Weekly Pulse by William Meller | Week 05, 2023

The Weekly Pulse is my content curation and my highlights from readings, books, podcasts, insights, and everything I discovered during the week.
The Weekly Pulse is my content curation and my highlights from readings, books, podcasts, insights, and everything I discovered during the week.

So, let’s go with some discoveries from the week!

#1 – The Five Competitive Forces That Shape Strategy
#2 – How Diffusion Models Work
#3 – How Do DALL·E 2, Stable Diffusion, and Midjourney Work?
#4 – Why Are There So Many Tech Layoffs?
#5 – Give Yourself a Break


The Five Competitive Forces That Shape Strategy

Source: Harvard Business Review
Author: Michael E. Porter

Summary: Awareness of the five forces can help a company understand the structure of its industry and stake out a position that is more profitable and less vulnerable to attack. In this article, Porter undertakes a thorough reaffirmation and extension of his classic work of strategy formulation, which includes substantial new sections showing how to put the five forces analysis into practice.

3 Highlights:

“… You identify game-changing trends early, so you can swiftly exploit them. And you spot ways to work around constraints on profitability—or even reshape the forces in your favor…

“… The five forces reveal why industry profitability is what it is. Only by understanding them can a company incorporate industry conditions into its strategy…

“… By analyzing all five competitive forces, you gain a complete picture of what’s influencing profitability in your industry…” 

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How Diffusion Models Work

Source: AI Summer
Author: Sergios Karagiannakos and Nikolas Adaloglou

Summary: Diffusion models are a new class of state-of-the-art generative models that generate diverse high-resolution images. They have already attracted a lot of attention after OpenAI, Nvidia and Google managed to train large-scale models. Example architectures that are based on diffusion models are GLIDE, DALLE-2, Imagen, and the full open-source stable diffusion. But what is the main principle behind them?

3 Highlights:

“… Diffusion models are fundamentally different from all the previous generative methods. Intuitively, they aim to decompose the image generation process (sampling) in many small “denoising” steps…“ 

“… To acquire good results with cascaded architectures, strong data augmentations on the input of each super-resolution model are crucial. Why? Because it alleviates compounding error from the previous cascaded models, as well as due to a train-test mismatch…“ 

“… To sample new data, we approximate the reverse diffusion process using a neural network…” 

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How Do DALL·E 2, Stable Diffusion, and Midjourney Work?

Source: MarktechPost
Author: Arham Islam

Summary: Over the last few years, many advancements have been made in Artificial Intelligence (AI), and one of the new additions to AI is AI Image Generator. It is a tool capable of converting an input statement into a picture or painting. There are many options for text-to-image AI tools, but the ones that stand out are DALLE 2, Stable Diffusion, and Midjourney.

3 Highlights:

“… DALL·E 2 is an AI program created by OpenAI that creates images from textual descriptions. Using more than 10 billion parameter training versions of the GPT-3 transformer model…“ 

“… Stable Diffusion is a text-to-image model that uses a frozen CLIP ViT-L/14 text encoder to tune the model at text prompts. It separates the imaging process into a “diffusion” process at runtime- it starts with only noise and gradually improves the image until it is entirely free of noise, progressively approaching the provided text description…“ 

“… Midjourney is another AI-powered tool that generates images from user prompts. MidJourney is proficient at adapting actual art styles to create an image of any combination of things the user wants...” 

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Why Are There So Many Tech Layoffs?

Source: Stanford
Author: Melissa de Witte

Summary: As layoffs in the tech sector mount, Stanford Graduate School of Business Professor Jeffrey Pfeffer is worried. Research – by him, and others – has shown that the stress layoffs create takes a devastating toll on behavioral and physical health and increases mortality and morbidity substantially. Layoffs literally kill people, he said.

3 Highlights:

“… Did Meta overhire? Probably. But is that why they are laying people off? Of course not. Meta has plenty of money. These companies are all making money. They are doing it because other companies are doing it…“ 

“… They kill people in a number of ways. Layoffs increase the odds of suicide by two and a half times…“ 

“… Unhealthy stress leads to a variety of behaviors such as smoking and drinking more, drug taking, and overeating. Stress is also related to addiction, and layoffs of course increase stress…” 

Access full Weekly Pulse reading here >>


Give Yourself a Break

Source: Harvard Business Review
Author: Serena Chen

Summary: When we experience a setback at work, we tend to either become defensive and blame others or berate ourselves. Research shows that we should respond instead with self-compassion. Self-compassion boosts performance by triggering the “growth mindset”—the belief that improvement is achievable through dedication and hard work.

3 Highlights:

“… “When you have a setback at work, treat yourself as you would a friend: with kindness and understanding…“ 

“… First, they are kind rather than judgmental about their own failures and mistakes; second, they recognize that failures are a shared human experience; and third, they take a balanced approach to negative emotions when they stumble or fall short—they allow themselves to feel bad, but they don’t let negative emotions take over…“ 

“… Self-compassion triggers people to adopt a growth mindset…” 

Access full Weekly Pulse reading here >>


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