulfilling them
    – Contribute time and money to worthy causes
    – Be able to walk on water

What else is happening out there in the real world?

THE FUTURE OF AMERICAN MANUFACTURING


Dr. John Psarouthakis

Executive Editor

 

Let me illustrate by looking at three pivotal industries: motor vehicles; electronic computing equipment; and machine tools. In the past couple decades the share of the domestic market held by domestic manufacturers producing in domestic plants has declined from approximately 80% to about 50% for motor vehicles, from 90% to below 60% for computing equipment, and from 80% to below 60% for machine tools. In recent years there has been a move toward recovery.

It is hoped that we can find a way to put our talents together to deal with the very real problems facing manufacturing in the USA. My purpose here is to suggest ways to do so.

We have one relatively simple decision to make: do we accept the current situation, continuing the decline in our manufacturing base or do we recognize that manufacturing and industries which support our manufacturing base are critical to our position in a global economy and commit intellectual and financial resources to improve our manufacturing base?  Recognizing the situation and doing something about it, however, are two very different issues.

Nevertheless, manufacturing accounts for nearly 20% of our Gross National Product, as it has for about 40 years. There is a much lower percentage of the total work force employed in manufacturing, but they are responsible for a large part of our economy.

In addition, our burgeoning service industries are in fact dependent greatly upon manufacturing. About half of all U.S. service employment is tied to manufacturing related activities.

There is a second reason why manufacturing really matters. Most if not all of us to some extent value the principles, “free” market economic system, and political structure of our nation. Some of us also feel it is important that we remain influential and powerful

in an uncertain and sometimes dangerous world. We cannot maintain our influence on the world affairs, if we become a second rate industrial power. While I don’t see us in the same context as colonial Great Britain, the declining influence of Britain for years was in part due to its neglect of its technological and industrial bases.

If we value our political and economic systems, we must strengthen and enhance our manufacturing base. But what are the specific tasks we need to address? As I see it, there are three tasks to be addressed. First, we must improve manufacturing related technology development and deployment. Second, we must improve the art of managing our manufacturing base. And, third we must “up-grade” and strengthen our human resources in manufacturing.

Energy and ingenuity in response to Covid-19

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  • This research started as part of a project started in class 2.168 (Learning Machines), which was instructed by Professor George Barbastathis (pictured).Photo: Tony Pulsone
  • This figure shows the model prediction of the infected case count for the United States following its current model with quarantine control and the exponential explosion in the infected case count if the quarantine measures were relaxed. On the other hand, switching to stronger quarantine measures as implemented in Wuhan, Italy, and South Korea might lead to a plateau in the infected case count sooner.Image courtesy of the researchers.
  • Schematic of the physics informed neural network used to encode information about the quarantine strength function, Q(t).Image courtesy of the researchers.
  • This research started as part of a project started in class 2.168 (Learning Machines), which was instructed by Professor George Barbastathis (pictured).Photo: Tony Pulsone
  • This research started as part of a project started in class 2.168 (Learning Machines), which was instructed by Professor George Barbastathis (pictured).Photo: Tony Pulsone
  • This figure shows the model prediction of the infected case count for the United States following its current model with quarantine control and the exponential explosion in the infected case count if the quarantine measures were relaxed. On the other hand, switching to stronger quarantine measures as implemented in Wuhan, Italy, and South Korea might lead to a plateau in the infected case count sooner.Image courtesy of the researchers.

Model quantifies the impact of quarantine measures on Covid-19’s spread

A machine learning algorithm combines data on the disease’s spread with a neural network, to help predict when infections will slow down in each country.

Mary Beth Gallagher | Department of Mechanical Engineering
April 16, 2020Press Inquiries

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The research described in this article has been published on a preprint server but has not yet been peer-reviewed by scientific or medical experts.

Every day for the past few weeks, charts and graphs plotting the projected apex of Covid-19 infections have been splashed across newspapers and cable news. Many of these models have been built using data from studies on previous outbreaks like SARS or MERS. Now, a team of engineers at MIT has developed a model that uses data from the Covid-19 pandemic in conjunction with a neural network to determine the efficacy of quarantine measures and better predict the spread of the virus.

“Our model is the first which uses data from the coronavirus itself and integrates two fields: machine learning and standard epidemiology,” explains Raj Dandekar, a PhD candidate studying civil and environmental engineering. Together with George Barbastathis, professor of mechanical engineering, Dandekar has spent the past few months developing the model as part of the final project in class 2.168 (Learning Machines).

Most models used to predict the spread of a disease follow what is known as the SEIR model, which groups people into “susceptible,” “exposed,” “infected,” and “recovered.” Dandekar and Barbastathis enhanced the SEIR model by training a neural network to capture the number of infected individuals who are under quarantine, and therefore no longer spreading the infection to others.

The model finds that in places like South Korea, where there was immediate government intervention in implementing strong quarantine measures, the virus spread plateaued more quickly. In places that were slower to implement government interventions, like Italy and the United States, the “effective reproduction number” of Covid-19 remains greater than one, meaning the virus has continued to spread exponentially.

The machine learning algorithm shows that with the current quarantine measures in place, the plateau for both Italy and the United States will arrive somewhere between April 15-20. This prediction is similar to other projections like that of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation.

“Our model shows that quarantine restrictions are successful in getting the effective reproduction number from larger than one to smaller than one,” says Barbastathis. “That corresponds to the point where we can flatten the curve and start seeing fewer infections.”

Quantifying the impact of quarantine

In early February, as news of the virus’ troubling infection rate started dominating headlines, Barbastathis proposed a project to students in class 2.168. At the end of each semester, students in the class are tasked with developing a physical model for a problem in the real world and developing a machine learning algorithm to address it. He proposed that a team of students work on mapping the spread of what was then simply known as “the coronavirus.”

“Students jumped at the opportunity to work on the coronavirus, immediately wanting to tackle a topical problem in typical MIT fashion,” adds Barbastathis.

One of those students was Dandekar. “The project really interested me because I got to apply this new field of scientific machine learning to a very pressing problem,” he says.

As Covid-19 started to spread across the globe, the scope of the project expanded. What had originally started as a project looking just at spread within Wuhan, China grew to also include the spread in Italy, South Korea, and the United States.

The duo started modeling the spread of the virus in each of these four regions after the 500th case was recorded. That milestone marked a clear delineation in how different governments implemented quarantine orders.

Armed with precise data from each of these countries, the research team took the standard SEIR model and augmented it with a neural network that learns how infected individuals under quarantine impact the rate of infection. They trained the neural network through 500 iterations so it could then teach itself how to predict patterns in the infection spread.

Using this model, the research team was able to draw a direct correlation between quarantine measures and a reduction in the effective reproduction number of the virus.

“The neural network is learning what we are calling the ‘quarantine control strength function,’” explains Dandekar. In South Korea, where strong measures were implemented quickly, the quarantine control strength function has been effective in reducing the number of new infections. In the United States, where quarantine measures have been slowly rolled out since mid-March, it has been more difficult to stop the spread of the virus.

Predicting the “plateau”

As the number of cases in a particular country decreases, the forecasting model transitions from an exponential regime to a linear one. Italy began entering this linear regime in early April, with the U.S. not far behind it.

The machine learning algorithm Dandekar and Barbastathis have developed predicted that the United States will start to shift from an exponential regime to a linear regime in the first week of April, with a stagnation in the infected case count likely between April 15 and April 20. It also suggests that the infection count will reach 600,000 in the United States before the rate of infection starts to stagnate.

“This is a really crucial moment of time. If we relax quarantine measures, it could lead to disaster,” says Barbastathis.

According to Barbastathis, one only has to look to Singapore to see the dangers that could stem from relaxing quarantine measures too quickly. While the team didn’t study Singapore’s Covid-19 cases in their research, the second wave of infection this country is currently experiencing reflects their model’s finding about the correlation between quarantine measures and infection rate.

“If the U.S. were to follow the same policy of relaxing quarantine measures too soon, we have predicted that the consequences would be far more catastrophic,” Barbastathis adds.

The team plans to share the model with other researchers in the hopes that it can help inform Covid-19 quarantine strategies that can successfully slow the rate of infection

Posting of new articles

Due to the CORONAVIRUS Pandemic the posting of articles and the launching of the Knowledge Transfer Platform have slowed down significantly. The posting will continue as possible. We will notify you when we get back to a “normal” schedule. The businessthinker.com site will continue to be accessible to those interested and able to use the Internet.

When will the FDA approve a Vaccine? See what 20,000 people believe

Email by Dr. Peter Diamandis

Greek American engineer, physician, and entrepreneur best known for being founder and chairman of the X Prize Foundation,  co-founder and executive chairman of Singularity University and coauthor of The New York Times bestsellers Abundance: The Future Is Better Than You Think and BOLD: How to Go Big, Create Wealth, and Impact the World. He is former CEO and cofounder of the Zero Gravity Corporation, cofounder and vice chairman of Space Adventures Ltd., founder and chairman of the Rocket Racing League, cofounder of the International Space University, cofounder of Planetary Resources, founder of Students for the Exploration and Development of Space, vice chairman and cofounder of Human Longevity, Inc.[2] pact the World.

Here is an email sent to me with encouraging news on the Coronavirus pandemic. This information is entirely Dr. Diamandis’ content sent to me and I thought it to be of interest to the visitors / readers of the Business Thinker, LLC .

When will the FDA approve the first vaccine? How many people (in total) will be infected by COVID-19 globally over the next year?When will the stock market (DOW) hit bottom?

(Note: If you like this blog, share it! | Facebook | Twitter | LinkedIn | Read on Diamandis.com | Or send your friends and family to this link to subscribe!)Ever hear of “Crowd Intelligence” or “Wisdom of the Crowd?” It’s a process by which a large enough group of sufficiently knowledgeable people are able to make a reasonably accurate prediction on a future outcome. he Crowd Polling” to help us answer today’s most important questions.

Ever hear of “Crowd Intelligence” or “Wisdom of the Crowd?”
It’s a process by which a large enough group of sufficiently knowledgeable people are able to make a reasonably accurate prediction on a future outcome.
Whether in predicting election outcomes, economic trends, sports results, or even terrorist activity, crowdsourced wisdom has time and again matched or (often) outperformed expert predictions.
Starting in the early 2010s, a project sponsored by the U.S. Director of National Intelligence — the Good Judgment Project — demonstrated that 3,000 moderately informed minds could together outperform even the top foreign policy experts or CIA analysts on questions ranging from Turkey’s adoption of a new constitution, to U.S.-E.U. trade deals.
“We just needed lots of people; we had very few restrictions […] We wanted people who were interested, and curious, who were moderately well-educated and at least aware enough of the world around them that they listened to the news,” explained UC Berkeley associate professor Don Moore, who co-led the project.
According to one report, when ‘super-predictors’ (crowdsourced individuals who are correct most often) are grouped in teams, these smaller ‘crowds’ can outperform agents with access to classified information by up to 30 percent.

So, welcome to FutureLoop, a platform that combines Machine Learning-driven news aggregation with “Wisdom of the Crowd Polling” to help us answer today’s most important questions.Our first question is: “What is the earliest date by which the FDA will approve the first COVID-19 Vaccine?“Click on the question to answer and participate!What is FutureLoop and how do I use it? FutureLoop uses machine learning (ML) and human intelligence (HI) in a symbiotic loop, one that iterates to produce accurate, aggregate predictions, and offers anonymized reasonings for those predictions.By anonymizing and aggregating thousands, or even millions of user-submitted predictions and justifications, FutureLoop then presents these analyses to users, allowing you to interrogate the analysis, and then update your own estimate whenever you change your mind.Users can also vote on the reasons provided by other users for their predictions (a crowd-filtering layer that helps us understand why people lean the way they do).These upvoted predictions and reasons, in turn, get put at the top of the heap, alerting all users of the latest crowdsourced opinions.

Join the LoopJoin FutureLoop: Over the past 2 years, I’ve built a machine-learning algorithm that scrapes the world’s news, science journals and social feeds every day to understand how exponential technologies are impacting specific topics & industries. It’s called FutureLoop. I was getting ready to share it publicly, but the current crisis has changed my plans.Last week, I launched FutureLoop Pandemic Special Edition,” a daily comprehensive update on the impact of exponential technologies (AI, Robotics, Drones, Cellular Medicine, CRISPR, Networks & Sensors) on the COVID-19 pandemic.If you participate, FutureLoop will update you every day on the latest breakthroughs in detection, prevention & cure of the COVID-19. This product is still in Beta, but it’s powerful, high-quality info, and it’s free.Your mindset is your most important tool during this pandemic. Making sure you are consuming the right information is critical to maintaining that mindset. FutureLoop offers “Data-Driven Optimism.”You can subscribe here. It’s free, fun + fast (20 seconds).(Note: If you like this blog, share it! | Facebook | Twitter | LinkedIn | Read on Diamandis.com | Or send your friends and family to this link to subscribe!)
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Some Good News About The COVID-19 Pandemic

Email by Peter Diamandis
Greek American engineer, physician, and entrepreneur best known for being founder and chairman of the X Prize Foundation,  co-founder and executive chairman of Singularity University and coauthor of The New York Times bestsellers Abundance: The Future Is Better Than You Think and BOLD: How to Go Big, Create Wealth, and Impact the World. He is former CEO and cofounder of the Zero Gravity Corporation, cofounder and vice chairman of Space Adventures Ltd., founder and chairman of the Rocket Racing League, cofounder of the International Space University, cofounder of Planetary Resources, founder of Students for the Exploration and Development of Space, vice chairman and cofounder of Human Longevity, Inc.[2]

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Here is an email sent to me with encouraging news on the Coronavirus pandemic. This information is entirely Dr. Diamandis’ content sent to me and I thought it to be of interest to the visitors / readers of the Business Thinker, LLC .

____________________________________________________________________

How about some good news for a change?

There have been A LOT of facts going around regarding COVID-19, and a flurry of “positive news” items to lift our spirits.

Here are a number of major victories from the Pandemic line. I’ve had my team fact-check these wins with links you can follow up on.

Continue reading Some Good News About The COVID-19 Pandemic

Some Good News About The COVID-19 Pandemic

Email by Peter Diamandis
Greek American engineer, physician, and entrepreneur best known for being founder and chairman of the X Prize Foundation,  co-founder and executive chairman of Singularity University and coauthor of The New York Times bestsellers Abundance: The Future Is Better Than You Think and BOLD: How to Go Big, Create Wealth, and Impact the World. He is former CEO and cofounder of the Zero Gravity Corporation, cofounder and vice chairman of Space Adventures Ltd., founder and chairman of the Rocket Racing League, cofounder of the International Space University, cofounder of Planetary Resources, founder of Students for the Exploration and Development of Space, vice chairman and cofounder of Human Longevity, Inc.[2]

_____________________________________________________________________

Here is an email sent to me with encouraging news on the Coronavirus pandemic. This information is entirely Dr. Diamandis’ content sent to me and I thought it to be of interest to the visitors / readers of the Business Thinker, LLC .

____________________________________________________________________

How about some good news for a change?

There have been A LOT of facts going around regarding COVID-19, and a flurry of “positive news” items to lift our spirits.

Here are a number of major victories from the Pandemic line. I’ve had my team fact-check these wins with links you can follow up on.

Continue reading Some Good News About The COVID-19 Pandemic

An Economic Model

Dr. John Psarouthakis
Executive Editor

This is the introduction of a paper of mine published in a related journal that I will post in the Business Thinker when that can be done. The title of this article is “An Economic Model of Government Expenditures and Economic Development” The journal is Economics and Finance Notes.

The economy is a complex system in which firms, households  and government interact to determine the process of wealth creation and,ultimately, the economic well-being of the nation. Economic theory has traditionally focused on the analysis of each subsystem (firms, households and government), however it has created a high controversy in the study of the complete system behavior, as well as the relevant role of the government in the macroeconomic context. Despite this controversy, firms and governments share certain objectives. Both are social organizations created to add value for stakeholders and voters through, at least, reducing transaction costs in the economy.

Poor performance of governments tend to generate negative externalities for the economy (or higher transaction costs) that are reflected in macroeconomic variables such as output, involuntary unemployment, slowdown of profitability and capital creation and/or utilization, and increase in inflation. In other words, the economic performance of the overall system depends significantly on the government involvement needed to reduce transaction costs given the characteristics of the economy.

Continue reading An Economic Model