Creative Destruction and the Independent Bookstore

The buggy whip, the typewriter, and now, maybe the independent bookstore? In a NY Times Op-Ed, author Richard Russo criticized Amazon for business tactics that would harm independent bookstores.  He cited friends who said, “They don’t win unless they destroy…

Innovation and (Steve) Jobs

From the iPhone and iPod to a…thermostat? At a Silicone Valley start-up, a former Apple design leader has switched his focus to diminishing carbon emissions, decreasing electric bills, and moderating energy usage. He has changed from iPhones and iPods to…

Another Amazing Entrepreneur

From this WSJ description of Jeff Bezos, you can tell he is an amazing entrepreneur. The article is wonderful. Here are some of the facts: Named Cadabra until someone accidentally called it “cadaver,” Amazon was launched in Seattle on July…

Moneyball Economics

A wonderful baseball movie, Moneyball is also about economics. The story focuses on the Oakland Athletics, a second-tier baseball team with a small budget. A speedy runner? A homerun hitter? The stars cost many millions that Oakland just did not…

Steve Jobs and Joseph Schumpeter

Henry Ford once said that consumers would have requested “a better horse” if he had asked them what to produce. Similarly, Steve Jobs told a reporter, “It’s not the consumers’ job to know what they want.” The result? For Henry…

Do We Need Area Codes?

What if the 3 digits that precede your phone number no longer related to a place? Known as “number depletion,” phone companies use area codes because we are running out of numbers. But need the numbers have geographical significance? Calls…

Changing Times

Not so long ago, the NY Times depended on ads, help wanted, real estate revenue. Now we have craigslist and monster.com. An Op-Ed Column could be read only on the Op-Ed page. Now, anyone can copy and share an article.…

Happy 100th Birthday IBM!

Imagine the challenge of implementing the first Social Security system in 1937. 27 million employees and their employers had to be taxed. The basic idea was to collect the money and then redistribute it to current retirees. So everyone got…

Your Elevator Pitch

What if you had just 1 minute to sell your business idea? According to Marketplace.org, your “elevator pitch” would need, 1) to state the problem you are solving; 2) to explain why your solution will have marketplace success; 3) to…

When is 60 a Good Grade?

At 60.8 percent, the Institute for Supply Management’s (ISM) measure of manufacturing activity was way up, far more than anyone expected. Reflecting expansion, any number above 50 is good. So robust a number takes us to a question. If production…