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The Self-Made Billionaire Effect: How Extreme Producers Create Massive Value by John Sviokla, Mitch Cohen
Cass Sunstein, Colonization of Mars, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, Elon Musk, Frederick Winslow Taylor, game design, global supply chain, James Dyson, Jeff Bezos, John Harrison: Longitude, Jony Ive, loss aversion, Mark Zuckerberg, market design, paper trading, RAND corporation, randomized controlled trial, Richard Thaler, risk tolerance, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, smart meter, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Tony Hsieh, Toyota Production System, young professional
Michael Dell stepped down as CEO in 2004, but returned as a result of a decline in the PC market, quality issues, and SEC charges. In 2013, he organized a successful leveraged buyout to bring the company private. Sir James Dyson b. 1947, United Kingdom Dyson James Dyson was a student at the Royal College of Art in London when Rotork Marine granted his first design commission for a flat-hulled boat. Dyson, however, is best known for his eponymous bagless vacuum cleaners. The first model, the G-Force, went through 5,127 iterations before it was ready for production in the mid-1980s; however, Dyson had difficulty finding a manufacturer in the United Kingdom or the United States. In 1993, he launched his own manufacturing company, which he continues to head today. He is also the founder of the James Dyson Foundation, whose mission is to encourage creativity in young people. Phillip Frost b. circa 1935, United States Key Pharmaceuticals, Ivax Corporation, Teva Pharmaceutical Industries, Protalix BioTherapeutics Phillip Frost was a dermatology professor at the University of Miami when he and Michael Jaharis took over Key Pharmaceuticals in 1972.
“Blue Oceans” offers an emotive and useful metaphor for the belief that companies need to look for brand-new territory in order to create huge value, while “Red Oceans”—those bloody, battle-ridden markets challenged by a large number of competitors—are tapped out. While Mauborgne and Kim captured the way that corporations tend to think about untapped markets, Producers do not appear to be concerned with these distinctions. From the outside, the markets they work in all look purple, a blending of new approaches within old modes that reveal ways to re-create the space. James Dyson didn’t stop reimagining the vacuum cleaner because Mr. Hoover got there first. He just imagined it better, as a more beautiful object created for a public trained by brands like Braun and Apple to want to see function in the form. In fact, 80 percent of the self-made billionaires we studied made their fortunes in contested market spaces that would by any measure be considered “red.” Billionaires don’t seem to view the world that way, however.
John Paul DeJoria launched John Paul Mitchell Systems into the populated market of high-end hair care; there were other ways to pay sellers online before Elon Musk bought PayPal; Bharti Enterprises founder Sunil Mittal got his start importing known, legacy technologies into India; Sara Blakely’s Spanx were inserted into a hosiery market dominated by L’eggs and Hanes; Carnival Cruise billionaire Micky Arison made his billions by reinventing the cruising business away from its status as a vacation option only for the wealthy and elderly; James Dyson invented the dual cyclone to compete in a product space that was so entrenched that Mr. Hoover’s name had become synonymous with “vacuum cleaner”; Farallon hedge fund founder Tom Steyer employed investing techniques similar to his peers; the housing developer Eli Broad embraced his flagship idea of building affordable homes without basements in part because he saw it had already been done somewhere else; coffee was already thousands of years old—one of the oldest commodities in the world—when Howard Schultz bought and then revamped Starbucks; and Glen Taylor, whose business was a printing shop, was part of a wave of business owners recognizing the escalating investments people were making in weddings.
Alfred Russel Wallace, Arthur Eddington, Atul Gawande, Black Swan, British Empire, call centre, Captain Sullenberger Hudson, Checklist Manifesto, cognitive bias, cognitive dissonance, conceptual framework, corporate governance, credit crunch, deliberate practice, double helix, epigenetics, fear of failure, fundamental attribution error, Henri Poincaré, hindsight bias, Isaac Newton, iterative process, James Dyson, James Hargreaves, James Watt: steam engine, Joseph Schumpeter, Lean Startup, meta analysis, meta-analysis, minimum viable product, quantitative easing, randomized controlled trial, Silicon Valley, six sigma, spinning jenny, Steve Jobs, the scientific method, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, too big to fail, Toyota Production System, Wall-E, Yom Kippur War
They were led into a room and Victoria stood at the end of the bed, while Adam reached out to touch his mother and say good-bye. Elaine was just thirty-seven. II This is a book about how success happens. In the coming pages, we will explore some of the most pioneering and innovative organizations in the world, including Google, Team Sky, Pixar, and the Mercedes Formula One team as well as exceptional individuals like the basketball player Michael Jordan, the inventor James Dyson, and the soccer star David Beckham. Progress is one of the most striking aspects of human history over the last two millennia and, in particular, the last two and a half centuries. It is not just about great businesses and sports teams, it is about science, technology, and economic development. There have been big-picture improvements and small-picture improvements, changes that have transformed almost every facet of human life.
Indeed, the aversion to failure is the single largest obstacle to creative change, not just in business but beyond. Chapter 10 How Failure Drives Innovation I The headquarters of Dyson are in a futuristic building about forty miles west of Oxford. Outside the front entrance is a Harrier jump jet—not a replica, a real one—and a high-speed landing craft. They both hint at the unconventionality of what goes on inside. James Dyson, the chairman and chief engineer of the company, works in a glass-fronted office just above the entrance. Along the back wall are the beautifully conceived products that have turned him into an icon of British innovation: super-efficient vacuum cleaners, futuristic hand dryers, and other devices yet to roll off the production line. In all, he has applied for more than four thousand patents.1 Progress is often driven not by the accumulation of small steps, but by dramatic leaps.
In a famous Nike commercial, he said: “I’ve missed more than nine thousand shots. I’ve lost almost three hundred games. Twenty-six times I’ve been trusted to take the game-winning shot and missed.” For many the ad was perplexing. Why boast about your mistakes? But to Jordan it made perfect sense. “Mental toughness and heart are a lot stronger than some of the physical advantages you might have,” he said. “I’ve always said that and I’ve always believed that.” James Dyson embodies this perspective, too. He was once called “an evangelist for failure.” “The most important quality I look for in people coming to Dyson is the willingness to try, fail and learn. I love that spirit, all too rare in the world today,” he says. In the previous section we looked at how blame can undermine openness and learning, and how to address it. But in Part 2, we noted that there is a different and altogether more subtle barrier to meaningful evolution: the internal fear of failure.
Rework by Jason Fried, David Heinemeier Hansson
So we created Highrise, our contact-management software. There was no need for focus groups, market studies, or middlemen. We had the itch, so we scratched it. When you build a product or service, you make the call on hundreds of tiny decisions each day. If you’re solving someone else’s problem, you’re constantly stabbing in the dark. When you solve your own problem, the light comes on. You know exactly what the right answer is. Inventor James Dyson scratched his own itch. While vacuuming his home, he realized his bag vacuum cleaner was constantly losing suction power—dust kept clogging the pores in the bag and blocking the airflow. It wasn’t someone else’s imaginary problem; it was a real one that he experienced firsthand. So he decided to solve the problem and came up with the world’s first cyclonic, bagless vacuum cleaner.* Vic Firth came up with the idea of making a better drumstick while playing timpani for the Boston Symphony Orchestra.
But if you keep your mass low, you can quickly change anything: your entire business model, product, feature set, and/or marketing message. You can make mistakes and fix them quickly. You can change your priorities, product mix, or focus. And most important, you can change your mind. *Jim Rutenberg, “Clinton Finds Way to Play Along with Drudge,” New York Times, Oct. 22, 2007. *“Fascinating Facts About James Dyson, Inventor of the Dyson Vacuum Cleaner in 1978,” www.ideafinder.com/history/inventors/dyson.htm †Russ Mitchell, “The Beat Goes On,” CBS News, Sunday Morning, Mar. 29, 2009, www.tinyurl.com/cd8gjq ‡Eric Ransdell, “The Nike Story? Just Tell It!” Fast Company, Dec. 19, 2007, www.fastcompany.com/magazine/31/nike.html *“Mary Kay Ash: Mary Kay Cosmetics,” Journal of Business Leadership 1, no. 1 (Spring 1988); American National Business Hall of Fame, www.anbhf.org/laureates/mkash.html *“Stanley Kubrick—Biography,” IMDB, www.imdb.com/name/nm00004o/bio *Mission, Enterprise Rent-a-Car, http://aboutus.enterprise.com/who_we_are/mission.html CHAPTER PROGRESS Embrace constraints “I don’t have enough time/money/people/experience.”
And here’s a list of some of the people we know, and don’t know, who have inspired us in one way or another: Frank Lloyd Wright Seth Godin Warren Buffett Jamie Larson Clayton Christensen Ralph Nader Jim Coudal Benjamin Franklin Ernest Kim Jeff Bezos Scott Heiferman Antoni Gaudi Carlos Segura Larry David Steve Jobs Dean Kamen Bill Maher Thomas Jefferson Mies van der Rohe Ricardo Semler Christopher Alexander James Dyson Kent Beck Thomas Paine Gerald Weinberg Kathy Sierra Julia Child Marc Hedlund Nicholas Karavites Michael Jordan Richard Bird Jeffrey Zeldman Dieter Rams Judith Sheindlin Ron Paul Timothy Ferriss Copyright © 2010 by 37signals, LLC. All rights reserved. Published in the United States by Crown Business of the Crown Publishing Group, a division of Random House, Inc., New York. www.crownpublishing.com CROWN and the Crown colophon are registered trademarks of Random House, Inc.
The Cost of Inequality: Why Economic Equality Is Essential for Recovery by Stewart Lansley
banking crisis, Basel III, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Bonfire of the Vanities, borderless world, Branko Milanovic, Bretton Woods, British Empire, business process, call centre, capital controls, collective bargaining, corporate governance, correlation does not imply causation, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, crony capitalism, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deindustrialization, Edward Glaeser, falling living standards, financial deregulation, financial innovation, Financial Instability Hypothesis, floating exchange rates, full employment, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, high net worth, hiring and firing, Hyman Minsky, income inequality, James Dyson, Jeff Bezos, job automation, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, knowledge economy, laissez-faire capitalism, Long Term Capital Management, low skilled workers, manufacturing employment, market bubble, Martin Wolf, mittelstand, mobile money, Mont Pelerin Society, new economy, Nick Leeson, North Sea oil, Northern Rock, offshore financial centre, oil shock, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Plutonomy: Buying Luxury, Explaining Global Imbalances, rising living standards, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, savings glut, shareholder value, The Great Moderation, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, too big to fail, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Washington Consensus, Winter of Discontent, working-age population
Traditionally capitalism has thrived through the development of new products and new industries, by taking long-term risks with investment, by finding ways of becoming smarter, more inventive and beating the competition with better or cheaper products. That model of capitalism has not disappeared—witness the rise of Google, Facebook and Yahoo—but it has become a side-show in the non-tech world (where in Britain is the new James Dyson?). Instead, the new era of deregulation has created the opportunity to make money, big money, not by being smarter, or by taking a long view, or by investing in new systems, but by a number of new business practices that manipulate the financial structures of existing firms. ‘Business’ activity today means mergers, hostile takeovers and rearranging balance sheets. On paper, these changes can make companies look more profitable and productive.
According to a study by the Economic and Social Research Council, the reasons include ‘a relative failure to invest, failure to innovate, poor labour relations, trade distortions attributable to Empire, antagonism towards manufacturing, “short-termism” among business leaders and financial institutions, techno logical backwardness and lack of entrepreneurship.’219 Britain’s weak record on productivity is in part down to the failure to translate the rising profit share into productive investment. Because of the low level of investment, Britain’s infrastructure remains poor compared with her main competitors. Too many plants operate with antiquated systems while levels of training have lagged behind other countries. Despite the introduction of freer markets, funding for training, research and development and innovation has slowed.220 Manufacturing entrepreneurs like James Dyson who invest in engineers are the exception. The evidence is of a strong link between R&D and related capital spending and added value and eventually, profitability. 221 Yet, apart from a handful of industries such as defence, pharmaceuticals and mobile phones, UK companies invest less in R&D, innovation and capital equipment than their international competitors. In most industries the levels of capital expenditure by foreign companies in Britain greatly exceeds that of indigenous companies.222 In the 1960s and 1970s, the UK’s spending on R&D as a share of GDP was comparable to its leading competitors.
As a result, the UK (London and the South-East in particular) has too many jobs associated with financial engineering and its spin-offs— the law, accountancy and property—and too few in productive, entrepreneurial, hitech sectors of the economy from design and software to green technology and engineering. Britain still has a number of world beating companies, built over decades. Rolls Royce is a high quality global player, employing 39,000 skilled workers worldwide. While James Dyson outsourced production from Wiltshire to Malaysia he has recently doubled his army of inventors, scientists and engineers to 700 in his quest for new products. Some industries—from health and the creative industries to high tech manufacturing and business services—have flourished. The scale of the collapse in Britain’s industrial base can sometimes be exaggerated. Half of the nation’s exports are manufactured goods.
3D printing, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, Berlin Wall, Black Swan, clean water, collapse of Lehman Brothers, Credit Default Swap, crony capitalism, crowdsourcing, Danny Hillis, declining real wages, demographic dividend, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, Fall of the Berlin Wall, follow your passion, game design, housing crisis, Hyman Minsky, industrial robot, invisible hand, James Dyson, Jane Jacobs, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, John Gruber, Joseph Schumpeter, Kickstarter, lone genius, manufacturing employment, Mark Zuckerberg, Martin Wolf, new economy, Paul Graham, Peter Thiel, race to the bottom, reshoring, Richard Florida, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Silicon Valley startup, six sigma, Skype, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, supply-chain management, Tesla Model S, The Chicago School, The Design of Experiments, the High Line, The Myth of the Rational Market, thinkpad, Tim Cook: Apple, too big to fail, tulip mania, We are the 99%, Y Combinator, young professional, Zipcar
You may have to relearn the joy of surprise, as it is often in the surprise that we find solutions. When James Dyson went casting about for a new technology for vacuum cleaners unlike the standard bag filters, he found it in sawmills, which traditionally use industrial cyclone fans to suck up the sawdust. That spinning cyclone method of picking up dirt became the heart of his Cyclone brand of vacuum cleaners, a successful cast if ever there was one. You’re not born with a great ability to connect dots. You learn it. Some of us learn it in school, some at jobs, others in life. It’s not a difficult competence, but it is a deliberate one. The anxiety many of us feel about creativity often stems from a belief that we need to create something from nothing. We don’t. The scientists at ITRI and James Dyson began with something they already had—an area of expertise, a skill, a technology they were hoping to update—and went casting for ideas in both new and familiar places.
articleid=870; Robert Berner, “Why P&G’s Smile Is So Bright,” July 31, 2002, BusinessWeek, accessed October 3, 2012, http://www.businessweek.com/smallbiz/content/aug2002/sb2002081_2099.htm. 61 According to the Wall Street Journal: Michael Totty, “Paper Thin Screens with a Twist,” Wall Street Journal, September 26, 2010, accessed September 4, 2012, http://online.wsj.com/article/ SB10001424052748703470904575500342513725972.html. 62 When James Dyson went casting: Patrick Mahoney, MachineDesign.com, August 7, 2008, accessed October 3, 2012, http://ma chinedesign.com/article/industrial-design-design-the-dyson-way-0807. 63 When I visited him in Toronto: Bill Buxton, interviews with the author, March 7, 2011, April 5, 2011, September 15, 2011, May 7, 2012; http://www.billbuxton.com/, accessed October 3, 2012. 65 “I put the black and white: “Van Gogh’s Letters,” WebExhibits, accessed September 4, 2012, http://www.webexhibits.org/ vangogh/letter/20/607.htm; Debora Silverman, Van Gogh and Gauguin: The Search for Sacred Art (New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2000), 396. 65 Bob Dylan looked to Woody: Caspar Llewellyn Smith, Guardian, June 15, 2011, accessed September 4, 2012, http://www.guardian.co.uk/music/2011/jun/16/bob-dylan-woody-guthrie. 66 When asked in an interview: Cynthia McFadden, interview, ABC News, January 13, 2012, accessed September 4, 2012, http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/entertainment/ 2012/01/madonna-breaks-silence-on-gaga-born- this-way-controversy-2020-exclusive-tonight/. 66 has a replica of the Saturn V: Greg Klerkx, New Scientist, December 12, 2011, accessed at http://www.marssociety.org/home/press/news/ illputmillionsofpeopleonmarssayselonmusk on October 15, 2012. 66 the powerful rocket: http://www.nasa.gov/audience/foreducators/rocketry/home/what-was-the-saturn-v-58.html, accessed October 15, 2012; http://www.time.com/time/specials/ packages/article/0,28804, 1910599_1910769_1910767,00.html, accessed October 18, 2012. 66 BMW bought and revived: http://www.miniusa.com/#/learn/FACTS_ FEATURES_SPECS/history/storyOfMini-m, accessed October 15, 2012; http://www.topspeed.com/cars/mini/1959-2006-the-history-of-mini-ar10921.html, accessed October 15, 2012. 66 It is once again: http://www.motoringfile.com/2012/02/04/ businessweek-mini-wins-big-over-smart/. 67 Paul Polak has spent: Paul Polak and Jacqueline Novogratz, founder of the Acumen Fund, are my two heroes in redesigning models to improve life in what C.
3D printing, Black Swan, British Empire, Buckminster Fuller, Clayton Christensen, crowdsourcing, deliberate practice, fear of failure, Filter Bubble, future of work, Google Glasses, Isaac Newton, James Dyson, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, Lean Startup, low skilled workers, Mark Zuckerberg, move fast and break things, Paul Erdős, Paul Graham, recommendation engine, rising living standards, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, skunkworks, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Y Combinator
In contrast, pursuing a field where the success rates were low – such as being an artist or setting up a business – simply didn’t seem a good idea to well adjusted people. Those who chose that route were the exceptions. They were the misfits who embraced the risk of failure because they were driven. For the fortunate this lit the path to great success. Listen to these words from the entrepreneurial inventor, James Dyson. It sounds deliberately provocative, if you haven’t understood the creative potential of fearless discovery. Do your ideas ever fail?, he was asked in Wired magazine. “Absolutely,” he replied. “It’s when something fails that you learn. If it doesn’t fail, you don’t learn anything. You haven’t made any progress. Everything I do is a mistake. It fails. For the past 42 years – I’ve had a life of it.”
Andrei Shleifer, asset-backed security, bank run, banking crisis, Benoit Mandelbrot, Berlin Wall, Bernie Madoff, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Bretton Woods, capital controls, carbon footprint, Carmen Reinhart, Cass Sunstein, centre right, choice architecture, cloud computing, collective bargaining, conceptual framework, Corn Laws, corporate governance, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, debt deflation, decarbonisation, Deng Xiaoping, discovery of DNA, discovery of the americas, discrete time, diversification, double helix, Edward Glaeser, financial deregulation, financial innovation, financial intermediation, first-past-the-post, floating exchange rates, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Frank Levy and Richard Murnane: The New Division of Labor, full employment, George Akerlof, Gini coefficient, global supply chain, Growth in a Time of Debt, Hyman Minsky, I think there is a world market for maybe five computers, income inequality, inflation targeting, interest rate swap, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, James Dyson, James Watt: steam engine, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, labour market flexibility, Long Term Capital Management, Louis Pasteur, low-wage service sector, mandelbrot fractal, margin call, market fundamentalism, Martin Wolf, means of production, Mikhail Gorbachev, millennium bug, moral hazard, mortgage debt, new economy, Northern Rock, offshore financial centre, open economy, Plutocrats, plutocrats, price discrimination, private sector deleveraging, purchasing power parity, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, railway mania, random walk, rent-seeking, reserve currency, Richard Thaler, rising living standards, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, Rory Sutherland, shareholder value, short selling, Silicon Valley, Skype, South Sea Bubble, Steve Jobs, The Market for Lemons, the market place, The Myth of the Rational Market, the payments system, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, too big to fail, unpaid internship, value at risk, Washington Consensus, working poor, éminence grise
Unfortunately, any budding entrepreneur today might think it is much easier to make money by being a trader in an investment bank. Society wants as few of these as possible. Our collective wealth stems from the innovations of productive entrepreneurs, so we have to encourage them. We must keep the rewards that accrue from unproductive entrepreneurship low, and the status and rewards from productive entrepreneurship high, so that capitalism has a chance of delivering. The country wants and needs people like James Dyson, the inventor of the bagless vacuum cleaner, and Stelios Haji-Ioannous, the founder of EasyJet. It does not need too many private-equity firms like Guy Hands’ Terra Firma, which try to make tens of millions from re-engineering once-great companies like EMI, or the likes of Philip Green, who use financial leverage and exploit gaps in the tax system to make their fortunes. One of the salient criticisms of private-equity firms is that, for all their claims about being productive change agents, in essence they are merely clever redistributors of rewards to themselves.
Just as the unions portrayed themselves as essential to the construction of a Britain in which working-class interests would be enshrined, so the City portrayed itself as essential to a post-industrial Britain in which financial services would be in the vanguard of national wealth generation. Just as the trade unions’ capture of the state ended in the breakdown of social democracy and the evident bankruptcy of the institutions and policies it generated – from incomes policies to corporatist efforts to stimulate productive entrepreneurship – so the City’s capture of the state has ended in the current calamity. It has created a world of too many Philip Greens and too few James Dysons. The short-term structure of bank lending, the unwillingness to finance innovation, the creation of an ‘asset management’ industry that is more interested in buying and selling companies than exercising ownership responsibilities, excessive takeovers, sky-high fees and commissions and the sheer size of the City – attracting capital inflows that buoy up sterling – comprise a formidable anti-investment and anti-innovation structure.
3D printing, Airbnb, Asian financial crisis, bank run, banking crisis, barriers to entry, Basel III, battle of ideas, Berlin Wall, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Bretton Woods, BRICs, British Empire, business process, capital controls, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Carmen Reinhart, Celtic Tiger, central bank independence, centre right, cleantech, collaborative consumption, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collective bargaining, corporate governance, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, crony capitalism, currency manipulation / currency intervention, currency peg, debt deflation, Diane Coyle, Downton Abbey, Edward Glaeser, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, energy transition, eurozone crisis, fear of failure, financial deregulation, first-past-the-post, forward guidance, full employment, Gini coefficient, global supply chain, Growth in a Time of Debt, hiring and firing, hydraulic fracturing, Hyman Minsky, Hyperloop, immigration reform, income inequality, interest rate derivative, Irish property bubble, James Dyson, Jane Jacobs, job satisfaction, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, labour market flexibility, labour mobility, liquidity trap, margin call, Martin Wolf, mittelstand, moral hazard, mortgage debt, mortgage tax deduction, North Sea oil, Northern Rock, offshore financial centre, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, open economy, price stability, private sector deleveraging, pushing on a string, quantitative easing, Richard Florida, rising living standards, risk-adjusted returns, Robert Gordon, savings glut, school vouchers, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, smart grid, smart meter, software patent, sovereign wealth fund, Steve Jobs, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, too big to fail, total factor productivity, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, working-age population, Zipcar
If people reap huge rewards by appropriating value created by others, that unfairness distorts incentives and makes society as a whole worse off. If some scrape by in penury while others live in luxury, such indecency fragments society, preventing the interchange of ideas from which innovation springs. A dynamic economy will inevitably create huge disparities of wealth. Those who seize business opportunities and develop new technologies that create value for the rest of society ought to be rewarded for it. Few would begrudge James Dyson, a British inventor whose eponymous bagless vacuum cleaners have cleaned up, his fortune. Xavier Niel, the founder of Free, has done France a huge service by freeing up internet provision there. Anyone who has shopped at Ikea can thank Sweden’s Ingvar Kamprad. But alongside Europe’s deserving billionaires are many undeserving ones. Britain’s richest man, Gerald Cavendish Grosvenor (also known as the Duke of Westminster), contributes nothing to society; in fact, he leeches off it.
And as Thomas Piketty of the Paris School of Economics has pointed out, as growth slows and with it the creation of new wealth, old (inherited) fortunes weigh more heavily than before.723 A decent society should want to encourage effort and enterprise – by everyone, not just those who end up billionaires – without rewarding undeserved or unearned income. Battles between right and left about how high tax rates should be generally fail to make this distinction: those who want to cut taxes point to people like James Dyson, those who want to raise them point to Fred Goodwin. But while no economic system can perfectly distinguish between deserved income and wealth and the undeserved variety, societies could still do much better. The starting point is to tackle problems at their source, since undeserved income is generally a symptom of an underlying problem that also has wider costs. Ending the tax privileges of debt, as Chapter 10 suggested, would curb the size and profitability of the financial system, and thus the outsized rewards to financiers.
Albert Einstein, barriers to entry, Bernie Madoff, collapse of Lehman Brothers, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, credit crunch, Grace Hopper, happiness index / gross national happiness, high net worth, James Dyson, Jarndyce and Jarndyce, Jarndyce and Jarndyce, mittelstand, Network effects, North Sea oil, Northern Rock, patent troll, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, profit motive, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Silicon Valley, software patent, stealth mode startup, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, traveling salesman, tulip mania
It tells the true story of Bob Kearns, the professor who pioneered the intermittent windscreen wiper for cars. He showed it to the Ford Motor Company in 1969, but subsequently entered into interminable litigation with it, almost reminiscent of Jarndyce and Jarndyce in Charles Dickens’s Bleak House. More than twenty years later, he settled for $10.2 million, but only after legal action had taken over his life. Unfortunately, patent infringement is a fact of life for inventors. Sir James Dyson, inventor of the bagless vacuum cleaner, talks in his autobiography Against The Odds (Orion, 1997) about various lawsuits against both Hoover and Amway. Knowledge of patent law and persistence bordering on the obsessive seem useful attributes if you want to be a successful inventor. The subject of intellectual property and its protection is a contentious one. Many industries, such as the pharmaceutical trade, can only exist thanks to laws that allow them to enjoy temporary monopolies for original products.
Everyware: The Dawning Age of Ubiquitous Computing by Adam Greenfield
augmented reality, business process, defense in depth, demand response, demographic transition, facts on the ground, game design, Howard Rheingold, Internet of things, James Dyson, knowledge worker, late capitalism, Marshall McLuhan, new economy, Norbert Wiener, packet switching, pattern recognition, profit motive, recommendation engine, RFID, Steve Jobs, technoutopianism, the built environment, the scientific method
For a variety of reasons, from the advantages that ostensibly accrue to first movers to the constraints imposed by venture capitalists, shareholders, and other bottom-liners, GOOD is rarely among the options pursued. Given the inherent pressures of the situation, it often takes an unusually dedicated, persistent, and powerful advocate—Steve Jobs comes to mind, as does vacuum-cleaner entrepreneur James Dyson—to see a high-quality design project through to completion with everything that makes it excellent intact. Moreover, the more complex the product or service at hand, the more likely it will be to have a misguided process of "value engineering" applied at some point between inception and delivery. Although the practice has its roots in an entirely legitimate desire to prune away redundancy and overdesign, it is disastrous when applied to IT development.
If Creating your Brand Storybook™ 225 they are qualities you have sought after and applied in your business, then you have a story to tell. Your achievements. What have you done in your life that’s worth telling others about? Many small business operators fail to acknowledge that even by starting their own companies they have achieved what for many is just a dream. Bill Gates, considered the world’s richest man, began his business in his garage, as did Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon.com. It took Sir James Dyson, another wealthy entrepreneur, 10 years and countless rejections from major manufacturers before he was able to launch his world-renowned cyclonic vacuum cleaners. The achievements of many business icons of this calibre have created great stories for the media, and most have gone on to feature in autobiographies, giving their brands even more ‘personal power’ (as well as extra revenue from book sales and royalties).
The Great Convergence: Information Technology and the New Globalization by Richard Baldwin
3D printing, additive manufacturing, Admiral Zheng, agricultural Revolution, air freight, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Berlin Wall, bilateral investment treaty, Branko Milanovic, buy low sell high, call centre, Columbian Exchange, Commodity Super-Cycle, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deindustrialization, domestication of the camel, Edward Glaeser, Erik Brynjolfsson, financial intermediation, George Gilder, global supply chain, global value chain, Henri Poincaré, imperial preference, industrial robot, invention of agriculture, invention of the telegraph, investor state dispute settlement, Isaac Newton, Islamic Golden Age, James Dyson, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, Lao Tzu, low skilled workers, market fragmentation, New Economic Geography, out of africa, paper trading, Pax Mongolica, profit motive, rent-seeking, reshoring, Richard Florida, rising living standards, Second Machine Age, Simon Kuznets, Skype, Snapchat, Stephen Hawking, telepresence, telerobotics, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, trade liberalization, trade route, Washington Consensus
When Dyson moved its production to Malaysia in 2003, the move was derided in the British press at the time. In a Daily Mail story covering the move, trade union official Roger Lyons said: “Dyson has betrayed the 800 people whose jobs are being shipped out and hundreds more jobs from supply chain companies. He has betrayed British manufacturing and British consumers who have put him and his product where it is today.” Founder and owner James Dyson defended the move as saving jobs. In a Guardian interview, he said: We are a much more flourishing company now because of what we did and it’s doubtful if we could have survived in the long term if we had not done so.… We employ 1,300 at Malmesbury [the U.K. site]—engineers, scientists, and people running the business. The decision to shift production to Malaysia was not good for Britain in one sense because we don’t employ manual labor any more.
The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon by Brad Stone
3D printing, airport security, AltaVista, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, bank run, Bernie Madoff, big-box store, Black Swan, book scanning, Brewster Kahle, call centre, centre right, Clayton Christensen, cloud computing, collapse of Lehman Brothers, crowdsourcing, cuban missile crisis, Danny Hillis, Douglas Hofstadter, Elon Musk, facts on the ground, game design, housing crisis, invention of movable type, inventory management, James Dyson, Jeff Bezos, Kevin Kelly, Kodak vs Instagram, late fees, loose coupling, low skilled workers, Maui Hawaii, Menlo Park, Network effects, new economy, optical character recognition, pets.com, Ponzi scheme, quantitative hedge fund, recommendation engine, Renaissance Technologies, RFID, Rodney Brooks, search inside the book, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, six sigma, skunkworks, Skype, statistical arbitrage, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, Thomas L Friedman, Tony Hsieh, Whole Earth Catalog, why are manhole covers round?
“If vendors or brands leave Amazon, they will eventually come back,” Wilke predicts, because “customers trust Amazon to be great providers of information and customer reviews about a vast selection of products. If you have customers ready to buy, and if you have a chance to tell them about your product, what brand ultimately doesn’t want that?” Dyson, the British vacuum maker, is one example of a brand that appears to treat Amazon with caution. It sold on Amazon for years and then an irate Sir James Dyson, its founder, visited Amazon’s offices personally to vent his frustrations over repeated violations of MAP. “Sir James said he trusted us with his brand and we had violated that trust,” says Kerry Morris, a former senior buyer who hosted Dyson on that memorable visit. Dyson pulled its vacuums from Amazon in 2011, though some models are still sold on the Amazon Marketplace by approved third-party merchants.
Why We Can't Afford the Rich by Andrew Sayer
accounting loophole / creative accounting, Albert Einstein, asset-backed security, banking crisis, banks create money, Bretton Woods, British Empire, call centre, capital controls, carbon footprint, collective bargaining, corporate social responsibility, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, crony capitalism, David Graeber, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, debt deflation, decarbonisation, declining real wages, deglobalization, deindustrialization, delayed gratification, demand response, don't be evil, Double Irish / Dutch Sandwich, en.wikipedia.org, Etonian, financial innovation, financial intermediation, Fractional reserve banking, full employment, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, high net worth, income inequality, investor state dispute settlement, Isaac Newton, James Dyson, job automation, Julian Assange, labour market flexibility, laissez-faire capitalism, low skilled workers, Mark Zuckerberg, market fundamentalism, Martin Wolf, means of production, moral hazard, mortgage debt, neoliberal agenda, new economy, New Urbanism, Northern Rock, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, oil shale / tar sands, patent troll, payday loans, Plutocrats, plutocrats, predatory finance, price stability, pushing on a string, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, rent-seeking, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, short selling, sovereign wealth fund, Steve Jobs, The Nature of the Firm, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, transfer pricing, trickle-down economics, universal basic income, unpaid internship, upwardly mobile, Washington Consensus, Winter of Discontent, working poor, Yom Kippur War
Sometimes, though, an owner of a firm – a capitalist – is enterprising, perhaps developing a new product from which millions of consumers benefit. Don’t they deserve their wealth? The Jobs/Dyson defence: don’t truly innovative people deserve all they get? Steve Jobs, the late CEO of Apple computers, was said to have been ‘worth’ $8.3 billion. If you were given a dollar every second, it would take 266 years to get that much. In the UK, James Dyson, famous for his Dyson vacuum cleaners, was estimated to be worth £2.65 billion (84 years at £1 per second), according to the 2012 Sunday Times Rich List. People like Jobs and Dyson are exceptional. But they are rare amongst the rich in creating new products of value. Paul Krugman points out that ‘very few of the top 1 percent, or even the top 0.01 percent, made their money that way. For the most part, we’re looking at executives at firms that they didn’t themselves create.
The Establishment: And How They Get Away With It by Owen Jones
anti-communist, Asian financial crisis, bank run, battle of ideas, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, bonus culture, Bretton Woods, British Empire, call centre, capital controls, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, centre right, citizen journalism, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collective bargaining, don't be evil, Edward Snowden, Etonian, eurozone crisis, falling living standards, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, full employment, glass ceiling, hiring and firing, housing crisis, inflation targeting, investor state dispute settlement, James Dyson, laissez-faire capitalism, market fundamentalism, Monroe Doctrine, Mont Pelerin Society, moral hazard, night-watchman state, Northern Rock, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, open borders, Plutocrats, plutocrats, profit motive, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, rent control, road to serfdom, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, short selling, sovereign wealth fund, stakhanovite, statistical model, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, transfer pricing, union organizing, unpaid internship, Washington Consensus, Winter of Discontent
Following his assumption of power in 2010, David Cameron set up a ‘Business Advisory Group’ which, according to its official website, ‘is a group of business leaders from sectors of strategic importance to the UK’ who, on a quarterly basis, provide ‘regular, high-level advice to the Prime Minister on critical business and economic issues facing the country’. Among its sixteen members are the heads of notorious tax-avoiding companies, such as Eric Schmidt, Executive Chairman of Google, and Vittorio Colao, the CEO of Vodafone. Another is Sir James Dyson, who shifted his manufacturing operations from Britain to the Far East in 2002 with the loss of 800 British jobs. Of course, there are no representatives of trade unions or consumers’ organizations: this is an opportunity for tycoons to exercise direct political influence over the Prime Minister and his key allies. The Treasury also has working parties on tax and – until the Conservatives entered 10 Downing Street – there was even a trade-union representative; Richard Murphy, too, was a member.
Hedge Fund Market Wizards by Jack D. Schwager
asset-backed security, backtesting, banking crisis, barriers to entry, Bernie Madoff, Black-Scholes formula, British Empire, Claude Shannon: information theory, cloud computing, collateralized debt obligation, commodity trading advisor, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, delta neutral, diversification, diversified portfolio, family office, financial independence, fixed income, Flash crash, hindsight bias, implied volatility, index fund, James Dyson, Long Term Capital Management, margin call, market bubble, market fundamentalism, merger arbitrage, oil shock, pattern recognition, pets.com, Ponzi scheme, private sector deleveraging, quantitative easing, quantitative trading / quantitative ﬁnance, risk tolerance, risk-adjusted returns, risk/return, riskless arbitrage, Sharpe ratio, short selling, statistical arbitrage, Steve Jobs, systematic trading, technology bubble, transaction costs, value at risk, yield curve
—Excerpt of 60 Minutes interview (October 10, 2011) with Alex Honnold, acknowledged to be the best free-soloing climber in the world, whose extraordinary feats include the first free-solo climb up the northwest face of Half Dome, a 2,000-foot wall in Yosemite National Park To do my vacuum cleaner, I built 5,127 prototypes. That means I had 5,126 failures. But as I went through those failures, I made discoveries. —James Dyson Foreword Once upon a time, a drought comes over the land and the wheat crop fails. Naturally, the price of wheat goes up. Some people cut back and bake less bread while others speculate and buy as much wheat as they can get and hoard it in hopes of higher prices to come. The king hears about all the speculation and high prices and promptly sends his soldiers from town to town to proclaim that speculation is now a crime against the state—and that severe punishment is to befall speculators.