Economics

Is Detroit Moving to Silicon Valley?

As the value of an automobile moves to its electronics and cars become networked, self-driving computers, will the car industry move to the west coast? Consider: Google now logs more than 10,000 miles weekly with self-driving cars — more than a million miles to date. Most of this is Mountain View (also Austin). Nobody […]

LinkedIn

PrintFriendlyGoogle BookmarksGoogle GmailYahoo MailInstapaperPocket

EconomicsOther classics,TechnologyWoW

Early Warning Signs

Business competition is always interesting, in part because smart companies figure out how to avoid competition by specializing and differentiating their product or service. When Sun Tzu admonished his generals against assaulting walled fortresses, he understood that head-to-head competition is a sure path to a headache. Many US universities have not read their Sun Tzu: they […]

LinkedIn

PrintFriendlyGoogle BookmarksGoogle GmailYahoo MailInstapaperPocket

EconomicsMediaPolitics,WoW

Statistical Storytellers

We now collect extraordinary amounts of data from weblogs, wifi sessions, phone calls, sensors, and transactions of all kinds. The quantities are hard to imagine: we created about five exabytes of data in all of human history until 2003. We now create that much data every two days. Deriving insights from this mountain of data […]

LinkedIn

PrintFriendlyGoogle BookmarksGoogle GmailYahoo MailInstapaperPocket

EconomicsTechnology,WoW

Denial is Bigger than Amazon

Talk to a book author, publisher, or retailer about the future of their business and the denials begin. “Never before have there been so many good books to read”. “Books are the backbone of civilization”. “Life without books is unimaginable”. As a cultural argument, this may be true, but as an economic one, this is […]

LinkedIn

PrintFriendlyGoogle BookmarksGoogle GmailYahoo MailInstapaperPocket

EconomicsMediaOther classicsTechnologyWoW

Are Men Overpaid?

More women than men now graduate from college and they earn better grades. But at every level of educational attainment, men still earn more money and the gap grows larger with time. Are we systematically underpaying women? If so, why would labor markets behave that way? To some, the question is laughably simple: greedy male capitalists exploit […]

LinkedIn

PrintFriendlyGoogle BookmarksGoogle GmailYahoo MailInstapaperPocket

EconomicsPoliticsWoW

Manufacturing Myths in Palo Alto and Pittsburgh

The transition from fields to factories always mixes agony with hope. Families abandon land and traditions that often go back generations, move to cities and reset their lives from sunlight to time clocks. Mass production industries flourish for a few generations. Life is hardly a bed of roses, but it is nearly always better or […]

LinkedIn

PrintFriendlyGoogle BookmarksGoogle GmailYahoo MailInstapaperPocket

EconomicsMediaPolitics,TechnologyWoW

Store Closing: the Death of Brick and Mortar Retail

In 1997, I had an idea: if I could aggregate millions of used, rare, and out of print books from around the world on a single website, I could enable people to find and buy books that were otherwise impossible to locate. Like hundreds of others with similar ideas for selling things online, I started […]

LinkedIn

PrintFriendlyGoogle BookmarksGoogle GmailYahoo MailInstapaperPocket

EconomicsOther classics,TechnologyWoW

Memo to the New Chancellor: Saving UC Berkeley

Dear Newly Appointed Berkeley Chancellor: Congratulations! Even though as of this writing, you have not yet been named, you take over the leadership of UC Berkeley at a critical time. At the end of your tenure, the world’s premier public university will either have found a sustainable path forward or will have entered a period […]

LinkedIn

PrintFriendlyGoogle BookmarksGoogle GmailYahoo MailInstapaperPocket

EconomicsMediaPolitics,WoW

Is Amazon Inside Apple’s OODA Loop?

John Boyd was a legendary US fighter pilot during the Korean War who later became a fighter pilot instructor. He had a standing bet with his students: he would meet you in the air at 30,000 feet and you would get on his tail. He would reverse the positions and get you in his guns in […]

LinkedIn

PrintFriendlyGoogle BookmarksGoogle GmailYahoo MailInstapaperPocket

EconomicsMediaOther classicsTechnologyWoW

Lenin’s Rope: Universities Help Disrupt Universities

Lenin famously bragged that “Capitalists will sell us the rope with which we will hang them.” It would surely gall him to learn that the art of destroying capitalists with their own products has been mastered not by a militant, vanguard-led proletariat but by entrepreneurial capitalists. It appears that even universities, finally, are getting the hang of […]

LinkedIn

PrintFriendlyGoogle BookmarksGoogle GmailYahoo MailInstapaperPocket

EconomicsMediaPolitics,TechnologyWoW

Draw This…

Henry Blodget is the former head of Internet research at Merrill Lynch. (Background: once upon a time there was something called Internet research. And once upon a time there was something called Merrill Lynch).  NY Attorney General Eliot Spitzer convicted Blodget of touting stocks in public while sending emails disparaging those same securities. Spitzer was […]

LinkedIn

PrintFriendlyGoogle BookmarksGoogle GmailYahoo MailInstapaperPocket

EconomicsTechnology,WoW

Peak Apple: Understanding the Foxconn Deal

Apple has quickly raised worker wages to address the highly publicized problems with working conditions in its supplier network. The decision protects Apple’s pristine brand and costs the company next to nothing. It cleverly exploits the high-minded principles and low-level economic literacy of those of us who are its devoted customers. A series of well-researched […]

LinkedIn

PrintFriendlyGoogle BookmarksGoogle GmailYahoo MailInstapaperPocket

EconomicsPolitics,Technology

Will Technology Burst Higher Education’s Bubble?

Imagine a market with incumbents whose core processes are unchanged since medieval times that is held together by huge federal subsidies and protected by a system of self-accreditation designed to exclude rivals. Imagine that the resulting enterprises exploited their monopoly power by overcharging customers and wasting the revenue that resulted on guaranteeing senior employees lifetime […]

LinkedIn

PrintFriendlyGoogle BookmarksGoogle GmailYahoo MailInstapaperPocket

EconomicsMediaPolitics,TechnologyWoW

Whatever Happened to the United Farmworkers?

On New Year’s Day, a friend mentioned that Frank Bardacke had published his long-anticipated history of the rise and fall of Cesar Chavez and the United Farmworkers. It was worth the wait, he assured me and “completely stunning. Just get it and read it. You won’t put it down.” He was right. Bardacke, a respected […]

LinkedIn

PrintFriendlyGoogle BookmarksGoogle GmailYahoo MailInstapaperPocket

EconomicsMediaOther classicsPoliticsWoW

Protection That Makes You Weaker

I have taken up running and, like boomers everywhere, I worry about hurting myself. Data suggest that between a third and half of runners get hurt running every year, making running a surprisingly high risk exercise. Why is this? Journalist Chris McDougall wondered why he was getting hurt when humans have been running for two […]

LinkedIn

PrintFriendlyGoogle BookmarksGoogle GmailYahoo MailInstapaperPocket

EconomicsMedia

Seven Forces that Doom Bookstores and Publishers

During the past few years, the music industry has been hammered. As music went digital, it was pirated, deconstructed, and mashed. As music stores and labels disappeared, their lobby, the RIAA, screamed bloody murder. But amidst the carnage, a funny thing happened: the music industry grew larger even though it had fewer labels and far fewer retailers. Revenue […]

LinkedIn

PrintFriendlyGoogle BookmarksGoogle GmailYahoo MailInstapaperPocket

EconomicsMediaOther classicsTechnologyWoW

The GOP Raises Interest Rates. China Cheers.

As of tonight, it is not at all clear when the US debt ceiling will get extended or when the entirely artificial crisis caused by Republican House members will be resolved. But one thing is now very clear: the ham-fisted GOP tactics will raise interest costs for every American family and business. It is the […]

LinkedIn

PrintFriendlyGoogle BookmarksGoogle GmailYahoo MailInstapaperPocket

EconomicsPolitics

Amazon.com: America’s #1 Tax Evader?

== Update: On September 7, Amazon relented and made a deal to pay sales taxes on shipments to California (no doubt the trenchant analysis that follows persuaded them to do the right thing). For details of the deal see http://goo.gl/kNwjQ. Now every other state in America needs to make a deal with Amazon — even if they […]

LinkedIn

PrintFriendlyGoogle BookmarksGoogle GmailYahoo MailInstapaperPocket

EconomicsPolitics,Technology

“We are Going to Pass” -10 Reasons VCs Turn Down Startups

Every few years, Silicon Valley grows strong, flies high, makes beautiful music and then, like the Phoenix of ancient myth, burns to ashes and starts the cycle again. At the moment, the Valley is a frenzy of startups. The rest of the country may be in the economic doldrums, but dozens of technology companies are being […]

LinkedIn

PrintFriendlyGoogle BookmarksGoogle GmailYahoo MailInstapaperPocket

EconomicsOther classics,TechnologyWoW

Toujour L’Audace

In early 1997, Steve Jobs spoke at Apple’s World Wide Developer Conference. At the time, he was an advisor to Apple CEO Gil Amelio, who had just bought Next from Jobs. (That July, Jobs pushed Amelio out in a boardroom coup and regained control of the company he had founded). I embed Jobs’ fascinating talk […]

LinkedIn

PrintFriendlyGoogle BookmarksGoogle GmailYahoo MailInstapaperPocket

EconomicsOther classics,Technology