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June 23, 2015

"Detroit pays a price for clinging to the Big Three"

Dan Calabrese op-ed in the Detroit News.

GM and Chrysler, perpetually in boom/bust cycles, are turning in respectable performances at the moment. This has has certain political and media types yelping that anyone who opposed the bailouts should apologize. But companies that benefited from billions in taxpayer money while having their debts and long-term obligations wiped out might be expected to enjoy some short-term profitability. Michigan’s economic position will remain perilous as long as we rely so heavily on companies with such erratic track records.

Creative destruction is a necessary element of long-term prosperity. No one had to destroy GM and Chrysler’s dinosaur business practices. They were destroying it on their own. We just had to let them do it.

May 28, 2015

"Take the test: Could you get a job at Google?"

Not really a "test". More of a flowchart with questions.

May 20, 2015

"Consumers Beware! USC Marshall School of Business Research Show how Buyers with a Trade-In get a Raw Deal"

I certainly believe it.

May 04, 2015

"This Is How Long Your Business Will Last, According to Science"

Very surprising. I suspect, at a minimum, omitted variables, but I haven't read the study yet.

Daepp, now a graduate student at the University of British Columbia, analyzed Standard and Poor’s Compustat — a database of every publicly traded company since 1950 — using a statistical method called survival analysis. What she and her advisers found is that a company’s mortality rate was not affected by it’s past performance or even its products.

April 27, 2015

My father used to say . . .

. . . to err is human, but to really screw up you need a computer. 

Anecdotal evidence in favor: "Companies could lose billions because of crappy spreadsheets".

April 20, 2015

"A new startup called Honor just raised $20 million to provide in-home care for seniors"

This sounds like an excellent idea.

Some research led Sternberg to realize that most seniors wanted to stay in their homes.

To help serve these seniors, Sternberg is launching a service called Honor, which aims to match seniors with professionals who can take care of them in their homes while giving concerned family members a way to keep track of everything.

April 17, 2015

"Survival in the Age of Spotify"

"Two rock musicians find flaws—and hope—in a book that suggests how artists can earn a decent living even after free online access to music has ravaged the business."

April 16, 2015

"Europe accuses Google of antitrust violations and launches a massive investigation into Android"

Sadly, what has been long forecast here--see, for example, "It's coming, I tell ya," and "One more time, for now: Google and antitrust"--has now happened.

(To be clear, I predicted the US antitrust authorities would do it. I underestimated the power of Google's political pull. And it may still yet come.)

Oh and note the main source of the complaint

And most of the people doing the complaining are NOT Europeans — they are other American tech companies (and their lobbyists) whose international businesses have allegedly been screwed over by Google.

This is all too typical of antitrust complaints. The customers don't seem to mind, but the competitors of very successful companies do.

UPDATE: Clyde Wayne Crews, Jr. offers this sharp, concise formulation:

Antitrust is predatory corporate welfare policy. Firms do get large and powerful, but never as large and powerful as governments that collude with rent-seeking firms to forcibly channel customers to the latter.

Antitrust’s goal is to absolve lawyered-up firms of the need to competitively respond to the new market regimes brought into being by the dominant firm; it artificially secures less-competitive firms’ survival by forcibly denying consumers the choices they otherwise would have been free to make.

April 08, 2015

"The World’s Most Exclusive Club"

"Plenty of rich people can buy a plane or an island, but only 30 of them can say they own an NBA franchise."

March 19, 2015

"Can You Guess America’s Best and Worst Retailers?"

The best few aren't much of a surprise, and, fortunately, I have relatively little to do with the worst.

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