A path towards marketing irrelevance

With a fair amount of big drugs due to come off patent in the coming years one of the biggest casualties may go well beyond revenue to talent retention. You see when drug companies start to layoff people because of declining revenues the people that are left are not necessarily the most talented they are most often the ones who are the most politically connected, the ones who are good at kissing up and ones who are great at maintaining their empire.

Tuesday Links: It’s Toilet Day

  • It’s World Toilet Day! (A day to raise awareness about proper sanitation around the world). [Thank…

View Post

Image via Getty

Today in Book News: Hachette Book Group says it is cutting 28 positions, about 3 percent of its U.S. staff, as a “cost-savings initiative.” The news comes as the publisher is embroiled in a high-profile dispute with Amazon, which has removed the option to preorder a number of Hachette titles online. But Publishers Weekly notes that “while the timing seems to point to its fight with Amazon as a reason for the cuts, the realignment has been in the works for awhile." 

Also in the news, Stephen Colbert gives Amazon the middle finger (literally and metaphorically), Ruth Graham takes aim at adult YA fans over at Slate, and Harper Lee ends her lawsuit against a museum in her hometown of Monroeville, Ala.

Read more here.

Ebay axes 2,400 workers less than 24 hours after being cited by Obama in SOTU as economic success

Yet another one of Obama’s examples of “economic success” turns out to be not so much.

from Free Beacon:

THE POLITICO reports that President Obama, during his State of the Union address on Tuesday, gave shout outs to a number of American companies in an effort to highlight the strength of the U.S. economy. Nearly all of those companies, it turns out, are big political spenders and have contributed heavily to Democrats.

One of those companies was eBay, which Obama cited as an example of how “millions of Americans [are working] in jobs that didn’t even exist 10 or 20 years ago.” That now seems like an unfortunate choice, because less than 24 hours after Obama’s speech, eBay announced it was cutting 2,400 jobs, or about 7 percent of its workforce. Investors welcomed the layoffs, and the company’s stock jumped more than 4 percent on the news.

The company has spent millions of dollars lobbying the federal government, and has contributed mostly to Democrats over the years. Its president and CEO, John Donahoe, has donated almost exclusively to Democrats. He gave thousands to Obama’s campaign in 2012, and has contributed more than $90,000 to Democratic candidates and committees since 2006, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

read the rest

Earlier we reported that one of Obama’s guests at the State of the Union address that he cited as an economic success story turned out to be a Democrat campaign operative

Manitowoc, Wisconsin

The Manitowoc Co. is attempting to get a complete open shop. So the WI AFL-CIO, the IAM Local 516 strikers and the boilermakers who’ve been laid off and many others are supporting a solidarity rally in Manitowoc, WI this Saturday Dec. 10. The Manitowoc Co. is one of the top makers of cranes in the world and it also owns Manitowoc Ice which makes virtually all of the ice machines in hotels, motels etc. The company has operations in 26 countries and is a very big player in this market. This is a private sector version of the union-busting public-sector bill in Wisconsin.

Sign the petition supporting the striking machinists
Cuts in pharma R&D spending going to hurt patients

I find it hard to read the news about anyone loosing their job but the layoffs of R&D people lately in the drug industry is alarming and more than disappointing. Cuts in R&D mean less new drugs in development and that’s bad for consumers and the healthcare industry. It also means that the days of a lot of big drug discoveries maybe coming to an end.

Losing your job at Target Canada? There’s an app for that

For the 17,000 or so retail workers who are about to lose their job at Target, many may not have a profile on professional networking site LinkedIn. Most however do own a smartphone, a tool that Derek Szeto says will help them land on their feet with the aid of his app, Wirkn.

The latest venture from Szeto, a founder of, Wirkn is a brand new service that aims to connect local retail and service sector workers to local employers.

Szeto’s service is offering free job-hunting training and advice to displaced Target workers, in order to help displaced employees and also to grow awareness about his app, a service far better suited for hourly retail workers than a site like LinkedIn, Szeto says.

“There’s nobody really serving this group,” the Toronto-based entrepreneur said in a phone interview Monday.

Continue Reading.
Why Game Developers Keep Getting Laid Off

Take the case of Ready At Dawn, the video game studio working on the upcoming PlayStation 4 game The Order: 1866. Though the studio had found some success making God of Wargames for the PSP, they had trouble convincing publishers to buy their other prototypes, according to a person who worked there. And in July of 2010, as the studio finished off God of War: Ghost of Sparta and prepared to move onto The Order, the folks at Ready At Dawn laid off 13 people—only to re-fill those same positions back six months later. (Ready At Dawn declined to comment for this article.)

…The thought might seem silly—why get rid of developers just to replace them in a few months?—but this sort of thing happens often. And the explanation is simple, according to one ex-employee. The development team didn’t need those people for pre-production—the period of time in which the basics of a game are conceptualized and designed—so Sony, the publisher, wouldn’t pay for them. (Sony didn’t respond to requests for comment on this story.)

If you’re even considering going into the game industry, this article is something you must read.

I seem to randomly meet AAA burnouts on a regular basis, and much of what this article talks about is why people leave the industry. It’s not just a few people. It happens in droves. Funny enough, after meeting so many people burned out on the AAA cycle of layoffs and crunchmode, I’ve chosen to be an indie developer despite the enormous risks involved. If I’m going to be financially uncertain, I’d rather do it on my terms. General consensus is that something has to change. This isn’t sustainable. 

Graph of the Day: Why Deregulation Won't Fix the Economy

By Benjamin Landy

The Republican media complex has been having a field day with last month’s dismal jobs report, taking the opportunity to blame every progressive achievement of the last hundred years—from Social Security to the EPA to Medicare—for the nation’s current economic woes. The latest target in this series of straw men is government regulation, which the Heritage Foundation yesterday labeled the number one impediment to job growth.

Setting aside for the moment that it was a lack of regulation that allowed the derivatives market to wreck the economy, this claim fails to take into account the real reasons business leaders themselves have given for laying off their employees. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which conducts a yearly Mass Layoff Statistics program that requires businesses to report their reasons for firing employees, government regulation can account for only 0.2% of layoffs in 2009. A lack of business demand, on the other hand, accounted for nearly half of the 2.1 million people who lost their jobs that year. 



The reason the average unemployment rate doubled between 2007 and 2009, rising from 4.6 percent to 9.3 percent, had nothing to do with new government regulation and everything to do with the deepening financial crisis. As the above graph demonstrates, government regulations and union labor disputes (another frequent scapegoat invoked by the GOP) combined accounted for only 0.3% of layoffs in 2009. In the vast majority of cases, it was insufficient demand and low consumption—caused by the massive overhang of household debt—that forced businesses to shed employees.

Nevertheless, Republicans continue to claim that any and all government programs are ultimately “job killers.” The Heritage Foundation, among other conservative think tanks, frequently refers to a paper drafted for the Small Business Administration’s Office of Advocacy by Nicole and Mark Crain, which estimates that regulations cost the U.S. economy $1.75 trillion dollars annually. They continue to cite this figure despite a recent report, “Setting the Record Straight: The Crain and Crain Report on Regulatory Costs,” which argues that the Crain’s calculations are wildly unreliable, based largely on opinion polling and using only the upper range of estimates given by the Office of Management and Budget. In fact, according to the OMB, the total benefits of regulation in 2008—including money saved from reduced health costs and increased life spans—ranged from $153 billion to $806 billion. Those numbers are backed up by similar analysis by the EPA, which estimates, for example, that the Clean Air Act prevented 160,000 cases of premature mortality, 130,000 heart attacks, and 13 million lost work days in 2010.

Republicans’ misguided focus on eliminating such regulations, which keep our air safe to breath and water clean to drink, will not convince businesses to begin hiring again. Only by investing in our economy and infrastructure and assisting homeowners with their unprecedented household debt will we be able to increase consumer spending and get unemployed Americans back to work.