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Business

December 20, 2014

"9 Business Books We Wish Someone Would Write"

I'd read Gorilla Marketing.

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December 19, 2014

"This Insider Just Explained The Truth About Today's Music Business"

Steve Albini, author of "The Problem with Music," is back with another take on the subject.

Fast forward 21 years. This weekend, Albini gave a speech at an Australian music conference in which he basically said that the internet hasn't broken the music business at all  — at least not as far as fans and 99% of musicians are concerned. Fans have easier access to more music than they ever could have dreamed of 20 years ago. Musicians have many more ways to reach fans directly, and as a result the relationship between fans and bands is stronger than ever. Albini says his band's live gigs can pay 10 times better than they did a decade ago.

According to Albini, the only people who don't like the way it works are the middlemen who profit off the old way of doing things. Look no further than mega-star Taylor Swift, whose record label pulled her songs off Spotify.

December 17, 2014

"The 10 Funniest Dilbert Comic Strips About Idiot Bosses"

Scott Adams is a genius

"Why I Left A Top University And Might Never Go Back"

Good reasons why college is not right for at least some people. But I don't think I believe this:

What’s even more striking is a conversation I recently had with a marketing team lead at Apple who also routinely takes part in their hiring process. She explained to me how in recent years, Apple has had more success with interns who are either college dropouts or in their first two years of higher education. She explained a trend the company had become very familiar with recently: when a college grad is hired, he or she tends to come in with a “textbook based mindset,” and is incapable of learning the unique ways in which things work in their marketing department. A company with a market cap of $619 billion as of today is preferring to hire non-college grads for their marketing department.

December 11, 2014

"5 reasons why it's great to work at Whole Foods"

The nicest, by far, retail employees I deal with on a regular basis are those at Whole Foods. I wonder how they do it. This article advances some reasons.

(Whole Foods has been on Fortune's "Best Companies" list for seventeen years.) 

"Who Buys Music Anymore? A Statistical Inquiry"

It's mainly the olds who are still buying CDs.

November 28, 2014

"You See Sneakers, These Guys See Hundreds Of Millions In Resale Profit"

Long but very interesting look at the resale market for Nike shoes.

November 21, 2014

"A good manager leads by example"

Dilbert deconstructs a maxim of management .

November 18, 2014

"3 Mistakes That Ran Sears' Business Into The Ground"

It's a pretty common story but no less sad for that.

November 17, 2014

"Marc Andreessen in Conversation"

This is just spectacular. If he's not willing to run for office as a conservative he should at least be willing to contribute a bunch of money. Just one great bit:

The critique of Silicon Valley is also that it isn’t very diverse. At Twitter, for instance, 90 percent of the tech employees are male and more than 50 percent of them are white.

I think these discussions are totally valid. Now, I disagree with many of the specific points.

What’s your take?

Shall we? Let’s launch right into it. I think the critique that Silicon Valley companies are deliberately, systematically discriminatory is incorrect, and there are two reasons to believe that that’s the case. No. 1, these companies are like the United Nations internally. All the diversity studies say that the engineering population is like 70 percent white and Asian. Let’s dig into that for a second. First, apparently Asian doesn’t count as diverse. And then “white”: When you actually go in these companies, what you find is it’s American people, but it’s also Russians, and Eastern Europeans, and French, and German, and British. And then there are the Chinese, Japanese, Koreans, Thais, Indonesians, and Vietnamese. All these different countries, all these different cultures. To believe in a systematic pattern of discrimination, you’d have to believe that we’re discriminatory toward certain people without being discriminatory at all toward an extremely broad range of ethnicities and religions. Because of Pakistanis, we’re seeing a higher-than-ever proportion of Muslim employees in a lot of our companies.

No. 2, our companies are desperate for talent. Desperate. Our companies are dying for talent. They’re like lying on the beach gasping because they can’t get enough talented people in for these jobs. The motivation to go find talent wherever it is is unbelievably high.

(On diversity in tech see also the excellent "Cellophane Diversity".)

And here is Mr. Andreessen citing Claudia Goldin. Good on you, sir.

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