Kodak vs Instagram

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pages: 361 words: 81,068

The Internet Is Not the Answer by Andrew Keen

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3D printing, A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Airbnb, AltaVista, Andrew Keen, augmented reality, Bay Area Rapid Transit, Berlin Wall, bitcoin, Black Swan, Burning Man, Cass Sunstein, citizen journalism, Clayton Christensen, clean water, cloud computing, collective bargaining, Colonization of Mars, computer age, connected car, cuban missile crisis, David Brooks, disintermediation, Downton Abbey, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Filter Bubble, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Frank Gehry, Frederick Winslow Taylor, frictionless, full employment, future of work, gig economy, global village, Google bus, Google Glasses, Hacker Ethic, happiness index / gross national happiness, income inequality, index card, informal economy, information trail, Innovator's Dilemma, Internet of things, Isaac Newton, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, Joseph Schumpeter, Julian Assange, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, Kodak vs Instagram, Lean Startup, libertarian paternalism, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Martin Wolf, move fast and break things, Nate Silver, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, nonsequential writing, Norbert Wiener, Occupy movement, packet switching, PageRank, Paul Graham, Peter Thiel, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Potemkin village, precariat, pre–internet, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, ride hailing / ride sharing, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Skype, smart cities, Snapchat, social web, South of Market, San Francisco, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, TaskRabbit, Ted Nelson, telemarketer, the medium is the message, Thomas L Friedman, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Uber for X, urban planning, Vannevar Bush, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks, winner-take-all economy, working poor, Y Combinator

He’d become a star of the “winner-takes-all” economy, a founding member of the Battery. He personally pocketed around half a billion dollars from the Facebook sale, giving him the instant wealth of a Gilded Age tycoon such as Kodak’s George Eastman. And like Eastman’s late-nineteenth-century startup, Systrom’s early-twenty-first-century photo network has imprinted itself on our everyday lives. The Instagram moment has replaced the Kodak moment. Not a bad return-on-investment from a day spent swinging in a hammock on a Mexican beach. An Untruthful Mirror But the benefits of Instagram for the rest of us are about as foggy as one of Instagram’s Hefe or Toaster filters. “Instagram is focused on capturing the world’s moments,”11 Systrom likes to say. But that’s a fiction—just like Instagram itself. In contrast with Kodachrome, a film stock dedicated to sharp-detailed, grain-free images, Instagram’s value is its graininess—designed, as the New York Times’ Alex Williams explains, to make “everyone look a little younger, a bit prettier, more cover-worthy.”12 Whoever first said that “the camera never lies” had obviously never used Instagram.

But “the rest” required significant investment in both capital and labor. That was the center of the old industrial economy—where Kodak created enormous value and was thus worth $31 billion a quarter century ago. So, back in 1989, those 145,000 unionized Kodak workers in the many research facilities, photo labs, and factories dotting the entire Rochester area were employed to invent and manufacture products that were then sold to consumers. Just as Instagram is the anti-Kodachrome product, so it’s also the anti-Kodak company building an anti-Kodak economy. At first glance, Instagram appears to offer a much better deal for everyone than Kodak. The gray Rochester factory has been upgraded to a Mexican hippie resort. A tall dude lies in a hammock on a Pacific beach and, inspired by his girlfriend, invents an awesome photo-sharing app.

Web 1.0–style portals like AOL or Yahoo have been overshadowed by personalized 2.0 social networks such as Facebook, Tumblr, and the Birches’ Bebo, a social network founded in 2005 that at its 2007 zenith was the most popular network in the United Kingdom, with more than 10 million members, and by 2.0 self-publishing platforms like Reddit, Twitter, SoundCloud, and YouTube. Professional 1.0 resources such as Kodak’s photo processing Ofoto service, Britannica online, and Monster.com have been replaced by collaborative 2.0 equivalents like Yelp, Instagram, Wikipedia, and LinkedIn. Most of these Web 2.0 businesses have pursued a Google-style business strategy of giving away their tools and services for free and relying on advertising sales as their main source of revenue. “The best minds of my generation are thinking about how to make people click ads,” one of Facebook’s engineers dryly notes.76 Like Google, networks such as Facebook and YouTube have become big data companies able to target their users’ behavior and taste through the collection of their data exhaust.

 

pages: 413 words: 119,587

Machines of Loving Grace: The Quest for Common Ground Between Humans and Robots by John Markoff

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A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, AI winter, airport security, Apple II, artificial general intelligence, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, Bill Duvall, bioinformatics, Brewster Kahle, Burning Man, call centre, cellular automata, Chris Urmson, Claude Shannon: information theory, Clayton Christensen, clean water, cloud computing, collective bargaining, computer age, computer vision, crowdsourcing, Danny Hillis, DARPA: Urban Challenge, data acquisition, Dean Kamen, deskilling, don't be evil, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Hofstadter, Dynabook, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, factory automation, From Mathematics to the Technologies of Life and Death, future of work, Galaxy Zoo, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, Grace Hopper, Gödel, Escher, Bach, Hacker Ethic, haute couture, hive mind, hypertext link, indoor plumbing, industrial robot, information retrieval, Internet Archive, Internet of things, invention of the wheel, Jacques de Vaucanson, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Conway, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, knowledge worker, Kodak vs Instagram, labor-force participation, loose coupling, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, medical residency, Menlo Park, Mother of all demos, natural language processing, new economy, Norbert Wiener, PageRank, pattern recognition, pre–internet, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Stallman, Robert Gordon, Rodney Brooks, Sand Hill Road, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, semantic web, shareholder value, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Singularitarianism, skunkworks, Skype, social software, speech recognition, stealth mode startup, Stephen Hawking, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, strong AI, superintelligent machines, technological singularity, Ted Nelson, telemarketer, telepresence, telepresence robot, Tenerife airport disaster, The Coming Technological Singularity, the medium is the message, Thorstein Veblen, Turing test, Vannevar Bush, Vernor Vinge, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Whole Earth Catalog, William Shockley: the traitorous eight

Both books draw a direct link between the rise of Instagram, the Internet photo-sharing service acquired by Facebook for $1 billion in 2012, and the decline of Kodak, the iconic photographic firm that declared bankruptcy that year. “A team of just fifteen people at Instagram created a simple app that over 130 million customers use to share some sixteen billion photos (and counting),” wrote Brynjolfsson and McAfee. “But companies like Instagram and Facebook employ a tiny fraction of the people that were needed at Kodak. Nonetheless, Facebook has a market value several times greater than Kodak ever did and has created at least seven billionaires so far, each of whom has a net worth ten times greater than [Kodak founder] George Eastman did.”32 Lanier makes the same point about Kodak’s woes even more directly: “They even invented the first digital camera. But today Kodak is bankrupt, and the new face of digital photography has become Instagram. When Instagram was sold to Facebook for a billion dollars in 2012, it employed only thirteen people.

When Instagram was sold to Facebook for a billion dollars in 2012, it employed only thirteen people. Where did all those jobs disappear to? And what happened to the wealth that those middle-class jobs created?”33 The flaw in their arguments is that they mask the actual jobs equation and ignore the reality of Kodak’s financial turmoil. First, even if Instagram did actually kill Kodak—it didn’t—the jobs equation is much more complex than the cited 13 versus 145,000 disparity. Services like Instagram didn’t spring up in isolation, but were made possible after the Internet had reached a level of maturity that had by then created millions of mostly high-quality new jobs. That point was made clearly by Tim O’Reilly, the book publisher and conference organizer: “Think about it for a minute. Was it really Instagram that replaced Kodak?

And so on.”34 And even O’Reilly’s point doesn’t begin to capture the positive economic impact of the Internet. A 2011 McKinsey study reported that globally the Internet created 2.6 new jobs for every job lost, and that it had been responsible for 21 percent of GDP growth in the five previous years in developed countries.35 The other challenge for the Kodak versus Instagram argument is that while Kodak suffered during the shift to digital technologies, its archrival FujiFilm somehow managed to prosper through the transition to digital.36 The reason for Kodak’s decline was more complex than “they missed digital” or “they failed to buy (or invent) Instagram.” The problems included scale, age, and abruptness. The company had a massive burden of retirees and an internal culture that lost talent and could not attract more. It proved to be a perfect storm. Kodak tried to get into pharmaceuticals in a big way but failed, and it failed in its effort to enter the medical imaging business.

 

pages: 292 words: 85,151

Exponential Organizations: Why New Organizations Are Ten Times Better, Faster, and Cheaper Than Yours (And What to Do About It) by Salim Ismail, Yuri van Geest

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23andMe, 3D printing, Airbnb, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, bioinformatics, bitcoin, Black Swan, blockchain, Burning Man, business intelligence, business process, call centre, chief data officer, Clayton Christensen, clean water, cloud computing, cognitive bias, collaborative consumption, collaborative economy, corporate social responsibility, cross-subsidies, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, dark matter, Dean Kamen, dematerialisation, discounted cash flows, distributed ledger, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, ethereum blockchain, Galaxy Zoo, game design, Google Glasses, Google Hangouts, Google X / Alphabet X, gravity well, hiring and firing, Hyperloop, industrial robot, Innovator's Dilemma, Internet of things, Iridium satellite, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, Kodak vs Instagram, Law of Accelerating Returns, Lean Startup, life extension, loose coupling, loss aversion, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, market design, means of production, minimum viable product, natural language processing, Netflix Prize, Network effects, new economy, Oculus Rift, offshore financial centre, p-value, PageRank, pattern recognition, Paul Graham, Peter H. Diamandis: Planetary Resources, Peter Thiel, prediction markets, profit motive, publish or perish, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, RFID, ride hailing / ride sharing, risk tolerance, Ronald Coase, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, skunkworks, Skype, smart contracts, Snapchat, social software, software is eating the world, speech recognition, stealth mode startup, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, subscription business, supply-chain management, TaskRabbit, telepresence, telepresence robot, Tony Hsieh, transaction costs, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, urban planning, WikiLeaks, winner-take-all economy, X Prize, Y Combinator

We thus label this an Iridium Moment—using linear tools and the trends of the past to predict an accelerating future. Another Iridium Moment is the well-documented case of Eastman Kodak, which declared bankruptcy in 2012 after having invented, and then rejected, the digital camera. At around the same time Kodak was closing its doors, the startup Instagram, three years in business and with just thirteen employees, was bought by Facebook for $1 billion. (Ironically, this happened while Kodak still owned the patents for digital photography.) Iridium’s missteps and the epochal industry change from Kodak to Instagram were not isolated events. Competition for many of America’s Fortune 500 companies is no longer coming from China and India. As Peter Diamandis has noted, today it’s increasingly coming from two guys in a garage with a startup leveraging exponentially growing technologies.

 

pages: 510 words: 120,048

Who Owns the Future? by Jaron Lanier

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3D printing, 4chan, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, augmented reality, automated trading system, barriers to entry, bitcoin, book scanning, Burning Man, call centre, carbon footprint, cloud computing, computer age, crowdsourcing, David Brooks, David Graeber, delayed gratification, digital Maoism, en.wikipedia.org, facts on the ground, Filter Bubble, financial deregulation, Fractional reserve banking, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, George Akerlof, global supply chain, global village, Haight Ashbury, hive mind, if you build it, they will come, income inequality, informal economy, invisible hand, Jacquard loom, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, Kevin Kelly, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, Kodak vs Instagram, life extension, Long Term Capital Management, Mark Zuckerberg, meta analysis, meta-analysis, moral hazard, mutually assured destruction, Network effects, new economy, Norbert Wiener, obamacare, packet switching, Peter Thiel, place-making, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, post-oil, pre–internet, race to the bottom, Ray Kurzweil, rent-seeking, reversible computing, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Ronald Reagan, self-driving car, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, smart meter, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Stewart Brand, Ted Nelson, The Market for Lemons, Thomas Malthus, too big to fail, trickle-down economics, Turing test, Vannevar Bush, WikiLeaks

I want digital networking to cause more value from people to be on the books, rather than less. When we make our world more efficient through the use of digital networks, that should make our economy grow, not shrink. Here’s a current example of the challenge we face. At the height of its power, the photography company Kodak employed more than 140,000 people and was worth $28 billion. They even invented the first digital camera. But today Kodak is bankrupt, and the new face of digital photography has become Instagram. When Instagram was sold to Facebook for a billion dollars in 2012, it employed only thirteen people. Where did all those jobs disappear to? And what happened to the wealth that those middle-class jobs created? This book is built to answer questions like these, which will only become more common as digital networking hollows out every industry, from media to medicine to manufacturing.

That mistake is setting us up for avoidable traumas, as machines get much better in this century. Some will say that the problem I worry about does not even exist. There is a legitimate claim of ambiguity on this point, and that ambiguity is completely typical of how problems present themselves in our modern world of networked big data. For instance, one might argue that some of the hundred-thousand-plus jobs that seem to have been lost in the transition from Kodak to Instagram will be made up for because people will be able to use photo sharing to sell their handicrafts more efficiently. While this might turn out to be true in one instance or another, I argue it is false in the big picture. My initial interest was motivated by a simple question: If network technology is supposed to be so good for everyone, why has the developed world suffered so much just as the technology has become widespread?

 

pages: 268 words: 75,850

The Formula: How Algorithms Solve All Our Problems-And Create More by Luke Dormehl

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3D printing, algorithmic trading, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, augmented reality, big data - Walmart - Pop Tarts, call centre, Cass Sunstein, Clayton Christensen, computer age, death of newspapers, deferred acceptance, Edward Lorenz: Chaos theory, Erik Brynjolfsson, Filter Bubble, Flash crash, Florence Nightingale: pie chart, Frank Levy and Richard Murnane: The New Division of Labor, Google Earth, Google Glasses, High speed trading, Internet Archive, Isaac Newton, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, Kevin Kelly, Kodak vs Instagram, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, Nate Silver, natural language processing, Netflix Prize, pattern recognition, price discrimination, recommendation engine, Richard Thaler, Rosa Parks, self-driving car, sentiment analysis, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Slavoj Žižek, social graph, speech recognition, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, the scientific method, The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver, upwardly mobile, Wall-E, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Y Combinator

The Great Restructuring What is notable about The Formula is how, in many cases, an algorithm can replace large numbers of human workers. Jaron Lanier makes this point in his most recent book, Who Owns The Future?, by comparing the photography company Kodak with the online video-sharing social network Instagram. “At the height of its power . . . Kodak employed more than 140,000 people and was worth $28 billion,” Lanier observes. “They even invented the first digital camera. But today Kodak is bankrupt, and the new face of digital photography has become Instagram. When Instagram was sold to Facebook for $1 billion in 2012, it employed only 13 people. Where did all those jobs disappear to? And what happened to the wealth that all those middle-class jobs created?”9 What causes shock for many people commenting on this subject is how indiscriminate the automation is.

 

pages: 368 words: 96,825

Bold: How to Go Big, Create Wealth and Impact the World by Peter H. Diamandis, Steven Kotler

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3D printing, additive manufacturing, Airbnb, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, cloud computing, crowdsourcing, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, dematerialisation, deskilling, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Exxon Valdez, fear of failure, Firefox, Galaxy Zoo, Google Glasses, Google Hangouts, Google X / Alphabet X, gravity well, industrial robot, Internet of things, Jeff Bezos, John Harrison: Longitude, Jono Bacon, Just-in-time delivery, Kickstarter, Kodak vs Instagram, Law of Accelerating Returns, Lean Startup, life extension, loss aversion, Louis Pasteur, Mahatma Gandhi, Mark Zuckerberg, Mars Rover, meta analysis, meta-analysis, microbiome, minimum viable product, move fast and break things, Narrative Science, Netflix Prize, Network effects, Oculus Rift, optical character recognition, packet switching, PageRank, pattern recognition, performance metric, Peter H. Diamandis: Planetary Resources, Peter Thiel, pre–internet, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, ride hailing / ride sharing, risk tolerance, rolodex, self-driving car, sentiment analysis, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, skunkworks, Skype, smart grid, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, technoutopianism, telepresence, telepresence robot, Turing test, urban renewal, web application, X Prize, Y Combinator

Facebook is also in the life-sharing, life-documenting business—and they did the math. Instagram was growing exponentially. With nearly 30 million users, it wasn’t just a photo-sharing service; it had become the photo-sharing service, with a very powerful social network to boot. Facebook didn’t want the competition, and they didn’t want to play catch-up. Thus, on April 9, 2012, just three months after Kodak filed for bankruptcy, Instagram and its thirteen employees were bought by Facebook for $1 billion.20 But how is this possible? How did Kodak—a hundred-year-old behemoth with 140,000 employees and a 1996 value of $28 billion—fail to take advantage of the most important photographic technology since roll film and end up in bankruptcy court? Simultaneously, how did a handful of entrepreneurs working out of the proverbial Silicon Valley garage go from start-up to a billion-dollar buyout in eighteen months, with a little more than a dozen employees?

 

pages: 339 words: 88,732

The Second Machine Age: Work, Progress, and Prosperity in a Time of Brilliant Technologies by Erik Brynjolfsson, Andrew McAfee

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2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, 3D printing, access to a mobile phone, additive manufacturing, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, British Empire, business intelligence, business process, call centre, clean water, combinatorial explosion, computer age, computer vision, congestion charging, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, employer provided health coverage, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, factory automation, falling living standards, Filter Bubble, first square of the chessboard / second half of the chessboard, Frank Levy and Richard Murnane: The New Division of Labor, Freestyle chess, full employment, game design, global village, happiness index / gross national happiness, illegal immigration, immigration reform, income inequality, income per capita, indoor plumbing, industrial robot, informal economy, inventory management, James Watt: steam engine, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Joseph Schumpeter, Kevin Kelly, Khan Academy, knowledge worker, Kodak vs Instagram, law of one price, low skilled workers, Lyft, Mahatma Gandhi, manufacturing employment, Mark Zuckerberg, Mars Rover, means of production, Narrative Science, Nate Silver, natural language processing, Network effects, new economy, New Urbanism, Nicholas Carr, Occupy movement, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, pattern recognition, payday loans, price stability, Productivity paradox, profit maximization, Ralph Nader, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, Report Card for America’s Infrastructure, Robert Gordon, Rodney Brooks, Ronald Reagan, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, six sigma, Skype, software patent, sovereign wealth fund, speech recognition, statistical model, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, Stuxnet, supply-chain management, TaskRabbit, technological singularity, telepresence, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, total factor productivity, transaction costs, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Vernor Vinge, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, winner-take-all economy, Y2K

It had about 4,600 employees6 including barely 1,000 engineers.7 Contrast these figures with pre-digital behemoth Kodak, which also helped customers share billions of photos. Kodak employed 145,300 people at one point, one-third of them in Rochester, New York, while indirectly employing thousands more via the extensive supply chain and retail distribution channels required by companies in the first machine age. Kodak made its founder, George Eastman, a rich man, but it also provided middle-class jobs for generations of people and created a substantial share of the wealth created in the city of Rochester after company’s founding in 1880. But 132 years later, a few months before Instagram was sold to Facebook, Kodak filed for bankruptcy.8 Photography has never been more popular. Today, seventy billion photos are uploaded to Facebook each year, and many times more are shared via other digital services like Flickr at nearly zero cost. These photos are all digital, so hundreds of thousands of people who used to work making photography chemicals and paper are no longer needed.

The evolution of photography illustrates the bounty of the second machine age, the first great economic consequence of the exponential, digital, combinatorial progress taking place at present. The second one, spread, means there are large and growing differences among people in income, wealth, and other important circumstances of life. We’ve created a cornucopia of images, sharing nearly four hundred billion “Kodak moments” each year with a few clicks of a mouse or taps on a screen. But companies like Instagram and Facebook employ a tiny fraction of the people that were needed at Kodak. Nonetheless, Facebook has a market value several times greater than Kodak ever did and has created at least seven billionaires so far, each of whom has a net worth ten times greater than George Eastman did. The shift from analog to digital has delivered a bounty of digital photos and other goods, but it has also contributed to an income distribution that is far more spread out than before.

 

pages: 380 words: 118,675

The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon by Brad Stone

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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?

Pentagram worked on Fiona through the middle of 2006, and then Lab126, which by then had hired its own designers, reclaimed the project. The Pentagram designers would feel ambivalent about the device when they finally saw it at the same time as the rest of the world. It was too cluttered with buttons, the design too confusing. After the project, Symon Whitehorn left Pentagram to go work at, of all places, Kodak. He hired Tom Hobbs as a contractor and together they created a unique digital camera that allowed picture-takers to impose on their photos the historical look of classic Kodachrome film. It presaged mobile-phone applications like Instagram, and, naturally, Kodak killed the project before it ever hit the market. Meanwhile, after Pentagram left the Kindle project, the device seemed nearly ready and close to launching. But a litany of delays followed. E Ink sent displays from Asia, and owing to variable temperatures and humidity, batches would have low contrast or get dimmer with frequent use.

 

pages: 515 words: 126,820

Blockchain Revolution: How the Technology Behind Bitcoin Is Changing Money, Business, and the World by Don Tapscott, Alex Tapscott

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Airbnb, altcoin, asset-backed security, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, bitcoin, blockchain, Bretton Woods, business process, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, carbon footprint, clean water, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, Credit Default Swap, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, disintermediation, distributed ledger, Donald Trump, double entry bookkeeping, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, ethereum blockchain, failed state, fiat currency, financial innovation, Firefox, first square of the chessboard, first square of the chessboard / second half of the chessboard, future of work, Galaxy Zoo, George Gilder, glass ceiling, Google bus, Hernando de Soto, income inequality, informal economy, interest rate swap, Internet of things, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, Kodak vs Instagram, Lean Startup, litecoin, Lyft, M-Pesa, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, microcredit, mobile money, Network effects, new economy, Oculus Rift, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer lending, performance metric, Peter Thiel, planetary scale, Ponzi scheme, prediction markets, price mechanism, Productivity paradox, quantitative easing, ransomware, Ray Kurzweil, renewable energy credits, rent-seeking, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, Satoshi Nakamoto, Second Machine Age, seigniorage, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart contracts, smart grid, social graph, social software, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Stewart Brand, supply-chain management, TaskRabbit, The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid, The Nature of the Firm, The Wisdom of Crowds, transaction costs, Turing complete, Turing test, Uber and Lyft, unbanked and underbanked, underbanked, unorthodox policies, X Prize, Y2K, Zipcar

GM or Hertz could have launched Uber, and Marriott, Airbnb. Gannett could have created Craigslist or Kijiji. eBay would have been a natural play for the Yellow Pages. Microsoft had the resources to create Google or any number of business models based on the Internet rather than the personal computer. Why didn’t NBC invent YouTube? Sony could have preempted Apple’s iTunes. Where was Kodak when it was time for Instagram or Pinterest to be invented? What if People or Newsweek had come up with BuzzFeed or Mashable? As we wrote at the beginning of this tome, “It appears that once again the technological genie has been unleashed from its bottle . . . now at our service for another kick at the can—to transform the economic power grid and the old order of human affairs. If we will it.” Like the first generation of the Internet, the Blockchain Revolution promises to upend business models and transform industries.

 

pages: 260 words: 76,223

Ctrl Alt Delete: Reboot Your Business. Reboot Your Life. Your Future Depends on It. by Mitch Joel

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3D printing, Amazon Web Services, augmented reality, call centre, clockwatching, cloud computing, Firefox, future of work, ghettoisation, Google Chrome, Google Glasses, Google Hangouts, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, Kodak vs Instagram, Lean Startup, Mark Zuckerberg, Network effects, new economy, Occupy movement, place-making, prediction markets, pre–internet, recommendation engine, Richard Florida, risk tolerance, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, social graph, social web, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Thomas L Friedman, Tim Cook: Apple, Tony Hsieh, WikiLeaks

More than that, however, I was always thinking about people who made some decisions in high school and suddenly found themselves years later gainfully employed but miserable and unfulfilled. Perhaps it was my rock ’n’ roll upbringing that did it. Regardless, the realization is this: Some people perceive changing jobs and switching industries as reckless. Take a cold, hard look at these people in this day and age and ask yourself: How secure are their jobs? We live in a time where a company like Kodak can collapse while at the same time a simple photo-sharing app called Instagram gets bought for a billion dollars by Facebook. Which company do you think feels more secure? The answer is simple: neither. Welcome to purgatory (again), and welcome to a career that will have to embrace the squiggle. ACCEPT IT: THERE IS NO GOLD WATCH IN YOUR FUTURE. Here’s the thing: People want guarantees. If I go to school and get a degree, I get a well-paying job, right?

 

pages: 261 words: 86,905

How to Speak Money: What the Money People Say--And What It Really Means by John Lanchester

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asset allocation, Basel III, Bernie Madoff, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, bitcoin, Black Swan, blood diamonds, Bretton Woods, BRICs, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Celtic Tiger, central bank independence, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collective bargaining, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, crony capitalism, Dava Sobel, David Graeber, disintermediation, double entry bookkeeping, en.wikipedia.org, estate planning, financial innovation, Flash crash, forward guidance, Gini coefficient, global reserve currency, high net worth, High speed trading, hindsight bias, income inequality, inflation targeting, interest rate swap, Isaac Newton, Jaron Lanier, joint-stock company, joint-stock limited liability company, Kodak vs Instagram, liquidity trap, London Interbank Offered Rate, London Whale, loss aversion, margin call, McJob, means of production, microcredit, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, moral hazard, neoliberal agenda, New Urbanism, Nick Leeson, Nikolai Kondratiev, Nixon shock, Northern Rock, offshore financial centre, oil shock, open economy, paradox of thrift, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, purchasing power parity, pushing on a string, quantitative easing, random walk, rent-seeking, reserve currency, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, road to serfdom, Ronald Reagan, Satoshi Nakamoto, security theater, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, six sigma, South Sea Bubble, sovereign wealth fund, Steve Jobs, The Chicago School, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, trickle-down economics, Washington Consensus, working poor, yield curve

That is hollowing out: the process by which jobs disappear from an economy while external appearances remain largely the same. Whole sectors of the economy have been hollowed out by the Internet and by outsourcing abroad. There’s a very good description of it in Jaron Lanier’s book Who Owns the Future?: At the height of its power, the photography company Kodak employed more than 140,000 people and was worth $28 billion. They even invented the first digital camera. But today Kodak is bankrupt, and the new face of digital photography has become Instagram. When Instagram was sold to Facebook for a billion dollars in 2012, it employed only thirteen people. Where did all those jobs disappear to? And what happened to the wealth that all those middle-class jobs created? 46 One of the places where hollowing out can be seen most clearly is in the English countryside. I was in a pretty corner of Sussex last summer, outside a village photogenic enough to be the backdrop of a TV murder mystery, passing through a landscape that looked as if it had been unchanged for two hundred years—all while the friend with me, who lives there full-time, explained that the image of stability and continuity was entirely illusory.

 

pages: 320 words: 87,853

The Black Box Society: The Secret Algorithms That Control Money and Information by Frank Pasquale

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Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, algorithmic trading, Amazon Mechanical Turk, asset-backed security, Atul Gawande, bank run, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, Bernie Madoff, Black Swan, bonus culture, Brian Krebs, call centre, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Chelsea Manning, cloud computing, collateralized debt obligation, corporate governance, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, Debian, don't be evil, Edward Snowden, en.wikipedia.org, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Filter Bubble, financial innovation, Flash crash, full employment, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, Google Earth, Hernando de Soto, High speed trading, hiring and firing, housing crisis, informal economy, information retrieval, interest rate swap, Internet of things, invisible hand, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, Julian Assange, Kevin Kelly, knowledge worker, Kodak vs Instagram, kremlinology, late fees, London Interbank Offered Rate, London Whale, Mark Zuckerberg, mobile money, moral hazard, new economy, Nicholas Carr, offshore financial centre, PageRank, pattern recognition, precariat, profit maximization, profit motive, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, recommendation engine, regulatory arbitrage, risk-adjusted returns, search engine result page, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Snapchat, Spread Networks laid a new fibre optics cable between New York and Chicago, statistical arbitrage, statistical model, Steven Levy, the scientific method, too big to fail, transaction costs, two-sided market, universal basic income, Upton Sinclair, value at risk, WikiLeaks

Profits,” Huffington Post (blog), March 30, 2011, http:// www.huffi ngtonpost.com /2011/03/30/fi nancial-profits-percentage _n _841716 .html. Things were even better for the fi nance fi rms in the boom years. 15. Jaron Lanier, Who Owns the Future? (New York: Simon & Schuster, 2013). “At the height of its power, the photography company Kodak employed NOTES TO PAGES 6–10 223 more than 140,000 people and was worth $28 billion. They even invented the first digital camera. But today Kodak is bankrupt, and the new face of digital photography has become Instagram. When Instagram was sold to Facebook for a billion dollars in 2012, it employed only thirteen people.” Ibid., 2. 16. Frederic Bloom, “Information Lost and Found,” California Law Review 100 (2012): 635– 690. 17. Obfuscation contributes to complexity, which is sometimes the natural result of modern business, but it is also, frequently, contrived for no good end.

 

pages: 235 words: 62,862

Utopia for Realists: The Case for a Universal Basic Income, Open Borders, and a 15-Hour Workweek by Rutger Bregman

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autonomous vehicles, banking crisis, Bartolomé de las Casas, Berlin Wall, Bertrand Russell: In Praise of Idleness, Branko Milanovic, cognitive dissonance, computer age, conceptual framework, credit crunch, David Graeber, Diane Coyle, Erik Brynjolfsson, everywhere but in the productivity statistics, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Frank Levy and Richard Murnane: The New Division of Labor, full employment, George Gilder, happiness index / gross national happiness, Henry Ford's grandson gave labor union leader Walter Reuther a tour of the company’s new, automated factory…, income inequality, invention of gunpowder, James Watt: steam engine, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, Kodak vs Instagram, labour market flexibility, labour mobility, low skilled workers, means of production, megacity, meta analysis, meta-analysis, microcredit, minimum wage unemployment, Mont Pelerin Society, Nathan Meyer Rothschild: antibiotics, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, Peter Thiel, post-industrial society, precariat, RAND corporation, randomized controlled trial, Ray Kurzweil, Ronald Reagan, Second Machine Age, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, Skype, stem cell, Steven Pinker, telemarketer, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, Thorstein Veblen, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, universal basic income, wage slave, War on Poverty, We wanted flying cars, instead we got 140 characters, wikimedia commons, women in the workforce, working poor, World Values Survey

., the gap between rich and poor is already wider than it was in ancient Rome – an economy founded on slave labor.12 In Europe, too, there’s a growing divide between the haves and the have-nots.13 Even the World Economic Forum, a clique of entrepreneurs, politicos, and pop stars, has described this escalating inequality as the biggest threat facing our global economy. Granted, it all happened very fast. Whereas in 1964 each of the four largest American companies still had an average workforce of about 430,000 people, by 2011 they employed only a quarter that number, despite being worth twice as much.14 Or take the tragic fate of Kodak, inventor of the digital camera and a company that in the late 1980s had 145,000 people on its payroll. In 2012, it filed for bankruptcy, while Instagram – the free online mobile photo service staffed by 13 people at the time – was sold to Face-book for $1 billion. The reality is that it takes fewer and fewer people to create a successful business, meaning that when a business succeeds, fewer and fewer people benefit. Automation of Knowledge Work Back in 1964, Isaac Asimov was already predicting, “Mankind will […] become largely a race of machine tenders.”