Automotive Valley

Silicon Valley may have started out making silicon chips, but the Valley is protean. Chipmaking peaked in about 1985. After chips, we made disk drives. Then PC software, enterprise databases, and...

Jared Kushner: Think You Can Kill 13(c)?

This week Donald Trump appointed his son-in-law to find and destroy stupid federal programs as part of a White House office of "American Innovation". The same son-in-law is responsible for relations...

“Get a New History”: Building the Next Silicon Valley

Cities around the world want to become "the next Silicon Valley" and the race to be the next Silicon Something is already a bit of a joke. New York has Silicon...

Subsidize Motherhood, not Apple Pie

During the Democratic Primary, the question of paid family leave got a moment in the sun. Bernie Sanders cited Denmark as his model and Hillary, the smart kid who does her...

The Remarkable Ted W. Hall

Recently the Wall Street Journal ran an op ed politely suggesting that the British give up pound sterling and switch to greenbacks. It is the kind of strange idea that is...

Why We Rarely Run Out of Anything: Boomsters vs. Doomsters

Economists and environmentalists often end up with a slightly different angle on global warming. Which group does a better job of predicting environmental problems? It's not a zero-sum question: economists and environmentalists...

On a City Bike, all Traffic Lights are Yellow

Bicycles have grown wildly popular in both US and European cities. According to the League of American Bicyclists (which endorses none of this), bike use has risen 39 percent nationally since...

Grading College Admissions Essay Questions.

As second son applies to  college, the applications have exposed me once again to the college admissions racket. The process is broken beyond recognition. We would probably be better off pooling...

Early Warning Signs

Business competition is always interesting, in part because smart companies figure out how to avoid competition by specializing and differentiating their product or service. When Sun Tzu admonished his generals against...

Denial is Bigger than Amazon

Talk to a book author, publisher, or retailer about the future of their business and the denials begin. “Never before have there been so many good books to read”. “Books are...

Women’s Pay

More women than men now enroll in college. More graduate and they earn better grades. But at every level of educational attainment, men still earn more money and the gap grows...

Manufacturing Myths in Palo Alto and Pittsburgh

The transition from fields to factories has always been a mix of agony and hope. Families abandon land and traditions that often go back generations, move to cities and reset their...

The Store is Closing: What Happens to Brick and Mortar Retail?

In 1997, I thought that this new Internet thing might be a great way to aggregate millions of used, rare, and out of print books from around the world. We could...

Is Amazon Inside Apple’s OODA Loop?

John Boyd was a legendary US fighter pilot during the Korean War who later became a fighter pilot instructor. He had a standing bet with his students: he would meet you...

Will Technology Burst Higher Education’s Bubble?

Imagine a service business whose core processes have not changed since medieval times, economically dependent on huge federal subsidies, and protected by a system of self-accreditation designed to exclude rivals. Imagine...