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jerryking : winner-take-all   53

Consciously decoupling the US economy
December 1 , 2019 | Financial Times | Rana Foroohar.

The US is economically decoupling from the rest of the world.....Europe is being pulled into China’s technology orbit via the 5G standards and technologies that make up part of the Belt and Road Initiative......one of the most important things the US could do right now to ensure both national security and its own position in the 21st-century digital economy would be to work with allies on transatlantic standards for emerging technologies like 5G, artificial intelligence and so on....... decoupling is no longer a fringe idea......the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) is now admitting that we are in a more fragmented world — one that won’t reset to the 1990s — and advocating what amounts to a US industrial policy--- a major shift in thinking. Deglobalisation, the idea of the US and China decoupling economically, is now mainstream.....heightened awareness of the relationship between national security and technology........it is becoming a given that the US needs a more coherent national economic strategy in a world in which state capitalism is in the ascendant. The question is how to get there. And that’s where the internal contradictions in America’s laissez-faire, free-market system start to become a problem......what role should government play?........What should the private sector expect from government and what should they be willing to do in exchange (e.g. Will FAANG repatriate profits to the U.S.? Will Silicon Valley and Wall Street volunteer to retrain the millions of underemployed millennials? How can we move from 40 years of supply-side thinking that has benefited multinational companies, towards something that better supports local economies and workers? ...if America is going to compete with a state-run economy like China in the digital era — one that seems to support a winner-takes-all dynamic — we are going to need bigger, public-sector directed shifts.
5G  adversaries  CFR  China  China_rising  decoupling  deglobalization  digital_economy  industrial_policies  military-industrial_complex  multinationals  new_tech_Cold_War  One_Belt_One_Road  public_sector  Rana_Foroohar  security_&_intelligence  state_capitalism  supply_chains  tariffs  technical_standards  technology  U.S.-China_relations  winner-take-all 
4 days ago by jerryking
The Man Who Solved the Market — how Jim Simons built a moneymaking machine
November 1, 2019 | | Financial Times | Robin Wigglesworth

The Man Who Solved the Market: How Jim Simons Launched the Quant Revolution, by Gregory Zuckerman, Portfolio, RRP$30/£20, 384 pages

Jim Simons looked to math and computers as ways to eliminate the emotional ups and downs of investing. “I don’t want to have to worry about the market every minute. I want models that will make money while I sleep.”
algorithms  books  finance  hedge_funds  James_Simons  massive_data_sets  mathematics  moguls  quantitative  Renaissance_Technologies  talent_spotting  winner-take-all 
4 weeks ago by jerryking
Fidelity’s search for the technology of tomorrow
October 20, 2109 | Financial Times | by Robin Wigglesworth in Boston.

Buffeted by falling fees and rising costs, the asset manager is investing heavily in an effort to remain competitive...
Bolstered by 2.8 tn invested in their  mutual funds, Fidelity administers another $7.7tn on behalf of various clients, making it one of the biggest, broadest and most powerful financial groups in the world. ....The investment industry has come under intense pressure in recent years, buffeted by falling fees and rising costs.......Abigail Johnson is trying to reforge Fidelity for a new era, where technology permeates and reshapes every aspect of the company’s disparate businesses.......“Across all financial services, the trend is towards fee compression....Fidelity is dabbling in cryptocurrencies...  Ms Johnson is now spending about $3bn a year on tech to modernise every business line, from trading to retirement planning. “Financial services is becoming another winner-takes-all industry, so you need to spend a lot of money on tech to get the advantages of scale and play both offence and defence,”.... the question is whether an organisation as big, established and complex — and with a culture as ingrained as Fidelity’s — can evolve quickly enough to navigate the industry’s ferocious headwinds.......Fidelity is exploring whether virtual reality can make it more palatable to consumers via the Fidelity Center for Applied Technology. .....The technology centre is also where Fidelity’s initial bitcoin experiments took place, which last year evolved into a standalone company, Fidelity Digital Asset Services.....Ms Johnson has embraced the index funds once mocked by her father. Fidelity now has about $530bn in passive funds, making it one of the biggest providers.......Fidelity last year promoted Steve Neff, its chief technology officer, to lead its $2.8tn asset management division....... A lot of asset managers are spending a lot of money on computer scientists, and they don’t end up being used.” Upgrading Fidelity’s core tech infrastructure — which was largely developed in the 1980s — is time-consuming and expensive......Fidelity is using artificial intelligence to write more neutral job ads shorn of subconscious biases, to test the outcomes, and to better target job sites that might have more prospective hires from minorities.
Abigail_Johnson  artifical_intelliegence  asset_management  blockchain  CEOs  Fidelity_Investments  financial_services  investment_management  legacy_tech  money_management  organizational_culture  the_great_game  virtual_reality  winner-take-all 
6 weeks ago by jerryking
Opinion | The Meritocracy Is Ripping America Apart
Sept. 12, 2019 | - The New York Times | By David Brooks.

savage exclusion tears the social fabric.

There are at least two kinds of meritocracy in America right now. Exclusive meritocracy exists at the super-elite universities and at the industries that draw the bulk of their employees from them — Wall Street, Big Law, medicine and tech. And then there is the more open meritocracy that exists almost everywhere else.

In the exclusive meritocracy, prestige is defined by how many people you can reject....The more the exclusivity, the thicker will be the coating of P.C. progressivism to show that we’re all good people.

People in this caste work phenomenally hard to build their wealth......People in this caste are super-skilled and productive.....These highly educated professionals attract vast earnings while everybody else gets left behind......Parents in the exclusive meritocracy raise their kids to be fit fighters within it....affluent parents invest on their kids’ human capital, over and above what middle-class parents can afford to invest......the Kansas Leadership Center. The center teaches people how to create social change and hopes to saturate the state with better leaders. But the center doesn’t focus on traditional “leaders.” Its mantra is: “Leadership is an activity, not a position. Anyone can lead, anytime, anywhere.” The atmosphere is one of radical inclusion.....People in both the exclusive and open meritocracies focus intensely on increasing skills. But it’s jarring to move from one culture to the other because the values are so different. The exclusive meritocracy is spinning out of control. If the country doesn’t radically expand its institutions and open access to its bounty, the U.S. will continue to rip apart.
Big_Law  caste_systems  Colleges_&_Universities  David_Brooks  elitism  exclusivity  hard_work  human_capital  inequality  law_firms  leadership  medicine  meritocracy  op-ed  parenting  political_correctness  social_classes  social_exclusion  social_fabric  social_impact  social_inclusion  society  technology  values  Wall_Street  winner-take-all 
11 weeks ago by jerryking
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
The Mystery of the Miserable Employees: How to Win in the Winner-Take-All Economy -
June 15, 2019 | The New York Times | By Neil Irwin.
Neil Irwin is a senior economics correspondent for The Upshot. He is the author of “How to Win in a Winner-Take-All-World,” a guide to navigating a career in the modern economy.......
What Mr. Ostrum and the analytics team did wasn’t a one-time dive into the numbers. It was part of a continuing process, a way of thinking that enabled them to change and adapt along with the business environment. The key is to listen to what data has to say — and develop the openness and interpretive skills to understand what it is telling us.......Neil Irwin was at Microsoft’s headquarters researching a book that aims to answer one simple question: How can a person design a thriving career today? The old advice (show up early, work hard) is no longer enough....In nearly every sector of the economy, people who seek well-paying, professional-track success face the same set of challenges: the rise of a handful of dominant “superstar” firms; a digital reinvention of business models; and a rapidly changing understanding about loyalty in the employer-employee relationship. It’s true in manufacturing and retail, in banking and law, in health care and education — and certainly in tech......superstar companies — and the smaller firms seeking to upend them — are where pragmatic capitalists can best develop their abilities and be well compensated for them over a long and durable career.....the obvious disadvantages of bureaucracy have been outweighed by some not-so-obvious advantages of scale......the ability to collect and analyze vast amounts of data about how people work, and what makes a manager effective (jk: organizing data) .... is essential for even those who aren’t managers of huge organizations, but are just trying to make themselves more valuable players on their own corporate team.......inside Microsoft’s human resources division, a former actuary named Dawn Klinghoffer ....was trying to figure out if the company could use data about its employees — which ones thrived, which ones quit, and the differences between those groups — to operate better......Klinghoffer was frustrated that ....insights came mostly from looking through survey results. She was convinced she could take the analytical approach further. After all, Microsoft was one of the biggest makers of email and calendar software — programs that produce a “digital exhaust” of metadata about how employees use their time. In September 2015, she advised Microsoft on the acquisition of a Seattle start-up, VoloMetrix, that could help it identify and act on the patterns in that vapor......One of VoloMetrix's foundational data sets, for example, was private emails sent by top Enron executives before the company’s 2001 collapse — a rich look at how an organization’s elite behave when they don’t think anyone is watching.
analytics  books  data  datasets  data_driven  exhaust_data  Fitbit  gut_feelings  human_resources  interpretative  Managing_Your_Career  massive_data_sets  meetings  metadata  Microsoft  Moneyball  organizational_analytics  organizing_data  people_analytics  quantitative  quantified_self  superstars  unhappiness  VoloMetrix  winner-take-all  work_life_balance 
june 2019 by jerryking
How a private equity boom fuelled the world’s biggest law firm
June 6, 2019 | Financial Times | James Fontanella-Khan and Sujeet Indap in New York and Barney Thompson in London.

Jeff Hammes took the helm at a Chicago-based law firm called Kirkland & Ellis in 2010, with the aim of turning it into a world-beater, few in the industry thought he stood a chance.......known as a good litigation firm in Chicago with a decent mid-market private equity practice, in the blockbuster dealmaking world, however, the firm was largely irrelevant. Nobody took them seriously on Wall Street.....Fuelled by explosive growth in private equity, aggressive poaching of talent and most of all, a business model that resembles a freewheeling investment bank, Kirkland has become the highest-grossing law firm in the world.....This rise reflects the shift in the financial world’s balance of power since the financial crisis. Investment banks, the dominant force before 2008, have been eclipsed by private equity firms, which now sit on hundreds of billions of dollars of investment funds.

Kirkland thrived by hitching itself to this dealmaking activity. The firm presents with a relentless — many say ruthless — focus on growth, a phenomenal work ethic and a desire to up-end what it sees as a lazy hierarchy. Key questions: can its winning streak can continue? Will its private equity clients continue to prosper? how will Kirkland cope if and when the private equity boom ends? And can a firm with such a hard-charging culture survive in the long run?....Robert Smith’s Vista Equity has grown to manage assets from $1bn to $46 in a decade while working with Kirkland.....To establish Kirkland as a major player, Mr Hammes turned his attention to recruitment. ....poaching proven M&A experts and targeting all areas of dealmaking.....To entice the best lawyers to join its ranks, Kirkland managed to exploit a structural rigidity in its more traditional white-shoe and magic circle rivals. A dwindling but still significant number of elite firms remunerate equity partners using a “lockstep” model......
Kirkland sought rising stars in their late thirties who were at the bottom of this ladder, stuck in the queue for the highest share of profits. Part of its pitch was money — “With compensation, we can go as high as we want,” says one partner — but the other part was an almost unprecedented level of autonomy.
Big_Law  booming  business_development  Chicago  compensation  concentration_risk  dealmakers  deal-making  eat_what_you_kill  financial_crises  growth  hard-charging  high-end  hiring  howto  hustle  Kirkland_Ellis  law  law_firms  litigation  mid-market  organizational_culture  poaching  private_equity  recruiting  Robert_Smith  superstars  talent  turnover  Vista  Wall_Street  winner-take-all  work_ethic  world-class 
june 2019 by jerryking
Opinion | Abolish Billionaires - The New York Times
By Farhad Manjoo
Opinion Columnist

Feb. 6, 2019

A radical idea is gaining adherents on the left. It’s the perfect way to blunt tech-driven inequality.
Alexandria_Ocasio-Cortez  Anand_Giridharadas  artificial_intelligence  capital_accumulation  digital_economy  Farhad_Manjoo  income_distribution  income_inequality  moguls  network_effects  rhetoric  software  superstars  winner-take-all 
february 2019 by jerryking
The Rise of Global, Superstar Firms, Sectors and Cities - CIO Journal.
Jan 18, 2019 | WSJ | By Irving Wladawsky-Berger.

Scale increases a platform’s value. The more products or services a platform offers, the more consumers it will attract, helping it then attract more offerings, which in turn brings in more consumers, which then makes the platform even more valuable. Moreover, the larger the network, the more data available to customize offerings and better match supply and demand, further increasing the platform’s value. The result is that a small number of companies have become category kings dominating the rest of their competitors in their particular markets.

Network dynamics also apply to metropolitan areas. For the past few decades, the demands for high-skill jobs have significantly expanded, with the earnings of the college educated workers needed to fill such jobs rising steadily. Talent has become the linchpin asset of the knowledge economy, making capital highly dependent on talented experts to navigate our increasingly complex business environment.

“Just as the economy confers disproportionate rewards to superstar talent, superstar cities… similarly tower above the rest,” wrote urban studies professor and author Richard Florida. “They are not just the places where the most ambitious and most talented people want to be - they are where such people feel they need to be.”
cities  clusters  geographic_concentration  hyper-concentrations  Irving_Wladawsky-Berger  knowledge_economy  network_effects  platforms  Richard_Florida  start_ups  superstars  talent  winner-take-all 
january 2019 by jerryking
Where You Should Move to Make the Most Money: America’s Superstar Cities - WSJ
By Christopher Mims
Dec. 15, 2018 12:00 a.m. ET
Technology is creating an economy in which superstar employees work for superstar firms that gather them into superstar cities, leading to a stark geographic concentration of wealth unlike any seen in the past century.

The latest example of this is Apple announcing this past week a billion-dollar investment in a new campus that could ultimately accommodate up to 15,000 employees in a city already red hot with talent (Austin, Texas).....When economists talk about “superstar” anything, they’re referencing a phenomenon first described in the early 1980s. It began as the product of mass media and was put into overdrive by the internet. In an age when the reach of everything we make is greater than ever, members of an elite class of bankers, chief executives, programmers, Instagram influencers and just about anyone with in-demand technical skills have seen their incomes grow far faster than those of the middle class.

In this winner-take-all economy, the superstar firms—think Apple, Google and Amazon, but also their increasingly high-tech equivalents in finance, health care and every other industry—appear to account for most of the divergence in productivity and profits between companies in the U.S.

As firms cluster around talent, and talent is in turn drawn to those firms, the result is a self-reinforcing trend toward ever-richer, ever-costlier metro areas that are economically dominant over the rest of the country.
Christopher_Mims  cities  clusters  geographic_concentration  geographic_inequality  hyper-concentrations  start_ups  superstars  winner-take-all  disproportionality  digitalization 
december 2018 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
The dawn of the superstar lawyer
April 9, 2018 | Financial TImes | James Fontanella-Khan, Sujeet Indap in New York and Barney Thompson in London YESTERDAY Print this page140
law_firms  Big_Law  law  lawyers  compensation  winner-take-all  superstars  eat_what_you_kill  organizational_culture 
april 2018 by jerryking
China Started the Trade War, Not Trump
March 23, 2018 | WSJ | By Greg Ip.

Even free traders and internationalists agree China’s predatory trade practices—which include forcing U.S. business to transfer valuable technology to Chinese firms and restricting access to Chinese markets—are undermining both its partners and the trading system....starting in the 1980s, economists recognized that comparative advantage couldn’t explain success in many industries such as commercial jetliners, microprocessors and software. These industries are difficult for competitors to enter because of steep costs for research and development, previously established technical standards, increasing returns to scale (costs drop the more you sell), and network effects (the more customers use the product, the more valuable it becomes).......In such industries, a handful of firms may reap the lion’s share of the wages and profits (what economists call rents), at the expense of others. China’s efforts are aimed at achieving such dominance in many of these industries by 2025.
China  China_rising  comparative_advantage  Donald_Trump  Greg_Ip  increasing_returns_to_scale  myths  network_effects  predatory_practices  protectionism  tariffs  technical_standards  trade_wars  U.S.-China_relations  winner-take-all  WTO 
march 2018 by jerryking
Start Spreading the News: Digital Fuels Superstar Cities - CIO Journal. WSJ
Dec 29, 2017 | WSJ | By Irving Wladawsky-Berger.

Superstar companies are primarily driven by economies of scale, generally achieved through platforms and network effects. Whenever a product, service or process is captured in software and digitized, it becomes digital capital and the economics of abundance take over. The more products or services a platform offers, the more users it will attract, helping it then attract more offerings from ecosystem partners, which in turn brings in more users.....The result is that a small number of companies become category kings dominating the rest of their competitors in their particular market – the Facebooks, Googles, Twitters, Ubers and AirBnbs. Category kings generally take over 70 percent of the total market value in their category, leaving everyone else to split the remaining 30 percent.

“Cities have been caught up in this winner-take-all phenomenon, too,” noted Mr. Florida. “Just as the economy confers disproportionate rewards to superstar talent, superstar cities… similarly tower above the rest. They generate the greatest levels of innovation, control and attract the largest shares of global capital and investment.”

Network dynamics apply to cities just as they do for companies and talent. “They have unique kinds of economies that are based around the most innovative and highest value-added industries, particularly finance, media, entertainment and tech; businesses in superstar cities are formed and scaled up more quickly. All of this attracts still more industries and more talent. It’s a powerful, ongoing feedback loop that compounds the advantages of these cities over time.”

But, such a concentration of talent, wealth and economic activity in fewer and fewer places has led to what a recent Economist issue called the changing economies of geography, the rising inequalities between a relatively small number of superstar cities and the many towns and regions that have been left behind by technology and globalization.
Irving_Wladawsky-Berger  cities  winner-take-all  platforms  superstars  network_effects  disproportionality  geographic_concentration  geographic_inequality  feedback_loops  compounded  increasing_returns_to_scale  digitalization 
january 2018 by jerryking
In a Superstar Economy, a Bull Market in Superstar Harassers
OCT. 31, 2017 | The New York Times | By NOAM SCHEIBER.

In the recent wave of reports of workplace sexual harassment, a recurring theme stands out: the willingness of companies’ supposed overseers to ignore credible allegations in order to retain a perceived star.....in a report on sexual harassment last year, gave those who benefit from it a name: “superstar” harassers. “When the superstar misbehaves, employers may perceive themselves in a quandary,” the report said. “They may be tempted to ignore the misconduct because, the thinking goes, losing the superstar would be too costly.”

Superstar harassers account for a fraction of the harassment allegations in the workplace, but these individuals can have considerable impact. Superstars are able to evade the consequences of their actions for years, and they exert outsize influence over their organizations.........The growth of a superstar economy is reflected in a greater concentration of money and power among those at the top. A generation or two ago, a top worker who was slightly better than his or her peers tended to receive a moderate premium in earnings. Today, with companies operating on a more sweeping scale, that premium is much higher. Top performers only slightly better than their peers tend to make vastly more money.

“It’s really taken off in the last two decades,” Professor Katz of Harvard said. “You see it in broad measures of income, and even in the raw data — the hedge fund manager, finance people, C.E.O. data, top academics, top lawyers.”

In effect, the rest of the economy is becoming more like Hollywood, where a small group of stars have long reaped a huge portion of the rewards. That means more bosses and boards may soon face decisions about whether to stand up to harassers or to overlook their behavior.
sexual_harassment  winner-take-all  superstars  overachievers  workplaces  Hollywood  high-achieving 
october 2017 by jerryking
The Amazon-Walmart Showdown That Explains the Modern Economy - The New York Times
Neil Irwin @Neil_Irwin JUNE 16, 2017

The decision by Amazon and Walmart to compete for my grocery business — as well as for space in my closet — is a tiny battle in a war to dominate a changing global economy.

And for companies that can’t compete on price and technology, it could cost them the shirt off their backs.....[Amazon's purchase of high-end grocery chain Whole Foods places it] on a collision course with Walmart to try to be the predominant seller of pretty much everything you buy.

Each one is trying to become more like the other — Walmart by investing heavily in its technology, Amazon by opening physical bookstores and now buying physical supermarkets. But this is more than a battle between two business titans. Their rivalry sheds light on the shifting economics of nearly every major industry, replete with winner-take-all effects and huge advantages that accrue to the biggest and best-run organizations, to the detriment of upstarts and second-fiddle players.....in turn...this has more worrying implications for jobs, wages and inequality.

Amazon vs. Walmart

Both want to sell everything!!!!

Walmart is buying Bonobos, an omnichannel innovator. Its website and online customer service are excellent, and it operates stores in major cities where you can try on garments and order items to be shipped directly. Because all the actual inventory is centralized, the stores themselves can occupy minimal square footage. The acquisition helps Walmart build expertise in the very areas where it is trying to gain on Amazon.

Walmart and Amazon have had their sights on each other for years, each aiming to be the dominant seller of goods via omnichannel.

Amazon's purchase of Whole Foods helps it to understand the grocery business which has a whole different set of challenges from the types of goods that Amazon has specialized in heretofore.

A Positive Returns-to-Scale World
The apparel business has long been a highly competitive industry in which countless players could find a niche.....any shirt-maker that tried to get too big rapidly faced diminishing returns.It would have to pay more and more to lease the real estate for far-flung stores, and would have to outbid competitors to hire all the experienced shirt-makers. The expansion wouldn’t offer any meaningful cost savings and would entail a lot more headaches trying to manage it all....in the digital economy, rather than reflecting those diminishing returns to scale, show positive returns to scale: The biggest companies have a huge advantage over smaller players. That tends to tilt markets toward a handful of players or even a monopoly....The apparel industry...is moving in the direction of being like the software business (high fixed costs, zero variable costs, enormous returns to scale)..... the reason why Walmart and Amazon are so eager get into the shirt business is because retailers know that they need to figure out how to manage sophisticated supply chains connecting Southeast Asia with stores in big American cities so that they rarely run out of product. They need mobile apps and websites that offer a seamless user experience so that nothing stands between a would-be purchaser and an order....Larger companies that are good at supply chain management and technology can spread those more-or-less fixed costs around more total sales, enabling them to keep prices lower than a niche player and entrench their advantage....large companies will invest in automation/robotics...the future of clothing/apparel might be a handful of companies with the very expensive shirt-making robots---and everyone else shut out in the cold.

What It Means for the Economy

A relative few winners are taking a disproportionate share of business in a wide range of industries....in turn may help explain why the income gap has widened in recent years. How much on income inequality is driven by shifting technology — as opposed to changing corporate behavior, or loose antitrust policy — is an open debate.
increasing_returns_to_scale  winner-take-all  fixed_costs  variable_costs  Amazon  Wal-Mart  Whole_Foods  retailers  economics  Bonobos  shirts  mens'_clothing  omnichannel  apparel  digital_economy  automation  robotics  competitive_landscape  market_concentration  barbell_effect  income_inequality  antitrust  market_power  corporate_concentration  grocery  fresh_produce  supermarkets  large_companies  UX  inventory-free  global_economy 
june 2017 by jerryking
Washington Post, Breaking News, Is Also Breaking New Ground - The New York Times
Common Sense
By JAMES B. STEWART MAY 19, 2017
Scoops — and high-quality journalism more generally — are integral to The Post’s business model at a time when the future of digital journalism seemed to be veering toward the lowest common denominator of exploding watermelons and stupid pet tricks.

“Investigative reporting is absolutely critical to our business model,” Mr. Baron told me. “We add value. We tell people what they didn’t already know. We hold government and powerful people and institutions accountable. This cannot happen without financial support. We’re at the point where the public realizes that and is willing to step up and support that work by buying subscriptions.”.........Mr. Huber noted that given the winner-take-all nature of the internet, the sources of scoops are gravitating toward just a few news outlets led by The Times and The Post. Sources (and people who want to “leak”) go to a publication with the most impact; opinion makers and influencers seek the publication with the most sources and scoops — hence the “network effect” so coveted in technology circles, and one well understood by Mr. Bezos.

When I asked Mr. Baron to name one thing that has driven the turnaround, his immediate answer was Mr. Bezos — and not because of his vast fortune.

“The most fundamental thing Jeff did was to change our strategy entirely,” Mr. Baron said. “We were a news organization that focused on the Washington region, so our vision was constrained. Jeff said from the start that wasn’t the right strategy. Our industry had suffered due to the internet, but the internet also brought gifts, and we should recognize that. It made distribution free, which gave us the opportunity to be a national and even international news organization, and we should recognize and take advantage of that.”.....“Today you have to be great at everything,” Mr. Hartman said. “You have to be great at technology. You have to be great at monetization. But one thing I think we’re proving is that if you are, great journalism can be profitable.”
journalism  investigative_journalism  WaPo  scoops  informants  winner-take-all  network_effects  sources  leaks  opinon_makers  digital_strategies  NYT  WSJ  Jeff_Bezos  subscriptions  paywalls  high-quality 
may 2017 by jerryking
Empty talk on innovation is killing Canada’s economic prosperity
Mar. 19, 2017 | Globe & Mail | by JIM BALSILLIE.

Immigration, traditional infrastructure such as roads and bridges, tax policy, stable banking regulation and traditional trade agreements are all 19th- and 20th-century economic levers that advance Canada’s traditional industries, but they have little impact on 21st-century productivity.

The outdated economic orthodoxy behind our discourse on innovation is causing the steady erosion of our national prosperity.

Over the past 30 years, commercialization of intellectual property (IP) became the primary driver of new wealth. The structure of the 21st-century company shifted and IP became the most valuable corporate asset. IP is an intangible good that requires policy infrastructure that’s completely different than the infrastructure required to get traditional tangible goods to market. IP relies on a tightly designed ecosystem of highly technical interlocking policies focused on scaling companies, which are “agents” of innovation outputs.....Canada doesn’t have valuable IP to sell to the world so we continue exporting low-margin resource and agricultural goods while importing high-margin IP. If our leaders want to create sustainable economic growth, Canada’s growth strategy must focus on creating high-margin IP-based exports that the world wants and must pay for.........IP ownership is the competitive driver in the new global economy, not exchange rates that adjust production costs. That’s why despite the strong U.S. dollar, U.S. company valuations and exports are soaring – IP-intensive industries added $6.6-trillion (U.S.) to the U.S. economy in 2014. So what is Canada’s strategy to increase our ownership of valuable IP assets and commercialize them globally? Supply chains in the innovation economy are different than in traditional economies because IP operates on a winner-take-all economic principle with zero marginal production costs. IP is traded differently than tangible goods because IP moves across borders on the principle of restriction, not free trade. Trade liberalization increases competition and reduces prices, but increased IP protection does the exact opposite. The economy for intangible goods is fundamentally different than the one for tangible goods. Productivity in the global innovation economy is driven by new ideas that generate new revenue for new markets. What Canada needs is a strategy to turn its new ideas into new revenue.....The Growth Council missed our overriding priority for growth: a national strategy to generate IP that Canadian companies can commercialize to scale globally.

We urgently need sophisticated strategies to drive the commercialization of Canadian ideas through our most innovative companies.
innovation  Jim_Balsillie  happy_talk  intellectual_property  scaling  tax_codes  winner-take-all  productivity  intangibles  digital_economy  ideas  self-deception  patents  commercialization  national_strategies  global_economy  property_rights  protocols  borderless 
march 2017 by jerryking
America is still great — but it needs to stay strong
May 26, 2016 | The Washington Post | By Fareed Zakaria, Opinion writer.

It is increasingly clear that the U.S. has in recent years reinforced its position as the world’s leading economic, technological, military and political power. The country dominates virtually all leading industries — from social networks to mobile telephony to nano- and biotechnology — like never before......Joshua Cooper Ramo's new book, “The Seventh Sense,” argues that in an age of networks, the winner often takes all. He points out that there are nine global tech platforms (Google Chrome, Microsoft Office, Facebook, etc.) that are used by more than 1 billion people. All dominate their respective markets — and all have their epicenters in America: The dollar is more widely used for international financial transactions today than it was 20 years ago.....A better, broader measure of economic power than GDP, is “inclusive wealth.” This is the sum of a nation’s “manufactured capital (roads, buildings, machines and equipment), human capital (skills, education, health) and natural capital (sub-soil resources, ecosystems, the atmosphere).” The United States’ inclusive wealth totaled almost $144 trillion in 2010 — 4½ times China’s $32 trillion.....China is far behind the United States in its ability to add value to goods and create new products.....In the military and political realm, the dominance is even more lopsided. ....And perhaps most important, the United States has a web of allies around the world and is actually developing new important ones, such as India and Vietnam. Meanwhile, China has one military ally, North Korea....The complexity of today’s international system is that, despite this American dominance, other countries have, in fact, gained ground.......“Washington still has no true rival, and will not for a very long time, but it faces a growing number of constraints.” ....The reality is that America remains the world’s leading power, but it can achieve its objectives only by defining its interests broadly, working with others and creating a network of cooperation. That, alas, does not fit on a campaign cap.
Fareed_Zakaria  Donald_Trump  networks  epicenters  winner-take-all  superpowers  indispensable  Joshua_Cooper_Ramo  platforms  books  international_system  manufactured_capital  human_capital  natural_capital 
may 2016 by jerryking
Patterns of Deconstruction: Layer Mastery
JANUARY 01, 1999 | bcg.perspectives |by David Edelman.

In order to exist as a layer, a product or activity supplied by a single company must be a key input to one or many value chains, while also being modular enough to stand on its own as an independent business.
So, the first step in achieving layer mastery is to identify whether any assets or capabilities that have traditionally been part of your proprietary product definition or process expertise may represent the kernel of a new layer business. Often, the asset or capability you have been protecting most carefully is precisely the thing you should be selling to as many players as possible—competitors included—in an effort to create a branded industry standard.

Is the Layer Worth Mastering?

Not all are. Deconstruction de-averages the economics of a business. Some layers are naturally fragmented, leading to stalemate. Other layers, however, can be highly scale sensitive, leading to winner-takes-all competitive dynamics.
For instance, as deconstruction separates physical activities from informational ones, a new information-based scale is emerging. In layers governed by this information scale, network effects create ever increasing value for customers as more of them use the layer—a powerful economic logic for the existence of a dominant competitor.
BCG  layer_mastery  deconstruction  core_competencies  winner-take-all  physical_activities  value_chains  scaling  assets  capabilities  network_effects  kernels  informational_activities 
april 2015 by jerryking
A Hard Turnaround for Software: Software Companies Caught in a Downward Spiral Find It Exceptionally Difficult to Escape. Yet a Determined Few Succeed
Summer 2002 |The McKinsey Quarterly By Blumling, Mark; Frick, Kevin A.; Meehan, William F.,, III

While executing a turnaround in any industry can be a difficult task, digging a software business ou...
category_killers  cost-cutting  downward_spirals  howto  increasing_returns_to_scale  McKinsey  software  switching_costs  turnarounds  winner-take-all 
january 2015 by jerryking
Are book publishers blockbustering themselves into oblivion? - The Globe and Mail
RUSSELL SMITH
Special to The Globe and Mail
Published Friday, Nov. 28 2014

Whatever they mean, they certainly cannot mean a shrinking talent pool.

So they must mean that they are not, in fact, interested in the real talent pool, or in a wide variety of literature. What they are looking for are bestsellers, which tend to be particularly narrow kinds of books. Most of the gargantuan advances that have made headlines in the U.S. recently are for science-fiction and fantasy books. Every publisher is looking for exactly the same book – basically, they are looking for The Hunger Games again and again. When they say “quality,” they mean “mass appeal.”...But in concentrating on bestsellers to the detriment of other literature, the publishers are simply following the model of all the entertainment industries. Providing an eclectic variety of entertainments to please a diverse audience, as the free Internet can do, just hasn’t been lucrative for the conglomerates that own film studios and recording labels. They are in constant search of blockbusters.

As they grow larger and concentrate their efforts and investments on massive, sure-fire hits – the next Marvel movie, the next Taylor Swift album – the cultural landscape seems paradoxically smaller. It becomes even more difficult to get an indie film made – the huge projects suck the oxygen (financing, distribution, media coverage) out of the biosphere.

In following this larger trend, book publishers are shortsighted. By reducing their involvement in original and challenging art, they relinquish literary fiction to the tiny presses and online magazines, and so become artistically irrelevant and, in the long run, uninteresting even as suppliers of entertainment. Pursuing mainstream popularity with ever-larger sums of money is ultimately self-destructive....Yes, such high-mindedness is all very well for someone who doesn’t have to keep a money-losing, employment-providing company afloat. And Le Guin’s vague rejection of capitalism is not a solution to the immediate problems facing publishers. But her point about taking the long view – about concentrating on valuable literature for the sake of the industry’s general health – is surely a practical one as well.
books  publishing  Russell_Smith  literature  blockbusters  art  short-sightedness  conglomerates  indie  winner-take-all  Amazon  writers  long-term  self-destructive  talent_pools 
november 2014 by jerryking
Yes, the Wealthy Can Be Deserving
FEB. 15, 2014 | NYT | By N. GREGORY MANKIW.

Actors, authors, and athletes do not make up the entire ranks of the rich. Most top earners make their fortunes in ways that are less transparent to the public.... the most natural explanation of high C.E.O. pay is that the value of a good C.E.O. is extraordinarily high.

That is hardly a surprise. A typical chief executive is overseeing billions of dollars of shareholder wealth as well as thousands of employees. The value of making the right decisions is tremendous. Just consider the role of Steve Jobs in the rise of Apple and its path-breaking products....A similar case is the finance industry, where many hefty compensation packages can be found. There is no doubt that this sector plays a crucial economic role. Those who work in banking, venture capital and other financial firms are in charge of allocating the economy’s investment resources. They decide, in a decentralized and competitive way, which companies and industries will shrink and which will grow. It makes sense that a nation would allocate many of its most talented and thus highly compensated individuals to the task.
high_net_worth  income_distribution  winner-take-all  the_one_percent  CEOs  compensation  private_equity  income_inequality  talent  breakthroughs  Steve_Jobs  finance  capital_allocation  decision_making 
february 2014 by jerryking
Storied law firm Heenan Blaikie sunk by a shifting legal landscape - The Globe and Mail
JANET McFARLAND, JEFF GRAY, KATHRYN BLAZE CARLSON AND SEAN FINE

The Globe and Mail

Published Wednesday, Feb. 05 2014

National law firm Heenan Blaikie LLP is closing after 40 years in operation, marking the largest failure of a law firm in Canada....An array of problems contributed to its demise, from new pressures on mid-sized law firms to a long decline in major corporate deals and demands from clients for lower billing. Some clients have abandoned traditional loyalty to a single firm and have been using smaller ones that offer deep discounts on routine work.
law_firms  Bay_Street  dissolutions  Heenan_Blaikie  winner-take-all  decline  mid-sized  Jeff_Gray  barbell_effect 
february 2014 by jerryking
Run on the firm may signal Heenan’s demise
BRIAN MILNER
Run on the firm may signal Heenan’s demise Add to ...
Subscribers Only

The Globe and Mail

It’s a fate that awaits other mid-level law firms whose business model is no longer working in a rapidly changing environment. Firms like Heenan Blaikie are being squeezed mercilessly both from above and below – by the heavyweights chasing after business they once ignored as unworthy of their lofty status, and by more nimble specialist firms with lower expenses (including less lavish offices) and cheaper fees.

Like accounting firms and investment banks, law firms are also facing the long-predicted downdrafts emanating from the hollowing out of corporate Canada. As Canadian subsidiaries have ceded greater control to their foreign owners, a chunk of their financial and legal business in Canada has migrated to head offices in other countries.

Published Tuesday, Feb. 04 2014
law_firms  Bay_Street  dissolutions  Heenan_Blaikie  winner-take-all  head_offices  hollowing_out  boutiques  specialists  mid-sized  rapid_change  barbell_effect  Corporate_Canada  mercilessness 
february 2014 by jerryking
Artists struggle to survive in age of the blockbuster
Nov. 28 2013 | The Globe and Mail | RUSSELL SMITH.
In the artistic economy, the Internet has not lived up to its hype. For years, the cybergurus liked to tell us about the “long tail”....People in publishing bought this, too....In fact, the blockbuster artistic product is dominating cultural consumption as at no other time in history....The book Blockbusters: Hit-making, Risk-taking, and the Big Business of Entertainment, by business writer Anita Elberse, argues that the days of the long tail are over in the United States. It makes more sense, she claims, for entertainment giants to plow as much money as they can into guaranteed hits than to cultivate new talent...There are big winners and there are losers – the middle ground is eroding. Publishers are publishing less, not more. Everybody awaits the fall’s big literary-prize nominations with a make-us-or-break-us terror. Every second-tier author spends an hour every day in the dismal abjection of self-promotion – on Facebook, to an audience of 50 fellow authors who couldn’t care less who just got a nice review in the Raccoonville Sentinel....What does any artist do in the age of the blockbuster? Nothing, absolutely nothing, except keep on doing what you like to do. Global economic changes are not your problem (and are nothing you can change with a despairing tweet). Think instead, as you always have, about whether or not you like semicolons and how to describe the black winter sky. There is something romantic about being underground, no?
Russell_Smith  winner-take-all  The_Long_Tail  artists  publishing  niches  hits  books  entertainment  entertainment_industry  blockbusters  creative_economy  Anita_Elberse  creative_class  piracy  copyright 
december 2013 by jerryking
The Self-Destruction of the 1 Percent -
October 13, 2012 | NYTimes.com | By CHRYSTIA FREELAND.

IN the early 14th century, Venice was one of the richest cities in Europe. At the heart of its economy was the colleganza, a basic form of joint-stock company created to finance a single trade expedition. The brilliance of the colleganza was that it opened the economy to new entrants, allowing risk-taking entrepreneurs to share in the financial upside with the established businessmen who financed their merchant voyages.

Venice’s elites were the chief beneficiaries. Like all open economies, theirs was turbulent. Today, we think of social mobility as a good thing. But if you are on top, mobility also means competition. In 1315, when the Venetian city-state was at the height of its economic powers, the upper class acted to lock in its privileges, putting a formal stop to social mobility with the publication of the Libro d’Oro, or Book of Gold, an official register of the nobility. If you weren’t on it, you couldn’t join the ruling oligarchy.

The political shift, which had begun nearly two decades earlier, was so striking a change that the Venetians gave it a name: La Serrata, or the closure. It wasn’t long before the political Serrata became an economic one, too. Under the control of the oligarchs, Venice gradually cut off commercial opportunities for new entrants. Eventually, the colleganza was banned. The reigning elites were acting in their immediate self-interest, but in the longer term, La Serrata was the beginning of the end for them, and for Venetian prosperity more generally. By 1500, Venice’s population was smaller than it had been in 1330. In the 17th and 18th centuries, as the rest of Europe grew, the city continued to shrink....several recent studies have shown that in America today it is harder to escape the social class of your birth than it is in Europe. The Canadian economist Miles Corak has found that as income inequality increases, social mobility falls...Businessmen like to style themselves as the defenders of the free market economy, but as Luigi Zingales, an economist at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, argued, “Most lobbying is pro-business, in the sense that it promotes the interests of existing businesses, not pro-market in the sense of fostering truly free and open competition.”
business_interests  capitalism  Chrystia_Freeland  city-states  cronyism  crony_capitalism  depopulation  elitism  entrenched_interests  history  income_distribution  income_inequality  lobbying  locked_in  moguls  new_entrants  oligarchs  pro-business  pro-market  Renaissance  self-destructive  self-interest  social_classes  social_mobility  The_One_Percent  Venice  winner-take-all 
september 2013 by jerryking
The strategy consultants in search of a strategy - FT.com
August 28, 2013 | FT | By John Gapper.
The strategy consultants in search of a strategy

Two decades ago, 70 per cent of McKinsey’s revenues were from strategy and corporate finance but most now flow from hands-on work on risk, operations and marketing.
management_consulting  strategy  professional_service_firms  McKinsey  BCG  Bain  Monitor  Deloitte  winner-take-all 
september 2013 by jerryking
Who Will Prosper in the New World - NYTimes.com
August 31, 2013 | NYT | By TYLER COWEN.
Who Will Prosper in the New World

Who will do well?

THE CONSCIENTIOUS
PEOPLE WHO LISTEN TO COMPUTERS
PEOPLE WITH A MARKETING TOUCH
MOTIVATORS
==================================================
Who will be most likely to suffer from this technological revolution?
PEOPLE WITH DELICATE FEELINGS
PEOPLE UNLUCKY IN HEALTH CARE
PEOPLE WHO DON’T NEED MONEY
POLITICAL RADICALS:
technology  economics  productivity  the_Great_Decoupling  career_paths  winner-take-all  automation  Tyler_Cowen  marketing  motivations  inequality  income_distribution  income_inequality  downward_mobility 
september 2013 by jerryking
Who's Your Daddy?
July 20, 2013 | NYT |By MILES CORAK

Better job opportunities for the children of the top 1 percent deepen our cynicism about how people get ahead....Hard work and perseverance will always be ingredients for success, but higher inequality has sharply tilted the landscape and made having successful parents, if not essential, certainly a central part of the recipe....THE Danish and Canadian top 1 percent certainly have their share of privilege: the Gus Wenners of the world, talented or not, are not rare. A recent study published by the Russell Sage Foundation showed that about 30 percent of young Danes and 40 percent of Canadians had worked with a firm that at some point also employed their fathers. This is more likely the higher the father’s place on the income ladder, rising distinctly and sharply for top earners. In Denmark more than half of sons born to the top 1 percent of fathers had worked for an employer for whom the father also worked, and in Canada the proportion is even higher at nearly 7 of every 10.

This is on a par with the United States, where, according to a 2006 study, up to half of jobs are found through families, friends or acquaintances, with higher wages being paid to those who found jobs through “prior generation male relatives” who actually knew the potential employer or served as a reference.
nepotism  movingonup  income_distribution  self-perpetuation  winner-take-all  inequality  privilege  myths  opportunities  The_One_Percent  income_inequality  hard_work  compounded  upper-income 
july 2013 by jerryking
Big Law’s Troubling Trajectory - NYTimes.com
By STEVEN J. HARPER
Published: June 24, 2013

big-firm practice has become just another business. Most readers might react to Weil’s staggering partner incomes by asking why $2 million plus a year — or even half that — isn’t enough. It’s a fair question. Ask equity partners in any big firm whether as law students they ever dreamed of making the money they now earn. Anyone answering honestly would give a resounding “No.” College students whose principal career objective was wealth typically headed into business; law school attracted those with different ambitions. After all, the legal profession was supposed to be something special.

Not anymore. Most big firms are now following the leads of their corporate clients, which run businesses with one eye on the current stock price while maximizing quarterly earnings. But that can be an unforgiving world. Weil’s enormous reported profits for 2012 included a downward arrow because they represented an 8 percent drop from 2011, in part because of expensive hires. However unjustified, even a single year of relatively minor decline can create concerns. Cutting costs through layoffs and getting more billable hours out of the survivors has become a typical, businesslike response.

Paradoxically, firms also pursue a growth agenda in the midst of such downsizing. The current demand for high-end legal services is flat, so many firm leaders use high profits to attract rainmakers from elsewhere. The effort to buy top-line revenues by acquiring partners with portable books of business has thrown most big law firms into a lateral hiring frenzy. In that contest, Weil recently lost some talent, but it has acquired even more — recruiting 20 new lateral partners in 2012 and 18 in 2011. (The firm had 195 equity partners at the end of 2012.) Ironically, recent studies demonstrate — and about 40 percent of managing partners admit — that lateral hiring usually is not profitable for the firms that do it. Yet the expensive strategy remains pervasive. The mantra that “bigger must be better” prevails in the face of contrary data.
Big_Law  law_firms  layoffs  winner-take-all  rainmaking 
june 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_distribution  inequality  middle_class  paradoxes  productivity  self-perpetuation  social_mobility  special_sauce  The_One_Percent  winner-take-all 
june 2013 by jerryking
A tech-powered end to the middle class
Feb. 21 2013 | The Globe and Mail | CHRYSTIA FREELAND.
One way to divide people is into those who think this time is different and those who believe there is never anything new under the sun. That split can be a matter of temperament, of politics or even of religion. But today it is relevant for another, more urgent reason: It describes how people think about the most critical economic problem in the industrialized world – the dearth of well-paying middle-class jobs....
"thanks to the tech revolution, the traditional link between rising productivity and a rising standard of living (i.e. wages) for the middle class has been broken. Gore worries that severed link may be causing the economic slowdown in the developed economies: A weakened middle class lacks the spending power to drive growth.

One of the smartest academics studying this phenomenon is Erik Brynjolfsson, a management professor at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The co-author of a new book, Race Against the Machine, believes the tech revolution is having a powerful and unprecedented impact. “Most of the debate … is missing the tectonic changes in the way the economy works, which are driven by technology,” he said recently. “This is the big story of our time, and it is going to accelerate over the next 10 years.”

Like Mr. Gore, Mr. Brynjolfsson thinks the canary in the coal mine is the decoupling of gains in productivity and in wages. “Productivity since 2000 has grown faster than in the 1970s, ’80s or ’90s,” he said. “But starting in the late 1990s, we’ve had this decoupling of wages from productivity.” He sees this as a historic watershed, noting that there is “no economic law” that productivity and jobs go together.

That change has tremendous implications. Productivity and innovation, the focus of policy makers and business leaders, no longer guarantee widely shared prosperity. “Digital technologies are different in that they allow people with skills to replicate their talents to serve billions,” Mr. Brynjolfsson noted. “There is really a drastic winner-take-all effect because every industry is becoming like the software industry.”

The danger isn’t structural unemployment (as many feared during the depths of the financial crisis). The problem is what kind of jobs, at what kind of salaries, the tech-powered economy of the future will generate.
Chrystia_Freeland  Albert_Gore  books  Erik_Brynjolfsson  MIT  downward_mobility  seismic_shifts  middle_class  winner-take-all  Al_Gore  Kleiner_Perkins  Luddites  productivity  innovation  hollowing_out  the_Great_Decoupling  economic_stagnation  '90s  This_Time_is_Different 
february 2013 by jerryking
It’s the P.Q. and C.Q. as Much as the I.Q. - NYTimes.com
By THOMAS L. FRIEDMAN
Published: January 29, 2013

If America is to sustain the kind of public institutions and safety nets that we’re used to, it will require a lot more growth by the private side (not just more taxes), a lot more entrepreneurship, a lot more start-ups and a lot more individual risk-taking — things the president rarely speaks about....Facebook, Twitter, cloud computing, LinkedIn, 4G wireless, ultra-high-speed bandwidth, big data, Skype, system-on-a-chip (SOC) circuits, iPhones, iPods, iPads and cellphone apps, in combination, have taken us from connected to hyperconnected.... the old average is over. Everyone who wants a job now must demonstrate how they can add value better than the new alternatives....Indeed, when the digital revolution gets so cheap, fast, connected and ubiquitous you see this in three ways, Brynjolfsson added: those with more education start to earn much more than those without it, those with the capital to buy and operate machines earn much more than those who can just offer their labor, and those with superstar skills, who can reach global markets, earn much more than those with just slightly less talent....How to adapt? It will require more individual initiative...more of the “right” education than less...develop skills that are complementary to technology rather than ones that can be easily replaced by it... everyone needs to be innovating new products and services to employ the people who are being liberated from routine work by automation and software. The winners won’t just be those with more I.Q. It will also be those with more P.Q. (passion quotient) and C.Q. (curiosity quotient) to leverage all the new digital tools to not just find a job, but to invent one or reinvent one, and to not just learn but to relearn for a lifetime.
career_paths  entrepreneurship  innovation  network_density  risk-taking  Tom_Friedman  Erik_Brynjolfsson  Andrew_McAfee  MIT  curiosity  passions  semiconductors  automation  software  new_products  life_long_learning  Pablo_Picasso  individual_initiative  safety_nets  intrinsically_motivated  winner-take-all  Cambrian_explosion  superstars  cheap  fast  ubiquity  digital_revolution 
january 2013 by jerryking
The Race for the World - WSJ.com
September 27, 2012 | WSJ| By DAVID P. GOLDMAN.
The Race For the World
To triumph in today's winner-take-all market, entrepreneurs need deep pockets—and deep insights into technology.

Review of Entrepreneurship and the Global Economy
By Henry Kressel and Thomas V. Lento
(Cambridge, 266 pages, $45)
entrepreneurship  winner-take-all  books  book_reviews  global_economy 
october 2012 by jerryking
How to become a plutocrat
Sept. 27 2012 | - The Globe and Mail | Chrystia Freeland.

Providing services to the plutocrats is one way to join them. But an even more powerful driver of 21st-century superstar economics is the way that globalization and technology have allowed some top-tier types to achieve global scale and earn the commensurate global fortunes. This is the effect that Sherwin Rosen, who invented the theory of the economics of superstars back in 1981, was most interested in, and it is both the most visible and the easiest to understand. These superstars are the direct beneficiaries of the twin gilded ages.
Chrystia_Freeland  high_net_worth  globalization  moguls  bespoke  luxury  craftsmanship  winner-take-all  plutocrats  superstars  increasing_returns_to_scale  21st._century  top-tier 
september 2012 by jerryking
THE EVE OF BATTLE
Oct 2006 | Canadian Grocer 120. 8 (): 38-39,41,43. | Andrew Allentuck

Wal-Mart's success in the U.S. was built on conquering the fragmented and relatively inefficient grocery market, says [John Chamberlain]. But Canada is likely to be different. "It it were a slam dunk, Wal-Mart's Supercentres would have been here a lot sooner. If you read into the time they have taken to arrive, there is a recognition that this market is going to be very challenging." As award-winning Business Week senior writer Anthony Bianco said, in The Bully of Bentonville (Random House, 2006), "It is far from certain that even Wal-Mart can thrive in a Wal-Mart world."

What will Canadian retail grocery be like a few years down the road? Chamberlain figures that Wal-Mart will take over packaged goods. "It can dominate the field. Everybody knows what a box of detergent should cost and nobody wants to pay 40% more at a competitor," he says. By sheer massive buying power, with savings passed along to consumers, Wal-Mart will take a lot of the centre store grocery. Rut in differentiated goods, from lettuce to meat, bakery to meal replacement, the market may not tumble to Wal-Mart. To the extent that people are prepared to pay more for quality or even just differentiation, Wal-Mart will have trouble maintaining its winner-takes-it-all momentum, he suggests.

There is also the union question. In China, faced with the pro-union policy of the incumbent government, the company has agreed to work with them. Chinese unions are not trenchant opponents of management. Rather, they work at "promoting good relations between employers and workers," reports the Wall Street journal. If unions did capture Wal-Mart Supercentres, they might raise payroll costs and hinder the company's aggressive cost reduction strategy. Wal-Mart may remain hostile to unions in North America. It shut its Jonquière, Que. store after it was certified by the United Food and Commercial Workers union. The February 2005 shutdown sent a message that was undeniably clear. Bomb threats and temporary store closings followed, Bianco recalls. The cost of Wal-Mart's image was huge, but, as Bianco admits, "The allure of cut-rate prices and convenient locations is not easily resisted."
ProQuest  buying_power  Wal-Mart  grocery  Metro  Sobeys  Loblaws  fragmented_markets  retailers  CPG  winner-take-all 
july 2012 by jerryking
Google's Turn to Quake? - WSJ.com
April 4, 2012 | WSJ | By ROBERT HAHN.

Google's Turn to Quake? IBM and Microsoft fought antitrust authorities on multiple continents, even as they lost their fleeting dominance....Antitrust policy is built on the notion that market concentration, collusion or nasty behavior toward rivals undermines efficiency by allowing producers to charge more and to block innovation. That's not a bad rule of thumb for "old economy" industries. Before Japanese auto makers broke through the barriers, Detroit charged too much, divvying up most of the surplus between workers and managers. Worse—much worse—auto industry technology and productivity stagnated, as stakeholders sheltered their pockets of privilege from the winds of change.

But high-tech industries in general, and information technology industries in particular, are an entirely different sort of beast. Market concentration and huge profits are typically a consequence of economies of scale and returns to intellectual property, not monopoly power. (It costs no more to produce 10 million copies of Microsoft Office than 10 copies.) And while the management of the current crop of winning companies may be as eager as monopolists of yore to bar the doors to rivals, rapid technological change denies them the opportunity.
Google  IBM  Microsoft  antitrust  competition  competitive_landscape  increasing_returns_to_scale  collusion  market_power  corporate_concentration  monopolies  economies_of_scale  intellectual_property  automotive_industry  productivity  winner-take-all  market_concentration  technological_change  returns_to_intellectual_property 
april 2012 by jerryking
The Height of Inequality - Magazine - The Atlantic
The Height of Inequality

America’s productivity gains have gone to giant salaries for just a few
By Clive Crook
productivity  inequality  income_distribution  winner-take-all 
october 2011 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
Technology Devices Either Sell Big or Die Fast - NYTimes.com
August 23, 2011 | NYT | By JENNA WORTHAM & VERNE G.
KOPYTOFF. In recent years, technology companies have been cutting their
losses with increasing speed...These days, big technology companies —
particularly those in the hypercompetitive smartphone and tablet
industries — are starting to resemble Hollywood film studios. Every
release needs to be a blockbuster, and the only measure of success is
the opening-weekend gross. There is little to no room for the sleeper
indie hit that builds good word of mouth to become a solid performer
over time. ...this accelerated lifecycle of high-end hardware is being
described as “Darwinian.” ...Companies kill new products more quickly
now because of the higher cost of staying competitive, ..The crush of
tech bloggers and Twitter-using early adopters .. raises the stakes
around how well new products perform in the marketplace...One needs
everything in place: the content, the applications and the
experience--to have a reasonable chance at success.
attrition_rates  product_launches  speed  product_development  hits  blockbusters  winner-take-all  accelerated_lifecycles  social_media  kill_rates  new_products  Jenna_Wortham  Darwinian 
august 2011 by jerryking
Tiger Woods and the Superstar Effect - WSJ.com
APRIL 3, 2010 | Wall Street Journal | By JONAH LEHRER. The
Superstar Effect. From the playing field to the boardroom, when one
competitor is clearly the best, the others don't step up their game—they
give up. As Tiger Woods returns to golf, Jonah Lehrer looks at the
nature of competition.
Tiger_Woods  competition  overachievers  Jonah_Lehrer  GE  Jack_Welch  winner-take-all  blockbusters  superstars  high-achieving 
april 2010 by jerryking
Gap Widens Between Tech Richest and the Rest - WSJ.com
MARCH 16, 2010 | Wall Street Journal | Ben WORTHEN. A handful
of cash-rich companies are consolidating power in the technology
industry, using their wealth to expand into new businesses and making it
harder for small and midsize competitors to break through. Why the
industry is evolving this way is rooted in balance sheets. Over the past
2 years, Apple Inc., Oracle Corp., Google Inc., Microsoft Corp. and 6
other large tech companies have generated $68.5 billion in new cash,
compared with just $13.5 billion for the other 65 tech companies in the
S&P 500 Index combined. Because of their massive cash accumulation,
these companies can afford to take risks that smaller companies can't
at a time when the economy remains fragile. The result is a bifurcated
tech landscape, says Erik Brynjolfsson, a professor at MIT's Sloan
School of Management.
Apple  barbell_effect  Ben_Worthen  Big_Tech  cash  cash_reserves  consolidation  Erik_Brynjolfsson  Fortune_500  Google  large_companies  market_power  Microsoft  new_businesses  Oracle  risk-taking  small_business  start_ups  trends  winner-take-all 
march 2010 by jerryking
Blockbuster or Bust - WSJ.com
JANUARY 3, 2009 | Wall Street Journal | By ANITA ELBERSE. Why
struggling publishers will keep placing outrageous bids on new books
publishing  books  hits  blockbusters  winner-take-all  Anita_Elberse 
november 2009 by jerryking
Op-Ed Columnist - The New Untouchables - NYTimes.com
October 20, 2009 | New York Times | By THOMAS L. FRIEDMAN. The
economic downturn has coincided with an education breakdown on Main
Street — precisely as a 'Flat World' enables so many more people to
compete with Americans for middle-class jobs. "“... education failure is
the largest contributing factor to the decline of the American worker’s
global competitiveness, particularly at the middle and bottom ranges,”
"...those [professionals] who have the ability to imagine new services,
new opportunities and new ways to recruit work [will be] retained. They
are the new untouchables." .......A Washington lawyer friend recently told me about layoffs at his firm. I asked him who was getting axed. He said it was interesting: lawyers who were used to just showing up and having work handed to them were the first to go because with the bursting of the credit bubble, that flow of work just isn’t there. But those who have the ability to imagine new services, new opportunities and new ways to recruit work were being retained. They are the new untouchables...........Survival means actively engaged in
developing new ideas or recombining existing technologies or thinking
about what new customers want......those who have some interpersonal skills — the salesperson who can deal with customers face to face or the home contractor who can help you redesign your kitchen without going to an architect — have done well.”.....Just being an average accountant, lawyer, contractor or assembly-line worker is not the ticket it used to be. As Daniel Pink, the author of “A Whole New Mind,” puts it: In a world in which more and more average work can be done by a computer, robot or talented foreigner faster, cheaper “and just as well,” vanilla doesn’t cut it anymore. It’s all about what chocolate sauce, whipped cream and cherry you can put on top. So our schools have a doubly hard task now — not just improving reading, writing and arithmetic but entrepreneurship, innovation and creativity.
interpersonal_skills  Tom_Friedman  Daniel_Pink  schools  education  individual_initiative  decline  non-routine  Managing_Your_Career  imagination  skills  special_sauce  idea_generation  Flat_World  unarticulated_desires  middle_class  new_thinking  intrinsically_motivated  winner-take-all  entrepreneurship  innovation  creativity  Lawrence_Katz  mental_dexterity 
october 2009 by jerryking
Shattering the Bell Curve
Tuesday, April 24, 2007 WSJ book review by DAVID A. SHAYWITZ of Nassim Taleb's The Black Swan.

Life isn't fair. Many of the most coveted spoils -- wealth, fame, links on the Web -- are concentrated among the few. If such a distribution doesn't sound like the familiar bell-shaped curve, you're right......Along the hilly slopes of the bell curve, most values -- the data points that track whatever is being measured -- are clustered around the middle. The average value is also the most common value. The points along the far extremes of the curve contribute very little statistically. If 100 random people gather in a room and the world's tallest man walks in, the average height doesn't change much. But if Bill Gates walks in, the average net worth rises dramatically. Height follows the bell curve in its distribution. Wealth does not: It follows an asymmetric, L-shaped pattern known as a "power law," where most values are below average and a few far above. In the realm of the power law, rare and extreme events dominate the action......In "The Black Swan" -- a kind of cri de coeur -- Mr. Taleb struggles to free us from our misguided allegiance to the bell-curve mindset and awaken us to the dominance of the power law......The attractiveness of the bell curve resides in its democratic distribution and its mathematical accessibility. ......The power-law distribution, by contrast, would seem to have little to recommend it. Not only does it disproportionately reward the few, but it also turns out to be notoriously difficult to derive with precision. The most important events may occur so rarely that existing data points can never truly assure us that the future won't look very different from the present.........The problem, insists Mr. Taleb, is that most of the time we are in the land of the power law [jk: does power law = winner-take-all?] and don't know it. .....Mr. Taleb is fascinated by the rare but pivotal events that characterize life in the power-law world. He calls them Black Swans....Taleb discusses the follies of confirmation bias (our tendency to reaffirm our beliefs rather than contradict them), narrative fallacy (our weakness for compelling stories), silent evidence (our failure to account for what we don't see), ludic fallacy (our willingness to oversimplify and take games or models too seriously), and epistemic arrogance (our habit of overestimating our knowledge and underestimating our ignorance).
biases  book_reviews  black_swan  books  confirmation_bias  fallacies_follies  imprecision  ludic_fallacy  income_distribution  narrative_fallacy  Nassim_Taleb  powerlaw  pretense_of_knowledge  silent_evidence  randomness  winner-take-all 
march 2009 by jerryking

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