Kodak vs Instagram

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pages: 361 words: 81,068

The Internet Is Not the Answer by Andrew Keen

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

He personally pocketed around half a billion dollars from the Facebook sale, giving him the instant wealth of a Gilded Age tycoon such as Kodak’s George Eastman. And like Eastman’s late-nineteenth-century startup, Systrom’s early-twenty-first-century photo network has imprinted itself on our everyday lives. The Instagram moment has replaced the Kodak moment. Not a bad return-on-investment from a day spent swinging in a hammock on a Mexican beach. An Untruthful Mirror But the benefits of Instagram for the rest of us are about as foggy as one of Instagram’s Hefe or Toaster filters. “Instagram is focused on capturing the world’s moments,”11 Systrom likes to say.

That was the center of the old industrial economy—where Kodak created enormous value and was thus worth $31 billion a quarter century ago. So, back in 1989, those 145,000 unionized Kodak workers in the many research facilities, photo labs, and factories dotting the entire Rochester area were employed to invent and manufacture products that were then sold to consumers. Just as Instagram is the anti-Kodachrome product, so it’s also the anti-Kodak company building an anti-Kodak economy. At first glance, Instagram appears to offer a much better deal for everyone than Kodak. The gray Rochester factory has been upgraded to a Mexican hippie resort.

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


pages: 217 words: 63,287

The Participation Revolution: How to Ride the Waves of Change in a Terrifyingly Turbulent World by Neil Gibb

Adam Neumann (WeWork), Airbnb, Albert Einstein, blockchain, Buckminster Fuller, call centre, carbon footprint, Clayton Christensen, collapse of Lehman Brothers, corporate social responsibility, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, disruptive innovation, Donald Trump, gig economy, iterative process, job automation, Joseph Schumpeter, Khan Academy, Kibera, Kodak vs Instagram, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, Minecraft, Network effects, new economy, performance metric, ride hailing / ride sharing, shareholder value, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, Snapchat, Steve Jobs, the scientific method, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, trade route, urban renewal, WeWork

It is why the East India Company, a mighty pan-national institution that once ran more than half the world’s trade, went bust in just a few decades. It is what underpinned the global financial crisis. It is why many of today’s corporations won’t exist in 10 years’ time. Kodak had massive resources and, in theory, a deep insight into its global market. It should have been able to knock out something like Instagram as a side project. With its size and resources, it would have been a piffling investment. The reason it didn’t, though, was because it had become obsessed with what it did rather than why it did it. It had become preoccupied with getting people to consume more of its products rather than why they actually wanted to take photographs.

How can we make it more social, interactive, creative? How can we make it safer and more secure? Participatory innovation is where Eastman thought from, and it is where Land thought from. If it had been where the execs of Kodak in the 1990s had thought from, when they had the patent for the digital camera in their back pocket, they would never have launched APS. Once you start to look through the lens of participatory innovation, a lot of things make sense. Instagram makes it easier to participate in sharing our experiences with each other. Google makes it easier to participate in search and finding unbiased information. eBay makes it easier to participate in the process of buying and selling stuff.

The networks that grew to become Lloyd’s of London and the London Stock Exchange were highly disruptive to the economic order of the day, as northern European protestants, unencumbered by the moral code of Rome, used them to borrow money to invest in trade with the New World. As the economic power shifted north, London became the centre of global trade and Venice started to sink slowly into its canals. However, like Kodak, Polaroid, and Instagram, the thinking the gatherings at Lloyd’s and Jonathan’s coffee house were based on was participatory. They were established to help people participate more easily in commerce and trade. They were born out of the desire to satisfy a pressing social need of the time rather than to try to build a business.


pages: 413 words: 119,587

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

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

But today Kodak is bankrupt, and the new face of digital photography has become Instagram. When Instagram was sold to Facebook for a billion dollars in 2012, it employed only thirteen people. Where did all those jobs disappear to? And what happened to the wealth that those middle-class jobs created?”33 The flaw in their arguments is that they mask the actual jobs equation and ignore the reality of Kodak’s financial turmoil. First, even if Instagram did actually kill Kodak—it didn’t—the jobs equation is much more complex than the cited 13 versus 145,000 disparity. Services like Instagram didn’t spring up in isolation, but were made possible after the Internet had reached a level of maturity that had by then created millions of mostly high-quality new jobs.

A 2011 McKinsey study reported that globally the Internet created 2.6 new jobs for every job lost, and that it had been responsible for 21 percent of GDP growth in the five previous years in developed countries.35 The other challenge for the Kodak versus Instagram argument is that while Kodak suffered during the shift to digital technologies, its archrival FujiFilm somehow managed to prosper through the transition to digital.36 The reason for Kodak’s decline was more complex than “they missed digital” or “they failed to buy (or invent) Instagram.” The problems included scale, age, and abruptness. The company had a massive burden of retirees and an internal culture that lost talent and could not attract more.

Similar sentiments are offered by Jaron Lanier, a well-known computer scientist now at Microsoft Research, in the book Who Owns the Future? Both books draw a direct link between the rise of Instagram, the Internet photo-sharing service acquired by Facebook for $1 billion in 2012, and the decline of Kodak, the iconic photographic firm that declared bankruptcy that year. “A team of just fifteen people at Instagram created a simple app that over 130 million customers use to share some sixteen billion photos (and counting),” wrote Brynjolfsson and McAfee. “But companies like Instagram and Facebook employ a tiny fraction of the people that were needed at Kodak.


pages: 292 words: 85,151

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

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

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


pages: 402 words: 126,835

The Job: The Future of Work in the Modern Era by Ellen Ruppel Shell

3D printing, affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, airport security, Albert Einstein, Amazon Mechanical Turk, basic income, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, big-box store, blue-collar work, Buckminster Fuller, call centre, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Clayton Christensen, cloud computing, collective bargaining, computer vision, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, deskilling, disruptive innovation, Donald Trump, Downton Abbey, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, factory automation, follow your passion, Frederick Winslow Taylor, future of work, game design, glass ceiling, hiring and firing, immigration reform, income inequality, independent contractor, industrial robot, invisible hand, Jeff Bezos, job automation, job satisfaction, John Markoff, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, Joseph Schumpeter, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, Kodak vs Instagram, labor-force participation, low skilled workers, Lyft, manufacturing employment, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, means of production, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, new economy, Norbert Wiener, obamacare, offshore financial centre, Paul Samuelson, precariat, Ralph Waldo Emerson, risk tolerance, Robert Gordon, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Rodney Brooks, Ronald Reagan, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Snapchat, Steve Jobs, The Chicago School, The Theory of the Leisure Class by Thorstein Veblen, Thomas L Friedman, Thorstein Veblen, Tim Cook: Apple, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, universal basic income, urban renewal, WeWork, white picket fence, working poor, Y Combinator, young professional, zero-sum game

Consider two companies: Instagram, a product of the digital age, and Eastman Kodak, a product of the late industrial age. Instagram, cofounded by Mike Krieger and Kevin Systrom, gathered a small team of young engineers and marketers in a small San Francisco space to create and market a single app through which hundreds of millions of people share billions of photographs. Kodak, founded by George Eastman, gathered as many as 145,000 employees in an expansive industrial park to build an iconic firm that in its heyday furnished 90 percent of the nation’s film and 85 percent of its cameras. Within less than two years of its founding in 2010, Instagram was sold to Facebook for $1 billion—leaving a baker’s dozen of instant multimillionaires in its wake.


pages: 510 words: 120,048

Who Owns the Future? by Jaron Lanier

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

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

There is a legitimate claim of ambiguity on this point, and that ambiguity is completely typical of how problems present themselves in our modern world of networked big data. For instance, one might argue that some of the hundred-thousand-plus jobs that seem to have been lost in the transition from Kodak to Instagram will be made up for because people will be able to use photo sharing to sell their handicrafts more efficiently. While this might turn out to be true in one instance or another, I argue it is false in the big picture. My initial interest was motivated by a simple question: If network technology is supposed to be so good for everyone, why has the developed world suffered so much just as the technology has become widespread?


pages: 368 words: 96,825

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

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

Instagram was growing exponentially. With nearly 30 million users, it wasn’t just a photo-sharing service; it had become the photo-sharing service, with a very powerful social network to boot. Facebook didn’t want the competition, and they didn’t want to play catch-up. Thus, on April 9, 2012, just three months after Kodak filed for bankruptcy, Instagram and its thirteen employees were bought by Facebook for $1 billion.20 But how is this possible? How did Kodak—a hundred-year-old behemoth with 140,000 employees and a 1996 value of $28 billion—fail to take advantage of the most important photographic technology since roll film and end up in bankruptcy court?


pages: 268 words: 75,850

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

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

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


pages: 436 words: 98,538

The Upside of Inequality by Edward Conard

affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, agricultural Revolution, Albert Einstein, assortative mating, bank run, Berlin Wall, business cycle, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Carmen Reinhart, Climatic Research Unit, cloud computing, corporate governance, creative destruction, Credit Default Swap, crony capitalism, disruptive innovation, diversified portfolio, Donald Trump, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, Fall of the Berlin Wall, full employment, future of work, Gini coefficient, illegal immigration, immigration reform, income inequality, informal economy, information asymmetry, intangible asset, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invention of the telephone, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, Kodak vs Instagram, labor-force participation, liquidity trap, longitudinal study, low skilled workers, manufacturing employment, Mark Zuckerberg, Martin Wolf, mass immigration, means of production, meta-analysis, new economy, offshore financial centre, paradox of thrift, Paul Samuelson, pushing on a string, quantitative easing, randomized controlled trial, risk-adjusted returns, Robert Gordon, Ronald Reagan, Second Machine Age, secular stagnation, selection bias, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, Snapchat, Steve Jobs, survivorship bias, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, total factor productivity, twin studies, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, University of East Anglia, upwardly mobile, War on Poverty, winner-take-all economy, women in the workforce, working poor, working-age population, zero-sum game

The most frequently repeated accusation claims technology hollows out the middle class.1 Technology, so the argument goes, simplifies semi-skilled jobs while increasing the demand for the most sophisticated skills. Middle-class workers who can do higher-skilled work earn more, but the rest of the workers are pushed into lower-paying jobs. Digital photography, for example, displaced 140,000 Kodak employees, but Instagram had only thirteen employees when Facebook acquired it.2 The hollowing-out argument takes other forms. One version of the technology-hollows-out-the-middle-class argument admonishes that robots will eventually replace the middle and working classes.3 In Thomas Piketty’s version, investors collude to keep the return on capital high without restricting the supply of capital—the opposite of how oligopolies operate.


pages: 339 words: 88,732

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

"Robert Solow", 2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, 3D printing, access to a mobile phone, additive manufacturing, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, basic income, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, British Empire, business cycle, business intelligence, business process, call centre, Charles Lindbergh, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable:, clean water, combinatorial explosion, computer age, computer vision, congestion charging, corporate governance, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, digital map, employer provided health coverage, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, factory automation, falling living standards, Filter Bubble, first square of the chessboard / second half of the chessboard, Frank Levy and Richard Murnane: The New Division of Labor, Freestyle chess, full employment, G4S, game design, global village, happiness index / gross national happiness, illegal immigration, immigration reform, income inequality, income per capita, indoor plumbing, industrial robot, informal economy, intangible asset, inventory management, James Watt: steam engine, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, job automation, John Markoff, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Joseph Schumpeter, Kevin Kelly, Khan Academy, knowledge worker, Kodak vs Instagram, law of one price, low skilled workers, Lyft, Mahatma Gandhi, manufacturing employment, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Mars Rover, mass immigration, means of production, Narrative Science, Nate Silver, natural language processing, Network effects, new economy, New Urbanism, Nicholas Carr, Occupy movement, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, pattern recognition, Paul Samuelson, payday loans, post-work, price stability, Productivity paradox, profit maximization, Ralph Nader, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, Report Card for America’s Infrastructure, Robert Gordon, Rodney Brooks, Ronald Reagan, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, six sigma, Skype, software patent, sovereign wealth fund, speech recognition, statistical model, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, Stuxnet, supply-chain management, TaskRabbit, technological singularity, telepresence, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, total factor productivity, transaction costs, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Vernor Vinge, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, winner-take-all economy, Y2K

Kodak employed 145,300 people at one point, one-third of them in Rochester, New York, while indirectly employing thousands more via the extensive supply chain and retail distribution channels required by companies in the first machine age. Kodak made its founder, George Eastman, a rich man, but it also provided middle-class jobs for generations of people and created a substantial share of the wealth created in the city of Rochester after company’s founding in 1880. But 132 years later, a few months before Instagram was sold to Facebook, Kodak filed for bankruptcy.8 Photography has never been more popular. Today, seventy billion photos are uploaded to Facebook each year, and many times more are shared via other digital services like Flickr at nearly zero cost.

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


pages: 208 words: 57,602

Futureproof: 9 Rules for Humans in the Age of Automation by Kevin Roose

Airbnb, Albert Einstein, algorithmic bias, Amazon Web Services, Atul Gawande, augmented reality, automated trading system, basic income, Bayesian statistics, big-box store, business process, call centre, choice architecture, coronavirus, Covid-19, COVID-19, disinformation, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, factory automation, fault tolerance, Frederick Winslow Taylor, Freestyle chess, future of work, gig economy, Google Hangouts, hiring and firing, hustle culture, income inequality, industrial robot, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Markoff, knowledge worker, Kodak vs Instagram, labor-force participation, Lyft, mandatory minimum, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, meta-analysis, Narrative Science, new economy, Norbert Wiener, pattern recognition, planetary scale, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Productivity paradox, QAnon, recommendation engine, remote working, risk tolerance, robotic process automation, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, Shoshana Zuboff, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Steve Jobs, surveillance capitalism, The Future of Employment, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Travis Kalanick, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, universal basic income, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!

Tech companies didn’t set out to kill Kodak, but by changing the underlying consumer behavior from one in which people printed out their photos to one in which they uploaded them to websites, they effectively sealed its fate. Kodak declared bankruptcy in 2012; today, it has only about five thousand employees. It sounds strange to say that the other 140,000 jobs at Kodak were automated away, because that automation didn’t happen at Kodak. It happened at MySpace, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and the other companies that provided photo-sharing tools. But when those companies adopted technology to allow users to share their photos online without ever setting eyes on a film canister, the result was people in Rochester losing their jobs. Freelancers for Full-time Machines also allow companies to substitute part-time, temporary, and contingent workers for full-time employees, by breaking jobs down into standardized tasks that can be performed by relative amateurs and allowing small numbers of managers to supervise large, flexible workforces.


pages: 385 words: 111,113

Augmented: Life in the Smart Lane by Brett King

23andMe, 3D printing, additive manufacturing, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, agricultural Revolution, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, Amazon Web Services, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, Apple II, artificial general intelligence, asset allocation, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, bitcoin, blockchain, business intelligence, business process, call centre, chief data officer, Chris Urmson, Clayton Christensen, clean water, congestion charging, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, deskilling, different worldview, disruptive innovation, distributed generation, distributed ledger, double helix, drone strike, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, Fellow of the Royal Society, fiat currency, financial exclusion, Flash crash, Flynn Effect, future of work, gig economy, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, Hans Lippershey, Hyperloop, income inequality, industrial robot, information asymmetry, Internet of things, invention of movable type, invention of the printing press, invention of the telephone, invention of the wheel, James Dyson, Jeff Bezos, job automation, job-hopping, John Markoff, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, Kim Stanley Robinson, Kodak vs Instagram, Leonard Kleinrock, lifelogging, low earth orbit, low skilled workers, Lyft, M-Pesa, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, megacity, Metcalfe’s law, Minecraft, mobile money, money market fund, more computing power than Apollo, Network effects, new economy, obamacare, Occupy movement, Oculus Rift, off grid, packet switching, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer, Ray Kurzweil, RFID, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Metcalfe, Satoshi Nakamoto, Second Machine Age, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), self-driving car, sharing economy, Shoshana Zuboff, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, smart cities, smart grid, smart transportation, Snapchat, social graph, software as a service, speech recognition, statistical model, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, strong AI, TaskRabbit, technological singularity, telemarketer, telepresence, telepresence robot, Tesla Model S, The future is already here, The Future of Employment, Tim Cook: Apple, trade route, Travis Kalanick, Turing complete, Turing test, uber lyft, undersea cable, urban sprawl, V2 rocket, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, white picket fence, WikiLeaks

Table 1.2: Comparison of Major US Sectors Earnings Performance (2013) Net Income (billions) Employees Net Income per Employee Bank of America 11.4 290,509 $39,241.47 Wells Fargo 21.9 265,000 $82,641.51 Citibank 13.9 251,000 $55,378.49 JP Morgan Chase 17.9 260,000 $68,846.15 Banking $61,526.90 Walmart 27.8 1,400,000 $19,857.14 The Home Depot 24.27 340,000 $71,382.35 Target 1.971 361,000 $5,459.83 Retail $32,233.11 Apple 37 50,250 $736,318.41 Microsoft 7.41 128,000 $57,890.63 Google 33.91 53,861 $629,583.56 Facebook 5.97 8,348 $715,141.35 IBM 47.81 434,246 $110,098.88 Tech $449,806.57 McDonald’s 28.1 440,000 $63,863.64 Yum! 13.1 523,000 $25,047.80 Fast Food $44,455.72 Source: Company annual reports Such efficiency, while great for shareholders, is not necessarily great for employment. To illustrate, Kodak at its peak employed 140,000 people, whereas Instagram, arguably the Millennials’ version of Kodak (acquired by Facebook for approximately US$715 million in stock in 2012), only had 13 employees at the time of the acquisition. So it could be postulated that technology is, on a net basis, bad for society when it comes to employment.


pages: 372 words: 92,477

The Fourth Revolution: The Global Race to Reinvent the State by John Micklethwait, Adrian Wooldridge

Admiral Zheng, affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Asian financial crisis, assortative mating, banking crisis, barriers to entry, battle of ideas, Berlin Wall, Bernie Madoff, Boris Johnson, Bretton Woods, British Empire, cashless society, central bank independence, Chelsea Manning, circulation of elites, Clayton Christensen, Corn Laws, corporate governance, credit crunch, crony capitalism, Deng Xiaoping, Detroit bankruptcy, disintermediation, Edward Snowden, Etonian, failed state, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, full employment, Gunnar Myrdal, income inequality, James Carville said: "I would like to be reincarnated as the bond market. You can intimidate everybody.", Khan Academy, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, Kodak vs Instagram, labor-force participation, laissez-faire capitalism, land reform, liberal capitalism, Martin Wolf, means of production, minimum wage unemployment, mittelstand, mobile money, Mont Pelerin Society, Nelson Mandela, night-watchman state, Norman Macrae, obamacare, oil shale / tar sands, old age dependency ratio, open economy, Parag Khanna, Peace of Westphalia, pension reform, pensions crisis, personalized medicine, Peter Thiel, Plutocrats, plutocrats, popular capitalism, profit maximization, rent control, rent-seeking, ride hailing / ride sharing, road to serfdom, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, school choice, school vouchers, Shenzhen special economic zone , Silicon Valley, Skype, special economic zone, too big to fail, total factor productivity, War on Poverty, Washington Consensus, Winter of Discontent, working-age population, zero-sum game

Lower down the chain, people move on even more quickly: The average length of job tenure in the American retail sector, which now employs far more people than manufacturing, is closer to three years.1 The new high-tech firms usually employ a slither of their industrial predecessors. Some 145,000 people worked for Eastman Kodak in its heyday. When Facebook paid $1 billion for Instagram in April 2012, a few months after Kodak filed for bankruptcy, the photo-sharing firm was only eighteen months old and employed just 13 people.2 Three forces have turned the corporate world upside down. The first is embodied by Google itself: technology. It took telephones ­seventy-one years to penetrate half of American homes, electricity fifty-two years, and television three decades.


pages: 380 words: 118,675

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

airport security, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, bank run, Bear Stearns, Bernie Madoff, big-box store, Black Swan, book scanning, Brewster Kahle, buy and hold, call centre, centre right, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable:, Clayton Christensen, cloud computing, collapse of Lehman Brothers, crowdsourcing, cuban missile crisis, Danny Hillis, Douglas Hofstadter, Elon Musk, facts on the ground, game design, housing crisis, invention of movable type, inventory management, James Dyson, Jeff Bezos, John Markoff, Kevin Kelly, Kodak vs Instagram, late fees, loose coupling, low skilled workers, Maui Hawaii, Menlo Park, Network effects, new economy, optical character recognition, pets.com, Ponzi scheme, quantitative hedge fund, recommendation engine, Renaissance Technologies, RFID, Rodney Brooks, search inside the book, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, six sigma, skunkworks, Skype, statistical arbitrage, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, Thomas L Friedman, Tony Hsieh, Whole Earth Catalog, why are manhole covers round?, zero-sum game

The Pentagram designers would feel ambivalent about the device when they finally saw it at the same time as the rest of the world. It was too cluttered with buttons, the design too confusing. After the project, Symon Whitehorn left Pentagram to go work at, of all places, Kodak. He hired Tom Hobbs as a contractor and together they created a unique digital camera that allowed picture-takers to impose on their photos the historical look of classic Kodachrome film. It presaged mobile-phone applications like Instagram, and, naturally, Kodak killed the project before it ever hit the market. Meanwhile, after Pentagram left the Kindle project, the device seemed nearly ready and close to launching.


pages: 252 words: 74,167

Thinking Machines: The Inside Story of Artificial Intelligence and Our Race to Build the Future by Luke Dormehl

Ada Lovelace, agricultural Revolution, AI winter, Albert Einstein, Alexey Pajitnov wrote Tetris, algorithmic trading, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Apple II, artificial general intelligence, Automated Insights, autonomous vehicles, backpropagation, book scanning, borderless world, call centre, cellular automata, Claude Shannon: information theory, cloud computing, computer vision, correlation does not imply causation, crowdsourcing, drone strike, Elon Musk, Flash crash, friendly AI, game design, global village, Google X / Alphabet X, hive mind, industrial robot, information retrieval, Internet of things, iterative process, Jaron Lanier, John Markoff, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, John von Neumann, Kickstarter, Kodak vs Instagram, Law of Accelerating Returns, life extension, Loebner Prize, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, natural language processing, Norbert Wiener, out of africa, PageRank, pattern recognition, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, remote working, RFID, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart cities, Smart Cities: Big Data, Civic Hackers, and the Quest for a New Utopia, social intelligence, speech recognition, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Pinker, strong AI, superintelligent machines, technological singularity, The Coming Technological Singularity, The Future of Employment, Tim Cook: Apple, too big to fail, Turing machine, Turing test, Vernor Vinge, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!

In the second decade of the twenty-first century, the impact of tech companies is no longer proportional to their size. When Instagram was acquired by Facebook for $1 billion in April 2012, it had just thirteen people on its employee books. By comparison, former photography giant Kodak – which is roughly the equivalent of Instagram in the pre-digital age – employed more than 140,000 people at its height. The size of these twentieth-century industrial giants made them more straightforward to regulate. This was equally true of the great sources of risk to the general public during the last century, such as nuclear technology.


pages: 561 words: 157,589

WTF?: What's the Future and Why It's Up to Us by Tim O'Reilly

4chan, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, Alvin Roth, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, artificial general intelligence, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, basic income, Bernie Madoff, Bernie Sanders, Bill Joy: nanobots, bitcoin, blockchain, Bretton Woods, Brewster Kahle, British Empire, business process, call centre, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Captain Sullenberger Hudson, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable:, Clayton Christensen, clean water, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, collateralized debt obligation, commoditize, computer vision, corporate governance, corporate raider, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, Danny Hillis, data acquisition, deskilling, DevOps, disinformation, Donald Davies, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, Filter Bubble, Firefox, Flash crash, full employment, future of work, George Akerlof, gig economy, glass ceiling, Google Glasses, Gordon Gekko, gravity well, greed is good, Guido van Rossum, High speed trading, hiring and firing, Home mortgage interest deduction, Hyperloop, income inequality, independent contractor, index fund, informal economy, information asymmetry, Internet Archive, Internet of things, invention of movable type, invisible hand, iterative process, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, jitney, job automation, job satisfaction, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Kevin Kelly, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, Kim Stanley Robinson, knowledge worker, Kodak vs Instagram, Lao Tzu, Larry Wall, Lean Startup, Leonard Kleinrock, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, market fundamentalism, Marshall McLuhan, McMansion, microbiome, microservices, minimum viable product, mortgage tax deduction, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, obamacare, Oculus Rift, packet switching, PageRank, pattern recognition, Paul Buchheit, peer-to-peer, peer-to-peer model, Ponzi scheme, race to the bottom, Ralph Nader, randomized controlled trial, RFC: Request For Comment, Richard Feynman, Richard Stallman, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Gordon, Robert Metcalfe, Ronald Coase, Sam Altman, school choice, Second Machine Age, secular stagnation, self-driving car, SETI@home, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, skunkworks, Skype, smart contracts, Snapchat, Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Its Profits, social web, software as a service, software patent, spectrum auction, speech recognition, Stephen Hawking, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, strong AI, TaskRabbit, telepresence, the built environment, The future is already here, The Future of Employment, the map is not the territory, The Nature of the Firm, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Davenport, Tragedy of the Commons, transaction costs, transcontinental railway, transportation-network company, Travis Kalanick, trickle-down economics, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, ubercab, universal basic income, US Airways Flight 1549, VA Linux, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, We are the 99%, web application, Whole Earth Catalog, winner-take-all economy, women in the workforce, Y Combinator, yellow journalism, zero-sum game, Zipcar

If we are honest with ourselves, each of us has many such moments, when we realize that the world has moved on and we are stuck in the past. It is this mental hiccup that leads to many a failure of insight. Famously, Jaron Lanier (and many others) have made the comparison between Kodak, which at its height had 140,000 employees, and Instagram, which had only 13 when it was sold to Facebook for $1 billion in 2012. It’s easy to overlay the afterimage of Kodak, and say, as Lanier did, that the jobs have gone away. Yet for Instagram to exist and thrive, every phone had to include a digital camera and to be connected to a communications network, and that network had to be pervasive and data centers had to provide hosting services that allow tiny startups to serve tens of millions of users.


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, Bitcoin Ponzi scheme, blockchain, Blythe Masters, Bretton Woods, business process, buy and hold, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, carbon footprint, clean water, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, commoditize, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, creative destruction, Credit Default Swap, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, disintermediation, disruptive innovation, distributed ledger, Donald Trump, double entry bookkeeping, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, Ethereum, 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, independent contractor, informal economy, information asymmetry, intangible asset, interest rate swap, Internet of things, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, Kodak vs Instagram, Lean Startup, litecoin, Lyft, M-Pesa, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, microcredit, mobile money, money market fund, Network effects, new economy, Oculus Rift, off grid, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer, peer-to-peer lending, peer-to-peer model, performance metric, Peter Thiel, planetary scale, Ponzi scheme, prediction markets, price mechanism, Productivity paradox, QR code, 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 intelligence, social software, standardized shipping container, 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, uber lyft, unbanked and underbanked, underbanked, unorthodox policies, wealth creators, X Prize, Y2K, Yochai Benkler, Zipcar

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


pages: 242 words: 73,728

Give People Money by Annie Lowrey

"Robert Solow", affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, agricultural Revolution, Airbnb, airport security, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, basic income, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, clean water, collective bargaining, computer age, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, deindustrialization, desegregation, Donald Trump, Edward Glaeser, Elon Musk, ending welfare as we know it, everywhere but in the productivity statistics, full employment, gender pay gap, gig economy, Google Earth, Home mortgage interest deduction, income inequality, indoor plumbing, information asymmetry, Jaron Lanier, jitney, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Kickstarter, Kodak vs Instagram, labor-force participation, late capitalism, Lyft, M-Pesa, Mahatma Gandhi, Mark Zuckerberg, mass incarceration, McMansion, Menlo Park, mobile money, Modern Monetary Theory, mortgage tax deduction, new economy, obamacare, Peter Thiel, post scarcity, post-work, Potemkin village, precariat, randomized controlled trial, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Bork, Ronald Reagan, Sam Altman, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, single-payer health, Steve Jobs, TaskRabbit, The future is already here, The Future of Employment, theory of mind, total factor productivity, Turing test, two tier labour market, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, universal basic income, uranium enrichment, War on Poverty, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, We wanted flying cars, instead we got 140 characters, women in the workforce, working poor, World Values Survey, Y Combinator

That same dynamic is writ large around the country. Brick-and-mortar retailing giant Walmart has 1.5 million employees in the United States, while Web retailing giant Amazon had a third as many as of the third quarter of 2017. As famously noted by the futurist Jaron Lanier, at its peak, Kodak employed about 140,000 people; when Facebook acquired it, Instagram employed just 13. The scarier prospect is that more and more jobs are falling to the tide of tech-driven obsolescence. Studies have found that almost half of American jobs are vulnerable to automation, and the rest of the world might want to start worrying too.


pages: 164 words: 57,068

The Second Curve: Thoughts on Reinventing Society by Charles Handy

"Robert Solow", Airbnb, basic income, Bernie Madoff, bitcoin, bonus culture, British Empire, call centre, Clayton Christensen, corporate governance, delayed gratification, Diane Coyle, disruptive innovation, Edward Snowden, falling living standards, future of work, G4S, greed is good, independent contractor, informal economy, Internet of things, invisible hand, joint-stock company, joint-stock limited liability company, Kickstarter, Kodak vs Instagram, late capitalism, mass immigration, megacity, mittelstand, Occupy movement, payday loans, peer-to-peer lending, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, Ronald Coase, shareholder value, sharing economy, Skype, Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Its Profits, Stanford marshmallow experiment, Steve Jobs, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, transaction costs, Veblen good, Walter Mischel

Researchers in Oxford University suggest that 47 per cent of today’s jobs will be replaced by computers within the next two decades – 250 million in just the next one, says the McKinsey Global Institute. By the time you read this these numbers may well look dated. What will replace those 250 million jobs? Kodak at its height employed 145,000 people. Facebook employs just 6,000 while Instagram, when it was bought by Facebook for around $1 billion, employed just 13. Two years later Facebook paid $19 billion for WhatsApp with 55 employees but with half a million customers and growing. In earlier technology shifts the jobs that were displaced were quickly replaced by new ones.


pages: 261 words: 86,905

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

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

Whole sectors of the economy have been hollowed out by the Internet and by outsourcing abroad. There’s a very good description of it in Jaron Lanier’s book Who Owns the Future?: At the height of its power, the photography company Kodak employed more than 140,000 people and was worth $28 billion. They even invented the first digital camera. But today Kodak is bankrupt, and the new face of digital photography has become Instagram. When Instagram was sold to Facebook for a billion dollars in 2012, it employed only thirteen people. Where did all those jobs disappear to? And what happened to the wealth that all those middle-class jobs created? 46 One of the places where hollowing out can be seen most clearly is in the English countryside.


pages: 260 words: 76,223

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

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

Perhaps it was my rock ’n’ roll upbringing that did it. Regardless, the realization is this: Some people perceive changing jobs and switching industries as reckless. Take a cold, hard look at these people in this day and age and ask yourself: How secure are their jobs? We live in a time where a company like Kodak can collapse while at the same time a simple photo-sharing app called Instagram gets bought for a billion dollars by Facebook. Which company do you think feels more secure? The answer is simple: neither. Welcome to purgatory (again), and welcome to a career that will have to embrace the squiggle. ACCEPT IT: THERE IS NO GOLD WATCH IN YOUR FUTURE.


pages: 447 words: 111,991

Exponential: How Accelerating Technology Is Leaving Us Behind and What to Do About It by Azeem Azhar

23andMe, 3D printing, A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Ada Lovelace, additive manufacturing, Airbnb, algorithmic trading, Amazon Mechanical Turk, autonomous vehicles, basic income, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, Boeing 737 MAX, Boris Johnson, Bretton Woods, carbon footprint, Chris Urmson, Clayton Christensen, cloud computing, collective bargaining, computer age, computer vision, coronavirus, Covid-19, COVID-19, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, cuban missile crisis, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Graeber, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, decarbonisation, deglobalization, deindustrialization, dematerialisation, Diane Coyle, digital map, disinformation, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, Donald Trump, Double Irish / Dutch Sandwich, drone strike, Elon Musk, energy security, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Firefox, Frederick Winslow Taylor, future of work, Garrett Hardin, gender pay gap, gig economy, global pandemic, global supply chain, global value chain, global village, happiness index / gross national happiness, hiring and firing, hockey-stick growth, ImageNet competition, income inequality, independent contractor, industrial robot, intangible asset, Jane Jacobs, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Just-in-time delivery, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, Kodak vs Instagram, Law of Accelerating Returns, low skilled workers, lump of labour, Lyft, manufacturing employment, Mark Zuckerberg, megacity, Mitch Kapor, Network effects, new economy, offshore financial centre, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, Peter Thiel, price anchoring, RAND corporation, ransomware, Ray Kurzweil, remote working, RFC: Request For Comment, Richard Florida, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Bork, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, Sam Altman, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, Shoshana Zuboff, Silicon Valley, Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Its Profits, software as a service, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Stuxnet, subscription business, TaskRabbit, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Future of Employment, The Nature of the Firm, Thomas Malthus, Tragedy of the Commons, Turing machine, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, universal basic income, uranium enrichment, winner-take-all economy, Yom Kippur War

‘When you’re talking to a bunch of corporate guys about 18 to 20 years in the future, when none of those guys will still be in the company, they don’t get too excited about it,’ Sasson later recalled.37 Kodak did go on to develop a range of digital cameras; in fact, theirs was one of the first to market. The company even recognised the power of the internet, buying Ofoto, a photo-sharing site in 2001, nine years before Instagram was founded. But institutional knowledge – the established consensus about what their business was about – held them back from building anything nearly as popular as Instagram, which would become the most successful photo business in the world.


pages: 343 words: 102,846

Trees on Mars: Our Obsession With the Future by Hal Niedzviecki

"Robert Solow", Ada Lovelace, agricultural Revolution, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, anti-communist, big data - Walmart - Pop Tarts, big-box store, business intelligence, Colonization of Mars, computer age, crowdsourcing, David Brooks, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, Flynn Effect, Google Glasses, hive mind, Howard Zinn, if you build it, they will come, income inequality, independent contractor, Internet of things, invention of movable type, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John von Neumann, knowledge economy, Kodak vs Instagram, life extension, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Peter H. Diamandis: Planetary Resources, Peter Thiel, Pierre-Simon Laplace, Ponzi scheme, precariat, prediction markets, Ralph Nader, randomized controlled trial, Ray Kurzweil, ride hailing / ride sharing, rising living standards, Ronald Reagan, self-driving car, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, Steve Jobs, TaskRabbit, technological singularity, technoutopianism, Ted Kaczynski, Thomas L Friedman, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, working poor

At the height of its power, the photography company Kodak employed more than 140,000 people worldwide and was worth twenty-eight billion dollars.48,49 They even invented the first digital camera. Eastman Kodak Co. generated good jobs and good salaries for upstate New York’s Rochester area for multiple decades. But in 2012 Kodak filed for bankruptcy, and the new face of photography is found on sites like Instagram and Flickr which together process and showcase billions of photos—pixilated into digital information—every year. When Instagram was sold to Facebook for a billion dollars in 2012, it employed only thirteen people.50 As economist and former Clinton-era Secretary of the Treasury Lawrence Summers notes in an op-ed, few of the companies that helped displace Kodak can lay claim to “a comparable impact” in terms of creating prosperous jobs in an entire region for multiple generations.


pages: 320 words: 87,853

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

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

Jaron Lanier, Who Owns the Future? (New York: Simon & Schuster, 2013). “At the height of its power, the photography company Kodak employed NOTES TO PAGES 6–10 223 more than 140,000 people and was worth $28 billion. They even invented the first digital camera. But today Kodak is bankrupt, and the new face of digital photography has become Instagram. When Instagram was sold to Facebook for a billion dollars in 2012, it employed only thirteen people.” Ibid., 2. 16. Frederic Bloom, “Information Lost and Found,” California Law Review 100 (2012): 635– 690. 17. Obfuscation contributes to complexity, which is sometimes the natural result of modern business, but it is also, frequently, contrived for no good end.


pages: 416 words: 108,370

Hit Makers: The Science of Popularity in an Age of Distraction by Derek Thompson

Airbnb, Albert Einstein, Alexey Pajitnov wrote Tetris, always be closing, augmented reality, Clayton Christensen, Donald Trump, Downton Abbey, full employment, game design, Gordon Gekko, hindsight bias, indoor plumbing, industrial cluster, information trail, invention of the printing press, invention of the telegraph, Jeff Bezos, John Snow's cholera map, Kodak vs Instagram, linear programming, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, Metcalfe’s law, Minecraft, Nate Silver, Network effects, Nicholas Carr, out of africa, prosperity theology / prosperity gospel / gospel of success, randomized controlled trial, recommendation engine, Robert Gordon, Ronald Reagan, Savings and loan crisis, Silicon Valley, Skype, Snapchat, statistical model, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Steven Pinker, subscription business, telemarketer, the medium is the message, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, Vilfredo Pareto, Vincenzo Peruggia: Mona Lisa, women in the workforce

If the marketplace for nineteenth-century piano music was crowded, the emporium of photo-sharing applications in the last few years is downright mayhem. In 1999, the world took eighty billion photos and bought seventy million cameras, according to Kodak’s 2000 annual report. Today, the world shares more than eighty billion photos every month on several billion phones, tablets, computers, and cameras. Like several other apps, Instagram lets users take photos and add retro-cinematic filters. The design was close to perfect for its purpose: simple and beautiful, with intuitive ways to edit and share images from people’s lives. But there were many simple, beautiful apps in this space, and Instagram did not invent the idea of filters.

immigration to the United States soared: Yearbook of Immigration Statistics, Department of Homeland Security, 2008. the highest-grossing movie in America: Box Office Mojo, www.boxofficemojo.com/, accessed March 1, 2016. according to Kodak’s 2000 annual report: Benedict Evans Blog, http://ben-evans.com/benedictevans/2014/6/24/imaging. world shares more than eighty billion photos: “2016 Internet Trends Report,” www.kpcb.com/blog/2016-internet-trends-report. Instagram did not invent the idea of filters: Robert Scoble interview with Kevin Systrom on SoundCloud, https://soundcloud.com/scobleizer/my-first-interview-of-kevin. early versions of the app to San Francisco tech tycoons: Robert Scoble, comment on “How Did Instagram Build Up Its Community in Its Early Days?


pages: 235 words: 62,862

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

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

Whereas in 1964 each of the four largest American companies still had an average workforce of about 430,000 people, by 2011 they employed only a quarter that number, despite being worth twice as much.14 Or take the tragic fate of Kodak, inventor of the digital camera and a company that in the late 1980s had 145,000 people on its payroll. In 2012, it filed for bankruptcy, while Instagram – the free online mobile photo service staffed by 13 people at the time – was sold to Face-book for $1 billion. The reality is that it takes fewer and fewer people to create a successful business, meaning that when a business succeeds, fewer and fewer people benefit.


pages: 976 words: 235,576

The Meritocracy Trap: How America's Foundational Myth Feeds Inequality, Dismantles the Middle Class, and Devours the Elite by Daniel Markovits

"Robert Solow", 8-hour work day, activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, affirmative action, Anton Chekhov, asset-backed security, assortative mating, basic income, Bernie Sanders, big-box store, business cycle, capital asset pricing model, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, carried interest, collateralized debt obligation, collective bargaining, compensation consultant, computer age, corporate governance, corporate raider, crony capitalism, David Brooks, deskilling, Detroit bankruptcy, disruptive innovation, Donald Trump, Edward Glaeser, Emanuel Derman, equity premium, European colonialism, everywhere but in the productivity statistics, fear of failure, financial innovation, financial intermediation, fixed income, Ford paid five dollars a day, Frederick Winslow Taylor, full employment, future of work, gender pay gap, George Akerlof, Gini coefficient, glass ceiling, helicopter parent, Herbert Marcuse, high net worth, hiring and firing, income inequality, industrial robot, interchangeable parts, invention of agriculture, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, job satisfaction, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, Kodak vs Instagram, labor-force participation, longitudinal study, low skilled workers, manufacturing employment, Mark Zuckerberg, Martin Wolf, mass incarceration, medical residency, minimum wage unemployment, Myron Scholes, Nate Silver, New Economic Geography, new economy, offshore financial centre, Paul Samuelson, payday loans, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Plutonomy: Buying Luxury, Explaining Global Imbalances, precariat, purchasing power parity, rent-seeking, Richard Florida, Robert Gordon, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, savings glut, school choice, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, six sigma, Skype, stakhanovite, stem cell, Steve Jobs, supply-chain management, telemarketer, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, The Theory of the Leisure Class by Thorstein Veblen, Thomas Davenport, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, total factor productivity, transaction costs, traveling salesman, universal basic income, unpaid internship, Vanguard fund, War on Poverty, Winter of Discontent, women in the workforce, working poor, Yochai Benkler, young professional, zero-sum game

See Catherine Rampell, “When Cheap Foreign Labor Gets Less Cheap,” New York Times, December 7, 2012, accessed November 18, 2018, https://economix.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/12/07/when-cheap-foreign-labor-gets-less-cheap/?partner=rss&emc=rss&_r=0. increased by over 15 percent: See Harding, “Technology Shakes Up US Economy.” it was sold to Facebook for $1 billion: On Kodak, see Susan Christopherson and Jennifer Clark, Remaking Regional Economies: Power, Labor, and Firm Strategies in the Knowledge Economy (New York: Routledge, 2007), 57–84. On Instagram, see Scott Timberg, “Jaron Lanier: The Internet Destroyed the Middle Class,” Salon, May 12, 2013, accessed November 18, 2018, www.salon.com/2013/05/12/jaron_lanier_the_internet_destroyed_the_middle_class/.