jerryking + digital_economy   91

Looking Ahead After a Quarter Century Into the Digital Age - CIO Journal
Aug 16, 2019 | WSJ | By Irving Wladawsky-Berger.

* Large economic potential is linked to digitization—and much of it is yet to be captured
* Digital superstars are rising far beyond the U.S. big four and China’s big three
* Digital natives are calling the shots
* Digital changes everything—even industry boundaries
* Agile is the new way to compete
* Playing the platform economy can boost earnings
* Self-cannibalization and innovation are a necessity for digital reinvention
* Going after the right M&A is key
* Effective management of digital transformation is vital—but challenging
* Leveraging and transitioning from digital to new frontier technologies is an imperative


Effective management of digital transformation is vital—but challenging. High incidences of failure can be found across industries and countries regardless of the objectives of the digital transformation, including customer experience, the most common type of transformation.

The report recommends five key actions to improve the odds of a successful digital transformation: shared responsibility and accountability; clarity of objectives and commitment; sufficient resources; investments in digital talent; and flexibility and agility.
artificial_intelligence  digital_economy  industry_boundaries  insights  Irving_Wladawsky-Berger  McKinsey  M&A  millennials  platforms  self-cannibalization 
8 weeks ago by jerryking
Opinion: Why economics must go digital - The Globe and Mail
DIANE COYLE
CAMBRIDGE
CONTRIBUTED TO THE GLOBE AND MAIL
PUBLISHED JUNE 9, 2019

But economists’ benchmark mental world – particularly their instinctive framework for thinking about public policy questions – is one where competition is static, preferences are fixed and individual, rival goods are the norm, and so on.

Starting from there leads inexorably to presuming the “free market” paradigm. As any applied economist knows, this paradigm is named for a mythical entity. But this knowledge somehow does not give rise to an alternative presumption, say, that governments should supply certain products.......Having led a review of the spread of anti-microbial resistance – which will kill millions of people if new drugs are not discovered – O’Neill is dismayed by the lack of progress made by private pharmaceutical companies.

Drug discovery is an information industry, and information is a non-rival public good which the private sector, not surprisingly, is under-supplying. That conclusion is not remotely outlandish in terms of economic analysis. And yet, the idea of nationalizing part of the pharmaceutical industry is outlandish from the perspective of the prevailing economic-policy paradigm......Or consider the issue of data, which has lately greatly exercised policymakers. Should data collection by digital firms be further regulated? Should individuals be paid for providing personal data? And if a sensor in a smart-city environment records that I walk past it, is that my data, too? The standard economic framework of individual choices made independently of one another, with no externalities, and monetary exchange for the transfer of private property
Big_Tech  digital_economy  drug_development  economics  increasing_returns_to_scale  market_power  network_effects  personal_data  pharmaceutical_industry  platforms 
june 2019 by jerryking
Da Vinci code: what the tech age can learn from Leonardo
April 26, 2019 | Financial Times | by Ian Goldin.

While Leonardo is recognised principally for his artistic genius, barely a dozen paintings can be unequivocally attributed to him. In life, he defined himself not as an artist but as an engineer and architect......History does not repeat itself, but it rhymes. The Renaissance catapulted Italy from the Medieval age to become the most advanced place on Earth. Then, as now, change brought immense riches to some and growing anxiety and disillusionment to others. We too live in an age of accelerating change, one that has provoked its own fierce backlash. What lessons can we draw from Leonardo and his time to ensure that we not only benefit from a new flourishing, but that progress will be sustained? When we think of the Renaissance, we think of Florence. Leonardo arrived in the city in the mid 1460s, and as a teenager was apprenticed to the painter Verrocchio. The city was already an incubator for ideas. At the centre of the European wool trade, by the late 14th century Florence had become the home of wealthy merchants including the Medicis, who were bankers to the Papal Court. The city’s rapid advances were associated with the information and ideas revolution that defines the Renaissance. Johann Gutenberg had used moveable type to publish his Bible in the early 1450s, and between the time of Leonardo’s birth in 1452 and his 20th birthday, some 15m books were printed, more than all the European scribes had produced over the previous 1,500 years.

..as Leonardo knew, and the Silicon Valley techno-evangelists too often neglect, information revolutions don’t only allow good ideas to flourish. They also provide a platform for dangerous ideas. The Zuckerberg information revolution can pose a similar threat to that of Gutenberg.

In the battle of ideas, populists are able to mobilise the disaffected more effectively than cerebral scientists, decently disciplined innovators and the moderate and often silent majority. For progress to prevail, evidence-based, innovative and reasoned thinking must triumph.
.....Genius thrived in the Renaissance because of the supportive ecosystem that aided the creation and dissemination of knowledge — which then was crushed by the fearful inquisitions. Today, tolerance and evidence-based argument are again under threat.
accelerated_lifecycles  architecture  broad-based_scientific_enquiry  capitalization  cross-disciplinary  cross-pollination  curiosity  dangerous_ideas  digital_economy  diversity  engineering  Florence  genius  globalization  human_potential  ideas  immigrants  Italy  industry_expertise  Johan_Gutenberg  lessons_learned  Leonardo_da_Vinci  Medicis  physical_place  polymaths  observations  Renaissance  Renaissance_Man  Silicon_Valley  silo_mentality  tolerance  unevenly_distributed  visionaries 
april 2019 by jerryking
Why Companies Are Failing at Reskilling
April 19, 2019 | WSJ | By Lauren Weber.

Investing in new technology can often be easier for companies than negotiating the organizational challenges that come with reskilling workers, said Erik Brynjolfsson, director of the Initiative on the Digital Economy at MIT.

“It’s one thing to invest in machine learning; it’s another to reinvent an organization or a business model,” he said. “Human capital is quantitatively a much bigger share of the capital in the economy than physical assets like plants, technology and equipment, and we understand it less well.”

Cumulatively, firms spend billions of dollars every year on technology devoted to digital transformation, but executives admit to confusion and uncertainty about the impact.....Other countries are being more proactive: Singapore and France recently started giving workers an annual allowance for approved career training. Through a program called Second Career in Ontario, Canada, low-skilled workers displaced from their jobs receive grants of up to 28,000 Canadian dollars to cover training in growing occupations, along with costs such as child care and transportation.

“Many countries we compete with see continual worker retraining as part of their economic strategy. The way we’ve traditionally treated education in this country is the government is responsible for your education until age 18, and after that it’s more of a private matter,”......How to break through the challenges, inefficiencies and resistance?.....employers and educators can do a better job of helping people find logical, reasonable career paths. Labor experts call this “skill adjacencies,” essentially diagnosing a person’s present skills and identifying promising careers that offer higher wages or growth in demand while requiring minimal investments of time and money in retraining.

“We need a Waze for your career,” ... the navigation app that offers real-time maps and driving directions. “You could look at jobs that are adjacent to your skillset or role, and with fairly light training, you can make a jump into a better job.”

The secret to successful reskilling, he says: keeping training short enough and achievable enough that workers can learn real skills and both they and employers get a return on investment.

Training Daze
Companies face a number of hurdles to successfully training workers for the skills needed in the evolving digital economy. Among the challenges:

* Data: Companies typically don’t have a clear view of their own employees’ talents. Few firms have repositories of data on a person’s skills, internal reputation, learning capacity, ambitions and interests.
* Speed: Converting a mechanical engineer into an electrical engineer, or a business analyst into a data scientist doesn’t necessarily happen in one quarter— or even a fiscal year—the cadences that shareholders understand. “Upskilling takes time. A hiring manager can usually find someone quicker outside the company,” even if it’s a more expensive contract worker.
* Worker engagement: If companies involved workers in decisions on new technology to implement, they would find that some already have the knowledge and others can be trained. “If we change that process, then we would see the potential of the workforce. We would see where the training needs are,”.
* Money: Employers have long shown a reluctance to invest the dollars needed to successfully retrain large swaths of staff, even when the economy is strong. In 2017, organizations spent around $1,300 per employee on training, up 8% from 2013, according to the Association for Talent Development. And as the economy declines, training budgets are typically slashed. One paper found a 28% decline in employer-funded training between 2001 and 2009.
* Unrealistic expectations: Society needs to recalibrate expectations for worker retraining. Laid-off coal miners probably won’t become data scientists, and few AT&T lineworkers will morph into software developers as the company transitions from a telephone company to a wireless and services business.
adjacencies  career_paths  digital_economy  Erik_Brynjolfsson  failure  future-proofing  labour_markets  layoffs  retraining  reskilling  skills  training 
april 2019 by jerryking
Lina Khan: ‘This isn’t just about antitrust. It’s about values’
March 29, 2019 | Financial Times | by Rana Foroohar.

Lina Khan is the legal wunderkind reshaping the global debate over competition and corporate power......While still a student at Yale Law School, she wrote a paper, “Amazon’s Antitrust Paradox”, which was published in the school’s influential journal..... hit a nerve at a time when the overweening power of the Big Tech companies, from Facebook to Google to Amazon, is rising up the agenda......For roughly four decades, antitrust scholars — taking their lead from Robert Bork’s 1978 book The Antitrust Paradox — have pegged their definitions of monopoly power to short-term price effects; so if Amazon is making prices lower for consumers, the market must be working effectively.....Khan made the case that this interpretation of US antitrust law, meant to regulate competition and curb monopolistic practices, is utterly unsuited to the architecture of the modern economy.....Khan's counterargument: that it doesn’t matter if companies such as Amazon are making things cheaper in dollars if they are using predatory pricing strategies to dominate multiple industries and choke off competition and choice.....Speaking to hedge funds and banks during her research, Khan found that they were valuing Amazon and its growth potential in a way that signified monopoly power..." I’m interested in imbalances in market power and how they manifest. That’s something you can see not just in tech but across many industries,” says Khan, who has written sharp pieces on monopoly power in areas as diverse as airlines and agriculture. " Khan, like many in her cohort, believes otherwise. “If markets are leading us in directions that we, as a democratic society, decide are not compatible with our vision of liberty or democracy, it is incumbent upon government to do something.” Lina Khan has had a stint as a legal fellow at the Federal Trade Commission, consulted with EU officials, influenced competition policy in India, brainstormed ideas with presidential hopeful Elizabeth Warren and — recently joined the House Subcommittee on Antitrust, Commercial and Administrative Law. The 2008 financial crisis she thinks “about markets, and the government’s response to them, and certain forms of intervention that they do take, and that they don’t take”.....Khan, Lynn and others including the Columbia academic Tim Wu have developed and popularised the “new Brandeis” school of antitrust regulation, hearkening back to the era in which Louis Brandeis, the “people’s lawyer”, took on oligarchs such as John D Rockefeller and JP Morgan.....Lina sees Amazon as not just a discount retailer but as a marketing platform, delivery and logistics network, a payment service, a credit lender, auction house, publisher and so on, and to understand just how ill-equipped current antitrust law was to deal with such a multi-faceted entity......a Columbia Law Review paper out in May 2019 will explores the case for separating the ownership of technology platforms from the commercial activity they host, so that Big Tech firms cannot both run a dominant marketplace and compete on it. via a host of old cases — from railroad antitrust suits to the separation of merchant banking and the ownership of commodities — to argue that “if you are a form of infrastructure, then you shouldn’t be able to compete with all the businesses dependent on your infrastructure”....“The new Brandeis movement isn’t just about antitrust,” .... Rather, it is about values. “Laws reflect values,” she says. “Antitrust laws used to reflect one set of values, and then there was a change in values that led us to a very different place.”

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21st._century  Amazon  antitrust  Big_Tech  digital_economy  financial_crises  FTC  lawyers  Lina_Khan  monopolies  paradoxes  platforms  policymakers  predatory_practices  Rana_Foroohar  regulators  Robert_Bork  Tim_Wu  wunderkind  Yale  values  value_judgements 
march 2019 by jerryking
Cake shop management cannot suffice for a modern economy.
Feb 28, 2019 | Kaieteur News | Columnists, Peeping Tom.

Cake shop management cannot suffice for a modern economy.

The style of governance since political Independence has not been conducive to development. It is ill-suited for modernization. Given the expansive nature of relations and issues which governments have to address, there is a need for greater devolution of power. Centralized government can no longer cope with the multiple, overlapping and multilayered aspects of governance.......Guyana, however, is going in the opposite direction. The more modern the bureaucracy, the more swollen and overstaffed it becomes. The more complex government becomes, the more centralized is decision-making. The greater demands on resources, the bigger the bureaucracy.
The public bureaucracy is now a cancer. It is sucking the life out of public administration. Merely keeping this inefficient and revenue-guzzling monstrosity alive is costing taxpayers in excess of 500 million dollars per day. This is wanton wastage. That money could have been put to help boost private sector development to create jobs for the thousands of young people who are unemployed. The more the government implements technology, the more inefficient it becomes. It is all part of what is known as cake shop management........Guyana is going to continue to be left behind the rest of the world. It has seen Guyana retrogress and we will always be in a fire fighting mode rather than ensuring forward thinking and planning. A country today simply cannot be run like a cake shop. The world is too modern, and too many things are taking place to allow for such a style of governance. Once the policy is made by the government, the mechanics should be left to lower level officials who should be held accountable for ensuring its implementation and who should be held responsible for any failures........What is required is for faster decision-making so as to allow for the multitasking.........Plantain chips and breadfruit chips and other small businesses cannot make the economy grow. It cannot generate the massive jobs needed to impact on unemployment. It will not lift large numbers out of poverty. This is catch-hand approach to helping poor people.
Cake shop management cannot run a modern economy. Never has; never will.
bureaucracies  centralization  complexity  decision_making  devolution  Guyana  inefficiencies  modernization  policymaking  public_sector  public_servants  technology  traffic_congestion  forward-thinking  multitasking  decentralization  digital_economy  governance  knowledge_economy  centralized_control  implementation  unsophisticated 
march 2019 by jerryking
Opinion | Abolish Billionaires - The New York Times
By Farhad Manjoo
Opinion Columnist

Feb. 6, 2019

A radical idea is gaining adherents on the left. It’s the perfect way to blunt tech-driven inequality.
Alexandria_Ocasio-Cortez  Anand_Giridharadas  artificial_intelligence  capital_accumulation  digital_economy  Farhad_Manjoo  income_distribution  income_inequality  moguls  network_effects  rhetoric  software  superstars  winner-take-all 
february 2019 by jerryking
Jim Balsillie: Dragging Canada into the 21st Century | TVO.org
Technological innovation at the outset of this millennium has been nothing short of revolutionary. And it shows no signs of slowing down. Jim Balsillie, the former co-CEO of Research In Motion, says Canada is not keeping up. Worse, that policymakers and businesses still don't seem to fully appreciate the scope of the change underway. He's now chair of the Council of Canadian innovators, and he joins The Agenda to discuss his ideas.

#1 job. Accumulate valuable intangible assets. which you then commercialize. You acquire a lot of IP and data assets.
Jim_Balsillie  Canada  Steve_Paikin  policymakers  priorities  digital_economy  innovation  knowledge_economy  ideas  intangibles  intellectual_property  competitiveness  protocols  Sun_Tzu  under-performing  under_appreciated  21st._century 
february 2019 by jerryking
Canada doomed to be branch plant for global tech giants unless Ottawa updates thinking, Balsillie warns | Financial Post
James McLeod
November 16, 2018
7:27 PM EST

Canadian governments need to radically rethink their approach to the knowledge economy if the country is to be anything more than a branch plant for global technology giants,.......“I think they confuse a cheap jobs strategy … (and) foreign branch plant pennies with innovation billions,” .........Balsillie has argued that the “intangible” economy of data, software and intellectual property is fundamentally different from the classical industrial economy built on the trade of goods and services, and that because Canadian policymakers fail to understand that difference, they keep being taken for rubes.......Balsillie was particularly critical of the federal government’s policy when it comes to “branch plant” investments in Canada in the technology sector.

He said that in the traditional economy of goods and services, foreign direct investment (FDI) is a good thing, because there’s a multiplier effect — $100 million for a new manufacturing plant or an oil upgrader might create $300 million in spinoff economic activity.

But if you’re just hiring programmers to write software, the picture is different, he said. It’s a much smaller number of jobs with fewer economic benefits, and, more importantly, the value created through intellectual property flows out of the country.

“Our FDI approaches have been the same for the intangibles, where, when you bring these companies in, they put a half a dozen people in a lab, they poach the best talent and they poach the IP, and then you lose all the wealth effects,”....“Don’t get me wrong. I believe in open economies. They’re going to come here anyway; I just don’t know why we give them the best talent, give them our IP, give them tax credits for the research, give them the red carpet for government relations, don’t allow them to pay taxes, and then have all the wealth flow out of the country.”...if small countries such as Canada make a point of prioritizing the intangible economy, there are huge opportunities. He pointed to Israel, Finland and Singapore as examples of how smart policies and specialization can reap big rewards.

“I could literally see enormously powerful positions for Canada if we choose the right places. I mean, there are some obvious ones: value added in the food business, and precision data and IP in agriculture; certainly in energy extraction and mining, which are data and technology businesses,” he said.

“We actually have enormous opportunities to build the resilience and opportunity,” he said. ”And how can you threaten a country with a picture of a Chevy and 25 per cent tariffs when you’ve built these kinds of very powerful innovation infrastructures that you can’t stop with a tariff because they move with the click of a mouse?”
branch_plants  Canada  digital_economy  industrial_economy  intangibles  intellectual_property  Jim_Balsillie  policymakers  property_rights  protocols  GoC 
november 2018 by jerryking
The digital economy is disrupting our old models
Diane Coyle 14 HOURS AGO

To put it in economic jargon, we are in the territory of externalities and public goods. Information once shared cannot be unshared.

The digital economy is one of externalities and public goods to a far greater degree than in the past. We have not begun to get to grips with how to analyse it, still less to develop policies for the common good. There are two questions at the heart of the challenge: what norms and laws about property rights over intangibles such as data or ideas or algorithms are going to be needed? And what will the best balance between collective and individual actions be or, to put it another way, between government and market?
mydata  personal_data  digital_economy  Facebook  externalities  knowledge_economy  public_goods  algorithms  data  ideas  intangibles  property_rights  protocols 
april 2018 by jerryking
Toys ‘R’ Us Case Is Test of Private Equity in Age of Amazon
MARCH 15, 2018 | The New York Times | By MICHAEL CORKERY.

The reality is that Toys “R” Us, which announced on Thursday that it would shutter or sell all of its stores in the United States, never had much chance at a turnaround.

For over a decade, Toys “R” Us had been drowning in $5 billion of debt, which its private equity backers had saddled it with. With debt payments siphoning off cash every year, Toys “R” Us could not properly invest in its worn-out suburban stores or outdated website. Sales plummeted, as Amazon captured more children’s desires — and their parents’ wallets — for Star Wars Legos and Paw Patrol recycling trucks.

Toys “R” Us is the latest failure of financial engineering, albeit one that could portend a potentially more ominous outlook for private equity in the digital era.....Most buyouts tend to work the same way. A private equity firm takes over a troubled company with the goal of sprucing up the strategy, cutting costs and overhauling the business over three or five years. But they often load up a company with debt to pay for the deal, which can prove problematic if the profits do not perk up.

In the age of Amazon, that formula can be dangerous. Consumer demands are changing so quickly that heavily indebted companies have trouble reordering their business to adapt and compete with better-funded rivals...... the deterioration of Toys “R” Us from a potential turnaround strategy to the end of an iconic brand — in a matter of months — shows just how difficult it can be for private equity to compete in a rapidly evolving industry. In retailing, Amazon is reordering everything on the store shelf. And children’s changing interest in games and toys, which now encompasses high-end electronics, adds to the complexity.....Enter Amazon. In recent years, the company had started to aggressively expand its toy business, creating a comprehensive, online showroom with low prices at the click of a button. Pressed by Amazon, Walmart also pushed hard into toys, dropping its prices to capture more market share.

Walmart could absorb the price cuts on toys because it makes up the profit on other items. But for Toys “R” Us, a price war on toys and games, its only offerings, was devastating.
private_equity  bankruptcies  toys  digital_economy  Amazon  Wal-Mart  KKR  Bain_Capital  Toys_"R"_Us  financial_engineering  LBOs  buyouts  shifting_tastes  category_killers  price_wars 
march 2018 by jerryking
‘Splinternet’ to herald a trade war for the ages
Rana Foroohar | FT| March 5, 2018.

Steel and aluminium tariffs announced by President Trump have, of course, sucked up all the attention in recent days....but the bigger fight will likely be over intellectual property, and who gets what slice of that pie in the coming years. Most corporate wealth is now held in the top 10 per cent of IP rich companies, most of which sit on the West Coast of the US......China, however, is gaining ground in key areas like AI and quantum computing, and has also ringfenced most of the tech sector as a “strategically important” area in which domestic companies are given preference......A more interesting question is whether data and technology will become the subject of broader national defence-related protectionism. In many ways you could make a much easier case for section 232, the “national defence” clause that Mr Trump invoked around steel, in technology. The steel sector in the US has plenty of spare capacity and section 232 also stipulates that national allies could fill any gap, something which the president seems to have overlooked. Technology, meanwhile, is much more proprietary and sensitive — not to mention crucial for every industry and every part of national security.

A tech-based trade war would likely splinter the US, China and Europe into three separate regions. The EU is already going in a very different direction to the US in terms of regulation of the high tech sector, with more stringent privacy rules and limits on how much data can be used by companies for AI, and in what fashion.....Such a Balkanisation, which experts now refer to as “the Splinternet”, would change the functioning of the internet as we know it. It would also represent a trade battle for the ages.
Rana_Foroohar  intellectual_property  tariffs  crossborder  international_trade  NAFTA  digital_economy  protectionism  privacy  FAANG  China  trade_wars 
march 2018 by jerryking
The Cyber Age Has Hardly Begun - WSJ
By Mark P. Mills
Sept. 17, 2017

Most everything critical to daily life—food, energy, buildings, transportation—is physical, not virtual. The fabric of civilization involves digging up, processing, fabricating, moving and operating gigatons of material composed of atoms, not bits. As amazing as artificial intelligence and the cloud seem today, the world is still in the early days of truly useful, ubiquitous software that can be infused into the physical world’s hardware.

The billions of dollars in economic value from information technology has been associated with improvements mainly in information-related activities: mail, news, entertainment, advertising, finance and travel services. That’s no accident, as those domains are relatively easy to digitize. Very little of the hardware world is digitized so far. The “smart” objects industry is dominated by monitoring and analysis. That’s valuable but doesn’t fundamentally alter how objects are created or operate.

Contrary to breathless prose about robots taking manufacturing jobs, the data show underinvestment in automation and information technology in factories. U.S. companies need more robots and software to boost their competitiveness, profits and employee rolls. While spending on information technology remains high in media, banking, education and insurance, it lags far behind in chemical and food processing, energy and transportation.

Infusing software into hardware so that it becomes invisible and reliable is hard. The physical world involves factors like inertia, friction and gravity, all of which present serious safety implications. Cyberphysical systems have to work with near perfection. The real, rather than virtual, world cannot tolerate the equivalent of frozen screens, reboots, video jitter, or iterative upgrades of sloppy software rushed to market.

One iconic cyberphysical system, the self-driving car, has seen many impressive demonstrations, but engineers know much more work remains to be done. Several researchers recently demonstrated how easily self-driving cars are confused by simple graffiti on street signs. Automotive AI systems have yet to achieve the situational awareness of an inebriated college freshman......When more tech companies use their gargantuan cash hoards to acquire traditional enterprises—like Amazon’s acquisition of Whole Foods—we’ll know the fusion between atoms and bits has really begun.
Silicon_Valley  digital_economy  Amazon  cyberphysical  physical_economy  IT  atoms_&_bits  physical_world  pervasive_computing  ambient_computing  idle_cash  autonomous_vehicles 
september 2017 by jerryking
Get Ready to Defend the Free Market
06.02.97 | Forbes | Rich Karlgaard

LET'S CLONE GEORGE GILDER. One is just not enough. The original I'd keep in his current job as a technology writer and forecaster of the first rank. Nobody rea...
Rich_Karlgaard  free_markets  George_Soros  warp_speed  George_Gilder  income_inequality  tempo  operational_tempo  '90s  capitalism  digital_economy  from notes
august 2017 by jerryking
The Coming Productivity Boom: Transforming the Physical Economy with Information
March 2017 | Michael Mandel and Bret Swanson.

DIGITAL INDUSTRIES VERSUS PHYSICAL INDUSTRIES

Physical Industries
Where the main output of the industry is
predominantly provided in physical form
All other industries, including agriculture;
mining; construction; manufacturing
(except computers and electronics); transportation
and warehousing; wholesale and
retail trade*; real estate; education; healthcare;
accommodations and food services;
recreation.

Digital Industries
Where the main output of the industry
can be easily provided in digital form
Computer and electronics production;
publishing; movies, music, television, and
other entertainment; telecom; Internet
search and social media; professional
and technical services (legal, accounting,
computer programming, scientific research,
management consulting, design, advertising);
finance and insurance; management of
companies and enterprises; administrative
and support services
atoms_&_bits  booming  digital_artifacts  digital_economy  e-commerce  knowledge_economy  paradoxes  physical_economy  productivity  productivity_payoffs  value_migration 
august 2017 by jerryking
The Economy Needs Amazons, but It Mostly Has GEs
the country as a whole badly needs some rules-defying risk-taking. For business, that means a bit more Amazon in the boardroom and a bit less GE....The purchase of Whole Foods by Amazon introduced a level of volatility and turmoil (at least singularly to the retail sector) which had been absent from the market for a long time....The rest of the market remained placid. And months of historically low volatility has begun to look like dangerous complacency....... another, potentially more troubling explanation: stagnation. Muted markets may be an inevitable product of steady, sluggish growth, low and predictable interest rates, declining business startups and failures, and decreased competition. In other words, the problem is, there aren’t enough Amazons disrupting the stock market and the economy.....Jeffrey Bezos founded Amazon in 1994, he has prioritized expansion and innovation ahead of profit. In its early years, free cash flow—cash from operations minus CAPEX—hovered around zero. Mr. Bezos approaches new products like a VC. Many will flop (like the Fire smartphone), but some will be home runs (e.g. AWS). Amazon launched Prime, which offers free delivery in exchange for an annual fee, in 2005. John Blackledge, notes Amazon has repeatedly innovated in ways that make Prime even more valuable to subscribers.......Amazon is now profitable, yet cash retention remains secondary to building great products and delighting and retaining customers.

....If Amazon is one extreme in how companies invest, General ElectricCo. is the other. It has long been fastidious about capital and cash deployment......CEO Jack Welch perfected this approach in the 1990s.. it continued under Jeffrey Immelt. Last week, Mr. Immelt said he would retire, after 16 years struggling to restore growth. In part, that reflected how financial engineering had inflated profits under Mr. Welch. Yet Mr. Immelt ’s investment decisions too often chased the conventional wisdom on Wall Street and in Washington. ...........growth is hard for any company that dominates its markets as much as GE does. GE’s size also attracts debilitating political scrutiny. ....In response to new regulations and pressure from Wall Street, Mr. Immelt largely dismantled the business...........Investors still want GE to return cash to shareholders, and it has obliged,.....while good for shareholders in the short run, this is no recipe for growth in the long run. GE’s cash flow is shrinking despite the company’s focus on preserving it, while Amazon’s is growing despite that company’s readiness to spend it.......North American boardrooms desparately needs some rules-defying risk-taking. For business, that means a bit more Amazon in the boardroom and a bit less GE

[ See John Authers article which references Vix]

The "Minsky Moment" occurs when investors realize that they have paid far too much for the credits that have bought, no buyers can be found, and the system collapses. Aka Wile E. Coyote running-off-a-cliff....The greatest dangers to us are not from things we perceive to be high-risk, because we generally treat them carefully. Trouble arises from that which we perceive to be low-risk.
digital_economy  Amazon  GE  Amazon_Prime  risk-taking  volatility  Greg_Ip  stagnation  cash_flows  long-term  growth  start_ups  complacency  instability  conventional_wisdom  Jeffrey_Immelt  Jack_Welch  conglomerates  delighting_customers  capital_allocation  Jeff_Bezos  financial_engineering  rule_breaking 
june 2017 by jerryking
Conglomerates Didn’t Die. They Look Like Amazon. - The New York Times
Andrew Ross Sorkin
DEALBOOK JUNE 19, 2017

Amazon's purchase of Whole Foods re-opens the debate about conglomerates which supposed to be dead, a relic of a bygone era of corporate America as investors supposedly want smaller, nimbler, more focused companies......Amazon is just one of several digital-economy conglomerates. Alphabet, the parent company of Google, is another. Facebook is quickly becoming a conglomerate, too...... today’s tech-enabled conglomerates, are spending, and often losing, tens of billions of dollars annually on all sorts of projects and acquisitions that may or may not turn out to be successful. But investors are seemingly willing to give these new behemoths a free pass in the name of growth and innovation — until they aren’t.

If there is any lesson from the last breed of industrial conglomerates, it is that there is a natural life cycle to most of them....When it comes to Amazon (or Alphabet, or any of the new conglomerates), the question is whether there is something fundamentally different about these businesses given their grounding in digital information — especially as they expand into complex brick-and-mortar operations like upscale supermarkets.

In an age of big data and artificial intelligence, are businesses that look disparate really similar? And can one company’s leadership really oversee so many different businesses? When does it become too big to manage?...a recent article in the Yale Law Journal made a compelling case that Amazon has built perhaps the ultimate economic mousetrap — one impervious to the natural life cycle of a conglomerate, but one that might ultimately prove to be anticompetitive.

The author, Lina M. Khan, a Yale Law student who has written about antitrust law and competition policy, argued that Amazon had created a “platform market” and can use its size and scale to subsidize its entrance into new businesses through predatory pricing.....The economics of platform markets create incentives for a company to pursue growth over profits,.....Amazon’s role as both a distributor and cloud provider for many of its competitors gives it an unfair advantage. “This dual role also enables a platform to exploit information collected on companies using its services to undermine them as competitors,”.....Jeff Bezos, is clear. The man who is assembling the 21st century’s most fearsome new conglomerate once explained his view of competition this way: “Your margin is my opportunity.”
conglomerates  Andrew_Sorkin  Jeff_Bezos  Amazon  GE  Jeff_Immelt  unfair_advantages  Whole_Foods  Silicon_Valley  digital_economy  Alphabet  Facebook  lessons_learned  Yale  Charles_Munger  antitrust  competition  Berkshire_Hathaway  platforms  predatory_practices  diversification  FTC  margins  staying_hungry  life_cycle  Lina_Khan  competition_policy 
june 2017 by jerryking
The Amazon-Walmart Showdown That Explains the Modern Economy - The New York Times
Neil Irwin @Neil_Irwin JUNE 16, 2017

The decision by Amazon and Walmart to compete for my grocery business — as well as for space in my closet — is a tiny battle in a war to dominate a changing global economy.

And for companies that can’t compete on price and technology, it could cost them the shirt off their backs.....[Amazon's purchase of high-end grocery chain Whole Foods places it] on a collision course with Walmart to try to be the predominant seller of pretty much everything you buy.

Each one is trying to become more like the other — Walmart by investing heavily in its technology, Amazon by opening physical bookstores and now buying physical supermarkets. But this is more than a battle between two business titans. Their rivalry sheds light on the shifting economics of nearly every major industry, replete with winner-take-all effects and huge advantages that accrue to the biggest and best-run organizations, to the detriment of upstarts and second-fiddle players.....in turn...this has more worrying implications for jobs, wages and inequality.

Amazon vs. Walmart

Both want to sell everything!!!!

Walmart is buying Bonobos, an omnichannel innovator. Its website and online customer service are excellent, and it operates stores in major cities where you can try on garments and order items to be shipped directly. Because all the actual inventory is centralized, the stores themselves can occupy minimal square footage. The acquisition helps Walmart build expertise in the very areas where it is trying to gain on Amazon.

Walmart and Amazon have had their sights on each other for years, each aiming to be the dominant seller of goods via omnichannel.

Amazon's purchase of Whole Foods helps it to understand the grocery business which has a whole different set of challenges from the types of goods that Amazon has specialized in heretofore.

A Positive Returns-to-Scale World
The apparel business has long been a highly competitive industry in which countless players could find a niche.....any shirt-maker that tried to get too big rapidly faced diminishing returns.It would have to pay more and more to lease the real estate for far-flung stores, and would have to outbid competitors to hire all the experienced shirt-makers. The expansion wouldn’t offer any meaningful cost savings and would entail a lot more headaches trying to manage it all....in the digital economy, rather than reflecting those diminishing returns to scale, show positive returns to scale: The biggest companies have a huge advantage over smaller players. That tends to tilt markets toward a handful of players or even a monopoly....The apparel industry...is moving in the direction of being like the software business (high fixed costs, zero variable costs, enormous returns to scale)..... the reason why Walmart and Amazon are so eager get into the shirt business is because retailers know that they need to figure out how to manage sophisticated supply chains connecting Southeast Asia with stores in big American cities so that they rarely run out of product. They need mobile apps and websites that offer a seamless user experience so that nothing stands between a would-be purchaser and an order....Larger companies that are good at supply chain management and technology can spread those more-or-less fixed costs around more total sales, enabling them to keep prices lower than a niche player and entrench their advantage....large companies will invest in automation/robotics...the future of clothing/apparel might be a handful of companies with the very expensive shirt-making robots---and everyone else shut out in the cold.

What It Means for the Economy

A relative few winners are taking a disproportionate share of business in a wide range of industries....in turn may help explain why the income gap has widened in recent years. How much on income inequality is driven by shifting technology — as opposed to changing corporate behavior, or loose antitrust policy — is an open debate.
increasing_returns_to_scale  winner-take-all  fixed_costs  variable_costs  Amazon  Wal-Mart  Whole_Foods  retailers  economics  Bonobos  shirts  mens'_clothing  omnichannel  apparel  digital_economy  automation  robotics  competitive_landscape  market_concentration  barbell_effect  income_inequality  antitrust  market_power  corporate_concentration  grocery  fresh_produce  supermarkets  large_companies  UX  inventory-free  global_economy 
june 2017 by jerryking
Canada needs an innovative intellectual property strategy - The Globe and Mail
JAMES HINTON AND PETER COWAN
Special to The Globe and Mail
Published Friday, May 19, 2017

Canada has never before had a national IP strategy, so getting it right will set the stage for subsequent innovation strategies. Here are some factors that our policy makers must take into account:

(1) Canadian innovators have only a basic understanding about IP

Canadian entrepreneurs understand IP strategy as a defensive mechanism to protect their products. In reality, IP is the most critica

(2) Focus on global IP landscape, rather than tweak domestic IP rules

Canada’s IP regime, including the Canadian Intellectual Property Office, needs a strategy that reflects global norms for IP protection, protects Canadian consumers and shrewdly supports Canadian innovators.l tool for revenue growth and global expansion in a 21st-century economy.

(3) Canadian businesses own a dismal amount of IP

Although IP has emerged as the most valuable corporate asset over the past two decades, it is overlooked by Canadian policy makers and businesses.
(4) Building quality patent portfolio requires technically savvy experts

A high-quality patent portfolio needs to include issued and in-force patents, including patents outside of Canada in key markets such as the United States and Europe. Strong portfolios will also have broad sets of claims that are practised by industry, spread across many patents creating a cloud of rights with pending applications.
(5) IP benefits from public-private partnerships are flowing out of country.

Canada’s innovation strategy must consider ownership and retention of our IP as one of its core principles. Are we satisfied with perpetually funding IP creation while letting foreign countries reap the benefits?
intellectual_property  digital_strategies  Canada  Canadian  patents  high-quality  digital_economy  digital_savvy  intangibles  property_rights  protocols  portfolios  portfolio_management  21st._century  defensive_tactics  Jim_Balsillie  strategic_thinking  overlooked  policymakers 
may 2017 by jerryking
Digital Transformation Requires Rethinking, VC Says - CIO Journal. - WSJ
By STEVEN NORTON
Apr 28, 2017

The education sector should focus on the arts and prepare students for jobs of the future that require softer, non-technical skills such as elder care, Mr. Wenger said. While important, he called a singular focus on science, technology, engineering and mathematics education “somewhat misguided” and advocated for an system that encourages excitement about knowledge, including the arts, instead of focusing solely on the job market. Doing so can equip people with the skills to think more broadly about how to build an economic and social system that limits inequality and encourages human participation, he said.
rethinking  education  digital_economy  digital_disruption  automation  artificial_intelligence  Union_Square_Ventures 
may 2017 by jerryking
Bank of Canada warns automation will lead to job losses - The Globe and Mail
ANDY BLATCHFORD
The Canadian Press
Published Tuesday, Apr. 18, 2017

In a speech in Toronto, senior deputy governor Carolyn Wilkins said Tuesday innovations like artificial intelligence and robotics are expected to help re-energize underwhelming productivity in advanced economies like Canada. Over the longer haul, she added that new technologies should eventually create more jobs than they replace.

However, the fast-approaching changes come with concerns for Wilkins – from the challenging adjustment for the labour force, to the distribution of the new wealth......“Innovation is always a process of creative destruction, with some jobs being destroyed and, over time, even more jobs being created,” said Wilkins, who added that what will change is the type of workers in demand.

“We’ve seen this process in action throughout history.”.......Wilkins said the Bank of Canada has also taken steps to help it deal with the fast-approaching changes. It has created a new digital economy team with a focus on how automation affects the economy as well as its impacts on inflation and monetary policy
Bank_of_Canada  automation  productivity  artificial_intelligence  technological_change  robotics  layoffs  inflation  monetary_policy  digital_economy  creative_destruction  innovation  job_creation  job_destruction  job_displacement  rapid_change 
april 2017 by jerryking
Empty talk on innovation is killing Canada’s economic prosperity
Mar. 19, 2017 | Globe & Mail | by JIM BALSILLIE.

Immigration, traditional infrastructure such as roads and bridges, tax policy, stable banking regulation and traditional trade agreements are all 19th- and 20th-century economic levers that advance Canada’s traditional industries, but they have little impact on 21st-century productivity.

The outdated economic orthodoxy behind our discourse on innovation is causing the steady erosion of our national prosperity.

Over the past 30 years, commercialization of intellectual property (IP) became the primary driver of new wealth. The structure of the 21st-century company shifted and IP became the most valuable corporate asset. IP is an intangible good that requires policy infrastructure that’s completely different than the infrastructure required to get traditional tangible goods to market. IP relies on a tightly designed ecosystem of highly technical interlocking policies focused on scaling companies, which are “agents” of innovation outputs.....Canada doesn’t have valuable IP to sell to the world so we continue exporting low-margin resource and agricultural goods while importing high-margin IP. If our leaders want to create sustainable economic growth, Canada’s growth strategy must focus on creating high-margin IP-based exports that the world wants and must pay for.........IP ownership is the competitive driver in the new global economy, not exchange rates that adjust production costs. That’s why despite the strong U.S. dollar, U.S. company valuations and exports are soaring – IP-intensive industries added $6.6-trillion (U.S.) to the U.S. economy in 2014. So what is Canada’s strategy to increase our ownership of valuable IP assets and commercialize them globally? Supply chains in the innovation economy are different than in traditional economies because IP operates on a winner-take-all economic principle with zero marginal production costs. IP is traded differently than tangible goods because IP moves across borders on the principle of restriction, not free trade. Trade liberalization increases competition and reduces prices, but increased IP protection does the exact opposite. The economy for intangible goods is fundamentally different than the one for tangible goods. Productivity in the global innovation economy is driven by new ideas that generate new revenue for new markets. What Canada needs is a strategy to turn its new ideas into new revenue.....The Growth Council missed our overriding priority for growth: a national strategy to generate IP that Canadian companies can commercialize to scale globally.

We urgently need sophisticated strategies to drive the commercialization of Canadian ideas through our most innovative companies.
innovation  Jim_Balsillie  happy_talk  intellectual_property  scaling  tax_codes  winner-take-all  productivity  intangibles  digital_economy  ideas  self-deception  patents  commercialization  national_strategies  global_economy  property_rights  protocols  borderless 
march 2017 by jerryking
Trump and the Lord’s Work
MAY 3, 2016 | The New York Times | Thomas L. Friedman.

This was a really bad time for us to be stuck. I’m just finishing writing a new book, which is partly about the inflection point we hit around 2007. In 2007, Apple came out with the iPhone, beginning the smartphone/apps revolution; in late 2006 Facebook opened its doors to anyone, not just college and high school students, and took off like a rocket; Google came out with the Android operating system in 2007; Hadoop launched in 2007, helping create the storage/processing power for the big data revolution; Github, launched in 2007, scaling open-source software; Twitter was spun off as its own separate platform in 2007. Amazon came out with the Kindle in 2007. Airbnb started in 2007.

In short, on the eve of Obama’s presidency, something big happened: Everything started getting digitized and made mobile — work, commerce, billing, finance, education — reshaping the economy. A lot of things started to get very fast all at once. It was precisely when we needed to double down on our formula for success and update it for a new era — more lifelong learning opportunities for every worker, better infrastructure (roads, airports, rails and bandwidth) to promote the flow of commerce, better rules to incentivize risk-taking and prevent recklessness, better immigration policies to attract the world’s smartest minds, and more government-funded research to push out the boundaries of science and sow the seeds for the next generation of start-ups.

That was the real grand bargain we needed. Instead, we had the 2008 economic meltdown, which set off more polarization, and way too much gridlock, given how much rethinking, reimagining and retooling we needed to do....It’s clear: Capitalism driven more by machines and robots poses new challenges for both white-collar and blue-collar workers.
Tom_Friedman  Donald_Trump  Github  Campaign_2016  GOP  populism  blue-collar  economic_downturn  white-collar  digital_economy  mobile  recklessness  automation  infrastructure  R&D  smart_people  digitalization  inflection_points 
october 2016 by jerryking
Why I Tell My MBA Students to Stop Looking for a Job and Join the Gig Economy
Diane Mulcahy
OCTOBER 20, 2016

....Full-time employees are the most expensive and least flexible source of labor, qualities that make them unattractive to corporate America and Silicon Valley startups alike....cultivate the mindset, skills, and toolkit to succeed in this new world of independent work....companies are increasingly disaggregating work from a job. ....
gig_economy  job_search  students  freelancing  on-demand  Outsourcing  digital_economy  books  HBR 
october 2016 by jerryking
The value shift: Why CFOs should lead the charge in the digital age | Deloitte US | CFO Program
William (Bill)J. Ribaudo, a partner at Deloitte & Touche LLP

Given CFOs’ fiduciary responsibility to deliver shareholder value, it makes sense that they should be leaders in digital business model innovation. When the evidence shows that each marginal dollar can be spent to generate value at a multiplier of 1, 2, 4, or 8 times revenue.

Four business models driving value

The rise of intangibles as a part of total market and corporate value has occurred in conjunction with the proliferation of new business models. Our research, in fact, shows that almost every company fits into one of four types business models, regardless of industry or function—and each one corresponds to a shift in technology and asset structure. Specifically, companies predominantly fall into one of the following categories, based on the way they create value:

Asset Builders. These companies build, develop, and lease physical assets to make, market, distribute, and sell physical things. Examples include everything from automakers to chemical manufacturers, big box retailers, and distribution and delivery businesses.
Service Providers. These companies hire employees who provide services to customers or produce billable hours for which they charge. Examples include consulting firms and financial institutions.
Technology Creators. These companies develop and sell intellectual property such as software, analytics, pharmaceuticals, and biotechnology. Examples include software, big-data tools, and medical-device companies.
Network Orchestrators. These companies create a network of peers in which the participants interact and share in the value creation. They may sell products or services, build relationships, share advice, give reviews, collaborate, co-create, and more. Examples include online financial exchanges, social media businesses, and credit card companies.
Deloitte  business_models  CFOs  digital_economy  orchestration  information_flows  networks  platforms  multiplier_effect  physical_assets  intangibles  valuations  multiples  ecosystems  value_creation  shareholder_value  value_migration 
september 2016 by jerryking
Goodbye, Ivory Tower. Hello, Silicon Valley Candy Store. - The New York Times
By STEVE LOHR SEPT. 3, 2016

A number of tech companies are luring Ivy League economists out of academia with the promise of big sets of data and big salaries.

Silicon Valley is turning to the dismal science in its never-ending quest to squeeze more money out of old markets and build new ones. In turn, the economists say they are eager to explore the digital world for fresh insights into timeless economic questions of pricing, incentives and behavior....Businesses have been hiring economists for years. Usually, they are asked to study macroeconomic trends — topics like recessions and currency exchange rates — and help their employers deal with them.

But what the tech economists are doing is different: Instead of thinking about national or global trends, they are studying the data trails of consumer behavior to help digital companies make smart decisions that strengthen their online marketplaces in areas like advertising, movies, music, travel and lodging.

Tech outfits including giants like Amazon, Facebook, Google and Microsoft and up-and-comers like Airbnb and Uber hope that sort of improved efficiency means more profit....“They are microeconomic experts, heavy on data and computing tools like machine learning and writing algorithms,”
Silicon_Valley  massive_data_sets  economists  Steve_Lohr  Airbnb  Hal_Varian  digital_economy  academia  microeconomics  Ivy_League  insights  consumer_behavior  war_for_talent  talent 
september 2016 by jerryking
Canada must fill three gaps to reach its high-growth future - The Globe and Mail
VICTOR DODIG
Contributed to The Globe and Mail
Published Friday, Nov. 27, 2015

While Canada is roundly – and rightly – envied for its solid economy and how it withstood the financial crisis, we have three gaps to fill if we are going to continue to prosper and be leaders among the advanced economies.

First, I believe we need to do a better job of building the intellectual capital and skills necessary to fuel innovation and execute in a modern economy.

Second, we need to ensure our innovative entrepreneurs are able to attract both the formation and sustainability capital necessary to commercialize new ideas into valuable products and services.

Third, we need to ensure that we build an innovative ecosystem that effectively encourages and nurtures that development......Actually, some troubling issues lie behind those positive numbers:

* We have a much lower proportion of graduates in the all-important STEM sectors – science, technology, engineering and mathematics – than 22 other OECD countries.
* Only about 20 per cent of our graduates are from those disciplines.
* Postsecondary graduates rank 19th of 21 in numeracy, 18th of 21 in literacy and 14th of 18 in problem-solving skills.

We’re talking about the very people and very skills we need to need to lead Canada in innovation and create the high-value jobs for the future.

In effect, a postsecondary education is simply not enough in today’s modern economy. Our students, by and large, are choosing an educational path geared toward acquiring credentials rather than skills acquisition and what the labour market needs.

So, what do we need to do?....
(1) promote education choices that match the needs of the job market.
(2) promote policies and models to support emerging industries that focus on creating solutions in the global supply chain as opposed to just building products.

Canadians are no strangers to discovery and innovation, but today’s innovation ecosystem is highly complex. Far too many Canadian high-tech startups get bought out before they have a chance to grow. They often sell out before attaining their true potential.

When small and mid-sized startups are sold, the country is weaker for it.

Why? Because the really smart innovators never stop. After a successful sale, many are back the next day looking for the next opportunity and dreaming of the next big discovery. And retaining highly paid head-office jobs in Canada rather than seeing them farmed out elsewhere will help spread those benefits to the broader economy.
Canada  Canadian  future  CIBC  CEOs  high-growth  innovation  innovation_policies  policy  labour_markets  start_ups  sellout_culture  STEM  intellectual_capital  think_threes  smart_people  overambitious  policymaking  head_offices  ecosystems  digital_economy  Victor_Dodig 
may 2016 by jerryking
Review: The Rise of the ‘Matchmakers’ of the Digital Economy - The New York Times
By JONATHAN A. KNEE MAY 20, 2016
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books  digital_economy  platforms  book_reviews  network_effects  match-making  Jonathan_Knee 
may 2016 by jerryking
Canadians can innovate, but we’re not equipped to win - The Globe and Mail
JIM BALSILLIE
Contributed to The Globe and Mail
Published Friday, May. 08 2015

[For Corey Reid and UpSark]

...We can make commercialization of ideas a source of our prosperity if we apply strategic approaches....The commercialization of ideas is a chain of systematic and deliberate events. This is how wealth is generated in an innovation economy. Growing and scaling up a critical mass of ideas-based companies in the global marketplace is difficult, but not impossible. Yet for us to expect that the results of our current innovation policies and investments will miraculously spur new companies and significant economic growth is, as many people like to say, the definition of insanity: doing the same thing over and over again, and expecting a different result....Canada’s innovation performance will not improve unless the country’s business, university and political leadership comes together to consider radically different policies, programs and tools.
angels  commercialization  digital_economy  ecosystems  ideas  innovation  industrial_policies  innovation_policies  intellectual_property  Jim_Balsillie  patents  policy_tools  property_rights  protocols  scaling  systematic_approaches  wishful_thinking 
may 2015 by jerryking
America’s racial divide widens under Obama’s watch - The Globe and Mail
KONRAD YAKABUSKI
The Globe and Mail
Published Thursday, May. 07 2015,

African-Americans are sliding down an economic ladder they had been gradually climbing. Millions of black people who moved north during the Great Migration of the mid-20th century found jobs in bustling factories. Millions more found public-sector jobs – as teachers, postal employees or city workers – as black people took over city governments and congressional seats in places such as Baltimore and Detroit. These workers formed the basis of a black middle class.

But the previous recession hit black people harder than any other group. Manufacturing was shedding jobs before the crash; governments and the post office followed suit when it hit. As Bard College professor Walter Russell Mead has noted, black people accounted for less than 12 per cent of the U.S. work force in 2011, but 21 per cent of postal employees and 20 per cent of all government workers. But with government and manufacturing in retreat, black people faced bleak job prospects.

The new economy is largely a black-free zone. A USA Today analysis last year found that African-Americans occupied only 2 per cent of the jobs at seven big Silicon Valley companies. That’s not hard to understand given the state of public schools in places such as Baltimore, Detroit and Washington, where political nepotism and unions have stood in the way of reform.

Meanwhile, systemic racism in the U.S. criminal justice system – black people are far more likely than white people to be sentenced to jail for minor drug violations, ending up with criminal records that make them virtually unemployable – is so deep as to cry out for a national inquiry.
racial_disparities  Silicon_Valley  Ted_Cruz  Konrad_Yakabuski  Campaign_2016  digital_economy  race_relations  Obama  downward_mobility  African-Americans  public_sector  middle_class  Walter_Russell_Mead  systemic_discrimination  criminal_justice_system  joblessness  public_schools  Great_Migration  sentencing  downward_spirals  institutional_path_dependency 
may 2015 by jerryking
Tyler Cowen on inequality, Canada, and the state of global superpowers
Eva Salinas | May 1, 2015.

Tyler Cowen is an economist, academic and writer. His popular blog, Marginal Revolution, co-written with Alex Tabarrok, a colleague at George Mason University, turned Cowen into “an economics celebrity,” in the words of one LA Times writer. More recently, Cowen and Tabarrok ventured into the world of online education with their creation of Marginal Revolution University in 2012.
The author of ‘Average is Over: Powering America Beyond the Age of the Great Stagnation’ was in Toronto earlier this year as the keynote speaker at the University of Toronto’s conference on Inequality.
Tyler_Cowen  economists  income_inequality  Canada  innovation  Silicon_Valley  averages  digital_economy  knowledge_economy  economic_stagnation  clusters  polymaths  the_Great_Decoupling 
may 2015 by jerryking
The Rise of the On-Demand Economy - The CIO Report - WSJ
March 13, 2015| WSJ | By IRVING WLADAWSKY-BERGER.

we are seeing the rise of what The Economist called the On-Demand Economy in a recent article....Manufacturing jobs have been automated out of existence or outsourced abroad, while big companies have abandoned lifetime employment. Some 53m American workers already work as freelancers....now the sharing economy is evolving into something new. Ubiquitous communications, freelance work forces and low transaction costs are giving rise to the on-demand company, which aims to apply the principles of Uber or Airbnb to a much broader range of markets....A well-managed company strives to achieve an optimal balance between what work gets done within and outside its boundaries.

Advances in information and communication technologies are having a huge impact on the structure of companies....Where is the future of work heading in such an economy? “Freelance workers available at a moment’s notice will reshape the nature of companies and the structure of careers,”...Ubiquitous communications and very low transaction costs are giving rise to a new class of firm, the on-demand company. These firms aim to efficiently bring together consumers and suppliers of goods and services with their highly scalable platforms and innovative applications...
digital_economy  sharing_economy  Uber  Lyft  Ronald_Coase  Coase's_Law  transaction_costs  freelancing  on-demand  Outsourcing  gig_economy  Irving_Wladawsky-Berger 
march 2015 by jerryking
Strong intellectual property rights are key to prosperity - The Globe and Mail
BRIAN LEE CROWLEY
Strong intellectual property rights are key to prosperity
SUBSCRIBERS ONLY
Special to The Globe and Mail
Published Tuesday, Feb. 10 2015,

The stability of property and its transference by consent were thus rightly deemed by the great Scottish philosopher David Hume as two of the three rules that underpinned truly civilized societies (the third was the keeping of promises). Strong, reliable and consistent property rights unlock prosperity because they reduce conflict, promote stewardship and reward investment..... A strong IP regime therefore unlocks creativity, surely one of the keys to prosperity in a society increasingly dependent on intangible services for its wealth creation. Ultimately, all wealth is created by human knowledge, and increasingly the wealth of societies such as Canada takes the form of the fruits of our fertile minds, in software, design, film, fashion, engineering, disease control and more.
capitalism  intellectual_property  rule_of_law  Congo  Zaire  property_rights  abuses  impunity  intangibles  patents  wealth_creation  think_tanks  counterfeits  creativity  digital_economy  protocols  David_Hume  knowledge_economy  prosperity 
february 2015 by jerryking
Tracking the Rise and Potential Fall of the Talent Economy - The CIO Report - WSJ
November 14, 2014, 1:56 PM ET
Tracking the Rise and Potential Fall of the Talent Economy
Article
Comments
2
By IRVING WLADAWSKY-BERGER
digital_economy  talent  Roger_Martin  Rotman  Mihnea_Moldoveanu  Irving_Wladawsky-Berger 
november 2014 by jerryking
Sponsor Generated Content: The State of the Data Economy
June 23, 2014

Where the Growth is
So for many companies right now, the core of the data economy is a small but growing segment—the information two billion-plus global Internet users create when they click "like" on a social media page or take action online. Digital customer tracking—the selling of “digital footprints” (the trail of information consumers leave behind each time they surf the Web)—is now a $3 billion segment, according to a May 2014 Outsell report. At the moment, that's tiny compared to the monetary value of traditional market research such as surveys, forecasting and trend analysis. But digital customer tracking "is where the excitement and growth is," says Giusto.

Real-time data that measures actions consumers are actually taking has more value than study results that rely on consumer opinions. Not surprising, businesses are willing to pay more for activity-based data.

Striking it Richer
Outsell Inc.'s analyst Chuck Richard notes that the specificity of data has a huge affect on its value. In days past, companies would sell names, phone numbers, and email addresses as sales leads. Now, data buyers have upped the ante. They want richer data—names of consumers whose current "buying intent" has been analyzed through behavioral analytics. Beyond the “who,” companies want the “what” and “when” of purchases, along with “how” best to engage with prospects.
"Some companies are getting a tenfold premium for data that is very focused and detailed," Richard says. "For example, if you had a list of all the heart specialists in one region, that’s worth a lot."

Tapping into New Veins
Moving forward, marketers will increasingly value datasets that they can identify, curate and exploit. New technology could increase the value of data by gleaning insights from unstructured data (video, email and other non-traditional data sources); crowdsourcing and social media could generate new types of shareable data; predictive modeling and machine learning could find new patterns in data, increasing the value of different types of data.

Given all this, the data economy is sure to keep growing, as companies tap into new veins of ever-richer and more-specific data.
data  data_driven  SAS  real-time  digital_footprints  OPMA  datasets  unstructured_data  data_marketplaces  value_creation  specificity  value_chains  intentionality  digital_economy  LBMA  behavioural_data  predictive_modeling  machine_learning  contextual  location_based_services  activity-based  consumer_behavior 
july 2014 by jerryking
Jobs: optional
March 28, 2014 |Report on Business Magazine |Eric Reguly
Facebook's purchase of WhatsApp - $19 billion for 55 people - shows how technological change and employment growth are becoming uncoupled
Eric_Reguly  Facebook  WhatsApp  digital_economy  productivity  the_Great_Decoupling  technological_change  digitalization 
march 2014 by jerryking
New York, the Silicon City - NYTimes.com
JAN. 6, 2014.| NYT | By MICHAEL MANDEL.

What lessons does this have for the new mayor? New York’s gains came, in part, from the aggressive efforts of the Bloomberg administration to stimulate the technology and information sector. These included funding tech incubators; the “Made in NY” marketing campaign to support small tech companies; the rapid extension of broadband access across the city; the city’s broad-reaching Open Data initiative, which makes city data available to the public and software developers; and the selection of Cornell and Technion, the Israel Institute of Technology, to open a huge new campus on Roosevelt Island.
Cornell  New_York_City  Silicon_Alley  Bill_de_Blasio  digital_economy  open_data  geographic_ingredient_branding 
january 2014 by jerryking
Six habits of successful digital firms - The Globe and Mail
Jan. 07 2014, The Globe and Mail HARVEY SCHACHTER

Strategic Digital Marketing
By Eric Greenberg and Alexander Kates
(McGraw-Hill Education, 352 pages, $31.95).

the Amazon Price Check app on their mobile device, they can be in a store and, by scanning the bar code, see whether that item can be obtained more cheaply from Amazon, which offers lures like free shipping.......a phrase Google uses, "Zero moments of truth," to describe the critical times when consumers use the Internet to evaluate your offering. It might be the Amazon Price Check. It might be a consumer visiting your website and then plugging into social feedback from Facebook and Twitter. Prospects might scan reviews by recent purchasers. This information can be accessed quickly and could determine whether they will deal with you – now, or forever...... little attention is paid to return on investment when digital marketing strategies are developed. They believe that less than 10 per cent of large organizations base their digital initiatives on some measure of financial return on investment (ROI). Instead, the talk is of "likes" that might be generated by a Facebook campaign, or the followers and awareness a Twitter initiative might spark.

"If increasing sales is the ultimate goal, shouldn't we always evaluate digital marketing, and all marketing for that matter, through an ROI lens?"

1. Platform convergence, not product conformity. Companies such as Google, Amazon and Facebook are knocking heads, not operating in the separate niches where they started, but fighting to be the go-to platforms for online denizens.
2. Big data, not blind deductions.These companies rely heavily on data to drive their decisions, rather than guessing. They also run tests to see what might work, learning early from interaction with real customers.
3. Customer experiences, not conventional expectations. The best companies are fiercely focused on customers, relentlessly looking for new ways to refine and improve the customer experience.
4. Networks, not bulwarks.
These firms understand the importance of their networks, such as customers and corporate partners.
5. Top talent, not hired hands. These companies realize the importance of talent, and actively seek the best people they can find.
6. Innovation, not immediate gratification
Amazon  books  conformity  customer_experience  data_driven  delayed_gratification  digital_economy  digital_strategies  FAANG  Facebook  Google  Harvey_Schachter  habits  innovation  marketing  massive_data_sets  mobile_applications  moments_of_truth  networks  platforms  ROI  talent 
january 2014 by jerryking
Tech drives nails into coffins of Europe’s weak economies
Nov. 30 2012 | The Globe and Mail | by ERIC REGULY.

Technology is having a devastating effect on employment, which in itself is not new. What is new is that the job destruction everywhere among low-skilled workers seems on the verge of being repeated among white-collar jobs. That is the theory of Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee, digital economy specialists at MIT and authors of Race Against the Machine, a book about the digital revolution and how it is reshaping employment and entire economies.

Technology has been displacing jobs since the Industrial Revolution, but the lost jobs were more or less replaced with new jobs
Eric_Reguly  Europe  EU  debt  Erik_Brynjolfsson  technological_change  Andrew_McAfee  digital_economy  MIT  Greece  technology  job_destruction  job_displacement  automation  white-collar  low-skilled  weak_economy  digital_revolution 
december 2012 by jerryking
Entertainment Economy
October 4, 1999| FORBES ASAP | Michael J. Wolf
entertainment  digital_media  digital_economy 
november 2012 by jerryking
Canada must refuel for cultural creativity - The Globe and Mail
EDGAR COWAN, JOHN HOBDAY and IAN WILSON

The Globe and Mail

Published Tuesday, Sep. 04 2012,

culture has since been relegated to “niche” status under successive governments, and the cultural sector as a whole has been relegated to the periphery of policy-making.

Now, as we face the challenges of a highly competitive global digital economy, Canada’s under-capitalized but lively and diverse cultural and creative resources could become important strategic innovation assets....Last October, Innovation Canada: A Call To Action, an influential report prepared under the chairmanship of OpenText’s Tom Jenkins, emphasized the centrality of innovation as “the ultimate source of the long-term competitiveness of businesses and the quality of life of Canadians.”

The mobile digital technology explosion has already transformed many aspects of our daily lives. It has dramatically changed our workplaces. Old business models and habits are being challenged, new forms of expression are emerging and our children, the digital natives, are functioning in new ways.

It has radically altered how we communicate with family and friends, and how we relate to our cultural assets: how we listen to music; how we create and read books; how we distribute and view films; how we find information; even how we experience theatre, opera and ballet.

In order to surf this digital tsunami, we need to understand the broad role of the creative sector in the innovation agenda, and consider how we manage the changes, challenges and opportunities that will be beneficial to us as Canadians....Canada needs a new innovative economic “road map,” firmly linking dynamic creative and cultural sectors with open and welcoming business and technology sectors. This collaboration is essential to our achieving the Canada we want to be. Our innovative arts, culture and heritage sector already generates more than $46-billion for the Canadian economy and employs more than 600,000 people. These figures alone suggest that governments and the business community should recognize the potential of this sector to be mobilized and to play an evolving role in pointing the way to a successful innovation strategy.

Canadians should be made more aware that there is a much broader creative constituency than just those in the traditional visual and performing arts. Creativity is nurtured within many professional sectors: architects, graphic artists, fashion and industrial designers, video game creators, journalists, broadcasters, research scientists of all kinds, health-care professionals, academics, teachers – and many others – particularly among those involved in our dynamic digital technology sector.

One can only begin to imagine the incredible economic benefits for Canada from a “coalition of creators,” encouraging the nimble minds from the vital cultural sector to collaborate with other creative design sectors, and the burgeoning digital technology sector
culture  digital_economy  collaboration  cross-pollination  Canada  creative_renewal  cross-disciplinary  creative_class  creativity  innovation  competitveness  roadmaps  arts  constituencies  cultural_creativity 
september 2012 by jerryking
Managing in chaos October 2, 2006
September 19 2006 | Fortune |By Geoffrey Colvin, Fortune senior editor-at-large
Geoff_Colvin  Ford  chaos  digital_economy 
june 2012 by jerryking
Building Wealth - 99.06
J U N E 1 9 9 9 |The Atlantic | by Lester C. Thurow. The new rules for individuals, companies, and nations.

Rule 1 No one ever becomes very rich by saving money.
Rule 2 Sometimes successful businesses have to cannibalize themselves to save themselves.
Rule 3 Two routes other than radical technological change can lead to high-growth, high-rate-of-return opportunities: sociological disequilibriums and developmental disequilibriums.
Rule 4 Making capitalism work in a deflationary environment is much harder than making it work in an inflationary environment.
Rule 5 There are no institutional substitutes for individual entrepreneurial change agents.
Rule 6 No society that values order above all else will be creative; but without some degree of order (institutional integrity??), creativity disappears.
Rule 7 A successful knowledge-based economy requires large public investments in education, infrastructure, and research and development.
Rule 8 The biggest unknown for the individual in a knowledge-based economy is how to have a career in a system where there are no careers.
Lester_Thurow  wealth_creation  entrepreneurship  rules_of_the_game  deflation  career_paths  Managing_Your_Career  cannibalization  disequilibriums  anomalies  JCK  unknowns  high-growth  change_agents  individual_initiative  technological_change  digital_economy  messiness  constraints  knowledge_economy  public_education  new_rules  capitalism  personal_enrichment  ROI  institutional_integrity 
november 2011 by jerryking
BETTER THAN FREE
[2.5.08] | EDGE | By Kevin Kelly.

This super-distribution system has become the foundation of our economy and wealth. The instant reduplication of data, ideas, and media underpins all the major economic sectors in our economy, particularly those involved with exports — that is, those industries where the US has a competitive advantage. Our wealth sits upon a very large device that copies promiscuously and constantly....how does one make money selling free copies?

I have an answer. The simplest way I can put it is thus:

When copies are super abundant, they become worthless.
When copies are super abundant, stuff which can't be copied becomes scarce and valuable. When copies are free, you need to sell things which can not be copied. What can't be copied?
(1) "Trust." Trust cannot be copied. You can't purchase it. Trust must be earned, over time. It cannot be downloaded. Or faked. Or counterfeited (at least for long).
(2) Immediacy
(3) Personalization
(4) Interpretation — As the old joke goes: software, free. The manual, $10,000.
(5) Authenticity — You might be able to grab a key software application for free, but even if you don't need a manual, you might like to be sure it is bug free, reliable, and warranted. You'll pay for authenticity.
(6) Accessibility — Ownership often sucks. You have to keep your things tidy, up-to-date, and in the case of digital material, backed up. And in this mobile world, you have to carry it along with you. Many people, me included, will be happy to have others tend our "possessions" by subscribing to them. We'll pay Acme Digital Warehouse to serve us any musical tune in the world, when and where we want it, as well as any movie, photo (ours or other photographers).
(7) Embodiment — At its core the digital copy is without a body. You can take a free copy of a work and throw it on a screen. But perhaps you'd like to see it in hi-res on a huge screen? Maybe in 3D? PDFs are fine, but sometimes it is delicious to have the same words printed on bright white cottony paper, bound in leather.
(8) Patronage — It is my belief that audiences WANT to pay creators. Fans like to reward artists, musicians, authors and the like with the tokens of their appreciation, because it allows them to connect. But they will only pay if it is very easy to do, a reasonable amount, and they feel certain the money will directly benefit the creators.
(9)Findability — findability is an asset that occurs at a higher level in the aggregate of many works. A zero price does not help direct attention to a work, and in fact may sometimes hinder it. But no matter what its price, a work has no value unless it is seen; unfound masterpieces are worthless. — being found is valuable.
network_effects  free  Kevin_Kelly  value_creation  digital_economy  immediacy  scarcity  personalization  abundance  findability  patronage  embodiment  accessibility  authenticity  interpretation  replication  Information_Rules  value_added  superfans  SaaS  ownership 
november 2011 by jerryking
The digital economy: Jobs of the future
Apr 7th 2011 | The Economist | Schumpeter columnist.
mobile phones and other handheld, internet-connected gadgets are now taking off across Africa just as they already have in developing Asia and other regions. Not only will this bring paid cyberjobs within the reach of millions of Africans; it should also, by boosting the demand for mobile-internet access, create a virtuous circle in which growing use of mobile telephony encourages more investment in infrastructure, which in turn puts more people in touch with the growing global digital
economy.
jobs  digital_economy  future  games  Africa  mobile_applications  virtuous_cycles 
july 2011 by jerryking
What Knowledge Is of Most Worth in the Global and Digital Economy?
Catching Up or Leading the Way

by Yong Zhao

We must cultivate skills and knowledge that are not available at a
cheaper price in other countries or that cannot be rendered useless by
machines. This is mainly Pink's argument but is shared by others such as
the New Commission on Skills of the American Workforce and Harvard
economists Claudia Goldin and Lawrence F. Katz, both professors of
economics at Harvard University. In The Race Between Education and
Technology, they write:

Today, skills, no matter how complex, that can be exported through
outsourcing or offshoring are vulnerable. Even some highly skilled jobs
that can be outsourced, such as reading radiographs, may be in danger of
having stable or declining demand. Skills for which a computer program
can substitute are also in danger. But skills for non-routine
employments and jobs with in-person skills are less susceptible. (Goldin
& Katz, 2008, p. 352)
digital_economy  Daniel_Pink  China  education  eBay  21st._century  skills_training  skills  Outsourcing  automation  non-routine  imagination  in-person  special_sauce  Lawrence_Katz  knowledge  Managing_Your_Career  core_competencies  personal_growth  self-analysis  self-worth  face2face 
june 2011 by jerryking
Understanding the Digital Economy: Data Tools, and Research
Jul 2001 | The Academy of Management Review.Vol. 26, Iss. 3;
pg. 463, 2 pgs | by Timothy G Babbitt.
Abstract (Summary): Reviews "Understanding the Digital Economy: Data
Tools, and Research, edited by Erik Brynjolfsson and Brian Kahin". In
the second part (Market Structure, Competition, and the Role of Small
Business) the authors examine in aggregate how the digital economy has
changed the nature of competition, markets, and the effect of small
businesses. Smith, Bailey, and Brynjolfsson examine how the internet
affects market efficiency and competition, paying special attention to
the recognition of unusually high price dispersion. In his chapter
Varian emphasizes the principle that "technology changes, economic laws
do not" through the application of economic fundamentals to e-commerce
competition. He analyzes software versioning, loyalty programs,
promotions, and shopbots to illustrate his point.
ProQuest  book_reviews  digital_economy  Erik_Brynjolfsson  Hal_Varian 
june 2011 by jerryking
MEASURING THE DIGITAL ECONOMY
Thomas L. Mesenbourg
Assistant Director for Economic Programs
U.S. Bureau of the Census
4700 Silver Hill Road
Room 2069/3
Suitland, Md. 20746
tmesenbo@census.gov
economy  digital_economy  filetype:pdf  media:document  measurements 
may 2011 by jerryking
The Billion Prices Project and the Value of Data
May 30, 2011. | : The New Yorker | by James Surowiecki. A new
venture called the Billion Prices Project may help change that. The
B.P.P., which was designed by the M.I.T. economists Alberto Cavallo and
Roberto Rigobon, gathers price data not via survey but, rather, by
continuously scouring the Web for prices of online goods around the
world. (In the U.S., it collects more than half a million prices
daily—five times the number that the government looks at.) Using this
information, Cavallo and Rigobon have succeeded in building what amounts
to the first real-time inflation index. The B.P.P. tells us what’s
happening now, not what was happening a month ago.

Read more
http://www.newyorker.com/talk/financial/2011/05/30/110530ta_talk_surowiecki#ixzz1NAObusGP
James_Surowiecki  data  economy  economics  inflation  CPI  statistics  MIT  pricing  digital_economy  massive_data_sets 
may 2011 by jerryking
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