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February 04, 2015

"McDonald’s Is Microsoft: And it’s getting beat by the Google of hamburgers"

"Creative destruction" in action.

The opposite of the “Walmart effect” understanding of how the economy operates, a view more prevalent among people who like or simply understand capitalism, is the “Bill Gates’s nightmare effect.” Back in 1998, when Microsoft was at the height of its power — it had just become the world’s most valuable company — and Gates was at the height of his prestige, he told Charlie Rose that what worried him wasn’t competition from IBM or Apple or Netscape: “I worry about someone in a garage inventing something that I haven’t thought of.” That was in March of 1998; in September, two guys in a garage in Menlo Park incorporated Google. Gates was correct and incorrect at the same time: Microsoft was surprised by Google and also lost ground to Apple, a company that many technology watchers at the end of the 1990s believed was at the end of its days. Microsoft had market power far in excess of what Walmart enjoys, but it got its flabby corporate butt kicked by a couple of kids.

February 03, 2015

"The Future Of Music Business Models (And Those Who Are Already There)"

Yes, indeed.

The idea that you "can't compete with free" or that free means there's no business model is a myth. As [Trent] Reznor and others have recognized, when the music goes free, it opens up new opportunities for better, stronger, more efficient business models. 

Link via Michael Greenspan.

January 31, 2015

"A 13-Year-Old Made A Revolutionary Invention Out Of Legos And Now Intel Is Investing In His Company"

I can't decide whether this is good news or bad news. Good news: we have a country where a 13-year-old with a terrific idea can be honored and rewarded for it (and attract investment from one of the world's largest companies).

Bad news: where were all the adults? Why did it fall to a 13-year-old to think of this?

January 15, 2015

"The Real Reasons Trader Joe's Wine Is So Cheap"

What you suspected seems to be true: at $2/bottle, a couple of corners have to be cut.

January 14, 2015

"The future of management training is simulations"

I think this is true of more subjects than just management.

January 08, 2015

My high school guidance counselor neglected to inform me of this career option

I missed my calling: I could have been a mustard sommelier.

January 01, 2015

"Most Popular [Harvard Business School Working Knowledge] Articles and Research Papers of 2014"

Including one that suggests grocers should "locate the kale near the Kit Kats".

December 29, 2014

"The sun is setting on the emerging market miracle"

Consistent with what I've thought for a long time.

As the emerging markets’ bubble burst, Western capitalism defied the pessimists.

December 20, 2014

"9 Business Books We Wish Someone Would Write"

I'd read Gorilla Marketing.


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.

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