Corporate Strategy

96. New Format, No Time

October 31, 2023 The Corporate Strategy Group Season 3 Episode 35
96. New Format, No Time
Corporate Strategy
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Corporate Strategy
96. New Format, No Time
Oct 31, 2023 Season 3 Episode 35
The Corporate Strategy Group

Ready to challenge the status quo? Discover why tech staff are striking over a return to office, and how unions are playing a crucial role in this shift as we embark on our first of many discussions about the latest happenings in the corporate world. We also take you through the emerging hybrid work situations, their perks, and the underlying challenges – and as a bonus, we reveal some strategies to manage your work-life balance, especially if you're in a cross-time-zone role.

Ever wondered how the tussle between CMOs and CEOs impact corporate decisions? Curious about the implications of EU's data collection practices on Meta and the litigation between Mark Zuckerberg and the Irish data privacy commissioner? We've got you covered. In our deep-dive, we unpack these issues and more. We also share our thoughts on Apple's controversial switch to USB-C and Simon Sinek's perspective on the role of CEOs in the modern corporate world. Plus, we question if C-level executives truly understand customer needs and ponder over the future of an ad-free, subscription-based model for Meta apps. Tune in to join the conversation and gain insights into the intricate world of corporate strategy.

Everything Corporate Strategy:
All the links!

Elevator Music by Julian Avila
Promoted by MrSnooze

Don't forget ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ it helps!

Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Ready to challenge the status quo? Discover why tech staff are striking over a return to office, and how unions are playing a crucial role in this shift as we embark on our first of many discussions about the latest happenings in the corporate world. We also take you through the emerging hybrid work situations, their perks, and the underlying challenges – and as a bonus, we reveal some strategies to manage your work-life balance, especially if you're in a cross-time-zone role.

Ever wondered how the tussle between CMOs and CEOs impact corporate decisions? Curious about the implications of EU's data collection practices on Meta and the litigation between Mark Zuckerberg and the Irish data privacy commissioner? We've got you covered. In our deep-dive, we unpack these issues and more. We also share our thoughts on Apple's controversial switch to USB-C and Simon Sinek's perspective on the role of CEOs in the modern corporate world. Plus, we question if C-level executives truly understand customer needs and ponder over the future of an ad-free, subscription-based model for Meta apps. Tune in to join the conversation and gain insights into the intricate world of corporate strategy.

Everything Corporate Strategy:
All the links!

Elevator Music by Julian Avila
Promoted by MrSnooze

Don't forget ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ it helps!

Speaker 1:

All right let me pull up my notes here, because I got notes.

Speaker 2:

Wow, it's like the first time I know 95 episodes We've had notes.

Speaker 1:

I can't even handle the amount of preparation that has happened here today. It's kind of gross. Do you feel dirty? I do, I do.

Speaker 2:

You're a little dirty for how prepared we are right now. Did you read the show notes? Oh, I read them all, right? Okay, good, because you have stuff to do. Oh, don't do that. I mean, you color coded it for me, so if I can't figure this out, yeah, you're done, okay.

Speaker 1:

All right, post fresh Clark. Welcome back to corporate strategy, the podcast. That could have been an email. I'm Bruce and I'm post fresh Clark and, as we were hinting in the pre show, that might or might not make it into the cut. We have a new format we're doing today and we're going to give it a roll and see how it go.

Speaker 2:

We're trying to be consistent for the people. Yes, we're trying to give you guys some consistent stuff, because we kind of bounce all over the place and that's kind of fun. But you know, if you hate this format and you like the old format of randomness, that's fine too. So you guys tell us.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, you got to. This is a feedback driven show, so we're trying something structured. We're going to see how it works. Let's dive right into our first section, called vibe check. We've been doing it since day one. How you doing, clark?

Speaker 2:

This one is just a natural yeah, a natural vibe check. You know, this one isn't bad. This one's always what we do every single show we got to hop on and just see how we're doing. Uh-huh I'm doing pretty good yeah.

Speaker 1:

And we actually saw each other this weekend.

Speaker 2:

We did. Maybe that's why I feel so good. We saw each other in person, face to face.

Speaker 1:

Bubba tea.

Speaker 2:

Oh yeah, we got some Bubba tea, some really good food, some Asian cuisine. It was delicious, yeah. So maybe that just kicked off the weekend, right, because today I'm feeling pretty high energy. Yeah, I'm feeling really productive so far. Good, I felt like I've pretty much knocked everything off my to-do list and I'm not super overwhelmed. How about you? What?

Speaker 1:

I know, depending on how the meeting that happens in 30 minutes plays out, and then another meeting on Wednesday, I could be on top of the world. Whoa, wait, wait, wait, you're going to switch over, live from my shoulders.

Speaker 2:

Oh my goodness, that's a big meeting. I'm excited for you.

Speaker 1:

It's literally because this effort I've been working on for the last four months will not die and I think it's finally going to reach its logical conclusion. So I would love for us to just be done, and then I'll just be happy to do my regular job. I'll be so happy. I'll be so happy to do my work.

Speaker 2:

Well, godspeed, thank you. I hope the next 30 minute meeting makes your whole week a joy.

Speaker 1:

I hope so too, but for now I'm optimistic Good.

Speaker 2:

Glad to hear it. Yeah, other than the only thing that sucks I got a few meetings tonight. Boof gross, I know. I got to work till the end of the day, I got an interview coming up and then I got to hop on late, talk to folks around the world and work in that. What's that stupid corporate phrase? Follow the sun, maulah's sun.

Speaker 1:

How many night meetings do you have a week?

Speaker 2:

Usually it's only two and so I try to augment it with like hopping up earlier, hopping on late. Lately it's been like four, but I try to stack them. Your tip I'm going to hop right into the tips for the freshers out there, maybe not so freshers Try to stack. If you work internationally, try to stack them all on the same night. I would much rather be interrupted one night and just living night of hell than the whole week having the same situation. If you hop off the regular work, you get home from work and then you have to hop on another call. Stack them on one night, make one night miserable and the rest of the week good.

Speaker 2:

How many of those meetings can I have in an email? You know it's hard to say Because a lot of the times you know you are working with people who don't speak the same language, right, right. So cultural differences you have to keep in mind language differences where you need a translator, things that you think translate don't translate well. Basically, some people just take it through Google Translate and it just turns into gibberish and so it's really hard. It's really hard without a translator who actually knows their stuff.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, that is rough.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, so it's somewhat unavoidable, but you just got to manage it right. Communicate with your manager, let them know. Hey, I'm hopping off early because I got like four hours of meetings tonight, so I'm taking a half day. And as long as you communicate it, set the right expectations, everybody's fine.

Speaker 1:

I know I would not, but that's me.

Speaker 2:

We know you're five o'clock. You're out of here.

Speaker 1:

We got it.

Speaker 2:

You got this, clark. Oh, this is me. Oh, okay, you want me to lead a section. Okay, you're giving me a lot more responsibility.

Speaker 1:

I gave Clark responsibility and I was wondering if you were going to be here in this lecture and draw it. It wasn't highlighted. I'm like a trained monkey.

Speaker 2:

If it's not highlighted, then I don't know that I'm supposed to introduce it. It's blue, you're blue, yeah, but the section title wasn't. I just assumed you were leading all of them.

Speaker 1:

Oh no, I'm giving you leading responsibility now. Congratulations.

Speaker 2:

Nobody wants this, including our listeners. Do I have to read this exact one? Let's touch base with the latest paradigm shift. Shall we deep dive into the news? You even made transitions for me. I hate it. I did.

Speaker 1:

I gave you transitions.

Speaker 2:

You're welcome, but no, this is a good one. I actually think we always take news happening in the corporate world and we kind of touch on it here and there, mix it into whatever topic we're talking about that day. But I actually think it's important that we highlight news every week, because there are some crazy news out there. I just read titles of articles and I'm like this could be a whole episode. This is insane what I just read. I think it's worthy to have a quick segment where we just talk about news. Maybe we'll come up with a better title than news, but I think it'll be fun to cover a couple I agree, I got some.

Speaker 1:

You want to go first? You want me to go first?

Speaker 2:

You go first. By the way, we did not review any of this. We have a list of top it, we have a list of the show notes, but we do not understand anything. Anyone's going to bring up it's going to be fun, totally blind.

Speaker 1:

I'm sure we have the same exact news reports. It's going to be great. New York Times has reported that tech staff is striking over return to office. Ooh, I don't have that. See this? No, they haven't reported it. The New York Times tech staff sorry, the New York Times tech staff is striking over return to office. The interesting thing here is, if you're a reporter and you're working for a large organization that does journalism and you're covering the tech beat, chances are you don't really need to be in an office with your peers. You need to be obviously going to various tech firms, and if you're meeting and talking to people on the street, yeah, duh, but for the most part, why would a tech writer need to go back to office? So they're striking. Good on them. We've talked about striking in a previous episode with Keelan all about unions and the importance thereof, but I guess this move to return to office was not cleared with the union, so they're putting down a warning to do a little strike and then it's going to get bigger.

Speaker 2:

Keelan is shaking in her boots right now. He knows you can't do that.

Speaker 1:

She told us Yep, can't do that yeah.

Speaker 2:

Well, I mean good for them, One for being unionized, but two for, like, standing up for something that doesn't make any sense. Agree.

Speaker 1:

Man Return to office is going to be a big one. Yeah, we're going to see a lot of news in the next few months on that, because all the fang mang, whatever the acronym is now metap apple alphabet, whatever they're all starting to do return to office, and I just don't think you need it in tech.

Speaker 2:

You just don't. Yeah, it's a tough situation. I mean, I do think there's. I've said this on previous episodes. I am pro to doing a hybrid, but only when it makes sense, like I do. I do get energy when I'm working with my team, with people. I feel like we collaborate better. Less people are multitasking. I think there's pros, but I think I could also do everything I do now remotely and that's why remote jobs exist. Like I don't think there's.

Speaker 2:

I think I just get to get different energy, and it's refreshing for me to be around people because that's my nature, but I would not want to do that every single day of the week. So I totally agree with you. I wonder if, though, the the intersection of all the layoffs that are happening in tech and the force and you go back to the office, like a lot of people are going to have to concede if they can't find, because remote work is going to get high or less, less and less available, so supplies can go down and demand is just going to grow and getting those types of jobs is going to be harder and harder. Some people are going to have to face the facts and probably go back to the office.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I, I see that strongly being correlated and it worries me as a remote worker for a long time now. I just you know from what I've seen in the market right now there's not a lot of remote jobs for people like me. It's a, it's a serious concern and I'll just leave it at that. Yeah, yeah.

Speaker 2:

Sorry to hear it. Yeah, find a good place that. You know there's some some sort of hybrid situation. But the thing is, too, is even though I'm hybrid, I never know I could just switch one day. We're like every day back in the office like you never know what's going to happen. Luckily it's pretty flexible right now. So you know, some days I just decide not to go in, when technically I should be in. I tell my team the same thing. I'm like if you can do your work from home and you don't need to come in, then don't come in. What's the point? But if I ask you to come in, come in.

Speaker 1:

I mean the big thing for me, and this is like this is kind of a sad truth, the truth about going into an office you lose an hour in driving, just if you're lucky it's gone Right, like that would be an hour I'm working at home Right. But the hard truth is people cannot control themselves in an office. I think when people would come into my office and talk to me and be like oh, what do you think about this? Oh, like you're wasting my time, you're wasting your time, you're wasting the company's time and I'm not getting things done. And then when you have to go to in office meetings, like right now, if the meeting is bullcrap, I can multitask Right. You can't tell that I'm actually working on the things that are important and ignoring your stupid meeting.

Speaker 1:

But when you're in a room together it's much harder to do that, because suddenly looking at your laptop isn't acceptable. You have to look at the person presenting. It is just a huge hit to all forms of productivity for hard workers and it's it's funny that they think the whole return to office is going to increase productivity. But people who actually do nonstop work when they're at their desk it is a huge hit and I don't like. I don't know what they're thinking is going to happen, but it just kills people like me, yeah.

Speaker 2:

I 100% agree with you, especially for, like, software engineers. Yeah, your whole point of you working needs to be heads down. You got to be focused. You're holding onto so many different things in your head and the context is so important Like it takes time to get into that context of the problem. You're working on the code base, you're working on whatever Like. To be constantly interrupted just totally ruins the ruins the focus that you have and you will be less effective. 100% agree with that, yep.

Speaker 1:

It's a crime, but it's going to happen.

Speaker 2:

You know you're going to do the crime. You got to do the time, yeah, yeah.

Speaker 1:

That's awful it is. It's just awful for me. I hate doing it.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, yeah, I'm going to cover, let's just do. I'll do one more and then we can see what else we come up with after this. You know what the Streisand effect is, right? Yes, Of course. So some people you know. If you don't know exactly what the Streisand effect is, it's basically you know, if you're trying, if you, if I think that the formal definition I found in the article a phenomenon which, in which an attempt to sensor, hide or otherwise draw attention away from something only serves to attract more attention to it, and I think in correct me if I'm wrong, because you're much more culturally adept than I am, Bruce but basically this is because of, like Barbara Streisand, at one point you know somebody like took pictures of her home or something, and then she like posted and she was like, why are people taking pictures of my home? Which only led more people to basically go look at her home and find pictures of her home.

Speaker 1:

Yes, that is. You 100% nailed the Streisand effect, clark, both in what it is and how it came to be.

Speaker 2:

That's hilarious. Well, it's actually funny because I was just talking about some website updates and I was trying to think about like key performance indicators to this type of update and I was making a joke because I was like, well, people probably won't click this button if you make it say don't click this button. But then I thought about it. I'm like this is the Streisand effect People are going to click the button because it says don't click the button.

Speaker 1:

I would. I would just click that button ceaselessly because you told me not to.

Speaker 2:

Exactly Like that's just human nature to be interested in something that, yeah, you don't know what it is and that's right. And somebody tells you not to do something, you're going to do it.

Speaker 1:

Right, it's just reverse. Psychology 101. Easy, get me to do something 100%.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, just tell me not to do it. I'll probably do it. But the reason this is important is because this article came out about some FinTech company who, basically the CEO like publicly sent a letter to every customer. So FinTech CEO said I'm going to send a letter, probably an email, not a carrier, not a handwritten.

Speaker 1:

Not a handwritten letter.

Speaker 2:

He sent an email to every all of his customers to talk about some bad press that they had, apparently due to some allegation of sexual abuse. So he reached out to every single customer and basically said hey, we're getting some bad press and it's due to sexual abuse. And here are some of the details and basically everyone's just like what are you doing, man? Like you don't air out your dirty laundry. No, and I was curious because this is why I want to bring it up I wanted to ask your perspective. Do you actually like that he did this? He's just being open and honest about stuff happening in the organization or do you think it's stupid? I think they interviewed one of the board members and they're like it was just a weird move, like why would you do that?

Speaker 1:

So I'm going to give two examples here, because this is something I actually strongly believe in is owning your mistakes and being open about it. But then there is when your mistake is a crime. This is not just like hey, I accidentally did this, hey, I accidentally forgot to send out the follow up email and we dropped the ball in the sale. Like that's something you should own up to. It's like my mistake. I've come up with a solution how we're going to fix in the future. We're going to roll that out.

Speaker 2:

Work for your customers, like if you break their release or something like hey, sorry, we fixed it. You had a little bit of an outage, like no big deal, you're good, explain it.

Speaker 1:

It's a crime, yeah, when it's an actual crime, especially against another human being, let the lawyers do that. One, because all you're going to do is put yourself in more legal trouble. And two, just don't. Just don't. It's just a bad look. It looks like you're fishing for any kind of sympathy at this point.

Speaker 2:

What good comes? And also, the thing is, is their allegations? These are confirmed. Yeah, so he's just airing out and everyone's now paying attention. They're like what is he talking about? There's sexual abuse of this company and it must be a big scandal. So like he's just drawing all this attention to the issue even though it may not even be a fact.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, that's a real bad one. I don't like that.

Speaker 2:

I have one last quick one, one last quick news that I think is hilarious and I didn't want to do it, but I have to say it. Did you hear that President Biden is issuing executive order to set standards for AI safety and security? No, way. The government is trying to regulate AI. Boom, boom, boom.

Speaker 1:

Well, that will fail because the government doesn't even understand how the internet works. I mean they think it's a big truck right, like, yeah, this is not going to end.

Speaker 2:

Well, you and I are on the same page. Like, yeah, to be fair, I think this, the precedent, is good. Like I agree there should be regulations for safety and security, because AI is going to be able to exploit people's data you know more than any other era in history, so I like the thought, but the governing body being the government is not going to go. Well, I mean, if you've watched, go and watch any of the privacy regulation, like litigation that's happening against Meta or Google or anything like that and just listen to how the questions that congressmen ask the like you know, zuckerbergs or Musks of the world, or jobs right, those historical ones it's embarrassing.

Speaker 1:

Those are the questions.

Speaker 2:

They don't understand how technology works at all.

Speaker 1:

It's super embarrassing. It makes us look just idiotic as a country, because the other piece of news I had, so I'm just going to bring this up, let's do it. Let's do it. Talking about this, meta is now using or offering an ad free option to Europeans, because the European Union actually does seem to be a little bit more tech savvy than our local US government has come down pretty hard on data collection practices and advertising from social media companies like Meta, and their solution is to offer an ad free version of Facebook and Instagram for $9.99 a month on the web or $12.99 on your phone. Oh my gosh, it's a subscription. It's a subscription for ad free Meta apps, and that's embarrassing. Of course, of course, again, the European Union seems to know a little bit more about what's going on in the world, and the American government and the American companies continue to make everyone's lives a little bit more miserable. It's great yeah.

Speaker 2:

I mean, I get, their business model is fueled by ad revenue. Right, that's how they make money, right, and taking away ads obviously depletes the revenue, but still like, oh man, a subscription model to get rid of ads. I mean, I guess you're paying for the service. You know, maybe we can't be so mad.

Speaker 1:

Did you know Ireland's data privacy commissioner find Meta 390 million euros earlier this year for its use of online activity for ads? Did he win? They got fined, so yeah.

Speaker 2:

Oh, they settled. Ok, they got fined. Oh, they just got fined. You won't settle.

Speaker 1:

When you're fined, you just pay the. It's like you know a speeding ticket, but you know when a government throws a speeding ticket at a company, they're not to pay. I mean, they could lawyer up, but I don't think you win against Ireland. Yeah, fair enough.

Speaker 2:

You know you got it. You're on a good point, though, Like the whole USB-C thing. Like Apple just got rid of lightning and went to USB standard is because the European standard Right. They said hey, we're not selling your phones here unless you conform to this standard, because it's stupid that you have your own custom thing. And look at that. They forced Apple to change, yeah.

Speaker 1:

So they do know what they're doing and I love the fact that that phone has a USB-C. Now I know I bought that phone.

Speaker 2:

I don't want it. I'm totally going to buy it, though I'm excited about it.

Speaker 1:

I was very happy to chuck my old phone, so I don't like buying new phones. I've had to do it way too much in the last few years, but yeah.

Speaker 2:

I want the USB-C. Yep, I'm excited about it too. And last note on this yeah, go and watch the litigation between like Zuckerberg. It's just insane. Like the last questions are like but how do you get the data from my phone into your databases? And basically Zuckerberg is like it's the internet, like everything goes through the cloud. And he's like but that's a cloud, this is in my hand on my phone. It's like holy cow. They have zero idea of how technology works. And it's got to be so frustrating to be I mean, granted, you're Musk and Zuckerberg, but either way, it's got to be so frustrating to have to stand in front of litigators and just waste your life away talking about how technology works.

Speaker 1:

Yep, completely. It's maddening because I don't like either side in this case. Yeah, like both sides are out to do something a little bit shady, but one side is much more educated than the other is, so it's a. It's a whole thing. We got seven minutes left and we've got two more sections of the show slated for 10 to 30 minutes, so I'm going to rip through the topic for today.

Speaker 1:

This is actually an extension of one of our news pieces. I read this article earlier and it was from the Wall Street Journal. It's called the divide between CMOs and CEOs is growing and if you read the article, it's actually very interesting. It's. It's talking about how CEOs see things from a very strategic and business perspective, but CMOs, because they're attached to things like email, open rates and messaging and and how companies are viewed by their customers. They're more in tune and in line to make decisions. And the funny thing about this article I'm not going to read every point and statistic is I agree, while also disagreeing on the whole, because I do think the CMO probably does know more than the CEO, just based on adjacency to customer. Yeah, you're closer to customer. That's what I was thinking. My disagreement comes from both of these roles do not know enough period.

Speaker 1:

And there was actually a really cool video. If you've ever looked at Simon Sinek before, he's a very enlightened marketer. I like him a lot. I follow him. He's one of the few like business professional type people I actually really respect. But he was saying that CEOs are paid as much as they are, or good CEOs are paid as much as they are because their job is to fall in the sword when things go wrong and their job is to elevate the worker when things go right and celebrate them. I've never seen that in my life. I don't think that CEO exists, but I really like his his intent with saying that. Yeah, the issue I have here is that all of the C level execs seem to struggle with actually knowing what the customer wants, and I thought we could spend less than five minutes now talking about that.

Speaker 2:

Oh man, yeah, so much to unpack there. Yeah, unpack it please. Yeah, I mean, it's hard. It's like if you're the founder, there's like a difference between a CEO who came in like let's, let's take an example. Yeah, musk taking over Twitter.

Speaker 2:

Right, or Tesla Like yeah, or Tesla yeah, he steps in, he's not the founder. So now he's got to step into a company that was profitable it was growing hockey stick like growth and he's got to continue to have the returns that a public company would have to have. You know people are looking at it and saying, oh yeah, great. You know Twitter's growing at X percentage and revenue is growing by X percentage and his boss, which is the board, and you know the shareholders, they're going to want to continue to see the same return.

Speaker 2:

But when you're not the founder and you're not like, you don't have all that historical knowledge, you don't have, like, the understanding of who the customer is, and you're a CEO who's stepping in, that's a real tough deal. That's like come in and take over and provide the same level of growth. Like, yeah, look what he's done with Tesla. I mean, at least Twitter like it's not necessarily growing. I haven't I don't have any numbers near me to back that up, but I would assume I think Twitter has actually been declining due to a lot of the changes he's made.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, and every single change that he rolls out continues to make a decline further.

Speaker 2:

Right, right. So I mean I think, if you still have like one of the original CMO people or just the CMO in general, like the CEO should be spending a lot of time with the CMO to understand who is the customer, how are we getting traction, like they are talking to your customers? So it's me like they should be attached at the hip and the CEO, even though they have to make those big decisions and all that, it's like they should know exactly what the CMO knows and more.

Speaker 1:

What I would like to see is and unfortunately we're just running out of time very quickly an organization where the leadership relies on the people who are closest to the customer your sales engineers, your product managers, the ones who are talking to them every day and they are enabling them to take risks, to gather feedback, to really move towards customer satisfaction, ensuring they get what they want, building a strategy around long term ideas and things that customers are leaning towards. That is the kind of leadership I would love to see. I think the issue is they're so often brought in as being counters and job slashers that it doesn't matter which C level you are CRO, ceo, cmo, cto all of them are just there to bring up the bottom line a little bit.

Speaker 2:

It's a tragedy. I try to show the same numbers that were previously reported, that they're sure hold the bottom line. That's all they care about Growth and under costs. Exactly, it's not about anything else. I think it's interesting maybe another topic for another day because we had a time I was listening to Jensen.

Speaker 2:

The guy is the CEO of NVIDIA and he took over, but he was talking about roles and responsibilities in the workplace. He's like titles don't matter and we don't do top down hierarchy because basically what it does is it creates perceived power because someone's a manager of you. They're just closer to information that you're just not near that information. It's not your fault, you don't know. They're perceived to have more power because they know we run our company like we're a computer. Inputs come in, outputs go out. Whoever can do the best at whatever it is we're trying to do should do it. It doesn't matter of role or title or anything like that. We structure everything like you're a computer component. If you're really good at your thing, you continue doing your thing. If you're not, you go do something else.

Speaker 1:

I love it. I think that's a good note to end on. We're going to screw the rest of our format because I have to go right now. If you want to find out more about us corporatestrategybiz, the Biz, dance for Business, b-i-z. Check it out. We've got a newsletter, discord, all kinds of fun things Get in there. We will get you another episode this week because this was a quick hit Until then. As always, thanks for listening. I'm Bruce. I'm Clark. You're on Mute. We'll touch base with you next week.

New Format and Work Challenges Introduction
The Importance of Highlighting Corporate News
CMOs and CEOs in Decision Making