Given my feelings on the humanitarian, labor, and political problems in China, I’m not too sorry they’re going to take an economic hit on product safety issues. It was just a matter of time.
Something to keep in mind just in case someone ever wants to throw several million my way… I still don’t think you should raise as much as you can, for several reasons, but I’ll just highlight the most important. You will spend what you raise. If you raise $10 million, you will quickly ramp up [...]
Capitation: The system of payment for each customer served, rather than by service performed. Gym memberships are a common example, as is U.S. medical care. It’s now applied to new businesses like office space for writers.
Duncan Watts summed up an experience on cumulative advantage this week in the NY Times, based on the article ($) of a year ago in Science. It’s of importance to anyone in the position of publisher, having to try and select which of many candidates to invest in, as well as anyone scratching their head [...]
The VC bloggers have been discussing alternate funding models for a while, but this story from the New York Times on Sevin Rosen Funds giving back $250 million to $300 million to investors is more than just punditry, it’s walking the talk… “If we really believe that there are fundamental structural problems in the venture [...]
The recent Frontline documentary on China, The Tank Man, set a striking contrast of the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests against the business and economic boom created since then. They describe this flow one to the other as an unspoken social contract between the government and the people: we’ll give you jobs and prosperity if you [...]
“Innovation has nothing to do with how many R&D dollars you have. When Apple came up with the Mac, IBM was spending at least 100 times more on R&D. It’s not about money. It’s about the people you have, how you’re led, and how much you get it.” – Steve Jobs, Fortune, Nov. 9, 1998 [...]
Paul Krugman, Princeton economist and New York Times columnist, has some interesting small pieces on his site, like How I Work which includes his Rules for Research… Listen to the Gentiles, Pay attention to what intelligent people are saying, even if they do not have your customs or speak your analytical language. Question the question, [...]
James Surowiecki’s Lifers reviews some statistics and concludes that — contrary to popular belief — long-term employment in the U.S. hasn’t disappeared at all. But what has changed is the amount of risk employees are expected to shoulder in terms of… Benefits: Health benefits and pensions have decreased Stratification: “Companies now tie compensation more closely [...]
Perhaps a better framing of the Index of Sustainable Economic Welfare (ISEW) is GNH: Gross National Happiness. Jigme Singye Wangchuck, king of the Himalayan nation of Bhutan, says GNH consists of “economic self-reliance, a pristine environment, the preservation and promotion of Bhutan’s culture, and good governance in the form of a democracy.” On a related [...]
Given the destructive human rights situation in China, how do we decide to interact with companies there? I don’t think no action is a choice; the sheer amount of influence the Western world and China exerts on each other through commerce alone makes it impossible for any one person or company to remain unaffected. Free [...]
I was exposed to the ISEW by Josephine Green of Philips at the ID Design Strategy conference. She struck me as the female John Thakara: highly intelligent and morally scolding, and dropping in your lap the challenge of solving the problems she just convinced you are vitally important. To understand how ISEW differs from, say, [...]
James Surowiecki elegantly encapsulates yet another economic trend, this time it’s the falling-yet-floating dollar. Essentially the dollar is falling because Americans don’t save and keep spending, accumulating incredible debt, and the dollar is not crashing because Americans keep buying… from Asia, who is interested in buying lots of dollars to prop up our currency and [...]
Brett points to The Quality Cure? (paid archive) a New York Times profile of David Cutler’s ideas for reforming healthcare in America, where providing more care without going bankrupt seems impossible. Cutler, an economist, developed financial models to show how we should “focus on improving the quality of care rather than on reducing our consumption [...]
The Economist says, tongue-in-cheek: …the dollar has been dethroned even sooner than we expected. It has been superseded not by the euro, nor by the yen or yuan, but by another increasingly popular global currency: frequent-flyer miles. Turns out there’s about $14 trillion in frequent flier miles in circulation.