mike + business   9

@20 (Ftrain.com)
I'm in the middle right now. Young company, young kids, unfinished book, 40s, sore back, facing bariatric uncertainties and paying down the mortgage. 20 years is arbitrary nonsense. A blip. Our software is bullshit, our literary essays are too long, the good editors all quit or got fired, hardly anyone is experimenting with form in a way that wakes me up, the IDEs haven't caught up with the 1970s, the R&D budgets are weak, the little zines are badly edited, the tweets are poor, the short stories make no sense, people still care too much about magazines, the Facebook posts are nightmares, LinkedIn has ruined capitalism, and the big tech companies that have arisen are exhausting, lumbering gold-thirsty kraken that swim around with sour looks on their face wondering why we won't just give them all our gold and save the time. With every flap of their terrible fins they squash another good idea in the interest of consolidating pablum into a single database, the better to jam it down our mental baby duck feeding tubes in order to make even more of the cognitive paté that Silicon Valley is at pains to proclaim a delicacy. Social media is veal calves being served tasty veal. In the spirit of this thing I won't be editing this paragraph.
internet  culture  politics  business  writing 
7 weeks ago by mike
The Corporation Does Not Always Have To Win
You are not the corporation. You are the human. It is okay for the corporation to lose a small portion of what it has in terrifying overabundance (money, time, efficiency) in order to preserve what a human has that cannot ever be replaced (dignity, humanity, conscience, life). It is okay for you to prioritize your affinity with your fellow humans over your subservience to the corporation, and to imagine and broker outcomes based on this ordering of things. It is okay for the corporation to lose. It will return to its work of churning the living world into dead sand presently.
business  usa  capitalism 
april 2017 by mike
A Country Is Not a Company
Economists in general do not believe that free trade creates more jobs worldwide (or that its benefits should be measured in terms of job creation) or that countries that are highly successful exporters will have lower unemployment than those that run trade deficits.

Suppose that hundreds of multinational companies decide that a country is an ideal manufacturing site and start pouring billions of dollars a year into the country to build new plants. What happens to the country’s trade balance? Business executives, almost without exception, believe that the country will start to run trade surpluses. They are generally unconvinced by the economist’s answer that such a country will necessarily run large trade deficits.

Great business executives often seem to do themselves harm when they try to formalize what they do, to write it down as a set of principles. They begin to behave as they think they are supposed to, whereas their previous success was based on intuition and a willingness to innovate. One is reminded of the old joke about the centipede who was asked how he managed to coordinate his 100 legs: He started thinking about it and could never walk properly again.

The fundamental difference between business strategy and economic analysis is this: Even the largest business is a very open system; despite growing world trade, the U.S. economy is largely a closed system. Businesspeople are not used to thinking about closed systems; economists are.

Another way of looking at the difference between companies and economies may help explain why great business executives are often wrong about economics and why certain economic ideas are more popular with businesspeople than others: Open systems like companies typically experience a different kind of feedback than closed systems like economies.

Keynes was right: Economics is a difficult and technical subject. It is no harder to be a good economist than it is to be a good business executive. (In fact, it is probably easier, because the competition is less intense.) However, economics and business are not the same subject, and mastery of one does not ensure comprehension, let alone mastery, of the other. A successful business leader is no more likely to be an expert on economics than on military strategy.

The next time you hear business-people propounding their views about the economy, ask yourself, Have they taken the time to study this subject? Have they read what the experts write? If not, never mind how successful they have been in business. Ignore them, because they probably have no idea what they are talking about.
economics  politics  business  usa 
july 2016 by mike
Alex Payne — Letter To A Young Programmer Considering A Startup
"I am deeply skeptical of this system. I’m skeptical of this system’s slavering, self-congratulatory fetishization of “disruption” while so obviously becoming the sort of stolid institution it seeks to displace. I’m skeptical of the startup community’s often short-term outlook. I’m particularly skeptical of its callous disregard for both the lives of the people who participate in it and the lives of those who live in the world that startups seek to reshape."
startup  business 
may 2016 by mike
Joe Cool – The New Inquiry
From the start, in 1967, “Trader Joe” Coulombe devised his “low-priced gourmet-cum-health-food store” with an “unemployed PhD student” in mind as the ideal customer. As he explained in 1985 to the Los Angeles Herald Examiner, he foresaw that this would be a “growing category.”
business  marketing  socialmedia 
march 2016 by mike
The New Scientism | Jacobin: We can value scientific inquiry without viewing the natural sciences as free of politics.
“But it is astonishing when defenders of science lump together global-warming-denying conservatives, anti-GMO activists, and grassroots environmental activists, treating each as disturbingly anti-science. This simplistic analysis is rooted in the arrogant assumption that science is somehow above criticism — indeed, that it’s above politics entirely.”

A rigid defense of “the science” prevents scientists from recognizing that Monsanto monopolizes seed production, dictates market prices to the exclusive benefit of rich farmers, drives the emergence of superweeds, allows the spread of transgenes to wild crops in other countries, and uses the state to boost its profits.

“And really, if popular exposure to science consists solely of platitudes glorifying science and discovery, can we really blame laypeople for their skepticism? On closer inspection, it seems that science for popular consumption, particularly in a miniseries like Cosmos, seems more invested in pomp and self-congratulation than accountability and conscience.”

“The subordination of science to profits, walled off from public scrutiny, is just as damaging as any creationist dogma.”
science  academia  business  scientism 
february 2016 by mike

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