I was very concerned to read a recent article in the Washington Post about the resignation of Leidos COO Stuart Shea. According to the article, Shea’s resignation may be linked to the ongoing decline in the company’s revenues and profits.
Leidos reported an 18% drop in fourth quarter revenues from 2012 to 2013, and a 75% drop in fourth quarter profit from 2012 to 2013. I am disappointed with these financial results and hope that they are a temporary aberration. I also hope that the split up of SAIC into two separate companies has not had a negative effect on the ability of Leidos to win new business, and to make a profit on the business that it has.
As you know, ICANN and the Internet have been in the news lately. It seems that there is a move within the Obama administration to transfer responsibility for the domain name system from ICANN to some as-yet unnamed international body.
I personally do not think this is a good idea. While our own Congress is not currently a very good model of democracy in action, and the administration seems to be stuck in neutral, I doubt that some UN-type group is going to do a better job governing the domain name system. In fact, it may do far worse.
Of course, there are no guarantees either way, because ICANN has its own problems. As Esther Dyson, founding chairperson of ICANN, said in an interview for our book, Names, Numbers, and Network Solutions, “We over-regulated some stuff, and we under-regulated other stuff. We got everybody to despise us. We didn’t listen. And, unfortunately, it hasn’t gotten much better since.”
Mike Daniels, my coauthor on Names, Numbers, and Network Solutions, has been busy being interviewed in the media because of this possible shift in Internet governance. As the book describes, we were very much involved in the evolution of the domain name system and the development of ICANN and other Internet organizations, so Mike is a valuable source of information about this time in the Internet’s history.
Mike was interviewed on March 27 about governance of the domain name system by Jim Blasingame on Small Business Radio. Here are links to the three interviews:
- Internet pioneer reviews the history of Internet governance — Mike Daniels joins Jim Blasingame to report on the history and success of more than 40 years of successful Internet governance by the U.S., and why it should remain that way.
- Why transferring Internet control is a dangerous idea — Mike Daniels joins Jim Blasingame to reveal why the Obama administration’s plan to divest U.S. control of the Internet to a multi-stakeholder entity is a dangerous idea that could have disastrous results.
- What if your business couldn’t use the Internet? — Mike Daniels joins Jim Blasingame to discuss the U.S. plan to divest control of the Internet, and how the possible unintended consequences that it could create for small business.
I was recently given a proof of the front and back covers to review for my upcoming book, The SAIC Solution 2nd Edition. I am pleased with the final result. I have included copies of both covers below. When finalized, the cover will be re-posted here and on the fed.org website such that the photo image can be enlarged.
I would like to thank all the SAIC employees, past and present, who submitted photos for the front cover. If it wasn’t for all of you — and your many thousands of coworkers — SAIC wouldn’t have been the great success story that it was.
I would also like to take the opportunity to thank those of you who submitted suggestions for a new subtitle for the book. There were many good suggestions. Ultimately, we decided on “Built by Employee Owners.” The old SAIC was definitely built by employee owners, and it made our company unique among government contractors. We were more entrepreneurial and less concerned about what Wall Street thought about us. Our goal was to do important work for our nation, and to earn a modest profit in the process. We consistently did both.
Thanks to Hugh Kendrick for suggesting the new subtitle, “Built by Employee Owners.” I would also like to thank Chet Laird, Bill Proffer, and Wayne Coleman for suggesting the subtitle “None of Us Is As Smart As All of Us.” While we didn’t use it for the book’s subtitle, we did use it as a tagline for the back cover.
As a reward for your contributions, I would like to extend an invitation for each of you to join me on my boat Solutions for lunch and an afternoon cruise on San Diego Bay. Please contact Ralph or leave a message on this blog to make arrangements.
I have been very pleased with the work that the Foundation for Enterprise Development is doing to promote the study of employee ownership in universities and schools of business. I think this work will provide decision makers with the hard data that they need to understand that employee ownership can have positive effects on their bottom lines and stock price.
We are also supporting other initiatives in engineering and the sciences. I have included a photo of the University of Michigan J. Robert Beyster Computational Innovation Graduate Fellows accompanied by my daughter Mary Ann Beyster (center). Chih-Chun Chia (former fellow from 2012-2013) is on the left, and Katherine Sebeck, current fellow (2013-2014) is on the right.
Applications are being reviewed now to select next year’s fellow. I wish all the applicants good luck.
I was pleased to receive a copy of the galley for The SAIC Solution 2nd Edition this week. I am looking forward to reading through it and making my final changes to the book.
The next step is to get the index and cover done. Once the index and cover are completed, we’ll send everything off to the publisher.
A couple of weeks after that, the book will be available for purchase. I think you will find the new material on SAIC’s board and the breakup of the company to be very interesting.
I was very pleased to hear that Mike Daniels’ presentation at UCSD’s Rady School on our book Names, Numbers, and Network Solutions was well attended. My wife Betty was able to make it, and she tells me that Mike did a good job explaining NSI’s role in the commercialization of the Internet, and the importance of public-private partnerships for advancing technology in this country.
Unfortunately, I was unable to attend, but I did have lunch with Mike when he was here and I was very happy to spend some time with him. I have included a couple of photos from the UCSD event.
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I just read an interesting article in the New Yorker magazine about the efforts to build a nuclear fusion reactor in France. From what I understand, it will be many years before scientists are able to build a viable fusion reactor, but I have no doubt that it will one day come to pass. The current project goes by the name International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER), and the article is worth a read if you have an interest in this potential power source.
Mike Daniels and Professor Vish Krishnan
Mike Daniels, Betty Beyster, and Bonnie Daniels