Weekly News Roundup: From Soap Operas to Stock Markets

This week’s economic news summary included price and the neurology of shopping, time and globalization, stock market history and the Brazilian gender gap.

What Happens When You Pay What You Want?

Affecting a firm’s revenue, when consumers can determine price through pay-what-you-want, the amount they select depends on their unselfish self-signaling.

The Real Mother of Invention

Saying that profit, not necessity is the mother of invention, economic historian John Steele Gordon starts his column in this week’s Barrons. His focus was the 18th century clipper ships that earned people like John Jacob Astor $50,000 for a single voyage…

A Blurry Customer Focus

Several years ago, I walked into my local bank branch at 5:55. Knowing that they closed at 6:00, I thought I had some time but they said I was too late. I said I had 5 minutes, they said no…

Profit Matters

During the dot.com bubble, investors gave Boo.com $188 million, Geocities was purchased for 3.57 billion, and pets.com introduced us to sock puppet. None exist today. Startup.com is an excellent documentary about the rise and demise of a similar dot.com.  GovWorks.com was supposed to let you pay…

Jell-O, Gillette, and the Kindle Fire

At first no one wanted to buy Jell-O. The year was 1902, the product was jiggly, and people had no idea how to serve it. Then, its producers went door-to-door with free cookbooks. And the rest of the story is…