barriers to entry

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Team Geek by Brian W. Fitzpatrick, Ben Collins-Sussman


anti-pattern, barriers to entry, cognitive dissonance, Dean Kamen,, fear of failure, Paul Graham, publish or perish, Richard Stallman, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, web application

., the “Author Tags” Issue), It Really Is About the Code After All software engineers, The Genius Myth–Hiding Is Considered Harmful, Hiding Is Considered Harmful, Hiding Is Considered Harmful, Communication Patterns of Successful Cultures–The Mission Statement—No, Really, Communication Patterns of Successful Cultures, The Mission Statement—No, Really, Managing Your Relationship with Users communication patterns, Communication Patterns of Successful Cultures–The Mission Statement—No, Really, Communication Patterns of Successful Cultures, The Mission Statement—No, Really genius myth and, The Genius Myth–Hiding Is Considered Harmful, Hiding Is Considered Harmful offices and, Hiding Is Considered Harmful user relationships and, Managing Your Relationship with Users software usability, Choose Your Audience–Consider Barrier to Entry, Choose Your Audience, Consider Barrier to Entry–Measure Usage, Not Users, Consider Barrier to Entry, Consider Barrier to Entry, Measure Usage, Not Users, Measure Usage, Not Users, Speed Matters–Speed Matters, Speed Matters, Hide Complexity–Managing Your Relationship with Users, Hide Complexity, Managing Your Relationship with Users barrier to entry considerations, Consider Barrier to Entry–Measure Usage, Not Users, Consider Barrier to Entry, Measure Usage, Not Users choosing audience, Choose Your Audience–Consider Barrier to Entry, Choose Your Audience, Consider Barrier to Entry hiding complexity, Hide Complexity–Managing Your Relationship with Users, Hide Complexity, Managing Your Relationship with Users measuring usage, Measure Usage, Not Users speed considerations, Speed Matters–Speed Matters, Speed Matters Speed is a feature saying, Speed Matters Stallman, Richard, The Genius Myth standing meetings, Efficient Meetings Star Trek episode, Don’t Feed the Energy Creature starter culture, What Is Culture?

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If your product is a web application, make sure it loads quickly! We’ve become spoiled about web page speed. When told to check out a new website, if it doesn’t load within three or four seconds, Fitz usually aborts and loses interest. There’s simply no excuse here. When programmers make users wait in line at the entrance, that’s an irritating barrier to entry. The web browser makes it easy to walk away and redirect our attention to 12 other places. We have better things to do than wait for a page to load. A great example of a nearly invisible barrier to entry is the TripIt web service, which is designed to manage travel itineraries. To start using the service simply forward your existing travel-confirmation emails (airplane, hotel, rental car, etc.) to Poof, you’re now using TripIt. The service creates a temporary account for you, parses your emails, creates a gorgeous itinerary page, and then sends an email to tell you it’s ready.

The End of Power: From Boardrooms to Battlefields and Churches to States, Why Being in Charge Isn’t What It Used to Be by Moises Naim


additive manufacturing, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, bilateral investment treaty, business process, business process outsourcing, call centre, citizen journalism, Clayton Christensen, clean water, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collective bargaining, colonial rule, conceptual framework, corporate governance, crony capitalism, deskilling, disintermediation, don't be evil, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial deregulation, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, illegal immigration, immigration reform, income inequality, income per capita, intermodal, invisible hand, job-hopping, Joseph Schumpeter, Julian Assange, Kickstarter, Martin Wolf, megacity, Naomi Klein, Nate Silver, new economy, Northern Rock, Occupy movement, open borders, open economy, Peace of Westphalia, Plutocrats, plutocrats, price mechanism, price stability, private military company, profit maximization, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Skype, Steve Jobs, The Nature of the Firm, Thomas Malthus, too big to fail, trade route, transaction costs, Washington Consensus, WikiLeaks, World Values Survey

At the theoretical level, finding a precise definition of barriers to entry has led to considerable hair-splitting among economists. One approach defines barriers to entry as factors that enable firms that are already in the market to command prices that are higher than unfettered competition would produce, yet without inducing new competitors to enter. Another approach identifies barriers to entry as any costs that a new competitor faces prior to entering the market, yet that firms already in the market do not face. In other words, the distinction is between a protected price advantage for firms already in the market and a supplementary cost, such as an entry fee, for would-be competitors. Other economists have more complex definitions still, but nothing in these debates takes away from the core insight that barriers to entry are essential to understanding the dynamics of a marketplace and the use of market power to maximize long-term profits.

Rather, the extent of market power and, with it, the stability of an industry’s structure and the advantage of shelter that its dominant firms enjoy are best gauged by looking at the presence and effectiveness of barriers to entry. And when we do this, a salient trend quickly becomes clear: across the board, the traditional barriers to entry that shaped industry structure for the better part of the twentieth century have grown porous or fallen altogether. Axioms of corporate organization have been overturned. As a result, market power is no longer what it used to be. The antidote to business insecurity and instability is losing its effectiveness. And the advantage long considered to be built into corporate scale, scope, and hierarchy has been blunted, or even transformed into a handicap. BARRIERS ARE DOWN, COMPETITION IS UP The classic barriers to entry in business are well known. Size, for example, prevents smaller companies from taking on larger ones.

From the Chess Board . . . to Everything Around Us What Changed? The Decay of Power: Is It New? Is It True? So What? But What Is Power? The Decay of Power: What’s at Stake? CHAPTER TWO MAKING SENSE OF POWER: HOW IT WORKS AND HOW TO KEEP IT How to Talk About Power How Power Works Why Power Shifts—or Stays Steady The Importance of Barriers to Power The Blueprint: Explaining Market Power Barriers to Entry: A Key to Market Power From Barriers to Entry to Barriers to Power CHAPTER THREE HOW POWER GOT BIG: AN ASSUMPTION’S UNQUESTIONED RISE Max Weber, or Why Size Made Sense How the World Went Weberian The Myth of the Power Elite? CHAPTER FOUR HOW POWER LOST ITS EDGE: THE MORE, MOBILITY, AND MENTALITY REVOLUTIONS So What Has Changed? The More Revolution: Overwhelming the Means of Control The Mobility Revolution: The End of Captive Audiences 7 The Mentality Revolution: Taking Nothing for Granted Anymore How Does It Work?

pages: 56 words: 16,788

The New Kingmakers by Stephen O'Grady


Amazon Web Services, barriers to entry, cloud computing, correlation does not imply causation, crowdsourcing, DevOps, Jeff Bezos, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, Mark Zuckerberg, Netflix Prize, Paul Graham, Silicon Valley, Skype, software as a service, software is eating the world, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Tim Cook: Apple, Y Combinator

The success of these projects and others like them is thanks to developers. The millions of programmers across the world who use, develop, improve, document, and rely upon open source are the main reason it’s relevant, and the main reason it continues to grow. In return for this support, open source has set those developers free from traditional procurement. Forever. Financial constraints that once served as a barrier to entry in software not only throttled the rate and pace of innovation in the industry, they ensured that organizational developers were a subservient class at best, a cost center at worst. With the rise of open source, however, developers could for the first time assemble an infrastructure from the same pieces that industry titans like Google used to build their businesses—only at no cost, without seeking permission from anyone.

Choice and Fragmentation Not too long ago, conventional wisdom dictated that enterprises strictly limit themselves to one of two competing technology stacks—Java or .NET. But in truth, the world was never that simple. While the Sun vs Microsoft storyline supplied journalists with the sort of one-on-one rivalry they love to mine, the reality was never so black and white. Even as the enterprises focused on the likes of J2EE, Perl, PHP, and others were flowing like water around the “approved” platforms, servicing workloads where development speed and low barriers to entry were at a premium. It was similar to what had occurred years earlier, when Java and C# supplanted the platforms (C, C++, etc.) that preceded them. Fragmentation in the language and platform space is nothing new: “different tools for different jobs” has always been the developers’ mantra, if not that of the buyers supplying them. But the pace of this fragmentation is accelerating, with the impacts downstream significantly less clear.

With talent markets perpetually short on developers, companies only hiring locally or on a relocation basis are increasingly at a disadvantage relative to competitors that can hire from anywhere in the world. It can be difficult today even to convince developers to commute, let alone relocate to geographies where they’re cut off from friends and family. Adaptive organizations, therefore, are seeking ways to leverage distributed development as a core part of their talent-acquisition strategy. If you’re not, expect to lose talent to competitors who are. Lower the Barriers to Entry Many technologists believe that quality is the most important factor in determining whether a technology is adopted or ignored. And there’s no question that the merits of a given product or project are a vital input into the selection process. That has only become more true as open source has made it easier to use and compare code. But quality is just one factor—and it’s often not the most important one.

From Airline Reservations to Sonic the Hedgehog: A History of the Software Industry by Martin Campbell-Kelly


Apple II, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, barriers to entry, Bill Gates: Altair 8800, business process, card file, computer age, computer vision, continuous integration, deskilling, Grace Hopper, inventory management, John von Neumann, linear programming, Menlo Park, Network effects, popular electronics, RAND corporation, Robert X Cringely, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, software patent, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions

These magazines typically sold 50,000–150,000 copies a month.10 As was noted earlier, a crucial differences between a videogame console and a home computer were that the latter could be programmed by the user and that it came equipped with a keyboard and secondary storage. Thus, barriers to entry into software development for home computers were almost non-existent. No additional software development system was needed, there were no proprietary trade secrets to unlock, and programs could be duplicated on the computer itself, with no need for access to a third-party manufacturing plant. The lack of significant barriers to entry led to the phenomenon of the “bedroom coder.” Thousands of would-be software tycoons began to write games in their spare time, selling their programs through small ads in computer magazines. The typical game cost $15 and consisted of a smudgy, photocopied sheet of instructions and a tape cassette or a floppy disk in a plastic bag.

They were established by entrepreneurially minded individuals from the technical computing community who, individually or severally, combined the skills of the technical expert and the business promoter. The skills of the technical expert were the most critical, since a high level of programming competence was the sine qua non of being in the business. In the 1950s, the only way to acquire these skills was to learn them as an employee of a computer manufacturer or user. However, if one had these skills, there were very few other barriers to entry into software business—“all you need is a coding pad and a sharp pencil.”67 Another source put it this way: “All you need is two programmers and a coffee pot. Many don’t even have their own computer, but rent time to debug programs at Origins of the Software Contractor 51 a service bureau.”68 Even better, it was usually possible to use the client’s computer for program development. The Computer Usage Company The Computer Usage Company (CUC), generally agreed to have been the first software contractor, was founded in New York in 1955 by John Sheldon and Elmer Kubie, then in their early thirties.69 Sheldon and Kubie had both got their entrée into computing in IBM’s Technical Computing Bureau.

One indicator, perhaps, is the fact that ADAPSO went from 72 members in 1963 to 235 members by 1970, at which time it claimed to represent “34 percent of the industry’s companies . . . and 48 percent of the estimated sales volume.”15 Though these numbers probably capture the number of processing services, facilities management, and teleprocessing firms accurately, they undoubtedly underestimate the number of programming services firms. Of the four sectors, programming services had by far the lowest barriers to entry; consequently, it attracted the most new entrants. All the evidence on the size of the industry, however, appears to be anecdotal. Perhaps the most reliable source was Larry Welke, founder of International Computer Programs Inc., who testified in the IBM antitrust suit that there were between 40 and 50 independent suppliers of 64 Chapter 3 5 4.5 4 3.5 CSSI ($ billion) Software ($ billion) 3 2.5 2 1.5 1 0.5 74 73 19 19 72 19 71 70 19 69 19 68 19 67 19 66 19 19 65 19 64 63 19 62 19 61 19 19 19 60 0 Figure 3.1 The US computer services and software industries, 1960–1974.

pages: 370 words: 105,085

Joel on Software by Joel Spolsky


barriers to entry,, George Gilder, index card, Jeff Bezos, knowledge worker, Metcalfe's law, Network effects, new economy, PageRank, Paul Graham, profit motive, Robert X Cringely, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, six sigma, slashdot, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, the scientific method, thinkpad, VA Linux, web application

Why should we make it easy for customers to leave the service? That's because they are shortsighted. These are not your customers now. Try to lock them in before they become your customers, and you'll just lock them out. But if you make an honest promise that it will be easy to back out of the service if they're not happy, and suddenly you eliminate one more barrier to entry. And, as we learned, eliminating even a single barrier to entry can have a dramatic effect on conversions, and over time, when you knock down that last barrier to entry, people will start flooding in, and life will be good for a while. Until somebody does the same thing to you. thirty-nine STRATEGY LETTER IV: BLOATWARE AND THE 80/20 MYTH FRIDAY, MARCH 23, 2001 Version 5.0 of Microsoft's flagship spreadsheet program Excel came out in 1993. It was positively huge; it required a whole 15MB of hard drive space.

One thing you see a lot during a transition from an old monopoly to a new monopoly is a magic "tipping point": one morning, you wake up and your product has 80 percent market share instead of 20 percent market share. This flip tends to happen very quickly (VisiCalc to 123 to Excel, WordStar to WordPerfect to Word, Mosaic to Netscape to Internet Explorer, dBase to Access, and so on). It usually happens because the very last barrier to entry has fallen, and suddenly it's logical for everyone to switch. Obviously, it's important to work on fixing the obvious barriers to entry, but once you think you've addressed those, you need to figure out what the not-so-obvious ones are. And this is where strategy becomes tricky, because there are some non-obvious things that keep people from switching. Here's an example. This summer I'm spending most of my time in a house near the beach, but my bills still go to the apartment in New York City.

The first thing to ask is: Are you going into a business that has competition, or not? Ben & Jerry's Amazon Lots of established competitors New technology, no competition at first If you don't have any real competition, as with Amazon, there is a chance that you can succeed at a Land Grab—that is, get as many customers as quickly as possible so that later competitors will have a serious barrier to entry. But if you're going into an industry that has a well-established set of competitors, the Land Grab idea doesn't make sense, because you'd need to create your customer base by getting customers to switch over from competitors. In general, venture capitalists aren't too enthusiastic about the idea of going into a market with pesky competitors. Personally, I'm not so scared of established competition, perhaps because I worked on Microsoft Excel during a period when it almost completely took over Lotus 123, which virtually had the market to itself.

pages: 238 words: 73,824

Makers by Chris Anderson


3D printing, Airbnb, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, Apple II, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, Buckminster Fuller, Build a better mousetrap, business process, crowdsourcing, dark matter, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, death of newspapers, dematerialisation, Elon Musk, factory automation, Firefox, future of work, global supply chain, global village, industrial robot, interchangeable parts, Internet of things, inventory management, James Hargreaves, James Watt: steam engine, Jeff Bezos, job automation, Joseph Schumpeter, Kickstarter, Lean Startup, manufacturing employment, Mark Zuckerberg, means of production, Menlo Park, Network effects, profit maximization, race to the bottom, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Ronald Coase, self-driving car, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, slashdot, South of Market, San Francisco, spinning jenny, Startup school, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, supply-chain management, The Nature of the Firm, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, transaction costs, trickle-down economics, Whole Earth Catalog, X Prize, Y Combinator

Indeed, startup factories such as Y Combinator now coin entrepreneurs first and ideas later. Their “startup schools” admit smart young people on the basis of little more than a PowerPoint presentation. Once admitted, the would-be entrepreneurs are given spending money, whiteboards, and desk space and told to dream up something worth funding in three weeks. Most do, which says as much about the Web’s ankle-high barriers to entry as it does about the genius of the participants. Over the past six years, Y Combinator has funded three hundred such companies, with such names as Loopt, Wufoo, Xobni, Heroku, Heyzap, and Bump. Incredibly, some of them (such as DropBox and Airbnb) are now worth billions of dollars. Indeed, the company I work for, Condé Nast, even bought one of them, Reddit, which now gets more than 2 billion page views a month.

Just add batteries. Disruptive by design Transformative change happens when industries democratize, when they’re ripped from the sole domain of companies, governments, and other institutions and handed over to regular folks. We’ve seen this picture before: it’s what happens just before monolithic industries fragment in the face of countless small entrants, from the music industry to newspapers. Lower the barriers to entry and the crowd pours in. That’s the power of democratization: it puts tools in the hands of those who know best how to use them. We all have our own needs, our own expertise, our own ideas. If we are all empowered to use tools to meet those needs, or modify them with our own ideas, we will collectively find the full range of what a tool can do. The Internet democratized publishing, broadcasting, and communications, and the consequence was a massive increase in the range of both participation and participants in everything digital—the Long Tail of bits.

Burn,” Autodesk now preaches the gospel of “Rip. Mod. Fab” (3-D scan objects, modify them in a CAD program, and print them on a 3-D printer). That ability to easily “remix” digital files is the engine that drives community. What it offers is an invitation to participate. You don’t need to invent something from scratch or have an original idea. Instead, you can participate in a collaborative improvement of existing ideas or designs. The barrier to entry of participation is lower because it’s so easy to modify digital files rather than create them entirely yourself. My grandfather was a lone inventor, not because he was especially solitary but because he had no mechanism for easy sharing. I may be no more extroverted than he was, but because my medium is digital, sharing comes naturally. When you share, community forms. And what community does best is remixing—exploring variation in what a product can be, and in the process improving it and propagating it far faster than any individual or single company could.

pages: 319 words: 89,477

The Power of Pull: How Small Moves, Smartly Made, Can Set Big Things in Motion by John Hagel Iii, John Seely Brown


Albert Einstein, Andrew Keen, barriers to entry, Black Swan, business process, call centre, Clayton Christensen, cleantech, cloud computing, corporate governance, Elon Musk,, future of work, game design, George Gilder, Isaac Newton, job satisfaction, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, loose coupling, Louis Pasteur, Malcom McLean invented shipping containers, Maui Hawaii, medical residency, Network effects, packet switching, pattern recognition, pre–internet, profit motive, recommendation engine, Ronald Coase, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart transportation, software as a service, supply-chain management, The Nature of the Firm, too big to fail, trade liberalization, transaction costs

Although this trend may not continue—as we write, in the midst of a global economic downturn, public support for protectionist policies is growing in many parts of the world—these public policy trends have reinforced the profound social and economic effects of the new digital infrastructure. Together, they are the powerful catalysts setting the Big Shift into motion. Economic Impact The Big Shift is still at an early stage of its innovation and dissemination process, but already-visible patterns are nearly certain to persist as digital technologies systematically and substantially reduce barriers to entry and barriers to movement on a global scale. It is now possible for even the smallest vendors to reach a global market of customers using digital networks. The digital infrastructure makes outsourcing more feasible than ever, and this in turn makes it easier for small companies to access and use world-class capability to deliver more value to their markets and to respond more rapidly to unanticipated changes in markets.

In the United States, the exponentially advancing price/performance capability of computing, storage, and bandwidth is driving an adoption rate for the digital infrastructure that is two to five times faster than adoption rates were for previous infrastructures, such as electricity and telephone networks.10 As the price/performance ratio goes down, new capabilities emerge faster than before and disruption occurs frequently rather than in isolated episodes. Fueled by this new digital infrastructure—and public policy changes that overwhelmingly have reduced barriers to entry and movement—U.S. competitive intensity is more than twice what it was in the mid-1960s.11 Declining ROA rates, even as labor productivity rises, suggest that firms are unable to hold onto the financial benefits created by steady gains in labor productivity. Who is capturing the rewards instead? Our metrics suggest that creative talent is one beneficiary—for example, computer engineers, health-care professionals, architects, and managers, whose total compensation has more than doubled during the past five years.12 Consumers are also benefiting, thanks to increasing access to ever-growing numbers of products and services and to information (such as comparative price information) about them and the vendors that offer them.

In order to stay successful in a world of accelerating change, we need to find ways to learn faster, often in areas that we once viewed as quite peripheral to our professions. We can sum it all up with the following statement: Push is no longer the dominant paradigm in business, education, or civic life. Welcome to the foundational change that makes pull the dominant paradigm in our lives. The Second Wave: Knowledge Flows If the Big Shift’s first wave is all about lowering barriers to entry and movement, the second wave shows what happens when those barriers go away: Capital, talent, and knowledge start flowing increasingly rapidly across geographical and institutional boundaries. By our estimation, developed economies today are somewhere in the early part of the second wave of the Big Shift, with the third wave yet to come. Firms have yet to make a meaningful transition into the digital age.

pages: 400 words: 94,847

Reinventing Discovery: The New Era of Networked Science by Michael Nielsen


Albert Einstein, augmented reality, barriers to entry, bioinformatics, Cass Sunstein, Climategate, Climatic Research Unit, conceptual framework, dark matter, discovery of DNA, double helix, Douglas Engelbart,, Erik Brynjolfsson, fault tolerance, Fellow of the Royal Society, Firefox, Freestyle chess, Galaxy Zoo, Internet Archive, invisible hand, Jane Jacobs, Jaron Lanier, Kevin Kelly, Magellanic Cloud, means of production, medical residency, Nicholas Carr, publish or perish, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Richard Stallman, semantic web, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Simon Singh, Skype, slashdot, social web, statistical model, Stephen Hawking, Stewart Brand, Ted Nelson, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Nature of the Firm, The Wisdom of Crowds, University of East Anglia, Vannevar Bush, Vernor Vinge

In the next chapter, chapter 4, we’ll see many collaborative patterns that can help achieve these ends, including: • Modularizing the collaboration, that is, figuring out ways to split up the overall task into smaller subtasks that can be attacked independently or nearly independently. This reduces barriers to entry by new people, and thus broadens the range of available expertise. Modularity is often difficult to achieve, requiring a conscious, relentless commitment on the part of participants. • Encouraging small contributions, again to reduce barriers to entry, and to broaden the range of available expertise. • Developing a rich and well structured information commons, so people can build on earlier work. The easier it is to find and reuse earlier work, the faster the information commons will grow. In chapter 5 we’ll examine the limits to collective intelligence.

Although citizen science is not new, online tools are enabling far more people to participate—think of Galaxy Zoo’s 200,000-plus participants and Foldit’s 75,000-plus participants—and also expanding the range of scientific work those people can do. To be a comet hunter in the 1960s you needed to purchase or build a telescope, learn how to use it, and then spend many, many hours observing the sky. The barriers to entry and to continued contribution were high. By contrast, you can get started on Galaxy Zoo or Foldit in a matter of minutes. It’s even possible to classify galaxies on your smartphone. Aside from dropping barriers to entry, online tools also enable sophisticated interactive training, and bring participants together in communities where they can learn from one another, and support one another’s work. As a result we’re seeing a great flowering of citizen science. As an example of this flowering, comet hunting has been transformed by the internet.

In particular, open source collaborations have been superbly effective at scaling up, and so increasing the cognitive diversity and range of microexpertise available to the collaboration. In this chapter we’ll identify four powerful patterns that open source collaborations have used to scale. (1) a relentless commitment to working in a modular way, finding clever ways of splitting up the overall task into smaller subtasks; (2) encouraging small contributions, to reduce barriers to entry; (3) allowing easy reuse of earlier work by other people; and (4) using signaling mechanisms such as scores to help people decide where to direct their attention. These patterns can be incorporated into any architecture of attention, and so be used to amplify coe intelligence. The Importance of Being Modular To understand how open source collaborations scale, let’s look at a time when the Linux collaboration almost failed to scale, a time when the Linux developer community almost fractured into two separate camps, working on two separate versions of Linux.

pages: 406 words: 88,820

Television disrupted: the transition from network to networked TV by Shelly Palmer


barriers to entry, call centre, disintermediation,, hypertext link, interchangeable parts, invention of movable type, James Watt: steam engine, linear programming, market design, pattern recognition, recommendation engine, Saturday Night Live, shareholder value, Skype, spectrum auction, Steve Jobs, subscription business, Telecommunications Act of 1996, Vickrey auction, yield management

This data compression technology, and other subsequent compression schemas, cost the dot-com speculators billions of dollars because they created an extraordinary amount of over-capacity on the existing fiber optic networks. There is an important lesson to be learned from this experience. Technology is fleeting. Technological edges or advantages can be extremely short-lived. And, as we all know all too well, the last half mile is the barrier to entry. In other words, getting fiber to the curb is not the same as getting fiber to the premises or fiber to the pillow. Traditionally, innovations in audio have happened about 10 years before their video counterparts. This is just a bit of armchair wisdom, not a trend analysis. Later in this chapter, we will explore some of the profound differences between the audio and video businesses and the technologies that enable them.

All rights reserved. 6-Television.Chap Six v3sp.qxd 3/20/06 7:22 AM Page 75 6 Content, Storytellers, Gatekeepers and Related Skills When people say “Content is king,” they don’t mean your content — unless you happen to be holding the rights to distribute games from major sports franchises, episodes of hit prime time television series or reruns of big off-network sitcoms. Saying content is king is like saying hits are important. It is an absurd, overused, oversimplified way of communicating the idea that good business models revolve around the “business of hits.” However, since the financial barriers to entry of the networked television business are significantly lower then those of the network television business, the economics of the “business of hits” is being redefined. And, the inherent two-way nature of the technology that enables networked television has some added benefits for storytellers. Storytelling Somewhere back in time, we learned how to listen to a speech. And, whenever the concept of an imagined performance first occurred to someone, the concept of an audience sitting quietly and paying attention was not far behind.

told them that what they are eating is called a hamburger, so should we be surprised if they do not recognize ground sirloin on a sourdough bun as the same food-stuff? Or if they do recognize the genus (hamburger), should we be surprised that their tastes have evolved (or devolved) to a point where they will show a marked preference for MickyD’s over a classic “21 Burger?” Who Are the Gatekeepers? Since the advent of technology, there have always been significant monetary barriers to entry for almost every creative outlet. You needed a printing press to make books, a recording studio to make music, a film studio to make films, etc. You also needed crafts-people (back then they were politically incorrectly referred to as craftsmen, but at that time, all u machines, boats and hurricanes were female — Tastes change and art crazy times, they were!). The organizations and evolves, but in the before-time, businesses that could effectively field an infrastruc- they had help and guidance from ture and efficient distribution channels became the gatekeepers.

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Platform Revolution: How Networked Markets Are Transforming the Economy--And How to Make Them Work for You by Sangeet Paul Choudary, Marshall W. van Alstyne, Geoffrey G. Parker


3D printing, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, Andrei Shleifer, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, big data - Walmart - Pop Tarts, bitcoin, blockchain, business process, buy low sell high, chief data officer, clean water, cloud computing, connected car, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, data acquisition, data is the new oil, discounted cash flows, disintermediation, Edward Glaeser, Elon Musk,, Erik Brynjolfsson, financial innovation, Haber-Bosch Process, High speed trading, Internet of things, inventory management, invisible hand, Jean Tirole, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, Lean Startup, Lyft, market design, multi-sided market, Network effects, new economy, payday loans, peer-to-peer lending, Peter Thiel,, pre–internet, price mechanism, recommendation engine, RFID, Richard Stallman, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Coase, Satoshi Nakamoto, self-driving car, shareholder value, sharing economy, side project, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart contracts, smart grid, Snapchat, software is eating the world, Steve Jobs, TaskRabbit, The Chicago School, the payments system, Tim Cook: Apple, transaction costs, two-sided market, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, winner-take-all economy, Zipcar

In similar fashion, Airbnb works to lower the hurdles for its member-hosts by regularly conducting events and programs designed to illustrate and teach its best practices. Uber works to remove economic barriers that might discourage would-be drivers by providing financial incentives like sign-up bonuses. Platforms like Dribbble, Threadless, and 99designs have built large ecosystems of designers, largely owing to the democratization of the tools of design and printing over the last several years—yet another case of barriers to entry being lowered, in part through the help of platform tools. The proliferation of new production technologies further enables the emergence of new groups of producers. Just as the smartphone camera expanded the volume of content on platforms like Instagram and Vine, the spread of 3D printing is likely to lead to a new range of platforms for industry design. However, technology often needs the support of innovative business design to produce massive reconfiguration of value creation.

Porter’s model identifies five forces that affect the strategic position of a particular business: the threat of new entrants to the market, the threat of substitute products or services, the bargaining power of customers, the bargaining power of suppliers, and the intensity of competitive rivalry in the industry. The goal of strategy is to control these five forces in such a way as to build a moat around the business and thereby render it unassailable. Thus, when a firm can erect barriers to entry, it can keep competitors out, and entrants with substitute products cannot storm the castle. When a firm can subjugate suppliers, competition among them weakens their bargaining power so the firm can keep its costs low. When a firm can subjugate buyers by keeping them relatively small, disunited, and powerless, the firm can keep its prices high. In this model, the firm maximizes profits by avoiding ruinous competition for itself but encouraging it for everyone else in the value chain.

Whirlpool competes with GE by engineering differentiated products, squeezing the supply chain, and continually improving its manufacturing efficiencies, thereby constructing a moat that makes it hard for GE to poach Whirlpool’s customers. Later thinkers have added nuance and fresh insights to Porter’s approach. In 1984, MIT’s Birger Wernerfelt first described in detail what he called the resource-based view of the firm, a variation on strategic thinking with roots in the work of several earlier scholars.8 The resource-based view highlights the fact that a particularly effective barrier to entry is control of an indispensable and inimitable resource. A firm with such a resource is safe from new entrants who lack and cannot acquire means to produce it. A simple example is De Beers, whose control of a worldwide diamond marketing cartel enabled it to maintain a near-monopoly over the diamond industry for the entire twentieth century. The De Beers cartel broke down after 2000 when some diamond producers decided to market their product outside the De Beers-controlled system, reducing the cartel’s share of the market from 90 percent in the 1980s to about 33 percent in 2013.9 Until then, however, De Beers’s control of an irreplaceable resource gave it a sustainable advantage that yielded a hundred years’ worth of profits.

pages: 168 words: 50,647

The End of Jobs: Money, Meaning and Freedom Without the 9-To-5 by Taylor Pearson


Airbnb, barriers to entry, Black Swan, call centre, cloud computing, Elon Musk,, Frederick Winslow Taylor, future of work, Google Hangouts, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, loss aversion, low skilled workers, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, market fragmentation, means of production, Oculus Rift, passive income, passive investing, Peter Thiel, remote working, Ronald Reagan: Tear down this wall, sharing economy, side project, Silicon Valley, Skype, software as a service, software is eating the world, Startup school, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Stewart Brand, telemarketer, Thomas Malthus, Uber and Lyft, unpaid internship, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, web application, Whole Earth Catalog

After the first one was successful, he started marketing the service and launched a productized service39 selling email marketing and conversion consulting to business owners.40 Dan Norris also launched a productized service similar to John with WP Curve, though targeted at a much larger audience and from a lower price point. While all the business models are unique, what’s universal is that the barrier to entry in each is no longer capital or formal credentials. All they needed to get started were free or relatively cheap resources they could buy online, and their own hard work. The entrepreneurial leap has become the entrepreneurial stair step. The latent demand and lower barriers to entry have allowed more people to become entrepreneurs by easing their way into the process. That’s not to say it’s easy—you still have to climb the stairs, but no longer in a single bound. Stair Stepping lets you build momentum behind your trajectory by developing the skills you need to run an entrepreneurial company.

The glut of lawyers in the U.S. may be the most obvious example, but even in the traditional STEM fields (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics), which were long considered lock-ins for employment, people with related degrees are struggling harder to find jobs than they were a decade ago. Jobs in almost all industries are becoming increasingly commoditized. It makes sense to us that low-skilled jobs with lower barriers to entry are being affected by globalization and technology, but why is it affecting the more highly-credentialed ones? The Cynefin Framework and Your Career The Cynefin framework23 (pronounced Kih-neh-vihn) was developed by Dave Snowden after studying the management structure at IBM. The framework became popular, and was featured in publications including the Harvard Business Review.24 It divides work and management up in ways that are more effective given the changing nature of work.

Just as technology made it viable for small bands to sell their records online, it’s also made entrepreneurship more accessible than ever. The Long Tail or What’s Making Entrepreneurship More Accessible Just like scientists sequencing the human genome were unable to predict how fast technology would enable the project to accelerate, the same has occurred with the technology needed to start a business. The barriers to entry have come down dramatically faster than most people have realized. There are three primary forces of the Long Tail which have driven this shift making entrepreneurship more accessible than ever. 1. The Democratization of the Tools of Production: Product Creation Costs Are Decreasing—Just as cheap software let Birdmonster produce music from their laptops, cheap tools have allowed entrepreneurs to start and run a business from anywhere with little to no capital up front.

pages: 528 words: 146,459

Computer: A History of the Information Machine by Martin Campbell-Kelly, William Aspray, Nathan L. Ensmenger, Jeffrey R. Yost


Ada Lovelace, air freight, Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, barriers to entry, Bill Gates: Altair 8800, borderless world, Buckminster Fuller, Build a better mousetrap, Byte Shop, card file, cashless society, cloud computing, combinatorial explosion, computer age, deskilling, don't be evil, Douglas Engelbart, Dynabook, fault tolerance, Fellow of the Royal Society, financial independence, Frederick Winslow Taylor, game design, garden city movement, Grace Hopper, informal economy, interchangeable parts, invention of the wheel, Jacquard loom, Jacquard loom, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, John von Neumann, linked data, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, natural language processing, Network effects, New Journalism, Norbert Wiener, Occupy movement, optical character recognition, packet switching, PageRank, pattern recognition, pirate software, popular electronics, prediction markets, pre–internet, QWERTY keyboard, RAND corporation, Robert X Cringely, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, Ted Nelson, the market place, Turing machine, Vannevar Bush, Von Neumann architecture, Whole Earth Catalog, William Shockley: the traitorous eight, women in the workforce, young professional

(To take one example, while the original VisiCalc had contained about 10,000 instructions, mature versions of the Lotus 1-2-3 spreadsheet contained about 400,000 lines of code.) The second barrier to entry was know-how. The sources of knowledge of how to create personal-computer software with an attractive interface had become locked into the existing firms. This knowledge was not something that could be learned from the literature or in a computer science class. The third, and probably the greatest, barrier was access to distribution channels. In 1983 it was said that there were thirty-five thousand products competing for a place among the two hundred products that a typical computer store could stock—three hundred word-processing packages just for the IBM-compatible PC. A huge advertising expenditure, and therefore a large injection of capital, was needed to overcome this barrier. One might have expected that these barriers to entry would have protected the existing firms such as VisiCorp, MicroPro, and Ashton-Tate, but this was not the case.

A more important source of profit was a greatly increased product range—in some cases the number of lines more than tripling—as a result of checkout automation. Many of these new lines were luxury goods with large margins; these were the real generators of profits. For the food industry itself, there were negative impacts of bar coding, much as the rise of supermarkets in the 1930s spelled an end to the owner-operated grocery store. For example, the barriers to entry into food manufacturing became greater. Not only were there the bureaucratic hurdles of UPC allocation to surmount, but penetrating the retail network of national chains now required at minimum an operation of substantial scale. Indeed, a curious development of the late twentieth century was the emergence of folksy specialty foods—apparently made by small-scale food preparers, but in fact mass-produced and sold by national chains.

ARD was the prototype venture-capital firm, and the development of such financial operations was a key factor responsible for the dynamism of the new high-tech industries in the United States. Most overseas countries found it very difficult to compete with US firms until they established their own venture-funding organizations. Olsen’s aim was to go into the computer business and compete with the mainframe manufacturers. However, in the late 1950s this was not a realistic short-term goal. The barriers to entry into the mainframe business were rising. In order to enter the mainframe business, one needed three things, in addition to a central processing unit: peripherals (such as magnetic tape and disk drives), software (both applications and program development tools), and a sales force. It would cost several hundred million dollars to establish all these capabilities. Because of these formidable barriers to entering the computer industry, Doriot convinced Olsen to first establish the firm with more attainable objectives.

pages: 330 words: 91,805

Peers Inc: How People and Platforms Are Inventing the Collaborative Economy and Reinventing Capitalism by Robin Chase


3D printing, Airbnb, Amazon Web Services, Andy Kessler, banking crisis, barriers to entry, bitcoin, blockchain, Burning Man, business climate, call centre, car-free, cloud computing, collaborative consumption, collaborative economy, collective bargaining, congestion charging, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, decarbonisation, don't be evil, Elon Musk,, ethereum blockchain, Ferguson, Missouri, Firefox, frictionless, Gini coefficient, hive mind, income inequality, index fund, informal economy, Internet of things, Jane Jacobs, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, job satisfaction, Kickstarter, Lean Startup, Lyft, means of production, megacity, Minecraft, minimum viable product, Network effects, new economy, Oculus Rift, openstreetmap, optical character recognition, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer lending, Richard Stallman, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, Satoshi Nakamoto, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, self-driving car, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, six sigma, Skype, smart cities, smart grid, Snapchat, sovereign wealth fund, Steve Crocker, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, TaskRabbit, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Nature of the Firm, transaction costs, Turing test, Uber and Lyft, Zipcar

Platforms have impressive properties based on their raison d’être: simplifying, standardizing, and easing participation. This means that once you’ve got the elements of the platform exactly right and people are interested in the excess capacity you are offering up, it will grow very quickly. The good platform has reduced the cost and effort of participating to its absolute minimum, making the barriers to entry as low as possible. With growth come all the benefits of economies of scale. Platforms can be expensive to build, but the standardization of service provided, inherent in the platform model, means that each additional peer costs very little to add. At a certain point, the benefits are almost all to the upside. With a good idea, a great user experience, and a large market, platforms offer the biggest possible punch per investment dollar.

Platforms that are open, minimalistic, and decentralized—open APIs, protocols, simple rules—leave users so unconstrained that there is no possible way to have the binding constraint of a monopoly. How a platform was financed, and therefore who owns it, will also dictate its likelihood of exercising monopoly if it has the option. A discussion I had with entrepreneurs on this topic led to a lack of consensus. Some platforms (such as cloud computing, credit card processing, and mail servers) lack barriers to entry or protective intellectual property, and therefore they have competitors. For peers, using these platforms is much cheaper than building those assets on their own. I can attest to this, having built so many pieces for Zipcar and having bought them for my last company. And then, “when we don’t like the platform, we can just go elsewhere because we haven’t invested in the assets—switching costs are much lower than if we’d built it ourselves, and sunk costs are much lower likewise,” one CEO told me.

Zipcar, for example, is useful if there is just one car parked near your house, but when people in another city make it possible for you to rent cars there too, there is added value to you, albeit a marginal one. For BlaBlaCar, on the other hand, all the value is derived from network effects: Ridesharing only works when lots of people are participating. These network effects are powerful and can make it very hard for a new entrant to enter the market and go up against an established company with a very large network. The pinnacle in a pure capitalist economy is creating so many barriers to entry that no one else can really compete. That makes for an effective monopoly, yet one without government intervention or regulation. One way to stave off regulation is to act nice. If your co-creators aren’t complaining because they are fairly treated, well served, and heard from, then maybe the platform won’t need regulation but it truly is self-regulating. As we start to see more mature Peers Inc companies, we are also recognizing the huge problem with old-fashioned but unrecognized monopolies.

pages: 283 words: 85,824

The People's Platform: Taking Back Power and Culture in the Digital Age by Astra Taylor


A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Andrew Keen, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, big-box store, Brewster Kahle, citizen journalism, cloud computing, collateralized debt obligation, Community Supported Agriculture, conceptual framework, corporate social responsibility, cross-subsidies, crowdsourcing, David Brooks, digital Maoism, disintermediation, don't be evil, Donald Trump, Edward Snowden, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Filter Bubble, future of journalism, George Gilder, Google Chrome, Google Glasses, hive mind, income inequality, informal economy, Internet Archive, Internet of things, invisible hand, Jane Jacobs, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, Julian Assange, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, Mark Zuckerberg, means of production, Naomi Klein, Narrative Science, Network effects, new economy, New Journalism, New Urbanism, Nicholas Carr, oil rush, Peter Thiel, Plutocrats, plutocrats, pre–internet, profit motive, recommendation engine, Richard Florida, Richard Stallman, self-driving car, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, slashdot, Slavoj Žižek, Snapchat, social graph, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, technoutopianism, trade route, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks, winner-take-all economy, Works Progress Administration, young professional

Artists and writers will thrive without institutional backing, able to reach their audiences directly. A golden age of sharing and collaboration will be ushered in, modeled on Wikipedia and open source software. In many wonderful ways this is the world we have been waiting for. So what’s the catch? In some crucial respects the standard assumptions about the Internet’s inevitable effects have misled us. New technologies have undoubtedly removed barriers to entry, yet, as I will show, cultural democracy remains elusive. While it’s true that anyone with an Internet connection can speak online, that doesn’t mean our megaphones blast our messages at the same volume. Online, some speak louder than others. There are the followed and the followers. As should be obvious to anyone with an e-mail account, the Internet, though open to all, is hardly an egalitarian or noncommercial paradise, even if you bracket all the porn and shopping sites.

Now volunteers scattered across the globe can create one more comprehensive than any the world has ever known. And so on. An amateur paradise is upon us, a place where people are able to participate in cultural production for the pleasure of it, without asking permission first. Social media have enabled a new paradigm of collaboration. The old closed, hierarchical, institutional model is being replaced by a decentralized, networked system open to all. Barriers to entry have been removed, gatekeepers have been demolished, and the costs of creating and distributing culture have plummeted. New tools not only have made cultural production more efficient but have equalized opportunity. NYU professor Clay Shirky, perhaps the leading proponent of this view, calls this process “social production.” Harvard’s Yochai Benkler uses the term “peer production,” business writer Jeff Howe calls it “crowdsourcing,” and Don Tapscott and his coauthor Anthony D.

“Media are the only channels that have the motivation and resources required to have a real impact.” It wasn’t that the WikiLeaks mastermind had lost faith in people to think for themselves; rather, he recognized that they lacked the time the task required and the power to legitimize and publicize the results. Motivation and resources, time and power—these are assets that are not evenly distributed, even if the Internet has removed many of the old barriers to entry. They are inequalities that we must take into account when we talk about the network’s “level playing field.” The desire to transcend earthly inequality has suffused discussions of the Internet for decades. Early techno-utopians long ago declared that even the atom was “past” and promised the “tyranny of matter” overthrown.1 The terrestrial and corporeal, they confidently predicted, would soon be abandoned for the weightless Web.

pages: 236 words: 77,735

Rigged Money: Beating Wall Street at Its Own Game by Lee Munson


affirmative action, asset allocation, backtesting, barriers to entry, Bernie Madoff, Bretton Woods, buy low sell high, California gold rush, call centre, Credit Default Swap, diversification, diversified portfolio, estate planning, fiat currency, financial innovation, fixed income, Flash crash, follow your passion, German hyperinflation, High speed trading, housing crisis, index fund, joint-stock company, moral hazard, passive investing, Ponzi scheme, price discovery process, random walk, risk tolerance, risk-adjusted returns, risk/return, too big to fail, trade route, Vanguard fund, walking around money

Why was this important, outside of being the first stock? First of all, this was the first joint-stock company, meaning regular people like middle class merchants were able to invest in a public company. On September 1 the public subscription period was over. Five hundred thirty-eight subscribers, including craftsmen and small entrepreneurs, were given shares that were freely transferable.1 Before this there was a barrier to entry for investments. The idea of selling a piece of a company in order to lower the risk to any one person was not new, but allowing anybody with the money to buy shares was ground breaking. The Amsterdam Stock Exchange was established the same year just so people could trade shares of this new corporation. Why did it take so long for the madness to start? First off, you can’t sell stock to those that have no money, freedom, or laws protecting ownership.

The bottom line is too many people have too much information and all want the same thing—returns that are better than their peers. Put it this way. If more and more people get in the game, there is less for each person to take. The pie can only get cut up so many times. What is worse, the pie may not get bigger as more people take a slice. Nobody knows the future of investing, but as long as electronic trading lowers the barrier to entry, an endless stream of better players will look to take a piece of the action. At least the price of admission to the Magic Kingdom has only increased about 15 times since 1970, not the 60 times increase of the company’s stock. The S&P 500’s 12 times return would have left you a few bucks short of a ticket. Welcome Home, G.I. It’s 1950 and you have $10,000 to invest. Maybe you worked for it, and maybe you inherited the money, but you have it and want to set it aside for the long term.

While I will keep investing in the sector as long as it is profitable, there is a bad taste in my mouth that J.P. Morgan, UBS, Credit Suisse, Morgan Stanley, Cushing, and ALPS all think they can play everyone for a fool and fix the price to trade a MLP index. The Virus Goes Airborne From the humble beginnings of a few major indexes, the ETF industry has been busy providing all things to all people. At first I was excited about the barriers to entry being torn down. Years ago I wanted to make a bet on Malaysia. Due to regulatory issues it was hard to own stocks in that country, but a new ETF that tracked the Malaysian market made exposure easy. From the first U.S. ETF in 1993, then a handful throughout most of the 1990s, the turn of this century saw the explosion. By the end of 2001 there were almost 100, then 600 by 2007, and today we are at well over 1,000 and counting.

pages: 318 words: 77,223

The Only Game in Town: Central Banks, Instability, and Avoiding the Next Collapse by Mohamed A. El-Erian


Airbnb, balance sheet recession, bank run, barriers to entry, Bretton Woods, British Empire, capital controls, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Carmen Reinhart, carried interest, collapse of Lehman Brothers, corporate governance, currency peg, Erik Brynjolfsson, eurozone crisis, financial innovation, Financial Instability Hypothesis, financial intermediation, financial repression, Flash crash, forward guidance, friendly fire, full employment, future of work, Hyman Minsky, If something cannot go on forever, it will stop, income inequality, inflation targeting, Jeff Bezos, Kenneth Rogoff, Khan Academy, liquidity trap, Martin Wolf, megacity, Mexican peso crisis / tequila crisis, moral hazard, mortgage debt, oil shale / tar sands, price stability, principal–agent problem, quantitative easing, risk tolerance, risk-adjusted returns, risk/return, Second Machine Age, secular stagnation, sharing economy, sovereign wealth fund, The Great Moderation, The Wisdom of Crowds, too big to fail, University of East Anglia, yield curve

In the financial world, as a New York Times article put it, “they are focused on transforming the economics of underwriting and the experience of consumer borrowing—and hope to make more loans available at lower cost for millions of Americans.”8 Together with the expansion of P2P (peer-to-peer) interactions and crowdfunding, these approaches offer the possibility of improving the provision of financial services (especially to badly served segments of the population), lowering barriers to entry, reducing old-style overheads, and broadening sources and uses of loanable funds.9 But it is also an area where regulation is lagging and modes of operation are yet to be properly tested in a general economic downturn; it is also an approach whose collective rigor has yet to be subjected to a full market cycle. Recognizing the ongoing shifts, regulators and supervisors are now playing catch-up, and they are looking to step up their efforts lest they end up fighting the last war.

In the process, finance will be slowly following a path already trodden by technology and, more recently and even less deterministically, by media. And again the tendency will be to transform over time a normal bell-shaped distribution of expected outcomes into more of a bimodal one. The upside of this financial democratization phenomenon is considerable, and it is particularly powerful because it lowers barriers to entry and better-tailored solutions. It widens the sources and uses of loanable funds, reduces overheads and other intermediation costs, and improves the financial terms offered to end users. The influx of greater cognitive diversity makes the industry more dynamic, including by encouraging providers to go beyond their traditional client acquisition and product focus to also encompass more holistic customer-centered solutions.

Though these more comprehensive models have yet to navigate a full economic cycle, a more comprehensive understanding of both financial mindset and behavior is emerging, and they are being enhanced by work on different “financial personalities.” There are also downsides. Some innovation-driven activities resemble the Wild West. Most worrisomely, badly regulated and abused P2P platforms can end up facilitating the financing of illicit activities—from drugs to terrorism. Like many major innovations in history that significantly lowered the barriers to entry, the natural inclination of humans is to initially overproduce and overconsume the now more easily available activity. With time, this converges to a more stable equilibrium—but often only after a process involving quite a few highs and lows, along with a series of improbables and unthinkables. CHAPTER 28 PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER “Advances in technology have always disreupted the status quo.

pages: 399 words: 155,913

The Right to Earn a Living: Economic Freedom and the Law by Timothy Sandefur


barriers to entry, big-box store, Cass Sunstein, clean water, collective bargaining, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, Edward Glaeser, housing crisis, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, labour mobility, minimum wage unemployment, positional goods, price stability, profit motive, race to the bottom, Ralph Nader, RAND corporation, rent control, Silicon Valley, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, trade route, transaction costs, Upton Sinclair, urban renewal

In a free market, a company that wants to succeed and grow must increase the quality of its products, decrease its prices, or find some other way to appeal to consumer needs. But businesses that cannot or do not want to compete in this way will often try to exploit government authority for their own advantage by illegalizing their competition or by making competition inordinately expensive through the creation of what economists call “barriers to entry”: rules that bar new companies from entering the marketplace. The classic example of a barrier to entry is a tariff: a tax on imports that makes them more expensive than domestic products. Tariffs make it difficult for foreign companies to compete against domestic producers, needlessly increasing costs to consumers and allowing domestic manufacturers to produce lower-quality merchandise, safe from higher-quality imports. Domestic manufacturers, therefore, often favor tariffs but rarely admit that their support is a matter of their own private gain.

., 194 labels, product, commercial free speech, 203–7 labor unions anti-competitive conduct, 62–63, 64 at-will employment and, 232 immunity from antitrust laws, 62–63 job security rules and, 233–34 laissez-faire economics, 6 Gilded Age and, 48–49 law meaning and qualification of, 90–91, 92, 99 permanent and aggregate interests of the community and, 91, 93 procedural overlapping substantive aspects, 96 unqualified legislative acts under due process, 95–96 see also due process of law lawfulness, themes of, 97–98 Lawrence v. Texas, 132, 282 Lawson, Gary, 281, 289 lead paint, public nuisance cases, 239, 244–45 legislative freedom from judicial restraint, 11, 12–13, 109 Index Letwin, William, 20, 285 liberty, 273 charters of power granted by, 10 definition of, 7 European charters of, 10 Jasay on presumption of, 130, 273–74 Locke’s presumption of, 273 licensing, occupational, 23, 99–100 barrier to entry, 63 florists, 133–34, 155 funeral homes and merchandise, 150–55 as protectionism, 145–59, 174 racial bias, 145–49 rational basis test and, 133–34, 148–49, 151 wildlfe control example, 156–59 Liebmann. see New State Ice Co. v. Liebmann limited liability privilege, 33 Lincoln, Abraham, 4, 40, 84 living Constitution theory, 77, 78 Lloyd, Henry Demarest, 45, 46, 49 Loan Association v. Topeka, 97–98 local government abuse of power, 61 contracts clause and, 80–81 formula retail ordinances, 186–89 monopolizing trade, 60–61 Owen and, 267 regulatory takings, 264–68 viewshed ordinances, 264 Local Government Antitrust Act, 61 Lochner v.

Harris, 152–55, 159, 162, 188, 289 predatory pricing schemes, 179–82 price stabilization schemes. see agricultural adjustment programs privacy rights, 282 private agreements monopoly-like, 22–23 see also contracts; specific types of agreements privileges, corporate, 28, 29, 31, 33–35 Privileges and Immunities: A Reference Guide to the United States Constitution (David S. Bogen), 288 privileges and immunities clause, 4 Corfield and, 40–41 dormancy, 43–44 overruling, revival, reversal of, 287–92 right to make and enforce contracts, 288–89 Slaughterhouse and, 41–44 states’ rights and, 40–41 productive work, 3 professions barriers to entry, 63, 141 licensing, 23, 63, 99–100, 145–56 restricted entry, 22, 23 restricting or eliminating competition, 289–90 unskillfulness, 23 Progressive Era, xiv–xv, 44–50 eminent domain and, 32 misconceptions about, 47–49 regulation of business and economy, 13, 15, 123–27, 136–37 Supreme Court, 15, 279. see also specific justices 371 Index Progressivism agenda, ideology, and philosophy, 11, 12–13, 44–50, 279–81 assault on economic liberty, 11–16, 44–50, 279–81, 290, 292 changing American political philosophy, 44–50 criticism of and attack on Lochner, 107–10, 121 doctrines, 279–81 economic freedom argument, 123–27 free speech and, 191–92 majority over individuality, 11, 44–45, 109–10, 121, 279, 292. see also collective decisionmaking notion of individual freedom, 116–17 pro-government presumption, xiii–xiv, 11–13, 44–50 rational basis test and, 125–27 rights as permissions, 95, 109, 116–17, 279, 282–83 socialist nature of, 46, 123–27 visionary zeal to do gooders, 13, 46 Prohibition, legacy of, 183–84 property corporate, 34 regulation as secondary to, 272–73 property redistribution government redistributive programs, 283 Progressivism and, 13 property rights, xvii, 24–25 of criminals, 259 givings theory and, 272–74 land-use regulation, 160. see also zoning laws, protectionism and Locke on, 273 ownership as separate from right to use, 257 partial property rights in other people, 290–91 Rehnquist and Roberts Courts, 277–78 right of use of property or land, 257, 271 see also regulatory takings Property Rights from Magna Carta to the Fourteenth Amendment (Bernard Siegan), 283 Prosser, William, 76 protection of the public. see public interest or public welfare protection of unenumerated rights, 93–94 372 protectionism, xvi, 141–44, 173–74 agricultural adjustment programs, 164–70, 174 barriers to entry, 141 contracts clause and, 154 dormant commerce clause and, 153–54 franchise acts and, 170–73, 174 as legitimate state interest, 289 licensing laws, 145–59, 174 necessity of new business and certificates of necessity, 143–44 public choice theory and, 289–90 tariffs, 141 taxi industry example, xi–xiii, xiv, xv, xvi, 143–44, 286 zoning laws, 159–63, 174 public choice theory, 289–90 public contracts, 69–73 public interest or public welfare contracts clause, 75–81 Liebmann and, 142–43 Munn and Nebbia and, 101, 125–27. see also rational basis test Powers and, 152–55, 159, 162, 289 seizure of property. see eminent domain doctrine; regulatory takings public nuisance, xvii Blackmun on, 240 common or public right definition, 241 reasonable and lawful conduct, 243–45 reasonableness and unreasonableness, 240–41, 242 regulatory takings and, 258 tort law abuse, 239–45 public policy, manipulation of contracts and, 214, 215, 220–24 public use, synonymous with public benefit, 255 Pumpelly v.

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Open Standards and the Digital Age: History, Ideology, and Networks (Cambridge Studies in the Emergence of Global Enterprise) by Andrew L. Russell


barriers to entry, borderless world, Chelsea Manning, computer age, Edward Snowden, Frederick Winslow Taylor, Hacker Ethic, Howard Rheingold, Hush-A-Phone, interchangeable parts, invisible hand, Joseph Schumpeter, means of production, Menlo Park, Network effects, new economy, Norbert Wiener, open economy, packet switching, pre–internet, RAND corporation, RFC: Request For Comment, Richard Stallman, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Steve Crocker, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, technoutopianism, Ted Nelson, The Nature of the Firm, Thomas L Friedman, Thorstein Veblen, transaction costs, web of trust

The ASA’s clever consensus-building process – a superior alternative to the courts and to commissions, in the eyes of its many advocates – created the basis of widely adopted rules for creating, maintaining, and disputing standards. In other words, the ASA established standards for setting standards.46 A standards process that calls itself open will usually adopt clear rules for consensus and due process, but in recent years standards committees have democratized participation in deliberations by lowering barriers to entry or eliminating membership fees or requirements altogether. The most prominent example of radical openness is the Internet Engineering Task Force, a group that conducts much of its work on public email lists that anyone can join. In practice, discussions tend to focus on specialized topics that require advanced knowledge of computer networking to understand, thus having the effect of excluding substantive contributions from a vast majority of the general public.

In practice, discussions tend to focus on specialized topics that require advanced knowledge of computer networking to understand, thus having the effect of excluding substantive contributions from a vast majority of the general public. In sum, it is possible to distill an ideology of open standards from the spectrum of open standards definitions that presently exist. First, open standards strive to honor the ideals of participatory democracy, including commitments to fairness, transparency, due process, and rights of appeal. Second, open standards embrace the ideal of a vibrant market economy that has negligible barriers to entry and liberal terms for using standardized technologies. Third, proponents of open standards share the implicit conviction – which, in some cases, manifests itself as a religious zeal – that their work is just and that the forces of technological and social progress are on their side.47 They share a common foe – namely, anyone who advocates closed or centralized control over the production and use of standards.

The emergence of the “voluntary consensus” model of committee standardization, significant as it was, begs a related question: How did monopoly firms develop standards, and how did their standardization efforts fit within the collaborative, consensus-based model developed in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries within trade associations and engineering societies? Conventional answers to these questions point to the power of the managerial hierarchies that exist within monopoly firms. In the conventional view, monopolies create standards through a hierarchical, closed, and proprietary process as part of a broader strategy to erect barriers to entry and maintain centralized control over a given market or markets. They capture the network effects that standardization generates. Monopolies, in this view, act in a monolithic and almost petulant manner: their goal is to reduce variety, stifle outside innovations, lock in users, and preserve their control.2 From the late nineteenth century to the present day, critics of the monopoly Bell Telephone System have found ample evidence to support this conventional view of monopoly standardization.

pages: 200 words: 54,897

Flash Boys: Not So Fast: An Insider's Perspective on High-Frequency Trading by Peter Kovac


bank run, barriers to entry, bash_history, Bernie Madoff, Flash crash, housing crisis, index fund, locking in a profit, London Whale, market microstructure, merger arbitrage, prediction markets, price discovery process, Sergey Aleynikov, Spread Networks laid a new fibre optics cable between New York and Chicago, transaction costs, zero day

All you needed to trade electronically was a computer, a network connection, and lots of smarts. For a few brief years, the barriers to entry in the industry were quite low (well, except for the last requirement). At every other time in history, it has been extremely difficult to break into the stock market. Aside from incredibly high trading costs, oligopolistic systems of bequeathed trading privileges made it almost impossible for new participants. If you were one of the lucky few who owned a “seat” at the NYSE, you could trade directly; if not, you had to pay some broker who did own a seat to trade for you. The advent of electronic trading a decade ago eliminated these barriers to entry and created a huge democratization of trading that undermined much of Wall Street’s traditional hold on the markets.

Their transaction costs are down probably 80% in the last ten years.”[20] Chapter 3: Trying to Connect the Dots Co-location Ronan Ryan’s experience at Radianz rings true. As he was plugging in network connections for electronic trading firms, I’m not surprised that he saw gauze wrapped around a co-location cage, or someone leaving Toys “R” Us signs up. There are at least two reasons folks tried to conceal their computer hardware from prying eyes: first, as mentioned earlier, the barriers to entry for electronic trading are ridiculously low and any advantage is significant; second, as demonstrated, guys like Ronan Ryan love to yak about the strange things they’ve seen, so new innovations don’t stay under wraps for long. Incidentally, paranoia has always been the norm everywhere on Wall Street. Hedge funds are constantly fretting that somebody will hear about their great strategy and replicate it, because it’s not that hard to do so.

pages: 166 words: 49,639

Start It Up: Why Running Your Own Business Is Easier Than You Think by Luke Johnson


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

Ray Kroc sold equipment to the McDonald brothers in their single Californian hamburger restaurant. In the brothers’ fabulous formula, Kroc saw something that even the brothers themselves didn’t see, and he duly developed and franchised the concept elsewhere. A few years later he bought the brothers out for $2.7 million. Before long his purchase was worth billions – built on their brainchild and his execution. Often it is necessary to buy an operation to overcome regulatory barriers to entry: perhaps planning, licences or suchlike. To develop a mine or quarry you will probably have to agree to a lease and rights to extract minerals with a landowner. When I entered the dentistry field in 1996, we had to buy a dental body corporate, which at the time was the only legal way for a non-dentist to trade as a dental practice in the UK. Over the following years, these obscure vehicles multiplied in value tenfold as more entrants bid up their prices.

Both Peter Lynch and Warren Buffett – two of the legendary investors of our time – agree that longer-term investing in outstanding companies produces above-average returns. The effective private investor focuses on a few sound businesses, running winners and dropping losers. Have they found a solid niche? It’s unusual to find big new British companies growing rapidly. I am much more likely to identify opportunities with vast upside among small, specialist companies. Such businesses should possess decent barriers to entry, be it a brand, patent, contracts, franchise or other proprietary situation. Ideally the company should be unique, since it must compete against large competitors who will be better financed. In the real world such companies should have products or services that are evolutionary rather than revolutionary, since markets can take years to accept radical changes. Such drawn-out plays can produce low annualized returns that fail to match those produced by small companies delivering follow-on, adapted technology that is usually quicker to profit.

‘Even these hardships will be grand things to look back on’ Virgil X & Y in a downturn They say the X & Y generations are the most entrepreneurial in history. But none of them have been in business during a recession. This is the service economy era. Younger entrepreneurs I meet are running marketing agencies, web-design firms, recruitment companies, finance businesses, software houses, telecom firms. These operations required limited capital to get going and faced few barriers to entry, compared to periods when heavy industry ruled. The Internet has helped unleash ambition and enterprise in an unprecedented way. But I worry that a lot of these companies are fragile constructs, not built to weather severe conditions. For founders who have only ever known expansion, challenging times are a harsh wake-up call. They will suffer bad debts when customers go bust. They experience real cost inflation for the first time in decades – and desperately try to pass on price rises, just when customers are harder to come by.

pages: 398 words: 86,855

Bad Data Handbook by Q. Ethan McCallum


Amazon Mechanical Turk, asset allocation, barriers to entry, Benoit Mandelbrot, business intelligence, cellular automata, chief data officer, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, combinatorial explosion, conceptual framework, database schema,, Firefox, Flash crash, Gini coefficient, illegal immigration, iterative process, labor-force participation, loose coupling, natural language processing, Netflix Prize, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, recommendation engine, sentiment analysis, statistical model, supply-chain management, text mining, too big to fail, web application

Consider the following: Files Are Simple! Simplicity and ubiquity are virtues that are very hard to find in technology products. There is simply less bureaucracy to deal with when you use files. Files Work with Everything Just about everything will (sort of) know how to process your data. Utilities will need coaching to understand how to extract structure from your files. This is generally not a significant barrier to entry, though. If you stick with a few conventions, such as using common and consistent delimiters, then you will be fine. Compare this to a traditional database system, for which you will often need a specific adapter, which may in turn have its own API. If you’re using an abstraction layer, such as an object-relational mapper (ORM), then you need to understand its unique syntax. Recent databases often provide an HTTP API, but this is still more of a burden than opening and reading a file.

Many such tools are heavily tested (having been run billions of times over the years), reliable, and are generally implemented in C for performance. grep is one of the fastest ways to hunt for things. Remote replication is only an rsync away. A word count for a file takes two characters: wc. A version control system such as Subversion or Git will help you maintain a history of your changes over time. There’s No Install Tax Working with files has a very low barrier to entry. You can eliminate a lot of friction by not needing to install client libraries, compile drivers, or worry about a schema. Files certainly aren’t ideal for every situation. They’re best suited for cases that are read-heavy, require few modifications, and incur minimal cost to translate the data into a typed representation. That means storing logs (such as webserver logs), recorded events, web crawlings, large binary data, and sensor readings, which are all suitable use cases.

The evolution of these two components is important. We, as end users, have been able to publicly broadcast our thoughts from an IP address for nearly 17 years now (since the broader network widely came online). It has been technically possible to set up an HTTP server, routable via public DNS, and publish content to it for public consumption for a long time. Over the years, that process has radically shifted, however, and barriers to entry have changed. 1995: Very hard and expensive. Purchase a server (several thousand dollars), an operating system (hundreds of dollars), and connect it to the network via a hosting provider (several thousands of dollars per month). Purchase an HTTP server (hundreds of dollars). Figure out how to write/publish HTML. Purchase a domain name and tie it to DNS (hundreds of dollars). Publicize your “site” (thousands of dollars in marketing campaigns). 2001: Still difficult, but more affordable.

pages: 534 words: 15,752

The Sushi Economy: Globalization and the Making of a Modern Delicacy by Sasha Issenberg


air freight, Akira Okazaki, anti-communist, barriers to entry, Bretton Woods, call centre, Deng Xiaoping, global supply chain, haute cuisine, means of production, Nixon shock, Saturday Night Live, Silicon Valley, special economic zone, telemarketer, trade route, urban renewal

Auction licenses, like taxi medallions, seats on a stock exchange, and liquor licenses, are authorized in limited number. New ones are never produced, and so they are traded on a secondary market created only when a participant chooses to get out of the business and allow someone new to purchase the privilege of entry. The preponderance of family-owned firms like Matsui’s makes such a transfer rare, and presents a potential new tuna buyer with his greatest material barrier to entry. For someone like Matsui, it is the most significant asset his business owns, now worth in the range of $100,000. At the market’s Bubble peak, Tsukiji licenses appreciated as rapidly as Akasaka studio apartments and room-ser vice orange juice at the Hotel Okura. At one point, a license to buy tuna sold for nearly $2 million. Four tuna sat on wheelbarrows in the cluttered alley that ran behind his stall.

In a city on the frontier of the American economy, Mutual Trading’s upgrade of its equipment—adding largescale freezer and refrigeration facilities—would not have attracted much notice, but it presaged a generation of changing American tastes. The pioneers of the pickle trade had acknowledged that the future of Japanese food would not be found in cans and bottles. For sushi, American appetites posed high barriers to entry that nonthreatening ingredients and familiarly hued waitstaff alone could not surmount. While foreign flavors have long seeped into American foodways, sushi had unique challenges. Early Chinese restaurants were true to the motherland’s cuisine, both in terms of recipes and the style of dining. In 1865, newspaper editor Samuel Bowles dined at a San Francisco restaurant banquet that featured as many as three hundred items, including bird’s nest soup, reindeer sinews, fried fungus, and dried Chinese oysters.

It’s ready to go on my truck, and a guy yells out, ‘I’ll give you $24 a pound for that right now!’ I looked at the captain, dropped the fish right down and said, ‘Take your $24.’ The guy hadn’t even looked at the fish.” Rainbow had to break the strong ties dealers like Bob Kliss and Mark Godfried had built over the years with their fishermen. To the dozens of companies like Rainbow—as they would to anyone entering the market—those bonds stand as considerable barriers to entry. “In this business, you either get a shot or you don’t. If they don’t come by your company to give you a chance to bid on their fish, you’re not in the game,” explains Danny Bubb, a Long Islander who came to Gloucester in 1999 and immediately stood out among the city’s old tuna hands, thanks to his rich tan, shaved head, and the giant tuna tattooed on his bicep. The only way for a newcomer to get the opportunity to even see what boats are catching—which is to say, an effective license to compete in the marketplace— is to pay for the access, Bubb says.

pages: 444 words: 86,565

Investment Banking: Valuation, Leveraged Buyouts, and Mergers and Acquisitions by Joshua Rosenbaum, Joshua Pearl, Joseph R. Perella


asset allocation, asset-backed security, bank run, barriers to entry, capital asset pricing model, collateralized debt obligation, corporate governance, credit crunch, discounted cash flows, diversification, fixed income, London Interbank Offered Rate, performance metric, shareholder value, sovereign wealth fund, technology bubble, time value of money, transaction costs, yield curve

Leading and Defensible Market Positions Leading and defensible market positions generally reflect entrenched customer relationships, brand name recognition, superior products and services, a favorable cost structure, and scale advantages, among other attributes. These qualities create barriers to entry and increase the stability and predictability of a company’s cash flow. Accordingly, the sponsor spends a great deal of time during due diligence seeking assurance that the target’s market positions are secure (and can potentially be expanded). Depending on the sponsor’s familiarity with the sector, consultants may be hired to perform independent studies analyzing market share and barriers to entry. Growth Opportunities Sponsors seek companies with growth potential, both organically and through potential future bolt-on acquisitions. Profitable top line growth at above-market rates helps drive outsized returns, generating greater cash available for debt repayment while also increasing EBITDA and enterprise value.

Strong Asset Base A strong asset base pledged as collateral against a loan benefits lenders by increasing the likelihood of principal recovery in the event of bankruptcy (and liquidation). This, in turn, increases their willingness to provide debt to the target. The target’s asset base is particularly important in the leveraged loan market, where the value of the assets helps dictate the amount of bank debt available (see “LBO Financing” sections for additional information). A strong asset base also tends to signify high barriers to entry because of the substantial capital investment required, which serves to deter new entrants in the target’s markets. At the same time, a company with little or no assets can still be an attractive LBO candidate provided it generates sufficient cash flow. Proven Management Team A proven management team serves to increase the attractiveness (and value) of an LBO candidate. Talented management is critical in an LBO scenario given the need to operate under a highly leveraged capital structure with ambitious performance targets.

See Form 10-K antitrust arranger asset base asset based lending (ABL) facility asset sale gains on limitations on losses on term loan prepayment transaction attorneys auction . See also broad auction and targeted auction B back-end short form merger balance sheet in LBO analysis bank book bank debt bank lenders bank meeting bankruptcy Barra barriers to entry Base Case Base Rate basic shares outstanding basket benchmarking analysis comparable companies analysis precedent transactions analysis benchmark rate. See LIBOR and Base Rate beta (β) relevering unlevering bidders. See prospective buyers bidding strategy Bloomberg board approval board of directors bond investors book value assets equity bookrunners borrower borrowing base breakage costs breakeven pre-tax synergies breakup fee bridge loans bring-down provision broad auction advantages and disadvantages business disruption business profile buy-side advisory C CA.

pages: 209 words: 89,619

The Precariat: The New Dangerous Class by Guy Standing


8-hour work day, banking crisis, barriers to entry, Bertrand Russell: In Praise of Idleness, call centre, Cass Sunstein, centre right, collective bargaining, corporate governance, crony capitalism, deindustrialization, deskilling, fear of failure, full employment, hiring and firing, Honoré de Balzac, housing crisis, illegal immigration, immigration reform, income inequality, labour market flexibility, labour mobility, land reform, libertarian paternalism, low skilled workers, lump of labour, marginal employment, Mark Zuckerberg, means of production, mini-job, moral hazard, Naomi Klein, nudge unit, pensions crisis, placebo effect, post-industrial society, precariat, presumed consent, quantitative easing, remote working, rent-seeking, Richard Thaler, rising living standards, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, science of happiness, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, The Market for Lemons, The Nature of the Firm, The Spirit Level, Tobin tax, transaction costs, universal basic income, unpaid internship, winner-take-all economy, working poor, working-age population, young professional

The United States is only the harbinger. The attack on the public sector is part of the post-2008 adjustment across all industrialised countries. In Greece, under a centre-right government, 75,000 civil servants were added to the already huge public sector between 2004 and 2009. Once the crunch came in 2010, the public salariat was slashed, feeding the Greek precariat. The government also announced it would remove barriers to entry to some professions, lowering their wages to reduce public spending. In Italy, pressure on the civil service was also growing. In October 2009, 40,000 police officers marched through Rome to demand better pay and new police cars. Because of a freeze on hiring, the average age of Italian policemen had risen to 45. They were not alone; millions of civil servants were losing employment security.

The modern legal treatment stems from the response to the mass displacement before and during the Second World War, which led to the 1951 UN Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees. The problem was regarded as one of short-run adjustment as people were helped back to their countries or enabled to resettle elsewhere. Now, increasing numbers seeking to escape from degradation, oppression and conflict are running up against rising barriers to entry. Many fall into chronic social and economic insecurity. According to the UN refugee agency, in 2009 there were over 15 million refugees, a majority in Asia and Africa, with another million asylum seekers awaiting decision. And some 27 million people were displaced within their countries as a result of conflict (Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre, 2010). Globally, a tragedy has been unfolding.

The UK Labour government was also planning a points-based system for temporary migrants, restricting work permits for those from outside the European Union and taking some occupations off the list of those deemed to have shortages. In 2010, the new Coalition government tightened the process even further. In sum, because the old queuing system has dissolved, and because governments cannot or do not wish to reverse the labour market reforms they have instituted, they have increasingly sought to raise barriers to entry, make the denizen status of migrants more precarious and encourage or oblige them to leave when no longer needed. This opens up some ugly possibilities. Migrants as cheap labour in developing countries Your labour is glorious and deserves respect from all society. Wen Jiabao, Chinese Prime Minister, June 2010 To die is the only way to testify that we ever lived. Perhaps for the Foxconn employees and employees like us – we who are called nongmingong, rural migrant workers, in China – the use of death is simply to testify that we were ever alive at all, and that while we lived, we had only despair.

pages: 515 words: 126,820

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


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

Summoned by an unknown person or persons with unclear motives, at an uncertain time in history, the genie is now at our service for another kick at the can—to transform the economic power grid and the old order of human affairs for the better. If we will it. Let us explain. The first four decades of the Internet brought us e-mail, the World Wide Web, dot-coms, social media, the mobile Web, big data, cloud computing, and the early days of the Internet of Things. It has been great for reducing the costs of searching, collaborating, and exchanging information. It has lowered the barriers to entry for new media and entertainment, new forms of retailing and organizing work, and unprecedented digital ventures. Through sensor technology, it has infused intelligence into our wallets, our clothing, our automobiles, our buildings, our cities, and even our biology. It is saturating our environment so completely that soon we will no longer “log on” but rather go about our business and our lives immersed in pervasive technology.

But as we have pointed out, a majority of the world’s population is still excluded—not just from access to technology but also from access to the financial system and economic opportunity. Moreover, the promise that this new communications medium would bring prosperity to all has rung hollow. Yes, it helped companies in the developed world provide jobs for millions in the emerging economies. It lowered the barriers to entry for entrepreneurs and gave the disadvantaged access to opportunities and basic information. That’s not enough. There are still two billion49 people without a bank account, and in the developed world, prosperity is actually declining as social inequality continues to grow. In developing economies, mobile is often the only affordable means of connecting. Most financial institutions have mobile payment apps that combine cameras and QR codes.

In his 1937 paper “The Nature of the Firm,” Coase identified three types of costs in the economy: the costs of search (finding all the right information, people, resources to create something); coordination (getting all these people to work together efficiently); and contracting (negotiating the costs for labor and materials for every activity in production, keeping trade secrets, and policing and enforcing these agreements). He posited that a firm would expand until the cost of performing a transaction inside the firm exceeded the cost of performing the transaction outside the firm.5 Don argued that the Internet would reduce a firm’s internal transaction costs somewhat; but we thought, because of its global accessibility, it would reduce costs in the overall economy even more, in turn lowering barriers to entry for more people. Yes, it did drop search costs, through browsers and the World Wide Web. It also dropped coordination costs through e-mail, data processing applications like ERP, social networks, and cloud computing. Many companies benefited from outsourcing such units as customer service and accounting. Marketers engaged customers directly, even turning consumers into producers (prosumers).

The Future of Technology by Tom Standage


air freight, barriers to entry, business process, business process outsourcing, call centre, Clayton Christensen, computer vision, connected car, corporate governance, disintermediation, distributed generation, double helix, experimental economics, full employment, hydrogen economy, industrial robot, informal economy, interchangeable parts, job satisfaction, labour market flexibility, market design, Menlo Park, millennium bug, moral hazard, natural language processing, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, optical character recognition, railway mania, rent-seeking, RFID, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Silicon Valley startup, six sigma, Skype, smart grid, software as a service, spectrum auction, speech recognition, stem cell, Steve Ballmer, technology bubble, telemarketer, transcontinental railway, Y2K

Furthermore, a company could not just make handsets: to be taken seriously by the mobile-network operators, and ensure everything worked properly, it also had to manufacture the much larger and more complex base-stations that are used to provide mobile-phone coverage. All these requirements meant that the industry came to be dominated by large, vertically integrated firms such as Nokia, Motorola and Ericsson. “For many firms good at low-cost electronics, the barrier to entry was simply too high,” says Tony Milbourn of ttpCom, a British firm that designs and licenses hardware and software components for mobile phones. But the situation has changed. Radio chips can now be bought off the shelf, as can the software required to make a mobile phone work. Manufacturing can be outsourced to an “electronic-manufacturing services” (ems) firm. Some of these have started to design as well as build 155 THE FUTURE OF TECHNOLOGY handsets; these “original design manufacturers” (odms) sell their finished phones to other firms, which in turn sell them under their own brands.

Some of these have started to design as well as build 155 THE FUTURE OF TECHNOLOGY handsets; these “original design manufacturers” (odms) sell their finished phones to other firms, which in turn sell them under their own brands. Meanwhile, a flourishing ecosystem has sprung up of small firms specialising in areas such as handset design, chip design, testing and software. ttpCom, for example, provides the software that enables Sharp camera-phones and BlackBerry wireless e-mail devices to send and receive data over mobile-phone networks. In other words, the barriers to entry have fallen. Hardware and software have, to some extent, been commoditised, and there is far more scope for outsourcing of design and manufacturing than there used to be. This has allowed odms, consumer-electronics firms and even startups to enter the handset business. “Anybody with the right financial backing can break into the phone business now,” says Ben Wood, an analyst at Gartner, a consulting firm.

In addi10 tion to marketing clout, they own a large back catalogue of 0 Sony/ EMI Universal Warner Indemusic that can be repeatedly BMG pendents reissued. They are also bolSource: International Federation of the Phonographic Industry stered by music-publishing businesses, which collect royalties on already published songs used in recorded music, live performance, films and advertisements. Historically, the majors have controlled physical distribution of cds. Yet that barrier to entry will erode as more music is distributed on the internet and mobile phones. Artists can, in theory, use the internet to bypass record firms, though few have yet done this. The principal reason most have not is that they need marketing and promotion, which the majors also dominate, to reach a wide audience. The majors have a tight hold on radio, for example, by far the most effective medium for promoting new acts.

pages: 226 words: 71,540

Epic Win for Anonymous: How 4chan's Army Conquered the Web by Cole Stryker


4chan, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, Chelsea Manning, cognitive dissonance, Columbine, crowdsourcing, Firefox, future of journalism, hive mind, informal economy, Internet Archive, Julian Assange, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Mason jar, pre–internet, Silicon Valley, slashdot, social web, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, technoutopianism, wage slave, We are Anonymous. We are Legion, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks

An exploitable could be a man’s face with a blank thought bubble overhead; everyone can fill in the bubble with their own text. It’s kind of like the New Yorker caption contest. It becomes a game to creatively fill in the blanks. And it doesn’t stop at text. Photoshop wizards augment the imagery itself, for hilarious results. Exploitables allow anyone to engage in the communal meme pool that is 4chan, with a very low barrier to entry. All you need is some basic image-editing prowess and a sense of humor, and you too can achieve maximum lulz. Some of the comics that come out of these threads surpass anything I’ve seen in the Sunday funnies. A Meme Pool For Participatory Culture There are many words used to describe this kind of interactive entertainment. Some call it riffing; others call it remixing. Media scholar Henry Jenkins calls it participatory culture.

Many of the community’s first users were subscribers to Brand’s Whole Earth Catalog, a magazine devoted to topics like alternative shelter, nomadics, and telecommunications. These subscribers were already on the forefront of technology, and very smart. This early user base would come to have a tremendous influence on the quality of discourse. In 1995, a decade into the WELL’s history, Wired magazine called the WELL the world’s most influential online community. It was a hyperintellectual environment that bore significant structural barriers to entry. It was slow. It was complicated. And perhaps most importantly, it was expensive. Between the monthly fee ($8), the hourly fee ($2), and any additional fees exacted by telephone companies (to say nothing of the cost of a computer and modem in those days), it wasn’t uncommon for power users to burn through $300+ per month. The WELL provided free access to reporters, which not only rewarded the WELL with plenty of press, but also infused the community with a sense of journalistic integrity.

That masked man I saw on the train in Europe? He was part of Project Chanology. Of course, the broader going anti-Scientology movement goes all the way back to Usenet days. Before delving into the early anti-Scientology movement, it’s important to understand something about the ideals of hackers and even general Internet users from that era, all of whom today would be considered extremely tech-savvy given the structural barriers to entry that the Internet imposed. Tech heads were, and still are, drawn to the Internet in part because it promises a level playing field, where all-important information is out in the open. As the WELL’s Stewart Brand famously declared, “Information wants to be free.” Enthusiasts in those days saw the Internet as a utopian future, where one could be taken at his or her word. Usenet was home to a fervent discussion at alt.religion.scientology, started in 1991 by Scott Goehring, a regular guy who wished to expose the hypocrisies and deceptions of the Church of Scientology.

pages: 236 words: 77,098

I Live in the Future & Here's How It Works: Why Your World, Work, and Brain Are Being Creatively Disrupted by Nick Bilton


3D printing, 4chan, Albert Einstein, augmented reality, barriers to entry, book scanning, Cass Sunstein, death of newspapers,, Internet of things, John Gruber, Marshall McLuhan, Nicholas Carr, recommendation engine, RFID, Saturday Night Live, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand

I’d return to New York with the secrets of the future of media like a time traveler carrying a winning lottery ticket. Despair It took only a few meetings before I realized that the lottery ticket didn’t exist—or at least that’s what I was told. Despite my excitement about discovering new ideas in the California porn industry, I heard mostly fear and desperation from directors and the people who run production houses. Prices were falling. The barriers to entry had disappeared. Some money was flowing in, but advertising and sales of traditional media were in decline and it wasn’t clear how long even the current business could sustain itself. The industry, I was told, was being attacked by parasitic piracy and file sharing. “It’s tough now,” said one porn purveyor. “We’re dealing with piracy, and we’re dealing with free content on the Internet, which is eroding the normal business models that have been around for many years, like DVDs, magazines.”

Step right up; he’ll be glad to provide whatever people are willing to pay for. These pornography sites charge any number of different prices for their content. But these companies realized that they have to make the content that consumers want, and they have to make it available anywhere, at reasonable prices, any time the consumer wants it. Most important, since production costs and distribution channels no longer create a barrier to entry, if these companies don’t do that, someone else can and will. To bring in revenue, the smaller sites have recognized that advertising can be enough to pay the bills and keep the lights on. But the ads must be relevant to their audience. So if viewers see an advertisement similar and relevant to a clip they are about to watch, there’s a good chance they’ll click through to the ad’s link. But if the consumer is watching porn and the advertisement is for a car, the ad probably won’t generate many clicks.

But these striking numbers underscore that it is less expensive to produce digital copies without the costs of printing, paper, and physical distribution. Of course, there are still costs—highly skilled editors, copy editors, author royalties, and so on—but distribution is drastically less expensive, and the public recognizes this. In the public mind, the product you hold in your hand should cost more than the one that was downloaded—especially if it was downloaded onto an expensive e-reader or another gadget. As technology has demolished barriers to entry, consumers have become much more aware of what it costs to produce new content. Now anyone sitting in her bedroom with a microphone and a laptop can become a music producer. You don’t even need a separate camera and a tripod to create a TV show. Using only the camera built into the computer, young producers have made videos that collectively have reached hundreds of millions of viewers on YouTube and other advertising-based online video outlets.

pages: 209 words: 13,138

Empirical Market Microstructure: The Institutions, Economics and Econometrics of Securities Trading by Joel Hasbrouck


barriers to entry, conceptual framework, correlation coefficient, discrete time, disintermediation, distributed generation, experimental economics, financial intermediation, index arbitrage, interest rate swap, inventory management, market clearing, market design, market friction, market microstructure, martingale, price discovery process, price discrimination, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, random walk, Richard Thaler, second-price auction, short selling, statistical model, stochastic process, stochastic volatility, transaction costs, two-sided market, ultimatum game

These processes are usually automatic and routine, and the traders seldom need to concern themselves with the details. It is important, though, that they require some sort of preexisting relationship, possibly one that is indirect and via intermediaries, between the parties. Establishing a brokerage account or clearing arrangement is neither costless nor instantaneous and may therefore create a short-run barrier to entry for a potential buyer or seller not previously known to the market. Trading often involves a broker. A broker may simply provide a conduit to the market but may also act as the customer’s agent. This is a more 9 10 EMPIRICAL MARKET MICROSTRUCTURE substantial role and may involve discretion about how to handle a customer’s trading needs: when to trade, where to trade, what sort of orders to use, and so on.

Finally, interdealer trade in the FX market is typically conducted via a limit order book (such as EBS or Reuters). From the diversity of these examples, it is clear that the interdealer market is defined by its participants, not by the mechanism. Analyses of interdealer markets include Reiss and Werner (1998) and Viswanathan and Wang (2004). 15 16 EMPIRICAL MARKET MICROSTRUCTURE Dealer markets are typically flexible. The fixed technology and infrastructure costs are low. The main barrier to entry is access to a set of customers. Dealing operations are easily scaled up or down. Certain terms of trade and security characteristics may be set to accommodate customer preferences. For example, the equity derivatives desk at a bank might sell a customer a call option for which the underlying strike price, maturity, and size differ from any other option the desk has ever bought or sold. 2.3.2 Dealers in Hybrid Markets Dealers can make markets work where they might otherwise fail.

In a discriminating book, therefore, a limit order is priced at the “tail expectation,” that is, the expected value of the security conditional on an incoming order of a size just sufficient to trigger execution or anything larger. 13.1.3 A Monopolistic Dealer Most security markets are well approximated by the competitive dealer or limit order paradigms just described. But in a market for a thinly traded security or one in which there are regulatory or institutional barriers to entry, a dealer may possess market power. In the third setting we consider a monopolistic dealer. One feature of this situation is the standard result. The monopolist enjoys rents, abnormal profits that are not competed away. A more surprising result is that a monopolistic market may benefit customers (relative to the competitive dealer market). In a competitive dealer market (or in the limit order market, for that matter) each point on the price schedule is a competitive equilibrium, in the sense that it is open to entry by new liquidity suppliers.

pages: 411 words: 80,925

What's Mine Is Yours: How Collaborative Consumption Is Changing the Way We Live by Rachel Botsman, Roo Rogers


Airbnb, barriers to entry, Bernie Madoff, bike sharing scheme, Buckminster Fuller, carbon footprint, Cass Sunstein, collaborative consumption, collaborative economy, Community Supported Agriculture, credit crunch, crowdsourcing, dematerialisation, disintermediation,, experimental economics, George Akerlof, global village, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, information retrieval, iterative process, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, late fees, Mark Zuckerberg, market design, Menlo Park, Network effects, new economy, new new economy, out of africa, Parkinson's law, peer-to-peer lending, Ponzi scheme, pre–internet, recommendation engine, RFID, Richard Stallman, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Coase, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, SETI@home, Simon Kuznets, Skype, slashdot, smart grid, South of Market, San Francisco, Stewart Brand, The Nature of the Firm, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thorstein Veblen, Torches of Freedom, transaction costs, traveling salesman, ultimatum game, Victor Gruen, web of trust, women in the workforce, Zipcar

For these services, the peer-to-peer rental companies charge about a 6 percent commission on every transaction. If you need to trim a hedge, do you buy a trimmer from Home Depot for about $140 or rent one for $8? More and more consumers are renting, and when they rent, they experience firsthand that they don’t need to buy and own to have what they want and get what they need. Access becomes the privilege and ownership the burden. Removing Barriers to Entry Another category of usage PSS removes a common barrier to entry, whether that obstacle is price, availability, or even social status. Take public libraries, one of the oldest forms of product service systems. Many of the town libraries of the early 1600s were not open to the general public but were accessible only to scholars, who often had to review books in situ. The Boston Public Library in Massachusetts, opened in 1854, was the first large free municipal library in the United States that allowed people to borrow books and take them home to read.

There are many scenarios where the market is ripe for this type of PSS, including when the product has “high idling capacity” (cars or household tools); when the product has a limited use because of fashion (handbags) or it fulfills a temporary need (baby equipment and maternity clothes); when the product diminishes in appeal and value after usage (a movie); and when high start-up or purchasing costs for products are the barrier to entry (solar panels). The second model is an “extended-life” PSS. Here an after-sales service such as maintenance, repair, or upgrading becomes an integral part of the product’s life cycle, thereby reducing the need for replacement or disposal.9 Products that are expensive or require a specialized knowledge to repair (electronic goods) or products that need to be updated or frequently maintained to preserve their appeal (furniture) are well suited to this type of product service system.

pages: 272 words: 64,626

Eat People: And Other Unapologetic Rules for Game-Changing Entrepreneurs by Andy Kessler


23andMe, Andy Kessler, bank run, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, British Empire, business process, California gold rush, carbon footprint, Cass Sunstein, cloud computing, collateralized debt obligation, collective bargaining, computer age, disintermediation, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, fiat currency, Firefox, Fractional reserve banking, George Gilder, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, income inequality, invisible hand, James Watt: steam engine, Jeff Bezos, job automation, Joseph Schumpeter, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, libertarian paternalism, low skilled workers, Mark Zuckerberg, McMansion, Netflix Prize, packet switching, personalized medicine,, prediction markets, pre–internet, profit motive, race to the bottom, Richard Thaler, risk tolerance, risk-adjusted returns, Silicon Valley, six sigma, Skype, social graph, Steve Jobs, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, transcontinental railway, transfer pricing, Yogi Berra

“Everything is eventually a commodity within its own market. That’s what markets do. The question is how you define the market. The goal of every business is to raise the volume and predictability of its output to the point that it becomes a commodity. This is achieved not by raising prices but by lowering prices and benefiting from the learning curve efficiencies that result from larger volumes. The largest profits and barriers to entry come when the learning curve is steeper than the curve of declining prices. The issue of intellectual property and its ownership is separate from the issue of commoditization. The most profitable companies launch a large number of learning curves and commodities.” Whoa. There’s a lot there to chew on. Profits are best when costs drop faster than prices, as long as prices are dropping. Okay, I get that.

Early TV was radio shows with cameras turned on, much as early movies were Broadway shows with film running. I still fall over laughing at the Marx Brothers’ The Cocoanuts and Animal Crackers, “Hooray for Captain Spaulding . . .”, which were made this way. It took a while, but eventually, production values increased to $2.6 million per TV episode for Friday Night Lights and $100 million-plus movie budgets. This became the barrier to entry. Viewers demanded better quality, better than the cheap stuff they were initially fed. Animal Crackers is a classic, but now quaint. The Web is still back in the pioneer days. Beyond the pirated stuff that leaks out of the moguls’ traditional media pipes, today’s Web content is mainly user-generated: MySpace pages, YouTube videos, podcasts, Facebook walls, all disgustingly cheap to produce (and armchair critics like me go sniff, sniff, and mutter “lame”).

I asked my friend Mark Cuban—who knows a thing or two about both Internet video and owning media franchises, let alone the NBA and Dancing with the Stars—about moguls and their loss of control. He told me to watch for the eventual economic model of this whole thing as production values inevitably go up: “Mashups, hyperlinks?” he said. “We’ve seen it all before in the music business. Anyone can produce and distribute any song they want. We have seen some artists and songs emerge, but very, very few. And that is in an environment where there truly are no digital barriers to entry. Yet the moguls are still the moguls. Not as strong, but still in control. I don’t see them going away. Why? Because in a Long Tail universe, the cost to crawl up the tail to the rat’s ass is more expensive than the production. Which means only the people with the money can make the investment, which brings you back to the moguls.” It’s the Yogi Berra problem—no one goes there anymore, it’s too crowded.

pages: 233 words: 66,446

Bitcoin: The Future of Money? by Dominic Frisby


3D printing, altcoin, bank run, banking crisis, banks create money, barriers to entry, bitcoin, blockchain, capital controls, Chelsea Manning, cloud computing, computer age, cryptocurrency, disintermediation, ethereum blockchain, fiat currency, friendly fire, game design, Isaac Newton, Julian Assange, litecoin, M-Pesa, mobile money, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, Occupy movement, Peter Thiel, Ponzi scheme, prediction markets, price stability, quantitative easing, railway mania, Ronald Reagan, Satoshi Nakamoto, Silicon Valley, Skype, slashdot, smart contracts, Snapchat, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Ted Nelson, too big to fail, transaction costs, Turing complete, War on Poverty, web application, WikiLeaks

Suddenly, along comes Bitcoin, an open-source currency with no central authority, offering an alternative that could undermine the existing monetary order. Nobody even knows who designed it. It’s by no means the first attempt at digital cash, but it’s the first that works this well. It’s actually more efficient than dollars or pounds. It’s immune to all the manipulation and abuses that go on, there are no barriers to entry, bar internet access, and it has captured a zeitgeist in a way that nobody could have foreseen. If Bitcoin changes the way we transact and the way we store wealth – and it has the potential to do this – the repercussions could be enormous. Think what email did to the postal service, or what the internet did to newspapers, publishing, music and television. With the huge costs involved in the printing and distribution of physical newspapers, news publishing was once the exclusive domain of a few large companies.

With barcodes you can open your wallet on your smartphone, photograph the barcode, hit send and the payment is made. The day is not far off when you will walk into a shop, select an item you wish to buy, photograph the code on the label, payment will be made automatically and off you go. Once you get the hang of it, it is as simple as using a credit card. And, as long as you have internet access, there are no barriers to entry. Cash in my wallet, money in the bank I bet you use different kinds of money all the time, sometimes without even realising it. In various online accounts, I currently have: some dollars, some pounds and some euros. I have some air miles from two different credit card companies. I have some supermarket rewards points from three different companies. In addition, I have some bitcoins in a wallet on my computer.

He used to buy distressed companies, but there are no distressed companies any more. Low interest rates have meant that what should have died lives on. If he wants to set up a fund, the regulation is so onerous that he would need to raise £100 million to make it viable. That’s impossible. Regulation has just re-enforced the monopolies of the banks. Big corporations like regulation because only they can afford it. It’s a great big barrier to entry. ‘But Bitcoin. There’s none of that in Bitcoin. It’s the future,’ he says. He’s been called over to start another auction. A canny East End Jewish lad in his mid-30s, Paul, seems to be running things. I want to talk to him. As the auction begins, Paul offers to buy 100 pounds’ worth of bitcoin at £500 a coin. Wanting an excuse to talk him, I accept. ‘One hundred pounds worth of bitcoin at 500.

pages: 202 words: 72,857

The Wealth Dragon Way: The Why, the When and the How to Become Infinitely Wealthy by John Lee


8-hour work day, Albert Einstein, barriers to entry, Bernie Madoff, butterfly effect, buy low sell high, California gold rush, Donald Trump, financial independence, high net worth, Mark Zuckerberg, passive income, payday loans, self-driving car, Snapchat, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Tony Hsieh, Y2K

Present yourself in the best possible light. Remember, you need to stand out! Never before has there been such a total meritocratic environment for entrepreneurs. Anyone can launch a website. It's relatively cheap. We can trade on a global scale thanks to credit cards and payment systems such as PayPal. We can market to anyone through the Internet. But a meritocracy is a double-edged sword: It removes barriers to entry whilst increasing competition. And that's why you need to do everything you can to stand out. These days it is not so much about who you know as who knows you! And before anyone knows you, you must know yourself and know what you are selling. Know exactly what skills you are selling, what your strengths and weaknesses are, how you come across in a business meeting, and what value your business adds to the lives of your clients and customers.

Imagine you have L plates on, like a learner driver. Don't worry, you'll get to take them off, but you must psychologically wear them to begin with, to remind yourself, as much as anyone else, that you are still in learning mode. Once you feel you've gained enough knowledge and experience, you can take the L plates off and learn will become earn! People perceive the property business as having very low barriers to entry, in that anyone can get into it. This is true, but it still doesn't mean it's easy or that you don't need to educate yourself first. Mistakes in property investment can be cripplingly costly! Vince: I remember a woman coming to me because she'd inherited £50,000. She wanted to start investing in property. She was interested in taking my course and learning about property investing. At the last minute she pulled out because she said she'd found a portfolio of properties that she could just invest her full £50,000 into through a lease-option deal.

It's win-win however you look at it. People before Property We've said it before and we'll say it again: The property business is a people business, so you need excellent people skills. Whether it's the sellers, the solicitors, or your investment partners, you are dealing with people at every step of the way. Knowing how to deal with people is therefore a key skill you must acquire and hone. Because of the low barriers to entry in property investing, almost everyone assumes they can throw some money down, buy a few houses and rent them out for a nice passive income. But it takes a lot more than that. Yes, it is a meritocracy (i.e., anyone can do it), but property investing comes with a huge amount of responsibility. People often come to us because they have made mistakes and lost money trying their hand at property investing without educating themselves first.

pages: 441 words: 136,954

That Used to Be Us by Thomas L. Friedman, Michael Mandelbaum


3D printing, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Albert Einstein, Amazon Web Services, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, Andy Kessler, Ayatollah Khomeini, bank run, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, blue-collar work, Bretton Woods, business process, call centre, carbon footprint, Carmen Reinhart, Cass Sunstein, centre right, Climatic Research Unit, cloud computing, collective bargaining, corporate social responsibility, Credit Default Swap, crowdsourcing, delayed gratification, energy security, Fall of the Berlin Wall, fear of failure, full employment, Google Earth, illegal immigration, immigration reform, income inequality, job automation, Kenneth Rogoff, knowledge economy, Lean Startup, low skilled workers, Mark Zuckerberg, market design, more computing power than Apollo, Network effects, obamacare, oil shock, pension reform, Report Card for America’s Infrastructure, rising living standards, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, Saturday Night Live, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, Steve Jobs, the scientific method, Thomas L Friedman, too big to fail, University of East Anglia, WikiLeaks

“We are in business to help other businesses,” explained Lesk, an expert in putting together real estate transactions involving tax credits to generate financing for community-oriented developments, such as low-income housing. “And what we are finding is that the core of American business is changing—the repeat deals, involving similar structures, are fewer and farther between. There is more competition, barriers to entry are lower, our clients are reaching out to us for new ideas now much more frequently.” His law firm therefore has to be more creative and nimble in every way. For instance, says Lesk, his firm was a pioneer in putting together low-income housing credits with solar-energy credits in order to finance affordable housing for low-income people that would also come with solar-powered energy. “A few experienced practitioners in the industry were looking at the base product that we had used for years—the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit—and at the same time we were learning about renewable-energy tax credits,” explained Lesk.

Lesk continued: “Necessity is the mother of invention and we are in the age of great necessity because little that was given in the past is given today—whether it is fees, types of projects, the structure of deals, or availability of financing. I have worked with tax credits and affordable housing for twenty-five years. It was a specialized field and for a long time it had a reasonably limited number of players. Today it changes frequently and the barriers to entry are so low that we have all kinds of new competitors, and not only law firms.” His firm’s new chief innovation officer will lead a program to recruit, coach, and inspire lawyers so that they will not only do today’s standard legal work but also invent tomorrow’s. Those qualifications are already being taken into consideration when the firm determines annual pay and bonuses for its lawyers.

The collective potential of a million garage tinkerers is about to be unleashed on the global markets, as ideas go straight into production, no financing or tooling required. “Three guys with laptops” used to describe a Web startup. Now it describes a hardware company, too. “Hardware is becoming much more like software,” as MIT professor Eric von Hippel puts it … We’ve seen this picture before: It’s what happens just before monolithic industries fragment in the face of countless small entrants, from the music industry to newspapers. Lower the barriers to entry and the crowd pours in. But some people are not risk takers—not resilient or entrepreneurial enough to start a new company from scratch. That’s okay. In that case, though, they need to re-create themselves within their existing company or line of work by taking a routine creator job or routine server job and turning it into something special for which people will want to pay extra. For some that will be providing something sophisticated that a creative creator would do—designing a building, writing an innovative legal brief, inventing a new business, composing an ad, redoing a kitchen, or writing an iPad application.

pages: 310 words: 34,482

Makers at Work: Folks Reinventing the World One Object or Idea at a Time by Steven Osborn


3D printing, A Pattern Language, additive manufacturing, air freight, Airbnb, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, Baxter: Rethink Robotics,, computer vision, crowdsourcing, dumpster diving,, Firefox, future of work, Google Chrome, Google Glasses, Google Hangouts, Hacker Ethic, Internet of things, Iridium satellite, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, Mason jar, means of production, Minecraft, minimum viable product, Network effects, Oculus Rift, patent troll, popular electronics, Rodney Brooks, Shenzhen was a fishing village, side project, Silicon Valley, Skype, slashdot, social software, software as a service, special economic zone, speech recognition, subscription business, telerobotics, urban planning, web application, Y Combinator

So I guess that third category is partly the new development tools, but the point is that there’s this movement happening that’s getting bigger and bigger, and is fundamentally about lowering the barriers to entry for people that want to build new things with hardware. I’m really excited about that because I think the kinds of devices that we’re going to see come out of this are going to be really different—it’s going to be like the personal computer era again, but a much more wildly varying set of systems and devices. I think that’s going to be exciting. Osborn: When you mention all the new development platforms. The key to me is not that there are so many more of them, but that it doesn’t cost $2000 anymore to go get a development kit to start. Your barrier to entry is as low as a $20 bill. You can get an Arduino-compatible board and start programming microcontrollers in a couple of hours.

I’ve been watching one called the Galago6 that’s particularly interesting to me because it has the same kind of microcontroller in it as the Sifteo Gen2 Base, but with the Galago, you fire up the development environment in a browser window on your computer. It talks to the hardware and lets you debug it the same way you’d expect to debug a software application. I think that’s pretty exciting. It’s basically reducing the barriers to entry for people that want to work with hardware. I think that is going to be just as empowering as what happened in software, especially as the Internet took off. We’re starting to see it now with the wave of hardware startup companies— like Sifteo, like Fitbit, MakerBot—that are popping up and growing big, and showing that there’s a world of startups that can actually make physical goods because the development of the Internet makes it possible to market them to the entire world and get it out there fast, in a way that you just couldn’t before.

It’s just being accelerated in the same way as what happened with desktop publishing, because the cost of these tools is so cheap and the Internet and computing are ubiquitous. As you’ve seen, you can buy a CNC laser for $2,300, and we’re selling a $900 3D printer and a $600 CNC mill. If you can afford an Xbox, you can afford a mill. Most people interested in these kinds of things already have a computer, so the barriers to entry are extremely low just to get started. There are free versions of all the software you need. It really comes down to, “Are you passionate? Are you interested? Do you have ideas of what you want to make?” Then, when you start seeing people going on Kickstarter and raising all this money, like $9 million for an open-source gaming console, you know, people start to take notice. Like Scott Wilson, whose office is a couple of blocks from ours, he did a Kickstarter.

pages: 351 words: 123,876

Beautiful Testing: Leading Professionals Reveal How They Improve Software (Theory in Practice) by Adam Goucher, Tim Riley


Albert Einstein, barriers to entry, Black Swan, call centre, continuous integration, Debian,, Firefox, Grace Hopper, index card, Isaac Newton, natural language processing, p-value, performance metric, revision control, six sigma, software as a service, software patent, the scientific method, Therac-25, Valgrind, web application

Patches can be as small as a one-line fix to documentation. As some people leave the project, others step in to take their places, and this continuous cycle of new developers and casual submitters is what keeps Python alive.* Thus the project’s very existence depends on keeping the barriers to entry low so that those who have a limited interest in contributing to Python aren’t scared away. Comprehensive tests not only protect Python against mistakes that could be made by new contributors who are unfamiliar with the code base, it also helps lower the barrier to entry for these new contributors. It is much more reassuring to make a change to a complex code base if you’re able to run tests against your change and satisfy yourself that your change did not break anything. When you make a change, you can just run the test suite, and if it passes, you can be reasonably sure that you didn’t break other parts of the system.

We eventually gave up on the idea of community-driven ad-hoc testing, and instead focused our efforts on writing better manual test cases. You Are Always Recruiting This is very self-explanatory. Everything you do on your project must be with an aim to build your volunteer base. This means not only being welcoming when you are in a public space, but it also means getting to know people personally. It means unceasingly hunting for ways to lower the barrier to entry on your project. So for every event we did, we always ensured that we gave people a simple, easy-to-understand way to contribute. We always gave plenty of detailed instructions. We always looked at how to make things easier and easier. Our home channel on IRC was more like a giant group of people sitting in a living room around a burning fire than a workplace. While we were all there for the work, it was very important to allow people to connect with each other, and these chats also gave us a chance to connect with them.

Windmill has made its bet on the JavaScript platform to continue running the Web, and the principals of open source to influence the direction of new features. The documentation has proven to be very comprehensive, and the community responsive. 292 CHAPTER TWENTY-ONE Comparison There are many solutions out there for testing web applications in the browser: Watir, Selenium, Twill, and WebDriver, to name a few. Although they all have strengths and weaknesses, Windmill clearly has some very useful features, and appears to have the least barriers to entry for new test writers, regardless of the platform or browser they need to test on. Windmill boasts a recorder, integrated Firebug Lite, integrated inspector, and support for crossdomain and SSL testing. However, unlike Watir, Windmill operates within the content security model, which means that it can’t access some parts of the browser, such as the confirmation dialog or file uploads. But Windmill has come up with a solution or workaround for many of these challenges.

pages: 382 words: 120,064

Bank 3.0: Why Banking Is No Longer Somewhere You Go but Something You Do by Brett King


3D printing, additive manufacturing, Albert Einstein, Amazon Web Services, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, asset-backed security, augmented reality, barriers to entry, bitcoin, bounce rate, business intelligence, business process, business process outsourcing, call centre, capital controls, citizen journalism, Clayton Christensen, cloud computing, credit crunch, crowdsourcing, disintermediation,, George Gilder, Google Glasses, high net worth, I think there is a world market for maybe five computers, Infrastructure as a Service, invention of the printing press, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, London Interbank Offered Rate, M-Pesa, Mark Zuckerberg, mass affluent, microcredit, mobile money, more computing power than Apollo, Northern Rock, Occupy movement, optical character recognition, performance metric, platform as a service, QWERTY keyboard, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, RFID, risk tolerance, self-driving car, Skype, speech recognition, stem cell, telepresence, Tim Cook: Apple, transaction costs, underbanked, web application

Table 1.1: Comparison of Product Application Approval Times Product 1980 2008 Credit Card 14 days Instant approval Personal Loan 7–14 days Pre-approved, or 24 hours Home Mortgage 30 days+ 24 hours41 These product application approval times are indicative of the pressure on financial service providers to adapt to the changing expectations of customers, and the need to stay competitive. Barriers to entry are lowering, and new innovations in business models are creating pseudo banking services streamed right to our desktop, supermarket or corner 7-Eleven store. Here’s how I articulated this disruption for bankers in my last book, Branch Today, Gone Tomorrow: “Everything about retail financial services that relies on outmoded physical artefacts, proprietary and outdated networks, and processes that are complex and unwieldy—all lend themselves to disruption.

Once a small retailer or local merchant is regularly using his phone to accept “swipe” payments (such as with Square), it’s then a very simple shift for the merchant to accept payments via a consumer tapping their phone (instead of a swipe). Technology such as PayPal and Pay with Square even allow payments just using our phone number or name—no physical interaction required. Once the merchant is accepting payments via a smartphone, there’s virtually no ongoing barrier to entry—i.e. the merchant doesn’t need to invest in a sophisticated POS terminal and such. PayPal has already deployed its supposed “Square competitor”—the triangle—and is aiming to compete in this phone-to-POS space in the near term. In Europe this has spawned iZettle—an EMV equivalent of the Square device in the United States. In October 2011, iZettle raised $11m in a Series A financing deal, supporting its growth plans.16 iZettle is based in Sweden.

The reason for this perspective, particularly in the US, is that right now US mobile carriers are attempting to restrict mobile wallet operations on their networks. Ultimately, these current attempts are likely to end in nought for any number of reasons, but mostly because the mobile payments market will continue to fragment. The number one reason, however, is that, unlike the credit and debit card industry, historically, the barriers to entry are extremely low. Let me explain. When MasterCard and Visa emerged in the 70s and 80s, they had a whole infrastructure to build. Merchants didn’t have point-of-sale capability to capture credit card payments. In those days there weren’t even networks to process those card payments. I’m sure many of us remember those so-called “flatbed manual imprinter” machines. These were known in the old days as “knucklebusters” by many merchants because of their design.

pages: 281 words: 95,852

The Googlization of Everything: by Siva Vaidhyanathan


1960s counterculture, AltaVista, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, borderless world, Burning Man, Cass Sunstein, choice architecture, cloud computing, computer age, corporate social responsibility, correlation does not imply causation, data acquisition, death of newspapers, don't be evil, Firefox, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, full text search, global village, Google Earth, Howard Rheingold, informal economy, information retrieval, Joseph Schumpeter, Kevin Kelly, knowledge worker, libertarian paternalism, market fundamentalism, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, Mikhail Gorbachev, Naomi Klein, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, PageRank, pirate software, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Thaler, Ronald Reagan, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, single-payer health, Skype, social web, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, technoutopianism, The Nature of the Firm, The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere, Thorstein Veblen, urban decay, web application

Back then I took seriously the notion that the world had stepped beyond the stalemate of the Cold War and had settled on a rough consensus on competitive open markets, basic human rights, and liberal democracy—even if the road to those goals was still long and rocky in much of the world.1 I assumed digitization would level the commercial playing field in wealthy economies and invite new competition into markets that had always had high barriers to entry. I imagined a rapid spread of education and critical thinking once we surmounted the millennium-old problems of information scarcity and maldistribution. But in the early part of this century, my mood soured and my enthusiasm waned. I saw my great hopes for an open and free Internet corrupted by the simultaneous pressures of inadequate security (in the form of fraud, spam, viruses, and malware) and the attempts at a corporate lockdown of culture and technology.2 I saw that the resistance to openness, transparency, accountability, and democracy was stronger than I had imagined and present in parts of the world—including my own— where I thought the forces of light had triumphed long ago.3 I worried that the environment generated by the global reach of the Internet was pulling us in opposite directions—toward both anarchy and oligarchy— and draining the institutions and environments that would foster more P RE FAC E xiii reasonable, republican virtues, such as measured deliberation, critical thought, and mutual respect.4 I noted the ways in which those who promoted the digitization and networking of all things reverted to simplistic and wrongheaded views of how technology works in society.5 I grew weary of others’ attempts to describe technology as an irresistible force that young people have mastered and old people must conform to or wither away trying to resist.6 And I had an intellectual allergic reaction to the growing notion that one company—Google—could or would solve some of the greatest and most complex human problems simply by applying the principles of engineering.7 So I sought a way to explore both my disenchantment with and my approval of changes in our global information ecosystem.

Many of Google’s positions correspond roughly with the public interest (such as giving empty support to a network neutrality policy and “safe-harbor” exemptions from copyright liability). Others, such as fighting against stronger privacy laws in the United States, do not.13 REN D E R UNTO CA ESA R 19 When confronted with questions about its dominance in certain markets, Google officials always protest that, on the Internet, barriers to entry are low, and thus any young firm with innovative services could displace Google the way Google displaced Yahoo and AltaVista in the early days of the twenty-first century. With Google unable or unwilling to leverage its advantages though some sort of lockdown, such as holding users’ content and data hostage with technology or exclusive contracts so that they must continue to use Google services, they point out that users could easily migrate to the next Google-like company.

Being able to use a search engine, click on a link, and even post to Facebook does not require much skill or investment, but producing video, running an influential blog, participating in the Wikipedia community, hosting a proxy server, and even navigating between links and information sources on the Internet demand much more money and knowledge than most people in the world have. To acquire such skills, people need at least minimal free time and significant means, and many with disabilities are excluded regardless of education or means. The barriers to entry for such productions are lower than ever in human history, but they are far from free, open, and universal.57 To consider the prospects for a cosmopolitan global civil society or its cousin, a global public sphere, and the role that Google might play in it, we should consider the role of powerful and flexible communicative technologies in places as dynamic and diverse as China, Russia, and India.

pages: 358 words: 106,729

Fault Lines: How Hidden Fractures Still Threaten the World Economy by Raghuram Rajan


accounting loophole / creative accounting, Andrei Shleifer, Asian financial crisis, asset-backed security, bank run, barriers to entry, Bernie Madoff, Bretton Woods, business climate, Clayton Christensen, clean water, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collateralized debt obligation, colonial rule, corporate governance, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, crony capitalism, currency manipulation / currency intervention, diversification, Edward Glaeser, financial innovation, floating exchange rates, full employment, global supply chain, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, illegal immigration, implied volatility, income inequality, index fund, interest rate swap, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, knowledge worker, labor-force participation, Long Term Capital Management, market bubble, Martin Wolf, medical malpractice, microcredit, moral hazard, new economy, Northern Rock, offshore financial centre, open economy, price stability, profit motive, Real Time Gross Settlement, Richard Florida, Richard Thaler, risk tolerance, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, school vouchers, short selling, sovereign wealth fund, The Great Moderation, the payments system, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, too big to fail, upwardly mobile, Vanguard fund, women in the workforce, World Values Survey

Film makers such as Kodak, which did not anticipate the speed of this change, have had to struggle to remake themselves. With this kind of growth process in mind, what is loosely termed the institutional school of economists has argued that the role of the government in business is to create the institutional environment for competition and innovation—to establish secure property rights, strengthen patent laws, reduce barriers to entry, and reduce taxes—and then let the private sector take charge. There is a small problem with this view. No large country has ever grown rapidly from poverty to riches with this kind of strategy, in part because poor countries do not have the necessary private organizations to take advantage of such an environment, and the environment, in turn, is not conducive to creating the organizations quickly.

It then supported incumbents by supplying raw cotton to mills directly, advancing them working capital, and buying up the entire production of yarn. It followed a similar approach toward weavers. It also imposed tariffs on imported yarn and cloth and even banned imports when tariffs proved insufficient. As the textile industry boomed, the government encouraged firms to merge so that they could realize economies of scale. More generally, the tools used by governments have included erecting barriers to entry, offering tax breaks so that private firms can generate larger profits and use their retained earnings to fund investment, encouraging close ties between banks and favored firms so that the former lend abundantly (and cheaply) to the latter, providing raw materials at a subsidized price, and imposing tariffs so that foreign competition is not a threat. With subsidies and protection from the government, some favored champions have grown rapidly and profitably, acquiring technology, wealth, organizational capabilities, and stability.

Instead, they tried to remedy a fundamental deficiency: the weakness of existing organizations—even while tackling more traditional development problems like the lack of basic education and skills in the workforce and deficiencies in the health care system. The process of strengthening organizations, in their view, required massive but careful government intervention. Infant firms had to be nurtured. The very real danger, as evidenced in India’s stagnation during the 1960s and 1970s, was that the infant firms would demand permanent protection and then strangle growth. One option was to increase internal competition by reducing barriers to entry and eliminating various subsidies. But governments thought this would waste resources and be potentially harmful to the incumbents who had only recently become profitable. Moreover, the internal market was small, made even smaller by the repression of households in favor of producers. The solution instead was to use the disciplinary power, as well as the attractiveness, of the large global market.

pages: 261 words: 103,244

Economists and the Powerful by Norbert Haring, Norbert H. Ring, Niall Douglas


accounting loophole / creative accounting, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Albert Einstein, asset allocation, bank run, barriers to entry, Basel III, Bernie Madoff, British Empire, central bank independence, collective bargaining, commodity trading advisor, corporate governance, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, diversified portfolio, financial deregulation, George Akerlof, illegal immigration, income inequality, inflation targeting, Jean Tirole, job satisfaction, Joseph Schumpeter, knowledge worker, labour market flexibility, law of one price, Long Term Capital Management, low skilled workers, market bubble, market clearing, market fundamentalism, means of production, minimum wage unemployment, moral hazard, new economy, obamacare, open economy, pension reform, Ponzi scheme, price stability, principal–agent problem, profit maximization, purchasing power parity, Renaissance Technologies, rolodex, Sergey Aleynikov, shareholder value, short selling, Steve Jobs, The Chicago School, the payments system, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, too big to fail, transaction costs, ultimatum game, union organizing, working-age population, World Values Survey

The fund was well known for pressing the banks it was working with for hints about market developments, such as big buy and sell orders (Sender 2009). 54 ECONOMISTS AND THE POWERFUL Trading on insider information diminishes the returns of all other investors. The damage to the individual investor from the individual insider deal is minor. However, as we will see, insider dealings and similar strategies are so pervasive in the financial industry that the cumulative damage to the individual investor can be sizable. Market power in finance Two important conditions for the exertion of economic power are the existence of barriers to entry and the power to determine prices. High profits of big investment banks, the constant increase in governmentsponsored financial institutions and many examples of extortion, which we will cover below, provide ample proof that competition does not work well to discipline participants in the financial sector. Market entry is not free. You need a license to found a bank and there is a significant regulatory burden.

Throwing out the neoclassical innovation to theory as faulty leaves classical economics and the notion that the negotiating power of the various social classes determines wages and profits. This is exactly what first year classes in practical business skills teach: an overview of the main points of Pierre Bourdieu’s economic sociology (e.g. The Social Structures of the Economy, 2005) and Porter’s five forces strategic analysis (barriers to entry, threat of substitutes, buyer power, seller power, competitive rivalry). Both are absolutely centered on how negotiating power between economic actors works in the real world. Conclusion Companies make profits beyond the assumed remuneration for taking risks and for the entrepreneur’s work. Mainstream economic theory has no theoretical basis on which to determine how these rents should be distributed among capital owners, management and workers.

G. D. 13 American Economic Association ix, 10, 17, 20, 26–7, 44 American Economic Review 8, 20, 26–7 American International Group (AIG) 70, 90–91 Anglo-Saxon economics ix Arrow, Kenneth 7, 23–4, 212; see also impossibility theorem (Arrow’s) asset bubble 104 asymmetric information: see information, asymmetric AT&T 147 authoritarianism 24, 210 average cost 148, 151 Bank of America 77, 86, 94 barriers to entry 54, 160 Basel III Accord 104–5 Bear Stearns 90, 96, 107, 111 Becker, Gary S. 186 Bemis, Edward 9–10 Bentham, Jeremy 11 Berlin, Isaiah 25 Bernays, Edward 15–17 Bill of Rights (US) 208 Bolsa Família program 41 Boskin Commission 36 Bourdieu, Pierre 25, 115, 160 Bridgestone (tire manufacturer) 163–4, 166–7 British Empire ix, 16, 100 Buchanan, James 23–4 Buffett, Warren 93, 107–9 Bullionists 2 Bureau of Labor Statistics 32–3, 35 capitalism vii–viii, ix, 2, 5–6, 10, 18–19, 21, 31, 46, 142, 153, 158, 165 central bank 43, 67, 79–88, 104–5 CEO: see chief executive officer (CEO) Chicago, University of 10, 17, 19, 26, 27, 44, 80, 84, 168, 186, 193 chief executive officer (CEO) xi, 16, 47, 61, 70, 93, 95–6, 103, 107–13, 115–27, 132, 138–9, 215, 217 Chrysler xi, 113 Citicorp (bank) 43 Citigroup (bank) xi, 61, 63, 96, 105, 112, 125 Clark, John Bates 6, 10–11, 155, 193 classical value theory 5 Cold War 2, 18, 21, 25–8, 46 collective bargaining 185 Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CTFC) 90, 92 Commons, John R. 8–10 communism xii, 2, 19, 21, 25, 139 comparative advantage 4 Condorcet, Marquis de 23 conflict 165 consumption viii, 11, 13, 32, 78, 158, 192, 203, 211 control fraud 94–5 convergence vii 242 ECONOMISTS AND THE POWERFUL cooperation 73–5, 165, 167, 170, 198 cooperative 102 Cornell University 10 corporate elite x, xii, 115, 117, 140 corporate governance 92, 119, 127, 135, 136 corporate government 135 corporate management 109 corporation tax 139 corruption 220 credit x, xi, 29, 48–50, 59–60, 62, 65, 71, 73, 75, 77–84, 90–91, 95–8, 100, 104, 110, 149, 183 credit default swap 91, 93 CTFC: see Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CTFC) Darwinism 167 Debreu, Gerard 7 demand curve 146 democracy 18, 207, 211–13, 220 depreciation 33, 147 derivatives 67, 90–93, 96–7 Deutsche Bank 105, 121 disability adjusted life expectancy vii discrimination 130, 186–7 earnings management 129–30 economic growth xi, 80 economic policy xi, 46, 66, 76, 152 economic utility 4–5, 13 economics, mainstream viii, x–xi, xiii, 1, 29, 47, 136, 145, 164, 170, 208, 211, 214 economics, neoclassical ix, xii, 6, 8, 10–11, 13, 21–2, 25, 30, 38, 42, 45, 141, 143–4, 153–5, 157–60, 163–4, 168, 170–71, 173, 180–82, 188, 191–2, 210, 213 economies of scale 3, 54, 152, 161 economies of scope 54 Edgeworth, Francis Y. 10 efficiency vii, x, xi, xii, 13, 19, 25, 39, 43, 48, 62, 73, 101, 108, 136–7, 143, 144, 146–7, 149, 156, 160, 170, 176, 179, 183, 190, 193, 197, 202–4, 216, 219 efficient markets x Ely, Richard T. 9–10 employment protection 188, 200–203, 205 Enron 52, 92, 98, 110, 128, 132, 217 entrenchment 126, 135 equality of opportunity vii–ix, xii, 37, 39–41, 45, 53, 114, 124, 172 equality of outcome vii equilibrium x, 6–7, 37, 47, 146, 159, 161, 181–2, 197, 208 euro ix, 67, 82, 102 European Central Bank 103, 189, 215 European Commission/Union 67, 152 executive compensation 120–21, 138 exploitation 6, 156, 209, 212 exports 2, 34, 180–81 fairness ix, 13, 37, 39–40, 160, 164–6, 169–70, 177, 220 Fannie Mae (US government subsidizer of mortgages) 217 fear, uncertainty, doubt (FUD) 145 Federal Reserve (US) 43–4, 69–70, 85, 87–92, 143, 215 feedback loop 40, 216, 220 fiat money 75, 81 filibuster (US antilegislative maneuver) 218 financial industry xi, 44, 46–8, 51, 54–6, 64, 70, 89, 91–2, 121, 129, 217 financial markets xi, 47, 92, 108, 110, 128 financial rating agencies: see rating agencies financial sector xi, 43–4, 47–8, 53–4, 60, 64, 69, 79, 81, 83, 88–9, 100–101, 103, 105 Financial Stability Board 103 First (Workingmen’s) International 5 first mover advantage 132 Fisher, Irving 10, 13, 60, 75, 81, 83–4, 214 Fitch (ratings agency) 97 fixed costs 143 INDEX Fortune (magazine) 128 Fortune 500 (index) 49, 139 forwards (financial instrument) 67 founding fathers (of the United States) 207, 218 Freddie Mac (US government subsidizer of mortgages) 217 free market 6–7, 24, 46, 84, 147, 188, 193, 209 free riding 24, 37, 164 free trade 3–4, 16, 46, 209 freedom viii, 10, 18, 21, 25, 80, 94, 188, 191, 218 Freud, Sigmund 15 Friedman, Milton 44, 57, 81 front running (trading strategy) 65–6 FUD: see fear, uncertainty, doubt (FUD) fund managers 56–8, 63–4, 68, 134 futures (financial instrument) 67 Galbraith, John Kenneth 11, 74 GDP: see gross domestic product (GDP) General Motors xi, 16, 184–5 global financial crisis ix, 90; see also Great Financial Crisis God 24 gold 2, 72–7, 79–80, 86–7, 89 golden parachutes 112 Goldman Sachs 47, 49, 54, 56, 63, 66, 69, 88, 93, 105, 121, 215 goodwill 131 Great Depression 11, 70, 80, 138–9, 181, 204 Great Financial Crisis 79, 100, 111, 136; see also global financial crisis gross domestic product (GDP) vii–ix, xi, 28–31, 143 growth 27–8, 31, 33, 35, 39, 71, 90, 102, 108, 128, 132, 135, 151, 195, 203–4 Hadley, Arthur 10 happiness 202 Harvard Business Review 17–18 Harvard University 17–18, 26, 109, 208 243 hedge fund 29, 43, 46, 53, 58, 64–8, 92, 96, 101, 107 hedonic method 33–6 Hicks, John 13–14, 21 Homo economicus 164–6, 173 hostile takeovers 126 human capital 128 imports 2, 12, 34, 35 impossibility theorem (Arrow’s) 23–4, 212–13 incentives 39–40, 42–5, 52, 91, 93, 109, 114–15, 129, 132, 140, 172–4, 177, 182, 214 income guarantee 41 incompleteness viii, 12, 49, 145, 169, 184 incumbency 121, 134, 149 index tracking fund 55, 58 indifference 141, 168 industrial goods 2–3, 142 industrial production 2, 179 Industrial Revolution 5, 143, 181 inequality vii, 40, 138, 140 inflation 32–3, 36, 50, 78, 81, 104, 109, 120 information advantage 48, 131 information, asymmetric x, 191 information costs 144 information goods 143 information, imperfect x, xii, 142, 145, 149, 220 information technology 34, 218 innovation 34, 43, 147, 150–52, 160, 208 insider information 53–4, 62–3, 131 insider knowledge 131 insider trading 63–4, 131 institutionalism 8, 21 insurance xi, 39, 69, 82, 89–91,152, 189, 198, 204, 210 interest rate, real 50, 159 International Monetary Fund 27, 31, 48, 69, 74 International Workingmen’s Association 5 244 ECONOMISTS AND THE POWERFUL investment 32–3, 37, 41, 51, 56–7, 68, 78, 96–100, 103–4, 128–30, 133, 135, 140, 157, 184, 217 advice 51, 54, 56, 129 banking 29, 43, 47, 51, 52, 54, 55, 60–62, 64, 70–71, 89–90, 93, 94, 96, 97, 101, 107, 111–12, 125, 132 personal viii irrationality vii, 1, 13, 16, 38, 40, 151, 205, 211–12 Ivy League 27 Jevons, William Stanley 5, 16 job security viii, 108, 199–200, 202–4 J.P.

pages: 227 words: 32,306

Using Open Source Platforms for Business Intelligence: Avoid Pitfalls and Maximize Roi by Lyndsay Wise


barriers to entry, business intelligence, business process, call centre, cloud computing,, Just-in-time delivery, knowledge worker, Richard Stallman, software as a service, statistical model, supply-chain management, the market place

In some cases the availability of free source code may not be a benefit due to a lack of internal resources and/or skills to provide all of the development efforts required. Other organizations are using alternate versions of free software to further their business efforts and are open to the concept of expanding their use of OS. With many factors going into the changes surrounding OS adoption, the barriers to entry involving lack of knowledge or IT development infrastructure to deploy solutions are no longer restricting adoption. For companies without supporting BI infrastructures, commercial OS solutions exist that can help them get on track and take advantage of free solutions. The differences between community- and commercial-based OS will be discussed in the next chapter with an overview of the differences between vendor offerings and the various outlooks vendors have on their commercial products and services.

The figure below identifies the average cost of OSBI usage versus traditional BI offerings based on Madsen’s evaluation of the TCO of OSBI versus traditional offerings.4 The deployment size is based on looking at deployments of 25 users, 100 users, and 500 users, respectively. However, these numbers are based on large-scale traditional vendors. As we’ll see later on, newer offerings are minimizing these differences and potential barriers to entry, but OSBI still has the benefit of no-cost software. 4 Lowering the Cost of Business Intelligence With Open Source: A Comparison of Open Source and Traditional Vendor Costs Mark Madsen, Third Nature, Prepared for Pentaho, page 4. 122 CHAPTER 11 Evaluating ROI and TCO Average Cost per User $3,500 $3,000 $2,500 Cost $2,000 $2,500 $1,000 $500 $Small Medium Large Avg Cost Trad. $2,664 $3,103 $3,174 Avg Cost Open $1,200 $870 $174 FIGURE 11-1 Average Cost Per User, Comparing Traditional and Open Source Across Scenarios.

For instance, a number of best-of-breed solutions exist for companies evaluating adding dashboards to their internal reporting needs. Many organizations are moving away from one platform and a standardized approach and integrating diverse offerings to make sure they get the best of everything. This does not mean that one solution outperforms another, but that based on changing price structures and lowering barriers to entry, organizations can develop a piecemeal approach. Within the realm of OSBI, this may mean that OS only represents one portion of BI or that disparate offerings pull data from the same sources or may need to interact in specific ways. For instance, no matter what exists on the backend, business users need a seamless business experience. Once organizations define what they have in-house, they can identify which aspects require OSBI considerations and which don’t.

pages: 299 words: 91,839

What Would Google Do? by Jeff Jarvis


23andMe, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, Anne Wojcicki, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, business process, call centre, cashless society, citizen journalism, clean water, connected car, credit crunch, crowdsourcing, death of newspapers, disintermediation, diversified portfolio, don't be evil, fear of failure, Firefox, future of journalism, Google Earth, Googley, Howard Rheingold, informal economy, inventory management, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, Kevin Kelly, Mark Zuckerberg, moral hazard, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, PageRank, peer-to-peer lending, post scarcity, prediction markets, pre–internet, Ronald Coase, search inside the book, Silicon Valley, Skype, social graph, social software, social web, spectrum auction, speech recognition, Steve Jobs, the medium is the message, The Nature of the Firm, the payments system, The Wisdom of Crowds, transaction costs, web of trust, Y Combinator, Zipcar

Cable and phone companies hope the internet is just their next pipe to own. They all want to control the internet because that is how they view their worlds. Listen to the rhetoric of corporate value: Companies own customers, control distribution, make exclusive deals, lock out competitors, keep trade secrets. The internet explodes all those points of control. It abhors centralization. It loves sea level and tears down barriers to entry. It despises secrecy and rewards openness. It favors collaboration over ownership. The once-powerful approach the internet with dread when they realize they cannot control it. The internet adds networks of links over society, connecting people with information, action, and each other. It is in those connections that value is created, efficiency is found, knowledge is grown, and relationships are formed.

In film and video, that delta is many times larger, which I believe will lead to even more investment in online shows, as the opportunities are even greater. Revision3 started on a shoestring but received a reported $9 million investment to create more shows, build a studio, and hire its CEO. It’s still run on a shoestring, CEO Jim Louderback told me. “The story of the internet,” he said, “is ruthlessly efficient business models and blowing away barriers to entry and access.” Revision3 saved money on equipment, which Louderback credited to Moore’s Law. Intel’s Gordon Moore decreed in 1965 that the number of transistors and thus the computing power on a chip would double every two years (this law enabled Google and the internet to exist and led to every law in this book). The cost of digital cameras has thus plummeted. Revision3 goes Cadillac with an $8,500 model but I’ve seen newspapers and even TV stations recording high-definition segments with $1,000 handhelds.

It’s also harder to find and evaluate new companies. I get a headache reading the popular blog TechCrunch, which covers new web 2.0 companies, because I can’t hope to keep track of them all: mobile companies, social companies, companies dedicated just to managing blog comments. The low cost of launching and running new enterprises means they can serve niche needs in a small-is-the-new-big age. But the barrier to entry to competitors is also about a millimeter off the ground. It’s harder than ever to figure out which of many competitors in a space will win. So investors need to use a wider network of trusted people to help find and then manage new companies. Taking investment capital from these trusted agents and giving them a share of the profits if their finds pay off could form a network of miniVCs backed by the bigger VC.

pages: 313 words: 84,312

We-Think: Mass Innovation, Not Mass Production by Charles Leadbeater


1960s counterculture, Andrew Keen, barriers to entry, bioinformatics,, call centre, citizen journalism, clean water, cloud computing, complexity theory, congestion charging, death of newspapers, Debian, digital Maoism, double helix, Edward Lloyd's coffeehouse, frictionless, frictionless market, future of work, game design, Google Earth, Google X / Alphabet X, Hacker Ethic, Hernando de Soto, hive mind, Howard Rheingold, interchangeable parts, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, Jane Jacobs, Jaron Lanier, Jean Tirole, jimmy wales, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, lone genius, M-Pesa, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, microcredit, new economy, Nicholas Carr, online collectivism, planetary scale, post scarcity, Richard Stallman, Silicon Valley, slashdot, social web, software patent, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, supply-chain management, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the market place, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Whole Earth Catalog, Zipcar

Boulders and pebbles Imagine surveying the media, information and cultural industries in the mid 1980s, industries that provide most of our information and entertainment and so filter our access to the world around us and shape how we make sense of it. The scene would have resembled a large, sandy beach, with crowds organised around a few very large boulders. These boulders were the big media companies. The boulders came into being because media had high fixed costs – print plants for newspapers and studios for television. They were closely regulated and resources, like broadcast spectrum, were scarce. All that created high barriers to entry. Anyone trying to set up a significant new media business could be seen coming from a long way off. Rolling a new boulder onto the beach took lots of people, money and machinery. In the mid 1980s an entrepreneur called Eddie Shah tried to roll a boulder onto the British beach by setting up a national newspaper based in northern England. That provoked a protracted national strike. Rupert Murdoch caused controversy by moving his boulder – production of his News Corporation newspapers – from one part of London to another.

There are no zoning regulations, fences or white lines to tell you where to go (admittedly this is not true of some beaches in Spain, France and Italy). Order emerges as each family joins the throng. On popular beaches people spend all day in close proximity but generally remain civil and considerate. Precisely because there is no one in control – other than sometimes lifeguards looking after safety – people take it upon themselves to self-regulate. Beaches are generally egalitarian in spirit because barriers to entry are quite low. Normal rules do not apply because there is no private property. A public beach is a commons for pleasure. Many public events and spaces – festivals and carnivals, parks and libraries – thrive on this ethic of mass self-regulation. The web is bringing the spirit of the beach into the sharing of ideas and information. The beach also explains why the enclosure of the cultural commons of Web 2.0 would be such a bad idea.

The battle to bring democracy to repressive states will be fought online through thousands of struggles like those in Shanwei, by people who want simply to be able to think out loud, together. So on balance, will the open web be good for democracy? Yes, it will. Equality The Utopian hopes invested in the web’s democratic potential are matched by claims for its capacity to promote equality by breaking down concentrations of power based on information and knowledge, and lowering barriers to entry into the market-place for ideas. In a global economy that trades information and ideas as much as raw materials and physical goods, anyone with a computer and a modem can become a participant. At least that is the theory. There are serious doubts as to whether the web will do much to make the world less unequal and make any difference to the most pressing problems facing the poorest societies in the developing world.

The Future of Money by Bernard Lietaer


agricultural Revolution, banks create money, barriers to entry, Bretton Woods, clean water, complexity theory, dematerialisation, discounted cash flows, diversification, fiat currency, financial deregulation, financial innovation, floating exchange rates, full employment, George Gilder, German hyperinflation, global reserve currency, Golden Gate Park, Howard Rheingold, informal economy, invention of the telephone, invention of writing, Lao Tzu, Mahatma Gandhi, means of production, microcredit, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, Norbert Wiener, North Sea oil, offshore financial centre, pattern recognition, post-industrial society, price stability, reserve currency, Ronald Reagan, seigniorage, Silicon Valley, South Sea Bubble, the market place, the payments system, trade route, transaction costs, trickle-down economics, working poor

This theory works from the assumption that all parties have all the information relevant to optimise a given purchase, that there are zero transaction costs and no barriers to entry for few suppliers. In 'real' world transactions, these conditions are rarely met. Interestingly, the cyber economy could become the first actual large-scale involves information, both of us have it. In buying this book, for instance, Government classifications, trade 'near-perfect market'. Information can definitely be more abundant and accessible to more people in cyberspace. The Net makes transaction costs lower than ever. And many of the usual barriers to entry, such as location, capital requirements, etc., are less applicable. Because comparison- shopping is so easy on the Net, it promises to be a fiercely price-sensitive market.

The most popular form of local currency mutual credit system in the world. Market: Physical or virtual space in which demand and offer of a given product or service interact to create a price. Market economies presuppose price variability, for instance prices dropping automatically to clear what is on offer. Theory shows that true market economies require large numbers of small suppliers and consumers, and low barriers to entry. These perfect conditions are rarely prevailing in today's economy. The opposite of a market price is a price fixed by some authority - individual, government or corporate. Micro-credit: Refers to loans in conventional national currency for small amounts to small-scale entrepreneurs. The Grameen Bank in Bangladesh has been a model of success in such activities. Monetarism: Economic theory which posits that only the quantity of money determines prices, and therefore that it is counterproductive to use monetary adjustment tools for purposes other than inflation control.

pages: 286 words: 82,065

Curation Nation by Rosenbaum, Steven


Amazon Mechanical Turk, Andrew Keen, barriers to entry, citizen journalism, cognitive dissonance, crowdsourcing, disintermediation,, future of journalism, Jason Scott:, means of production, PageRank, pattern recognition, postindustrial economy, pre–internet, Sand Hill Road, Silicon Valley, Skype, social graph, social web, Steve Jobs, Tony Hsieh, Yogi Berra

Says Blau, “It used to be it was expensive to create and expensive to distribute—to amplify speech—was held in very few hands, held to high standards by people, by governments or by societies. That meant that very few people had that opportunity to amplify speech. Now that cluster, that nexus, has been irretrievably broken.” Today publishing tools have been set free, Blau says. Cost, ownership, and barriers to entry are all gone, almost overnight: “The ability to amplify one’s voice, to amplify that beyond the reach of what we have had, reflects a change of course in human history. A lot of the discomfort people have about the kind of current riot of voices is that it’s irresponsible, it’s dumbing us down. What happens when anyone can actually speak to a very large audience? Now the whole dynamic of how stuff gets made and moved and managed has been changed so fundamentally that the gatekeeping function that we’ve come to expect is gone.”

After all, the Web is disintermediating lots of businesses that used to have middlemen. But Jarvis goes on to connect all this to Madison Avenue, seeing a battle ensuing between old-media companies moving online and emerging complete new-media outlets. Says Jarvis, “What excites me most is that reduced cost of production. That’s really what drove Weblogs: history’s cheapest publishing tool reduced the barrier to entry-to-media and allowed anyone to produce and distribute text content. Now this will come to video … A half hour of how-to TV that now costs X hundreds of thousands of dollars to produce can be done quite respectably—and probably with more life and immediacy—for a few thousand dollars. New content producers will pop up all over, just as they did in blogs, and now they can distribute their content freely thanks to BitTorrent.

For Tim O’Reilly, the founder and CEO of O’Reilly Media and a coauthor of The Twitter Book, it’s all about emerging new forms of distribution. “What’s so interesting about Twitter,” O’Reilly says, “is that it reflects all the many, many use cases, including spreading misinformation as well as being the first alert of new information.” No longer is a source trusted because it has the power or money to access the publishing ecosystems of TV, radio, or print. Anyone can use Twitter—there’s no barrier to entry. “I know people like me who are using it as a way of sharing my thought processes—what I’m learning, what I’m reading, what I’m caring about. I’m using it as a publishing medium really,” O’Reilly says. “And I’ve described my own work with Twitter as being the most minimal newspaper. A publisher pays attention to a community, whether it’s a community of authors or a community of newsmakers.

pages: 212 words: 49,544

WikiLeaks and the Age of Transparency by Micah L. Sifry


1960s counterculture, Amazon Web Services, banking crisis, barriers to entry, Bernie Sanders, Buckminster Fuller, Chelsea Manning, citizen journalism, Climategate, crowdsourcing, Google Earth, Howard Rheingold, Internet Archive, Jacob Appelbaum, Julian Assange, Network effects, RAND corporation, school vouchers, Skype, social web, Stewart Brand, web application, WikiLeaks

When I attended the first face-to-face meeting of the Kos community, at a convention center in Las Vegas in June 2006 where more than two thousand people attended, the main hall felt like a summer camp reunion of people who knew each other personally (either by name or user handle) but had never met before. This style of political organizing is not the monopoly of the left; the Internet itself is just a system that rewards open methods more than closed ones. The Tea Party movement in United States, at least in some of its iterations, is another good example of open source organizing. Instead of having one central address or leader, it has lots of small groups and no real barrier to entry. Thus no one can control it or stop it by delegitimizing a single leader.4 “If you have a machine, you know exactly how to attack it, exactly how to shut it down,” says Keli Carender, an early Tea Party activist from Seattle. “If you have three million machines coming at you, you don’t know where to turn.”5 As Jonathan Rauch wrote in a long article describing the movement’s methods: The tea party began as a network, not an organization, and that is what it mostly remains.

And last but not least, this approach will create a large union of shared interests in the defense of the rights to run an anonymous post-drop in the digital world.14 The battle over WikiLeaks has had another salutary effect: it has delivered a wake-up call to everyone who thought the free and open Internet was already a fact. Freedom of the press is no longer the exclusive province of those who own one, but while the Internet has drastically lowered the barriers to entry into the public sphere, it has not eliminated them. 175 WIKILEAKS AND THE AGE OF TRANSPARENCY Especially when that public sphere is built on privately owned infrastructure. Take Amazon’s hasty decision to kick WikiLeaks off its cloud servers after a mere phone call from a staffer for Senator Joe Lieberman. In its blog post explaining the decision, Amazon says the group was in violation of its terms of service: Our terms of service state that “you represent and warrant that you own or otherwise control all of the rights to the content . . . that use of the content you supply does not violate this policy and will not cause injury to any person or entity.”

pages: 179 words: 42,006

Startup Weekend: How to Take a Company From Concept to Creation in 54 Hours by Marc Nager, Clint Nelsen, Franck Nouyrigat


Amazon Web Services, barriers to entry, business climate, invention of the steam engine, James Watt: steam engine, Mark Zuckerberg, minimum viable product, pattern recognition, Silicon Valley, transaction costs, web application, Y Combinator

But there are plenty of entrepreneurs around the country and the world who need an effective way of connecting with cofounders and colleagues—people who share that startup spirit. The kind of work that goes on at Startup Weekend allows people to form strong bonds that eventually grow into a community. Typically, Startup Weekend organizers have a lot of contacts in their startup, business, and/or tech communities. So, even though the barrier to entry may seem low, the events often turn out to be composed of a very highly motivated and connected group of participants. And Startup Weekend's international outreach has meant that entrepreneurs looking to expand their horizons have a resource for finding like-minded people all over the globe. One Startup Weekend participant launched a company that provided beach lockers and electronic locker solutions in Portugal.

As much as we talk about ingenuity and innovation being part of the United States' DNA, there's still that funny look that some people get when you're introducing your husband or your wife around the circle—in which everybody else is an investment banker or in marketing—and you say something like, “Yeah, he's working on his own thing right now.” It's simply not part of the cultural norm. There are always psychological and social aspects of being an entrepreneur. If we could get a critical mass of people engaged in entrepreneurship, or at least know someone who is an entrepreneur, then the barrier to entry might seem a little lower. Your Next Iteration Startup Weekend serves different functions for different people. Startup Weekend is helping entrepreneurs reach the next step in their respective journeys, wherever they currently are on the startup ladder. For those who know what they're doing, the weekend offers a condensed chronological period in which to get things done. They know they can access people, focus solely on things related to their entrepreneurial vision over that weekend, and actually launch something.

The Orbital Perspective: Lessons in Seeing the Big Picture From a Journey of 71 Million Miles by Astronaut Ron Garan, Muhammad Yunus


Airbnb, barriers to entry, book scanning, Buckminster Fuller, clean water, corporate social responsibility, crowdsourcing, global village, Google Earth, Indoor air pollution, jimmy wales, optical character recognition, ride hailing / ride sharing, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart transportation, Stephen Hawking, transaction costs, Turing test, Uber for X, web of trust

We need an international team of people and organizations to work collaboratively to build backbone platforms that unify efforts across sectors to address and respond to humanitarian needs, quickly and efficiently. Optimally, the structure of such a platform would be completely open, allowing anyone to participate while also enabling the formation of subgroups customized to tackle 92â•…   L O O K I N G EARTH WARD specific problems or parts of problems, as needed. A completely open structure lowers barriers to entry and offers the possibility of attracting the largest number of problem solvers and the widest solution sets. The system should bring users that are closest to the problem into the system and ensure that everyone has a voice in the discussion. Such a mechanism requires a collaborative community—╉ a community of trust working together with a shared purpose—╉and a philosophy of contribution in which people are focused not solely on doing their assigned job well but also on making a good contribution to further the shared overarching goal.

An effective collaborative mechanism would pair challenges with solutions and bring together an international team of people and organizations who will work collaboratively, unifying efforts across sectors to address and respond to humanitarian needs, achieving impact with efficiency and speed. Because there are many efforts to build universal open source platforms, it is critical to align efforts. We need to make sure there’s a path to bring users closest to the problem into the system, lowering barriers to entry to ensure that everyone has a voice in the discussion. This Unity Node would be a collaborative community, 162â•…    Co n c l u sio n a community of trust, working together with a shared purpose. As with a hackathon, there would be a philosophy of contribution in which people are focused not solely on doing their assigned job well but also on making a good contribution to furthering the shared, overarching goal.

pages: 196 words: 57,974

Company: A Short History of a Revolutionary Idea by John Micklethwait, Adrian Wooldridge


affirmative action, barriers to entry, Bonfire of the Vanities, borderless world, business process, Corn Laws, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, credit crunch, crony capitalism, double entry bookkeeping, Etonian, hiring and firing, invisible hand, James Watt: steam engine, joint-stock company, joint-stock limited liability company, Joseph Schumpeter, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, laissez-faire capitalism, manufacturing employment, market bubble, mittelstand, new economy, North Sea oil, race to the bottom, railway mania, Ronald Coase, Silicon Valley, six sigma, South Sea Bubble, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, strikebreaker, The Nature of the Firm, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, trade route, transaction costs, tulip mania, wage slave, William Shockley: the traitorous eight

But the gains from reducing transaction costs that companies deliver have to be balanced against “hierarchy costs”—the costs of central managers ignoring dispersed information. In the nineteenth century, the gains to be had from integrating mass production with mass distribution were enormous—as Alfred Chandler, the doyen of business historians, puts it, the “visible hand of managerial direction” replaced “the invisible hand of market mechanisms.” In the twenty-first century, technology and globalization are helping to reduce barriers to entry—and thus helping to unbundle the corporate package. At the touch of a button, a mere journalist can get access to more information than a corporate giant could amass a decade ago. The fashion nowadays is for virtual companies—for airlines that do not own their own planes, for banks that do not have branches, for the invisible hand to claw back ground from the visible one. That should not imply that the company is beginning a slow, inevitable decline.

By July 1932, the Dow Index, which had stood at 386.10 on September 3, 1929, had fallen to 40.56. Industrial output fell by a third. In the Depression, consumers were only willing to part with their surplus cash for genuine novelties (or apparent ones: by the late 1930s, Procter alone was spending $15 million a year on advertising). Yet, throughout this turmoil, the big Sloanist firms held on to their positions. With the barriers to entry in most businesses still high, they were rarely threatened by young upstarts; the main danger was of a neighboring giant diversifying systematically into their territory. The only way a multidivisional firm could get beaten was by another multidivisional firm. THE MANAGERS Behind this success sat a new culture of management. In the late nineteenth century, business education consisted of little more than teaching bookkeeping and secretarial skills.

pages: 169 words: 56,250

Startup Communities: Building an Entrepreneurial Ecosystem in Your City by Brad Feld


barriers to entry, cleantech, cloud computing, corporate social responsibility, Grace Hopper, job satisfaction, Kickstarter, labour mobility, Lean Startup, minimum viable product, Network effects, Peter Thiel, place-making, pre–internet, Richard Florida, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, smart cities, software as a service, Steve Jobs, text mining, Y Combinator, Zipcar

While Silicon Valley is the iconic example, we are seeing success and potential in other places as well, like Washington, D.C.; Chicago; Denver; Boston; Seattle; Portland; Austin; Raleigh; and Nashville. But the startup revolution isn’t limited to these cities—any locality in the United States can build a vibrant startup community if it strategically brings together the key partners who support growth. In fact, the barriers to entry have never been lower for many sectors across the economy. That’s why we launched the Startup America initiative, and that’s why this book is such an important contribution: Brad does a great job using the Boulder, Colorado, regional ecosystem as a blueprint for creating and developing a sustainable startup community in any city. If you want to know how to usher in a new wave of job creation, innovation, and growth in your city, I recommend reading this book.

; and (3) provide a pipeline to the community: The CU New Venture Challenge should be a point of entry for CU students and faculty to get meaningfully involved in the region’s startup scene. These three objectives drove the architecture of the CU New Venture Challenge. First, in order to collapse the campus, the CU New Venture Challenge starts each year with kick-off events that are energetic, informative, and involve few barriers to entry. The goal is to have attendees from all parts of campus to get them interested in entrepreneurship. For content, events included a leading area entrepreneur’s talk about how to pick a business idea worth pursuing, and a pitch night to facilitate team formation. To drive turnout, we assembled an executive committee of student ambassadors, with several students from each department on campus who served as evangelists to get the word out in classrooms and to relevant student groups.

pages: 179 words: 43,441

The Fourth Industrial Revolution by Klaus Schwab


3D printing, additive manufacturing, Airbnb, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, bitcoin, blockchain, Buckminster Fuller, call centre, clean water, collaborative consumption, conceptual framework, continuous integration, crowdsourcing, disintermediation, distributed ledger, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, epigenetics, Erik Brynjolfsson, future of work, global value chain, Google Glasses, income inequality, Internet Archive, Internet of things, invention of the steam engine, job automation, job satisfaction, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, life extension, Lyft, megacity, meta analysis, meta-analysis, more computing power than Apollo, mutually assured destruction, Narrative Science, Network effects, Nicholas Carr, personalized medicine, precariat, precision agriculture, Productivity paradox, race to the bottom, randomized controlled trial, reshoring, RFID, rising living standards, Second Machine Age, secular stagnation, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, smart cities, smart contracts, software as a service, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stuxnet, The Spirit Level, total factor productivity, transaction costs, Uber and Lyft, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, WikiLeaks, winner-take-all economy, women in the workforce, working-age population, Y Combinator, Zipcar

The decision by Apple and Google to enter the automotive market shows that a tech company can now transform into a car company. In the future, as the value shifts towards the electronics, the technology and licensing software may prove more strategically beneficial than manufacturing the car per se. The finance industry is going through a similar period of disruptive change. P2P (peer-to-peer) platforms are now dismantling barriers to entry and lowering costs. In the investment business, new “robo-advisory” algorithms and their corresponding apps provide advisory services and portfolio tools at a fraction of the old transaction cost – 0.5% instead of the traditional 2%, thereby threatening a whole segment of the current financial industry. The industry is also aware that blockchain will soon revolutionize the way it operates because its possible applications in finance have the opportunity to reduce settlement and transaction costs by up to $20 billion and transform the way the industry works.

Figure V: Distribution of US Occupational Employment* over the Probability of Computerization * Distribution based on 2010 job mix. Source: Frey, C.B. and M.A. Osborne, “The Future of Employment: How Susceptible Are Jobs to Computerisation?”, 17 September 2013 Positive impacts – Cost reductions – Efficiency gains – Unlocking innovation, opportunities for small business, start-ups (smaller barriers to entry, “software as a service” for everything) Negative impacts – Job losses – Accountability and liability – Change to legal, financial disclosure, risk – Job automation (refer to the Oxford Martin study) The shift in action Advances in automation were reported on by FORTUNE: “IBM’s Watson, well known for its stellar performance in the TV game show Jeopardy!, has already demonstrated a far more accurate diagnosis rate for lung cancers than humans – 90% versus 50% in some tests.

pages: 50 words: 15,603

Orwell Versus the Terrorists: A Digital Short by Jamie Bartlett


augmented reality, barriers to entry, bitcoin, blockchain, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, Edward Snowden, ethereum blockchain, Kuwabatake Sanjuro: assassination market, Satoshi Nakamoto, technoutopianism, Zimmermann PGP

It’s this type of attack that security services (in the UK and elsewhere) are extremely concerned by: low planning, low preparation, and difficult to prevent. I’m writing this the day after two Islamist radicals shot and murdered twelve people in the offices of the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo; as I write these words, another radical Islamist has taken a number of people hostage in a kosher supermarket in Paris (and murdered four people, I learn later). One of the reasons there has been an increase in lone wolves is because the barriers to entry have fallen. According to Jeffrey D. Simon, author of Lone Wolf Terrorism: Understanding the Growing Threat, the lone wolf is ‘the most innovative, most creative and most dangerous’ type of terrorist. Lone wolves aren’t restricted by ideology or hierarchy, and don’t need to worry about alienating their group or organisation. In Simon’s view, the wealth of easy-to-access information online facilitates the rise of lone wolves.

pages: 49 words: 12,968

Industrial Internet by Jon Bruner


autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, computer vision, data acquisition, demand response,, factory automation, Google X / Alphabet X, industrial robot, Internet of things, job automation, loose coupling, natural language processing, performance metric, Silicon Valley, slashdot, smart grid, smart meter, statistical model, web application

Internet Protocol-based architectures have found their way into industrial plants and have brought about modularity that makes these systems vastly more flexible and easier to update. Richard Ross, the head of IT at Atlas Air, was previously CIO at Hess Oil, where large networks of sensors were integrated with supply-chain systems and personnel databases to schedule preventative maintenance on oil platforms and refineries. “It used to be that the totality of the sensor network was proprietary to a given vendor. Now, with TCP/IP technology, the barriers to entry to put these things in are much lower, the costs to install and maintain them are much lower and there is much more vendor competition,” he says. In airplanes, too, says Ross, “You’re no longer making a commitment to a single vendor for the rest of the life of the plane.” Modularity means that “software can be treated like a part — just like you’d change out an engine part.” Another former oil company CIO says he worked hard to build interoperability between his systems.

pages: 687 words: 189,243

A Culture of Growth: The Origins of the Modern Economy by Joel Mokyr


Andrei Shleifer, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, clockwork universe, cognitive dissonance, Copley Medal, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, delayed gratification, deliberate practice, Deng Xiaoping, Edmond Halley, epigenetics, Fellow of the Royal Society, financial independence, framing effect, germ theory of disease, Haber-Bosch Process, hindsight bias, income inequality, invention of movable type, invention of the printing press, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Jacquard loom, Jacquard loom, Jacques de Vaucanson, James Watt: steam engine, John Harrison: Longitude, Joseph Schumpeter, knowledge economy, labor-force participation, land tenure, law of one price, Menlo Park, moveable type in China, new economy, phenotype, price stability, principal–agent problem, rent-seeking, Republic of Letters, Ronald Reagan, South Sea Bubble, statistical model, the market place, The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, transaction costs, ultimatum game, World Values Survey, Wunderkammern

Chapter 11 Fragmentation, Competition, and Cultural Change As we have seen, one bias in cultural evolution is what I call coercion bias, the ability of those in power who have a strong stake in the cultural status quo—be it religious, artistic, or scientific—to suppress innovation and persecute heterodox cultural entrepreneurs who deviate from the received wisdom. Innovations can undermine an existing structure of beliefs and in the process “erode beliefs” that provide certain groups with rents and legitimization (Benabou, Ticchi, and Vindigni, 2014). Another way of looking at this bias is to note that incumbents erect high barriers to entry into the market for ideas to protect their monopoly. These barriers often rely on such terminology as “heresy,” “apostasy,” and “blasphemy” and depend on raw political power to prevent new ideas from competing. In other cases, the educational system may have built-in protection for the intellectual status quo, such as the Chinese civil-service examination system or Jewish religious education.

Barnett (2015) has pointed to the Swiss towns as a pivotal location in connecting the Italian Republic of Letters with its Northern counterparts, as well as their polyglot character, which produced a set of translators needed when more and more intellectuals began publishing in their vernacular. Political fragmentation was thus important for more than restrained taxes and effective governance; it was a major factor in the emergence of cultural pluralism. In the sixteenth century, heterodox cultural variants emerged in many fields, meaning that existing barriers to entry were being compromised and penetrated. New people challenged the conventional wisdom in every area of knowledge and thought. To be sure, a variety of conservative bodies made serious attempts to suppress innovators, and some of the most innovative cultural entrepreneurs paid with their lives.17 No European country was completely free of suppression. Protestant nations were at times more intolerant than Catholic ones.

European advances in science did filter into China through the activity of the Jesuits, but apart from recalibrating their calendars and predicting eclipses, their impact was highly selective and not dramatic.24 Had the Chinese authorities allowed other gates of entry for European knowledge besides the Jesuits, it is likely that the new science of Galileo and Newton might have made more of an inroad. In Ming and Qing China there was a market for ideas, but the barriers to entry were high, and the competition between intellectual incumbents and intellectual innovators was biased in favor of the former. This may sound odd in a land where there was no Holy Inquisition (though the Qing emperors at times persecuted intellectuals whom they suspected of subversion), no concepts of blasphemy or sacrilege in the European sense. But perhaps the sharp rise of these institutions in the early modern West was a sign that in Europe the intellectual incumbents felt (justly) that they were under threat.

pages: 69 words: 18,758

Turning Pro: Tap Your Inner Power and Create Your Life's Work by Steven Pressfield


barriers to entry, delayed gratification, Donald Trump, fear of failure, Guggenheim Bilbao

I think you’ll be glad that the wait is over. You’ll notice, on the spine of this book (or in the title page of your eBook), that the company publishing Turning Pro is called Black Irish Books. It is my great pleasure to declare that Black Irish Books is just another name for two guys (Steve and I) who battle Resistance every single day…just as you do. It’s no secret that book publishing is in the midst of radical change. The barriers to entry have crumbled and, as a result, opportunities have grown exponentially. Steve and I joined forces as co-founders of Black Irish Books to get into the ring ourselves. We intend to publish steak-and-potato kind of books whose aim is to inspire, encourage, and fortify those artists, entrepreneurs, and athletes whose ambition is not to stand on the sidelines, waiting for permission from others, but to take their destiny in their own fists—to pursue their heart’s calling and make it work.

pages: 283 words: 73,093

Social Democratic America by Lane Kenworthy


affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, barriers to entry, Celtic Tiger, centre right, clean water, collective bargaining, corporate governance, David Brooks, desegregation, Edward Glaeser, full employment, Gini coefficient, hiring and firing, Home mortgage interest deduction, illegal immigration, income inequality, invisible hand, labor-force participation, manufacturing employment, market bubble, minimum wage unemployment, new economy, postindustrial economy, purchasing power parity, race to the bottom, rent-seeking, rising living standards, Robert Gordon, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, school choice, shareholder value, sharing economy, Skype, Steve Jobs, too big to fail, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, union organizing, universal basic income, War on Poverty, working poor, zero day

But competition can wreak havoc on the lives of particular individuals. Since the 1970s, competition has become a much more pervasive feature of America’s economy. Firms selling goods or services in international markets confront intense foreign rivals. Domestic industries, such as restaurants and hotels, face more competitors too, as technological advances, falling construction and transportation costs, and deregulation have reduced barriers to entry. In addition, shareholders now want rapid appreciation in stock values. Whereas a generation ago they were happy with a consistent dividend payment and some long-term increase in the stock price, they now demand buoyant quarterly profits and constant growth. Robert Reich has an apt label for this new economy: “supercapitalism.” American firms, he notes, “now have little choice but to relentlessly pursue profits.”2 This shift benefits investors, consumers, and some employees.

Yet in another respect, government will be smaller: there will be fewer regulations on firms and individuals. We’ll always need some restrictions to prevent financial excesses, protect worker and consumer safety, safeguard the environment, and more. But we will rely less on specifying what businesses can and can’t do and more on competition coupled with cushions. If we do better at enforcing antitrust rules and scrap or reduce regulations that create barriers to entry, competition will help to align business behavior with the preferences of consumers. Insurance—both compensatory and proactive, both cash payments and services—will cushion those who are victimized by market processes or the vagaries of life. Government also will be more efficient and effective in its administration. Those who favor expanding public insurance ought to be at the forefront of efforts to improve government’s performance.

pages: 209 words: 80,086

The Global Auction: The Broken Promises of Education, Jobs, and Incomes by Phillip Brown, Hugh Lauder, David Ashton


affirmative action, barriers to entry, Branko Milanovic, BRICs, business process, business process outsourcing, call centre, collective bargaining, corporate governance, credit crunch, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deindustrialization, deskilling, Frederick Winslow Taylor, full employment, future of work, glass ceiling, global supply chain, immigration reform, income inequality, industrial robot, job automation, Joseph Schumpeter, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, labour market flexibility, low skilled workers, manufacturing employment, market bubble, market design, neoliberal agenda, new economy, pensions crisis, post-industrial society, profit maximization, purchasing power parity, QWERTY keyboard, race to the bottom, Richard Florida, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, sovereign wealth fund, stem cell, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas L Friedman, trade liberalization, transaction costs, trickle-down economics, winner-take-all economy, working poor

If free enterprise was to be the motor of economic growth, everyone should be institutionally encouraged to pursue their self-interest by extending market competition, consumer choice, and shrinking the safety net provided by the welfare state. Getting the incentives right for business involved reducing all the impediments or rigidities to free market behavior. These included removing trade barriers and attacking the power of trade unions. In the global economy, barriers to entry were seen to protect inefficient businesses while trade unions kept wages artificially high. 24 The Global Auction At the same time, middle-class families were encouraged to believe that more consumer choice would give them greater control over their lives without government interference. Schools, hospitals, and pension plans were all now a matter of personal choice. In many cases, the promise of choice was and is illusory.

A major problem confronting many of these companies was that “there’s this massive population which we’ve got to get down to a manageable pool.” This HR director recognized that while there may be some good candidates in lower tier universities, the numbers are tiny, as those at elite universities have already gone through a rigorous selection process. “It’s a total numbers game; it’s very frustrating but it’s a total numbers game.” But by choosing to fish in such a small pool of college graduates, companies are strengthening the barriers to entry. It is as if they are putting a sign out: “Those who are not at top-notch universities need not apply.” What may be considered extraordinary about this strategy is that despite the demand for increased numbers of young managers who can work across the globe, they remain focused on recruiting from the elite universities in each country. The consequence is that many able 94 The Global Auction students will not have the opportunity to get their foot in the door to demonstrate their worth.

pages: 282 words: 80,907

Who Gets What — and Why: The New Economics of Matchmaking and Market Design by Alvin E. Roth


Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, algorithmic trading, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, bitcoin, Build a better mousetrap, centralized clearinghouse, computer age, crowdsourcing, deferred acceptance, desegregation, experimental economics, first-price auction, Flash crash, High speed trading, income inequality, Internet of things, invention of agriculture, invisible hand, Jean Tirole, law of one price, Lyft, market clearing, market design, medical residency, obamacare, proxy bid, road to serfdom, school choice, sealed-bid auction, second-price auction, second-price sealed-bid, Silicon Valley, spectrum auction, Spread Networks laid a new fibre optics cable between New York and Chicago, Steve Jobs, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, two-sided market

See also labor markets for college admissions, 5–6, 169, 170–73 in law firm recruiting, 65–68 signaling in, 169–73 strategic decision making in, 10–11 apps, 21–22 Arunta people, 71–72 Ashlagi, Itai, 48, 149, 239, 243, 244 auctions, 121–22, 180–89 ascending bid, 182, 184, 188–89 eBay, 104–5 first-price, 184–85 package bidding in, 188–89, 225–26 price discovery in, 185–89 sealed bid, 182–84 second-price sealed, 182–84 simultaneous ascending, 187–89 for spectrum licenses, 185–89 for targeted ads, 189–92 automatic teller machines, 24 Avery, Chris, 91, 239 BandwidthX, 105 bankruptcy, 201 banks and banking, 178, 200–201 banner ads, 191–92 barriers to entry, 24 barter kidney donation as, 31–32 repugnant markets and, 202–5 Becker, Gary, 245 behavioral economics, 52 Beran, Bob, 146 Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (Boston), 42 Bitcoin, 24 BlackBerry, 22 black markets, 207 blocking pairs, 139–43 Bloomberg, Michael, 106, 107 Bolton, Gary, 118, 240 Boston Globe, 126 Boston Pool Plan, 138 Boston Public Schools, 11, 122–28, 162–65.

., 7, 149–50, 166–67 for coffee, 17–18 of college bowl games, 60–65 vs. control, 212–15 culture and, 78 expert guides in, 147–48 failures in, 52–53 failure to implement, 86, 88 for function, 12–13 gaining support for, 88–89 human behavior and, 52, 118 ongoing adjustments in, 52–53, 164–65, 222–23, 227–31 pervasiveness of, 15 reliable information in, 118 for restaurants, 217–20 solutions in, 133–34 trading cycles and, 32–41 markets and marketplaces barriers to entry in, 24 based on desires, 5 central planning vs., 7, 149–50 collective nature of, 229–31 commodity, 5 communication speed in, 99–106 congestion in, 9–10, 92–93, 99–112 connections among, 7, 22–24, 227 equilibrium in, 77 evolution of, 13–14 flexibility of, 149 free, 7, 12–13, 217, 226–28 as human artifacts, 212–15, 229–31 legal vs. illegal, 114–15 matching, 5–6 regulation of (See regulation) repugnant, 6, 11–12, 192, 195–215 safety of, 11, 113–30 simplicity of, 11, 26–27 thick, 8–9.

pages: 294 words: 80,084

Tomorrowland: Our Journey From Science Fiction to Science Fact by Steven Kotler


Albert Einstein, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, Burning Man, carbon footprint, Colonization of Mars, crowdsourcing, Dean Kamen, epigenetics, gravity well, haute couture, interchangeable parts, Kevin Kelly, life extension, Louis Pasteur, North Sea oil, Oculus Rift, oil shale / tar sands, peak oil, personalized medicine, Peter H. Diamandis: Planetary Resources, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Ronald Reagan, self-driving car, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Stewart Brand, theory of mind, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks

Bill Gates, in a recent interview, told reporters that if he were a kid today, forget about hacking computers, he’d be hacking biology. And, for those with neither the lab nor the learning, there are dozens of service providers willing to do all the serious science for a fee. Since the invention of genetic engineering in 1972, the high cost of equipment and the high cost of getting enough education to use that equipment effectively kept most with ill intentions away from these technologies. Those barriers to entry are now gone. “Unfortunately,” said former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in a December 7, 2011, speech to the global review board for the Biological Weapons Convention, “the ability for terrorists or other nonstate actors to develop and use these weapons is growing. Therefore this must be a renewed focus of our efforts, because there are warning signs and they are too serious to ignore.” 5.

See MDMA Ehrlich, Paul, 204 Einstein, Albert, 109 Eisenhower, Dwight, 109 Eldredge, Niles, 54 Eleusinian Mysteries, 167 empathodelics, 160 end-of-life care, 157–67, 170–71, 174–76, 178–82 LSD in, 178–79, 181–82 MDMA in, 170–71, 174–76, 178–79, 180–82 psilocybin in, 160 research on, 161–62 endorphins, 42 Energy from Thorium Foundation, 120 Engerman, Stanley, 51–52 Enríquez, Juan, 58 epigenetics, 55 epilepsy, 43–44 ethics distributed justice in, 211 genetic engineering and, 232–33 of space exploration, 143–45 of sperm banking, 251 stem cells and, 206–18 Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, 260 “The Ethics of Exploration” (Consolmagno), 144 eugenics, 58–59 Evans, Nick, 189–90 Everglades, 81–95 alligators in, 91–92 Army Corps of Engineers taming of, 85–86 cattails and blue-green algae in, 90–91 cost of restoring, 85 drought and, 83–84, 89–90 Floridan aquifer and, 88 Kissimmee River in, 85–87 lack of knowledge about, 87–90 Lake Okeechobee in, 88–90 loss of species in, 84, 87 pollution in, 84, 89 sugarcane farming in, 90–92 water impoundments in, 88–90 evolution acceleration of, 49–59 economic development and, 51–53 gene-culture dynamics and, 55–57 geological shifts and, 53–54 inefficiency of, 53–54 metabiological, 55 of mosquito drug resistance, 134 of mosquitos and malaria, 134–35 of new species, 59 punctuated equilibrium in, 49, 54, 56 techno-physio, 54–57 existential anxiety, 175 exoskeletons, bionic, 20 extinction, 83 extreme states, xiv–xv, 33–48 after-effects of, 42–43 biological basis of, 40–43, 45–48 brain changes after, 43–45 brain changes during, 45–48 concentration in, 46–47 euphoria in, 41–42 in fighter pilots, 40–42 near-death experiences, 37–45 psychedelic drugs and, 155–82 REM sleep and, 44–45 reproducibility of, 47–48 in skydiving, 35–36 transformative nature of, 42–48 triggered by drugs, 38–39 triggered by fear, 39 Facebook, 3 Fairfax Cryobank, 246–47 Faisal, Turki bin, 255 Farmer in the Sky (Heinlein), 87 fascinomas, 38 Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), 236–37, 244 Fermi, Enrico, 109 fertility clinics, 247–63 Catholic Church on, 259–60 economics of, 250–51 stem cells and, 208–10, 211 Feynman, Richard, 30 Fisher, Lucy, 213–14 Floridan aquifer, 88 Floud, Roderick, 54 Flow Genome Project, 145 flying cars, xii, 97–105 Fogel, Robert, 51–52, 54–59 Food and Drug Administration (FDA), 67 on psychedelic research, 174 on sperm banking, 251, 261–62 on steroids, 195 Foundation Fighting Blindness, 74 Foundation for Applied Molecular Evolution, 232 Fraser, Claire, 245 Frazer, James, 258 free radicals, 191 Freud, Sigmund, 175 Fuentes, Carlos, 23 Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, 122–23 Gates, Bill, 121 gene-culture dynamics, 55–57 GeneGenie, 27, 222 General Electric, 113, 221 genetic code, xv. See also sperm banks aging and, 191 in binary code, 226–27 evolution and, 55, 57, 58–59 Human Genome Project and, 57, 228 interaction of culture with, 56–57 largest collections of, 249 printing, 231 stem cells in repair of, 199 synthetic biology manipulation of, 230–32 genetic engineering, 226–30 barriers to entry in, 229–30 BioBricks in, 234–35 of bioweapons, 219–46 cost of, 228, 229, 243–45 crowdsourcing in, 221–23 dangers of, 227, 232–33 environmental dangers of, 133–34, 138–39 gene sequencers in, 228–29 genetic markers in, 136–37 improved technology for, 226–27, 228–29 jumping genes in, 136–37, 138–40 open-sourcing, 243–45 synthetic biology and, 230–32 viruses in, 221–23, 233 genetic markers, 136–37 Genetics and IVF Institute, 257 Genome Institute, 212 genomic sequencing, 57 G-LOC, 40–42 Goldman, Robert, 187 Goldstein, Larry, 210–11 Goodman, Marc, 219–46, 224 Google, 28 Gould, Stephen Jay, 49, 54 gradualism, 49 Graham, Bob, 237 Granger, Richard, 58 Grant, Cary, 169 Green, Robert, 245 Greyson, Bruce, 39 Greyson Scale, 39 Griffiths, Roland, 152 Grof, Stanislav, 172, 180 Guardian (newspaper), 236–37 “Gym and Tonic: A Profile of 100 Steroid Users” (Evans), 190 gyrocopters, 102 gyroplanes, 102, 104 Haldane, J.B.S., 87 Halothane, 39 Hansen, James, 119 Harman, Denham, 191 Harris, Bernard, 54 Hartrick, Michael, 8–9 Hatch, Orrin, 214 Hawking, Stephen, 135 Hayabusa (space probe), 146–47 Hayes, Ollie, 224 headaches, cluster, 162, 164 healing, spontaneous, 164–65 health body mass changes and, 55–56 longevity and evolution and, 52–56 mosquito-borne illnesses and, 131–40 sperm banks and, 252–57 health care anti-aging medicine, 183–200 genetically targeted, 224–25, 240–41 psychedelic drugs in, 155–82 rights of embryos/fetuses in, 208–10 stem cells in, 201–18 health care costs, 19–20 coal burning and, 112 for visual prosthesis, 70 hedonic principle, 33 Heinlein, Robert A., 87, 148 helium-3, 151 Hermes gene, 137, 138 Herr, Hugh, 7–10, 12–15, 16–20 Herwitt, Allison, 210 Hessel, Andrew, 57, 59, 219–246 Hinman, Frank, Jr., 249–50 hippocampus, artificial, 26 HIV, sperm donation and, 261 Hoffa, Jimmy, 248 Hofmann, Albert, 168 Hoglund, Tom, 74 Homo evolutus, 58–59 Homo sapiens, 49, 59 Hong, Sok Chul, 54 Hood, Leroy, 216 hormones.

pages: 252 words: 73,131

The Inner Lives of Markets: How People Shape Them—And They Shape Us by Tim Sullivan


Airbnb, airport security, Al Roth, Andrei Shleifer, attribution theory, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, Brownian motion, centralized clearinghouse, clean water, conceptual framework, constrained optimization, continuous double auction, deferred acceptance, Donald Trump, Edward Glaeser, experimental subject, first-price auction, framing effect, frictionless, fundamental attribution error, George Akerlof, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, helicopter parent, Internet of things, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, iterative process, Jean Tirole, Jeff Bezos, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, John Nash: game theory, John von Neumann, Joseph Schumpeter, late fees, linear programming, Lyft, market clearing, market design, market friction, medical residency, multi-sided market, mutually assured destruction, Nash equilibrium, Occupy movement, Peter Thiel,, pez dispenser, pre–internet, price mechanism, price stability, prisoner's dilemma, profit motive, proxy bid, RAND corporation, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Coase, school choice, school vouchers, sealed-bid auction, second-price auction, second-price sealed-bid, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, spectrum auction, Steve Jobs, Tacoma Narrows Bridge, technoutopianism, telemarketer, The Market for Lemons, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas Malthus, Thorstein Veblen, trade route, transaction costs, two-sided market, uranium enrichment, Vickrey auction, winner-take-all economy

Ted bursts the hitchhiker’s bubble by noting that he could easily be undercut by another would-be fitness mogul selling a “Six Minute Abs” video. To build a profitable business, you need to create something that people want and then make sure there aren’t any copycat competitors. The things that keep others out of Uber’s sandbox, so to speak, aren’t so different from the regulatory shenanigans that its predecessors resorted to. You try to erect what economists call barriers to entry, which are, almost by definition, market frictions. They’re the strategies Uber and every other business employs to try to keep customers from choosing freely among competing options in the marketplace, whether by driving competitors out of business or finding ways of keeping customers from shopping around. Sometimes, as we’ve learned from Uber in recent years, it can be a dirty business.

INDEX Abidjan, Ivory Coast, 167–168, 69 adverse selection, 48, 51–55, 57, 59 advertising, as money burning, 70–71 Super Bowl advertising, 70–71 AdWords, 14, 101 Airbnb, 3, 6, 50, 109, 125, 170–172 Akerlof, George, 43–51, 58–59, 64, 112 Alaskoil experiment, 55–57, 58–59 algebraic topology, 44–45 Amazon, 2, 3, 16, 50, 51, 52, 59, 74, 91, 95, 97, 108, 110, 119, 126, 128–129 American Express, 115–116 America’s Second Harvest, 154–160 Amoroso, Luigi, 21 Angie’s List, 120 “animal spirits,” 50 applied theory in economics, 45, 50, 75–76 Arnold, John, 156–158, 160 Arrow, Kenneth, 30–34, 36–37, 40, 76, 117, 180 ascending price English auctions, 83, 100 asymmetric information, 41, 44–55 attribution theory, 177–178 auctions AdWords, 14, 101 auction theory, 82–84 coat hooks, 151–152, 174 design, 14, 101–102 first-price sealed-bid, 86–87, 99–100 first-price (live), 84 internet, 94–97 types of, 81–82 wireless spectrum, 102–103 See also eBay; Vickrey auctions AuctionWeb, 40 Ausubel, Larry, 98 Azoulay, Pierre, 112 Bank of America, 113–115 barriers to entry, in marketplace, 173 baseball posting system, 79–81 Bazerman, Max, 55–57 Becker, Gary, 35, 161–162 Berman, Eli, 67 Berners-Lee, Tim, 41–42 Big Data, Age of, 15 Blu-ray-HD DVD format war, Sony, 125–126 Book Stacks Unlimited, 42–43 Boston public schools, 144–149 Boston University MBA students experiment (Bazerman and Samuelson), 55–57, 58–59 See also Alaskoil experiment bridge design, 141–142 Brown, William P., 83–84 Brownian motion, 28–29 cab drivers, Uber vs., 169–170, 172 Camp, Garrett, 170 candle auctions, 82 capitalism, free-market, 172–173 car service platform, 169–171 cash-back bonus, 116 cash-for-sludge transactions, 167–169 See also Summers, Larry centralized clearinghouses, 140–141 Champagne fairs, 105–106, 126–128 Changi POW camp, 175–177 Le Chatelier, Henry Louis, 29 Le Chatelier’s principle, 29 cheap talk, 62–66, 69 chess, difference between Cold War and, 26 See also poker, bluffing in child labor, 180 cigarettes, as currency in German POW camp, 8–9 Clarke, Edward, 93 Clavell, James, 175 clerkship offers, with federal judges, 140 coat hook, 151–152, 174 Codes of the Underworld (Gambetta), 68 Cold War, difference between chess and, 26 See also poker, bluffing in Collectible Supplies, 128–129 “College Admissions and the Stability of Marriage” (Gale and Shapley), 137 commitment, signs of, 62–63, 69–71, 72–75 community game, 178–179 competition models of, 35, 166, 172–173 platform, 124–126 unethical conduct with, 180–181 “Competition is for Losers” (Thiel), 173 competitive equilibrium, existence of, 29, 31–34, 36–37, 40, 45, 76 competitive markets, 35, 124–126, 172–174, 180–181 See also platforms competitive signaling, 70–71 congestion pricing model, 86, 94 constrained optimization, 85–86, 133, 120 copycat competitors, 172–173 corporate philanthropy, 72–75 Cowles, Alfred, 25, 27 Cowles Commission for Research in Economics, 25, 27, 31, 134 “creative destruction,” 50 credit card platforms, 113–116, 123–124 criminal organizations, informational challenges of, 68 currency, at Stalag VII-A POW camp, 8–9 customer feedback, 52, 74–75 Davis, Harry, 154, 157 Debreu, Gérard, 20, 24, 25, 32–33, 36–37 decentralized match, 139–140 deferred acceptance algorithm, 137–141, 145–149 Delmonico, Frank, 164 descending price auctions, 81–82 design, auction, 14, 101–102 Digital Dealing (Hall), 94 Discover card, 115–116 distribution of income, 22 Domar, Evsey, 36–37 Dorosin, Neil, 142–144 Douglas Aircraft Company, 25 Dow, Bob, 1–2 Dow, Edna, 1–2 Drèze, Jacques, 85–86 dumping toxic waste, transactions for, 167–169 Dutch auctions, 81–82 dysfunction, market, 36, 75–77, 143 eBay adverse selection on, 51–55, 57 auction listings, 94–97 concerns on model for, 43, 46, 48 on seller motivation for giving to charities, 73–75 start of, 39–41 as two-sided market, 109, 119 e-commerce, 41–43, 52–55 “The Economic Organization of a P.O.W.

pages: 270 words: 79,992

The End of Big: How the Internet Makes David the New Goliath by Nicco Mele


3D printing, 4chan, A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Airbnb, Amazon Web Services, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, big-box store, bitcoin, business climate, call centre, Cass Sunstein, centralized clearinghouse, Chelsea Manning, citizen journalism, cloud computing, collaborative consumption, collaborative editing, crony capitalism, cross-subsidies, crowdsourcing, David Brooks, death of newspapers, Donald Trump, Douglas Engelbart,, Exxon Valdez, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Filter Bubble, Firefox, Galaxy Zoo, global supply chain, Google Chrome, Gordon Gekko, Hacker Ethic, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, Julian Assange, Kevin Kelly, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, Lean Startup, Mark Zuckerberg, minimum viable product, Mohammed Bouazizi, Mother of all demos, Narrative Science, new economy, Occupy movement, Peter Thiel, pirate software, Ronald Reagan, Ronald Reagan: Tear down this wall, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, social web, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Stewart Brand, Stuxnet, Ted Nelson, Telecommunications Act of 1996, telemarketer, The Wisdom of Crowds, transaction costs, uranium enrichment, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks, Zipcar

Granted, the administrator log-in in question doesn’t provide much access, but if it works as advertised, it could give anyone the ability to deface the Web site.21 It took me just thirty minutes to find and purchase the information—what could a motivated, better-informed troublemaker manage to do? Such accessibility of provocative information is unprecedented. As Singer writes: The barriers to entry for gaining the ultimate weapon in the Cold War, the nuclear bomb, were quite high. Only a few states could join the superpowers’ atomic club—and never in numbers that made these second-tier nuclear powers comparable to U.S. and Soviet forces. By comparison, the actors in cyberspace might range from thrill-seeking teenagers to criminal gangs to government-sponsored “patriotic hacker communities” to the more than 100 nation-states that have set up military and intelligence cyberwarfare units.22 In 2008, the National Security Agency discovered a piece of code—a computer virus, essentially—inside one of the U.S. government’s most secure, classified computer networks.

During the twentieth century, manufacturing required a lot of direct workers, all located here in the United States. Then manufacturing moved overseas and became increasingly automated. As it gets more automated, the costs of smaller manufacturing runs has dropped, to the point where we can now make one of something economically. Radical connectivity has played a key role in collapsing the advantages of scale, removing barriers to entry to the marketplace and—more importantly—allowing small companies to share resources that previously were only available to Big Companies. Inside the Cloud Cloud computing exemplifies such resource sharing. You hear people talking about the cloud all the time in the context of the Internet, but a lot of us still have a fairly cloudy notion of what exactly cloud computing means. From the perspective of companies, cloud computing makes it easier to share computing resources that otherwise would be too expensive.

Economic Gangsters: Corruption, Violence, and the Poverty of Nations by Raymond Fisman, Edward Miguel


accounting loophole / creative accounting, Andrei Shleifer, Asian financial crisis, barriers to entry, blood diamonds, clean water, colonial rule, congestion charging, European colonialism, failed state, feminist movement, George Akerlof, income inequality, income per capita, invisible hand, megacity, oil rush, prediction markets, random walk, Scramble for Africa, Silicon Valley, South China Sea, unemployed young men

Guidolin and La Ferrara argue that the mining companies took a beating from investors because the fortunes they’d made from Angola’s diamond mines relied on the treacherous conditions created by civil war. After Savimbi’s death, while mining companies with Angolan investments saw their stock prices plunge, those without Angolan exposure appreciated in value. In other words, an end to conflict hurt the dominant diamond companies by knocking down barriers to entry for competitors. Most people, including nearly all of Ray’s first-year MBA students, think that the key to business success is cheaply and efficiently producing something people want to buy. If 182 TH E RO A D BA CK F RO M WAR this were the case, then war’s end should have made Angolan miners and their shareholders much richer as production costs plummeted. But the effect of peace on diamond mining in Angola shows that more important than producing something well is doing it better than the competition—and the potential competition.

Not every CEO or shareholder is willing to set up a private army, or partner with a real-life Danny Archer, the mercenary played by Leonardo DiCaprio in the film Blood Diamond about Sierra Leone. But some know how to turn wartime adversity to their advantage. Firms like Mano River Resources, DiamondWorks, and Rex Diamond have operated mines in multiple African war zones over the years, despite the costs and hurdles that drive out everyone else. That is, war acted as a “barrier to entry” that kept other companies out and insiders’ profits high. After 2002, peace 183 CH A PTER SEVEN in Angola presented an opportunity for many new companies to bid for lucrative mining licenses. Guidolin and La Ferrara found that, in fact, most of the wartime-dominant companies kept their mining concessions, and some even expanded their Angolan operations at war’s end. However, the mere presence of potential competitors helped the government to renegotiate its contracts from a position of newfound strength.

pages: 394 words: 110,352

The Art of Community: Building the New Age of Participation by Jono Bacon


barriers to entry, collaborative editing, crowdsourcing, Debian,, Firefox, game design, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Jono Bacon, openstreetmap, Richard Stallman, Skype, social software, software as a service, telemarketer, web application

Licensing of work Every contribution to the Linux community is licensed in such a way that it benefits the entire community. The fair licensing of all contributions adds a strong sense of confidence to the security of the community. Open tools Anyone with an Internet connection and a computer can contribute. All of the development tools and documentation are entirely free and open to access. This provides a low barrier to entry, and lets new users play with the technology. Although these elements were essential at the birth of Linux, it is not open communication, licensing, and tools that generate opportunity. These elements merely made it possible to build a world-class Free Software operating system. Opportunity is born in a sense of belief. Belief is a critically important human function. Whether your belief is in an all-creating god, in a family member’s ability to achieve something for herself, in a better future in your neighborhood, or in the reliability of a restaurant guide, belief is what gives us hope for the world around us.

Many users have single-shot queries and questions, and the requirement to battle through the somewhat complex sign-up process and then receive all conversations can be off-putting. NOTE An important consideration to make when setting up a mailing list is whether the list is archived on the Internet. If you want the conversations to be private (such as if the mailing list is for a governance body), you should close off the archives. We discuss governance in detail in Chapter 8. Discussion forums Forums are a very popular, low-barrier-to-entry medium. They manifest in the form of websites that allow you to create an identity and have a discussion using that identity. Forums have exploded in popularity in recent years, and some huge forums have developed across the Internet. At the time of writing, the biggest in the world is an Anime role-playing community with over 15 million members and over a billion posts. Now that is a lot of tentacles and oversized eyes.

Target participants Who is the process designed for? Is it intended for a particular kind of contributor, such as a developer, documentation writer, translator, or advocate? 96 CHAPTER FOUR Download at Boykma.Com Requirements What tools, knowledge, and experience must the contributor have in order to follow through with the process? If she does not possess these requirements, how can she obtain them easily? Are these requirements a barrier to entry (such as costing money or limited availability)? Steps involved What are the chronological steps involved in achieving the goal? What could go wrong? Is it possible for people to accidentally ruin a step? How is feedback provided about each step? Who provides the feedback? Verification Who makes the decision about the successful completion of the process? Also, how is it communicated that the contributor has achieved the process?

pages: 503 words: 131,064

Liars and Outliers: How Security Holds Society Together by Bruce Schneier


airport security, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, Bernie Madoff, Bernie Sanders, Brian Krebs, Broken windows theory, carried interest, Cass Sunstein, Chelsea Manning, corporate governance, crack epidemic, credit crunch, crowdsourcing, cuban missile crisis, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Graeber, desegregation, don't be evil, Double Irish / Dutch Sandwich, Douglas Hofstadter, experimental economics, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial deregulation, George Akerlof, hydraulic fracturing, impulse control, income inequality, invention of agriculture, invention of gunpowder, iterative process, Jean Tirole, John Nash: game theory, joint-stock company, Julian Assange, meta analysis, meta-analysis, microcredit, moral hazard, mutually assured destruction, Nate Silver, Network effects, Nick Leeson, offshore financial centre, patent troll, phenotype, pre–internet, principal–agent problem, prisoner's dilemma, profit maximization, profit motive, race to the bottom, Ralph Waldo Emerson, RAND corporation, rent-seeking, RFID, Richard Thaler, risk tolerance, Ronald Coase, security theater, shareholder value, slashdot, statistical model, Steven Pinker, Stuxnet, technological singularity, The Market for Lemons, The Nature of the Firm, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, theory of mind, too big to fail, traffic fines, transaction costs, ultimatum game, UNCLOS, union organizing, Vernor Vinge, WikiLeaks, World Values Survey, Y2K

This sort of thing is taken to the extreme by companies like Facebook, which don't even charge their users for their apps at all, and make all their money selling information about those users to third parties.18 It turns out that offering a product or service for free is very different than offering it cheaply, and that “free” perturbs markets in ways no one fully understands. The optimal way to do business in an open-air market—offer the best products at the lowest prices—fails when there are other revenue streams available. An additional complication arises with products and services that have high barriers to entry; it's hard for competitors to emerge. In an open-air market, if the sandwich vendors all sell their sandwiches at too-high prices, someone else can always come in and start selling cheaper sandwiches. This is much harder to do with cell phone networks, or computer operating systems, or airline tickets, because of the huge upfront costs. And industries can play the meta-game to prevent competition, as when the automobile industry bought and then dismantled cities' trolley networks, big agriculture lobbied government to impose draconian regulations on small farms, and so on.

Those companies are likely to have executives who have worked for all the other companies during their careers, and are personally friendly with all the other executives. They are also likely to have former regulators working for them, and former employees as regulators. At this point, there's enough trust amongst them for them to band together into a cartel. Another researcher wrote that the two features that are necessary for successful cartels are high seller market sales concentration and product homogeneity.High barriers to entry help ensure that a cartel is long-lived. (2) The only markets where we have routinely allowed for monopolies are utilities: power, gas, telephone, etc. The idea is that the cost of infrastructure is so high, and the potential for profit is so slim, that market economics will simply drive sellers out of business. Given that, society has given companies monopolies and then heavily regulated them.

questionable telecom credits Jonathan A. Knee (2006), The Accidental Investment Banker: Inside the Decade that Transformed Wall Street, Oxford University Press, xvii. described dot.coms In the matter of Merrill Lynch & Co. (2002), Decision and Order, Supreme Court of the State of New York. Chapter 13 band together into Tim Wu (2010), The Master Switch: The Rise and Fall of Information Empires, Alfred A. Knopf. High barriers to entry John M. Connor (2002), “The Food and Agricultural Global Cartels of the 1990s: Overview and Update,” Purdue University Department of Agricultural Economics, Staff Paper 02-4. There are exceptions Yvonne Chouinard (2005), Let My People Go Surfing: The Education of a Reluctant Businessman, Penguin Press. implant false memories Priyali Rajagopal and Nicole Votolato Montgomery (2011), “I Imagine, I Experience, I Like: The False Experience Effect,” The Journal of Consumer Research, 38:578–94.

pages: 418 words: 128,965

The Master Switch: The Rise and Fall of Information Empires by Tim Wu


accounting loophole / creative accounting, Alfred Russel Wallace, Apple II, barriers to entry, British Empire, Burning Man, Cass Sunstein, Clayton Christensen, don't be evil, Douglas Engelbart, Howard Rheingold, Hush-A-Phone, informal economy, intermodal, Internet Archive, invention of movable type, invention of the telephone, invisible hand, Jane Jacobs, Joseph Schumpeter, Menlo Park, open economy, packet switching, PageRank, profit motive, road to serfdom, Ronald Coase, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Skype, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Telecommunications Act of 1996, The Chicago School, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the market place, The Wisdom of Crowds, too big to fail, Upton Sinclair, urban planning

In De Forest’s words, radio “is the coming Science, is moving ahead faster, possibly, than any other.”15 He urged young men to “take up Radio work because it offers a means of entertainment second to no other; gives useful instruction that can be made to produce tangible results later on; keeps everyone interested; enables you to get the news of the world by wireless and provides a pastime and hobby that will get the busy man’s mind into other channels.” One must stress that it was not merely technological wizardry that set people dreaming: it was also the openness of the industry then rising up. The barriers to entry were low. Radio in the 1920s was a two-way medium accessible to most any hobbyist, and for a larger sum any club or other institution could launch a small broadcast station. Compare the present moment: radio is hardly our most vital medium, yet it is hard if not impossible to get a radio license, and to broadcast without one is a federal felony. In 1920, De Forest advised, “Obtaining the license is a very simple matter and costs nothing.”

Burch’s Mesa Telephone Company offered its customers daily broadcasts of weather, train wrecks, and murders, the interval of programming announced by ten short rings. As Kline writes, “Every evening at a designated time, usually seven p.m., an operator would call all farms on a line and give the time, weather and market reports, newspaper headlines and local news, ‘with a spicing of gossip.’ ” • • • In the theory of competition that applies to information industries, as to all others, we speak of barriers to entry: the obstacles that a newcomer must overcome to get into the game. But barriers in an information industry, trafficking as it does in expressive content, can represent more than a restraint on commercial aspirations; they can, depending on how crucially the information medium figures in a society’s communications, also restrain free speech. If we want to define how “open” any industry is, we should start with a number: the cost of entry.

Embracing the process of “competition” that was under way, the Bells prepared to make their comeback as a dominant player in a nominally open industry. It was a perfect wedding of a new government ideology and a new corporate calculus when the Bells, AT&T, and the rest of the industry signed on to the Telecommunications Act of 1996.9 The most sweeping legislative overhaul of the business since the Communications Act of 1934 was founded on the principle of “competition everywhere.” The idea was to remove barriers to entry in all segments of the industry, a goal that the Bell companies (Bell Atlantic, Bell South, Pacific Telesis, Verizon, and the rest), the long distance firms (AT&T as well as MCI), and the cable companies all pledged to uphold. The Act was designed to encourage cable companies to enter the phone business, phone companies to offer TV service, long distance firms to build local networks, and so on.

pages: 386 words: 122,595

Naked Economics: Undressing the Dismal Science (Fully Revised and Updated) by Charles Wheelan


affirmative action, Albert Einstein, Andrei Shleifer, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, Bernie Madoff, Bretton Woods, capital controls, Cass Sunstein, central bank independence, clean water, collapse of Lehman Brothers, congestion charging, Credit Default Swap, crony capitalism, currency manipulation / currency intervention, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Brooks, demographic transition, diversified portfolio, Doha Development Round, Exxon Valdez, financial innovation, floating exchange rates, George Akerlof, Gini coefficient, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, happiness index / gross national happiness, Hernando de Soto, income inequality, index fund, interest rate swap, invisible hand, job automation, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, libertarian paternalism, low skilled workers, lump of labour, Malacca Straits, market bubble, microcredit, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, Network effects, new economy, open economy, presumed consent, price discrimination, price stability, principal–agent problem, profit maximization, profit motive, purchasing power parity, race to the bottom, RAND corporation, random walk, rent control, Richard Thaler, rising living standards, Robert Gordon, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, school vouchers, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, South China Sea, Steve Jobs, The Market for Lemons, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas L Friedman, Thomas Malthus, transaction costs, transcontinental railway, trickle-down economics, urban sprawl, Washington Consensus, Yogi Berra, young professional

When LeBron James signed a three-year $60 million contract with the Cleveland Cavaliers, I thought to myself, “I need to play basketball for the Cleveland Cavaliers.” I would have gladly played for $58 million, or, if pressed, for $58,000. Several things precluded me from entering that market, however: (1) I’m five-ten; (2) I’m slow; and (3) when shooting under pressure, I have a tendency to miss the backboard. Why is LeBron James paid $20 million a year? Because nobody else can play like him. His unique talents create a barrier to entry for the rest of us. LeBron James is also the beneficiary of what University of Chicago labor economist Sherwin Rosen dubbed the “superstar” phenomenon. Small differences in talent tend to become magnified into huge differentials in pay as a market becomes very large, such as the audience for professional basketball. One need only be slightly better than the competition in order to gain a large (and profitable) share of that market.

Nobody tunes into their second-favorite radio station, so it’s winner-take-all when it comes to listeners and the advertisers willing to pay big bucks to reach them. Many markets have barriers that prevent new firms from entering, no matter how profitable making widgets may be. Sometimes there are physical or natural barriers. Truffles cost $500 a pound because they cannot be cultivated; they grow only in the wild and must be dug up by truffle-hunting pigs or dogs. Sometimes there are legal barriers to entry. Don’t try to sell sildenafil citrate on a street corner or you may end up in jail. This is not a drug that you snort or shoot up, nor is it illegal. It happens to be Viagra, and Pfizer holds the patent, which is a legal monopoly granted by the U.S. government. Economists may quibble over how long a patent should last or what kinds of innovations should be patentable, but most would agree that the entry barrier created by a patent is an important incentive for firms to make the kinds of investments that lead to new products.

The authors of the study recommend that states eliminate entry barriers that keep talented people from becoming public schoolteachers.4 Most states are doing the opposite. Mr. Stigler would have argued that all of this is easy to explain. Just think about how the process benefits teachers, not students. Making it harder to become a teacher reduces the supply of new entrants into the profession, which is a good thing for those who are already there. Any barrier to entry looks attractive from the inside. I have a personal interest in all kinds of occupational licensure (cases in which states require that individuals become licensed before practicing certain professions). My doctoral dissertation set out to explain a seemingly anomalous pattern in Illinois: The state requires barbers and manicurists to be licensed, but not electricians. A shoddy electrical job could burn down an entire neighborhood; a bad manicure or haircut seems relatively more benign.

pages: 494 words: 142,285

The Future of Ideas: The Fate of the Commons in a Connected World by Lawrence Lessig


AltaVista, Andy Kessler, barriers to entry, business process, Cass Sunstein, computer age, dark matter, disintermediation, Erik Brynjolfsson, George Gilder, Hacker Ethic, Hedy Lamarr / George Antheil, Howard Rheingold, Hush-A-Phone, HyperCard, hypertext link, Innovator's Dilemma, invention of hypertext, inventory management, invisible hand, Jean Tirole, Jeff Bezos, Joseph Schumpeter, linked data, Menlo Park, Network effects, new economy, packet switching, price mechanism, profit maximization, RAND corporation, rent control, rent-seeking, RFC: Request For Comment, Richard Stallman, Richard Thaler, Ronald Coase, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, SETI@home, Silicon Valley, smart grid, software patent, spectrum auction, Steve Crocker, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, Ted Nelson, Telecommunications Act of 1996, The Chicago School, transaction costs

MY AIM in this chapter has been twofold. The first part has been to introduce the idea of open code and to demonstrate how it operates at the content layer to inspire a wide range of innovation. It does this both for the reasons that technologists give—it is fast, cheap, and powerful—and for reasons that are too often missed. By offering to the world a wide range of code and hence coding resources, open code lowers the barriers to entry for innovators.60 By building a neutral platform, open code invites a different kind of innovation. By protecting that neutral platform, both through licenses and through distributed source code, the system assures developers that the platform will remain neutral in the future. This feature of open code, however, is not limited to code. The lesson of open code extends to other content as well.

And just as the invention of a new machine can in turn reduce the cost of some production process, the ability to capture and use this new resource will reduce the costs of advertising dramatically. Rather than technologies that produce 0.5 percent return,23 these technologies will produce a much greater return at a lower cost.24 Thus the architecture of the Net enables a resource otherwise unavailable. And through this resource, a barrier to entry is reduced. For if one of the hardest parts of breaking into music is the cost of promotion, then as long as these data mines remain competitive, lowering the cost of promotion will make it easier to break into music. The same is true with books or any other content. By increasing the demand for a diverse selection of content, and by enabling the cheaper identification of that demand, the Net widens the range of potential contributors.

Noam likens that system to the subway's method of charging for ridership. The advantage of Noam's solution is that it keeps the cost of spectrum use down. As Noam writes, an auction is simply “a tax on the communications sector and its users.”39 Given the size of the bids currently being offered for this resource, it will tend, as Noam argues, to encourage oligopoly. “An auction payment that must be paid in advance is a barrier to entry, unless capital markets are perfect, which they are not.”40 We are far from the moment, however, when it would make sense to layer this market onto open spectrum. Just as the National Park Service began charging entrance fees late in its life, so too should we begin without entrance fees and layer them on, neutrally, as needed. This mode of regulating a large chunk of the resource of spectrum would inspire the widest range of spectrum use.

Stock Market Wizards: Interviews With America's Top Stock Traders by Jack D. Schwager


Asian financial crisis, banking crisis, barriers to entry, Black-Scholes formula, commodity trading advisor, computer vision, East Village, financial independence, fixed income, implied volatility, index fund, Jeff Bezos, John von Neumann, locking in a profit, Long Term Capital Management, margin call, paper trading, passive investing, pattern recognition, random walk, risk tolerance, risk-adjusted returns, short selling, Silicon Valley, statistical arbitrage, the scientific method, transaction costs, Y2K

Nevertheless, Watson demonstrates that if risk controls are in place to avoid the open-ended losses that can occur in a short position, shorting can reduce portfolio risk by including positions that are inversely correlated with the rest of the portfolio. On the short side, Watson seeks out high-priced companies that have a flawed business plan—often one-product companies that are vulnerable either because the performance of their single product falls far short of promotional claims or because there is no barrier to entry for competitors. Watson achieves risk control through a combination of diversification, selection, and loss limitation rules. He diversifies his portfolio sufficiently so that the largest long holdings account for a maximum of 2 to 3 percent of the portfolio. Short positions are capped at about 1.5 percent of the portfolio. The risk on long positions is limited by Watson's restricting the selection of companies from the universe of low-priced stocks.

What you are left with is a number of relatively small inefficiencies that are often fairly complex and which you're not likely to find by using a standard mathematical software package or the conventional analytical techniques you might learn in graduate school. Even if you were somehow able to find one of the remaining inefficiencies without going through an extremely expensive, long-term research effort of the sort we've conducted over the past eleven years, you'd probably find that one such inefficiency wouldn't be enough to cover your transaction costs. As a result, the current barriers to entry in this field are very high. A firm like ours that has identified a couple dozen market inefficiencies in a given set of financial instruments may be able to make money even in the presence of transaction costs. In contrast, a new DAVID SHAW entrant into the field who has identified only one or two market inefficiencies would typically have a much harder time doing so. What gives you that edge?

The stocks flagged must meet three additional conditions to qualify for an actual short sale: WIZARD LESSONS >• very high P/E ratio; > a catalyst that will make the stock vulnerable over the near term; > an uptrend that has stalled or reversed. Watson's ideal short-selling candidate is a high-priced, one product company. He looks for companies whose future sales will be vulnerable because their single or primary product does not live up to promotional claims or because there is no barrier to entry for competitors. 62. Use Options to Express Specific Price Expectations Prevailing option prices will reflect the assumption that price movements are random. If you have specific expectations about the relative probabilities of a stock's future price movements, then it will frequently be possible to define option trades that offer a higher profit potential (at an equivalent risk level) than buying the stock. 63.

pages: 924 words: 241,081

The Art of Community by Jono Bacon


barriers to entry, collaborative editing, crowdsourcing, Debian, DevOps,, Firefox, game design, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Jono Bacon, Kickstarter, Mark Zuckerberg, openstreetmap, Richard Stallman, side project, Silicon Valley, Skype, slashdot, social graph, software as a service, telemarketer, union organizing, VA Linux, web application

Licensing of work Every contribution to the Linux community is licensed in such a way that it benefits the entire community. The fair licensing of all contributions adds a strong sense of confidence to the security of the community. Open tools Anyone with an Internet connection and a computer can contribute. All of the development tools and documentation are entirely free and open to access. This provides a low barrier to entry, and lets new users play with the technology. Although these elements were essential at the birth of Linux, it is not open communication, licensing, and tools that generate opportunity. These elements merely made it possible to build a world-class Free Software operating system. Opportunity is born in a sense of belief. Belief is a critically important human function. Whether your belief is in an all-creating god, in a family member’s ability to achieve something for herself, in a better future in your neighborhood, or in the reliability of a restaurant guide, belief is what gives us hope for the world around us.

Many users have single-shot queries and questions, and the requirement to battle through the somewhat complex sign-up process and then receive all conversations can be off-putting. Note An important consideration to make when setting up a mailing list is whether the list is archived on the Internet. If you want the conversations to be private (such as if the mailing list is for a governance body), you should close off the archives. We discuss governance in detail in Chapter 10. Discussion forums Forums are a very popular, low-barrier-to-entry medium. They manifest in the form of websites that allow you to create an identity and have a discussion using that identity. Forums have exploded in popularity in recent years, and some huge forums have developed across the Internet. At the time of this writing, the biggest in the world is an anime role-playing community with over 15 million members and over 1 billion posts. Now that is a lot of tentacles and oversized eyes.

Target participants Who is the process designed for? Is it intended for a particular kind of contributor, such as a developer, documentation writer, translator, or advocate? Requirements What tools, knowledge, and experience must the contributor have in order to follow through with the process? If she does not possess these requirements, how can she obtain them easily? Are these requirements a barrier to entry (such as entry fees or limited availability)? Steps involved What are the chronological steps involved in achieving the goal? What could go wrong? Is it possible for people to accidentally fail to complete a step? How is feedback provided about each step? Who provides the feedback? Verification Who decides when a process has been completed successfully? Also, how is successful completion of the process communicated to the contributor?

pages: 250 words: 88,762

The Logic of Life: The Rational Economics of an Irrational World by Tim Harford


affirmative action, Albert Einstein, Andrei Shleifer, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, colonial rule, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, double entry bookkeeping, Edward Glaeser,, endowment effect, European colonialism, experimental economics, experimental subject, George Akerlof, income per capita, invention of the telephone, Jane Jacobs, John von Neumann, law of one price, Martin Wolf, mutually assured destruction, New Economic Geography, new economy, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Richard Florida, Richard Thaler, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, spinning jenny, Steve Jobs, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the market place, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas Malthus, women in the workforce

The phone book would be full of underemployed Realtors, the ten-thousand-dollar subsidy just barely compensating for the fact that there aren’t enough customers to go around. So this would not be a package for which the rational Realtor would campaign very hard. Industries that are difficult for newcomers to break into—that have “high barriers to entry,” in the jargon of economics—are more likely to find it rational to campaign for subsidies. But even high barriers to entry are not in themselves enough, if the industry is booming. Suppose existing big-box retailers such as Wal-Mart successfully lobbied for a government subsidy. It would do them little good, because new rivals would be willing to climb the entry barriers, pick up the subsidy, and watch their investments pay off in a growing market. In contrast, it’s rational to campaign for subsidies if you’re in an industry that’s expensive to enter and has poor long-term prospects, such as the auto or steel industry.

pages: 336 words: 90,749

How to Fix Copyright by William Patry


A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, barriers to entry, big-box store, borderless world, business intelligence, citizen journalism, cloud computing, crowdsourcing, death of newspapers,, facts on the ground, Frederick Winslow Taylor, George Akerlof, Gordon Gekko, haute cuisine, informal economy, invisible hand, Joseph Schumpeter, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, lone genius, means of production, new economy, road to serfdom, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, semantic web, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, The Chicago School, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, trade route, transaction costs, trickle-down economics, web application, winner-take-all economy

Hence, the need for law to be consistent with prevailing markets and technologies. My conclusion is that market forces and technology have moved well beyond our current laws and are now in conflict with them. Copyright laws arose out of eighteenth-century markets and technologies, the most important characteristic of which was artificial scarcity. Artificial scarcity was created by a small number of gatekeepers, by relatively high barriers to entry, and by analog limitations on unauthorized copying. Artificial scarcity was important because it created monopoly value: not profits earned above costs of production, but rather profits disconnected to costs. Those profits were dependent on the creation and legal enforcement of artificial scarcity through copyright laws.This is the environment in which copyright, at least Anglo-American copyright, arose.

Buggy whip makers, however, could no more claim a right to a continued market after the Model T car eliminated the demand for horse-drawn carriages than musicians who accompanied silent movies had a right to be paid after the talkies made their performances unnecessary. No copyright law can preserve markets that have been passed by. The new markets created by the Internet and digital tools are the greatest ever: Barriers to entry are low, costs of production and distribution are low, the reach is global, and large sums of money may be made off of a multitude of small transactions. This contrasts dramatically with the world of analog artificial scarcity, which based sales on a small number of expensive transactions, a situation that favored gatekeepers over individuals. The democratization of creation has arrived thanks to digital abundance replacing analog artificial scarcity.

pages: 377 words: 97,144

Singularity Rising: Surviving and Thriving in a Smarter, Richer, and More Dangerous World by James D. Miller


23andMe, affirmative action, Albert Einstein, artificial general intelligence, Asperger Syndrome, barriers to entry, brain emulation, cloud computing, cognitive bias, correlation does not imply causation, crowdsourcing, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Brooks, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, Deng Xiaoping,, feminist movement, Flynn Effect, friendly AI, hive mind, impulse control, indoor plumbing, invention of agriculture, Isaac Newton, John von Neumann, knowledge worker, Long Term Capital Management, low skilled workers, Netflix Prize, neurotypical, pattern recognition, Peter Thiel, phenotype, placebo effect, prisoner's dilemma, profit maximization, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, reversible computing, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Rodney Brooks, Silicon Valley, Singularitarianism, Skype, statistical model, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, supervolcano, technological singularity, The Coming Technological Singularity, the scientific method, Thomas Malthus, transaction costs, Turing test, Vernor Vinge, Von Neumann architecture

If you come across a website written by some guy who never even went to high school (like Eliezer) but claims that he’s leading a crusade to protect us from a pseudoscientific-sounding apocalypse, then it’s almost certainly not worth your time to read enough content on the website to see if it’s the ramblings of a lunatic or the teachings of a visionary. (Although Eliezer has little formal schooling, he did, at age eleven, earn a 1410 on the SATs, a score that could get a seventeen-year-old into Harvard.101) The seeming insanity of the very concept of an intelligence explosion is a barrier to entry into the Singularity movement, preventing intelligent people from taking the idea of a Singularity seriously enough to investigate whether it should be taken seriously. A careful reader of Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality, an e-book designed very effectively to teach its audience what it means to be rational and how to become more rational, would, however, at the very least not dismiss its author as an irrational crank.

See Hanson, Robin robots, 17, 210 robot soldiers, 24, 53 Roman Empire, 24, 78 Roman Republic, 137–38 Rumsfeld, Donald (former US Secretary of Defense), xviii Russia, 187, 194, 206 S safety-enhancing products, 179 Salamon, Anna, 44 SAT tests, 66, 162–63 savers gamble on the future, 176 Savoca, Elizabeth, 171 Scientific American “Why Women Live Longer,” 179 Scottish Mental Survey (1932), 68 search engines, 167 Second Law of Thermodynamics, 27 seed AI computer program of roughly human-level intelligence capable of improving itself, 36 intelligence explosion, undergoing, 48 that undergoes an intelligence explosion, 36 Self-Aware Systems, 25 sequence F, U, 115 sexbots, 193–95 sex drives, 195 sex-selective abortions, 194 sexually transmitted diseases, 194 Shakespeare, 21 Shaw, George Bernard, 84 Shulman, Carl, 147, 202 Singularitarians, 215 Singularity AI as smart as humans and/or augmenting human intelligence, x AI-centered, 209 AI-induced, 21 bad, avoid making, 58–59 bad Singularity-like event, x being well-educated will not make you materially better off, 192 believers, 27, 208 beyond which human affairs can not continue, xv civilization, xviii disabled children and, 212 emulations, materialized through, 203 enabling of computers, 6 expectations and savings rates, 186–87 expectations raise people’s uncertainty about the quality of the future, 193 expectations should affect when you have children, 193 five undisputed facts about, x–xii by gradual improvement, 178 harm of an unfriendly, 44 hellish, destroys the value of money, 58 humanity will be richer from, 165 intelligence explosion, from an, 203 investments, destroys the value of all, 57 is near, 177, 185, 191, 201, 207 Kurzweil-type, 178 luxuries from, 167 money has no value, 192 money no longer has value, 56 operating-system, 41 pollution as a bad, 56–57 post-Singularity civilization, 199–200, 221 post-Singularity race throughout the galaxy, 199 pre-Singularity destructive technologies, 201–2 pre-Singularity property rights will be respected, 187 pre-Singularity property rights will have value of post-Singularity, 188–89 pre-Singularity value of money, 211 profit opportunities of, 178 property rights and savings, 187–88 rapid political change, would bring about, 187 rich, makes everyone extremely, 192 savings and future wealth, 189 savings and investment returns, 188–89 savings rate, plummeting of, 191–92 savings rates with different Singularity scenarios, 189–90 scarcity, might abolish, 187 signposts of the, 177–78 utopian, 56, 58 utopian, will probably be, 179 as utopian or dystopian, 56 value of money, destroys the, 181 watch list, 209 Singularity conference, 92 Singularity Institute for Artificial Intelligence to create a “seed AI” designed to undergo an intelligence explosion to become a friendly ultra-AI, 14 Michael Vassar as director and former president, 44 Peter Thiel financial backing of, viii Yudkowsky founded, 35–36 The Singularity Is Near (Kurzweil), 3, 207 Singularity materialized through emulations, 203 Singularity movement intelligence explosion is a barrier to entry into, 38 Singularity of a black hole, xviii Singularity University Larry Page founded, x slaveholder compensation, 187 slave labor, 137–38 sleep deprivation, 105, 109, 124, 155. See also amphetamines (“speed”) Smith, Adam, 135 Smith College Adderall, 102–7, 112, 163 amphetamines use, 102 Dean and Adderall-type drugs for performance-enhancement, 102 student illegal drug use, 101 “study buddy” drugs, 102 survey of illegal cognitive-enhancing drug use among undergraduates, 103–9 socialists, 41 Social Security taxes, 157 sociopath, 22, 93 sociopathic children, 84 Socrates, 91 Socratic questioning method, 215 soft toilet paper, 166 Soviet Union, xiii, 19, 49, 124, 127, 206 spacecraft, 199 species extinction, 29 Stalin, Joseph, 22, 220 standard of living, 76, 123 Stanovich, Keith, 65–66 StarCraft II (video game), 106 stars “turned of” to conserve energy, 199 Star Trek, 171 starvation pressures, 150 Stewart, Potter (US Supreme Court Justice), 38–39 stop signal reaction time, 105 Study of Mathematically Precocious Youth, 65 subjective judgment, 39 sub-Saharan Africa, 173 suicide, 92–93 super genius, 90–91, 95 superhuman intelligence, xiv superintelligence, 21 superintelligence, “alien-like,” 122 super-skyscraper, 181 superweapon, 204 surrogate woman, 194 “survival of the richest,” 81 surviving children, 82 Swift, Jonathan, 88 T Tallinn, Jaan, 35, 215 tampons, 166 Tao, Terence, 91–92 tax on emulations, 150 teleportation device, xi teleportation machine, 138–39 terminal disease, 219 thermonuclear war, 52–53.

pages: 346 words: 102,625

Early Retirement Extreme by Jacob Lund Fisker


8-hour work day, active transport: walking or cycling, barriers to entry, clean water, Community Supported Agriculture, delayed gratification, discounted cash flows, diversification, don't be evil, dumpster diving, financial independence, game design, index fund, invention of the steam engine, inventory management, loose coupling, market bubble, McMansion, passive income, peak oil, place-making, Ponzi scheme, psychological pricing, the scientific method, time value of money, transaction costs, wage slave, working poor

For instance, many decide to become healthy after they, or someone close to them, experiences their first heart attack or something equally serious. Similar epiphanies occur after temporary job losses during an economic crisis. Barriers include not knowing about an activity or its benefits, the belief that the activity is difficult to engage in, social disapproval, or the belief that there are more benefits in continuing the present behavior. People will naturally choose activities that they believe to have high benefits and low barriers to entry--the quick and easy way to riches. Benefits and barriers vary significantly between people. To some, walking half a mile is fun, or at least as natural as putting on a pair of pants, whereas to others it represents a significant labor to be avoided. Some have the same aversion to merely getting up from the couch. Most importantly, the proposed behavior may compete with one or more other behaviors, where doing the proposed activity excludes another activity, or is simply believed to exclude another activity.

Some companies reduce this risk by having no long-term debt or by having special classes of shares. Others reduce it by having many customers or clients or easy access to labor, either by outsourcing, offering attractive benefits or simply due to an abundance of workers in a given field. However, as long as there is a drive for profit, there will be competition and innovation, and those risks are hard to eliminate without monopoly pricing power, political favors, and other barriers to entry. Since profit is the income of the businessman, and since the businessman needs income to buy stuff for himself, he too is at risk. Many businessmen and entrepreneurs take steps similar to employees and establish emergency funds (see The working man). However, those that desire to retire early either need to earn a lot of money fast or find an alternative solution. The Renaissance man A Renaissance man is a person who is competent in a wide range of fields, covering intellectual areas as well as the arts, physical fitness, and social accomplishments.

pages: 315 words: 93,522

How Music Got Free: The End of an Industry, the Turn of the Century, and the Patient Zero of Piracy by Stephen Witt


4chan, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, big-box store, cloud computing, collaborative economy, crowdsourcing, game design, Internet Archive, invention of movable type, inventory management, iterative process, Jason Scott:, job automation, late fees, mental accounting, packet switching, pattern recognition, pirate software, Ronald Reagan, security theater, sharing economy, side project, Silicon Valley, software patent, Steve Jobs, zero day

Brandenburg’s American counterpart James Johnston had signed away his rights to AT&T when he’d gone to work for Bell Labs, meaning that, even as the mp3 succeeded beyond his most fervent imagining, he earned nothing. Around this time, Linde began to notice subtle changes come over Brandenburg. His wardrobe shifted from sweaters to sport jackets and ties. He began talking less about things like modified discrete cosine transforms, and more about things like marketplace position and long-term barriers to entry. He was starting to understand the power of open, competitive markets and, like all good capitalists, did his best to avoid participating in them. Linde noticed, too, that while Brandenburg might have been eccentric, it wasn’t as if he had a personality disorder. Indeed, he seemed in recent years to have developed an excellent understanding of people’s tendencies and motivations. He had proved to be a careful student of human nature, and his own personal awkwardness was almost like a disguise he wore.

In the evenings, he would sit the child on his lap and play with him amidst the whirring background of the burning bootlegged discs. As soon as he’d saved up enough cash, he moved with his girlfriend out of the trailer and into a modest apartment. The move marked the end of the dog-breeding experiment. This had not been a lucrative venture. Pit bull puppies were a pure commodity, a market with no barriers to entry, and the premium on pedigree litters had been competed away. This experience was a lesson for Glover, as he began to see that success in a capitalist economy required a durable competitive advantage. So he started to act as a middleman between the street and the Scene. But even so, he struggled, losing out to his primary competitor: Tony Dockery. Dockery had built a tower, too, and he sold to many of the same customers.

pages: 267 words: 79,905

Creating Unequal Futures?: Rethinking Poverty, Inequality and Disadvantage by Ruth Fincher, Peter Saunders


barriers to entry, ending welfare as we know it, financial independence, full employment, Gini coefficient, income inequality, income per capita, labour market flexibility, labour mobility, low skilled workers, low-wage service sector, marginal employment, minimum wage unemployment, New Urbanism, open economy, pink-collar, positional goods, purchasing power parity, shareholder value, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, urban planning, urban renewal, very high income, women in the workforce, working poor, working-age population

The fourth significant player, Rural Press, owns the Canberra Times and over 150 regional and country newspapers. Adverse effects of concentration of ownership include insufficient channels for the expression of opinions, economic forces creating barriers to entry for new players, diminished localism in content and accountability, reduced opportunities for journalists, and conflicts of interest for owners who have non-media interests, as well as the general undesirability of such concentration of power in a democracy (Chadwick 1996). It is unlikely, given the barriers to entry, that the number of mainstream major newspapers in Australia will grow. In this arena the best prospects for improving coverage of poverty and welfare issues lie in appeals to journalistic professionalism, editorial independence, and in continuing support for and lobbying of editors and journalists who display a social conscience.

pages: 323 words: 90,868

The Wealth of Humans: Work, Power, and Status in the Twenty-First Century by Ryan Avent


3D printing, Airbnb, American energy revolution, autonomous vehicles, Bakken shale, barriers to entry, Bernie Sanders, BRICs, call centre, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Clayton Christensen, cloud computing, collective bargaining, computer age, dark matter, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deindustrialization, dematerialisation, Deng Xiaoping, deskilling, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, Donald Trump, Downton Abbey, Edward Glaeser, Erik Brynjolfsson, eurozone crisis, everywhere but in the productivity statistics, falling living standards, first square of the chessboard, first square of the chessboard / second half of the chessboard, Ford paid five dollars a day, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, future of work, gig economy, global supply chain, global value chain, hydraulic fracturing, income inequality, indoor plumbing, industrial robot, interchangeable parts, Internet of things, inventory management, invisible hand, Jacquard loom, James Watt: steam engine, Jeff Bezos, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, Joseph-Marie Jacquard, knowledge economy, low skilled workers, lump of labour, Lyft, manufacturing employment, means of production, new economy, performance metric,, price mechanism, quantitative easing, Ray Kurzweil, rent-seeking, reshoring, rising living standards, Robert Gordon, Ronald Coase, savings glut, Second Machine Age, secular stagnation, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, single-payer health, software is eating the world, supply-chain management, supply-chain management software, TaskRabbit, The Nature of the Firm, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, trade liberalization, transaction costs, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, very high income, working-age population

Workers also band together to enforce artificial scarcity by creating guilds, trade unions and professional associations. On the face of things, guild-like institutions look benign enough. They profess to serve as guarantors of professional standards. The American Medical Association, for example, works to make it difficult to become an accredited doctor, and thereby works to raise doctor pay. Yet the public tolerates this because, rightly or wrongly, it sees the barriers to entry erected by the AMA as a way to ensure that doctors are well qualified. Professional organizations can also serve a related function as educational institutions. The European guilds that emerged in the Middle Ages also often set out the professional path for members of a particular occupation, from apprenticeship to master status. Such organizations, in addition, are seen as important counterweights to owners of other productive factors – either land or capital – who, thanks to the relative scarcity of their contribution to production, enjoy significant bargaining power in negotiations with labour.

But trade-union political power is nothing like what it used to be, especially in Anglo-Saxon economies.13 A different sort of labour protection, which has multiplied across rich economies, has received comparatively little scrutiny: the occupational licence. Service professionals in an extraordinary range of occupations – including roles such as hairdressing and interior decorating – must obtain a licence to work legally in many states or countries. These licences act as a barrier to entry, helping to protect the scarcity of professionals in a given field, and keep pay higher than it might otherwise be. Licences are often wildly abusive, however. In 2012, a group of Louisiana monks found that they were not allowed to sell the handmade wooden caskets they had been building to earn a little extra money, because they were not a licensed funeral establishment (becoming one would have required them to obtain a casket showroom and embalming room, among other things).* Even if the cost in time and money to get the licence is relatively low, it may deter enough would-be workers (such as those who would normally choose to cut hair a few hours a week, but who can’t be bothered to do so when the work can’t be done legally without a licence) to prop up the pay of those with a licence.

The End of Accounting and the Path Forward for Investors and Managers (Wiley Finance) by Feng Gu


Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, barriers to entry, business process, Claude Shannon: information theory, Clayton Christensen, conceptual framework, corporate governance, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, discounted cash flows, diversified portfolio, double entry bookkeeping, Exxon Valdez, financial innovation, fixed income, hydraulic fracturing, index fund, inventory management, Joseph Schumpeter, knowledge economy, moral hazard, new economy, obamacare, quantitative easing, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, QWERTY keyboard, race to the bottom, risk/return, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, shareholder value, Steve Jobs, The Great Moderation, value at risk

SECTOR SYNOPSIS Media and entertainment is a ubiquitous and fast-growing sector that includes many companies in various subsectors, such as cable and radio, telecommunication, movies and TV, Internet services providers, and, of course, print newspapers and magazines. The main characteristics of this sector are a high rate of innovation (wireless technology, social media), frequent technological disruptions (online information services rattling print media), low barriers to entry, and relatively easy penetration of foreign markets, all enhancing cut-throat competition within the subsectors. Customers are the most important strategic asset of media and entertainment companies, particularly because in most subsectors, the customers’ identity is known to the provider of services (Internet service providers; cable, satellite radio, and telecom companies; newspaper and magazine publishers; etc.), enabling active management of the customer franchise.

DISRUPTION THREAT Absent obvious considerable growth prospects, is Sirius’s dominant position assured? On the bright side, Sirius’s brand is well known; it’s practically the only game in town for satellite radio, it has a large and slowly growing subscriber base, and it features some big-name exclusive artists. It seems impregnable. And yet, as the Resource Preservation column of the Report suggests, in this industry with fast-changing technologies and low barriers to entry, competitive and disruption threats can never be dismissed. Indeed, the media carry occasional articles on threats to Sirius’s dominance,5 and many of analysts’ questions in Sirius’s conference calls revolved around potential competition. The main concerns focus on an Internet strategy as an alternative to satellite radio—wi-fi in the car—and the entry of “big players,” like Apple and Google into the car streaming market.

Industry 4.0: The Industrial Internet of Things by Alasdair Gilchrist


3D printing, additive manufacturing, Amazon Web Services, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, business intelligence, business process, chief data officer, cloud computing, connected car, cyber-physical system, deindustrialization, fault tolerance, global value chain, Google Glasses, hiring and firing, industrial robot, inflight wifi, Infrastructure as a Service, Internet of things, inventory management, job automation, low skilled workers, millennium bug, pattern recognition, platform as a service, pre–internet, race to the bottom, RFID, Skype, smart cities, smart grid, smart meter, smart transportation, software as a service, stealth mode startup, supply-chain management, trade route, web application, WebRTC, WebSocket, Y2K

9 10 Chapter 1 | Introduction to the Industrial Internet Traditionally, manufacturers set about producing the best cost-effective products they could to sell on the open market. Of course, this took them into conflict with other producers, which required them to find ways to add value to their products. This value-add could be based on quality, price, quantity, or perceived value for the money. However, these strategies rarely worked for long, as the competitor having a low barrier to entry simply followed successful differentiation tactics. For example, competitors could match quantity and up their lot size to match or do better. Worse, if the price was the differentiator, the competitor could lower their prices, which results in what is termed a race to the bottom. Selling Light, Not Light Bulbs What the customer ultimately wants the goods for is to provide a service (provide air transportation in the previous example), but it could also be to produce light in the case of a light bulb.

Prior to wireless technologies becoming ubiquitous in the home, consumers had everything they required to build their own smart home; in fact, the technology has been around since the early 1980s. The problem was that there was no way to connect the sleek microprocessor controller to the sensors and actuators without running wires throughout the house. This of course would be very disruptive and potentially damaging, so was not worth the trouble. Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and ZigBee have removed that large barrier to entry and now we can connect devices. However—and this is a recurring theme—there is not one wireless standard that fits all purposes. The array of wireless technologies has arisen because they serve different purposes. Some, such as Wi-Fi (802.11), are designed for high bandwidth and throughput for web browsing and downloading from the Internet. Bluetooth, on the other hand, was designed to provide a personal area network to connect wirelessly the devices that you wear or carry, such as a mobile phone or a watch to a headset, and it therefore requires short range and less power and throughput capability.

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The Industries of the Future by Alec Ross


23andMe, 3D printing, Airbnb, algorithmic trading, AltaVista, Anne Wojcicki, autonomous vehicles, banking crisis, barriers to entry, Bernie Madoff, bioinformatics, bitcoin, blockchain, Brian Krebs, British Empire, business intelligence, call centre, carbon footprint, cloud computing, collaborative consumption, connected car, corporate governance, Credit Default Swap, cryptocurrency, David Brooks, disintermediation, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, distributed ledger, Edward Glaeser, Edward Snowden,, Erik Brynjolfsson, fiat currency, future of work, global supply chain, Google X / Alphabet X, industrial robot, Internet of things, invention of the printing press, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, litecoin, M-Pesa, Mark Zuckerberg, Mikhail Gorbachev, mobile money, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, new economy, offshore financial centre, open economy, peer-to-peer lending, personalized medicine, Peter Thiel, precision agriculture, pre–internet, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, ride hailing / ride sharing, Satoshi Nakamoto, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, smart cities, social graph, software as a service, special economic zone, supply-chain management, supply-chain management software, technoutopianism, underbanked, Vernor Vinge, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, women in the workforce, Y Combinator, young professional

The analogy that most foreign policy hands point to as a possible precedent for containing cyberweapons is nuclear nonproliferation: the creation of arms control agreements, treaties, United Nations resolutions, and international monitoring programs to govern the spread and use of nuclear weapons. Under this international framework, nuclear war is still a threat, but nuclear weapons are well understood and there are processes in place to manage them. In the 20th century, similar sets of procedures and rules were also developed for the weaponization of airplanes, space, and chemical and biological weapons. But the confounding factor when it comes to cyberwar is that the barriers to entry are so much lower in cyber than in any of these other domains. Any country, or even any rogue group or individual, that puts a little bit of time and effort into it can develop some nasty offensive cyber capabilities. It is, in fact, the near-opposite of the development of nuclear arms, which requires years of work, billions of dollars, and access to the scarcest of scarce scientific talent and transuranium elements.

There is an increasingly large audience, however, that holds a different view from Charlie Songhurst. They believe that big data, instead of absorbing and supplanting other industries, will serve as a broad tool that every existing industry can use to spur growth. The idea is that data will become widely usable and scalable enough that it won’t have domain expertise in the same way that other high-barrier-to-entry industries of the future like genomics or robotics do. This view was explained to me by Mark Gorenberg, a veteran of West Coast venture investing who saw the investment case for analytics early and built a venture capital firm around it, Zetta Venture Partners. Mark has been in venture capital for a quarter-century and splits most of his time among investing, work with MIT, and serving as an advisor to the president of the United States as a member of the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology.

pages: 366 words: 94,209

Throwing Rocks at the Google Bus: How Growth Became the Enemy of Prosperity by Douglas Rushkoff


3D printing, Airbnb, algorithmic trading, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Andrew Keen, bank run, banking crisis, barriers to entry, bitcoin, blockchain, Burning Man, business process, buy low sell high, California gold rush, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, carbon footprint, centralized clearinghouse, citizen journalism, clean water, cloud computing, collaborative economy, collective bargaining, colonial exploitation, Community Supported Agriculture, corporate personhood, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, disintermediation, diversified portfolio, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, ethereum blockchain, fiat currency, Firefox, Flash crash, full employment, future of work, gig economy, Gini coefficient, global supply chain, global village, Google bus, Howard Rheingold, IBM and the Holocaust, impulse control, income inequality, index fund, iterative process, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, job automation, Joseph Schumpeter, Kickstarter, loss aversion, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, market bubble, market fundamentalism, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, medical bankruptcy, minimum viable product, Naomi Klein, Network effects, new economy, Norbert Wiener, Oculus Rift, passive investing, payday loans, peer-to-peer lending, Peter Thiel, post-industrial society, profit motive, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, recommendation engine, reserve currency, RFID, Richard Stallman, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, Satoshi Nakamoto, Second Machine Age, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Snapchat, social graph, software patent, Steve Jobs, TaskRabbit, trade route, transportation-network company, Turing test, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, unpaid internship, Y Combinator, young professional, Zipcar

But the banking industry and its regulators sensed an upstart in the making and challenged the company’s legality. Only regulated savings institutions are entitled to make money on “the float,” as PayPal was doing. So PayPal changed its business model and began charging buyers and sellers directly for the service.25 Still, PayPal was the first of many companies to promote peer-to-peer transactions by lowering the barriers to entry into the existing money networks. A company called Square took this a step further, developing both the technology and the accounting infrastructure through which people could swipe credit cards and accept payments through their smartphones. Although many coffee shops and smaller retail stores now use Square and an iPad in place of more cumbersome and expensive credit-card systems, the people most dramatically empowered by the system were independent sellers and service people and those who want to pay them.

AngelList, a Web site originally dedicated to helping startups connect with angel investors, offers a feature called “syndicates” through which people can back portfolios managed by notable investors, such as author and advisor Tim Ferriss or Launch founder Jason Calacanis. Subscribers pledge to back each of the leader’s investments by a certain amount. If the investment works, they then pay between 5 and 20 percent of profits to the leader and 5 percent to AngelList.61 While SEC regulations are under revision to lower the barriers to entry, currently most of these platforms are limited to “qualified” investors—people who have at least a million dollars in savings. As of this writing, numerous platforms that give less wealthy people access to the startup investing market are under construction.62, 63 While these may be democratic developments, they’re also as sure a sign of a bubble as any we’ve seen. Opening the floodgates to more angel investment doesn’t mean there will be a greater number of successful startups; it simply means more money will come in at the very top of the funnel.

pages: 141 words: 9,896

Pragmatic Guide to JavaScript by Christophe Porteneuve


barriers to entry, domain-specific language,, Firefox, web application, WebSocket

The jQuery project was formally founded in September 2009, and its version 1.4 was released in January 2010 amid a two-week online celebration and coding fest. (The current version at the time of this writing is 1.4.2.) Report erratum Download from Wow! eBook <>this copy is (P1.0 printing, November 2010) J Q UERY AND J Q UERY UI 119 jQuery’s focus is mostly on lowering the perceived barrier-to-entry for people wanting to spruce up their web pages with a bit of JavaScript without prior knowledge of the language (or sometimes of programming in general). Its API provides a lot of quick shortcuts targeted at the most common use cases, and a number of plug-ins (some of them grouped in the jQuery UI project) take care of the rest. Recently I’ve been hearing people describe jQuery as “a DSL for DOM manipulation” or state that “jQuery comes from selectors to code, allowing people who know CSS to use JavaScript.”

pages: 556 words: 46,885

The World's First Railway System: Enterprise, Competition, and Regulation on the Railway Network in Victorian Britain by Mark Casson


banking crisis, barriers to entry, Beeching cuts, British Empire, combinatorial explosion, Corn Laws, corporate social responsibility, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, intermodal, iterative process, joint-stock company, joint-stock limited liability company, knowledge economy, linear programming, Network effects, New Urbanism, performance metric, railway mania, rent-seeking, strikebreaker, the market place, transaction costs

Even Wrst class passengers also have been often subjected to delay and inconvenience . . . (p. 3) The Railway Committee agreed with the Select Committee, though, that amalgamation could reinforce monopoly power. Established railway companies in a district could combine to erect a barrier to entry by pooling their resources to contest proposals to build additional lines. Experience suggested that rationalization following amalgamation could result in the closure of useful sections of line, as when York and North Midland Railway closed down a section of the Leeds and Selby Railway because it competed with its own (longer) line into Leeds. Erecting barriers to entry was seen to be a possible motive behind the proposed amalgamation of three railways serving Liverpool: the Grand Junction Railway (to Birmingham), the Liverpool and Manchester Railway, and the North Union Railway (to Wigan and Preston).

D I R E C T L I N E S A N D E XT EN D E D B R A N C H E S The builders of early trunk lines quickly realized that although they might claim a monopoly of a particular route, they were always vulnerable to competition from the subsequent construction of alternative routes. Parliament indicated at an Business Strategies and their EVects 293 early stage that companies might well be confronted by competition from new companies entering their region, and companies therefore sought to invest in ‘barriers to entry’ to deter these entrants. As noted earlier, an important strategy for deterring competition was to build the shortest and fastest route between the major towns at either end. There was a strong belief by railway promoters that if competition were to develop later then the company with the shortest and fastest route would capture most of the traYc. One reason was that if two rival companies matched each other’s fares then customers, being indiVerent to the fares, would opt for the fastest route.

pages: 272 words: 19,172

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,, 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

I went to the store, bought a pack of Kool-Aid for a nickel, made six glasses out of it, and sold it to them for a penny apiece. A penny actually had considerable value in those days. In the winter, I shoveled snow. At first, I charged a nickel, but I found that there was so much demand that I raised the price to a dime, and then to 15 cents. The first year, when I was eight, I made several dollars, but the next year the other kids caught on, and the market changed. A classic example of no barriers to entry. Another thing happened that had a hint of the future. I had a cousin who was not a totally scrupulous guy and who discovered that you could jiggle the slot machines that were located in gas stations and make them pay out more than they should. This was a fairly astonishing fact that you could go around jiggling machines and get a lot of extra nickels out of them. I didn’t make a career out of it, but I just noted that there was a gambling situation where you could extract extra money.

They fail to appreciate that only 300 million people live in the U.S., and there are 6.7 billion people in the rest of the world. The market in which Apple has the highest approval rating is China, which is a market with 900 million mobile phone subscribers. And currently, how many iPhones have been sold in China? Three million. Their unique operating system and excellent hardware give Apple a barriers-to-entry advantage relative to their competitors. I believe over the next four years, Apple will inevitably repeat the success it has had in the U.S. on a global scale. We forecast the earnings of every company we follow for three or four years out. I like to invest in companies that are cheap relative to their sector, but where we are forecasting earnings above consensus for the next few years. The catalyst I monitor for a stock to realize value is earnings surprise.

In late 2006, I bought Horizon Lines, which was a Jones Act container shipping company operating vessels primarily between Hawaii, Alaska, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. mainland. Under the Jones Act, all vessels transporting cargo between covered U.S. ports must be built in the U.S., registered under the U.S. flag, manned by predominantly U.S. crews, and owned and operated by U.S.-organized companies that are controlled and 75 percent owned by U.S. citizens. As one can imagine, the Jones Act creates a significant barrier to entry in these shipping lanes, and as a result, Horizon Lines had a substantial share of the market. On the negative side, though, the company also had its share of debt and a number of older vessels that needed to be replaced. My thinking at the time was that I was investing in a company that had a significant moat around it and that it would generate a lot of free cash flow, enabling it to deleverage.

Debtor Nation: The History of America in Red Ink (Politics and Society in Modern America) by Louis Hyman


asset-backed security, bank run, barriers to entry, Bretton Woods, card file, central bank independence, computer age, corporate governance, credit crunch, declining real wages, deindustrialization, diversified portfolio, financial independence, financial innovation, Gini coefficient, Home mortgage interest deduction, housing crisis, income inequality, invisible hand, late fees, London Interbank Offered Rate, market fundamentalism, means of production, mortgage debt, mortgage tax deduction, p-value, pattern recognition, profit maximization, profit motive, risk/return, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, statistical model, technology bubble, the built environment, transaction costs, union organizing, white flight, women in the workforce, working poor

While credit card loans generally had higher operating costs than conventional business loans, with 8.2 times the revenue they more than made up the difference. Banks frantically sought new sources of capital, like the card bond market, because the profits of credit cards were so much higher than their other investments. Such profits, as always, lured in new competition, who could also rely on these new methods of securitization to fund their loans. As conduit for capital, rather than sources of capital, such lenders no longer faced the greatest barrier to entry in lending—money to lend. The Rise of Pure Play Credit Card Companies With the expanding market for securitization, credit card banks with no other business—so-called “pure play” or “monoline” issuers—found their business model worked and expanded rapidly. Securitization lowered, if not eliminated, the capital to lend barrier.159 Fast-growing issuers like First USA, Advanta, and Capital One, all used securitized receivables to 258 CHAPTER SEVEN fund their growth, rather than internal capital.

Citicorp alone had 18.3 percent in 1992.176 The exact same rate—19.8 percent—at seven of the largest ten banks, D’Amato asserted, was damning evidence of oligopolistic collusion, demanding, at the very least, an extensive investigation.177 Chuck Schumer (D-NY) pushed for an 18-month study period, which the banking industry opposed, since the uncertainty surrounding the outcome of the investigation would make securitizing debt, in the meantime, much more difficult. Nonetheless, the GAO launched an investigation whose results were published in April 1994.178 The credit card industry, it found, was competitive despite the stability of its interest rates.179 With six thousand issuers nationwide, it was hard to imagine coordination.180 The seemingly collusive interest rates belied a frenzy of competition. The low barriers to entry fostered by securitization allowed competition between issuers, despite the apparent staggering sums required to achieve economies of scale. To be profitable, the industry had to be concentrated, but a company could easily be dislodged by an upstart with easy access to capital and new ways of lending. The credit card industry in the early 1990s was competitive but concentrated. Though the largest lenders controlled the bulk of the industry, they could not easily dictate prices like an oligopoly.

The Smiley decision came just in time for the credit card industry. As the profitability of interest income fell through the mid-1990s, penalty fee income had risen, but was still subject to state laws. By the late 1990s, profits in the credit card industry, while still higher than commercial loans, continued to slide. By 1996, after-tax return on assets was at 1.2 percent, nearly half of what it was in 1993.252 The low barriers to entry and the frenzied competition had driven profits down. A senior analyst at Moody’s remarked that the “competition of the past five years has changed the nature of the industry.”253 What profits remained were sustained by the increased interest and fee income derived from subprime lending, lower charge-offs derived from home equity loans, and higher fee income from penalties and merchant fees.254 One-quarter of all customers paid their bills late and issuers happily charged them an industry-average $26 fee.255 As customers used their cards for more mundane spending, income from merchants rose, enabled by the Smiley decision.256 While many credit card analysts were ambivalent about the subprime expansion, credit card issuers had little choice if they were to grow.

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The Future of the Internet: And How to Stop It by Jonathan Zittrain


A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Andy Kessler, barriers to entry, book scanning, Brewster Kahle, Burning Man,, call centre, Cass Sunstein, citizen journalism, Clayton Christensen, clean water, corporate governance, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, distributed generation,, Firefox, game design, Hacker Ethic, Howard Rheingold, Hush-A-Phone, illegal immigration, index card, informal economy, Internet Archive, jimmy wales, license plate recognition, loose coupling, mail merge, national security letter, packet switching, Post-materialism, post-materialism, pre–internet, price discrimination, profit maximization, Ralph Nader, RFC: Request For Comment, RFID, Richard Stallman, Richard Thaler, risk tolerance, Robert X Cringely, SETI@home, Silicon Valley, Skype, slashdot, software patent, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Ted Nelson, Telecommunications Act of 1996, The Nature of the Firm, The Wisdom of Crowds, web application, wikimedia commons

This observation has led others to conclude that in order for large organizations to become more innovative, they must adopt a more “ambidextrous organizational form” to provide a buffer between exploitation and exploration.28 This advice might be reflected in choices made by companies like Google, whose engineers are encouraged to spend one day a week on a project of their own choosing—with Google able to exploit whatever they come up with.29 But large firms struggling to learn lessons from academics about becoming more creative need not be the only sources of innovation. In fact, the competitive market that appears to be the way to spur innovation—a market in which barriers to entry are low enough for smaller firms to innovate disruptively where larger firms are reluctant to tread—can be made much more competitive, since generative systems reduce barriers to entry and allow contributions from those who do not even intend to compete. THE GENERATIVE DIFFERENCE Generative systems allow users at large to try their hands at implementing and distributing new uses, and to fill a crucial gap that is created when innovation is undertaken only in a profit-making model, much less one in which large firms dominate.

pages: 462 words: 150,129

The Rational Optimist: How Prosperity Evolves by Matt Ridley


23andMe, agricultural Revolution, air freight, back-to-the-land, banking crisis, barriers to entry, Bernie Madoff, British Empire, call centre, carbon footprint, charter city, clean water, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, collateralized debt obligation, colonial exploitation, colonial rule, Corn Laws, credit crunch, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, decarbonisation, dematerialisation, demographic dividend, demographic transition, double entry bookkeeping, Edward Glaeser,, everywhere but in the productivity statistics, falling living standards, feminist movement, financial innovation, Flynn Effect, food miles, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, Hans Rosling, happiness index / gross national happiness, haute cuisine, Hernando de Soto, income inequality, income per capita, Indoor air pollution, informal economy, invention of agriculture, invisible hand, James Hargreaves, James Watt: steam engine, Jane Jacobs, John Nash: game theory, joint-stock limited liability company, Joseph Schumpeter, Kevin Kelly, knowledge worker, Kula ring, Mark Zuckerberg, meta analysis, meta-analysis, mutually assured destruction, Naomi Klein, Northern Rock, nuclear winter, oil shale / tar sands, out of africa, packet switching, patent troll, Pax Mongolica, Peter Thiel, phenotype, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, Productivity paradox, profit motive, purchasing power parity, race to the bottom, Ray Kurzweil, rent-seeking, rising living standards, Silicon Valley, spice trade, spinning jenny, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, supervolcano, technological singularity, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, trade route, transaction costs, ultimatum game, upwardly mobile, urban sprawl, Vernor Vinge, wage slave, working poor, working-age population, Y2K, Yogi Berra

I hold no brief for large corporations, whose inefficiencies, complacencies and anti-competitive tendencies often drive me as crazy as the next man. Like Milton Friedman, I notice that ‘business corporations in general are not defenders of free enterprise. On the contrary, they are one of the chief sources of danger.’ They are addicted to corporate welfare, they love regulations that erect barriers to entry to their small competitors, they yearn for monopoly and they grow flabby and inefficient with age. But I detect that the criticism is increasingly out of date, and that large corporations are ever more vulnerable to their nimbler competitors in the modern world – or would be if they were not granted special privileges by the state. Most big firms are actually becoming frail, fragile and frightened – of the press, of pressure groups, of government, of their customers.

Thanks to the internet, each is giving according to his ability to each according to his needs, to a degree that never happened in Marxism. This catallaxy will not go smoothly, or without resistance. Natural and unnatural disasters will still happen. Governments will bail out big corporations and big bureaucracies, hand them special favours such as subsidies or carbon rations and regulate them in such a way as to create barriers to entry, slowing down creative destruction. Chiefs, priests, thieves, financiers, consultants and others will appear on all sides, feeding off the surplus generated by exchange and specialisation, diverting the life-blood of the catallaxy into their own reactionary lives. It happened in the past. Empires bought stability at the price of creating a parasitic court; monotheistic religions bought social cohesion at the price of a parasitic priestly class; nationalism bought power at the expense of a parasitic military; socialism bought equality at the price of a parasitic bureaucracy; capitalism bought efficiency at the price of parasitic financiers.

pages: 402 words: 110,972

Nerds on Wall Street: Math, Machines and Wired Markets by David J. Leinweber


AI winter, algorithmic trading, asset allocation, banking crisis, barriers to entry, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, butterfly effect, buttonwood tree, buy low sell high, capital asset pricing model, citizen journalism, collateralized debt obligation, corporate governance, Craig Reynolds: boids flock, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, Danny Hillis, demand response, disintermediation, distributed generation, diversification, diversified portfolio, Emanuel Derman,, experimental economics, financial innovation, Gordon Gekko, implied volatility, index arbitrage, index fund, information retrieval, Internet Archive, John Nash: game theory, Khan Academy, load shedding, Long Term Capital Management, Machine translation of "The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak." to Russian and back, market fragmentation, market microstructure, Mars Rover, moral hazard, mutually assured destruction, natural language processing, Network effects, optical character recognition, paper trading, passive investing, pez dispenser, phenotype, prediction markets, quantitative hedge fund, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, QWERTY keyboard, RAND corporation, random walk, Ray Kurzweil, Renaissance Technologies, Richard Stallman, risk tolerance, risk-adjusted returns, risk/return, Ronald Reagan, semantic web, Sharpe ratio, short selling, Silicon Valley, Small Order Execution System, smart grid, smart meter, social web, South Sea Bubble, statistical arbitrage, statistical model, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Tacoma Narrows Bridge, the scientific method, The Wisdom of Crowds, time value of money, too big to fail, transaction costs, Turing machine, Upton Sinclair, value at risk, Vernor Vinge, yield curve, Yogi Berra

Others have much higher standards, closer to the highest-minded bastions of reputation-driven journalism, and may be spawned by those news organizations as they evolve. Others have an “all Britney, all the time, except for shark attacks” attitude, but keep people coming The Text Fr ontier 205 back by breaking an occasional legitimate true story overlooked by the mainstream media. 4. Social media. The barriers to entry at the low end of the “news” business on the Web are vanishingly small. Anyone can send spam, create a blog, or post on message boards for stocks or other topics. A great deal of this is genuinely useful—think of the product reviews on Amazon—and some is just noise. On stock message boards, there have been CEOs who reveal valuable information; but for the most part, the typical posting still reads like it came from some guy sitting around in his underwear in Albania at 3 a.m., on vodka number nine.

The levels of extreme overleverage used turned bad ideas into major catastrophes. No less a culprit than Lehman’s Dick Fuld spoke of the need for such a monitor in his testimony to Congress. Regrettably, this seems to be getting less attention than it deserves, but it is a second story on the foundation of trading, clearing, and settlement systems that can give early warning of larger problems. Electronic market technology lowers the barriers to entry for creating this new infrastructure, as seen in the fragmentation of the equity Shooting the Moon 287 markets described in Chapter 3 (“Algorithm Wars”). For stocks, futures, and options, this has let a thousand flowers (well, about 40) bloom, and there is a great race under way to create the systems needed for a broader class of securities. Many of the contestants appeared at a conference on global exchanges held in October 2008, organized by Rosenblatt Securities, a small firm with a large profile in electronic markets.

pages: 481 words: 120,693

Plutocrats: The Rise of the New Global Super-Rich and the Fall of Everyone Else by Chrystia Freeland


Albert Einstein, algorithmic trading, banking crisis, barriers to entry, Basel III, battle of ideas, Bernie Madoff, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Black Swan, Branko Milanovic, Bretton Woods, BRICs, business climate, call centre, carried interest, Cass Sunstein, Clayton Christensen, collapse of Lehman Brothers, conceptual framework, corporate governance, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, crony capitalism, Deng Xiaoping, don't be evil, double helix, energy security, estate planning, experimental subject, financial deregulation, financial innovation, Flash crash, Frank Gehry, Gini coefficient, global village, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, Gordon Gekko, Guggenheim Bilbao, haute couture, high net worth, income inequality, invention of the steam engine, job automation, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, linear programming, London Whale, low skilled workers, manufacturing employment, Mark Zuckerberg, Martin Wolf, Mikhail Gorbachev, Moneyball by Michael Lewis explains big data, NetJets, new economy, Occupy movement, open economy, Peter Thiel, place-making, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Plutonomy: Buying Luxury, Explaining Global Imbalances, postindustrial economy, Potemkin village, profit motive, purchasing power parity, race to the bottom, rent-seeking, Rod Stewart played at Stephen Schwarzman birthday party, Ronald Reagan, self-driving car, short selling, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Simon Kuznets, Solar eclipse in 1919, sovereign wealth fund, stem cell, Steve Jobs, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Tony Hsieh, too big to fail, trade route, trickle-down economics, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, wage slave, Washington Consensus, winner-take-all economy

So, unless you believe that the random order of participating in the competition is linked to talent, the more obvious conclusion is that the music world celebrity brought by winning the Queen Elisabeth Competition, independent of how good you are, has a powerful effect on your professional success as a musician. But what about the long tail? One of the promises of the Internet has been that it can weaken the Matthew effect: the Web has low barriers to entry, and we all start out equal online. Matthew Salganik and Duncan Watts tested that premise in 2005 on 12,207 Web-based participants. The research subjects were offered a menu of forty-eight songs. Some participants were shown the songs ranked by popularity in the research group and told how often each song had been downloaded. Others were shown the songs in random order. A separate group was shown the songs in a meek-shall-inherit-the-earth order—the least popular songs were presented as most popular and vice versa.

The Mac 400 is an example of the next stage—emerging market engineers, employed by a Western company, creating a product inspired by a Western prototype, and redesigned for emerging market consumers. The world’s smartest megacorporations—GE, Google, Goldman Sachs—are finding ways to profit from the great economic shift of our times. The biggest winners, though, are individuals, not institutions; globalization and technology have dramatically lowered barriers to entry, and the beneficiaries are the people smart enough and lucky enough to make it on their own. Chopra was aware of the perks of working for a highly respected global behemoth like GE—“If you are the CEO of GE, anyone anywhere in the world will take a meeting with you,” he said—but he couldn’t resist the lure of responding to revolution. Following the model of Nucor, which revolutionized the U.S. steel business by building mini-mills, Chopra is working to create an Indian power company based on small, twenty- to forty-megawatt plants using environmentally friendly sources of energy.

pages: 482 words: 117,962

Exceptional People: How Migration Shaped Our World and Will Define Our Future by Ian Goldin, Geoffrey Cameron, Meera Balarajan


Admiral Zheng, agricultural Revolution, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, Branko Milanovic, British Empire, conceptual framework, demographic transition, Deng Xiaoping, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Gini coefficient, global supply chain, guest worker program, illegal immigration, income inequality, income per capita, job automation, Joseph Schumpeter, knowledge economy, labor-force participation, labour mobility, Lao Tzu, life extension, low skilled workers, low-wage service sector, Malacca Straits, microcredit, Network effects, new economy, New Urbanism, open borders, out of africa, price mechanism, purchasing power parity, Richard Florida, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, spice trade, trade route, transaction costs, transatlantic slave trade, transatlantic slave trade, women in the workforce, working-age population

As of 2004, 286,557 Brazilian nationals and 56,000 Peruvian nationals were resident in Japan.101 The economic crisis by 2008 had led the Japanese Government to not only end but also seek to reverse its policy, offering incentives for the Nikkeijin to return to Latin America. Most government policies tend to view the migration process as a static and one-time decision that influences an individual's decision to cross a border. They are directed toward either increasing or decreasing barriers to entry, with a view to managing the number of people entering the country. This short-term and narrow view of migration often leads migration policy to fail, however, in terms of the effects that it produces.102 Wayne Cornelius notes that “the gap between the goals of national immigration policy…and the actual results of the policies in this area (policy outcomes) is wide and growing wider in all major industrialized countries.”103 Because migration is a dynamic social process, often encompassing multiple moves, for many different reasons, due to a variety of factors, immigration policy cannot be viewed as a gate that opens and closes.

Russia's Ministry of the Interior estimated in 2003 that there were five million foreigners of unclear legal status present in the country.105 The total number of undocumented migrants in continental Europe is estimated to be between four and eight million.106 In 2005, about a third of foreign workers in Japan and two-thirds in South Korea were undocumented.107 In Singapore, despite heavy employer sanctions for hiring undocumented workers, a 1998 study found that more than 80 percent of the total foreign workforce did not have visas.108 Levels of undocumented migration are high even in the Gulf States, where it is usually necessary to fly across the border (a significant barrier to entry), temporary work visas are relatively easy to obtain, and harsh jail sentences are often meted out to overstayers.109 To address this problem, the United Arab Emirates initiated a set of amnesties within the Gulf States between 1996 and 1998, during which undocumented migrants would leave or acquire a visa without facing jail or fines.110 More than a million people participated in the amnesty process, most of whom were returned to their home countries.111 Immigration policies can also have unintended or unforeseen consequences.

pages: 484 words: 120,507

The Last Lingua Franca: English Until the Return of Babel by Nicholas Ostler


barriers to entry, BRICs, British Empire, call centre,, European colonialism, Internet Archive, invention of writing, Isaac Newton, Machine translation of "The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak." to Russian and back, open economy, Republic of Letters, Scramble for Africa, statistical model, trade route, upwardly mobile

No simple rule decrees the long-term triumph of those who First take up a technical option, or a dominant position in a new world order. Found er effects, also known as the force of tradition, are stronger where either there is little cost in sustaining the past pattern (contrast the continuing expense in time and eff ort to induct new generations in Latin, eff ec-tively an artificial language), or the tradition is not at variance with some other new pressure (as Latin was in effect a barrier to entry for less educated bourgeois people). Hence notoriously, wheel gauges have remained at four feet eight and a half inches, originating as the axle length of chariots and carts, from the Roman Empire and its road ruts right on through medieval carriage-work, and as the current U.S. standard railroad gauge. What motive was there to change as one style of wheeled transport succeeded another? One could also note that Renaissance typographers of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, choosing the character styles for printing fonts, simply took over the styles (Gothic, roman, and italic) that were then in vogue in manuscript hands.

They have been sustained ever since—though Gothic, the least readable, has lost much ground— since there is no more of the particular dynamic in manual pen movement that had previously driven the changes since the capitals of the Classical age. Even more notoriously, the perverse QWERTY pattern of the English keyboard, invented in 1872, has survived a century of mechanical typing and the First thirty years or so of digital text entry. It is likely to continue to survive unless and until it comes to represent a barrier to entry to some sector of the population of would-be typists and writers, which—hitherto disenfranchised, is yet rising in influence. This kind of situation is precisely what can be expected to provide at least opposition, and perhaps effective Relegation, to English as a global lingua-franca. What about the vast section of the world’s population for whom the need to learn English is still a burdensome chore that they would prefer to avoid?

pages: 470 words: 144,455

Secrets and Lies: Digital Security in a Networked World by Bruce Schneier


Ayatollah Khomeini, barriers to entry, business process, butterfly effect, cashless society, Columbine, defense in depth, double entry bookkeeping, fault tolerance, game design, IFF: identification friend or foe, John von Neumann, knapsack problem, mutually assured destruction, pez dispenser, pirate software, profit motive, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, risk tolerance, Silicon Valley, Simon Singh, slashdot, statistical model, Steve Ballmer, Steven Levy, the payments system, Y2K, Yogi Berra

That’s history now, and we’ll never get back to that point again. Brand Theft Virtual identity is vital to businesses as well as individuals. It takes time and money to develop a corporate identity. This identity is more than logos and slogans and catchy jingles. It’s product, bricks-and-mortar buildings, customer service representatives—things to touch, people to talk to. Brand equals reputation. On the Internet, the barrier to entry is minimal. Anyone can have a Web site, from Citibank to Fred’s Safe-Money Mattress. And everyone does. How do users know which sites are worth visiting, worth book- marking, worth establishing a relationship with? Thousands of companies sell PCs on the Web. Who is real, and who is fly-by-night? Branding is the only answer to this question. When the Web first entered the public eye, pundits claimed that it heralded the end of the big brand.

Dennis Nikrasch made a good living—about $16 million total— ripping off slot machines. He practiced on slot machines at home, and learned how to open a machine up on the casino floor—without setting off the alarms—and swap firmware chips. Blockers stood between him and the cameras. Then he would leave, and an accomplice would play the rigged machines for the jackpot.) The morals of this section are simple. One, tamper resistance is largely a myth, but it does provide a barrier to entry. Two, tamper resistance should be augmented by other countermeasures. And three, any system where the device and the secrets within the device are under the control of different people has a fundamental security flaw. It’s possible to design a secure system that includes this flaw, but it must be recognized as a flaw. SIDE-CHANNEL ATTACKS In the last few years, new kinds of cryptanalytic attacks have begun to appear in the literature: attacks that target specific implementation details.

pages: 497 words: 150,205

European Spring: Why Our Economies and Politics Are in a Mess - and How to Put Them Right by Philippe Legrain


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,, 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

However, the services directive left governments too much discretion to decide what constitutes a barrier to establishment, or a barrier to the provision of services across borders. The reduction in barriers to entry has not been as expected. 350 European Commission, "The economic impact of the services directive: A first assessment following implementation", June 2012 351 John Springford, "How to build European services markets", Centre for European Reform, September 2012 352 Sometimes the retail sector is competitive; often it is not. Belgium is particularly bad. Supermarkets are shoddy and overpriced. One big barrier to entry is the availability of land: an intensely local issue that prevents an outsider like Britain’s Tesco from injecting much-needed competition. 353 While the Commission has produced two Single Market Acts in recent years, these mostly collate existing, often minor initiatives.

pages: 496 words: 154,363

I'm Feeling Lucky: The Confessions of Google Employee Number 59 by Douglas Edwards


Albert Einstein, AltaVista, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, barriers to entry, book scanning, Build a better mousetrap, Burning Man, business intelligence, call centre, crowdsourcing, don't be evil, Elon Musk, fault tolerance, Googley, gravity well, invisible hand, Jeff Bezos, job-hopping, Menlo Park, microcredit, music of the spheres, Network effects, P = NP, PageRank, performance metric,, Ralph Nader, risk tolerance, second-price auction, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, slashdot, stem cell, Superbowl ad, Y2K

I had found a couple of titles interesting, including Michael Porter's Competitive Strategy and David Aaker's books on branding. I began regurgitating everything I could remember onto the paper in front of me: the five P's (or was it six?), the four M's, barriers to entry, differentiation on quality or price. By the time Sergey came back, I had enough to talk for ten minutes and was confident I could fill any holes with the three B's (Buckets of Baffling Bullshit). I went to the whiteboard and furiously drew circles and squares and unleashed arrows like Legolas. I was nervous, but not very. Sergey bounced on a ball and asked questions that required me to make things up on the spot. "What's the most effective barrier to entry?" "What's more important: product differentiation or promotion?" "How does the strategy change if the price is zero?" He seemed to be paying attention, and I began enjoying myself.

pages: 607 words: 133,452

Against Intellectual Monopoly by Michele Boldrin, David K. Levine


accounting loophole / creative accounting, agricultural Revolution, barriers to entry, cognitive bias, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, Dean Kamen, Donald Trump, double entry bookkeeping,, Ernest Rutherford, experimental economics, financial innovation, informal economy, interchangeable parts, invention of radio, invention of the printing press, invisible hand, James Watt: steam engine, Jean Tirole, John Harrison: Longitude, Joseph Schumpeter, linear programming, market bubble, market design, mutually assured destruction, Nash equilibrium, new economy, open economy, pirate software, placebo effect, price discrimination, profit maximization, rent-seeking, Richard Stallman, Silicon Valley, Skype, slashdot, software patent, the market place, total factor productivity, trade liberalization, transaction costs, Y2K

This situation forced them to innovate frequently and to develop production processes able to guarantee very high productivity. Such intense competition already gave them a competitive edge relative to the Anglo-Saxon companies living in a world of generalized patenting. To this initial advantage was added the opportunity to patent products in the United Kingdom and the United States, allowing the German chemical companies to erect insurmountable barriers to entry in the chemical market. Do not get us wrong here; we are not claiming that the German companies did not use patents in building up their worldwide dominance. They did, and there is no doubt whatsoever that the chemical industry worldwide was an assemblage of more or less loosely held together cartels until the late 1930s, cartels in which the big German chemical companies played a major leading and coordinating role.

These two factors have prevented monopolistic concentration in the industry; the combined worldwide market share of the top thirty pharmaceutical and biotechnology firms is just over 50 percent. The sales of the two largest ones covered about 15 percent of the global market for drugs in 2004. Relative size and market share are not the sources of monopoly power, if there is any, in this industry. Furthermore, although the wave of mergers may have erected substantial barriers for reaching the top, it would be a stretch to claim that there are substantial barriers to entry into the industry per se. In every country we have considered there are often hundreds of competing pharmaceutical firms, and new biomedical startups are appearing and being financed, especially in the United States, on a monthly basis.25 A few additional symptoms may help the reader get a better understanding of why, at the end, we reach the diagnosis we do. Sales are growing, fast; at about 12 percent a year for most of the 1990s, and still now at around 8 percent a year; R&D expenditures during the same period have been rising only 6 percent.

pages: 587 words: 117,894

Cybersecurity: What Everyone Needs to Know by P. W. Singer, Allan Friedman


4chan, A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, bitcoin, blood diamonds, borderless world, Brian Krebs, business continuity plan, Chelsea Manning, cloud computing, crowdsourcing, cuban missile crisis, data acquisition, Edward Snowden, energy security, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, fault tolerance, global supply chain, Google Earth, Internet of things, invention of the telegraph, Julian Assange, Khan Academy, M-Pesa, mutually assured destruction, Network effects, packet switching, Peace of Westphalia, pre–internet, profit motive, RAND corporation, ransomware, RFC: Request For Comment, risk tolerance, rolodex, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart grid, Steve Jobs, Stuxnet, uranium enrichment, We are Anonymous. We are Legion, web application, WikiLeaks, zero day

This became clunky, and in 1972 Ray Tomlinson at the technical consulting firm BBN wrote a basic program to read, compose, and send messages. This was e-mail: the first Internet “killer app.” Within a year, a majority of traffic across the network originally created for research was e-mail. Now networked communication was about people. The last step in creating the modern Internet was eliminating barriers to entry. Early use was limited to those who had access to the networked computers at research and defense institutions. These organizations communicated via dedicated data lines. As the evident value of networked communication grew and the price of computers dropped, more organizations sought to join. Modems, which convert data to sound waves and back, allowed basic phone lines to serve as links to other computers.

Even more disturbing to the US soldiers was how the insurgents had pulled it off. It turned out they were using commercially available software originally designed by college kids to illegally download satellite-streamed movies. Skygrabber, as it was known, cost as little as $25.95 on a Russian website. Examples like this lead many to believe that cyberspace is one of those strange places where the weak have an advantage over the strong. On one hand, the barriers to entry to developing cyberattack capabilities are relatively low, especially compared to building up more traditional military capabilities. For instance, it cost the United States roughly $45 million for the unmanned plane system and several billion dollars for the space satellite network that its feed traveled over. The $25.95 spent on illegal software to undermine those systems was a pretty good bargain.

Falling Behind: Explaining the Development Gap Between Latin America and the United States by Francis Fukuyama


Andrei Shleifer, Atahualpa, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, British Empire, business climate, Cass Sunstein, central bank independence, collective bargaining, colonial rule, conceptual framework, crony capitalism, European colonialism, Fall of the Berlin Wall, first-past-the-post, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Francisco Pizarro, Hernando de Soto, income inequality, income per capita, labour market flexibility, land reform, land tenure, Monroe Doctrine, moral hazard, New Urbanism, oil shock, open economy, purchasing power parity, rent-seeking, Ronald Reagan, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, total factor productivity, trade liberalization, transaction costs, upwardly mobile, Washington Consensus

For one, in a Schumpeterian world of creative destruction, property would be secure only if it were defended by barriers to entry (see Daron Acemoglu, “The Form of Property Rights: Oligarchic vs. Democratic Societies,” Working Paper, Department of Economics [Cambridge: Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2005]). Secondly, property can be made secure not by right but by might: in Latin America, land was often protected by private militias (see Fernando López-Alves, State Formation and Democracy in Latin America, 1810–1900 [Durham: Duke University Press, 2000]). Most importantly, however, property rights mean something different for those who possess it and for those who do not. In the presence of barriers to entry and credit constraints—both prevalent in Latin America—property rights are exclusionary. See Elisa Mariscal and Kenneth L.

pages: 518 words: 147,036

The Fissured Workplace by David Weil


accounting loophole / creative accounting, affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, banking crisis, barriers to entry, business process, call centre, Carmen Reinhart, Cass Sunstein, Clayton Christensen, clean water, collective bargaining, corporate governance, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, declining real wages, employer provided health coverage, Frank Levy and Richard Murnane: The New Division of Labor, George Akerlof, global supply chain, global value chain, hiring and firing, income inequality, intermodal, inventory management, Jane Jacobs, Kenneth Rogoff, law of one price, loss aversion, low skilled workers, minimum wage unemployment, moral hazard, Network effects, new economy, occupational segregation, performance metric, pre–internet, price discrimination, principal–agent problem, Rana Plaza, Richard Florida, Richard Thaler, Ronald Coase, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, statistical model, Steve Jobs, supply-chain management, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Nature of the Firm, transaction costs, ultimatum game, union organizing, women in the workforce, Y2K, yield management

In general, as one goes to lower levels of apparel production (that is, from design and cutting by manufacturers or jobbers at the top of Figure 9.3, to sewing by contractors or subcontractors at the bottom), the level of competition intensifies and the profit margin per garment diminishes. Sewing contractors—often themselves former sewers/cutters and recent immigrants to the United States—compete in a market with large numbers of small companies (employing on average twenty-five to thirty-five workers each in the women’s industry), low barriers to entry, and limited opportunities for product differentiation. This creates conditions for intense price-based competition. Because labor costs represent the vast majority of total costs for a sewing contractor, there is great pressure to strike deals with jobbers and manufacturers that are not economically sustainable if the contractor actually complies with wage and hour laws.22 As a result, noncompliance is predominantly a problem among the large number of contractors and subcontractors that assemble apparel products.

Although there are different varieties (sizes, shapes) and quality levels, in the end, a cucumber is still a cucumber. That means farmers have little to compete on in terms of product characteristics, requiring them, in true Economics 101 fashion, to compete on price. Falling transportation costs and trade barriers, improved technologies for transit and preservatives, and a large number of nations anxious to sell in the U.S. market mean that the barriers to entry have fallen (as the geographic boundaries of the potential suppliers have expanded). Add these factors together and you have the basis for high levels of competition among cucumber growers. If you are furiously competing on the basis of price, how do you cut costs? In agriculture, the major input costs are seed, fertilizer, pesticides, water, capital costs associated with equipment, and labor.

pages: 868 words: 147,152

How Asia Works by Joe Studwell


affirmative action, anti-communist, Asian financial crisis, bank run, banking crisis, barriers to entry, borderless world, Bretton Woods, British Empire, call centre, capital controls, central bank independence, collective bargaining, crony capitalism, cross-subsidies, currency manipulation / currency intervention, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deindustrialization, demographic dividend, Deng Xiaoping, failed state, financial deregulation, financial repression, Gini coefficient, glass ceiling, income inequality, income per capita, industrial robot, Joseph Schumpeter, land reform, land tenure, large denomination, market fragmentation, non-tariff barriers, offshore financial centre, oil shock, open economy, passive investing, purchasing power parity, rent control, rent-seeking, Ronald Coase, South China Sea, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, urban sprawl, Washington Consensus, working-age population

North-east Asian states gave themselves the best possible start in their economic development by the attention they paid to agriculture. However, the impetus to development was greater still because of the means by which maximisation of agricultural output was achieved. By giving rural families equal amounts of land to farm, governments created conditions of almost perfect, laboratory-like competition. This was the kind of competition involving large numbers, no barriers to entry and freely available information about which mathematical economists fantasise (and at which many other people scoff because it occurs so rarely). But in this case conditions akin to those assumed by textbook economics were indeed created. Every family had its bit of capital – its land – along with the ability to access technical support, credit and markets, and so competed on a remarkably equal basis with its neighbour.

China appears, in the aggregate, to be doing better with its state-owned enterprises. Out of the country’s history of socialist industrial planning, and Zhu Rongji’s 1990s rationalisation programme, there has developed a roster of substantial mid-stream businesses that are becoming increasingly globally competitive. These public firms are protected from undue market fragmentation by high capital barriers to entry, yet there are enough of them in each industrial segment to make for fierce competition.29 They indicate that export discipline, and domestic competition combined with the steady culling of losers, are more important than ownership in determining industrial development success. That said, sometimes the key operating units are state group subsidiaries in which managers and other private shareholders hold substantial equity positions.

pages: 424 words: 121,425

How the Other Half Banks: Exclusion, Exploitation, and the Threat to Democracy by Mehrsa Baradaran


access to a mobile phone, affirmative action, asset-backed security, bank run, banking crisis, banks create money, barriers to entry, British Empire, call centre, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, cashless society, credit crunch, David Graeber, disintermediation, diversification, failed state, fiat currency, financial innovation, financial intermediation, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, housing crisis, income inequality, Internet Archive, invisible hand, Kickstarter, M-Pesa, McMansion, microcredit, mobile money, moral hazard, mortgage debt, new economy, Own Your Own Home, payday loans, peer-to-peer lending, price discrimination, profit maximization, profit motive, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, rent-seeking, Ronald Reagan, Ronald Reagan: Tear down this wall, savings glut, the built environment, the payments system, too big to fail, trade route, transaction costs, unbanked and underbanked, underbanked, union organizing, white flight, working poor

Twenty-three-year-old David Korzeniowski, blocked out of the banking system for seven years, acknowledged that “he made a mistake” but that “the fees he pays for cashing checks, paying bills and wiring money cannibalize the paycheck he gets from part-time construction work … ‘Everything is more expensive,’ he said.”32 Banks have no need for small accounts because they do not yield high profits. Therefore, they have employed a variety of tactics to slough off their low-yield customers. High fees and barriers to entry have accomplished their desired result: those with small savings have weighed the costs and have decided to leave the banking system entirely. BANKING MARKETS But we can’t necessarily blame the banks. Everything is more expensive for those outside the banking system, but the business of banking has also become more costly. If the effect of fees, account minimums, and account denials is to disenfranchise the poor, the cause of these fees is the changed atmosphere in which banks now operate.

Insofar as the state enables credit markets, all creditworthy Americans deserve equal access to credit, especially because reasonable and safe credit can provide a smoother path both through and out of poverty. If banks are not providing credit to the poor, the state should provide it directly. The existing post office framework represents the most promising path toward effectuating such a public option. American banks long ago deserted their most impoverished communities, but post offices, even two centuries later, have remained—still rooted in an egalitarian mission. There have never been barriers to entry at post offices, and their services have been available to all, regardless of income. And so, it is not unreasonable to suggest that as America’s oldest instrument of democracy in action, the post office can once again level the playing field, and in the process, save itself from imminent demise. In fact, the post office inspector general’s office, a small regulatory branch of the post office, issued a White Paper report in January 2014 proposing just such a move.

pages: 215 words: 55,212

The Mesh: Why the Future of Business Is Sharing by Lisa Gansky


Airbnb, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, banking crisis, barriers to entry, carbon footprint, cloud computing, credit crunch, crowdsourcing, diversification, Firefox, Google Earth, Internet of things, Kickstarter, late fees, Network effects, new economy, peer-to-peer lending, recommendation engine, RFID, Richard Florida, Richard Thaler, ride hailing / ride sharing, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, smart grid, social web, software as a service, TaskRabbit, the built environment, walkable city, yield management, young professional, Zipcar

Urban areas with greater density are also fertile ground for clusters of related Mesh businesses to take root and grow. Michael Porter at Harvard studies industry clusters, such as shoes in Milan, publishing in New York, film in Mumbai, and technology in Silicon Valley. In the Harvard Business Review he writes, “Clusters are important, because they allow companies to be more productive and innovative than they could be in isolation. [Clusters] reduce the barriers to entry for new business creation relative to other locations.” The proximity of businesses in an urban cluster speeds up sharing of expertise and labor pools, makes opportunities easier to spot, and promotes cooperation around common market goals. The Mesh, which is built on sharing information, markets, and social networks, is particularly well poised to take advantage of these clusters. Even some suburbs are becoming more Mesh-friendly.

Presentation Zen Design: Simple Design Principles and Techniques to Enhance Your Presentations by Garr Reynolds


Albert Einstein, barriers to entry, business intelligence, business process, cloud computing, Hans Rosling, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Silicon Valley, women in the workforce, Yogi Berra

Sequence The slide/topic sequence for a fundraising pitch is pretty straightforward, and should only be deviated from after careful consideration. It should look like this: Company Logo [during the opening] Business Overview [the context setter] Management Team Market/Pain Points Product [including photos or screen shots] Business Model Customers [current and projected] Strategic Relationships, If Any Competition Barriers to Entry Financial Overview Capital, Valuation, and Use of Proceeds Review (Logo/Image) Validators Throughout the presentation, subject material should be liberally surrounded by “validators” that lend outside credence to the claims the presenter is making. These can range from the rock solid (“IBM, a repeat customer, has already paid us $10 million for our widgets and says we’re the best they’ve ever seen”) to the usual (“Gartner projects a tenfold increase in the buggy whip market over the next five years”), to something as simple as laying out a competitive landscape that includes brand names the audience has heard of (“McDonald’s sells standardized hamburgers around the world; we sell custom burgers in Tokyo”).

pages: 210 words: 42,271

Programming HTML5 Applications by Zachary Kessin


barriers to entry, continuous integration, fault tolerance, Firefox, Google Chrome, mandelbrot fractal, QWERTY keyboard, web application, WebSocket

It offered weak performance, was saddled with a quirky syntax that led to mysterious bugs, and suffered from its dependence on the DOM. Browsers kept it locked in a “sandbox,” easing users’ security concerns but making it very difficult for developers to provide features that seemed trivial in more traditional desktop application development. Scripting culture created its own problems. Although providing a very low barrier to entry is a good thing, it does come with costs. One of those costs is that such a language often allows inexperienced programmers to do some very ill-advised things. Beginning programmers could easily find JavaScript examples on the Web, cut and paste them, change a few things, and have something that mostly worked. Unfortunately, maintaining such code becomes more and more difficult over time. With the Ajax revival, developers took a new look at JavaScript.

pages: 186 words: 49,251

The Automatic Customer: Creating a Subscription Business in Any Industry by John Warrillow


Airbnb, airport security, Amazon Web Services, asset allocation, barriers to entry, call centre, cloud computing, discounted cash flows, high net worth, Jeff Bezos, Network effects, passive income, rolodex, sharing economy, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, software as a service, statistical model, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, subscription business, telemarketer, time value of money, Zipcar

Polish sells prospective members using reams of what he calls “social proof,” like interviews with happy and successful members describing what they get out of the network and pictures of Polish with entrepreneurs like Richard Branson and Bill Gates. Polish isn’t shy about his value proposition. “This is the group of people you would want access to in your ‘dream rolodex,’” he says. Polish is careful to cultivate an air of exclusivity around his subscription. That exclusivity is what makes this private club model so appealing. As he puts it, “When there is more demand than supply, everyone wants to buy.” Barriers to Entry One of the things that makes the private club model work is the privacy itself. For some achievement-oriented people, the higher you make the barrier to enter, the more they want to climb over it. Look at TIGER 21, which stands for The Investment Group for Enhanced Results in the 21st Century, the world’s most exclusive investment club. Members pay a $30,000-per-year subscription fee; globally, the group has approximately 200 members who collectively manage roughly $20 billion in assets.

pages: 207 words: 63,071

My Start-Up Life: What A by Ben Casnocha, Marc Benioff


affirmative action, Albert Einstein, barriers to entry, Bonfire of the Vanities, business process, call centre, David Brooks, don't be evil, fear of failure, hiring and firing, index fund, informal economy, Jeff Bezos, Lao Tzu, Menlo Park, Paul Graham, place-making, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Sand Hill Road, side project, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, technology bubble, traffic fines

“Some day, every city in America will need to have a system like this to track their communications. Yellow pads can only last for so long,” I told Dave Richmond during the interview process in 2003. It was now 2005 and that day had not yet come. Most cities were still making do with poorer alternatives. For the cities who were purchasing software like ours, there was still enough employee skepticism to make implementations lengthy and costly. There were also few barriers to entry in the market, allowing several new boutique firms to nab clients that should have been Comcate’s. When the product is a nice-to-have, the sales don’t go fast enough. Period. We conducted a variety of “tests” to see if we could bust through these challenges and shorten the sales cycle: we hired a retired city councilperson in West Virginia to try to sell the product as a reseller, we formed partnerships with other e-government providers, 154 MY START-UP LIFE we attended different kinds of trade shows, and the like.

pages: 184 words: 53,625

Future Perfect: The Case for Progress in a Networked Age by Steven Johnson


airport security, algorithmic trading, banking crisis, barriers to entry, Bernie Sanders, call centre, Captain Sullenberger Hudson, Cass Sunstein, cognitive dissonance, credit crunch, crowdsourcing, dark matter, Dava Sobel, David Brooks, future of journalism, hive mind, Howard Rheingold, HyperCard, Jane Jacobs, John Gruber, John Harrison: Longitude, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, lone genius, Mark Zuckerberg, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Naomi Klein, Nate Silver, Occupy movement, packet switching, Peter Thiel, planetary scale, pre–internet, RAND corporation, risk tolerance, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, social graph, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, Tim Cook: Apple, urban planning, WikiLeaks, working poor, X Prize

The Internet “wants” both the Wall Street tycoons and the popular insurrection at its feet. Can that strange, contradictory cocktail drive progress on its own? Perhaps—for the simple reason that it democratizes the control of information. When information is expensive and scarce, powerful or wealthy individuals or groups have a disproportionate impact on how that information circulates. But as it gets cheaper and more abundant, the barriers to entry are lowered. This is hardly a new observation, but everything that has happened over the last twenty years has confirmed the basic insight. That democratization has not always led to positive outcomes—think of those spam artists—but there is no contesting the tremendous, orders-of-magnitude increase in the number of people creating and sharing, thanks to the mass adoption of the Internet. The peer progressive’s faith in the positive effects of the Internet rests on this democratic principle: When you give people more control over the flow of information and decision making in their communities, their social health improves—incrementally, in fits and starts, but also inexorably.

pages: 209 words: 63,649

The Purpose Economy: How Your Desire for Impact, Personal Growth and Community Is Changing the World by Aaron Hurst


3D printing, Airbnb, Atul Gawande, barriers to entry, big-box store, business process, call centre, carbon footprint, citizen journalism, corporate social responsibility, crowdsourcing, disintermediation, Elon Musk, Firefox, glass ceiling, greed is good, housing crisis, informal economy, Jane Jacobs, jimmy wales, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, Lean Startup, means of production, new economy, pattern recognition, Peter Singer: altruism, Peter Thiel, Ray Oldenburg, remote working, Richard Feynman, Ronald Reagan, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Steve Jobs, TaskRabbit, Tony Hsieh, too big to fail, underbanked, women in the workforce, young professional, Zipcar

She longed to share her life with them but knew it was unlikely unless she created the opportunity for it to happen. Though she knew very little about farming or winemaking, Kristine decided to buy a vineyard. Unlike Warren Brown and his connection to the craft of baking, Kristine’s dream was not to make wine, but rather to create a business that would bring her family together and build a community. The wine business had a relatively low barrier to entry and strong community of mentorship in winemaking—you looked to your neighbors for help. Her hope was that it would be a way for to finally bring her family together in one place, all working on the vineyard. It could be a business that was focused on community and relationships. Remarkably, her field of dreams worked. Kristine built the vineyard around her family, creating a ranch that allowed her to work with her kids by her side.

pages: 218 words: 44,364

The Starfish and the Spider: The Unstoppable Power of Leaderless Organizations by Ori Brafman, Rod A. Beckstrom


Atahualpa, barriers to entry, Burning Man, disintermediation, experimental economics, Firefox, Francisco Pizarro, jimmy wales, Kibera, Lao Tzu, Network effects, pez dispenser, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Skype, The Wisdom of Crowds, union organizing

They had to maintain all of the costly infrastructure associated with handling a call—everything from phone cables to operator facilities. Skype bore none of these costs. Skype capitalized on new technological advances to offer a previously monopolized privilege for free. This spells bad news for the traditional phone companies. It requires only a small amount of software to create a desktop system that works like Skype. The barrier to entry for becoming a long-distance provider, once huge and insurmountable, is quickly disappearing. Anyone with a few million dollars to invest can build a Skype-equivalent. Thus, although Skype may or may not thrive in the long run, it has opened a Pandora's box. How have the long-distance companies reacted? Taking a cue from the record labels, the big players began consolidating. Only a couple of months after we talked to David Dorman, SBC acquired AT&T.

pages: 172 words: 46,104

Television Is the New Television: The Unexpected Triumph of Old Media in the Digital Age by Michael Wolff


barriers to entry, disintermediation, hiring and firing, Joseph Schumpeter, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, telemarketer, the medium is the message

Google offered the biggest such network (DoubleClick was arguably the first Web-wide ad server—and purchased by Google), but there were myriad others, specialized to greater or lesser degrees, each with “inventory” available through the almost unlimited number of Web sites looking to make additional or marginal income from advertising sales. It was a curious devil’s bargain. In the past, the barrier to entry in the media business was that you not only had to have an audience but you had to have the wherewithal (a sales force) and the credibility (a brand) to sell that audience. Now, you didn’t. Any network would take any amount of inventory you could give it—albeit for pennies on the traditional media dollar. Still, this revenue opportunity, as discounted as it might be, also fueled the ever-marching increase in inventory, further lowering prices.

pages: 170 words: 51,205

Information Doesn't Want to Be Free: Laws for the Internet Age by Cory Doctorow, Amanda Palmer, Neil Gaiman


Airbnb, barriers to entry, Brewster Kahle, cloud computing, Dean Kamen, Edward Snowden, game design, Internet Archive, John von Neumann, Kickstarter, optical character recognition, Plutocrats, plutocrats, pre–internet, profit maximization, recommendation engine, rent-seeking, Saturday Night Live, Skype, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Stewart Brand, transfer pricing, Whole Earth Catalog, winner-take-all economy

It’s not always easy to keep physical stuff from being taken without payment—a cat burglar may be waiting to steal your painting out of your studio right now!—but it’s infinitely easier than keeping people from making digital copies and distributing them without your permission. You’re probably familiar with this business model. It’s an oldie, but a goodie. 2. YOU CAN SELL ADS Before the net, getting an advertiser was hard, but the high barrier to entry kept the prices charged to advertisers high. So a newspaper, if successful, could make a lot of money from the space it gave over to ads. Today, newspapers—and other traditional media—make a lot less that way. But that’s not because the process of finding advertisements to run against your content has gotten harder. The Internet has made it easier than ever to get money for displaying ads around your stuff.

pages: 226 words: 59,080

Economics Rules: The Rights and Wrongs of the Dismal Science by Dani Rodrik


airline deregulation, Albert Einstein, bank run, barriers to entry, Bretton Woods, butterfly effect, capital controls, Carmen Reinhart, central bank independence, collective bargaining, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, distributed generation, Edward Glaeser, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, Fellow of the Royal Society, financial deregulation, financial innovation, floating exchange rates, fudge factor, full employment, George Akerlof, Gini coefficient, Growth in a Time of Debt, income inequality, inflation targeting, informal economy, invisible hand, Jean Tirole, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, labor-force participation, liquidity trap, loss aversion, low skilled workers, market design, market fundamentalism, minimum wage unemployment, oil shock, open economy, price stability, prisoner's dilemma, profit maximization, quantitative easing, randomized controlled trial, rent control, rent-seeking, Richard Thaler, risk/return, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, school vouchers, South Sea Bubble, spectrum auction, The Market for Lemons, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Thomas Malthus, trade liberalization, trade route, ultimatum game, University of East Anglia, unorthodox policies, Washington Consensus, white flight

It is true that many of Asia’s economic policies do not make sense in light of economic models with well-functioning markets. But these are evidently the wrong models to use. There is very little in China’s or South Korea’s strategy that cannot be explained by models that take on board some of the major second-best challenges these economies faced.11 When economists confront the way markets really work—or fail to work—in low-income settings with few firms, high barriers to entry, poor information, and malfunctioning institutions, these alternative models prove indispensable. Where economists pushed the logic of the Washington Consensus the furthest, with probably the greatest damage, was in financial globalization. Williamson’s original list did not include freeing up cross-border capital flow; he was a skeptic about the benefits of financial globalization. Yet by the mid-1990s, removing obstacles to the free flow of capital around the world had become the last frontier of market-based economics.

pages: 216 words: 61,061

Without Their Permission: How the 21st Century Will Be Made, Not Managed by Alexis Ohanian


Airbnb, barriers to entry, carbon-based life, cloud computing, crowdsourcing,, Hans Rosling, hiring and firing, Internet Archive, Kickstarter, Mark Zuckerberg, means of production, Menlo Park, minimum viable product, Occupy movement, Paul Graham, Silicon Valley, Skype, slashdot, social web, software is eating the world, Startup school, Tony Hsieh, unpaid internship, Y Combinator

When we started reddit, we ordered our servers online, as parts, and assembled them in our living room before schlepping them down to the co-location facility (a big room full of servers where you can rent space to put in your own). Just a few years later, Amazon launched a brilliant cloud computing service that did away with our need to ever see our servers—all it takes is a credit card, and your site can be up and running for a pittance (a price that heads down every month). Hosting a website is now essentially a utility. When you’re not dealing with inventory, or a retail location, the barriers to entry plummet, and businesses can start from dorm rooms and coffee-shop tables. As long as you can cover rent and keep food in your belly, you can keep your business going—and growing—long enough to get that next round of funding. This funding may come from friends and family, or it may come from wealthy individuals known as angel investors. The phrase is rather generous; I prefer to think of them as wearing monocles and top hats.

pages: 138 words: 40,787

The Silent Intelligence: The Internet of Things by Daniel Kellmereit, Daniel Obodovski


3D printing, Airbnb, Amazon Web Services, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, business intelligence, call centre, Clayton Christensen, cloud computing, connected car, crowdsourcing, data acquisition,, Erik Brynjolfsson, first square of the chessboard, first square of the chessboard / second half of the chessboard, Freestyle chess, Google X / Alphabet X, Internet of things, Network effects, Paul Graham, Ray Kurzweil, RFID, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, smart cities, smart grid, software as a service, Steve Jobs, web application, Y Combinator, yield management

Data acquisition — device hardware, which includes sensors, wireless communication devices, and so on Data transport — network connectivity and connectivity-related software/services Data analysis — software/cloud platform for data analytics/big data management Connected Device Platform and Application Enablement Platform — M2M software application platforms Installation, system integration, and professional services With a relatively limited installed base in terms of hardware, most of the money is currently going to big data and data analytics. These areas tend to scale the fastest, and also have limited barriers to entry. Both connectivity and hardware tend to be in the hands of established players and often require significant up-front investments, so it is more difficult to enter these markets, with a few exceptions, at least for now. But especially on the hardware side, the potential for disruption is significant. One area in the hardware space that is currently seeing significant momentum is in health and fitness devices.

pages: 385 words: 48,143

The Monk and the Riddle: The Education of a Silicon Valley Entrepreneur by Randy Komisar


Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, barriers to entry, discounted cash flows, estate planning, Jeff Bezos, Network effects, new economy, Sand Hill Road, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Steve Jobs

Lenny explained that federal regulations aimed specifically at the funeral business created an opportunity for his venture. Funeral homes must accept caskets provided by third parties without fee. The trouble is that the regulations extend that opportunity to everybody, not just Lenny. Like other Internet merchants, he would bank on the limited ability of brick-and-mortar merchants to cut prices. But with these margins, who knows? And what about Internet-based competition? Where were the barriers to entry? His answers were not satisfactory. He was offering nothing that another competitor couldn't also develop. The key to his business was swift execution. There's nothing inherently wrong with that. But fundamentally, there was a risk that, after gentrified the neighborhood, some brick-and-mortar heavyweight would sweep into town, or some Internet speed freaks would catch from behind.

pages: 144 words: 43,356

Surviving AI: The Promise and Peril of Artificial Intelligence by Calum Chace


3D printing, Ada Lovelace, AI winter, Airbnb, artificial general intelligence, augmented reality, barriers to entry, bitcoin, blockchain, brain emulation, Buckminster Fuller, cloud computing, computer age, computer vision, correlation does not imply causation, credit crunch, cryptocurrency, cuban missile crisis, dematerialisation, discovery of the americas, disintermediation, don't be evil, Elon Musk,, epigenetics, Erik Brynjolfsson, everywhere but in the productivity statistics, Flash crash, friendly AI, Google Glasses, industrial robot, Internet of things, invention of agriculture, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, life extension, low skilled workers, Mahatma Gandhi, means of production, mutually assured destruction, Nicholas Carr, pattern recognition, Peter Thiel, Ray Kurzweil, Rodney Brooks, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Skype, South Sea Bubble, speech recognition, Stanislav Petrov, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, strong AI, technological singularity, theory of mind, Turing machine, Turing test, universal basic income, Vernor Vinge, wage slave, Wall-E

The task for business leaders is to work out whether their industry can be disrupted by this sort of insurgent (hint: almost certainly yes) and whether they can do the disruption themselves rather than being left standing in rubble like Kodak. Digital disruption is devastating partly because it enables competitors to undercut your product and service price dramatically. That cheapness also means there will be many more potential disrupters because the barriers to entry are disappearing. Small wonder that Monitor, the business consultancy established by Michael Porter to advise companies how to erect those barriers, went bankrupt. Business leaders often know what they need to do: set up small internal teams of their most talented people to brainstorm potential disruptions and then go ahead and do the disrupting first. These teams need high-level support and freedom from the usual metrics of return on investment, at least for a while.

pages: 307 words: 17,123

Behind the cloud: the untold story of how went from idea to billion-dollar company--and revolutionized an industry by Marc Benioff, Carlye Adler


Albert Einstein, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, barriers to entry, Bay Area Rapid Transit, business continuity plan, call centre, carbon footprint, Clayton Christensen, cloud computing, corporate social responsibility, crowdsourcing, iterative process, Maui Hawaii, Nicholas Carr, platform as a service, Silicon Valley, software as a service, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs

As Play #48: Abandon Strategies That No Longer Serve You As we grew distribution, we soon discovered that some of the strategies that had proven successful in the past no longer made sense as we evolved. A perfect example was the free trials, which had previously been so essential to our success. A few months into our effort to win enterprise clients, Frank van Veenendaal came to me concerned that the free trial—and the low barrier to entry—was doing us a disservice. Frank believed that customers weren’t thinking as carefully about their implementation as they would had it required a larger investment. He found that users weren’t conducting appropriate due diligence and weren’t striving to win the support of their executive committees. The absence of that buy-in had an adverse effect on customer success—and on our business.

pages: 306 words: 78,893

After the New Economy: The Binge . . . And the Hangover That Won't Go Away by Doug Henwood


accounting loophole / creative accounting, affirmative action, Asian financial crisis, barriers to entry, borderless world, Branko Milanovic, Bretton Woods, capital controls, corporate governance, correlation coefficient, credit crunch, deindustrialization, dematerialisation, deskilling, ending welfare as we know it, feminist movement, full employment, gender pay gap, George Gilder, glass ceiling, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, half of the world's population has never made a phone call, income inequality, indoor plumbing, Internet Archive, job satisfaction, joint-stock company, Kevin Kelly, labor-force participation, liquidationism / Banker’s doctrine / the Treasury view, manufacturing employment, means of production, minimum wage unemployment, Naomi Klein, new economy, occupational segregation,, profit maximization, purchasing power parity, race to the bottom, Ralph Nader, Robert Gordon, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, statistical model, structural adjustment programs, Telecommunications Act of 1996, telemarketer, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, total factor productivity, union organizing, War on Poverty, women in the workforce, working poor, Y2K

He thinks financial statements should recognize four kinds of New Era assets: (1) "assets associated with product innovation," which presumably includes everything from a new microprocessor to a new kind of cereal; (2) "assets that are associated with a company's brand," which let a company sell its products or services at a higher price than its competitors; (3) "structural assets"—not flashy innovations but better, smarter, difierent ways of doing business that can set a company apart from its competitors; and (4) "monopolies, companies that enjoy a franchise, or have substantial sunk costs that a competitor would have to match, or have a barrier to entry that it can use to its advantage." These are quite extraordinary thoughts. It's possible to swallow point 1, if we're talking about a real advance; it's a bit harder if we're talking about a fresh variant on Frosted Flakes. But the rest is considerably harder to take. One of the cornerstones of New Paradigm thinking, and one that's survived the bust, is the curious doctrine that "brand equity"—the financial value that stock markets assign to names Hke Nike and Mickey Mouse—is a kind of capital, like a lathe or even a piece of software.

pages: 242 words: 71,938

The Google Resume: How to Prepare for a Career and Land a Job at Apple, Microsoft, Google, or Any Top Tech Company by Gayle Laakmann Mcdowell


barriers to entry, cloud computing, game design, information retrieval, job-hopping, side project, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, why are manhole covers round?

This candidate spun what was initially a red flag—an extended career gap—into a big plus. Many of us write software for pay, but writing software for fun shows a unique passion for the field. He was hired. If you’re currently unemployed, find something to do that’s productive. Can you help out your friend’s start-up? Can you take some classes at a community college? Unemployment is an excellent time to beef up your résumé. Your Questions Answered Barrier to Entry Dear Gayle, I’ve lived most of my life in India, before relocating to the United States, and still have a very thick accent. This isn’t as much of an issue for technical questions, but I have trouble maintaining a conversation with my interviewer on behavioral questions. If my interviewer is from a country other than India or the United States, this issue is exacerbated. Is there any way to request specific nationalities of interviewers?

pages: 192 words: 75,440

Getting a Job in Hedge Funds: An Inside Look at How Funds Hire by Adam Zoia, Aaron Finkel


backtesting, barriers to entry, collateralized debt obligation, commodity trading advisor, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, discounted cash flows, family office, fixed income, high net worth, interest rate derivative, interest rate swap, Long Term Capital Management, merger arbitrage, offshore financial centre, random walk, Renaissance Technologies, risk-adjusted returns, rolodex, short selling, side project, statistical arbitrage, systematic trading, unpaid internship, value at risk, yield curve, yield management

Assisted with on-campus events, selection, and calls to candidates • Language: Proficient in Spanish • Activities & Interests: Hockey, investing, chess, economics, mathematics, and writing 163 bapp02.indd 163 1/10/08 10:59:50 AM Resume B ive s Perspect Recruiter’ e school • Top nam Ts/GPA • Solid SA perience finance ex g • Levera ed e fund at a hedg ) • Worked sity athlete ar (v nded • Well rou nity • VP frater Profile Pre-MBA: Getting In from a Second-Tier Bank (see CASE STUDY 2) PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE MID-TIER INVESTMENT BANK, New York, NY Investment Banking Analyst – Leveraged Finance Group June 2005 – Nov. 2006 • Analyzed transactions by providing capital structure/valuation advice and assessing viability of business plans/forecasts, barriers to entry, and market competitiveness • Presented and defended proposed transactions in capital commitment committees • Participated in deal teams to advise clients on leveraged buyouts, recapitalizations, strategic alternatives, and equity and debt capital raising • Constructed financial models, including leveraged buyouts, recapitalizations, mergers and acquisitions, and discounted cash flow • Examined company, industry, and market dynamics to evaluate potential acquisitions and divestitures for clients • Transaction experience: Sole Book Running Manager on $170 million of Senior Notes and $25 million of Senior Subordinated Discount Notes Represented three private equity firms in bid for major media company SMALL HEDGE FUND, Greenwich, CT May 2004 – August 2004 Summer Analyst • Evaluated potential investment opportunities in the small-cap high-yield bond market • Performed company and industry research • Assisted in managing relationships with investors • Analyzed the effectiveness of the firm’s hedging positions by running scenarios based on historical market events, such as 9/11 and the Russian debt default • Examined the usefulness of different hedging strategies EDUCATION IVY LEAGUE UNIVERSITY Bachelor of Arts: Major – Political Science • Cumulative GPA 3.6/4.0 • Relevant Coursework Included: Accounting, Micro- and Macroeconomics, International Trade Theory and Policy, Politics and Markets, and Multivariable Calculus • Men’s Varsity Swimming (2001–2004) • Vice President, Fraternity (2005) PRIVATE BOARDING SCHOOL • SAT: 1,480 (770 Math, 710 Verbal) • Graduated with distinction in Math, Chemistry, and Physics • Tri-varsity athlete 2005 2001 164 bapp02.indd 164 1/10/08 10:59:51 AM Resume C Recruiter’ s Perspect ive • Top nam e school • Solid GPA – distinction graduated with • Worked at M&A-fo cused bou • Well rou tique nded (varsi ty athlete, H.S. record holder) • Founded fraternity Profile Pre-MBA: Making It with a Liberal Arts Degree (see CASE STUDY 3) EXPERIENCE BOUTIQUE INVESTMENT BANK New York, NY July 2005 Investment Banking Analyst to July 2007 • Performed financial and operational modeling to evaluate the accretion/dilution, cash flow, and leverage effects of mergers, acquisitions, leveraged buyouts, and corporate restructurings • Participated in client meetings, due diligence, and internal committee meetings • Managed the due diligence and site visits associated with sell-side transactions • Drafted management presentations and company profiles Selected transaction experience: • Advised a major corporation on its proposed reorganization (six mergers) and eventual Initial Public Offering - Built a valuation model in order to properly value the stand-alone regions singularly and on a pro forma basis in order to merge six of the regions into one entity and pursue a global float - Worked with company Board of Directors, company executives, and management in order to accurately gauge the impact of legal liability and drafted materials proposing an adequate financial structure to maximize value and mitigate forthcoming legal liabilities • Advised manufacturing company on its $1 billion+ acquisition of rival - Conducted stand-alone valuation, accretion/dilution, and noncore asset valuation for the purchase - Maintained a purchase price spread analysis during the ongoing regulatory approval period • Advised a financial buyer on the acquisition of natural gas pipeline assets (approx. $250mm) - Constructed an operating model, discounted cash flow analysis, and LBO to project revenues associated with the processing of natural gas and sale of natural gas products - Participated in due diligence and site visits on behalf of the client • Advised company on its sale to another company - Constructed a working capital model to project final adjustments made to the purchase price - Drafted and organized materials for the Management Presentation along with coordinating the data room May 2004 LEADING INVESTMENT BANK New York, NY to August 2004 Investment Banking Summer Analyst • Valued companies and their comparables using discounted cash flows • Gauged demand for potential equity transactions and helped price equity deals • Tracked market conditions and gauged the proper size for potential equity transactions • Built and maintained a database of venture capital sponsored Initial Public Offerings since 1999 Selected transaction experience: • Pitch for Bank IPO • Entertainment Company Follow-on Offering ($200mm) Washington, DC May 2003 NOT-fOR-PROFIT to August 2003 Visiting Fellow • Compiled research on the interaction between informal markets and financial institutions • Wrote and published an internal working paper EDUCATION IVY LEAGUE UNIVERSITY Bachelor of Arts, May 2005.

pages: 252 words: 80,636

Bureaucracy by David Graeber


3D printing, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, airport security, Albert Einstein, banking crisis, barriers to entry, borderless world, Bretton Woods, British Empire, collateralized debt obligation, Columbine, conceptual framework, Corn Laws, David Graeber, George Gilder, High speed trading, hiring and firing, late capitalism, means of production, music of the spheres, new economy, obamacare, Occupy movement, Parkinson's law, Peter Thiel, planetary scale, price mechanism, Ronald Reagan, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, South Sea Bubble, transcontinental railway, union organizing, urban planning

Then some laptop-wielding person in the corner, having performed a quick Google search, announces that this “new” idea is, in fact, an old one; it—or at least vaguely similar—has already been tried. Either it failed, or it succeeded. If it failed, then no manager who wants to keep his or her job will approve spending money trying to revive it. If it succeeded, then it’s patented and entry to the market is presumed to be unattainable, since the first people who thought of it will have “first-mover advantage” and will have created “barriers to entry.” The number of seemingly promising ideas that have been crushed in this way must number in the millions.109 I could go on, but I assume the reader is getting the idea. A timid, bureaucratic spirit has come to suffuse every aspect of intellectual life. More often than not, it comes cloaked in a language of creativity, initiative, and entrepreneurialism. But the language is meaningless. The sort of thinkers most likely to come up with new conceptual breakthroughs are the least likely to receive funding, and if, somehow, breakthroughs nonetheless occur, they will almost certainly never find anyone willing to follow up on the most daring implications

pages: 296 words: 78,227

The 80/20 Principle: The Secret to Achieving More With Less by Richard Koch


Albert Einstein, barriers to entry, business process, delayed gratification, fear of failure, income inequality, inventory management, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, knowledge worker, profit maximization, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, wage slave

Profitability * * * 1 Yes Yes Very high 2 Yes Yes Very high 3 Yes Yes Very high 4 Yes Yes Very high 5 Yes Yes High 6 Yes Yes High 7 Yes Moderately High 8 Yes Moderately Fairly high 9 Yes No OK 10 Not very Yes OK 11 Not very Yes OK 12 No Moderately Poor 13 Yes Improving Loss making 14 No Moderately Loss making 15 No No Loss making * * * Figure 29 Electronic Instruments Inc. strategic diagnosis What actions followed this diagnosis? All of the A profit segments were also attractive markets—they were growing, had high barriers to entry for new competitors, had more demand than capacity, faced no threat from competing technologies, and had high bargaining power vis-à-vis both customers and component suppliers. As a result, nearly all the competitors in these markets made good money. My client was also well positioned in each segment, meaning that it had a high market share and was one of the top three suppliers. Its technology was above average and its cost position better than average (that is, lower cost) compared to its competitors.

pages: 234 words: 63,149

Every Nation for Itself: Winners and Losers in a G-Zero World by Ian Bremmer


airport security, banking crisis, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, blood diamonds, Bretton Woods, BRICs, capital controls, clean water, Deng Xiaoping, Doha Development Round, energy security, European colonialism, failed state, global rebalancing, global supply chain, income inequality, informal economy, Julian Assange, labour mobility, Martin Wolf, Mikhail Gorbachev, mutually assured destruction, Nixon shock, nuclear winter, purchasing power parity, reserve currency, Ronald Reagan, smart grid, South China Sea, sovereign wealth fund, special economic zone, Stuxnet, trade route, uranium enrichment, Washington Consensus, WikiLeaks, Yom Kippur War

Others made it all the way to Paris, and when French authorities moved to deport them, they occupied an abandoned building and began calling themselves the Lampedusa Tunisian Collective.13 Far-right European political parties have fanned fears that a flood of refugees will overwhelm already cash-strapped countries. In response, the European Union began considering measures to restore border controls under “exceptional circumstances.” Today, a once-expanding European Union is creating new barriers to entry. Far from the exception, such fights are likely to keep Europe turned inward for the next several years. Nor has there ever been much momentum toward a true common European defense policy that might give the continent greater international influence on security issues. Germany has extremely limited ability to project power abroad, Britain refuses to join, and few European countries can afford to sharply increase defense spending.

pages: 238 words: 68,914

Where Does It Hurt?: An Entrepreneur's Guide to Fixing Health Care by Jonathan Bush, Stephen Baker


Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Atul Gawande, barriers to entry, Clayton Christensen, informal economy, inventory management, job automation, knowledge economy, obamacare, personalized medicine, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, web application, women in the workforce, working poor

And athenaNet would harness it to deal with all the paperwork they absolutely hated. All we asked for in return was a share of the collections we brought in. In their eyes, we replaced nothing with something that worked. In this sense, athenaNet was like the transistor radio. It was primitive, but accessible. Customers didn’t have to buy anything. They just paid for subscriptions, and if they didn’t like it, they stopped paying. This was a low barrier to entry. Most important, the service could (and did) evolve. And it’s not just the service that evolves. An entire industry does. If you arm the small-fry and the newcomers with affordable tools, the technology evolves faster than people ask it to, until eventually they can use it to compete with the giants, and even topple them. The tools are essential. I know from experience, because we lacked them in the nineties.

pages: 278 words: 70,416

Smartcuts: How Hackers, Innovators, and Icons Accelerate Success by Shane Snow


3D printing, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, attribution theory, augmented reality, barriers to entry, conceptual framework, correlation does not imply causation, deliberate practice, Elon Musk, Fellow of the Royal Society, Filter Bubble, Google X / Alphabet X, hive mind, index card, index fund, Isaac Newton, job satisfaction, Khan Academy, Law of Accelerating Returns, Lean Startup, Mahatma Gandhi, meta analysis, meta-analysis, pattern recognition, Peter Thiel, popular electronics, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Florida, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, self-driving car, side project, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs

Despite several layers of abstraction, Ruby (and all other code languages) forces programmers to make countless unimportant decisions. What do you name your databases? How do you want to configure your server? Those little things added up. And many programs required repetitive coding of the same basic components every time. That didn’t jibe with DHH’s selective slacking habit. “I hate repeating myself.” (He almost spits on me when he says it.) But conventional coders considered such repetition a rite of passage, a barrier to entry for newbies who hadn’t paid their dues in programming. “A lot of programmers took pride in the Protestant work ethic, like it has to be hard otherwise it’s not right,” DHH says. He thought that was stupid. “I could do a lot of other interesting things with my life,” he decided. “So if programming has to be it, it has to be awesome.” So DHH built a layer on top of Ruby to automate all the repetitive tasks and arbitrary decisions he didn’t want taking up his time.

pages: 247 words: 81,135

The Great Fragmentation: And Why the Future of All Business Is Small by Steve Sammartino


3D printing, additive manufacturing, Airbnb, augmented reality, barriers to entry, Bill Gates: Altair 8800, bitcoin, BRICs, Buckminster Fuller, citizen journalism, collaborative consumption, cryptocurrency, Elon Musk, fiat currency, Frederick Winslow Taylor, game design, Google X / Alphabet X, haute couture, helicopter parent, illegal immigration, index fund, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, Law of Accelerating Returns, market design, Metcalfe's law, Minecraft, minimum viable product, Network effects, new economy, post scarcity, prediction markets, pre–internet, profit motive, race to the bottom, random walk, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, remote working, RFID, self-driving car, sharing economy, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, skunkworks, Skype, social graph, social web, software is eating the world, Steve Jobs, too big to fail, web application

People are self-organising themselves into groups around passions. There are now more niches in every city maintained by a group itself, not by mass marketers looking for the next pop-culture hit. In fact, niches can now build themselves sustainable micro-economies around their interest. The community itself becomes the designer, producer, promoter and end user. They can do this because the barriers to entry are inconsequential. Chances are we can find that niche — whether it’s the local break-dancing scene or drone flying club — wherever we go. All cities are fragmenting to have it all. But at the same time each city has never been more fragmented and differentiated within its walls. Figure 6.1 depicts this fragmentation of cities. Figure 6.1 the behaviour of cities has evolved as people are self-organising themselves into groups around passions No city is immune.

pages: 361 words: 76,849

The Year Without Pants: and the Future of Work by Scott Berkun


barriers to entry, blue-collar work, Broken windows theory,, Firefox, future of work, Google Hangouts, Jane Jacobs, job satisfaction, Lean Startup, lone genius, Mark Zuckerberg, minimum viable product, remote working, Results Only Work Environment, Richard Stallman, Seaside, Florida, side project, Silicon Valley, six sigma, Skype, stealth mode startup, Steve Jobs, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the map is not the territory, Tony Hsieh, trade route

But what they'd miss is the power of simplicity. A simple process affords three things: 1. It is easy to launch projects. 2. If it's easy to launch, small projects will get launched. 3. If small things are launched, there is a fast feedback loop about what worked and what didn't, which can be quickly improved because of #1. The fundamental mistake companies that talk about innovation make is keeping barriers to entry high. They make it hard to even try out ideas, blind to how much experimentation you need to sort the good ideas from the bad. I've visited companies that use big meetings, with far too many cooks in the room, to rank ideas based on one-sentence descriptions. It was madness. While few at Automattic had ever experienced this, their process was on the other end of the spectrum: they had faith in the future.

pages: 304 words: 82,395

Big Data: A Revolution That Will Transform How We Live, Work, and Think by Viktor Mayer-Schonberger, Kenneth Cukier


23andMe, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, airport security, AltaVista, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, big data - Walmart - Pop Tarts, Black Swan, book scanning, business intelligence, business process, call centre, cloud computing, computer age, correlation does not imply causation, dark matter, double entry bookkeeping, Eratosthenes, Erik Brynjolfsson, game design, IBM and the Holocaust, index card, informal economy, Internet of things, invention of the printing press, Jeff Bezos, Louis Pasteur, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, Moneyball by Michael Lewis explains big data, Nate Silver, natural language processing, Netflix Prize, Network effects, obamacare, optical character recognition, PageRank, performance metric, Peter Thiel, Post-materialism, post-materialism, random walk, recommendation engine, self-driving car, sentiment analysis, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, smart grid, smart meter, social graph, speech recognition, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, the scientific method, The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Turing test, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!

The system applies big data, too, by analyzing every forum post that students have read and whether they complete their homework correctly to predict the probability that a student who has read a given post will produce correct results, as a way to determine which forum posts are most useful for students to read. These are things that were utterly impossible to know before, and which could change teaching and learning forever. Data exhaust can be a huge competitive advantage for companies. It may also become a powerful barrier to entry against rivals. Consider: if a newly launched company devised an e-commerce site, social network, or search engine that was much better than today’s leaders like Amazon, Google, or Facebook, it would have trouble competing not simply because of economies of scale and network effects or brand, but because so much of those leading firms’ performance is due to the data exhaust they collect from customer interactions and incorporate back into the service.

pages: 219 words: 61,720

American Made: Why Making Things Will Return Us to Greatness by Dan Dimicco


2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, 3D printing, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, American energy revolution, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, Bakken shale, barriers to entry, Bernie Madoff, carbon footprint, clean water, crony capitalism, currency manipulation / currency intervention, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, decarbonisation, fear of failure, full employment, Google Glasses, hydraulic fracturing, invisible hand, job automation, knowledge economy, laissez-faire capitalism, Loma Prieta earthquake, manufacturing employment, oil shale / tar sands, Ponzi scheme, profit motive, Report Card for America’s Infrastructure, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, smart grid, smart meter, sovereign wealth fund, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, too big to fail, uranium enrichment, Washington Consensus, Works Progress Administration

China’s steel industry is obviously subsidized. They’re producing nearly 820 million tons of steel per year, and they’re losing money. That’s how out of control it is. Yet China continues to overbuild because Beijing wants to maintain the jobs that go into constructing the steel plants, and eventually maintain the smaller number of jobs running these highly automated facilities. Yet we can’t sell steel to China. The barriers to entry are too high. Market forces aren’t allowed to work. We can’t build a steel mill in China, although China can certainly build steel mills here. If you don’t believe me, ask Lakshmi Mittal, the chairman, CEO, and principal owner of ArcelorMittal, the world’s biggest steel company. He wanted to buy a controlling stake in Hunan Valin Steel, one of the major Chinese steel manufacturers. He couldn’t do it.

pages: 294 words: 82,438

Simple Rules: How to Thrive in a Complex World by Donald Sull, Kathleen M. Eisenhardt


Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, asset allocation, Atul Gawande, barriers to entry, Basel III, Berlin Wall, carbon footprint, Checklist Manifesto, complexity theory, Craig Reynolds: boids flock, Credit Default Swap, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, diversification,, European colonialism, Exxon Valdez, facts on the ground, Fall of the Berlin Wall, haute cuisine, invention of the printing press, Isaac Newton, Kickstarter, late fees, Lean Startup, Louis Pasteur, Lyft, Moneyball by Michael Lewis explains big data, Nate Silver, Network effects, obamacare, Paul Graham, performance metric, price anchoring, RAND corporation, risk/return, Saturday Night Live, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Startup school, statistical model, Steve Jobs, TaskRabbit, The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver, transportation-network company, two-sided market, Wall-E, web application, Y Combinator, Zipcar

Donald Sull, Rebecca Homkes, and Charles Sull, “Why Strategy Execution Unravels—And What to Do About It,” Harvard Business Review, March 2015. [>] Economic value is: Adam M. Brandenburger and Harborne W. Stuart, “Value-Based Business Strategy,” Journal of Economics & Management Strategy 5, no. 1 (1996): 5–24. Strategy is about both how a firm creates economic value and how it captures that value in the face of competition. Much of the research in the strategy field focuses on how to capture value through barriers to entry, bargaining power, or resources and capabilities. In practice, however, we found that managers struggled to articulate how they could create economic value in the first place, which renders capturing and sustaining it a moot point. Thus our analysis centered on value creation, with value capture introduced later in the discussions. [>] For another example of: Donald Sull and Uri Meirovich, “Primekss: Simple Rules for Selecting Partners,” London Business School case study and author’s interview with Primekss executives, 2012. [>] When Janis looked for: Facts on concrete from James Mitchell Crow, “The Concrete Conundrum,” Chemistry World, March 2008, 62–66; and Nobuo Tanaka and Bjorn Stigson, Cement Technology Roadmap 2009 (Paris: International Energy Agency, 2009). [>] How will we provide: These three questions (or close variants) have been used to articulate a company’s strategy for decades.

pages: 252 words: 75,349

Spam Nation: The Inside Story of Organized Cybercrime-From Global Epidemic to Your Front Door by Brian Krebs


barriers to entry, bitcoin, Brian Krebs, cashless society, defense in depth, Donald Trump, employer provided health coverage, mutually assured destruction, offshore financial centre, payday loans, pirate software, placebo effect, ransomware, Silicon Valley, Stuxnet, the payments system, transaction costs, web application

If these newbies wish to construct a new cybercrime operation—such as a spam botnet—but lack the knowledge or resources to build up a particular component of that business, they can simply purchase the missing components or information from other members. Or, they can turn to senior members and self-help tutorials on these forums for pointers and questions. In this way, crime forums almost universally help lower the barriers to entry for would-be cybercriminals. Crime forums also offer crooks with disparate skills a place to market and test their services and wares, and in turn, to buy ill-gotten goods and services from others. There are forums dedicated to almost every major language and specialization of cybercrime, but most crime forums are either in Russian or English. Likewise, most are built upon a similar structure of a main homepage with links to sub-forums dedicated to a broad array of cybercrime specialties, including: spam; online banking fraud; bank account “cashout” schemes; malicious software development; identity theft; credit card fraud; confidence scams; and black SEO, or techniques to fraudulently manipulate a site’s rankings in Google and other Internet search engines.

pages: 239 words: 64,812

Geek Sublime: The Beauty of Code, the Code of Beauty by Vikram Chandra


Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, Apple II, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, British Empire, business process, conceptual framework, create, read, update, delete, crowdsourcing, East Village, European colonialism, finite state, Firefox, Flash crash, glass ceiling, Grace Hopper, haute couture, iterative process, Jaron Lanier, John von Neumann, land reform, London Whale, Paul Graham, pink-collar, revision control, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Skype, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, theory of mind, Therac-25, Turing machine, wikimedia commons, women in the workforce

The severe limitations of memory and processing power in the machines of the day demanded Mel the Real Programmer’s wizardry; John Backus described programming in the fifties as “a black art, a private arcane matter … [in which] the success of a program depended primarily on the programmer’s private techniques and inventions.”23 The aptitude tests used by the industry to identify potential Mels consisted primarily of mathematical and logical puzzles, which often required a formal education in these disciplines; even Cosmopolitan magazine, despite its breezy confidence about the absence of sexism in computing, recognized this as a barrier to entry for its readers. An industry analyst argued that the “Darwinian selection” of personnel profiling resulted in an influx of programmers who were “often egocentric, slightly neurotic, and [bordering] upon a limited schizophrenia. The incidence of beards, sandals, and other symptoms of rugged individualism or nonconformity are notably greater among this demographic group.”24 The Real Programmers that the industry found through these aptitude tests were weird male geeks wielding keyboards.

pages: 232

Planet of Slums by Mike Davis


barriers to entry, Branko Milanovic, Bretton Woods, British Empire, Brownian motion, centre right, clean water, conceptual framework, crony capitalism, declining real wages, deindustrialization, Deng Xiaoping, edge city, European colonialism, failed state, Gini coefficient, Hernando de Soto, housing crisis, illegal immigration, income inequality, informal economy, Internet Archive, jitney, Kibera, labor-force participation, land reform, land tenure, low-wage service sector, mandelbrot fractal, market bubble, megacity, microcredit, New Urbanism, Ponzi scheme, RAND corporation, rent control, structural adjustment programs, surplus humans, upwardly mobile, urban planning, urban renewal, War on Poverty, Washington Consensus, working poor

Those engaged in informal-sector competition under conditions of infinite labor supply usually stop short of a total war of all against all; conflict, instead, is usually transmuted into ethnoreligious or racial violence. The godfathers and landlords of the informal sector (invisible in most of the literature) intelligendy use coercion, even chronic violence to regulate competition and protect their investments. As 'hilip Amis emphasizes: "There are barriers to entry in terms of capital, and often political terms, which create a tendency towards monopoly in the successful areas of the informal sector; these are difficult to get into."39 Politically, the informal sector, in the absence of enforced labor rights, is a semifeudal realm of kickbacks, bribes, tribal loyalties, and ethnic exclusion. Urban space is never free. A place on the pavement, the rental of a rickshaw, a day's labor on a construction site, or a domestic's reference to a new employer: all of these require patronage or membership in some closed network, often an ethnic militia or street gang.

pages: 186 words: 50,651

Interactive Data Visualization for the Web by Scott Murray


barriers to entry, Firefox, iterative process, web application

D3 has a bit of an unfair reputation for being hard to learn. D3 itself is not so complicated, but it operates in the domain of the Web, and the Web is complicated. Using D3 comfortably requires some prior knowledge of the web technologies with which it interacts, such as HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and SVG. Many people (myself included) are self-taught when it comes to web skills. This is great, because the barrier to entry is so low, but problematic because it means we probably didn’t learn each of these technologies from the ground up—more often, we just hack something together until it seems to work, and call it a day. Yet successful use of D3 requires understanding some of these technologies in a fundamental way. Because D3 is written in JavaScript, learning to use D3 often means learning a lot about JavaScript.

pages: 270 words: 64,235

Effective Programming: More Than Writing Code by Jeff Atwood


AltaVista, Amazon Web Services, barriers to entry, cloud computing, endowment effect, Firefox, future of work, game design, Google Chrome, gravity well, job satisfaction, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, loss aversion, Mark Zuckerberg, Merlin Mann, Minecraft, Paul Buchheit, Paul Graham, price anchoring, race to the bottom, recommendation engine, science of happiness, Skype, social software, Steve Jobs, web application, Y Combinator

Either maximize the cheese (make your application compelling), or minimize the shock (make your application easy to use): We may think our applications are compelling, but I seriously doubt they look that compelling to users. Unless you are providing users free mp3s, or access to pornography, it’s highly unlikely you will ever have enough cheese to overcome even the mildest of electric shocks. The only variable you can really control is your application’s usability. The barrier to entry has to be absurdly low to even get people to look at your software — much less use it. This is something that Joel talks about, too: But there’s a scary element of truth to it — scary to UI professionals, at least: an application that does something really great that people really want to do can be pathetically unusable, and it will still be a hit. And an application can be the easiest thing in the world to use, but if it doesn’t do anything anybody wants, it will flop.

pages: 293 words: 81,183

Doing Good Better: How Effective Altruism Can Help You Make a Difference by William MacAskill


barriers to entry, Black Swan, Branko Milanovic, Cal Newport, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, carbon footprint, clean water, corporate social responsibility, correlation does not imply causation, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Brooks, effective altruism,, experimental subject, follow your passion, food miles, immigration reform, income inequality, index fund, Isaac Newton, job automation, job satisfaction, labour mobility, Lean Startup, M-Pesa, meta analysis, meta-analysis, microcredit, Nate Silver, Peter Singer: altruism, purchasing power parity, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, randomized controlled trial, self-driving car, Skype, Stanislav Petrov, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Pinker, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, universal basic income, women in the workforce

However, as we saw in the chapter on expected value, we should also be interested in lower-probability higher-payoff activities, and there are some promising careers where your impact takes this form. Let’s look at them. Entrepreneurship Entrepreneurship is an extremely promising option, giving you the potential to effect massive change, build valuable career capital, and, if pursuing for-profit entrepreneurship, make large profits that can be donated to effective causes. Entrepreneurship is also an area with lower barriers to entry than other careers, and many people without college degrees have become successful entrepreneurs. However, most start-up enterprises fail, and one has to be prepared to accept that fact. In addition, entrepreneurship usually comes with very long working hours and high levels of stress. Not everyone is cut out to start his or her own business. To illustrate how valuable nonprofit entrepreneurship can be consider GiveDirectly, which we discussed in the chapter on effective charities.

Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World by Cal Newport


8-hour work day, Albert Einstein, barriers to entry, business climate, Cal Newport, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Clayton Christensen, David Brooks, deliberate practice, Donald Trump, Downton Abbey,, Erik Brynjolfsson, experimental subject, follow your passion, Frank Gehry, informal economy, information retrieval, Internet Archive, Jaron Lanier, knowledge worker, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Merlin Mann, Nate Silver, new economy, Nicholas Carr, popular electronics, remote working, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Snapchat, statistical model, the medium is the message, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, web application, winner-take-all economy

The chain method is a good example of the rhythmic philosophy of deep work scheduling because it combines a simple scheduling heuristic (do the work every day), with an easy way to remind yourself to do the work: the big red Xs on the calendar. Another common way to implement the rhythmic philosophy is to replace the visual aid of the chain method with a set starting time that you use every day for deep work. In much the same way that maintaining visual indicators of your work progress can reduce the barrier to entry for going deep, eliminating even the simplest scheduling decisions, such as when during the day to do the work, also reduces this barrier. Consider the example of Brian Chappell, the busy doctoral candidate I introduced in the opening to this strategy. Chappell adopted the rhythmic philosophy of deep work scheduling out of necessity. Around the time that he was ramping up his dissertation writing he was offered a full-time job at a center on the campus where he was a student.

pages: 257 words: 71,686

Swimming With Sharks: My Journey into the World of the Bankers by Joris Luyendijk


bank run, barriers to entry, Bonfire of the Vanities, bonus culture, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collective bargaining, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, Emanuel Derman, financial deregulation, financial independence, Flash crash, glass ceiling, Gordon Gekko, high net worth, hiring and firing, inventory management, job-hopping, London Whale, Nick Leeson, offshore financial centre, regulatory arbitrage, shareholder value, sovereign wealth fund, the payments system, too big to fail

If this guy loses us £100 million, I won’t have a bonus.”’ Bankers at a division that has run up big losses for the bank become ‘pariahs’, he said. I brought up the huge bonuses and exorbitant pay. In a free market, competition on price should drive down wages because the bank paying out the least in ‘compensation’ can charge the lowest prices. That is how the free market works, right? He conceded that in finance today there are high ‘barriers to entry’; it has become very difficult to start a new bank, if only because due to all the rules you need an immense army of risk and compliance officers. ‘Frankly,’ he said about all the new rules that have come in since 2008, they are ‘very expensive to comply with and 90 per cent of them are utterly useless’. Anyway, he went on: ‘The libertarian in me says: if it were possible to do banking for less, somebody would do it.

pages: 302 words: 73,581

Platform Scale: How an Emerging Business Model Helps Startups Build Large Empires With Minimum Investment by Sangeet Paul Choudary


3D printing, Airbnb, Amazon Web Services, barriers to entry, bitcoin, blockchain, business process, Clayton Christensen, collaborative economy, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, data acquisition, frictionless, game design, hive mind, Internet of things, invisible hand, Kickstarter, Lean Startup, Lyft, M-Pesa, Mark Zuckerberg, means of production, multi-sided market, Network effects, new economy, Paul Graham, recommendation engine, ride hailing / ride sharing, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, Snapchat, social graph, social software, software as a service, software is eating the world, Spread Networks laid a new fibre optics cable between New York and Chicago, TaskRabbit, the payments system, too big to fail, transport as a service, two-sided market, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, Wave and Pay

The defensibility and competitive advantage of a platform business are very closely related to the multihoming costs that its producers and consumers incur. High multihoming costs result in the strengthening of network effects around a dominant platform, leading to a winner-takes-all outcome. Multihoming costs are rapidly falling on today’s platforms. In the age of the fax machine, users paid through their upfront investment in hardware. These upfront costs created lock-in, thereby creating barriers to entry for would-be competitors. Multihoming costs were high. In the age of the Internet, users no longer need to invest in physical hardware and upfront costs to join new networks. Multihoming is discouraged on online networks, allowing users to create their personal networks of connections. Switching between instant messaging services or between social networks is a non-trivial task. Users stick to Facebook or LinkedIn because they’ve invested in creating their personal network of connections.

pages: 265 words: 69,310

What's Yours Is Mine: Against the Sharing Economy by Tom Slee


4chan, Airbnb, Amazon Mechanical Turk, asset-backed security, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, big-box store, bitcoin, blockchain, citizen journalism, collaborative consumption, congestion charging, Credit Default Swap, crowdsourcing, data acquisition, David Brooks, don't be evil, gig economy, Hacker Ethic, income inequality, informal economy, invisible hand, Jacob Appelbaum, Jane Jacobs, Jeff Bezos, Khan Academy, Kibera, Kickstarter, license plate recognition, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, move fast and break things, natural language processing, Netflix Prize, Network effects, new economy, Occupy movement, openstreetmap, Paul Graham, peer-to-peer lending, Peter Thiel, pre–internet, principal–agent problem, profit motive, race to the bottom, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, rent control, ride hailing / ride sharing, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Snapchat, software is eating the world, South of Market, San Francisco, TaskRabbit, The Nature of the Firm, Thomas L Friedman, transportation-network company, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, ultimatum game, urban planning, WikiLeaks, winner-take-all economy, Y Combinator, Zipcar

The search and advertising markets are already highly competitive with very low switching costs, so users and advertisers already have plenty of choice and are not locked in. Not to mention the fact that opening up these systems would allow people to “game” our algorithms to manipulate search and ads quality rankings, reducing our quality for everyone. Rosenberg is understating the truth here in two ways. First, Google’s continued dominance of the search audience argues against his contention of a highly competitive market; there are clearly major barriers to entry in the world of search. Second, in addition to the search and advertising products, Google has kept to itself the custom software it uses to run its massive data centers, including its home-built Google File System and Google Big Table software, and has also been closing off large parts of its Android smartphone operating system. The open systems that Rosenberg advocates serve as complements to closed “black box” algorithms (as law professor Frank Pasquale describes them in his recent book)10 which are the key to Google’s business.

pages: 218 words: 65,422

Better Living Through Criticism: How to Think About Art, Pleasure, Beauty, and Truth by A. O. Scott


barriers to entry, citizen journalism, conceptual framework, death of newspapers, hive mind, Marshall McLuhan, Ralph Waldo Emerson, sharing economy, social web, the scientific method

The world is no longer divided into aristocrats and peasants, priests and laymen, or even into distinct traditions. We are all consumers. A miracle cure for aesthetic headaches has been found. You can do what you want. You can take it or leave it. But the leveling of old taste hierarchies does not resolve the problem of cultural authority and does not necessarily make us any freer. The consumer economy is profoundly unequal, raising barriers to entry on the basis of income and access rather than pedigree. And the story of human progress, of opening minds and increasingly cosmopolitan pleasures, is also a tale of loss, of standardization and homogenization. The modern world, accelerating toward the horizon of globalization—toward the media-saturated, wired-together village prophesied by Marshall McLuhan and others in the 1960s—reverses the biblical story of Babel.

pages: 251 words: 76,128

Borrow: The American Way of Debt by Louis Hyman


asset-backed security, barriers to entry, big-box store, cashless society, collateralized debt obligation, credit crunch, deindustrialization, deskilling, diversified portfolio, financial innovation, Ford paid five dollars a day, Home mortgage interest deduction, housing crisis, income inequality, market bubble, McMansion, mortgage debt, mortgage tax deduction, Network effects, new economy, Plutocrats, plutocrats, price stability, Ronald Reagan, statistical model, technology bubble, transaction costs, women in the workforce

By 1979, Federated Department Stores admitted that it no longer made money on its cards, but at the same time, as its head of credit said, “they are our link to the customer.”75 By 1977, more than half of all department store sales were on credit, and stores felt they had no option.76 The VP of retail sales for American Express observed that department stores “consider their charge account base to be the lifeblood of their business.”77 So much effort and money had been invested in offering credit over the years that it seemed unbelievable that the department stores should give up their store cards. After all, credit had acted as a barrier to entry for many of the stores and kept out the competition. If their customers could easily use BankAmericard, the stores would once again need to compete more openly on price—which more vitally threatened their bottom lines. Even Federated, which had “vowed” never to allow bank cards, tested outside credit in its Miami stores, forcing other retailers, such as Dayton Hudson, to “look closer” at their credit programs.78 The successful experiences of their competitors, more than any argument, swayed big retailers to accept bank cards.

pages: 1,042 words: 266,547

Security Analysis by Benjamin Graham, David Dodd


asset-backed security, backtesting, barriers to entry, capital asset pricing model, carried interest, collateralized debt obligation, collective bargaining, corporate governance, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, diversification, diversified portfolio, fear of failure, financial innovation, fixed income, full employment, index fund, invisible hand, Joseph Schumpeter, locking in a profit, Long Term Capital Management, low cost carrier, moral hazard, mortgage debt, p-value, risk-adjusted returns, risk/return, secular stagnation, shareholder value, The Chicago School, the market place, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, transaction costs, zero-coupon bond

Someone once defined the best possible business as a post office box to which people send money. That idea has certainly been eclipsed by the creation of subscription Web sites that accept credit cards. Today’s most profitable businesses are those in which you sell a fixed amount of work product—say, a piece of software or a hit recording—millions and millions of times at very low marginal cost. Good businesses are generally considered those with strong barriers to entry, limited capital requirements, reliable customers, low risk of technological obsolescence, abundant growth possibilities, and thus significant and growing free cash flow. Businesses are also subject to changes in the technological and competitive landscape. Because of the Internet, the competitive moat surrounding the newspaper business—which was considered a very good business only a decade ago—has eroded faster than almost anyone anticipated.

Graham and Dodd were aware of this although they were not cognizant of the range of interventions available