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jerryking : virtuous_cycles   12

Success in academia is as much about grit as talent - Daily chart
May 10th 2019 | Economist |

St. Matthew (Chapter 13, verse 12)
For whosoever hath, to him shall be be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath."

IN 1968 ROBERT MERTON, a sociologist at Columbia University, identified a feature of academic life that he called the Matthew effect. The most talented scientists, he observed, tend to have access to the most resources and the best opportunities, and receive a disproportionate amount of credit for their work, thus amplifying their already enhanced reputations and careers. Less brilliant ones, meanwhile, are often left scrambling for money and recognition.

....... success in the sciences does not always breed more success, and that scientists who fail early in their careers may benefit from the experience. .......While some of this can be explained by the weakest scientists in the no-grant group giving up, the three researchers showed that other, unobservable, characteristics such as “effort” or “grit” are also at work. Overall, the authors conclude, the findings are consistent with the concept that “what doesn’t kill me makes me stronger”.
academia  grit  Matthew_effect  scriptures  talent  virtuous_cycles  winner-take-all 
august 2019 by jerryking
Andrea Illy: adapting a family business to a multinational world
JULY 20, 2019 | | Financial Times | by Rachel Sanderson.

*The coffee group chairman argues his style of capitalism is good for business, workers and the consumer*

Andrea Illy, third generation heir of the Illycaffè dynasty, last year struck an alliance with investment group JAB Holdings to produce and distribute Illy coffee capsules...he makes it clear that he does not intend to sell the closely held family company..... “It is a very simple principle about preserving our freedom,” he says of his and his family’s decision, one....Freedom is a word that comes up frequently in conversation with Mr Illy.....who espouses a sort of pick-and-mix version of capitalism, resolutely refusing to focus only on sales and profits. Illy argues his style of capitalism is not charity but good business.......Illy has paid its growers on average 30% more over market value for decades in order to maintain its supply of top Arabica beans. “....The company is rooted in the border city of Trieste....which is also ingrained in the nature of the family......globalisation and increasing competition in the coffee sector has forced Illy to adapt. Staying closely held does not work any more. Co-opetition is his new mantra."“It is like the way to adapt in the savannah. If you do not want to be prey to the big lion, you live in a tree.”"

Part of that adaptation has been the deal with JAB, which allowed Illy coffee capsules to be produced and distributed in supermarkets globally, something that Illy could not do alone......The global coffee industry has become increasingly like the beer tie-ups of the 1990s, with big groups such as JAB and Nestlé snapping up smaller companies. Illy has risked being squeezed between these behemoths and the microroasters emerging as the hip caffeine hit for millennials and Gen Z.....Bigger groups have circled Illy for years. Mr Illy says the family chose JAB because it had the technology he wanted and accepted a licensing agreement rather than an equity one.....To build its global presence, Mr Illy is now looking for a retail partner in the US to help launch Illy coffee bars in the world’s largest coffee market. He says he could even sell a slice of equity. But he is very specific who it would be to: a private financial investor, not an industrial group.....there have been other adaptations. Three years ago, Illy hired an outside chief executive — Massimiliano Pogliani, a former executive at Nestlé’s Nespresso — for the first time since the company was founded in 1933 by Mr Illy’s grandfather, Francesco. Mr Illy has also built a board including executives from clothing group Moncler and Italian cosmetics group Kiko...... studies show that family businesses often fail in the third generation. The move to hire outside management and governance comes as studies also show that family-owned, professionally-run companies are among the best performing in the long term. ......Mr Illy sees these alliances as the only way for a family business model to thrive and to not have to cede control to a multinational when “complexity is becoming too big for a single person to manage”.
.....good stewardship is good business......The Illy family is a supporter of arts and culture, including Trieste’s annual sailing regatta, the Barcolana, where hundreds of boats race across the bay. Mr Illy says this creates a virtuous circle: the more attractive Trieste becomes, the more talented people Illy can attract to work for it and the more visitors come to the city and raise its brand profile........A portrait of his father Ernesto hangs opposite his desk. “I put the painting there to ask him to control what I do,” Mr Illy says.

What, then, has he learnt from his family? “Society is made by the private sector, mostly. And if you want to improve society then we need to be able to pursue long-term goals which are beyond profitability, and then you have to be free and accountable only to yourself,” he says.

Three questions for Andrea Illy
Who is your leadership hero? I have three: Muhtar Kent, former chairman of Coca-Cola; my father; Sebastião Salgado [the photojournalist].

If you were not a CEO/leader, what would you be? A neurosurgeon.

What was the first leadership lesson you learnt? My father asked me when I turned 14 years old where I wanted to go to school. Do you want to start a journey to be a leader or do you want to have fun? I chose the first option and as a result chose boarding school in Switzerland over a local school at home. There I learnt about discipline and hard work but also about the power of a charismatic leader from my headmaster.
alliances  boards_&_directors_&_governance  climate_change  coffee  coopetition  dynasties  family  family_business  family-owned_businesses  financial_buyers  heirs  high-quality  Illycaffè  investors  JAB  licensing  Nestlé  premium  private_equity  privately_held_companies  stewardship  sustainability  the_counsel_of_the_dead  virtuous_cycles 
july 2019 by jerryking
Why Jeff Bezos Should Push for Nobody to Get as Rich as Jeff Bezos
Sept. 19, 2018 | The New York Times | By Farhad Manjoo.

Why does Jeff Bezos have so much money in the first place? What does his fortune tell us about the economic structure and impact of the tech industry, the engine behind his billions? And, most important, what responsibility comes with his wealth — and is it any business of ours what he does with it?.........Bezos’ extreme wealth is not only a product of his own ingenuity. It is also a function of several grand forces shaping the global economy...the unequal impact of digital technology..... direct economic benefits have accrued to a small number of superstar companies and their largest shareholders.....the most important thing Bezos can do with his money is to become a traitor to his class,” said Anand Giridharadas, author of a new book, “Winners Take All.”.....Giridharadas argues that the efforts of the super-wealthy to change the world through philanthropy are often a distraction from the planet’s actual problems. To truly fix the world, Mr. Bezos ought to push for policy changes that would create a more equal distribution of the winnings ......there are fans of Amazon who will dispute the notion that Bezos’ wealth represents a problem or a responsibility....He acquired his wealth legally and in the most quintessentially American way: He had a wacky idea, took a stab at it, stuck with it through thick and thin, and, through patient, deliberate, farsighted risk-taking,.......Tech-powered businesses are often driven by an economic concept known as network effects, in which the very popularity of a service sparks even greater popularity. Amazon, for instance, keeps attracting more third-party businesses to sell goods in its store — which in turn makes it a better store for customers, which attracts more suppliers, improving the customer experience, and so on in an endless virtuous cycle........Mr. Bezos’ most attractive quality, as a businessman, is his capacity for patience and surprise. “This is guy who was willing to buck what everyone else thought for so long,” Mr. Giridharadas said. “If he brings that same irreverence to the question of how to give, he has the potential to interrogate himself about why it is that we need so many billionaires to save us in the first place
Amazon  Anand_Giridharadas  books  economic_policy  economies_of_scale  Erik_Brynjolfsson  Farhad_Manjoo  Jeff_Bezos  third-party  high_net_worth  human_ingenuity  ingenuity  moguls  network_effects  philanthropy  superstars  virtuous_cycles  winner-take-all 
september 2018 by jerryking
Can the Tech Giants Be Stopped? -
July 14, 2017 | WSJ | By Jonathan Taplin.

Google, Facebook, Amazon and other tech behemoths are transforming the U.S. economy and labor market, with scant public debate or scrutiny. Changing course won’t be easy....."we are rushing ahead into the AI universe with almost no political or policy debate about its implications. Digital technology has become critical to the personal and economic well-being of everyone on the planet, but decisions about how it is designed, operated and developed have never been voted on by anyone. Those decisions are largely made by executives and engineers at Google, Facebook, Amazon and other leading tech companies, and imposed on the rest of us with very little regulatory scrutiny. It is time for that to change.

Who will win the AI race? The companies that are already in the forefront: Google, Facebook and Amazon. As AI venture capitalist Kai-Fu Lee recently wrote in the New York Times , “A.I. is an industry in which strength begets strength: The more data you have, the better your product; the better your product, the more data you can collect; the more data you can collect, the more talent you can attract; the more talent you can attract, the better your product.”".....How did we get here? I would date the rise of the digital monopolies to August 2004, when Google raised $1.9 billion in its initial public offering......This shift has brought about a massive reallocation of revenue, with economic value moving from the creators of content to the owners of monopoly platforms. Since 2000, revenues for recorded music in the U.S. have fallen from almost $20 billion a year to less than $8 billion, according to the Recording Industry Association of America. U.S. newspaper ad revenue fell from $65.8 billion in 2000 to $23.6 billion in 2013 (the last year for which data are available). Though book publishing revenues have remained flat, this is mostly because increased children’s book sales have made up for the declining return on adult titles.....The precipitous decline in revenue for content creators has nothing to do with changing consumer preferences for their content. People are not reading less news, listening to less music, reading fewer books or watching fewer movies and TV shows. The massive growth in revenue for the digital monopolies has resulted in the massive loss of revenue for the creators of content. The two are inextricably linked......In the third quarter of 2016, companies owned by Facebook or Google took 90% of all new digital ad revenue. ....The history of Silicon Valley itself offers some guidance here. The astonishing technological revolution of the past half-century would never have occurred without the impetus of three seminal antitrust prosecutions. ....The clear historical lesson, which is waiting to be rediscovered in our own day, is that antitrust action has often served not to constrain innovation but to promote it.
Apple  Alphabet  Big_Tech  Google  Amazon  Microsoft  Facebook  artificial_intelligence  privacy  antitrust  Silicon_Valley  content  platforms  virtuous_cycles  content_creators  public_discourse  oligopolies  oversight  value_migration  regulation  innovation  seminal  no_oversight  imperceptible_threats  FAANG  backlash  Kai-Fu_Lee 
july 2017 by jerryking
What’s So Scary About Smart Girls? - NYTimes.com
MAY 10, 2014 | NYT | Nicholas Kristof.

So why does girls’ education matter so much? First, because it changes demography.

One of the factors that correlates most strongly to instability is a youth bulge in a population. The more unemployed young men ages 15 to 24, the more upheaval.

One study found that for every 1 percentage point increase in the share of the population aged 15 to 24, the risk of civil war increases by 4 percent.

That means that curbing birthrates tends to lead to stability, and that’s where educating girls comes in. You educate a boy, and he’ll have fewer children, but it’s a small effect. You educate a girl, and, on average, she will have a significantly smaller family. One robust Nigeria study managed to tease out correlation from causation and found that for each additional year of primary school, a girl has 0.26 fewer children. So if we want to reduce the youth bulge a decade from now, educate girls today.

More broadly, girls’ education can, in effect, almost double the formal labor force. It boosts the economy, raising living standards and promoting a virtuous cycle of development. Asia’s economic boom was built by educating girls and moving them from the villages to far more productive work in the cities....Educating girls and empowering women are also tasks that are, by global standards, relatively doable. We spend billions of dollars on intelligence collection, counterterrorism and military interventions, even though they have a quite mixed record. By comparison, educating girls is an underfunded cause even though it’s more straightforward.
Nigeria  terrorism  Nicholas_Kristof  girls  virtuous_cycles  education  women 
may 2014 by jerryking
In Search of the Next Big Thing
May 2013 | HBR | Adi Ignatius interviews Marc Andreessen.

Tries to find CEOs who are product innovators, have bandwidth and discipline to become CEO. It is hard to pair those skills if they do not reside in one person. It is easier to train an innovator to become CEO than to train a CEO to become an innovator. Andreessen is counter-intuitive: he went into venture capital precisely because the prior decade to his launch had been the worst decade in the industry's history. He believes in cycles and so thought that 2009 was a good time to launch Andreessen Horowitz... Take/Understand a long view....Build "fortresses"--a company so big, so powerful , so well defended that it can withstand the pressures of going public. Focus on the substance of what your company is all about. Be about the substance....companies that are built to be independent are the most attractive...generally companies need to have at least two years' worth of cash on the balance sheet in case your revenue goes to zero....takes sales and marketing seriously--lots of products are being sold and you need a way to get the word about your company into the public space...companies are worth investing in (it's value)only if its going to be an innovation factory for years to come....We are in the early phases of Andreessen's "Software is Eating the World" thesis....best of companies AH is looking at today are unbelievably good at analytics. Good at the feedback loop created by analyzing data and feeding those number sback into the process in real time, running a continuous improvement loop....The best founders are artists in their domain. They operate instinctively in their industry because they are in touch with every relevant data point. They‘re able to synthesize in their gut a tremendous amount of data—pulling together technology trends, their companies’ capabilities, their competitor's’ activities, market psychology, every conceivable aspect of how you run a company.
Marc_Andreessen  Andreessen_Horowitz  venture_capital  start_ups  vc  HBR  hedge_funds  SOX  IPOs  lean  analytics  lessons_learned  fingerspitzengefühl  contextual_intelligence  counterintuitive  specificity  long-term  software  virtuous_cycles  software_is_eating_the_world  pairs  skills  founders  product-orientated 
december 2013 by jerryking
The Problem With Too Many Millionaires - NYTimes.com
June 20, 2013 | REUTERS | By CHRYSTIA FREELAND.

The rich are getting richer....the very, very rich are doing best of all. The ranks of the ultrarich, whom the report defines as people with investable assets of at least $30 million, surged 11 percent, an even greater rate than the mere millionaires....“We are increasingly becoming a ‘winner-take-all’ economy, a phenomenon that the music industry has long experienced,”...The lucky and the talented — and it is often hard to tell the difference — have been doing better and better, while the vast majority has struggled to keep up.”... the problem is that the rise of the ultrarich isn’t occurring in isolation--it takes place in lock step with a darker phenomenon — the hollowing out of the global middle class. What is worrying is that: (a) labor productivity — which used to be the secret sauce for making everyone better off — has a diminished impact on wages.
(b) declining social mobility. The 1 percent is very good at passing on its privilege, and those born at the bottom are finding it harder to climb up.

That is the great paradox of today’s winner-take-all economy. At its best, it is driven by adopted dropouts like Steve Jobs or struggling single mothers like J.K. Rowling, who come up with something amazing and manage to prosper — and to enrich us all. But the winner-take-all economy will make such breakthroughs for anyone who didn’t make the wise choice of being born into the 1 percent harder and harder in the future, which is why we urgently need to come up with ways to soften its impact.
breakthroughs  Chrystia_Freeland  compounded  elitism  high_net_worth  hollowing_out  income_inequality  Matthew_effect  middle_class  paradoxes  productivity  self-perpetuation  social_mobility  special_sauce  The_One_Percent  virtuous_cycles  winner-take-all 
june 2013 by jerryking
Software Is Feeding The World: Agriculture Startup Solum Raises $17M Led by Andreessen Horowitz | TechCrunch
Anthony Ha
Wednesday, June 27th, 2012 (Agri-Data)

“Solum’s platform enables farmers to correlate nutrient measurements and fertilizer application to actual yields, in a constantly improving feedback loop. Over time, the result for farmers should be a ‘virtuous circle’ of increasing crop yields driven by ever-smarter and environmentally sustainable use of fertilizer, water and other precious resources. In essence, Solum’s technology will provide the data to drive farmers’ new intelligent machines, and the software to manage their application on a large scale.”
Andreessen_Horowitz  funding  start_ups  agriculture  farming  Solum  software  virtuous_cycles 
february 2013 by jerryking
How Apple outsmarted RIM and Nokia
Oct. 08, 2011| Globe and Mail| ERIC REGULY.

On Tuesday at a tech fair in Finland, Nokia boss Stephen Elop said “the iPhone did something disruptive. It introduced a new level of experience … that all of a sudden everything else was measured against.”

...Apple’s genius was to make it a platform that could feed off a vast ecosystem that included iTunes and a stunning array of apps, from the Angry Birds game to carbon footprint calculators (the list has reached 500,000, should you have some free browsing time this weekend). The ecosystem is like a perpetual motion machine. Its sheer size attracts more and more app developers, who in turn make the ecosystem deeper and richer and ever more attractive to customers....

It was a great compliment to Steve Jobs and Apple. Mr. Jobs died the next day, but left Apple in great shape. It appears that Nokia, RIM and Apple’s other diminished rivals will measure their products against the iPhone for some time. The lesson: Build ecosystems, not just phones.
Eric_Reguly  Apple  RIM  Nokia  ecosystems  lessons_learned  competitive_strategy  platforms  network_effects  virtuous_cycles  winner-take-all 
october 2011 by jerryking
The digital economy: Jobs of the future
Apr 7th 2011 | The Economist | Schumpeter columnist.
mobile phones and other handheld, internet-connected gadgets are now taking off across Africa just as they already have in developing Asia and other regions. Not only will this bring paid cyberjobs within the reach of millions of Africans; it should also, by boosting the demand for mobile-internet access, create a virtuous circle in which growing use of mobile telephony encourages more investment in infrastructure, which in turn puts more people in touch with the growing global digital
economy.
jobs  digital_economy  future  games  Africa  mobile_applications  virtuous_cycles 
july 2011 by jerryking

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