disruptive innovation

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pages: 282 words: 88,320

Brick by Brick: How LEGO Rewrote the Rules of Innovation and Conquered the Global Toy Industry by David Robertson, Bill Breen

barriers to entry, business process, Clayton Christensen, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, Dean Kamen, disruptive innovation, financial independence, game design, global supply chain, Jeff Bezos, Kickstarter, Mark Zuckerberg, Minecraft, Rubik’s Cube, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, The Wisdom of Crowds, Wall-E

“They wanted to [replace] the minifig and put in this Jack Stone figure,” said Pedersen, who helped design Jack Stone. “We were told from the top that the minifig wasn’t considered cool.” The Jack Stone “minifigure” (right) and a classic LEGO minifigure. Unlike the classic minifigure, the Jack Stone figure could not be disassembled. Practice disruptive innovation. In his book The Innovator’s Dilemma, Harvard Business School professor Clayton Christensen introduced his theory of disruptive innovation, which he defined as a less pricey product or service, initially designed for less-demanding customers, which catches on and captures its market, displacing the incumbents.10 Christensen saw how low-quality, low-cost technologies were ramping up faster than ever before. Unburdened by the legacy costs and organizational inertia of more mature competitors, these new technologies quickly replaced established technologies and destroyed the incumbents’ core markets.

The third and final phase of “Shared Vision,” Knudstorp’s road map for transforming the business, set a goal of markedly increasing profits and market share, all in a bid to make LEGO “the world’s premier toy company.” That meant creating visionary toys that changed the way kids play. To build new growth drivers, LEGO would once again seek out untapped, blue-ocean markets. (We will trace that effort in the next chapter.) And it would attempt to unleash a disruptive innovation—a low-end, low-quality product that improves over time and eventually upends the industry incumbents. In a New Yorker profile, Clayton Christensen cited the pint-size transistor radio as a prototypical example of a big, disruptive innovation. Launched by Sony in the late 1950s, the tinny, tiny radios, using the then-new technology of the transistor, had nowhere near the same sound quality as the big vacuum-tube RCA and Zenith consoles found in many middle-class homes. But the radios’ easy portability and low price made them a hit with teenagers.

Only then, after exploring the full spectrum of innovation and opening up its development process to outside contributors, did LEGO take on the more out-there strategies of launching a disruptive innovation with Universe and seeking out an untapped market with Games. Universe, of course, was a failure. But LEGO hasn’t given up. Some of the same strategies that work for a blue-ocean effort—adopt a start-up mentality, shield the team from the demands of other business units, realize that “good enough” is sometimes better than perfection—readily suit a disruptive effort. Having learned from its success with the blue-ocean strategy that was Games, LEGO can readily apply those lessons to its next attempt at a disruptive innovation, whatever it might be. As with any innovation effort, seizing on the truths of innovation requires a certain sequence and cadence.


pages: 278 words: 83,468

The Lean Startup: How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses by Eric Ries

3D printing, barriers to entry, call centre, Clayton Christensen, clean water, cloud computing, commoditize, Computer Numeric Control, continuous integration, corporate governance, disruptive innovation, experimental subject, Frederick Winslow Taylor, Lean Startup, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Metcalfe’s law, minimum viable product, Mitch Kapor, Network effects, payday loans, Peter Thiel, pets.com, Ponzi scheme, pull request, risk tolerance, selection bias, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, six sigma, skunkworks, stealth mode startup, Steve Jobs, the scientific method, Toyota Production System, transaction costs

We also will see how lean disciplines set the stage for a startup to transition into an established company driven by operational excellence. In Chapter 12, we’ll come full circle. As startups grow into established companies, they face the same pressures that make it necessary for today’s enterprises to find new ways to invest in disruptive innovation. In fact, we’ll see that an advantage of a successful startup’s rapid growth is that the company can keep its entrepreneurial DNA even as it matures. Today’s companies must learn to master a management portfolio of sustainable and disruptive innovation. It is an obsolete view that sees startups as going through discrete phases that leave earlier kinds of work—such as innovation—behind. Rather, modern companies must excel at doing multiple kinds of work in parallel. To do so, we’ll explore techniques for incubating innovation teams within the context of an established company.

A startup’s work is never done, because as was discussed in Chapter 2, even established companies must struggle to find new sources of growth through disruptive innovation. This imperative is coming earlier in companies’ lives. No longer can a successful startup expect to have years after its initial public offering to bask in market-leading success. Today successful companies face immediate pressure from new competitors, fast followers, and scrappy startups. As a result, it no longer makes sense to think of startups as going through discrete phases like the proverbial metamorphosis of a caterpillar to a butterfly. Both successful startups and established companies alike must learn to juggle multiple kinds of work at the same time, pursuing operational excellence and disruptive innovation. This requires a new kind of portfolio thinking, which is the subject of Chapter 12. 12 INNOVATE Conventional wisdom holds that when companies become larger, they inevitably lose the capacity for innovation, creativity, and growth.

The second problem is that after seeing traditional management fail to solve this problem, some entrepreneurs and investors have thrown up their hands and adopted the “Just Do It” school of startups. This school believes that if management is the problem, chaos is the answer. Unfortunately, as I can attest firsthand, this doesn’t work either. It may seem counterintuitive to think that something as disruptive, innovative, and chaotic as a startup can be managed or, to be accurate, must be managed. Most people think of process and management as boring and dull, whereas startups are dynamic and exciting. But what is actually exciting is to see startups succeed and change the world. The passion, energy, and vision that people bring to these new ventures are resources too precious to waste. We can—and must—do better.


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

That said, there is one notable departure for Coca-Cola relative to the ExO philosophy: the transparency of its disruptive innovation. It is our thesis that disruptive innovation efforts work best when they operate in stealth mode, divorced from the rest of the company, so as to avoid triggering an organizational immune system response. Instead, Coca-Cola, taking the long view, has created transparent disruption innovation teams with the avowed goal of openly changing the culture of the larger company. The company has even publicly taken a strategic stance to integrate disruptive innovations into its very core. It is an audacious experiment and we’re watching keenly to see how it pans out. We believe that if Coke’s core business is infected by the Lean Startup meme in time, the company will see the value of this innovation approach and become even more open to disruptive innovation efforts at the edges.

Before long, a company can find itself spending even more money launching a doomed product despite clear data that it will fail. Remember the Iridium mobile phones case? The Navteq–Waze case? In addition, consider the well-known NASA motto: “Failure is not an option.” Although noble and inspiring, it was ultimately a death knell for exploration. When failure is not an option, you end up with safe, incremental innovation, with no radical breakthroughs or disruptive innovations. By integrating experimentation as a core value and adopting approaches like Lean Startup, enterprise failures—while still accepted as an inevitable part of risk—can be quick, relatively painless and insightful. Google, for example, is particularly good at experimentation: If a product is not meeting its goals, and resources could be better leveraged elsewhere, the product is shut down.

Note that today there is a whole category of the media industry—named for the underlying physical media it’s been trying to sell—which is actually made up of information businesses that have now been digitized. We believe the television industry will be the next to fall to the information ax. 3. Disruption is the New Norm In his influential bestseller The Innovator’s Dilemma, Clayton Christensen points out that disruptive innovation rarely comes from the status quo. That is, established industry players are rarely structured or prepared to counter disruption when eventually it appears. The newspaper industry is a perfect example: it sat by for a decade as Craigslist systematically disrupted the classified advertising model. Today, the outsider has all the advantages. With no legacy systems to worry about, as well as the ability to enjoy low overhead and take advantage of the democratization of information and—more important—technology, the newcomer can move quickly and with a minimum of expense.


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Humans as a Service: The Promise and Perils of Work in the Gig Economy by Jeremias Prassl

3D printing, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Andrei Shleifer, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, call centre, cashless society, Clayton Christensen, collaborative consumption, collaborative economy, collective bargaining, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, disruptive innovation, Donald Trump, Erik Brynjolfsson, full employment, future of work, George Akerlof, gig economy, global supply chain, hiring and firing, income inequality, information asymmetry, invisible hand, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Kickstarter, low skilled workers, Lyft, Mahatma Gandhi, Mark Zuckerberg, market friction, means of production, moral hazard, Network effects, new economy, obamacare, pattern recognition, platform as a service, Productivity paradox, race to the bottom, regulatory arbitrage, remote working, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Gordon, Ronald Coase, Rosa Parks, Second Machine Age, secular stagnation, self-driving car, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Simon Singh, software as a service, Steve Jobs, TaskRabbit, The Future of Employment, The Market for Lemons, The Nature of the Firm, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, transaction costs, transportation-network company, Travis Kalanick, two tier labour market, two-sided market, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, union organizing, working-age population

Beijing passengers were quick to take to social media and complain of a near doubling of the cost of rides, as discount codes and other subsidies were swiftly withdrawn.28 * * * Keeping Regulators at Bay 39 Disruptive Innovation? In any event, some proponents of the sharing economy argue, society still reaps major benefits from growth driven by platforms’ innovative disruption of existing business models. Picking up a few stones and hurtling them along in a little sling is, after all, a much less capital-intensive way of going about the business of slaying your enemies than heavy armour and swords, regardless of how many foot soldiers are at it. Not quite, replies the Harvard Business School guru behind the theory of disruptive innovation. In December 2015, Clayton M. Christensen took to the pages of the Harvard Business Review to declare that ‘Uber’s financial and strategic achievements do not qualify the company as genuinely disruptive— although the company is almost always described that way.’29 Disruptive innovation, according to Christensen and his co-authors, needs to ‘originate in low-end or new-market footholds’ and takes a while to catch up in terms of quality (which is ‘how disruption drives prices down in a market’)— neither of which could be said of Uber.

L. 176 Chen, Keith 122 Davies, Paul 174 Cherry 38 Davies, Rob 151 Cherry, Miriam 97, 99, 132, 173, 174, 184 Day, Iris 177 chess robots 1, 6 Deakin, Simon 36, 112, 130, 131, 152, 172, China 12, 38, 153 174, 177, 178, 184, 185 Chowdhry, Amit 181 deductions from pay 15, 19, 60, 63, 67 Christenson, Clayton M. 39 Deep Blue 1 ‘churn’/worker turnover 68 Deliveroo 2, 11, 12, 13, 115 Clark, Shelby 46 collective action by drivers 113 classificatory schemes 13, 28–9, 147 contractual prohibitions 66–7 misclassification 95, 96–100 employment litigation 99 Clement, Barrie 162 internal guidelines 43–4 Clover, Charles 153 safety and liability 122–3 Coase, Ronald 19, 94, 101, 172 wage rates 65 Coase’s theory 19, 20 delivery apps 2 Codagnone, Cristiano 150 demand fluctuations 78 Cohen, Molly 36, 37, 152, 157 Denmark 36 ‘collaborative consumption’ 42 deregulation 37, 40 (see also regulation) collective action 113–15 Dholakia, Utpal 150 collective bargaining rights 48, 65, 82 Didi 2, 12, 38 commission deductions 15, 19, 60, 63, 67 differential wage rates 109–11 commodification of work 76, 77, 110 digital disruption 49, 50 competition 88 ‘digital feudalism’ 83 consumer demand 17–18 digital innovation see innovation consumer protection 10, 112, 121, 128–9 digital market manipulation 123 safety and liability 122–3, 128–9 digital payment systems 5 * * * Index 193 digital work intermediation 5, 11, 13–16 borderline cases 100 disability discrimination 62, 121 identifying the employer 100 discriminatory practices 62, 94, 113, easy cases 102–3 121, 180 functional concept of the disputes 66 employer 101–2, 104 disruptive innovation 39–40, 49, 50, 95 genuine entrepreneurs 103 dockyards 78, 79–80 harder cases 103–4 ‘doublespeak’ 31–50, 71, 95, 97–8, 133 multiple employers 103 Doug H 160, 163 platforms as employers 102–3 down-time 60, 65, 76, 77 ‘independent worker’ 48 Downs, Julie 180 misclassification 95, 96–100 Drake, Barbara 168 ‘personal scope question’ 93 drink driving 133, 184–5 employment taxes 125–7 Dzieza, Josh 163 Engels, Friedrich 81, 168 ‘entrepreneur-coordinator’ 101 economic crises 145 entrepreneurship 6, 8, 21, 32, 42, 43, economic drivers 7, 18–24 45–6, 50, 52 (see also micro- Edwards, Jim 146 entrepreneurs) efficiency 7 autonomy 53–5 Elejalde-Ruiz, Alexia 175 algorithmic control and 55–8 ‘elite worker’ status 61, 67 sanctions and 61–3 ‘emperor’s new clothes’ 71 wages and 58–61 empirical studies 28–9 freedom 8, 14, 27, 29, 47, 49, 51, 52, employer responsibility 104 53, 55, 65–8, 69, 85, 96, 108, 110, employment contracts 94 112, 113 bilateral relationships 100 on-demand trap and 68–70 employment law 4, 9, 10, 38, 84 risk and 86 (see also regulation) genuine entrepreneurs 102, 103 continuing importance 139–40 misclassification 96–7, 98, 101 control/protection trade-off 93–4, 95 ‘personal scope question’ 93 European Union 107, 111, 112, 178 self-determination 63–5 flexibility and environmental impacts 21, 26 innovation and 90 Estlund, Cynthia 137, 185 measuring working time 105–7 Estonia 127 mutuality of obligation 174 Estrada, David 41 new proposals 46–9 euphemisms 44–5 rebalancing the scales 107–8 European Union law 107, 111, 112, 178 collective action 113–15 exploitation 26–7 portable ratings 111–13 Ezrachi, Ariel 150 surge pricing 108–11 ‘risk function’ 131, 132 Facebook 35, 57 workers’ rights 105 FairCrowdWork 114, 179 rights vs flexibility 115–17 Farrell, Sean 164 employment litigation FedEx 97 FedEx 97, 173 feedback 5, 15–16 France 99 Feeney, Matthew 35, 151 Uber 45, 48, 54–5, 98, 99, 106, 115 Field, Frank 26 UK 45, 48, 98–9, 106, 115 financial losses 22–3 US 54–5, 97, 98, 99 ‘financially strapped’ 29 employment status 21, 45, 47 Finkin, Matthew 74, 84, 166, 169 * * * 194 Index Fiverr 12, 13, 24, 78 historical precedents and CEO 17 problems 72, 73–85 Fleischer, Victor 20, 147 rebranding work 4–6, 32 flexibility 8, 10, 12, 107, 108 labour as a technology 5–6 vs rights 115–17 market entrants 88 food-delivery apps 12 matching 13, 14, 18–20 Foodora 2, 12 monopoly power 23–4, 28 Foucault, Michel 55, 159 network effects 23–4 founding myths 34–5 overview 2–3 Fox, Justin 182 perils 6, 26–8, 31 fragmented labour markets 83, 84, 86, platform paradox 5 90, 113 platforms as a service 7–8 France 78 consumer protection 10 employment litigation 99 potential 6, 7, 12, 24–6, 31 Labour Code 114, 176, 179 regulation 9–10 (see also regulation) regulatory battles 36 real cost of on-demand services 119, tax liability 126 121–2 (see also structural ‘free agents’ 28–9 imbalances) Freedland, Mark 174, 175 regulation see regulation Freedman, Judith 111, 178 regulatory arbitrage 20–2 freedom 8, 14, 27, 29, 47, 49, 51, 52, 53, size of the phenomenon 16–17, 145–6 55, 65–8, 69, 85, 96, 108, 110, work on demand 11–29 112, 113 gigwork 13 on-demand trap and 68–70 Giliker, Paula 183 risk and 86 global economic crises 145 Frey, Carl 136, 185 Goodley, Simon 173 Fried, Ina 183 GPS 5, 57 Greenhouse, Steven 66, 164 Gardner-Selby, W. 185 Griswold, Alison 164, 181 gender parity 144 (see also Grossman, Nick 46 discriminatory practices) Gumtree 20 Germany Gurley, Bill 161 regulatory battles 36 Guyoncourt, Sally 178 workers’ rights 114 gift vouchers 105 Hacker, Jacob 86, 170 gig economy Hall, Jonathan 60, 162, 165 business models 12–13, 44, 100 Hammond, Philip 126, 182 cash burn 22–3 Hancock, Matthew 46, 166 clash of narratives 8 Handy 18 classification 13, 28–9 Hardy, Tess 176 critics 2, 3, 8 Harman, Greg 163 digital work intermediation 5, 11, Harris, Seth 48, 49, 105, 157, 175 13–16 Hatton, Erin 82, 169 economic drivers 7, 18–24 Heap, Lisa 177 empirical studies 28–9 Helpling 2 employment law and see employment Hemel, Daniel 147, 170 law Hesketh, Scott 181 enthusiasts 3, 4, 8 hiring practices: historical gigwork vs crowdwork 13 perspective 78, 79 growth 17–18 historical perspective 72, 73–85 ‘humans as a service’ 3–6 Hitch 38 * * * Index 195 Hitlin, Paul 162 Internet Holtgrewe, Ursula 169 collective action 113 HomeJoy 132 Third Wave 73 Hook, Leslie 153 Irani, Lilly 6, 114, 142, 162, 179 Horan, Hubert 22, 148 Isaac, Mike 170, 171 Horowith, Sara 144 Issa, Darrell 41 hostile takeovers 111–12 Howe, Jeff 7, 11, 142 jargon 42–5 Huet, Ellen 153 Jensen, Vernon 167, 168, 170 Human Intelligence Tasks (HITs) 60, 93 Jobs, Steve 35 ‘humans as a service’ 3–6 joint and several liability 104 historical precedents and problems 72, Justia Trademarks 143 73–85 rebranding work 4–6, 32, 40–50 Kalanick, Travis 43, 86 Hunter, Rachel 106, 176 Kalman, Frank 16, 144 Huws, Ursula 27, 141, 150 Kaminska, Izabella 22–3, 44, 90, 148, 156, 169, 171, 172 ‘idle’ time 60, 65, 76, 77 Kaplow, Louis 184 illegal practices 57 Kasparov, Garry 1 immigrant workers 77 Katz, Lawrence 16 incentive structures 67–8 Katz, Vanessa 116, 179 independent contractors 21 Kaufman, Micha 17, 145, 149 Independent Workers Union of Great Kempelen, Wolfgang von 1 Britain (IWGB) 113, 179 Kennedy, John F. 135, 185 industrialization 75 Kenya 36 industry narratives 32–3, 49–50 Kessler, Sarah 151 information asymmetries 32, 54, 87, 131 Keynes, John Maynard 135, 185 innovation 3, 6, 8, 9, 10, 31, 32, 42, 45–6, King, Tom, Lord King of Bridgwater 71 110 cheap labour and 89 Kirk, David 133, 184 disruptive innovation 39–40, 49, 95 Kitchell, Susan 166 historical precedents and problems 72, Klemperer, Paul 165 73–85 Krueger, Alan 16, 48, 49, 60, 105, 106, incentives 86–90 157, 162, 165, 175 myths 72, 83 Krugman, Paul 170 obstacles to 88–90 Kucera, David 186 paradox 72, 87 problematic aspects 85–90 labour law see employment law productivity and 87 Lagarde, Christine 86, 170 shifting risk 85–6 Leimeister, Jan Marco 13 workers’ interests and 89–90 Leonard, Andrew 33, 151 innovation law perspective 36 Lewis, Mervyn 168 ‘Innovation Paradox’ 9 Liepman, Lindsay 184 insecure work 9, 10, 12, 27, 42, 107 Lloyd-Jones, Roger 168 historical perspective 80, 81 loan facilities 68 insurance 123 lobbying groups 32, 47, 48 intermediaries 83 (see also digital work Lobel, Orly 11, 37–8 intermediation) low-paid work 9, 26–7, 40–2, historical perspective 79–80 59, 61 International Labour Organization low-skilled work 76, 77, 82 (ILO) 4, 83, 97, 169, 173 automation and 138 * * * 196 Index Lukes, Steven 159 Murgia, Madhumita 182 Lyft 2, 12, 13, 38, 41, 42, 76 mutuality of obligation 174 algorithmic control mechanisms 56 network effects 23–4 regulatory battles 35 Newcomer, Eric 148, 165 Uber’s competitive strategies 88 Newton, Casey 164 Nowag, Julian 183 McAfee, Andrew 137, 138, 185 Machiavelli, Niccolo 93, 172 O’Connor, Sarah 43, 155 machine learning 136, 137 ODesk 60 McCurry, Justin 186 O’Donovan, Caroline 144, 164, 181 Malone, Tom 73 Oei, Shu-Yi 124, 125, 132, 147, 182, 184 Mamertino, Mariano 161, 163 Ola 2, 12 market entrants 88 on-demand trap 68–70 market manipulation 123 on-demand work 11– 29 Markowitz, Harry 184 real cost of on-demand services 119, Marsh, Grace 182 121–2 (see also structural Marshall, Aarian 186 imbalances) Martens, Bertin 150 Orwell, George 31, 151 Marvit, Moshe 142 Osborne, Hilary 164 Marx, Patricia 119–20, 180 Osborne, Michael 136, 185 matching 13, 14, 18–20 outsourcing Maugham, Jolyon 182 agencies 40 Mayhew, Henry 77, 78, 79, 167 ‘web services’ 2 Mechanical Turk 1, 2, 6 outwork industry 74–5, 76–7, 79, 80, 89 mental harm 57–8 Owen, Jonathan 178 Meyer, Jared 149 ‘micro-entrepreneurs’ 8, 21, 46, 49, Padget, Marty 186 52–3, 63 Pannick, David, Lord Pannick 110 ‘micro-wages’ 27 Pasquale, Frank 8, 40, 154 middlemen 80 Peck, Jessica Lynn 26 minimum wage levels 3, 9, 21, 26, 27, 59, peer-to-peer collaboration 42, 43 94, 104, 105 Peers.org 32–3 minimum working hour guarantees 108 performance standard probations 61 misidentification 95, 96–100 personal data 112, 178 mobile payment mechanisms 5 ‘personal scope question’ 93 monopoly power 23–4, 28 Pissarides, Christopher 19, 147 Morris, David Z. 171 platform paradox 5 Morris, Gillian 174 platform responsibility 122–3, 128 MTurk 2, 3, 4, 11, 12, 24–5, 76, 139, platforms as a service 7–8 161–2, 163 consumer protection 10 algorithmic control mechanisms 56 regulation 9–10 (see also regulation) business model 100, 101, 103, 104 Plouffe, David 154 commission deductions 63 Poe, Edgar Allen 1 digital work intermediation 14, 15 Polanyi’s paradox 138–9 matching 19 political activism 114 payment in gift vouchers 105 portable ratings 111–13 quality control 120 Porter, Eduardo 171 TurkOpticon 114 ‘postindustrial corporations’ 20 wage rates 59, 60, 61 Postmates 57, 63, 121 * * * Index 197 Poyntz, Juliet Stuart 168 structural imbalances 130, 131 Prassl, Jeremias 174, 175, 176, 177, robots 136–7 178, 183 Mechanical Turk 1, 6 precarious work 9, 10, 12, 27, 42, 107 Rodgers, Joan 177 historical perspective 80, 81 Rodriguez, Joe Fitzgerald 181 price quotes 121–2 Rönnmar, Mia 175 surge pricing 58, 108–11, 122 Roosevelt, Franklin D. 133, 185 Primack, Dan 148 Rosenblat, Alex 54, 56, 65, 123, 131, 159, productivity 87 160, 163, 164, 182, 184 public discourse 69 Rosenblat, Joel 165 public health implications 27 Rubery, Jill 84, 169 punishment 57 (see also sanctions) Ryall, Jenny 181 quality control 5, 80, 120 safe harbours 47, 49 safety and liability 122–3, 128–9 rating mechanisms 5, 15–16, 53–4 sanctions 61–3 (see also punishment) algorithms 54, 55, 87–8 Sandbu, Martin 87, 170 discrimination 62, 113 Scheiber, Noam 164 portable ratings 111–13 Schmiechen, James 167, 168, 169 sanctions and 61–3 Schumpeter, Joseph 133 rebranding work 4–6, 32, 40–50 self-dealing 123 regulation 9–10 (see also employment law) self-determination 36–7, 47, 63–5 industry narratives 32–3, 49–50 (see also autonomy) new proposals 31, 46–9, 50 self-driving cars 89, 137 opponents 31, 33–4 sexual assaults 121, 180–1 Disruptive Davids 34–7 sexual discrimination 62, 144, 180 disruptive innovation theory ‘sham self-employment’ 97 39–40, 49 sharing economy 7, 20, 51 New Goliaths 37–40 critics 32–3 regulatory battles 35–7, 47–9 disruptive innovation 39, 49 safe harbours 47, 49 enthusiasts 61 self-regulation 36–7, 47 Sharing Economy UK 33, 37 shaping 32–3, 45–9 sharing platforms 116 regulatory arbitrage 20 –2, 147 Shavell, Steven 184 regulatory experimentation 36 Shleifer, Andrei 111, 178 Reich, Robert 108, 176 Shontell, Alyson 161 Relay Rides 46 Silberman, Six 61, 114, 162, 163, 179 ‘reluctants’ 29 Silver, James 156, 158 reputation algorithms 54 Singer, Natasha 43, 155, 156 ride-sharing/ridesharing 2, 21, 38, 41 Slee, Tom 32, 53, 142, 151, 155, 158, 159 (see also taxi apps) Smith, Adam 73 algorithmic control mechanisms 55–6 Smith, Jennifer 170 business model 102–3 Smith, Yves 148 discriminatory practices 62, 121 social media 114 maltreatment of passengers 121 social partners 10, 94 ride-sharing laws 47 social security contributions 21, 125–7 Ries, Brian 181 social security provision 3, 48, 131 Ring, Diane 124, 125, 132, 147, 182, 184 sociological critique 27–8 Risak, Martin 102, 175 specialization 75 risk shift 85–6 Spera 51, 158 * * * 198 Index Sports Direct 40–1 taxi regulation 21, 36, 37, 38, 114 Standage, Tom 141 vetting procedures 121 standardized tasks 76 tech:NYC 33 Stark, Luke 54, 56, 65, 159, 160, 163, 164 technological exceptionalism 6, 128 start-up loans 68 technological innovation see innovation Stefano, Valerio De 84, 169 technology 5–6, 27 Stigler, George 32, 151 unemployment and 135, 137, 140 Stone, Katherine 67, 165 terminology 42–5 structural imbalances time pressure 57 business model 130–2 Titova, Jurate 183 digital market manipulation 123 TNC, see transportation network levelling the playing field 127–32 company platform responsibility 122–3, 128 Tolentino, Jia 166 real cost of on-demand services 119, Tomassetti, Julia 20, 147, 156, 171 121–2 Tomlinson, Daniel 163 safety and liability 128–9 trade unions 65, 113, 114, 178, 179 sustainability 132–3 transaction cost 19 tax obligations 123–4, 129, 131, 132 transport network company (TNC) employment taxes and social regulation 47–8 security contributions 125–7 Truck arrangements 105 VAT 124–5, 129 Tsotsis, Alex 151 Stucke, Maurice 150 TurkOpticon 114, 162, 163, 179 Sullivan, Mike 180 Summers, Lawrence 111, 131, 178, 184 Uber 2, 11, 12, 43 Sundararajan, Arun 36, 37, 41, 73, 74, 75, algorithmic control mechanisms 56, 151, 152, 157, 166, 167 57, 58 Supiot, Alain 130–1, 177, 184 arbitration 165 surge pricing 58, 108–11, 122 autonomous vehicles and 89 survey responses 120 ‘churn’/worker turnover 68 Swalwell, Eric 41, 154 commission deductions 63 competitive strategies 88 takeovers 111–12 consumer demand 18 ‘task economies’ 76, 77, 79 control mechanisms 54 Task Rabbit 2, 12, 13, 46, 143–4, 163 creation of new job business model 100, 101, 160 opportunities 77–8 company law 56 digital work intermediation 14, 15 contractual prohibitions 66 disruptive innovation 39 digital work intermediation 14, 15–16 driver income projections 51 financial losses 22 Driver-Partner Stories 25, 149 founding myth 34–5 driver-rating system 158, 160 regulatory arbitrage 20 employment litigation terms of service 44, 53, 122, 158, 181 France 99 wage rates 64 UK 45, 48, 98, 106, 115 working conditions 57 US 54–5, 99 Taylor, Frederick 52–3, 72, 158 financial losses 22, 23 tax laws 84 ‘Greyball’ 88, 170 tax obligations 123–4, 129, 131, 132 ‘Hell’ 88, 170 employment taxes and social security loss-making tactics and market share 64 contributions 125–7 monopoly power 23 VAT 124–5, 129 positive externality claims 132–3 taxi apps 12, 20 regulatory arbitrage 20 * * * Index 199 regulatory battles 35, 36 Vaidhyanathan, Siva 40, 154 resistance to unionization 65, 178 value creation 18–19, 20 risk shift 86 van de Casteele, Mounia 182 safety and liability 122–3, 180–1 VAT 124–5, 129 sale of Chinese operation 38 Verhage, Julie 147 surge pricing 58, 122 vicarious liability 128 tax liability 125, 126, 127 unexpected benefits 26 wage rates 58–61, 64, 65 wage rates 58, 59, 60–1, 64, 65, 127 Wakabayashi, Daisuke 171 working conditions 113, 178 Warne, Dan 115 UberLUX 14 Warner, Mark 16 UberX 14, 51, 60 Warren, Elizabeth 127, 183 UK Webb, Beatrice and Sidney 80, 168 collective action 113 Weil, David 83, 169 employment litigation 45, 48, 98–9, 106 welfare state 130, 131 tax liability 124–5, 126 Wilkinson, Frank 84, 130, 131, 169, unemployment 135, 137, 140, 145 172, 184, 185 Union Square Ventures 46 Wong, Julia Carrie 170 unionization 10, 65, 113, 114, 178, 179 work on demand 11–29 ‘unpooling’ 147 worker classification 28–9, 147 Unterschutz, Joanna 178 misclassification 95, 96–100 Upwork 12, 76, 144 workers’ rights 105 algorithmic control mechanisms 56 vs flexibility 115–17 business model 100, 160 working conditions 57, 68–9 commission deductions 63, 67 historical perspective 77, 81 US Uber 113, 178 discriminatory practices 121 working time 105–7 employment litigation 54–5, 97, 98, 99 Wosskow, Debbie 157 regulatory battles 36, 47 Wujczyk, Marcin 178 tax liabilities 126–7 taxi regulation 36, 114 Yates, Joanne 73 transport network company (TNC) YouTube 58 regulation 47–8 user ratings 5, 15–16, 53–4, 55 Zaleski, Olivia 165 portable ratings 111–13 zero-hours contracts 40, 41, 107 sanctions and 61–3 Zuckerberg, Mark 35 * * * Document Outline Cover Humans as a Service: The Promise and Perils of Work in the Gig Economy Copyright Dedication Contents Introduction Welcome to the Gig Economy Humans as a Service Rebranding Work The Platform Paradox Labour as a Technology Making the Gig Economy Work Platforms as a Service Exploring the Gig Economy Charting Solutions A Broader Perspective 1.

From the Coasian perspective, Uber does not write the epitaph of the firm.’32 Platforms, she argues, speak the language of markets—but they operate like old- fashioned employers, relying on technology to exercise tight control over their workforce. Tomassetti doesn’t deny that gig-economy platforms have dramatically lowered transaction cost in comparison with established competitors. Lowering transaction cost alone, however, cannot account for platforms’ phenomenal valuations and claims to disruptive innovation: there is, despite all claims to the contrary, little that is genuinely novel as far as platforms’ production pro- cesses are concerned. Uber follows the basic lines of a traditional taxi firm; TaskRabbit, those of a labour-outsourcing agency. The key to understanding the business model, Tomassetti points out, is a different one: platforms are but the latest example of ‘postindustrial corporations’.33 They seek ‘to maxi- mize profit, but not necessarily through productive enterprise.


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The Success Equation: Untangling Skill and Luck in Business, Sports, and Investing by Michael J. Mauboussin

Amazon Mechanical Turk, Atul Gawande, Benoit Mandelbrot, Black Swan, Checklist Manifesto, Clayton Christensen, cognitive bias, commoditize, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Brooks, deliberate practice, disruptive innovation, Emanuel Derman, fundamental attribution error, Gini coefficient, hindsight bias, hiring and firing, income inequality, Innovator's Dilemma, Long Term Capital Management, loss aversion, Menlo Park, mental accounting, moral hazard, Network effects, prisoner's dilemma, random walk, Richard Thaler, risk-adjusted returns, shareholder value, Simon Singh, six sigma, Steven Pinker, transaction costs, winner-take-all economy, zero-sum game, Zipf's Law

And because products tend to improve over time, the disruptors eventually use their superior business model to make enough money to beat the incumbents at their own game.10 One of the strengths of the theory of disruptive innovation is that it allows us to make predictions. In his book The Innovator's Manifesto, Michael Raynor shares the story of a young lawyer named Thomas Thurston who was steeped in the theory of disruptive innovation. Thurston had the unique opportunity to review forty-eight of the business proposals that Intel's New Business Initiatives group considered over the ten years ending in 2007. Without knowing how each business fared, he used this theory to predict which ones would succeed or fail. Thurston created a simple decision tree. If the innovation was sustaining and launched by an incumbent, he predicted it would succeed. If it was sustaining and launched by a new company, he predicted it would fail. If it was a disruptive innovation but was part of the parent company's structure rather than being in an autonomous unit, he predicted it would fail.

And when they do, you have a bunch of people on the other team doing things they don't have much experience doing.” By adding battlefields to the game, Leach diluted the advantage of the stronger teams.7 Colonel Blotto also has parallels to business. One illustration is the theory of disruptive innovation developed by Clayton Christensen at Harvard Business School. Christensen studies why great companies with smart managements and substantial resources consistently lose to companies with simpler, cheaper, and inferior products. He calls these upstarts “disruptors” and distinguishes between what he calls sustaining and disruptive innovation.8 Sustaining innovation involves steadily improving a product that already exists. Those improvements can be substantial, but the key is that they build on the existing business model. Think of going from a mom-and-pop bookstore to a superstore with tens of thousands of books and a coffee shop.

If it was a disruptive innovation but was part of the parent company's structure rather than being in an autonomous unit, he predicted it would fail. Only a disruptive innovation that was autonomous had a chance of success. When he compared his predictions with what actually happened, he found that he had been right for about forty-five of the forty-eight business proposals. His predictions were 94 percent accurate. This sounds impressive until you consider that only about 10 percent of new businesses succeed, so predicting failure for every one will make your guesses 90 percent accurate. So Raynor used statistical tests to look carefully at Thurston's predictions and found that it was very unlikely that he succeeded by luck alone.11 Strong and Weak Nations The theory of disruptive innovation fits well with Colonel Blotto. Another field where the game provides useful comparisons is war between strong and weak actors, generally nations.


pages: 733 words: 184,118

Tesla: Inventor of the Electrical Age by W. Bernard Carlson

1960s counterculture, Albert Einstein, Clayton Christensen, creative destruction, disruptive innovation, en.wikipedia.org, Henri Poincaré, invention of radio, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, Joseph Schumpeter, Menlo Park, packet switching, popular electronics, Robert Gordon, Ronald Reagan, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, undersea cable, yellow journalism

On one hand, there are the creative responses of entrepreneurs and inventors who introduce new products, processes, and services and in so doing dramatically change everyday life and reorder the industrial world; as Clayton Christensen has suggested, these can be called disruptive innovations.15 On the other hand, there are the adaptive responses of managers and engineers who undertake the steady and incremental work of establishing the corporate structures, manufacturing procedures, and marketing plans that allow products and services to be produced and consumed. Clearly the success of any economy depends on getting the right mix of disruptive and adaptive innovations. Tesla introduced two disruptive innovations that changed the American economy at the end of the nineteenth and the start of the twentieth century. His AC motor in the late 1880s made it desirable for electrical utilities to shift from DC to AC so that they could provide not only lighting service but power that could be used by industry and consumers.

In engineering and business schools, students are taught how to objectively analyze the performance of machines and systems, estimate consumer demand, and create new devices on the basis of what they measure—to create what Schumpeter called adaptive innovations. In contrast, what do we actually know—as historians, entrepreneurs, or policymakers—about the other of kind innovation, Schumpeter’s creative innovation or Christensen’s disruptive innovation? Where do these innovations come from? Are disruptive innovations simply caused by mysterious, unknowable forces like genius and luck? How does one harness disruptive technology so that it has a positive impact on a company, the economy, and society at large? These are the questions that Tesla’s story answers. Tesla’s great strength was that he was willing to think like a maverick. With his motor, for instance, while most other investigators worried about changing the direction of the magnetic poles in the rotor, Tesla instead figured out how to create a rotating magnetic field in the stator (see Chapter 2).

As Chapter 1 will reveal, Tesla’s father and uncles were all priests in the Serbian Orthodox Church and Tesla absorbed something of that faith’s beliefs that through the Son of God, the Word or Logos, everything in Creation is endowed with an underlying principle.18 In this sense, Tesla was much like the great British scientist Michael Faraday, whose research in electricity and chemistry was strongly influenced by his religious beliefs; Faraday was a member of the Sandemanian Church, a Christian sect founded in 1730 that gave Faraday a strong sense of the unity of God and nature.19 In taking an idealist approach to invention, Tesla was exhibiting what the economist Joseph Schumpeter called subjective, as opposed to objective, rationality (see Chapter 2). For Schumpeter, engineers and managers come up with incremental innovations by going out and assessing existing needs whereas entrepreneurs and inventors introduce radical and disruptive innovations by responding to ideas that come from within.20 With objective rationality, the individual shapes ideas in response to the outside world (the market) whereas with subjective rationality, the individual reshapes the outside world to conform to his or her internal ideas. With both the rotating magnetic field and electromagnetic resonance, we will see that the ideals came from within and Tesla struggled to reorder the social world in order to make his inventions a reality.


Innovation and Its Enemies by Calestous Juma

3D printing, additive manufacturing, agricultural Revolution, Asilomar, Asilomar Conference on Recombinant DNA, autonomous vehicles, big-box store, business cycle, Cass Sunstein, clean water, collective bargaining, colonial rule, computer age, creative destruction, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, deskilling, disruptive innovation, energy transition, Erik Brynjolfsson, financial innovation, global value chain, Honoré de Balzac, illegal immigration, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet of things, invention of movable type, invention of the printing press, Joseph Schumpeter, knowledge economy, loss aversion, Marc Andreessen, means of production, Menlo Park, mobile money, New Urbanism, Nicholas Carr, pensions crisis, phenotype, Ray Kurzweil, refrigerator car, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, smart grid, smart meter, stem cell, Steve Jobs, technological singularity, The Future of Employment, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Travis Kalanick

Using his classic reference case, he said: “Railroads have not emerged because any consumers took the initiative in displaying an effective demand for their service in preference to the services of mail coaches.”24 He added other examples: “Nor did the consumers display any such initiative wish to have electric lamps or rayon stockings, or to travel by motorcar or airplane, or to listen to radio, or to chew gum.”25 In fact, “The great majority of changes in commodities consumed have been forced by producers on consumers who, more often than not, have resisted the change and have had to be educated up by elaborate psychotechnics of advertising.”26 One of the key features of the concept of creative destruction is technological discontinuity. A popular derivative of the thinking is the concept of “disruptive innovation.”27 As noted by Christensen in his original formulation of the theory, disruptive innovation is distinguished from sustaining technologies that “improve the performance of established products, along the dimensions that mainstream customers in major markets have traditionally valued.”28 Disruptive technologies, however, may start off underperforming relative to established technologies. Through technological improvement and marketing, the disruptive technologies eventually end up dominating the market. They are “typically cheaper, simpler, smaller, and, frequently, more convenient to use.”29 The term “disruptive innovation” is generally used to cover technological innovation as well as business models.30 This makes it difficult to assess its wider societal implications.

Four system domains must be effective if inclusive innovation is to succeed: the product, its retailing and support, the micro-enterprises that provide these demand-side services, and the wider context.”51 It is not sufficient that policies are inclusive; their formulation and the design of new technologies also need to include potential beneficiaries.52 In the final analysis, policymakers will have to invest in managing change, especially where investments in new technologies are needed. Policymakers seeking to support radical technologies must appreciate the challenges of getting support from project managers. In many cases, “Managers with restrictive mental models will adopt up to five disruptive innovation rejection strategies: rewarding incrementalism; ignoring the positive aspects of disruptive innovation; focusing on historical perceptions of success; creating perceptions of success with high effort; and holding beliefs in the face of disconfirming information.”53 Addressing these sources of reluctance to allocate resources to disruptive technologies requires a more holistic understanding of the innovation process, including lessons from discontinued or unsupported technological opportunities that became the foundation for new businesses elsewhere.54 Playing Catch-Up: Institutional Adaptation Laws are among the most explicit expressions of social institutions.

Schumpeter, Business Cycles: A Theoretical, Historical and Statistical Analysis of the Capitalist Process, vol. 1 (New York: McGraw Hill, 1939), 73. 25. Schumpeter, Business Cycles, 73. 26. Schumpeter, Business Cycles, 73. 27. Dan Yu and Chang Chieh Hang, “A Reflective Review of Disruptive Innovation Theory,” International Journal of Management Reviews 12 (2010): 435–452. 28. Clayton M. Christensen, The Innovator’s Dilemma: When New Technologies Cause Great Firms to Fail (New York: HarperCollins, 2010), xv. 29. Christensen, The Innovator’s Dilemma, xv. 30. Constantinos Markides, “Disruptive Innovation: In Need of Better Theory,” Journal of Product Innovation Management 23 (2006): 19–25. 31. Gerard J. Tellis, “Disruptive Technology or Visionary Leadership?,” Journal of Product Innovation Management 23 (2006): 34–38. 32. Rebecca M. Henderson and Kim B.


pages: 268 words: 75,490

The Knowledge Economy by Roberto Mangabeira Unger

additive manufacturing, balance sheet recession, business cycle, collective bargaining, commoditize, deindustrialization, disruptive innovation, first-past-the-post, full employment, global value chain, information asymmetry, knowledge economy, market fundamentalism, means of production, Paul Samuelson, savings glut, secular stagnation, side project, total factor productivity, transaction costs, union organizing, wealth creators

It is a micro approach to a macro problem: the disruptive innovators profit, but the deep sources of expansion of the economy on both the supply and the demand sides—the institutional arrangements of the economy, the way in which people are educated, and the organization of the state and of the contest over governmental power—lie beyond their reach and their concerns. We cannot make up for this limitation by simply doing whatever we can to encourage the emergence and development of more such disruptive firms. For one thing, disruptive innovation by the firm is no guarantee of success; most who have attempted it have failed in their competition with nondisruptive businesses, those that remain content to pursue efficiency-enhancing, capital-sparing innovations. Disruptive innovation is not a practice that could take over the economy by the sheer force of competitive advantage.

In such an economic order, which is every existing or past example of a market economy, there is no institutional equivalent to Henry Ford’s impossible contract: that he would pay his workers so well that they would be able to buy his cars. Disruptive innovation represents in this sense an adaptation of the insurgent, opportunistic, and innovative firm to the lack of an economy-wide solution to the problem that this section addresses: the absence of a growth-promoting solution to the problem of the reciprocal adjustment of supply and demand. Contrary to the established way of thinking, no such solution results spontaneously from the workings of a variant of the present form of the market economy that has been expunged of failures of competition. Reinterpreted along these lines, disruptive innovation is a way for the disruptive firm to profit at the micro level, in its own world, from the absence of the solution to the problem of the lack of upward growth and reciprocal adjustment between supply and demand at the macro level, in the economy as a whole.

Its innovations aim to increase the efficiency and diminish the costs with which established goods and services are produced: they result in a better version of a familiar product, with a higher return on capital. Such innovations are efficiency-enhancing and capital-sparing. They do not revolutionize production; they progress by the accumulation of many small improvements. At a fifth level, the firm practices what Christensen has called disruptive innovation: it combines new technologies and business models to produce a variant of an existing product at a much lower price, thus making it available to a broader mass of consumers, or to produce something new, for which it creates the market, finds the consumers, and arouses their desires. Such innovations are transformative: they create new assets in new ways and help make markets—and even wants—that did not exist before.


pages: 133 words: 36,528

Peak Car: The Future of Travel by David Metz

autonomous vehicles, bike sharing scheme, Clayton Christensen, congestion charging, crowdsourcing, David Attenborough, decarbonisation, disruptive innovation, edge city, Edward Glaeser, Just-in-time delivery, low cost airline, Network effects, Richard Florida, Robert Gordon, Silicon Valley, Skype, urban sprawl, yield management, young professional

What is distinctive is digital distribution that cuts out the printer, bookshop and library, and allows you to buy this book for the price of a sandwich. This is good for authors and readers, but for printers, bookshops, libraries and publishers, the e‑book is a ‘disruptive innovation’ that is undermining existing ways of doing business. At present we have examples of digital technologies improving journeys with Satnav and smartcard ticketing, and of allowing travel substitution, as when we work at home with access to the full range of information and contacts that we would have in our workplace. But these are not radical innovations. Are there disruptive innovations on the horizon for the transport sector? Consider the driverless cars that are being developed by some manufacturers as well as by Google. The technologies required have been worked on for some years and those already introduced include adaptive cruise control, lane detection, pedestrian recognition, emergency braking and automated parking assistance.

This is an chicken-and-egg situation: investment in a segregated highway could only be justified if there were a sufficient number of autonomous vehicles wiling to pay tolls for use, but investment in these vehicles could only be justified if the segregated highway existed. My expectation is that driverless cars, to the extent they penetrate the market, will amount to an incremental improvement, not a disruptive innovation—best regarded as robot chauffeurs. One possible application of this technology would be to taxis, if lower fares increased their attraction to passengers (in which case the innovation would be disruptive to taxi drivers). Driverless trains are already with us—for instance on London’s Docklands Light Railway—safe and practical because access to the system is controlled. Clayton Christensen, originator of the concept of disruptive innovation, argued that the electric car might be such a technology. Possibly the electric car will displace vehicles powered by conventional internal combustion engines. Car manufacturers who do not have access to this technology would lose market share, but the battery manufacturers who might make the technological breakthrough would be keen to supply all users.

Car manufacturers who do not have access to this technology would lose market share, but the battery manufacturers who might make the technological breakthrough would be keen to supply all users. However, from the viewpoint of drivers and those responsible for the road system, changing the power source is an incremental improvement, not a disruptive innovation (although electric vehicles would be disruptive for the oil industry). The key question for this chapter is whether advances in technology will allow us to travel significantly faster or very differently, whether through innovations that lead to new kinds of vehicle or new digital applications that provide trip information. In my judgement, the answer is probably not. While there will continue to be incremental improvements, the future of the car and of the other transport technologies is likely to be rather unexciting.


pages: 393 words: 115,217

Loonshots: How to Nurture the Crazy Ideas That Win Wars, Cure Diseases, and Transform Industries by Safi Bahcall

accounting loophole / creative accounting, Albert Einstein, Apple II, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, Astronomia nova, British Empire, Cass Sunstein, Charles Lindbergh, Clayton Christensen, cognitive bias, creative destruction, disruptive innovation, diversified portfolio, double helix, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Edmond Halley, Gary Taubes, hypertext link, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Johannes Kepler, Jony Ive, knowledge economy, lone genius, Louis Pasteur, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, Mother of all demos, Murray Gell-Mann, PageRank, Peter Thiel, Philip Mirowski, Pierre-Simon Laplace, prediction markets, pre–internet, Ralph Waldo Emerson, RAND corporation, random walk, Richard Feynman, Richard Thaler, side project, Silicon Valley, six sigma, Solar eclipse in 1919, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, Tim Cook: Apple, tulip mania, Wall-E, wikimedia commons, yield management

So what do these stories, and the stories from earlier in the book, tell us? USE “DISRUPTIVE INNOVATION” TO ANALYZE HISTORY; NURTURE LOONSHOTS TO TEST BELIEFS In an article addressing recent controversy about the notion of disruptive innovation, Christensen explains why Uber is not disruptive, by his definition, and why the iPhone also began as a sustaining innovation. In chapter 3, we saw that American Airlines—a large incumbent, not a new entrant—led the airline industry after deregulation with many brilliant “sustaining” innovations targeted to high-end customers. Hundreds of low-cost, specialty airline startups, “disruptive innovators,” failed. If the transistor, Google, the iPhone, Uber, Walmart, IKEA, and American Airlines’ Big Data and other industry-transforming ideas were all initially sustaining innovations, and hundreds of “disruptive innovators” fail, perhaps the distinction between sustaining vs. disruptive, while interesting academically or in hindsight, is less critical for steering businesses in real time than other notions.

With a little help, and a little science, we can each press on, as individuals, as members of teams, as citizens of nations, toward our own endless frontiers. Afterword Loonshots vs. Disruption This afterword is mostly for business-theory or innovation-theory junkies who may have heard of, or even occasionally make use of, the term disruptive or the term (which causes me even more stomach pain) disruptive innovation. First, to get something out of the way quickly: the two types of loonshots described in chapter 3 are unrelated to what Louis Galambos in 1992 called “adaptive” vs. “formative” innovations, and Clayton Christensen in 1997 called “sustaining” vs. “disruptive” innovations. The two loonshots distinguish between a new strategy (S-type) and a new product or technology (P-type). Galambos and Christensen distinguish between improvements to existing products (sustaining) and technologies that eventually significantly alter some market (disruptive).

Later, of course, the transistor got cheaper and disrupted nearly every market. ONLINE SEARCH To fast-forward a few decades: could Google, when it began, say that it had developed a disruptive innovation? Larry Page and Sergey Brin’s improved algorithm for prioritizing internet search results, PageRank, was incrementally more helpful to users than results from the many other existing search engines. It was a “sustaining” innovation, by the definitions above. WALMART When Sam Walton opened stores in rural areas, far from big cities, was he thinking it might be a strategic, disruptive innovation? “Man, I was all set to become a big-city department store owner,” he wrote about opening his first store. He was looking at St. Louis. “That’s when Helen spoke up and laid down the law.” His wife announced, “I’ll go with you any place you want so long as you don’t ask me to live in a big city.


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, commoditize, corporate governance, creative destruction, disruptive innovation, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, future of work, game design, George Gilder, intangible asset, Isaac Newton, job satisfaction, Joi Ito, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, loose coupling, Louis Pasteur, Malcom McLean invented shipping containers, Maui Hawaii, medical residency, Network effects, old-boy network, packet switching, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer, 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, the new new thing, too big to fail, trade liberalization, transaction costs

Clayton Christensen and Michael Raynor have painted a very compelling picture of the potential to pursue disruptive innovation strategies.9 These strategies can generate enormous wealth for the innovator but, in general, they are different from the strategies we are discussing on two important dimensions. First, they often involve a single company making significant commitments to a disruptive innovation in technology or business design, rather than an individual or group bringing together very large numbers of companies to make complementary investments. Think of the iconic examples of disruptive innovators such as Nucor or Southwest Airlines. These companies bet big, but they largely bet alone. On one hand, for those who win in pursuing disruptive innovations, the prize is very large because it does not have to be shared with anyone else.

On one hand, for those who win in pursuing disruptive innovations, the prize is very large because it does not have to be shared with anyone else. On the other hand, there is little opportunity to manage risk by sharing investment across large numbers of players. These shapers often literally bet the company and live or die based on the outcome of the bet. The second key difference in disruptive innovation strategies is that these strategies motivate others to invest and move based on negative incentives. The basic proposition is that, if others do not invest to adopt the disruptive innovations, they will die. Imminent death does focus the mind. But it is a negative incentive rather than a positive one, and positive incentives are central to the shaping strategies we are discussing. Another form of shaping strategy depends on mobilizing large ecosystems of players. The iconic example in this domain is Apple, which has fundamentally reshaped the music industry by designing and deploying a new kind of portable digital music player (the iPod) and linking it with an online music service (iTunes).

There’s a key difference, however, between this technology revolution and previous ones. In past technology revolutions, a new technology or cluster of technologies emerged in a burst of innovation, experienced rapid performance improvement for a short period of time, and then quickly began to experience a flattening of the performance-improvement curve. This pattern enabled a process of stabilization to follow the initial disruptive innovation. As the performance curve of the technology began to flatten, it provided an opportunity for infrastructure to stabilize once innovators discovered the best way to organize the infrastructure to deliver the distinctive capabilities of the new technology. Similarly, as the infrastructure stabilized, it helped the rest of society to stabilize as well—once it discovered a new set of practices to harness the potential of the new infrastructure.


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Creative Intelligence: Harnessing the Power to Create, Connect, and Inspire by Bruce Nussbaum

3D printing, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, Berlin Wall, Black Swan, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable:, clean water, collapse of Lehman Brothers, creative destruction, Credit Default Swap, crony capitalism, crowdsourcing, Danny Hillis, declining real wages, demographic dividend, disruptive innovation, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, Fall of the Berlin Wall, follow your passion, game design, housing crisis, Hyman Minsky, industrial robot, invisible hand, James Dyson, Jane Jacobs, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, John Gruber, John Markoff, Joseph Schumpeter, Kickstarter, lone genius, longitudinal study, manufacturing employment, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Martin Wolf, new economy, Paul Graham, Peter Thiel, QR code, race to the bottom, reshoring, Richard Florida, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Silicon Valley startup, six sigma, Skype, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, supply-chain management, Tesla Model S, The Chicago School, The Design of Experiments, the High Line, The Myth of the Rational Market, thinkpad, Tim Cook: Apple, too big to fail, tulip mania, We are the 99%, Y Combinator, young professional, Zipcar

When you look at most of the products that have changed our lives over the past decades—from Facebook to Twitter, Amazon to eBay—they are almost invariably start-ups offering surprising new products or services. Their success had nothing to do with the number of patents or the amount spent on R&D, and so it was impossible to measure these companies using the same metrics of more established organizations. That made it clear that something else was happening, something else was responsible for these big disruptive innovations, something that we hadn’t yet discovered how to quantify. Frustrated, I began asking around, starting with my contacts at a number of consultancies whose job it was to help existing companies become more creative. They were reluctant to talk about it at first, but eventually they began to share the same surprising truth: They had an incredibly low success rate when it came to helping companies usher in the kind of transformative innovation they were seeking.

Years after I initially began these conversations, the heads of two top innovation firms would tell me that of the hundreds of projects they worked on each year, only a handful actually worked. After spending most of my career covering innovation, developing tools to help companies and investors measure it, and believing that companies really could become more innovative, I was shocked. And every bit as frustrated. What was this all about? Why were all the hugely disruptive innovations coming out of left field? Why were companies that were spending money and time on all the right things failing to come up with the same kinds of life-altering products and services that some twentysomethings could do with zero budget? How could the millions spent on metrics and measuring by big organizations generate far less innovation than some talented computer programmers and their buddies?

Traditional notions of creativity separate the process of coming up with new ideas from the actual making of new things. But truly creative people don’t stop at the idea; they make the pivot into creation. By moving beyond the creative idea in order to create new products and businesses, Pivoting is a way of reprising creativity’s crucial role in capitalism as a driver of innovation and growth. But how? Most disruptive innovations come from individuals who are leading a cause and who’ve inspired a loyal following to get involved in that community. And yet our investments into innovation don’t always reflect that. Most of our efforts to promote creativity go to older, established corporations, where incremental innovation is, at best, the result. Yet where have the most important innovations that have changed our lives in recent years come from?


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Think Like an Engineer: Use Systematic Thinking to Solve Everyday Challenges & Unlock the Inherent Values in Them by Mushtak Al-Atabi

3D printing, agricultural Revolution, Albert Einstein, Barry Marshall: ulcers, Black Swan, business climate, call centre, Clayton Christensen, clean water, cognitive bias, corporate social responsibility, dematerialisation, disruptive innovation, Elon Musk, follow your passion, global supply chain, happiness index / gross national happiness, invention of the wheel, iterative process, James Dyson, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, Lao Tzu, Lean Startup, On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres, remote working, shareholder value, six sigma, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker

Taking the smartphone market as an example, there was a time when the iPhone represented the high end of the market with other imitators satisfying the lower end of the market, selling cheaper but with a lower brand and performance offering. Currently the differentiation between various brands is becoming more difficult, and smartphones are almost becoming a commodity. Disruptive Innovation (Source: Innovator’s Dilemma, Clayton Christensen) Clayton Christensen in his book ‘The Innovator’s Dilemma’ presented an interesting theory of what he calls “disruptive innovation.” He explains how a new product, service, or company may drive existing prominent market players out of the market and conquer their market share. This happens by addressing market segments that are below the existing lower end of the market. An example of this is the budget airline that started not by competing with the established airlines, but rather by addressing a group of people that the established airlines never saw as customers.

43 3.2 Emotional Intelligence 45 3.2.1 Self Awareness 46 3.2.2 Self-Management 48 3.2.3 Social Awareness 53 3.2.4 Relationship Management 58 Chapter 4 67 Conceive 4.1 Preparing to Conceive 69 4.2 Ideation: The Art of Idea Generation 71 4.2.1 Brainstorming 71 4.2.2 Random Entry 74 4.2.3 Trimming 77 4.2.4 Blue Ocean Strategy 78 4.2.5 Trend Recognition 82 4.2.6 Biomimicry and Learning from Nature 89 4.3 Concept Evaluation and Selection 89 Chapter 5 93 Design 5.1 Function and Form 93 5.2 Design Process 94 5.2.1 System Architecture 95 5.2.2 Configuration Design 97 5.2.3 Integrated Design 98 5.2.4 Detailed Design 98 5.3 Design Optimisation and Trade Offs 99 5.4 Other Design Considerations 100 Chapter 6 104 Implement 6.1 Hardware Manufacturing Process 104 6.2 Software Implementing Process 105 6.3 Hardware Software Integration 106 6.4 Testing, Verification, Validation, and Certification 106 Chapter 7 110 Operate 7.1 Sustainable and Safe Operations 110 7.2 Operations Management 110 7.3 Training and Operations 111 7.4 The Birth of the Checklist 111 7.5 Preventive Maintenance 115 7.6 System Improvement and Evolution 115 7.7 End of Life Issues 115 7.8 CDIO Case Studies 115 7.8.1 Taylor’s Racing Team 116 7.8.2 Women in Engineering 121 7.8.3 CDIO Beyond Engineering 124 Chapter 8 126 Ergonomics: Human Centred Design 8.1 Design for Ease of Use and Operation 127 8.1.1 Affordance, Visibility and Feedback 128 8.1.2 Constraints 130 8.1.3 Mapping 131 8.2 Anthropometric Measurements 132 8.3 Work Musculo-Skeletal Disorders (WMSDs) 133 8.4 Cognitive Ergonomics 133 8.4.1 Nudges 134 8.4.2 Framing 134 8.4.3 Anchoring 136 Chapter 9 137 Communication and Teamwork 9.1 Communication Strategies 137 9.2 Process Documentation 145 9.2.1 Logbooks 145 9.2.2 Minutes of Meetings 146 9.2.3 Technical Reports 146 9.2.4 Communication via Email 148 9.2.5 Operation Manuals 149 9.3 Teamwork 150 9.3.1 Selecting the Team Members 150 9.3.2 Core Competency 151 9.3.3 Organisation Chart 152 9.3.4 Team Evolution 153 9.3.5 Team Building Exercises 156 9.4 Connections and Networking 156 Chapter 10 159 Managing Projects for Success 10.1 Project Initiating 160 10.2 Project Planning 162 10.2.1 Cost and Resources Estimation 163 10.2.2 Time Estimation 163 10.2.3 Risk Management 168 10.3 Project Executing 169 10.4 Project Monitoring and Controlling 169 10.5 Project Closing 169 10.6 Project Stakeholders Management 170 Chapter 11 173 Entrepreneurship and Innovation 11.1 Philosophy of Entrepreneurship 174 11.2 Business Value 176 11.2.1 Customer Value (Value Proposition) 176 11.2.2 Shareholder Value 177 11.2.3 Employee Value 178 11.2.4 Suppliers and Partners Value 178 11.2.5 Society Value 178 11.3 Business Model (Entrepreneurial Ecosystem) 178 11.3.1 Customer 180 11.3.2 Channels 180 11.3.3 Revenue and Cost 180 11.3.4 Resources 181 11.3.5 Business Activities 181 11.3.6 Partnerships 181 11.3.7 Competitors 182 11.3.8 Business Environment 182 11.4 Business Plan 182 11.5 CDIO for the Market 184 11.5.1 Market Lifecycle of Products and Services 184 11.5.2 Market Evolution and Disruptive Innovation 186 11.5.3 Market Penetration 187 11.5.4 Customers Power in a Digital World 189 11.6 Lean Entrepreneurship 191 11.7 Funding Entrepreneurship 193 Chapter 12 198 Return on Failure 12.1 Learning and Failure 200 12.2 Failing Smart 203 12.3 Failure, Risk and Uncertainty 204 12.4 Education and Encouraging Failure 205 Chapter 13 209 Structured P Solving 13.1 Challenge Identification and Formulation 209 13.2 Root Cause Analysis 210 13.2.1 The 5 Whys 210 13.2.2 The 4 M Method 211 13.2.3 Fishbone Diagram 213 13.3 Estimation and Quantitative Analysis 214 13.4 Final Steps 215 Chapter 14 216 Engineering Holistic Education 14.1 Holistic Education 218 14.2 Learning Beyond the School 220 14.3 Mission Zero: A Vision for Higher Education 224 14.3.1 Zero Tuition Fees 224 14.3.2 Zero Impact on the Job Market 226 14.4 Engineering a Culture Change: Happiness Index 226 Epilogue 228 An Invitation Foreword Whether you are a professional engineer, an aspiring engineer, an enthusiast of engineering or someone interested in ideas, this book has something to offer.

Product Adoption Lifecycle (Source: “Crossing the Chasm” by Geoffrey Moore) To cross the chasm, a product needs to impress the innovators enough for them to be excited about it and talk about it to their friends and networks. If the innovators become the ambassadors for a product, they can produce enough momentum, together with the early adopters, to cross the chasm. 11.5.2 Market Evolution and Disruptive Innovation A product starts its life with a certain performance level. As times goes by, often the performance improves. As more providers for similar products come into existence, a market range normally develops with high-end and low-end offerings. With time, the difference between the high-end and the low-end diminishes; that is when the product becomes an undifferentiated commodity. Taking the smartphone market as an example, there was a time when the iPhone represented the high end of the market with other imitators satisfying the lower end of the market, selling cheaper but with a lower brand and performance offering.


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A More Beautiful Question: The Power of Inquiry to Spark Breakthrough Ideas by Warren Berger

Airbnb, carbon footprint, Clayton Christensen, clean water, disruptive innovation, fear of failure, Google X / Alphabet X, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, Joi Ito, Kickstarter, late fees, Lean Startup, Mark Zuckerberg, minimum viable product, new economy, Paul Graham, Peter Thiel, Ray Kurzweil, self-driving car, sharing economy, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Stanford marshmallow experiment, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Thomas L Friedman, Toyota Production System, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Y Combinator, Zipcar

Why weren’t the established leaders, with all their know-how and resources, able to dominate the low end of the market as well as the high end? Christensen came to see this as a dilemma: To pursue disruptive innovation at the low end, companies would have to move away from all they had worked so hard to build. As Christensen puts it, they faced this deceptively tricky question: Should we make better products that we can sell for higher profits to our best customers—or make worse products that none of our customers would buy, and that would ruin our margins? If you were a smart business leader, you naturally opted for the former. And in making that seemingly logical choice, you sealed your company’s fate. After Christensen published his theory in the bestselling book The Innovator’s Dilemma, the idea of focusing on “disruptive innovation” at the low end of markets became standard business practice, particularly in Silicon Valley, where Christensen’s book was, for a time, a kind of innovator’s bible.

The story about Marc Benioff’s question was told in Jeff Dyer, Hal Gregersen, and Clayton Christensen’s The Innovator’s DNA: Mastering the Five Skills of Disruptive Innovators (Cambridge: Harvard Business Review Press, 2011). The quote about “turning the software industry on its head” is from Jon Swartz, “Salesforce CEO leads charge against software,” USA Today, July 24, 2007. 5 Robert Burton, a neurologist and . . . From my interview with Burton, November 2012. Burton’s theories about certainty also appear in his article “The Certainty Epidemic,” Salon, February 29, 2008; as well as in Burton’s book, On Being Certain: Believing You Are Right Even When You’re Not (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 2008). 6 A nice description of this phenomenon . . . Maura O’Neill, “Disruptive Innovation Often Comes from Unexpected Places,” Huffington Post, January 25, 2013. 7 the late cofounder of Apple, Steve Jobs . . .

The research conducted by Dyer, Gregersen, and Christensen was conducted over six years, involving more than three thousand business executives. It showed “questioning” to be one of five key characteristics (and in some ways the most important) associated with being a successful, creative business leader. The results appeared initially in the Harvard Business Review in December 2009 and later in Dyer, Gregersen, and Christensen’s The Innovator’s DNA: Mastering the Five Skills of Disruptive Innovators (Cambridge, MA: Harvard Business Review Press, 2011). 8 The neurologist John Kounios observes . . . From my interview with Kounios, November 2012. 9 “We’ve transitioned into always transitioning” . . . The general principle of constant transitioning was discussed in my interview with Brown, March 4, 2013. However, this particular quote appeared in Heather Chaplin’s interview “John Seely Brown on Interest-Driven Learning, Mentors and the Importance of Play,” spotlight.macfound.org, March 1, 2012. 10 The esteemed physicist Edward Witten . . .


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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, c2.com, call centre, Cass Sunstein, citizen journalism, Clayton Christensen, clean water, commoditize, corporate governance, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, disruptive innovation, distributed generation, en.wikipedia.org, Firefox, game design, Hacker Ethic, Howard Rheingold, Hush-A-Phone, illegal immigration, index card, informal economy, Internet Archive, jimmy wales, John Markoff, license plate recognition, loose coupling, mail merge, national security letter, old-boy network, packet switching, peer-to-peer, post-materialism, pre–internet, price discrimination, profit maximization, Ralph Nader, RFC: Request For Comment, RFID, Richard Stallman, Richard Thaler, risk tolerance, Robert Bork, 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, zero-sum game

Moving slow, and making clear, safe progress is the mantra.23 The puzzle of why big firms exhibit such innovative inertia was placed into a theoretical framework by Clayton Christensen in his pioneering book The Innovator’s Dilemma.24 Christensen found the hard disk drive industry representative. In it, market leaders tended to be very good at quickly and successfully adopting some technological advancements, yet were entirely left behind by upstarts. To explain the discrepancy, he created a taxonomy of “sustaining” and “disruptive” innovations. When technological innovations are consistent with the performance trajectory of established market leaders—that is, when they are a more efficient way of doing what they already do—alert leaders will be quick to develop and utilize such “sustaining” innovations. It is with disruptive innovations that the market leaders will lag behind. These innovations are not in the path of what the company is already doing well. Indeed, Christensen found that the innovations which market leaders were the worst at exploiting were “technologically straightforward, consisting of off-the-shelf components put together in a product architecture that was often simpler than prior approaches.

They offered a different package of attributes valued only in emerging markets remote from, and unimportant to, the mainstream.”25 It is not the case, Christensen argues, that these large companies lack the technological competence to deploy a new technology, but rather that their managements choose to focus on their largest and most profitable customers, resulting in an unwillingness to show “downwardvision and mobility.”26 Subsequent authors have built on this theory, arguing that a failure to innovate disruptively is not simply an issue of management, but the organizational inability of large firms to respond to changes in consumer preferences caused by such disruptive innovations. Established firms are structurally reluctant to investigate whether an innovative product would be marketable to a sector outside what they perceive to be their traditional market.27 They want to ride a wave, and they fail to establish alternatives or plumb new markets even as competitors begin to do so. 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.

Echoing Christensen and others, he points out that firms too often think that their own internal marketing and R&D departments know best, and that users cannot easily improve on what they manufacture. Von Hippel then goes further, offering a model that integrates user innovation with manufacturer innovation (Figure 4.3). Von Hippel’s analysis says that users can play a critical role in adapting technologies to entirely new purposes—a source of disruptive innovation. They come up with ideas before there is widespread demand, and they vindicate their ideas sufficiently to get others interested. When interest gets big enough, companies can then step in to smooth out the rough edges and fully commercialize the innovation. Von Hippel has compiled an extensive catalog of user innovation. He points to examples like farmers who roped a bicycle-like contraption to some PVC pipes to create a portable center-pivot irrigation system, which, now perfected by professional manufacturers, is a leading way to water crops.36 Or a paramedic who placed IV bags filled with water into his knapsack and ran the outlet tubes from behind so he could drink from them while bicycling, akin to the way some fans at football games drink beer out of baseball caps that have cup holders that hang on either side of the head.


pages: 554 words: 149,489

The Content Trap: A Strategist's Guide to Digital Change by Bharat Anand

Airbnb, Benjamin Mako Hill, Bernie Sanders, Clayton Christensen, cloud computing, commoditize, correlation does not imply causation, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, death of newspapers, disruptive innovation, Donald Trump, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, information asymmetry, Internet of things, inventory management, Jean Tirole, Jeff Bezos, John Markoff, Just-in-time delivery, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, late fees, Mark Zuckerberg, market design, Minecraft, multi-sided market, Network effects, post-work, price discrimination, publish or perish, QR code, recommendation engine, ride hailing / ride sharing, selection bias, self-driving car, shareholder value, Shenzhen was a fishing village, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, social graph, social web, special economic zone, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Thomas L Friedman, transaction costs, two-sided market, ubercab, WikiLeaks, winner-take-all economy, zero-sum game

To start, there was the question of empirical universality. Disruptive innovation is at its heart a story of certain industry-level trends—not a story of every industry or of every firm within disrupted ones. Christensen had recognized this a few years back. Hotels, he’d noted, were not being disrupted by new technology, because there was no common “technological core” spanning different hotels. The more general point was that disruption is hardly a law of nature, as so many observers had come to believe. It is merely a possibility. In addition, “disruptive dynamics” in practice needn’t always start with low-quality alternatives. They could come from the high end, too. Apple’s was the most expensive smartphone in the market when it came out, in 2006—and the most “disruptive” innovation in the phone industry for thirty years.

American Economic Review 91, no. 3 (June 2001): 428–53. Chopra, Sunil, and Murali Veeraiyan. “Movie Rental Business: Blockbuster, Netflix, and Redbox.” HBS No. KEL616. Kellogg School of Management, rev. March 2, 2016. Christensen, Clayton M. Disrupting Class: How Disruptive Innovation Will Change the Way the World Learns. Expanded ed. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2011. ———. The Innovator’s Dilemma: When New Technologies Cause Great Firms to Fail. Boston: Harvard Business Publishing, 1997, 2000. Christensen, Clayton M., Michael E. Raynor, and Rory McDonald. “What Is Disruptive Innovation?” Harvard Business Review, December 2015. Chung, Kevin Y. C., Timothy P. Derdenger, and Kannan Srinivasan. “Economic Value of Celebrity Endorsements: Tiger Woods’ Impact on Sales of Nike Golf Balls.” Marketing Science 32, no. 2 (March 1, 2013): 271–93.

Christensen, The Innovator’s Dilemma: When New Technologies Cause Great Firms to Fail (Boston: Harvard Business Publishing, 1997, 2000). far outdistanced Christensen’s definition Clayton M. Christensen, Michael E. Raynor, and Rory McDonald, “What Is Disruptive Innovation?,” Harvard Business Review , December 2015. a law of nature See also Joshua Gans, The Disruption Dilemma (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2016); Joshua Gans, “The Other Disruption,” Harvard Business Review, March 2016; Andrew King and Baljir Baatarogtokh, “How Useful Is the Theory of Disruptive Innovation?,” MIT Sloan Management Review, Fall 2015. “I’m so excited to be starting” Layla Siraj, email message to author, June 2014; Siraj kindly agreed to allow me to reproduce her email here. “Remember when I said” Lucas Carvalho, “HBX CORe: Harvard Business School—Week 1,” LinkedIn blog, March 3, 2015, accessed June 6, 2016, https://www.linkedin.com/​pulse/​hbx-harvard-business-school-week-1-lucas-carvalho .


pages: 309 words: 114,984

The Digital Doctor: Hope, Hype, and Harm at the Dawn of Medicine’s Computer Age by Robert Wachter

"Robert Solow", activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, AI winter, Airbnb, Atul Gawande, Captain Sullenberger Hudson, Checklist Manifesto, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable:, Clayton Christensen, collapse of Lehman Brothers, computer age, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, deskilling, disruptive innovation, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, everywhere but in the productivity statistics, Firefox, Frank Levy and Richard Murnane: The New Division of Labor, Google Glasses, Ignaz Semmelweis: hand washing, Internet of things, job satisfaction, Joseph Schumpeter, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, lifelogging, medical malpractice, medical residency, Menlo Park, minimum viable product, natural language processing, Network effects, Nicholas Carr, obamacare, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer, personalized medicine, pets.com, Productivity paradox, Ralph Nader, RAND corporation, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, six sigma, Skype, Snapchat, software as a service, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, the payments system, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas Bayes, Toyota Production System, Uber for X, US Airways Flight 1549, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Yogi Berra

The Digital Doctor brings us much closer to making this happen, which is why I finished the book far more optimistic than I was when I began it. It is a must read for everyone—patients, clinicians, technology designers, and policy makers.” —Maureen Bisognano President and CEO, Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) “An engaging, accessible, and terribly important book by one of our finest medical writers. The electronic health record not only is the most disruptive innovation in the history of healthcare, but will also prove to be transformative. In his inimitable mix of conversation, reporting, and insightful analysis, Bob Wachter explains to you why. A must read for healthcare professionals and the public alike.” —Lucian Leape, MD Professor, Harvard School of Public Health and Chair, Lucian Leape Institute of the National Patient Safety Foundation “The Digital Doctor truly defines today’s epoch of technological transformation in healthcare.

Sensors and monitors are throwing off mountains of data, often leading to more confusion than clarity. Patients are now in the loop—many of them get to see their laboratory and pathology results before their physician does; some are even reading their doctor’s notes—yet they remain woefully unprepared to handle their hard-fought empowerment. While someday the computerization of medicine will surely be that long-awaited “disruptive innovation,” today it’s often just plain disruptive: of the doctor-patient relationship, of clinicians’ professional interactions and work flow, and of the way we measure and try to improve things. I’d never heard the term unanticipated consequences in my professional world until a few years ago, and now we use it all the time, since we— yes, even the insiders—are constantly astounded by the speed with which things are changing and the unpredictability of the results.

(This movement was fostered by the time zone differences, since these “nighthawk” radiologists could read after-hours films during their local daytimes.) Hundreds of hospitals now use nighthawks, and everybody seems happy about it, including the domestic radiologists, who are sleeping soundly while the overnight images are read half a world away. But one wonders whether this is the start of so-called disruptive innovation, the concept made famous by Harvard’s Clay Christensen. Disruption often begins with a fat and happy incumbent content to preserve its existing enviable position in a market. In industries ranging from commercial aviation to steel manufacturing, an upstart comes in and grabs an unattractive part of the market (in this case, nights and weekends). But once a low-cost company has squeezed through a crack to capture a slice of a previously locked franchise, it is rarely content to stay put.


pages: 217 words: 63,287

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

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

For more than 300 years, bar four years of British rule, Indonesia was run by the Dutch. Today, though, apart from a few canals and old buildings, there is very little left behind. It was an extractive process, designed to make the merchants who were trading the coffee rich. In 1995, Clayton Christensen, a professor at the Harvard Business School, introduced the term “disruptive innovation” in his book The Innovator’s Dilemma. As the twin forces of digital technology and globalisation have shaken up and disrupted just about every aspect of our lives in the 21st century, disruptive innovation has become the rallying cry of a generation. Disruption, we are told, is the source of breakthroughs, transformation, and spectacular success. But when I tracked back to the source of innovation of the so-called disruptive companies like GoPro, what I found had nothing to do with disruption.

It had become preoccupied with getting people to consume more of its products rather than why they actually wanted to take photographs. In 1995, Clayton Christensen, a professor at the Harvard Business School, introduced the term “disruptive innovation” in his book The Innovator’s Dilemma. What Christensen was referring to in his book’s title was how, at certain points in history, the emergence of new and radical technologies has totally disrupted established business models and businesses – in some cases, completely sweeping them away. Exactly what happened to Kodak. As the twin forces of digital technology and globalisation have shaken up and disrupted just about every aspect of our lives in the 21st century, disruptive innovation has become the rallying cry of a generation. Everywhere you look, books and articles are trumpeting this new religion; disruption is the means to success, fame, and fortune.

Everywhere you look, books and articles are trumpeting this new religion; disruption is the means to success, fame, and fortune. Emotive as it is as a concept, though, compelling speakers at conferences to thump the lectern and use big bold fonts, disruptive innovation is not what made Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger so spectacularly successful with Instagram. In fact, it couldn’t be further from it. The subtitle of Christensen’s book – “When New Technologies Cause Great Firms to Fail” – points to why. What Christensen was shedding light on was not the source of the innovation, but its side effect: why great firms fail, not why these new innovations take off. Disruption isn’t the source of the kind of innovation that propelled Instagram from start-up to half a billion users and a billion-dollar valuation in two years. It was the side effect. The original roll-film technology that Eastman invented was, as Christensen noted, spectacularly disruptive to the incumbent industry.


pages: 245 words: 83,272

Artificial Unintelligence: How Computers Misunderstand the World by Meredith Broussard

1960s counterculture, A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Ada Lovelace, AI winter, Airbnb, Amazon Web Services, autonomous vehicles, availability heuristic, barriers to entry, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, Buckminster Fuller, Chris Urmson, Clayton Christensen, cloud computing, cognitive bias, complexity theory, computer vision, crowdsourcing, Danny Hillis, DARPA: Urban Challenge, digital map, disruptive innovation, Donald Trump, Douglas Engelbart, easy for humans, difficult for computers, Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, Elon Musk, Firefox, gig economy, global supply chain, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, Hacker Ethic, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, John von Neumann, Joi Ito, Joseph-Marie Jacquard, life extension, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, mass incarceration, Minecraft, minimum viable product, Mother of all demos, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Nate Silver, natural language processing, PageRank, payday loans, paypal mafia, performance metric, Peter Thiel, price discrimination, Ray Kurzweil, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ross Ulbricht, Saturday Night Live, school choice, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, speech recognition, statistical model, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, Tesla Model S, the High Line, The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver, theory of mind, Travis Kalanick, Turing test, Uber for X, uber lyft, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Whole Earth Catalog, women in the workforce

Alexander and West, The New Jim Crow. 11. Hern, “Silk Road Successor DarkMarket Rebrands as OpenBazaar.” 12. Brown, “Nearly a Third of Millennials Have Used Venmo to Pay for Drugs.” 13. Newman, “Who’s Buying Drugs, Sex, and Booze on Venmo? This Site Will Tell You.” III Working Together 10 On the Startup Bus Technochauvinists love disruptive innovation. Popularized by Harvard Business School professor Clayton Christensen in his 1997 book The Innovator’s Dilemma, disruptive innovation is allegedly the technological tidal wave that sweeps away the competition and results in huge profits. Innovation—and disruption, come to think of it—is usually connected to young people. Ask an executive who he imagines as the ultimate innovator, and odds are he’ll paint a picture of a twenty-something computer genius in a hoodie who’s writing code to make the next billion-dollar startup.

What he means, or perhaps hopes, is that young people can come up with ideas so new, so fresh, so original, that they create an entirely new market: new products to sell, new desire from consumers, a new facet to an existing industry—or a new industry altogether. There’s a reason that the Economist called disruptive innovation “the most influential business idea of recent years.”1 Just think of all the dollars attached. This hypothetical business executive might also say something about the power of collaboration and how getting creative people together in a room with a whiteboard can create disruptive innovation. I wanted to see an innovation process from start to finish to find out how much truth there is to these kinds of assumptions. I had a choice: I could join a team in an office for months, helping a team of hackers and business strategists launch a new app or software product into the world—or I could watch the same cycle occur over the course of five days.

People inside tech don’t talk about money the same way as people in other industries. Hackathoners chat about tech-company valuations like regular people talk about sports statistics. Instacart was the Startup Bus success story: its founders met through the bus and eventually started a company together. Instacart had grown to the point where it was worth $2 billion, as at least a dozen people told me during the trip. Stories like this keep the disruptive innovation myth alive. By the time the bus arrived at our hotel in Nashville, my team was wrecked: too much junk food, not enough sleep. But our code worked, and we had a presentation written, and we were ready to see what would happen. On the morning of the qualifiers, all the teams piled onto the grimy New York bus to head to the competition location, Studio 615, a warehouse event space in northern Nashville.


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Adapt: Why Success Always Starts With Failure by Tim Harford

Andrew Wiles, banking crisis, Basel III, Berlin Wall, Bernie Madoff, Black Swan, car-free, carbon footprint, Cass Sunstein, charter city, Clayton Christensen, clean water, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, complexity theory, corporate governance, correlation does not imply causation, creative destruction, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, crowdsourcing, cuban missile crisis, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, Dava Sobel, Deep Water Horizon, Deng Xiaoping, disruptive innovation, double entry bookkeeping, Edmond Halley, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, experimental subject, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Fermat's Last Theorem, Firefox, food miles, Gerolamo Cardano, global supply chain, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Isaac Newton, Jane Jacobs, Jarndyce and Jarndyce, Jarndyce and Jarndyce, John Harrison: Longitude, knowledge worker, loose coupling, Martin Wolf, mass immigration, Menlo Park, Mikhail Gorbachev, mutually assured destruction, Netflix Prize, New Urbanism, Nick Leeson, PageRank, Piper Alpha, profit motive, Richard Florida, Richard Thaler, rolodex, Shenzhen was a fishing village, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, South China Sea, special economic zone, spectrum auction, Steve Jobs, supply-chain management, the market place, The Wisdom of Crowds, too big to fail, trade route, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, web application, X Prize, zero-sum game

But the whole structure of the Virgin Group has always been to maintain a high degree of separation between different lines of business: this allows different organisations to focus on their own priorities, and it also allows the failures to fail in isolation. When the US Army faced the ‘disruptive innovation’ of guerrilla warfare in Vietnam, there was great reluctance to accept that it had changed the nature of the game, making obsolete the Army’s hard-won expertise in industrial warfare. As one senior officer said, ‘I’ll be damned if I permit the United States army, its institutions, its doctrine, and its traditions to be destroyed just to win this lousy war.’ That is exactly how senior executives must feel when their cutting-edge, market-leading business finds itself being disrupted by a foolish-looking new technology. A sufficiently disruptive innovation bypasses almost everybody who matters at a company: the Rolodex full of key customers becomes useless; the old skills are no longer called for; decades of industry experience count for nothing.

Only later did connection speeds, storage costs and the sophistication of browsers improve sufficiently to demonstrate the true potential of webmail: it could be used to archive and store every email you ever received; used as a document backup; used as a primary email account, packed with features; and used offline. What is striking is the difficulty Microsoft had with this transition, even though it had bought the leading webmail service, Hotmail, quite early in the game, and even though webmail wasn’t a complicated technology for Microsoft software engineers to master. Yet Hotmail’s features were eclipsed by those of Google’s Gmail. Disruptive innovations are disruptive precisely because the new technology doesn’t appeal to the traditional customers: it is different and for their purposes, it’s inferior. But for a small niche of new customers the new disruptive product is exactly what is needed. They want smaller, cheaper hard drives, or cameras that produce digital files, or email that you can access on any computer – and they are willing to tolerate the fact that the new product is inferior to the old one along all the traditional dimensions.

More often, Christensen found, the problem was not technological but psychological and organisational: it is hard for a major organisation to pay much attention to a piddling new idea that makes little money and invites a yawn or a blank stare from important customers. Microsoft bought Hotmail, yes – but it was always going to be hard for Microsoft to pay more attention to Hotmail than to Outlook. Microsoft’s core corporate customers regarded webmail as an irrelevance. Google’s users did not. Google only made web applications, and Gmail was a natural fit. We already know one possible solution for corporations faced with a potentially disruptive innovation: a skunk works, a sort of corporate version of Lübeck, in which the regular culture and priorities and politics of the old corporation do not apply. Lockheed’s Skunk Works got its name (originally ‘skonk works’) because it began life inside a circus tent pitched next to a foul-smelling plastics factory. Its engineers – who dressed down even in the 1950s – let off steam from their high-pressure, top-secret projects by playing pranks on each other.


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, business cycle, Cass Sunstein, Clayton Christensen, commoditize, corporate raider, creative destruction, disruptive innovation, don't be evil, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Howard Rheingold, Hush-A-Phone, informal economy, intermodal, Internet Archive, invention of movable type, invention of the telephone, invisible hand, Jane Jacobs, John Markoff, Joseph Schumpeter, Menlo Park, open economy, packet switching, PageRank, profit motive, road to serfdom, Robert Bork, Robert Metcalfe, Ronald Coase, sexual politics, 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, zero-sum game

This innovative distance explains why so many of those who turn an industry upside down are outsiders, even outcasts. To understand this point we need grasp the difference between two types of innovation: “sustaining” and “disruptive,” the distinction best described by innovation theorist Clayton Christensen. Sustaining innovations are improvements that make the product better, but do not threaten its market. The disruptive innovation, conversely, threatens to displace a product altogether. It is the difference between the electric typewriter, which improved on the typewriter, and the word processor, which supplanted it.5 Another advantage of the outside inventor is less a matter of the imagination than of his being a disinterested party. Distance creates a freedom to develop inventions that might challenge or even destroy the business model of the dominant industry.

In this sense, Bell’s alliance with Hubbard, a sworn enemy of Western Union, the dominant monopolist, was all-important. For it was Hubbard who made Bell’s invention into an effort to unseat Western Union. I am not saying, by any means, that invention is solely the province of loners and that everyone else’s inspiration is suppressed. But this isn’t a book about better mousetraps. The Cycle is powered by disruptive innovations that upend once thriving industries, bankrupt the dominant powers, and change the world. Such innovations are exceedingly rare, but they are what makes the Cycle go. Let’s return to Bell in his Boston laboratory. Doubtless he had some critical assets, including a knowledge of acoustics. His laboratory notebook, which can be read online, suggests a certain diligence. But his greatest advantage was neither of these.

It may sometimes seem that invention and technological advance are a natural, orderly process, but this is an illusion. Whatever technological reality we live with is the result of tooth-and-claw industrial combat. And the battles are more decisive than those in which the dominant power attempts to co-opt the technologies that could destroy it, Goliath attempting to seize the slingshot. Western Union, despite its great size and scale, was vulnerable to the same force as every other business: disruptive innovation. No sooner had the firm realized the potential of the Bell company’s technology to overthrow the telegraph monopoly than it went into Kronos mode, attempting to kill or devour Bell. It did not happen instantaneously. At the very beginning, in 1877, the Bell Company probably seemed more a source of comic relief than a threat to Western Union. Bell’s very first advertisement for the telephone, in May 1877, betrays a distinct lack of confidence in the product: The proprietors of the Telephone … are now prepared to furnish Telephones for the transmission of articulate speech through instruments not more than twenty miles apart.


pages: 460 words: 131,579

Masters of Management: How the Business Gurus and Their Ideas Have Changed the World—for Better and for Worse by Adrian Wooldridge

affirmative action, barriers to entry, Black Swan, blood diamonds, borderless world, business climate, business cycle, business intelligence, business process, carbon footprint, Cass Sunstein, Clayton Christensen, cloud computing, collaborative consumption, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collateralized debt obligation, commoditize, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, creative destruction, credit crunch, crowdsourcing, David Brooks, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, disintermediation, disruptive innovation, don't be evil, Donald Trump, Edward Glaeser, Exxon Valdez, financial deregulation, Frederick Winslow Taylor, future of work, George Gilder, global supply chain, industrial cluster, intangible asset, job satisfaction, job-hopping, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, Just-in-time delivery, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, lake wobegon effect, Long Term Capital Management, low skilled workers, Mark Zuckerberg, McMansion, means of production, Menlo Park, mobile money, Naomi Klein, Netflix Prize, Network effects, new economy, Nick Leeson, Norman Macrae, patent troll, Ponzi scheme, popular capitalism, post-industrial society, profit motive, purchasing power parity, Ralph Nader, recommendation engine, Richard Florida, Richard Thaler, risk tolerance, Ronald Reagan, science of happiness, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Its Profits, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, supply-chain management, technoutopianism, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Davenport, Tony Hsieh, too big to fail, wealth creators, women in the workforce, young professional, Zipcar

(McKinsey estimates that the achievement gap in education between low-performing states and the rest costs the country up to $700 billion a year, or 5 percent of GDP.5) Why do some nurses spend only 40 percent of their time with patients? People who are armed with these facts will put constant pressure on public services to explain and improve. The second idea goes under the very ungentlemanly name of disruptive innovation. Clayton Christensen made his reputation looking at the way disruptive innovators have reconfigured markets and boosted productivity in the private sector. More recently, he has devoted a lot of his energy to the public sector, most provocatively to education. In Disrupting Class: How Disruptive Innovation Will Change the Way the World Learns, he argues that the education system was designed for a world where most students go on to do repetitive jobs and where teachers were confronted by large classes and confined by the technology of “chalk and talk.”6 But the information revolution is about to disrupt this model: the arrival of ever cheaper and ever more powerful computers is making it possible to customize courses for the needs of individual students.

These days the third world is known as the emerging markets, the Che Guevara T-shirts are made in China, and the wretched of the earth are enjoying growth rates that are the envy of the former colonial powers. Moreover, these emerging markets are likely to shake things up not only in their own backyards but in rich countries, too. Clayton Christensen has coined the term “disruptive innovation” for new products that slash prices and new processes that radically change the way they are made and delivered. Today, many of the most disruptive innovations hail from emerging markets. They will make a bigger difference to life in the West than lean production, the previous great disruptive management innovation from the East. There are four reasons why things will move faster and further this time. The first is that the markets for corporate control and for senior managerial talent are much more liquid than they were twenty years ago.

America adopted Henry Ford’s production line and Alfred Sloan’s multidivisional firm and swept all before it until the 1960s. Japan invented lean production and almost destroyed the American car and electronics industries. Now the emerging markets are developing their own distinctive management ideas, and Western companies will increasingly find themselves learning from their rivals. People who used to think of the emerging world as a source of cheap labor must now recognize that it can be a source of disruptive innovation as well. The Charms of Frugal Innovation General Electric’s healthcare laboratory in Bangalore contains some of the company’s most sophisticated products—from giant body scanners that can accommodate the bulkiest American football players to state-of-the-art intensive-care units that can nurse the tiniest premature babies. But the device that has captured the heart of the center’s boss, Ashish Shah, is much less fancy: a handheld electrocardiogram called the Mac 400.


pages: 400 words: 88,647

Frugal Innovation: How to Do Better With Less by Jaideep Prabhu Navi Radjou

3D printing, additive manufacturing, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, barriers to entry, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, Bretton Woods, business climate, business process, call centre, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, carbon footprint, cloud computing, collaborative consumption, collaborative economy, Computer Numeric Control, connected car, corporate social responsibility, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, disruptive innovation, Elon Musk, financial exclusion, financial innovation, global supply chain, IKEA effect, income inequality, industrial robot, intangible asset, Internet of things, job satisfaction, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, late fees, Lean Startup, low cost airline, low cost carrier, M-Pesa, Mahatma Gandhi, megacity, minimum viable product, more computing power than Apollo, new economy, payday loans, peer-to-peer lending, Peter H. Diamandis: Planetary Resources, precision agriculture, race to the bottom, reshoring, risk tolerance, Ronald Coase, self-driving car, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, six sigma, smart grid, smart meter, software as a service, standardized shipping container, Steve Jobs, supply-chain management, TaskRabbit, The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid, The Nature of the Firm, transaction costs, Travis Kalanick, unbanked and underbanked, underbanked, women in the workforce, X Prize, yield management, Zipcar

R&D’s inventions, ground-breaking or otherwise, which are not backed by sound business models, are more likely to be axed by growth-seeking business leaders. To turn sceptical senior managers into sponsors, R&D teams must hone their business-development skills to quantify their invention’s market value and offer a profitable go-to-market strategy. For instance, the R&D teams at companies like Yahoo!, Google and Microsoft have all included microeconomists to help design business models, pricing strategies and alliances for disruptive innovations. And with the rise of emerging economies like India, China and Brazil, R&D solutions should be fine-tuned to meet the unique market conditions and customer needs in different regions. For instance, at PepsiCo, a multinational food and beverage corporation, the R&D team is deeply attuned to the business needs of its different geographical areas, having set up regionally focused R&D centres of excellence in China, Mexico and the US.

Some firms are now moving to the next phase in the process and integrating these frugal innovation hubs with their developed-world R&D centres, so their market insights and ideas now flow to developed markets too. In the automotive sector, Renault-Nissan is using its Indian operations to learn about frugal engineering and applies the ideas across the firm’s chain of R&D operations including in France and Japan. In food and agribusiness, PepsiCo has located its Global Value Innovation Centre in India with the aim of spreading disruptive innovation around the world. In health care, GE is creating a whole new generation of affordable medical devices in its Indian and Chinese R&D centres for sale not just locally but in western markets too. Furthermore, GE Healthcare has changed its global structure. Previously managed in Europe, the US and Japan, with emerging economies as sub-regions, the firm now has six equal regions that include India and China, each with a CEO who reports to the global GE CEO.

As he recalls:14 I stopped participating in weekly sales-management and capacity-allocation choices and pushed decisions as far down the hierarchy as possible. When leaders cannot dictate, employees must be able to co-operate to get things done. Of course, the company can help by rewarding co-operation. “Blame is not for failure but for failing to help or ask for help,” notes Knudstorp. Another way to empower staff is to create an unstructured playground where creativity does not violate company rules. (Disruptive innovation, after all, requires people to be disruptive.) Henry Ford, founder of the eponymous motor company, was anything but playful – you would be hard-pressed to find a smiling photo of the man. He was most famous for standardising and automating manufacturing and creating hierarchical structures to achieve economies of scale by mass-producing cars. Yet Ford is now undergoing a cultural transformation initiated under its former CEO, Alan Mulally, in 2006 and maintained by his successor, Mark Fields.


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, David Heinemeier Hansson, deliberate practice, disruptive innovation, 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, Kickstarter, lateral thinking, Law of Accelerating Returns, Lean Startup, Mahatma Gandhi, meta analysis, meta-analysis, pattern recognition, Peter Thiel, popular electronics, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Florida, Ronald Reagan, Ruby on Rails, Saturday Night Live, self-driving car, side project, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, superconnector

Innovation is about doing something differently, rather than creating something from nothing (invention) or doing the same thing better (improvement). Harvard management professor Clayton M. Christensen furthered this concept in the mid-’90s when he coined the term “disruptive innovation.” Disruptive innovation is when the introduction of a lower-cost product steals market share from existing players, like when e-mail usurped postal mail (how much would you spend a month if every e-mail cost the price of a postage stamp?) or when Craigslist replaced costly classified newspaper ads with free Internet listings. The key feature of disruptively innovative products is cost savings (either time or money). But the key ingredient behind the scenes of every disruptive product is simplification. E-mail is not just cheaper, but simpler than postal mail. USB flash drives were not just less expensive than compact discs, but simpler to use.

I’ve found used incubators on eBay and from hospitals ($1,000–4,000), but in limited supply. 158 “We started making a cheaper glass box”: Shrabonti Bagchi, “Saving Little Lives,” Times of India, September 19, 2011, http://epaper.timesofindia.com/Repository/ml.asp?Ref=VE9JQkcvMjAxMS8wOS8xOSNBcjAwNDAw (accessed February 17, 2014). 159 “We realized something was wrong”: Ibid. 161 the Latin innovare: “Innovate,” Merriam-Webster, http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/innovate (accessed February 17, 2014). The classic book about disruptive innovation is, of course, Clayton M. Christensen, The Innovator’s Dilemma (HarperBusiness, 1997). I have drawn heavily from Christensen’s ideas in various parts of this book and in my business career. 162 Tech writer Brian Lam: David Carr’s 2012 profile of Blam will make you want to move to Hawaii, too: “Buffeted by the Web, but Now Riding It,” New York Times, December 16, 2012, http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/17/business/media/buffeted-by-the-web-but-now-riding-it.html (accessed February 17, 2014). 162 Blam will simply tell you: Brian Lam’s TheWirecutter has since expanded to several writers (to spread the load and ensure enough surf time, naturally).

See superconnectors constraints, 164–66 constructionism, 89–90 constructive interference, 106–7 conventional wisdom application to rocket science, 173 breaking patterns to surpass, 4–5 hard work and luck lead to success, 121–22 Cuban Revolution, 123–31, 136–38 Daisy the Dinosaur (programming app), 89 Dan (app founder), 58 Dane, Erik, 108 da Vinci, Leonardo, 234n167 death is not failure, 71–75 decision-making, 80, 84–85, 108–10, 164, 224n108 Dell, Michael, 4 Dell Computers, 204n4 DeNisi, Angelo, 68 Denton, Nick, 162 depression, dealing with issues of, 50–51, 143–47, 229n145 “Design for Extreme Affordability” (Chen), 157, 164–65 destructive interference, 106–7 Devlin, Keith, 91 “DHH.” See Heinemeier Hansson, David DiFuria, Joan, 146–47 Digg (social news website), 136 disruptive innovation, 161 Doohan, James, 174 “Double Rainbow” (video), 141, 156, 229n141, 231n156 Doyle, Sir Arthur Conan, 163 Dr. Seuss (pen name), 15, 77, 94 & n, 139 Dr. Watson (fictional character), 163 dubstep (dance music), 118–22 Duckworth, Angela, 167 “Dunk in the Dark” (Twitter update), 148–50, 151–52, 155–56 Dyson, Freeman, 87–88, 90–91, 219n87 eBay, 4, 5 education American model, 87–88, 166 Finland success model, 86–87, 93–95, 166–67 improving platform, 98–99 leading children to STEM careers, 89–93 teaching lateral thinking, 95 10X thinking, 192–94, 198 Edwards, D’Wayne, 187–94, 198 Einstein, Albert, 93, 95 Eisenhower, Dwight D., 24–25, 29, 208n19 electronic dance music (EDM), 118–22 Elliott, Martin, 41–42, 45 Embrace (infant warmer), 159–61 emo (punk rock music), 102–4 Facebook, 116 failure dying while going down fighting is not, 71–75 getting feedback from, 66–71, 183–84 learning from lessons of, 57–61 patterns leading to, 61–65 practicing with fear of, 66–67 See also success Fallon, Jimmy, 33–37, 48–50, 141, 210n33, 214n49 Fast Company (magazine), 8 fast followers, 116–17 feedback achieving growth through, 70–71 exemplifying the process, 196 experimenting with the process, 72–75 learning from failure, 55–65 Internet speed and power, 53–55 turning failure into, 183–84 value of critique and interventions, 66–71 “Yes, and” vs.


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, 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, Thomas L Friedman, Thorstein Veblen, Tim Cook: Apple, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, universal basic income, urban renewal, white picket fence, working poor, Y Combinator, young professional, zero-sum game

In doing so companies have eliminated many middle-management positions while sometimes increasing the number of top managers. This adjustment clearly correlates with top brass making more money (at this writing, Gabe Newell has a reported net worth of $5.5 billion), but its success at spawning innovation is less clear. “Flat hierarchies are supposed to result in disruptive innovation,” Ellsworth said. “But what happened at Valve wasn’t innovative. It was just disruptive.” The concept of “disruptive innovation,” popularized by Harvard Business School economist Clayton Christensen in his 1997 best seller The Innovator’s Dilemma, is all but de rigeur in business circles, particularly in the tech industry. Yet while it’s common for employers to encourage staff to be “disruptive,” what they actually mean by this is uncertain, even, one suspects, to the employers themselves.

This adjustment clearly correlates Adam Goldstein, “Revenge of the Managers: Labor Cost-Cutting and the Paradoxical Resurgence of Managerialism in the Shareholder Value Era, 1984 to 2001,” American Sociological Review 77, no. 2 (2012): 268–94, http://dx.doi.org/​doi:10.1177/​0003122­412440093. The concept of “disruptive innovation” See, for example, the cartoon strip Dilbert, in which the dog Dogbert, working as a consultant, advises a client, “To survive, you must create disruptive innovations to redefine the market.” Scott Adams, Dilbert, February 16, 2004, http://dilbert.com/​strip/​2004-02-16. “an accusation rather than an irreplaceable” Rosalind H. Williams, The Triumph of Human Empire: Verne, Morris, and Stevenson at the End of the World (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2013), 193–94.

As we’ve seen, this “Do now, think later” strategy is not exclusive to IT, but has become pervasive even in fields like journalism and medicine, where increasingly workers are judged not by the depth of their thinking and the weight of their judgment, but by their productivity, as measured by “content” in the case of journalists, and by “caseload” in the case of medical professionals. Many of these “knowledge workers” are left to wonder what real value they offer beyond corralling customers in service to their employers. Some organizations try to maximize productivity and encourage “disruptive” innovation by gathering workers in teams. But among the Finnish group’s most striking conclusions is that our faith in the power of teamwork may be misplaced. Indeed, studies stretching back decades reveal that brainstorming rarely leads to novel solutions, and in fact can discourage innovative thinking. Rather, peer pressure tends to funnel team members into the very same stream of thought preordained by parameters set by the meeting organizers.


pages: 318 words: 77,223

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

activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, Airbnb, balance sheet recession, bank run, barriers to entry, break the buck, Bretton Woods, British Empire, business cycle, capital controls, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Carmen Reinhart, carried interest, collapse of Lehman Brothers, corporate governance, currency peg, disruptive innovation, Erik Brynjolfsson, eurozone crisis, financial innovation, Financial Instability Hypothesis, financial intermediation, financial repression, fixed income, Flash crash, forward guidance, friendly fire, full employment, future of work, Hyman Minsky, If something cannot go on forever, it will stop - Herbert Stein's Law, income inequality, inflation targeting, Jeff Bezos, Kenneth Rogoff, Khan Academy, liquidity trap, Martin Wolf, megacity, Mexican peso crisis / tequila crisis, moral hazard, mortgage debt, Norman Mailer, 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, zero-sum game

We are living through an exciting transformational period, which, by encouraging a shift from narrow product orientations to more holistic solution mindsets, places an increasing premium on companies’ and governments’ ability to respond anytime and anywhere, and to do so in a manner that meets individuals’ expectations for more frequent and broader engagement. So far, quite a bit of the impact of such disruptive innovations has been limited to the spectacular emergence of certain new companies, the deployment of existing assets, and the disruption of specific sectors. But, as we will see in detail shortly, it is just a matter of time before the impact goes macro, fueling the transformation of the broader economic landscape. When the PC was introduced, it revolutionized the technology industry, radically altered the workplace, and transformed the ways we go about our daily lives.

This discomfort relates to the growing difficulties that both national economies and the global system face (and will face) in reconciling in a relatively stable manner five trends that I believe will become more pronounced in the period ahead—namely: • Multi-speed growth; • Multi-track central banking policies; • Growing pricing anomalies, from negative nominal interest rates to the unusual position of having “the U.S. yield curve…now shaped as much by foreign monetary policy as the Fed’s”;2 • Non-economic headwinds; and • The impact of certain disruptive innovations going macro. Together they suggest that, as opposed to the consensus view of a relatively stable low-growth world, we are looking at increasing economic and policy divergences among countries, which, together with prospects for national political and geopolitical disruptions, will make the belly of the distribution a lot less stable. It is a phenomenon that was already starting to become apparent at the beginning of 20153 and it is one that has built significant and consequential underlying momentum since.

And, again, the reason for this is a conditioned rational one that includes enormous faith in the power of central banks to insulate markets, together with excitement about the cash sitting on corporate balance sheets. But should these influences wane, as they are bound to in the future, markets will have to play rapid catch-up with quite an uncertain and worrisome geopolitical configuration. It is not one that is easy to price in a linear and orderly fashion. CHAPTER 27 A WORLD OF GREATER DIVERGENCE (IV) DISRUPTIVE INNOVATION GOES MACRO “This gap between the potential of an innovation and its widespread adoption is one of those lessons that we learn and then we tend to forget, or we don’t learn it because of inattention to history and its lessons about human and organizational behavior.” —MICHAEL SPENCE We are in the midst of two massive technological transformations—one in the energy sector occasioned by shale, and the other due to a digital revolution that encompasses the innovations in Internet technologies, mobility, applications, and digitalization.


pages: 293 words: 78,439

Dual Transformation: How to Reposition Today's Business While Creating the Future by Scott D. Anthony, Mark W. Johnson

activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, additive manufacturing, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, Amazon Web Services, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, Ben Horowitz, blockchain, business process, business process outsourcing, call centre, Clayton Christensen, cloud computing, commoditize, corporate governance, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, death of newspapers, disintermediation, disruptive innovation, distributed ledger, diversified portfolio, Internet of things, invention of hypertext, inventory management, Jeff Bezos, job automation, job satisfaction, Joseph Schumpeter, Kickstarter, late fees, Lean Startup, Lyft, M-Pesa, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Minecraft, obamacare, Parag Khanna, Paul Graham, peer-to-peer lending, pez dispenser, recommendation engine, self-driving car, shareholder value, side project, Silicon Valley, Skype, software as a service, software is eating the world, Steve Jobs, the market place, the scientific method, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, transfer pricing, uber lyft, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Y Combinator, Zipcar

Discussion is much more focused on critical uncertainties, optimal testing mechanisms, and emergent learning versus the sanctity of data. The Focus Component Chapter 6 describes how leaders need the clarity to focus on the highest-potential opportunity areas. One of the paradoxes of dual transformation is that leaders need to become less focused as they go about developing winning strategies in those areas. After all, history shows us that sustainable strategies for disruptive innovations emerge from a process of trial-and-error experimentation. The Failure Component A strange idea that has blossomed over the past few years is that failure is generally good. Not so—failure is bad. Who wants to have something not work out? Many types of failure are bad and should be avoided. Imagine a heart surgeon talking proudly about a patient he killed because he made a mistake during an operation.

It was, indeed, a story that got George home again. And, speaking of going home, George rises from his reverie and calls to his family. “Come on, guys! Time to go home.” Preparing for the Crises of Dual Transformation By following the guidance described in this book, you should have a robust strategy and a compelling story for what you’re doing and why you’re doing it. The theories on which the guidance is built, particularly the disruptive innovation theory, helps make compelling predictions in the absence of complete data. You also should have underlying metrics that serve as early proof points of success. For Gilbert, that was the growth of his new businesses. Even though they were small, highlighting double-digit growth rates helped reaffirm that the media organization collectively was moving in the right direction. Chapter 9 will conclude Dual Transformation by sharing words of advice from senior leaders tied to key milestones in the transformation journey.

Growth in EdPlus students: Data provided by Arizona State University. Walgreens: Innosight, “A Roadmap for the Future Helps the Pharmacy Giant Widen its Health Care Mission,” http://www.innosight.com/impact-stories/walgreens-case-study.cfm. Sources of nonconsumption: Scott D. Anthony, Mark W. Johnson, Joseph V. Sinfield, and Elizabeth J. Altman, The Innovator’s Guide to Growth: Putting Disruptive Innovation to Work (Boston: Harvard Business School Press, 2008). Xerox’s transformation B strategy: Clark Gilbert, Matthew Eyring, and Richard N. Foster, “Two Routes to Resilience,” Harvard Business Review, December 2012. ChoiceMed example: Scott D. Anthony, The First Mile: A Launch Manual for Getting Great Ideas Into the Market (Boston: Harvard Business Review Press, 2014). Percent of disruptions launched by large companies: Scott Anthony, “Can Established Companies Disrupt?”


pages: 165 words: 50,798

Intertwingled: Information Changes Everything by Peter Morville

A Pattern Language, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, Arthur Eddington, augmented reality, Bernie Madoff, Black Swan, business process, Cass Sunstein, cognitive dissonance, collective bargaining, disruptive innovation, index card, information retrieval, Internet of things, Isaac Newton, iterative process, Jane Jacobs, John Markoff, Lean Startup, Lyft, minimum viable product, Mother of all demos, Nelson Mandela, Paul Graham, peer-to-peer, RFID, Richard Thaler, ride hailing / ride sharing, Schrödinger's Cat, self-driving car, semantic web, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, source of truth, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, Ted Nelson, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the scientific method, The Wisdom of Crowds, theory of mind, uber lyft, urban planning, urban sprawl, Vannevar Bush, zero-sum game

For instance, there’s Lyft, a peer-to-peer rideshare whose drivers don’t charge “fares” but receive “donations” from passengers who are encouraged to sit in the front seat and give the driver a fistbump. Their tagline is “your friend with a car.” Do we need any more evidence that a Lyft is not a taxi? Meanwhile, taxis aren’t standing still. They’re adopting e-hail apps that enable passengers to book regular taxis with their mobile device. In short, from lawsuits to competition, Uber has plenty of problems. This is to be expected. Disruptive innovation inevitably provokes a response. Or, in the words of John Gall, “the system always kicks back.” In Systemantics, a witty, irreverent book published in 1975, Gall uses the example of garbage collection to explain that when we create a system to accomplish a goal, a new entity comes into being: the system itself. After setting up a garbage-collection system, we find ourselves faced with a new universe of problems.

These include questions of collective bargaining with the garbage collectors’ union, rates and hours, collection on very cold or rainy days, purchase and maintenance of garbage trucks, millage and bond issues, voter apathy, regulations regarding the separation of garbage from trash…if the collectors bargain for more restrictive definitions of garbage, refusing to pick up twigs, trash, old lamps, and even leaving behind properly wrapped garbage if it is not placed within a regulation can, so that taxpayers resort to clandestine dumping along the highway, this exemplifies the Principle of Le Chatelier: the system tends to oppose its own proper function.vii This is why we need disruptive innovation within our society. Systems that have grown unresponsive must be shaken up. But, like garbage, change is messy. Disruptors such as Uber provoke counterattacks, and they build new systems that create new problems. All of this change results in unintended consequences that are hard to predict or control. While we’ll never be perfect at change, we can be better. One path to progress runs through the field of systems thinking, an approach that aims to understand how the parts relate to the whole.

It’s a work of art. But it’s also an ugly status symbol, a driving distraction, and an environmental nightmare. Fitbit, Jawbone, and Pebble are fascinating fitness tracking devices, but do we even know whether they’re making us more healthy or less? I’m not sure how to manage this trickster, but I do know we must shift from self-justification to self-awareness to move ahead. The secular myth of disruptive innovation isn’t new, but it is effective. We’re so busy searching for dinosaurs, we forget to look where we’re going. In 2004 when Bruce Sterling first spoke of spime – speculative objects precisely located in space and time – the vision he painted was bright green. Transfigured from passive consumers into heroic wranglers, we would mash products, sensors, RFID, and GPS into sustainable spime to reduce, reuse, and recycle like never before.


Super Thinking: The Big Book of Mental Models by Gabriel Weinberg, Lauren McCann

affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, anti-pattern, Anton Chekhov, autonomous vehicles, bank run, barriers to entry, Bayesian statistics, Bernie Madoff, Bernie Sanders, Black Swan, Broken windows theory, business process, butterfly effect, Cal Newport, Clayton Christensen, cognitive dissonance, commoditize, correlation does not imply causation, crowdsourcing, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Attenborough, delayed gratification, deliberate practice, discounted cash flows, disruptive innovation, Donald Trump, Douglas Hofstadter, Edward Lorenz: Chaos theory, Edward Snowden, effective altruism, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, experimental subject, fear of failure, feminist movement, Filter Bubble, framing effect, friendly fire, fundamental attribution error, Gödel, Escher, Bach, hindsight bias, housing crisis, Ignaz Semmelweis: hand washing, illegal immigration, income inequality, information asymmetry, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, John Nash: game theory, lateral thinking, loss aversion, Louis Pasteur, Lyft, mail merge, Mark Zuckerberg, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Metcalfe’s law, Milgram experiment, minimum viable product, moral hazard, mutually assured destruction, Nash equilibrium, Network effects, nuclear winter, offshore financial centre, p-value, Parkinson's law, Paul Graham, peak oil, Peter Thiel, phenotype, Pierre-Simon Laplace, placebo effect, Potemkin village, prediction markets, premature optimization, price anchoring, principal–agent problem, publication bias, recommendation engine, remote working, replication crisis, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman: Challenger O-ring, Richard Thaler, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Metcalfe, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, school choice, Schrödinger's Cat, selection bias, Shai Danziger, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, speech recognition, statistical model, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Pinker, survivorship bias, The Present Situation in Quantum Mechanics, the scientific method, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, transaction costs, uber lyft, ultimatum game, uranium enrichment, urban planning, Vilfredo Pareto, wikimedia commons

Smartphone, 2002-2016 In Clayton Christensen’s seminal work The Innovator’s Dilemma, he lays out the framework for how such disruptive innovations ripple through industries, ushering new industry entrants into power while leaving dead incumbents in their wake. The incumbent’s dilemma is whether to embrace the disruptive technology, usually at the great cost of the existing business. That’s what Intel did but Kodak didn’t do. If Kodak had more readily embraced digital camera technology, it would have directly cannibalized its outsized profits in analog film technology. Similarly, many companies are right now facing difficult decisions about whether to embrace new disruptive innovations like artificial intelligence, solar power, streaming video, driverless vehicles, and electric cars. Individual workers face comparable issues.

Similarly, automation and artificial intelligence are poised to disrupt many more jobs over the coming decades. If you see disruption on the horizon in your field, you ought to prepare to respond sooner rather than later. Maybe that means investing in a new set of skills; maybe it means switching responsibilities; maybe it means pivoting to another field altogether. Unfortunately, truly embracing a disruptive innovation usually means major upheaval to the company or person itself: major losses of revenue in the short term, retraining from the ground up—a major pivot. There have been many instances where pivots have been advisable at the height of market dominance or earning potential. Unfortunately, market dominance can correspond with complacency. That’s why only the paranoid survive—you have to be paranoid to perceive the threat of something so small or far off in the future when you are in such good shape.

Look for signs of hitting a resonant frequency for validation. If you can’t find any bright spots in what you’re doing after some time, critically evaluate your position and consider a pivot. Build a moat around yourself and your organization to create sustainable competitive advantage. Don’t get complacent; remember only the paranoid survive, and keep on the lookout for disruptive innovations, particularly those with a high probability of crossing the chasm. Conclusion AS WE SAID IN THE INTRODUCTION, this is the book we wish someone had given us when we were starting out in our careers. That’s because mental models unlock the ability to think at higher levels. We hope that you’ve enjoyed reading about them, and that our book has helped you in your super thinking journey.


pages: 501 words: 114,888

The Future Is Faster Than You Think: How Converging Technologies Are Transforming Business, Industries, and Our Lives by Peter H. Diamandis, Steven Kotler

Ada Lovelace, additive manufacturing, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, Amazon Mechanical Turk, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, bitcoin, blockchain, blood diamonds, Burning Man, call centre, cashless society, Charles Lindbergh, Clayton Christensen, clean water, cloud computing, Colonization of Mars, computer vision, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, Dean Kamen, delayed gratification, dematerialisation, digital twin, disruptive innovation, Edward Glaeser, Edward Lloyd's coffeehouse, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, epigenetics, Erik Brynjolfsson, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, experimental economics, food miles, game design, Geoffrey West, Santa Fe Institute, gig economy, Google X / Alphabet X, gravity well, hive mind, housing crisis, Hyperloop, indoor plumbing, industrial robot, informal economy, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet of things, invention of the telegraph, Isaac Newton, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, Joseph Schumpeter, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, late fees, Law of Accelerating Returns, life extension, lifelogging, loss aversion, Lyft, M-Pesa, Mary Lou Jepsen, mass immigration, megacity, meta analysis, meta-analysis, microbiome, mobile money, multiplanetary species, Narrative Science, natural language processing, Network effects, new economy, New Urbanism, Oculus Rift, out of africa, packet switching, peer-to-peer lending, Peter H. Diamandis: Planetary Resources, Peter Thiel, QR code, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, RFID, Richard Feynman, Richard Florida, ride hailing / ride sharing, risk tolerance, Satoshi Nakamoto, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart cities, smart contracts, smart grid, Snapchat, sovereign wealth fund, special economic zone, stealth mode startup, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, supercomputer in your pocket, supply-chain management, technoutopianism, Tesla Model S, Tim Cook: Apple, transaction costs, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, unbanked and underbanked, underbanked, urban planning, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, We wanted flying cars, instead we got 140 characters, X Prize

For example, the speed of drug development is accelerating, not only because biotechnology is progressing at an exponential rate, but because artificial intelligence, quantum computing, and a couple other exponentials are converging on the field. In other words, these waves are starting to overlap, stacking atop one another, producing tsunami-sized behemoths that threaten to wash away most everything in their path. When a new innovation creates a new market and washes away an existing one, we use the term “disruptive innovation” to describe it. When silicon chips replaced vacuum tubes at the beginning of the digital age, this was a disruptive innovation. Yet, as exponential technologies converge, their potential for disruption increases in scale. Solitary exponentials disrupt products, services, and markets—like when Netflix ate Blockbuster for lunch—while convergent exponentials wash away products, services, and markets, as well as the structures that support them. But we’re getting ahead of ourselves.

., we have the honor of being home to ten of the world’s twenty-five most congested cities, costing us approximately $300 billion in lost income and productivity. Uber’s mission is to solve urban mobility.… Our goal is to introduce an entirely new form of transportation to the world, namely urban aviation, or what I prefer to call ‘aerial ridesharing.’ ” Aerial ridesharing might sound like sci-fi cliché, but Holden had a solid track record of disruptive innovation. In the late 1990s, he followed Jeff Bezos from New York to Seattle to become one of the earliest employees at Amazon. There, he was put in charge of implementing the then zany idea of free two-day shipping for a flat annual membership fee. It was an innovation that many thought would bankrupt the company. Instead, Amazon Prime was born, and today, 100 million Prime members later, that zany idea accounts for a significant portion of the company’s bottom line.

Converging Technology Moore’s Law: See: https://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/silicon-innovations/moores-law-technology.html. as a human brain: Ray Kurzweil, How to Create a Mind (Viking, 2012), pp. 179–198. “Law of Accelerating Returns”: Ray Kurzweil, “The Law of Accelerating Returns,” March 7, 2001. See: https://www.kurzweilai.net/the-law-of-accelerating-returns. we use the term “disruptive innovation”: Clayton Christensen, The Innovator’s Dilemma (HarperBusiness, 2000), pp. 15–19. Enter distributed electric propulsion, or DEP for short: Mark Moore, “Distributed Electric Propulsion Aircraft,” Nasa Langley Research Center. See: https://aero.larc.nasa.gov/files/2012/11/Distributed-Electric-Propulsion-Aircraft.pdf. These electric engines are 95 percent: Technically, the full range is between 90 percent and 98 percent, but for a breakdown and comparison to a gas motor, see: Karim Nice and Jonathon Strickland, “Gasoline and Battery Power Efficiency,” How Stuff Works, https://auto.howstuffworks.com/fuel-efficiency/alternative-fuels/fuel-cell4.htm.


The Data Revolution: Big Data, Open Data, Data Infrastructures and Their Consequences by Rob Kitchin

Bayesian statistics, business intelligence, business process, cellular automata, Celtic Tiger, cloud computing, collateralized debt obligation, conceptual framework, congestion charging, corporate governance, correlation does not imply causation, crowdsourcing, discrete time, disruptive innovation, George Gilder, Google Earth, Infrastructure as a Service, Internet Archive, Internet of things, invisible hand, knowledge economy, late capitalism, lifelogging, linked data, longitudinal study, Masdar, means of production, Nate Silver, natural language processing, openstreetmap, pattern recognition, platform as a service, recommendation engine, RFID, semantic web, sentiment analysis, slashdot, smart cities, Smart Cities: Big Data, Civic Hackers, and the Quest for a New Utopia, smart grid, smart meter, software as a service, statistical model, supply-chain management, the scientific method, The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver, transaction costs

Data have traditionally been time-consuming and costly to generate, analyse and interpret, and generally provided static, often coarse, snapshots of phenomena. Given their relative paucity, good-quality data were a valuable commodity, either jealously guarded or expensively traded. Recently, this state of affairs has started to change quite radically. Data have lost none of their value, but in other respects their production and nature is being transformed through a set of what Christensen (1997) terms disruptive innovations that challenge the status quo as to how data are produced, managed, analysed, stored and utilised. Rather than being scarce and limited in access, the production of data is increasingly becoming a deluge; a wide, deep torrent of timely, varied, resolute and relational data that are relatively low in cost and, outside of business, increasingly open and accessible. A data revolution is underway, one that is already reshaping how knowledge is produced, business conducted, and governance enacted.

Beyond the 3Vs, the emerging literature denotes a number of other key characteristics, with big data being: exhaustive in scope, striving to capture entire populations or systems (n = all), or at least much larger sample sizes than would be employed in traditional, small data studies; fine-grained in resolution, aiming to be as detailed as possible, and uniquely indexical in identification; relational in nature, containing common fields that enable the conjoining of different datasets; flexible, holding the traits of extensionality (can add new fields easily) and scalable (can expand in size rapidly) (boyd and Crawford 2012; Dodge and Kitchin 2005; Marz and Warren 2012; MayerSchonberger and Cukier 2013). Given the drive to digitise and scale traditional small data into digital infrastructures that are voluminous and varied (such as national archives, censuses and collections of cultural and social heritage; see Chapter 2) it is velocity and these additional characteristics that set big data apart and make them a disruptive innovation (Christensen’s 1997) one that radically changes the nature of data and what can be done with them (see Table 2.1). For example, a national household survey has large volume, strong resolution and relationality, but lacks velocity (once a year), variety (usually c.30 structured questions), exhaustivity (a sample of perhaps one in twenty households), and flexibility (the fields are fixed, typically across surveys, to enable time-seried analysis).

Conclusion There is little doubt that the data revolution offers the possibility to reframe the epistemology of science, social science and humanities, and such a reframing is already actively taking place. Big data and the scaling of small data into data infrastructures enable the implementation of new approaches to data generation and analyses that make it possible to ask and answer questions in new ways. This has led some to make bold claims that the data revolution is a disruptive innovation that is ushering in a paradigm shift in how research is conducted. It is certainly the case that the shift from a data desert to a data deluge and new data analytics will transform research praxis. However, care needs to be taken in making assertions about the reframing of research and about the best path forward in such a reframing. Science is ill served by arguments that the data revolution means that ‘data can speak for themselves’ or that it can unproblematically employ techniques such as data dredging, with correlation superseding causation (see Chapter 9).


pages: 326 words: 91,559

Everything for Everyone: The Radical Tradition That Is Shaping the Next Economy by Nathan Schneider

1960s counterculture, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, altcoin, Amazon Mechanical Turk, back-to-the-land, basic income, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, blockchain, Brewster Kahle, Burning Man, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, carbon footprint, Clayton Christensen, collaborative economy, collective bargaining, Community Supported Agriculture, corporate governance, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, Debian, disruptive innovation, do-ocracy, Donald Knuth, Donald Trump, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, Food sovereignty, four colour theorem, future of work, gig economy, Google bus, hydraulic fracturing, Internet Archive, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, Julian Assange, Kickstarter, Lyft, M-Pesa, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, mass immigration, means of production, multi-sided market, new economy, offshore financial centre, old-boy network, Peter H. Diamandis: Planetary Resources, post-work, precariat, premature optimization, pre–internet, profit motive, race to the bottom, Richard Florida, Richard Stallman, ride hailing / ride sharing, Sam Altman, Satoshi Nakamoto, self-driving car, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Slavoj Žižek, smart contracts, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Stewart Brand, transaction costs, Turing test, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, underbanked, undersea cable, universal basic income, Upton Sinclair, Vanguard fund, white flight, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks, women in the workforce, working poor, Y Combinator, Y2K, Zipcar

There, Jimmy Boggs saw disruption decades ago, when a brew of robots, racism, and imports from Asia shut down the city’s factories, and when what remained of the auto industry fled to the whiter suburbs—consigning that capital of black America into decline and collapse. The jargon of disruption derives from a more precise academic concept. Harvard Business School professor Clayton Christensen began honing what he came to call “disruptive innovation” in the mid-1990s and early 2000s, referring to how a simple development, often from an oblique end of a market, can refashion the rules of the market in which it operates.5 In this way, the cheaper, less-mighty cars from Japan took on Detroit’s Cadillacs. It’s how Kodak invented the first digital camera in the 1970s but, by clinging to film, collapsed into bankruptcy by the hand of its own invention.

These combine with a whack-a-mole world war on terrorism to set off waves of mass migration. Globalized markets let capital flow freely but stop the desperate migrants at the borders. The liberal-democratic consensus that some expected to spread everywhere has buckled as voters around the world elect autocrats. We’ve also been living through a disruption of networks. For Silicon Valley, the internet has created the favorite case in point of disruptive innovation. It wasn’t walking, talking, sci-fi robots that took the place of travel agents or Borders Books, it was apps—new points of connection that replaced incumbent intermediaries. These connections replace physical assets and “human resources” with creative arrangements of users and their data. McKinsey and Company estimates as many as half of all jobs are vulnerable to existing technologies.6 Rather than industrial production and distribution—now outsourced to other lands—the apps offer postindustrial matching algorithms.

Jim Tankersley, “Meet the 26-Year-Old Who’s Taking on Thomas Piketty’s Ominous Warnings About Inequality,” Washington Post (March 19, 2015). 5. Joseph L. Bower and Clayton M. Christensen, “Disruptive Technologies: Catching the Wave,” Harvard Business Review (January–February 1995); Clayton M. Christensen, The Innovator’s Solution: Creating and Sustaining Successful Growth (Harvard Business Press, 2003). Between the former and the latter, he adjusted the term from “disruptive technology” to “disruptive innovation.” 6. James Manyika et al., Jobs Lost, Jobs Gained: Workforce Transitions in a Time of Automation (McKinsey Global Institute, 2017). 7. See Thomas I. Palley, Financialization: The Economics of Finance Capital Domination (Palgrave Macmillan, 2013). 8. Johnston Birchall, Resilience in a Downturn: The Power of Financial Cooperatives (International Labour Organization, 2013); Clifford Rosenthal, Credit Unions, Community Development Finance, and the Great Recession (Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, 2012). 9.


pages: 94 words: 26,453

The End of Nice: How to Be Human in a World Run by Robots (Kindle Single) by Richard Newton

3D printing, Black Swan, British Empire, Buckminster Fuller, Clayton Christensen, crowdsourcing, deliberate practice, disruptive innovation, fear of failure, Filter Bubble, future of work, Google Glasses, Isaac Newton, James Dyson, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, lateral thinking, Lean Startup, low skilled workers, Mark Zuckerberg, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Paul Erdős, Paul Graham, recommendation engine, rising living standards, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, skunkworks, social intelligence, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Y Combinator

The program is run by a company called TechStars which is one of the three big names in “start-up accelerators” alongside Y-Combinator and 500 Start-Ups. Accelerators are entrepreneurial bootcamps which provide embryonic companies with a workspace, business expertise and access to money, press, partners, know-how and a giant corps d’esprit. After a typical three-month program, the start-up companies are released into the commercial world to disrupt, innovate and clean up! Or fail. In fact the name of the game is fail fast. It’s the antithesis of big business thinking. In the world of tech start-ups the approach is to test your best business idea as fast as possible to see how it fails in order to better know what might work, then fix it, improve it, then test again. Failures make you stronger. The rough model for accelerators works like this: hundreds of start-up teams with a business idea apply.

Our past interests will determine what we are exposed to in the future, leaving less room for the unexpected encounters that spark creativity, innovation, and the democratic exchange of ideas. The chance of anti-order starts to get squeezed. There’s a similarity here with the limitations of traditional business school thinking that Clayton Christensen has warned about in his book The Innovator’s Dilemma. If we rely solely on past data to inform our future direction, then we will be like the giant enterprises who didn’t realise that at the fringes of their world disruptive innovators were planning to revolutionise and consume their markets. As Larry Page said: “Lots of companies don’t succeed over time. What do they fundamentally do wrong? They usually miss the future.” As the unknown is deliberately managed away from us, then we become more predictable, less alert and thus more vulnerable to surprises. When this happens the unknown only stays unknown until it blindsides us.


pages: 289

Hustle and Gig: Struggling and Surviving in the Sharing Economy by Alexandrea J. Ravenelle

"side hustle", active transport: walking or cycling, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, Amazon Mechanical Turk, barriers to entry, basic income, Broken windows theory, call centre, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, cashless society, Clayton Christensen, clean water, collaborative consumption, collective bargaining, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, disruptive innovation, Downton Abbey, East Village, Erik Brynjolfsson, full employment, future of work, gig economy, Howard Zinn, income inequality, informal economy, job automation, low skilled workers, Lyft, minimum wage unemployment, Mitch Kapor, Network effects, new economy, New Urbanism, obamacare, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, passive income, peer-to-peer, peer-to-peer model, performance metric, precariat, rent control, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, strikebreaker, TaskRabbit, telemarketer, the payments system, Tim Cook: Apple, transaction costs, Travis Kalanick, Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, ubercab, universal basic income, Upton Sinclair, urban planning, very high income, white flight, working poor, Zipcar

Under the guise of trust, workers undergo background checks, online reviews, and continual monitoring in an online panopticon of worker evaluation, even as they find themselves working for unknown individuals, outside standard workplace protections, and exposed to considerable risks. Another way to think of Christensen’s “disruptive innovation” is “the selling of a cheaper, poorer-quality product that . . . eventually takes over and devours an entire industry.”105 As sharing economy services have grown and proliferated, they’ve successfully subverted generations of financial gains and workplace protections. Workers have been returned to an early industrial age in which protections were nonexistent, their risks were great, and they were under the control of corporations and the elite. As Jill Lepore puts it, innovation is “the idea of progress stripped of the aspirations of the Enlightenment, scrubbed clean of the horrors of the twentieth century, and relieved of its critics. Disruptive innovation goes further, holding out the hope of salvation against the very damnation it describes: disrupt, and you will be saved.”106 The sharing economy offers workers a way to “save themselves” through extra work, but the growth of the sharing economy may only continue to subvert workers’ rights and protections.

In this view—and it is not insignificant—the idea of hacking comes from a position of arrogance.”99 Likewise, Silicon Valley’s favorite phrase, “let’s break shit,” is part of Schumpeter’s “creative destruction,” a theory of economic progress in which new business rises like a phoenix from the ashes of old business.100 Creative destruction has also been described as an early version of Clayton Christensen’s hypothesis of “disruptive innovation,” in which economies flourish when start-ups replace established firms.101 And of course, to disrupt the status quo of established industries is part of the goal of the sharing economy. When the term sharing economy first entered the public lexicon, the sharing economy itself looked like a step forward. Instead of having to compete with the Joneses and step onto in the “consumer escalator,” workers could end the cycle of “work and spend” by participating in collaborative consumption in which expensive products, like riding lawn mowers, were shared with the community.102 By spending less money, workers could minimize their financial needs and increase their leisure time, spending more time with family and friends and reducing the growing trend of “bowling alone.”103 Sharing would replace spending in a newly collaborative world and further reduce the McDonaldization of everything.104 The sharing economy was a step forward, a way out, a solution to corporate dependency and workers’ loss of workplace autonomy.

., 143–44 depression of 1819–1822, 65 deregulation, 178 Design: The Invention of Desire (Helfand), 207 DiFazio, William, 37 disability accommodations: access to, 188; avoidance of, 36; independent contractor status and, 94, 96 discretion, 153–54 discrimination: overview, 6; age-based, 62; guest screening and, 168–72; independent contractor status and, 94; instability and, 38; in sharing economy, 35–36 disruption: overview, 6, 8; Arieff on, 231n4; disruptive innovation, 207–8; term usage, 30 Dollars and Sex (Adshade), 127 double income families, 37 dream jobs: overview, 158–59; entrepreneurship made easy, 161–63; host choice/guest screening, 168–72; as marketing opportunity, 163–66; skills, capital, and choice, 166–68; skills and capital, 160; stigma and, 160–61 Driver Injury Protection insurance, 102 drivers: age of, 53, 223n85; assault and harassment of, 103–4; Baran, 167; bathroom use, 88; cost of miles driven, 184–85; dangers of driving for hire, 101–4; Driver Injury Protection insurance, 102; driver requirements, 167; educational level of, 53, 223n85; employee classification of, 198fig. 14; gender issues, 227–28n30; Gerald, 107–9; health issues of, 104–6; Hector, 106–7, 144–47; high capital-barrier, 167; identity checks, 113–14; immigrant status of, 53; income level, 54, 184–85, 223n85, 233n54; insurance requirements, 222–23n64; Juno/Gett, 190–91, 233n72; Larry, 88, 104; licensing requirements, 222–23n64; Muhammad, 132–33; Oybek, 103–4, 106; race of, 53; registration requirements, 222–23n64; safety issues, 227n16; as successful workers, 185; Uber auto loan/lease programs, 73–74; Uber website on, 53, 54fig. 10; vulnerability categories, 193–94; worker-client sexual interactions, 132–33; work stigma and, 160–61; Young, Maggie, 103 drugs: overview, 23; drug package policies, 155; drug testing, 222n64; liability of carrying, 138–39, 157 Dunlap, Al, 178 durable-assets-sharing sites, 26, 27.


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Automating Inequality by Virginia Eubanks

autonomous vehicles, basic income, business process, call centre, cognitive dissonance, collective bargaining, correlation does not imply causation, deindustrialization, disruptive innovation, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, ending welfare as we know it, experimental subject, housing crisis, IBM and the Holocaust, income inequality, job automation, mandatory minimum, Mark Zuckerberg, mass incarceration, minimum wage unemployment, mortgage tax deduction, new economy, New Urbanism, payday loans, performance metric, Ronald Reagan, self-driving car, statistical model, strikebreaker, underbanked, universal basic income, urban renewal, War on Poverty, working poor, Works Progress Administration, young professional, zero-sum game

In my most pessimistic moments, I fear that we are winning the fight against mass incarceration at just the historical moment when the digital poorhouse makes the physical institution of the prison less necessary. Corporations already anticipate the immense cost savings of building a digital prison state without walls. A 2012 Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu report titled Public Sector, Disrupted, for example, sees “transforming criminal justice with electronic monitoring” as an “opportunity for disruptive innovation” in government services. A graphic brings their point home. On the left side is a stick figure behind prison bars. In the middle, there is an equal sign. On the right, there are five and a half stick figures wearing electronic ankle bracelets. The violence of the digital poorhouse is less direct than police brutality, its operation harder to see. But we must resist its moralizing classifications.

[Accessed June 28, 2017.] Conclusion: Dismantling the Digital Poorhouse Published Literature Alexander, Karl L., Doris R. Entwisle, and Linda Steffel Olson. The Long Shadow: Family Background, Disadvantaged Urban Youth, and the Transition to Adulthood. American Sociological Association, Rose Series in Sociology. New York: Russell Sage Foundation, 2014. Deloitte Touche. Public Sector, Disrupted: How Disruptive Innovation Can Help Government Achieve More for Less. 2012. https://www2.deloitte.com/content/dam/Deloitte/global/Documents/Public-Sector/dttl-ps-publicsectordisrupted-08082013.pdf. [Accessed Aug. 1, 2017.] Edin, Kathryn J., and H. Luke Shaefer. $2.00 a Day: Living on Almost Nothing in America. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2015. Garza, Alicia. “A Herstory of the #Blacklivesmatter Movement.” http://blacklivesmatter.com/herstory/.

See automated decision making; predictive risk models digital poorhouse and class and criminalization and discrimination dismantling the and diversion from public resources effects of and equity eternality of and “fear of falling” as hard to understand intractability of National Welfare Rights Organization (NWRO) novel aspects of origins of and politics and prediction of future behavior scalability of and self-interest and values discretion of caseworkers in decision-making discrimination and child welfare and cultural denial and digital poorhouse and public assistance rational and reverse redlining and welfare reform disinvestment in neighborhoods in social service programs disproportionality in child welfare decisions disruptive innovation Dogon, General Dreyer, David driverless cars drug and alcohol abuse Drug and Alcohol Services drug and alcohol treatment drug testing Du Bois, W.E.B. due process Dunham, Calvin B. EBT. See electronic benefits transfer economic depression of 1819 of 1873 economic violence Edin, Kathryn J. Ehrenreich, Barbara electronic benefits transfer (EBT) Electronic Data Systems eligibility rules “employable mother” rules “man in house” rules “substitute father” rules “suitable home” rules empathy “employable mother” rules.


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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 cycle, 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, creative destruction, crony capitalism, deskilling, disintermediation, disruptive innovation, 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, intangible asset, intermodal, invisible hand, job-hopping, Joseph Schumpeter, Julian Assange, Kickstarter, liberation theology, Martin Wolf, mega-rich, 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, zero-sum game

It is what capitalism consists in and what every capitalist concern has got to live in.”42 The shifts in power that we see all around us—which include and transcend the ascent and demise of business enterprises—are certainly consistent with Schumpeter’s expectations. They are also in line with the insights of Clayton Christensen, a Harvard Business School professor who coined the term disruptive innovation, meaning a change—in technology, service, or product—that creates a new market by relying on a completely new approach. The effects of a disruptive innovation eventually spill over to other related or similar markets and undermine them. The iPad is a good example. Using your cellphone to pay for groceries or to send money to your daughter in another continent are two other good examples. Yet, whereas Schumpeter focused on the forces of change within the capitalist system in general and Christensen dissected specific markets more narrowly, the argument here is that similar forces are at work in a much broader set of human endeavors.

Ideologies have come and gone, political parties have risen and fallen, and some government practices have been improved by reforms and information technology. Electoral campaigns now rely on more sophisticated methods of persuasion—and, of course, more people than ever are governed by a leader they have elected and not by a dictator. While welcome, these changes pale in comparison with the extraordinary transformations in communications, medicine, business, and war. In short, disruptive innovation has not arrived in politics, government, and political participation. But it will. We are on the verge of a revolutionary wave of positive political and institutional innovations. As this book has shown, power is changing in so many arenas that it will be impossible to avoid important transformations in the way humanity organizes itself to make the decisions it needs to survive and progress.

.), 251 waves of democratization, 83, 248 Democratic Party, 76, 95, 203 Demographics, 4, 54, 66, 69, 74 Denmark, 92, 149, 151 DeParle, Jason, 59 Depression period, 45, 55, 136 Derivatives, 160, 184 Desai, Raj, 210, 211 Deutsche Börse, 188 Developing countries, 7, 10, 55, 56, 57, 61, 63, 129, 146, 167, 172, 183, 185, 187, 254 Dhar, Sujoy, 70 Diamond, Larry, 85, 102–103 Diamond industry, 165 Dictators, 1, 5, 29, 53, 75, 78, 82, 83, 220, 247. See also Authoritarianism Dimon, Jamie, 161–162 di Pietro, Antonio, 98, 99 Diplomacy, 153–155 economic, 144–147, 149 Direct Edge, 188 Disease, 10, 73, 140, 210, 226 Disney, 179, 212 Disruptive Innovation, 71, 243 District of Columbia, 88 Divorce, 65, 66 DIY Drones group, 119 Dobbs, Richard, 61 Dolan, Kerry A., 181 Domhoff, G. William, 48 Dominica, 155 Doris Duke Foundation, 210 Dorset, 181 DoubleClick, 174–175 Dow Jones, 174, 212 Drones, 112, 118–119, 121 Drugs, 73, 110, 122, 125–126, 222 Dupont, 165 Durkheim, Émile, 231 East Timor, 81 Economic/financial crises, 15, 18, 57, 68, 91, 102, 132, 160, 164, 176, 183, 184, 218, 224, 228, 238.


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, commoditize, conceptual framework, continuous integration, crowdsourcing, digital twin, disintermediation, disruptive innovation, 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, mass immigration, 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, Sam Altman, 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, supercomputer in your pocket, TaskRabbit, The Future of Employment, The Spirit Level, total factor productivity, transaction costs, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, WikiLeaks, winner-take-all economy, women in the workforce, working-age population, Y Combinator, Zipcar

World Economic Forum Agenda, Aug 9 https://agenda.weforum.org/2015/08/5-brain-technologies-future/ Fernandez A (2015). 10 neurotechnologies about to transform brain enhancement and brain health. SharpBrains, USA, Nov 10 http://sharpbrains.com/blog/2015/11/10/10-neurotechnologies-about-to-transform-brain-enhancement-and-brain-health/ Notes 1 The terms “disruption” and “disruptive innovation” have been much discussed in business and management strategy circles, most recently in Clayton M. Christensen, Michael E. Raynor, and Rory McDonald, What is Disruptive Innovation?, Harvard Business Review, December 2015. While respecting the concerns of Professor Christensen and his colleagues about definitions, I have employed the broader meanings in this book. 2 Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee, The Second Machine Age: Work, Progress, and Prosperity in a Time of Brilliant Technologies, W.W.


pages: 282 words: 81,873

Live Work Work Work Die: A Journey Into the Savage Heart of Silicon Valley by Corey Pein

23andMe, 4chan, affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Anne Wojcicki, artificial general intelligence, bank run, barriers to entry, Benevolent Dictator For Life (BDFL), Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, Build a better mousetrap, California gold rush, cashless society, colonial rule, computer age, cryptocurrency, data is the new oil, disruptive innovation, Donald Trump, Douglas Hofstadter, Elon Musk, Extropian, gig economy, Google bus, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, hacker house, hive mind, illegal immigration, immigration reform, Internet of things, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, job automation, Kevin Kelly, Khan Academy, Law of Accelerating Returns, Lean Startup, life extension, Lyft, Mahatma Gandhi, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, minimum viable product, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, mutually assured destruction, obamacare, passive income, patent troll, Paul Graham, peer-to-peer lending, Peter H. Diamandis: Planetary Resources, Peter Thiel, platform as a service, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, post-work, Ray Kurzweil, regulatory arbitrage, rent control, RFID, Robert Mercer, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, Ross Ulbricht, Ruby on Rails, Sam Altman, Sand Hill Road, Scientific racism, self-driving car, sharing economy, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Singularitarianism, Skype, Snapchat, social software, software as a service, source of truth, South of Market, San Francisco, Startup school, stealth mode startup, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, TaskRabbit, technological singularity, technoutopianism, telepresence, too big to fail, Travis Kalanick, tulip mania, Uber for X, uber lyft, ubercab, upwardly mobile, Vernor Vinge, X Prize, Y Combinator

Today more people than ever are becoming billionaires—two thousand and counting have made the great leap upward, according to the “global wealth team” at Forbes. Virtually no aspect of the geopolitical arena, the natural environment, or the human experience escapes their influence. And America’s hottest billionaire factory happens to be located in the most hyped yet least understood swath of suburban sprawl in the world: Silicon Valley. Seat of disruptive innovation and home to the heroes of high tech, the Valley calls out like an alluring siren to ambitious, skilled, and forward-thinking people from all over. Its singular approach to wealth creation—let’s call it “the Silicon Valley way”—was endorsed by former president Barack Obama himself. In a State of the Union address, he pledged to support “every risk-taker and entrepreneur who aspires to become the next Steve Jobs.”

It was my most successful negotiation ever. I should have said $800. Unfortunately, subsequent discussions made clear that I had been haggling over the price of Magdalena for one night, not the price of her spare room for one month. * * * Lacking the financial stability required to secure a lease, much less a mortgage, my best hope upon leaving Hacker Condo was to find another “hacker house.” These were the products of disruptive innovation in urban real estate. The city was once riddled with small apartments and single-family homes that sheltered trifling handfuls of obsolete laborers and their unproductive children, often for decades at a stretch. But the tech boom let such so-called family homes reach their full potential as investment properties. Unproductive residential zones now teemed with digital workhouses bursting with entrepreneurial brio and filled to capacity, or beyond, with techie forty-niners.

A “disruptive” company had the potential to take over an entire industry, as medieval scriptoria were disrupted by movable type, the infantry charge by the machine gun, knowledge by Google, and so on. The spurious notion that there was some discernible Law of Business Administration to be found within such miscellaneous instances of human behavioral change dated to 1997, when a Harvard Business School professor published his theory of “disruptive innovation.” Another Harvardite, Mark Zuckerberg, enshrined disruption as the operating principle of Facebook, commanding employees to “move fast and break things.” Later techie manifestos boiled the scholarly pretense down to its vulgar essence: “Break shit.” I needed to look like someone who was ready to break shit. I procured a bright yellow T-shirt that proclaimed, in big block letters, IT’S TIME FOR PLAN ฿—Bitcoin, of course.


pages: 407 words: 90,238

Stealing Fire: How Silicon Valley, the Navy SEALs, and Maverick Scientists Are Revolutionizing the Way We Live and Work by Steven Kotler, Jamie Wheal

3D printing, Alexander Shulgin, augmented reality, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, blockchain, Burning Man, Colonization of Mars, crowdsourcing, David Brooks, delayed gratification, disruptive innovation, Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, high batting average, hive mind, Hyperloop, impulse control, informal economy, Jaron Lanier, John Markoff, Kevin Kelly, lateral thinking, Mason jar, Maui Hawaii, McMansion, means of production, Menlo Park, meta analysis, meta-analysis, music of the spheres, pattern recognition, Peter Thiel, PIHKAL and TIHKAL, Ray Kurzweil, ride hailing / ride sharing, risk tolerance, science of happiness, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, Steve Jobs, Tony Hsieh, urban planning

At first, when breakthroughs happen, only those people willing to tolerate the risk and uncertainty of a novel technology get on board, a trade they’ll make for the benefits of being “early adopters.” Then there’s a gap, what Moore called “the chasm,” that any idea has to cross to attract a growing audience. It’s attracting that “early majority” on the far side of the chasm that he feels is the true mark of disruptive innovation. Up until now, we’ve focused primarily on the pioneers and early adopters—those most visibly driving the evolution of the four forces. Here we want to take a moment to catalog signs of broader applications, focusing on the places where the chasm has been crossed and a critical early majority are starting to incorporate state-changing tools and techniques into their everyday lives. Take the first force, psychology.

This ability to continually update and advance our own understanding, ahead of anyone else’s attempts to constrain or repurpose them may be the key to breaking the stalemate. Wu agrees. “The Cycle is powered by disruptive innovations49 that . . . bankrupt the dominant powers, and change the world. Such innovations are exceedingly rare, but they are what make the Cycle go.” An open-source approach to non-ordinary states makes Wu’s “disruptive innovations” a little less rare, and the ability to share and distribute them less susceptible to co-optation. And while the four forces don’t guarantee a bloodless revolution, they do ensure that more people get to decide for themselves. And that’s the ultimate paradox of these states: all that liberation comes with an unavoidable dose of responsibility. While these states provide access to heightened performance and perspective, the upsides come at a cost.

“all the advantages of Christianity and alcohol; none of their defects”: Aldous Huxley, Brave New World (London: Chatto & Windus, 1932), p. 54. 47. “In Brave New World, they are controlled by inflicting”: Neil Postman, Amusing Ourselves to Death (New York: Penguin, 2005), p. viii. 48. all power that derives from the control of information: Tim Wu, The Master Switch (New York: Knopf, 2010), p. 310. 49. The Cycle is powered by disruptive innovations: Ibid., p. 20. Chapter Ten: Hedonic Engineering 1. Sasha Shulgin used to say:” Dirty Pictures. 2. First identified back in the 1930s, Jerusalem Syndrome: Yair Bar-El et al., “Jerusalem Syndrome,” British Journal of Psychiatry 176 (2000): 86–90. 3. It’s why Burning Man advises people: This essay is one the more frequently reposted and entertaining articles on “decompression” or coming back to regular life after the event, by “The Colonel” of Arctic Monkey Camp: “Do Not Divorce Your Parakeet Yet,” New York Burners Guide, original date and publishing location unknown.


pages: 372 words: 101,678

Lessons from the Titans: What Companies in the New Economy Can Learn from the Great Industrial Giants to Drive Sustainable Success by Scott Davis, Carter Copeland, Rob Wertheimer

3D printing, activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, additive manufacturing, Airbnb, airport security, barriers to entry, business cycle, business process, clean water, commoditize, coronavirus, corporate governance, COVID-19, Covid-19, disruptive innovation, Elon Musk, factory automation, global pandemic, hydraulic fracturing, Internet of things, iterative process, low cost airline, low cost carrier, Marc Andreessen, megacity, Network effects, new economy, Ponzi scheme, profit maximization, random walk, RFID, ride hailing / ride sharing, risk tolerance, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, six sigma, skunkworks, software is eating the world, strikebreaker, Toyota Production System, Uber for X, winner-take-all economy

For context, the innovation ecosystem is dramatically changing for the old economy. Venture capital (VC) funding for industrial markets, under a billion dollars 10 years ago, exceeded $40 billion in 2018. Total R&D spent by all public industrial companies is now around $90 billion, so in a few short years VC investment has reached close to half that level. (See Figure 10.7.) Most of this influx of funding aims at disruptive innovations, while most standard R&D is incremental. Accordingly, the tech world is now outspending the industrial world on real disruption by a wide margin and with greater efficiency. Figure 10.7: VC funding has become much more important to the future of industrials. Source: Pitchbook That sort of shift creates the sense of urgency that Loree was experiencing in 2014 and 2015. The risk of disruption is large, but so is the potential for leaders ahead of the trends.

FlexVolt dramatically expands the options for cordless power tools, allowing users to choose between the normal 20-volt operation and much higher voltage levels. A 120-volt flow is enough to run tools that are normally corded. That option is a big deal on construction jobsites, as removing extension cords or noisy air compressors has clear benefits for productivity, safety, and quality of the work environment. Fueled by this initial success, which saw FlexVolt sales rising 10 times as fast as prior innovations, the company formalized disruptive innovation as part of its update and expansion of SFS. It set up several teams outside its core offices, near universities and other innovation hubs. One such breakthrough innovation center developed deep relationships with a German automaker. The automaker had an engineering challenge that wasn’t directly related to SBD’s product or expertise, but the teams knew each other, and the automaker knew of the new focus on outside-the-box thinking.

Among other things, Craftsman makes outdoor equipment such as weed trimmers, snowblowers, and lawnmowers. There is a huge opportunity to go electric in this space, at an even faster pace than with cars. The two-stroke engines of many lawn care products are inherently dirty, emitting pollution far out of proportion to their fuel use, because emissions equipment is too expensive on small engines. In 10 years, much of the lawn and garden tool products may be electric. Disruptive innovation teams are already working on the opportunity. POSTMORTEM Stanley Black & Decker took the flywheel of margin improvement and capital redeployment and added in a technology layer. The acquisition of the Craftsman brand exemplifies the synergistic opportunities that have been unlocked with SBD’s transformation. The company’s ability to improve margins and operational processes, coupled with its new innovation focus, gave management confidence that it could improve and revive this old brand better than others could.


How Will You Measure Your Life? by Christensen, Clayton M., Dillon, Karen, Allworth, James

air freight, Clayton Christensen, disruptive innovation, hiring and firing, invisible hand, Iridium satellite, job satisfaction, late fees, Mahatma Gandhi, Nick Leeson, Silicon Valley, Skype, Steve Jobs, working poor, young professional

There are no quick fixes for the fundamental problems of life. But I can offer you tools that I’ll call theories in this book, which will help you make good choices, appropriate to the circumstances of your life. I learned about the power of this approach in 1997, before I published my first book, The Innovator’s Dilemma I got a call from Andy Grove, then the chairman of Intel. He had heard of one of my early academic papers about disruptive innovation, and asked me to come to Santa Clara to explain my research and tell him and his top team what it implied for Intel. A young professor, I excitedly flew to Silicon Valley and showed up at the appointed time, only to have Andy say, “Look, stuff has happened. We have only ten minutes for you. Tell us what your research means for Intel, so we can get on with things.” I responded, “Andy, I can’t, because I know very little about Intel.

I warn them that their time at school might be the best time to reflect deeply on that question. Fast-paced careers, family responsibilities, and tangible rewards of success tend to swallow up time and perspective. They will just sail off from their time at school without a rudder and get buffeted in the very rough seas of life. In the long run, clarity about purpose will trump knowledge of activity-based costing, balanced scorecards, core competence, disruptive innovation, the four Ps, the five forces, and other key business theories we teach at Harvard. What’s true for them is true for you, too. If you take the time to figure out your purpose in life, I promise that you will look back on it as the most important thing you will have ever learned. I HAVE WRITTEN this book with my wonderful and capable coauthors to help you to be successful and happy in your career.


pages: 276 words: 64,903

Built for Growth: How Builder Personality Shapes Your Business, Your Team, and Your Ability to Win by Chris Kuenne, John Danner

Airbnb, Amazon Web Services, Berlin Wall, Bob Noyce, business climate, call centre, cloud computing, disruptive innovation, don't be evil, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Gordon Gekko, Jeff Bezos, Kickstarter, Lean Startup, Mark Zuckerberg, pattern recognition, risk tolerance, Sand Hill Road, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, supply-chain management, zero-sum game

Their decision-making style tends to be unemotional and focused on growth, while they are careful to be consistent with mission, vision, and prior personal commitments. Captains are arguably the most fully developed leaders in terms of direct, honest, and consistent communication among the individuals and teams they manage. But their more consensus-based approach can lead to a form of incrementalism that may miss the necessity or opportunity for more dramatic, disruptive innovation in their markets. Which Builder Personality Is Most Similar to Yours? While the descriptions you read on the preceding pages are the simplest way to identify which Builder Personality Type you are most like, here we will show you a bit more about how our typing process works. The instrument appearing on the next page represents a simplified version of our Builder Personality Discovery™ (BPD) quiz.

However, the combination of your pragmatic business sense and your ability to galvanize a team around a question or an opportunity quickly unleashes the solution-generating power of others. With this energy, you can build a company and drive impact. At the same time, your predilection to allow context and consensus to frame the solution may come at the expense of genuine commercial breakthroughs. Your approach can result in more incremental solutions to more immediate problems. It is less likely to lead to a Steve Jobs–like or Henry Ford–caliber truly disruptive innovation. Other Builder Personality Types probably have a better shot at those kinds of leaps. The Team Dynamic: Galvanizing Individual Talent for Collaborative Impact If you’re a Captain, you are as much a team assembler as you are a catalyst. You are intent on creating a company culture around values and mutual accountability. Comfortable with leading from behind, you trust your colleagues and culture to fulfill the vision for the company whose future you share.


pages: 220 words: 73,451

Democratizing innovation by Eric von Hippel

additive manufacturing, correlation coefficient, Debian, disruptive innovation, hacker house, informal economy, information asymmetry, inventory management, iterative process, James Watt: steam engine, knowledge economy, longitudinal study, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Network effects, placebo effect, principal–agent problem, Richard Stallman, software patent, transaction costs, Vickrey auction

How do we square these findings with the arguments, put forth by Christensen (1997), by Slater and Narver (1998), and by others, that firms are likely to miss radical or disruptive innovations if they pay close attention to requests from their customers? Christensen (1997, p. 59, n. 21) writes: “The research of Eric von Hippel, frequently cited as evidence of the value of listening to customers, indicates that customers originate a large majority of new product ideas. . . . The [Christensen] value network framework would predict that the innovations toward which the customers in von Hippel’s study led their suppliers would have been sustaining innovations. We would expect disruptive innovations to have come from other sources.” Unfortunately, the above contains a basic misunderstanding of my research findings. My findings, and related findings by others as well, deal with innovations by lead users, not customers, and lead users are a much Searching for Lead User Innovations 145 broader category than customers of a specific firm.


pages: 267 words: 72,552

Reinventing Capitalism in the Age of Big Data by Viktor Mayer-Schönberger, Thomas Ramge

accounting loophole / creative accounting, Air France Flight 447, Airbnb, Alvin Roth, Atul Gawande, augmented reality, banking crisis, basic income, Bayesian statistics, bitcoin, blockchain, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, carbon footprint, Cass Sunstein, centralized clearinghouse, Checklist Manifesto, cloud computing, cognitive bias, conceptual framework, creative destruction, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, disruptive innovation, Donald Trump, double entry bookkeeping, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, Ford paid five dollars a day, Frederick Winslow Taylor, fundamental attribution error, George Akerlof, gig economy, Google Glasses, information asymmetry, interchangeable parts, invention of the telegraph, inventory management, invisible hand, James Watt: steam engine, Jeff Bezos, job automation, job satisfaction, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, labor-force participation, land reform, lone genius, low cost airline, low cost carrier, Marc Andreessen, market bubble, market design, market fundamentalism, means of production, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Moneyball by Michael Lewis explains big data, multi-sided market, natural language processing, Network effects, Norbert Wiener, offshore financial centre, Parag Khanna, payday loans, peer-to-peer lending, Peter Thiel, Ponzi scheme, prediction markets, price anchoring, price mechanism, purchasing power parity, random walk, recommendation engine, Richard Thaler, ride hailing / ride sharing, Sam Altman, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, six sigma, smart grid, smart meter, Snapchat, statistical model, Steve Jobs, technoutopianism, The Future of Employment, The Market for Lemons, The Nature of the Firm, transaction costs, universal basic income, William Langewiesche, Y Combinator

There is some logic in the fact that banks are providing capital for fintechs, companies that use data technologies to provide financial services, many of which aim to push conventional banks off their pedestals. The banks’ bet is: if you get disrupted, you should at least own some of the players that take away your business. In 2015 alone, these fintechs attracted investments exceeding $19 billion worldwide. Some pundits have described the frantic activity as a fintech bubble. Although a number of fintechs focus on payment solutions, many of them focus squarely on offering disruptive innovation in two areas we’ll examine briefly: lending and investment planning. For decades, money lending has progressed from a matter of personal trust—think of a community bank manager deciding whether somebody gets a mortgage or not—to a decision driven by a single statistic: an individual’s credit score. Reducing trust to a number may seem to make it easier for banks to choose their borrowers.

But more important than taking sides in this debate is understanding the significance of the UBI movement as well as its limitations. Perhaps it doesn’t come as a surprise that high-tech innovators are looking for creative ways to respond to the social challenges posed by data-driven markets and the reconfiguration of our economy. Ingrained thinking is something not even Silicon Valley can escape: if you believe in disruptive innovation, it may become your standard response to any problem. But it may not be all that innovative an idea. If data enables us to go beyond money, why does the social innovation designed to solve the problems caused by data-driven markets emphasize money? Why are we reintroducing, through a UBI, a simple, fixed monetary solution in situations that quite obviously require an assessment of needs beyond money?


pages: 229 words: 72,431

Shadow Work: The Unpaid, Unseen Jobs That Fill Your Day by Craig Lambert

airline deregulation, Asperger Syndrome, banking crisis, Barry Marshall: ulcers, big-box store, business cycle, carbon footprint, cashless society, Clayton Christensen, cognitive dissonance, collective bargaining, Community Supported Agriculture, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, disintermediation, disruptive innovation, financial independence, Galaxy Zoo, ghettoisation, gig economy, global village, helicopter parent, IKEA effect, industrial robot, informal economy, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, Mark Zuckerberg, new economy, pattern recognition, plutocrats, Plutocrats, recommendation engine, Schrödinger's Cat, Silicon Valley, single-payer health, statistical model, Thorstein Veblen, Turing test, unpaid internship, Vanguard fund, Vilfredo Pareto, zero-sum game, Zipcar

The product will probably not be as good as what a professional would produce, but it is good enough for many customers, and far less expensive. The shadow-working consumer simply customizes the template for her needs and goes ahead with it—planting the garden or going live with the new website. Such templates are examples of “disruptive innovation,” a term Harvard Business School professor Clayton Christensen coined in his landmark 1992 book The Innovator’s Dilemma. Disruptive innovation happens when a new company introduces a product that is cheaper, simpler, and/or faster than those on the market. Toyota and Honda, for example, disrupted Detroit’s Big Three automakers by bringing out cheaper, smaller, no-frills cars like the Corolla and Civic. The Japanese imports were not as good as Detroit’s models—not as powerful, safe, comfortable, or loaded with features—but they were good enough for many drivers at the low end of the market and far less expensive to buy and operate.


pages: 257 words: 76,785

Shorter by Alex Soojung-Kim Pang

8-hour work day, airport security, Albert Einstein, Bertrand Russell: In Praise of Idleness, business process, call centre, carbon footprint, centre right, cloud computing, colonial rule, disruptive innovation, Erik Brynjolfsson, future of work, game design, gig economy, Henri Poincaré, IKEA effect, iterative process, job automation, job satisfaction, job-hopping, Johannes Kepler, Kickstarter, labor-force participation, longitudinal study, means of production, neurotypical, performance metric, race to the bottom, remote working, Second Machine Age, side project, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, telemarketer, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, women in the workforce, young professional, zero-sum game

Instead, especially since the 1970s, working hours have held relatively steady or fallen only modestly. The percentage of workers employed in temporary work, gig-economy jobs, or zero-hours contracts has grown dramatically in the US, with other advanced economies following. Executives learned they could boost profits by shredding workforces, tapping global manufacturing and transportation networks, or using “disruptive innovation” to drive established companies out of business. The rise of Silicon Valley in the 1980s brought with it a new model of work and success that glamorized long hours, made workaholics into heroes, and turned overwork into a badge of honor. As a result, we now live in a fast-moving, unstable world in which overwork is a source of riches for some and a necessity for survival for the rest. But this way of working is costly for individuals, for companies, and for economies.

After ten years in advertising and “a lot of late nights, a lot of overnighters in some cases,” Michael Honey realized when he founded digital interactive agency Icelab that he “wanted to work a relaxed forty hours, rather than a frenetic fifty hours.” Interestingly, they don’t come from places like the University of Pennsylvania (where I studied) or Stanford University (where I taught)—the kinds of institutions that congratulate themselves on educating the world’s disruptive innovators and business visionaries. In Korea, where many corporate executives are drawn from elite universities like Seoul National and KAIST (Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology), Bong-Jin Kim studied graphic design. Yusaku Maezawa, Zozo’s colorful founder and CEO, dropped out of Waseda University. In the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand, aside from a couple Berkeley-trained software engineers, none of the founders who’ve moved their companies to four-day workweeks are from Oxbridge or the Ivy League; rather, they’re from respectable but not elite institutions like the Universities of Arizona, Southampton, and Tasmania, Temple University in Philadelphia, the Glasgow School of Art, and Otago Polytechnic.


pages: 269 words: 70,543

Tech Titans of China: How China's Tech Sector Is Challenging the World by Innovating Faster, Working Harder, and Going Global by Rebecca Fannin

Airbnb, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, blockchain, call centre, cashless society, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable:, cloud computing, computer vision, connected car, corporate governance, cryptocurrency, data is the new oil, Deng Xiaoping, digital map, disruptive innovation, Donald Trump, El Camino Real, Elon Musk, family office, fear of failure, glass ceiling, global supply chain, income inequality, industrial robot, Internet of things, invention of movable type, Jeff Bezos, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, megacity, Menlo Park, money market fund, Network effects, new economy, peer-to-peer lending, personalized medicine, Peter Thiel, QR code, RFID, ride hailing / ride sharing, Sand Hill Road, self-driving car, sharing economy, Shenzhen was a fishing village, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, smart cities, smart transportation, Snapchat, social graph, software as a service, South China Sea, sovereign wealth fund, speech recognition, stealth mode startup, Steve Jobs, supply-chain management, Tim Cook: Apple, Travis Kalanick, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, urban planning, winner-take-all economy, Y Combinator, young professional

—Jerry Haar and Ricardo Ernst, professors respectively at Florida International University and Georgetown, and co-authors of Innovation in Emerging Markets “Tech Titans of China gives us a very clear and concrete China innovation 101, and lays out how China tech giants are creating their own technology universe.” —Edith Yeung, Creator of China Internet Report, Partner at Proof of Capital and 500 Startups “If you care about the future of innovation, then this is an absolute must read book.” —Mike Grandinetti, Faculty Chairman: Rutgers “Leading Disruptive Innovation” Executive Program; Faculty Member: MIT Enterprise Forum Startup Founders Program; Global Professor: Entrepreneurship, Innovation & Marketing, Hult International Business School “Whatever the debate may be about Chinese government policies, no one should believe that China’s private companies aren’t innovative. Rececca Fannin’s new book couldn’t be more timely.” —Sean Randolph, Senior Director, Bay Area Council Economic Institution “An eye-opening book.”

Leapfrogging to Copied from China In less than two decades, China tech innovation has evolved and gone through three phases of development: from copy to China, to invented in China, and now today, the biggest trend to watch is copied from China, meaning US companies duplicate Chinese innovations. China’s first-generation internet entrepreneurs unabashedly created copies of successful American startups Yahoo!, Amazon, Facebook, Google, and eBay. Intellectual property protections were scant. Now Chinese technocrats are breaking boundaries with their own disruptive innovations, taking them overseas and getting copied by Westerners. Chinese internet companies are no longer dismissed as mere copycats of Google, Facebook, YouTube, and Amazon—as they were when my Silicon Dragon book first was published in 2008. Now, made-in-China business models built for a mobile-first generation are advanced and widely used. There are multifunctional superapps, mobile wallets, mobile shopping in groups, mobile videos and streaming, mobile books, and mobile news apps with no editor.


pages: 588 words: 131,025

The Patient Will See You Now: The Future of Medicine Is in Your Hands by Eric Topol

23andMe, 3D printing, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Anne Wojcicki, Atul Gawande, augmented reality, bioinformatics, call centre, Clayton Christensen, clean water, cloud computing, commoditize, computer vision, conceptual framework, connected car, correlation does not imply causation, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, dark matter, data acquisition, disintermediation, disruptive innovation, don't be evil, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, Firefox, global village, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, Ignaz Semmelweis: hand washing, information asymmetry, interchangeable parts, Internet of things, Isaac Newton, job automation, Julian Assange, Kevin Kelly, license plate recognition, lifelogging, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, meta analysis, meta-analysis, microbiome, Nate Silver, natural language processing, Network effects, Nicholas Carr, obamacare, pattern recognition, personalized medicine, phenotype, placebo effect, RAND corporation, randomized controlled trial, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart cities, Smart Cities: Big Data, Civic Hackers, and the Quest for a New Utopia, Snapchat, social graph, speech recognition, stealth mode startup, Steve Jobs, the scientific method, The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Turing test, Uber for X, uber lyft, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, WikiLeaks, X Prize

“The Future of Healthcare: Virtual Physician Visits & Bedless Hospitals,” Lab Soft News, April 1, 2013, http://labsoftnews.typepad.com/lab_soft_news/2013/04/the-future-of-healthcare-less-emphasis-on-hospital-visits.html. 2. D. DiSanzo, “Op/Ed: Hospital of the Future Will Be a Health Delivery Network,” US News & World Report, January 14, 2014, http://health.usnews.com/health-news/hospital-of-tomorrow/articles/2014/01/14/oped-hospital-of-the-future-will-be-a-health-delivery-network. 3. J. Comstock, “Revisiting How Christensen’s ‘Disruption Innovation’ in Healthcare Means Decentralization,” MobiHealthNews, March 26, 2014, http://mobihealthnews.com/31470/revisiting-how-christensens-disruption-innovation-in-healthcare-means-decentralization/. 4. E. Topol et al., “A Randomized Controlled Trial of Hospital Discharge Three Days After Myocardial Infarction in the Era of Reperfusion,” New England Journal of Medicine 318 (1988): 1083–1088. 5. “American Hospital Association Annual Survey of Hospitals,” in Hospital Statistics, 1976, 1981, 1999–2011 editions (Chicago, IL: American Hospital Association). 6.

Levingston, “Practice Fusion Wants to Be Free,” Bloomberg Businessweek, February 6, 2014, http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2014-02-06/practice-fusions-medical-records-technology-is-free-for-doctors. 66. D. Hernandez, “How Medical Tech Promises to Save Lives,” USA Today, June 14, 2014, http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2014/06/14/medical-technology-va-healthcare-emr/10369071/. Chapter 8 1. U. E. Reinhardt, “The Disruptive Innovation of Price Transparency in Health Care,” Journal of the American Medical Association 310, no. 18 (2013): 1927–1928. 2. T. Rosenberg, “The Cure for the $1,000 Toothbrush,” New York Times, August 13, 2013, http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/08/13/the-cure-for-the-1000-toothbrush/. 3. S. Brill, “Bitter Pill: Why Medical Bills Are Killing Us,” TIME, April 4, 2013, http://time.com/198/bitter-pill-why-medical-bills-are-killing-us/. 4.


pages: 827 words: 239,762

The Golden Passport: Harvard Business School, the Limits of Capitalism, and the Moral Failure of the MBA Elite by Duff McDonald

activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Albert Einstein, barriers to entry, Bayesian statistics, Bernie Madoff, Bob Noyce, Bonfire of the Vanities, business cycle, business process, butterfly effect, capital asset pricing model, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Clayton Christensen, cloud computing, collateralized debt obligation, collective bargaining, commoditize, corporate governance, corporate raider, corporate social responsibility, creative destruction, deskilling, discounted cash flows, disintermediation, disruptive innovation, Donald Trump, family office, financial innovation, Frederick Winslow Taylor, full employment, George Gilder, glass ceiling, global pandemic, Gordon Gekko, hiring and firing, income inequality, invisible hand, Jeff Bezos, job-hopping, John von Neumann, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Arrow, Kickstarter, London Whale, Long Term Capital Management, market fundamentalism, Menlo Park, new economy, obamacare, oil shock, pattern recognition, performance metric, Peter Thiel, plutocrats, Plutocrats, profit maximization, profit motive, pushing on a string, Ralph Nader, Ralph Waldo Emerson, RAND corporation, random walk, rent-seeking, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, Sam Altman, Sand Hill Road, Saturday Night Live, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Skype, Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Its Profits, Steve Jobs, survivorship bias, The Nature of the Firm, the scientific method, Thorstein Veblen, union organizing, urban renewal, Vilfredo Pareto, War on Poverty, William Shockley: the traitorous eight, women in the workforce, Y Combinator

“And what looks like disruption is in fact an incumbent firm not embracing innovation [at all].” McGill’s Henry Mintzberg, asked for his two cents, also suggested that Christensen was seeing things that just weren’t there. “I think Clay is a fabulous guy, but he makes one fundamental error, which is that he couldn’t have predicted any of these disruptive innovations any more than anybody else,” said Mintzberg. “[So] for him to say that this is going to be a disruptive innovation, I think, is questionable.”8 As far as Nohria is concerned, the fact that five years before the launch of CORe he declared that HBS would never deign to launch something like HBX—that the HBS experience was too much about being at HBS itself to even consider an online alternative—shows that the dean is capable of changing his position on a matter of great significance to the School.

They have a national strategy to improve their business environment. They work on regulations. They work on their logistical systems. They work on this stuff. They get better. What do we do? Nothing.”12 Michael Porter represents the best and worst of HBS all at once. First and foremost, he broke new ground in the field of strategy. With the possible exception of his colleague Clayton Christensen, who can be credited with popularizing the concept of “disruptive innovation,” Porter’s work represents the high-water mark of intellectual influence at HBS, at least in terms of having some influence over the language that decision makers use as they go about their business. That his signature insight was as simple as the inversion of an already extant field of economic analysis doesn’t take away from the fact that he has achieved an astounding level of influence, both for himself and for HBS.

In short: Faust whiffed, and couldn’t even bring herself to suggest that such activities could stain Harvard’s good name. Porter created a template for all future HBS professors to aspire to, the one-man conglomerate around whom a consulting business, speaking engagements, and bestselling books revolve. The man who has come closest to replicating the Porter business model is Clayton Christensen, with his theory of disruptive innovation. He’s Porter’s Mini-Me. (To dedicate a chapter to Christensen would be duplicative. It’s the same story, with different names and different pseudotheories.) Indeed, Porter set the model that almost all business schools now aspire to, the cultivation of star professors, of branded ideas, and of ancillary revenue streams in publishing and elsewhere—Wharton’s Jeremy Siegel and Stanford’s Jeffrey Pfeffer being two obvious examples of such.


pages: 313 words: 84,312

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

1960s counterculture, Andrew Keen, barriers to entry, bioinformatics, c2.com, call centre, citizen journalism, clean water, cloud computing, complexity theory, congestion charging, death of newspapers, Debian, digital Maoism, disruptive innovation, double helix, Douglas Engelbart, 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, Johannes Kepler, John Markoff, John von Neumann, Joi Ito, Kevin Kelly, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, lateral thinking, lone genius, M-Pesa, Mark Shuttleworth, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, microcredit, Mitch Kapor, new economy, Nicholas Carr, online collectivism, planetary scale, post scarcity, Richard Stallman, Shoshana Zuboff, 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

A category that had been invented by passionate users was worth $58 billion dollars. The biggest disruptive innovation in modern biking history came from consumer innovators. Something similar has happened in other extreme sports, such as windsurfing and snowboarding. One study suggests that in active sports about 57 per cent of significant innovations have come from consumers. Where technology has many possible applications, the users rather than the producers often work out what it is really for. Mobile-phone companies failed to predict that SMS messaging would become one of the main forms of communication among teenagers. Only when the technology fell into the hands of users did the full range of its application begin to emerge. Consumer innovators are often also critical to disruptive innovations that upset an entire market. Mainstream companies working in mass markets often have powerful incentives not to innovate: they tend to reinforce past success and overlook small, emerging markets where there is little money to be made.


pages: 383 words: 81,118

Matchmakers: The New Economics of Multisided Platforms by David S. Evans, Richard Schmalensee

Airbnb, Alvin Roth, big-box store, business process, cashless society, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable:, creative destruction, Deng Xiaoping, disruptive innovation, if you build it, they will come, information asymmetry, Internet Archive, invention of movable type, invention of the printing press, invention of the telegraph, invention of the telephone, Jean Tirole, John Markoff, Lyft, M-Pesa, market friction, market microstructure, mobile money, multi-sided market, Network effects, Productivity paradox, profit maximization, purchasing power parity, QR code, ride hailing / ride sharing, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Snapchat, Steve Jobs, Tim Cook: Apple, transaction costs, two-sided market, Uber for X, uber lyft, ubercab, Victor Gruen, winner-take-all economy

Innovation has given consumers better ways to shop since they don’t need the services that traditional retailers provide, and they can shop at big-box stores and pay lower prices. Not coincidentally, there has been a steady and substantial increase in the relative importance of warehouse clubs and other supercenters since around 2000.16 Innovation has also given retailers better ways to sell. But that doesn’t make it easy for many of them to figure out what to do. The Three Waves of Retail Disruption Turbocharged multisided platforms are behind three waves of disruptive innovation that have changed how people shop and buy. This is well beyond the simple “sexy matchmaker kills boring single-sided business” story, though. The first wave of disruption came from the expansion of fixed broadband providers. These businesses connected American households and Internet content providers. These foundational platforms enabled the online companies described earlier to connect vast numbers of people and businesses.

Indeed, the possibility of video streaming led many entrepreneurs to launch video sharing sites in the mid-2000s, as we saw in chapter 5. With its huge scale and knowledge of its many regular customers, Blockbuster might well have been able to make the shift. Of course, it faced the problems all incumbents have. It may have lacked the technical and business skills that enabled Netflix and others to succeed. Or, like many successful firms facing disruptive innovation, it may just have been too wedded to the approach that had made it successful.21 Video streaming of movies and television shows is a capital-intensive national business requiring significant scale. Smaller video rental stores couldn’t have pivoted to operating streaming video services. Instead, some have tried to diversify into selling coffee or party supplies.22 Others have stayed the course, perhaps simply unwilling to accept that there’s a gale set to knock their shops down.


pages: 636 words: 140,406

The Case Against Education: Why the Education System Is a Waste of Time and Money by Bryan Caplan

affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, assortative mating, conceptual framework, correlation does not imply causation, deliberate practice, deskilling, disruptive innovation, en.wikipedia.org, endogenous growth, experimental subject, fear of failure, Flynn Effect, future of work, George Akerlof, ghettoisation, hive mind, job satisfaction, Kenneth Arrow, Khan Academy, labor-force participation, longitudinal study, low skilled workers, market bubble, mass incarceration, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Peter Thiel, price discrimination, profit maximization, publication bias, risk tolerance, Robert Gordon, Ronald Coase, school choice, selection bias, Silicon Valley, statistical model, Steven Pinker, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, the scientific method, The Wisdom of Crowds, trickle-down economics, twin studies, unpaid internship, upwardly mobile, women in the workforce, yield curve, zero-sum game

Because today’s Internet teaches more effectively than old-school schools for a fraction of the cost. Online competition has already crushed traditional record companies, newspapers, and retailers. Brick-and-mortar schools are next in line. If the technophiles are right, squabbling about education spending is pretty pointless. Taxpayers are wasting billions on obsolete business models, but why fight over a sinking ship? Government cannot stop the power of disruptive innovation. If you want to make a difference, forget about education policy. Found an online education startup, and become the change you wish to see in the world. When I explain the centrality of signaling, audiences often think I’m endorsing the technophiles’ story. This utterly misunderstands me. Education is not a bubble, but stable waste. As long as traditional education receives hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars every year, the status quo will stand.

Once online education dominates the market, students at traditional schools will be stigmatized as “nonconformists.” BRYAN: Alas, there’s a catch-22. Online education won’t escape the nonconformist stigma until it dominates the market, but it won’t dominate the market until it escapes the nonconformists stigma. GILLIAN: You’re kidding yourself, professor. No industry is immune to the power of disruptive innovation. Including your own. BRYAN: “Immune” is a strong word. But schools have weathered such storms for centuries. Conformity signaling elegantly explains their resilience. I wish you were right about the future, but you’re the one who’s kidding herself. CYNTHIA: You keep insisting that school “signals conformity.” You’re wrong. Teachers like me constantly tell our pupils to “be your own person.”

Chevalier, Arnaud, Colm Harmon, Ian Walker, and Yu Zhu. 2004. “Does Education Raise Productivity, or Just Reflect It?” Economic Journal 114 (499): F499–F517. Chi, Michelene, and Kurt VanLehn. 2012. “Seeing Deep Structure from the Interactions of Surface Features.” Educational Psychologist 47 (3): 177–88. Christensen, Clayton, Michael Horn, Louis Caldera, and Louis Soares. 2011. Disrupting College: How Disruptive Innovation Can Deliver Quality and Affordability to Postsecondary Education. Washington DC: Center for American Progress. https://cdn.americanprogress.org/wp-content/uploads/issues/2011/02/pdf/disrupting_college.pdf. Chua, Amy. 2011. Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother. London: Bloomsbury. Ciccone, Antonio, and Giovanni Peri. 2006. “Identifying Human-Capital Externalities: Theory with Applications.” Review of Economic Studies 73 (2): 381–412.


pages: 319 words: 90,965

The End of College: Creating the Future of Learning and the University of Everywhere by Kevin Carey

Albert Einstein, barriers to entry, Bayesian statistics, Berlin Wall, business cycle, business intelligence, carbon-based life, Claude Shannon: information theory, complexity theory, David Heinemeier Hansson, declining real wages, deliberate practice, discrete time, disruptive innovation, double helix, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Downton Abbey, Drosophila, Firefox, Frank Gehry, Google X / Alphabet X, informal economy, invention of the printing press, inventory management, John Markoff, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, low skilled workers, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, meta analysis, meta-analysis, natural language processing, Network effects, open borders, pattern recognition, Peter Thiel, pez dispenser, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, Ruby on Rails, Sand Hill Road, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, social web, South of Market, San Francisco, speech recognition, Steve Jobs, technoutopianism, transcontinental railway, uber lyft, Vannevar Bush

The receptionist brought us to a conference room with typically spare and modern décor: glossy brown conference table, white leather and stainless steel chairs, and modern art. In the middle of the desk was, incongruously, a six-inch-high toy model of Godzilla with pieces of candy stuck in his teeth and claws. Mike told us he is a big fan of Harvard Business School professor Clayton M. Christensen’s work, which was not surprising. Christensen’s theory of “disruptive innovation” holds that change comes when start-up companies use technology to sell low-value products and services to the fringes of a given market. The dominant players in the market ignore this, because they’re fat and happy selling highly profitable products to the richest customers. A favorite example is Toyota selling cheap cars in the 1960s while Ford and General Motors built Lincolns and Cadillacs.

If you’re not better than the video, you shouldn’t be teaching.” Like nearly everyone thinking seriously about the future of higher education from inside a hybrid university, Lue proposes a win-win scenario: Professors take advantage of the new world of free online resources to do a much better job teaching. But there are some with a gloomier view. Clay Christensen, the Harvard business school professor and the high priest of the disruptive innovation theory that is treated like holy scripture in Silicon Valley, had recently characterized so-called blended courses—professors combined with computers—as analogous to steamboats with sails. The first steam-powered boats to cross the oceans were fitted with sails as a precaution while the steam technology became more powerful and reliable, and because it’s hard to go from one way of working to another way overnight.


pages: 307 words: 90,634

Insane Mode: How Elon Musk's Tesla Sparked an Electric Revolution to End the Age of Oil by Hamish McKenzie

Airbnb, Albert Einstein, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, basic income, Bay Area Rapid Transit, Ben Horowitz, business climate, car-free, carbon footprint, Chris Urmson, Clayton Christensen, cleantech, Colonization of Mars, connected car, crony capitalism, Deng Xiaoping, disruptive innovation, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, Google Glasses, Hyperloop, Internet of things, Jeff Bezos, John Markoff, low earth orbit, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, margin call, Mark Zuckerberg, megacity, Menlo Park, Nikolai Kondratiev, oil shale / tar sands, paypal mafia, Peter Thiel, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, self-driving car, Shenzhen was a fishing village, short selling, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Snapchat, South China Sea, special economic zone, stealth mode startup, Steve Jobs, Tesla Model S, Tim Cook: Apple, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, universal basic income, urban planning, urban sprawl, Zipcar

“I think that if there’s a need for something to be disrupted and it’s important to the future of the world, then sure, we should disrupt it. But I don’t think that we should just disrupt things, unless that disruption is going to result in something fundamentally better for society.” The business world had come to fear the word disruption because of The Innovator’s Dilemma, a 1997 book by Harvard Business School professor Clayton Christensen that introduced the concept of “disruptive innovation.” The Innovator’s Dilemma, lauded by The Economist as one of the most important books about business ever written, lays out how market-leading companies can miss out on new waves of innovation by focusing on the needs of their existing customers to maximize profits while overlooking new and cheaper technologies or business models that customers didn’t realize they wanted. Disruption theory explained why Kodak went from industry ruler to also-ran, why Amazon surpassed Barnes & Noble, and why Netflix obliterated Blockbuster.

“And this gives an opportunity for innovation for new companies and new entrants to play on a bit more of a level playing field than there ever was in the past.” Tesla, however, is not a disrupter by Clayton Christensen’s original definition of the theory. In a December 2015 article published by the Harvard Business Review, Christensen and his coauthors, Michael Raynor and Rory McDonald, said Tesla didn’t fit the disruptive innovation model because its foothold was in the high-end segment of the auto market. Far from representing a marginal technology, Tesla’s entry to the market had elicited significant attention and investment from established competitors. “If disruption theory is correct,” Christensen concluded, “Tesla’s future holds either acquisition by a much larger incumbent or a years-long and hard-fought battle for market significance.”


pages: 443 words: 98,113

The Corruption of Capitalism: Why Rentiers Thrive and Work Does Not Pay by Guy Standing

3D printing, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Asian financial crisis, asset-backed security, bank run, banking crisis, basic income, Ben Bernanke: helicopter money, Bernie Sanders, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, bilateral investment treaty, Bonfire of the Vanities, Boris Johnson, Bretton Woods, business cycle, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, carried interest, cashless society, central bank independence, centre right, Clayton Christensen, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collective bargaining, credit crunch, crony capitalism, crowdsourcing, debt deflation, declining real wages, deindustrialization, disruptive innovation, Doha Development Round, Donald Trump, Double Irish / Dutch Sandwich, ending welfare as we know it, eurozone crisis, falling living standards, financial deregulation, financial innovation, Firefox, first-past-the-post, future of work, gig economy, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, Growth in a Time of Debt, housing crisis, income inequality, information retrieval, intangible asset, invention of the steam engine, investor state dispute settlement, James Watt: steam engine, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, labour market flexibility, light touch regulation, Long Term Capital Management, lump of labour, Lyft, manufacturing employment, Mark Zuckerberg, market clearing, Martin Wolf, means of production, mini-job, Mont Pelerin Society, moral hazard, mortgage debt, mortgage tax deduction, Neil Kinnock, non-tariff barriers, North Sea oil, Northern Rock, nudge unit, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, oil shale / tar sands, open economy, openstreetmap, patent troll, payday loans, peer-to-peer lending, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, precariat, quantitative easing, remote working, rent control, rent-seeking, ride hailing / ride sharing, Right to Buy, Robert Gordon, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, Sam Altman, savings glut, Second Machine Age, secular stagnation, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Simon Kuznets, sovereign wealth fund, Stephen Hawking, Steve Ballmer, structural adjustment programs, TaskRabbit, The Chicago School, The Future of Employment, the payments system, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, Thomas Malthus, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, Travis Kalanick, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, Y Combinator, zero-sum game, Zipcar

All bypass the firm as traditionally understood. They are creating ‘platform capitalism’. In a seminal book, The Innovator’s Dilemma, Clayton Christensen argued that innovation was ‘disruptive’ if it had the potential to generate new products or services or to deliver them in radically new ways.3 He and colleagues later claimed that the provision of services through digital platforms did not meet two criteria for disruptive innovation – that the innovation must target the low end of an existing market and mainly draw in non-consumers of existing options.4 But digital platforms surely qualify as disruptive on both counts. Uber, for example, has expanded the market for taxi services by offering cheap rides, drawing in users previously put off by high prices and lack of flexibility of traditional taxi services. By late 2015 Uber had over 1.1 million drivers and was operating in 351 cities in sixty-four countries.5 Airbnb has created a casual rental market enabling people to let rooms in their homes on a short-term basis, as well as providing a platform for conventional bed-and-breakfast operators.

Standing, ‘Tertiary time: The precariat’s dilemma’, Public Culture, 25 (1), 2013: 5–27. 2 J. Manyika, S. Lund, K. Robinson, J. Valentino and R. Dobbs, Connecting Talent with Opportunity in the Digital Age (New York: McKinsey Global Institute, June 2015). 3 C. Christensen, The Innovator’s Dilemma: The Revolutionary Book That Will Change the Way You Do Business (Boston: Harvard Business Review Press, 1997). 4 C. Christensen, M. Raynor and R. McDonald, ‘What is disruptive innovation?’, Harvard Business Review, 2015. 5 M. Harris, ‘Uber: Why the world’s biggest ride-sharing company has no drivers’, The Guardian, 16 November 2015. 6 S. Jackman, ‘Crowdsourcing may hold key to unlocking Japan’s working potential’, Japan News, 2 January 2015. 7 Cited in S. O’Connor, ‘The human cloud: A new world of work’, Financial Times, 8 October 2015. 8 Associated Press, ‘US companies increasingly turning to temporary workers to fill positions’, Fox News, 8 July 2013. 9 Cited in The Economist, 13 June 2015, p. 57. 10 B.


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The Alliance: Managing Talent in the Networked Age by Reid Hoffman, Ben Casnocha, Chris Yeh

Airbnb, Amazon Web Services, centralized clearinghouse, cloud computing, disruptive innovation, Jeff Bezos, Jony Ive, Marc Andreessen, new economy, pre–internet, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, software as a service, Steve Jobs

Getting Value from Entrepreneurial Talent We three authors come from a business environment where the employment alliance has already taken root—the high-tech start-up community of Silicon Valley. It’s the best place in the world for adaptation and innovation, as demonstrated by its economic growth over the past decade. If you want your organization to be able to survive and thrive in an environment where change is rapid and disruptive innovation rampant, you need to develop the adaptability that is the hallmark of this ecosystem. Obviously, not every industry works like Silicon Valley, nor should many established companies attempt wholesale adoption of start-up strategies. The question is which lessons from Silicon Valley are generally applicable. Mainstream media’s coverage of Silicon Valley tends to focus on flashy details. But attributing the valley’s success to four-star meals in cafeterias, Foosball tables, or even stock options is like attributing a Ferrari’s power to its bright red paint job.


pages: 118 words: 35,663

Smart Machines: IBM's Watson and the Era of Cognitive Computing (Columbia Business School Publishing) by John E. Kelly Iii

AI winter, call centre, carbon footprint, crowdsourcing, demand response, discovery of DNA, disruptive innovation, Erik Brynjolfsson, future of work, Geoffrey West, Santa Fe Institute, global supply chain, Internet of things, John von Neumann, Mars Rover, natural language processing, optical character recognition, pattern recognition, planetary scale, RAND corporation, RFID, Richard Feynman, smart grid, smart meter, speech recognition, Turing test, Von Neumann architecture, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!

With its superior navigation and abundance of easy-to-use applications, this breakthrough product spawned a burst of smartphone innovation, which combined with the social-networking phenomenon to produce a revolutionary shift in global human behavior. Yet, technologically, the iPhone was built on top of many smartphone advances that preceded it. New waves of progress, however, require majorly disruptive innovations—things like the transistor, the microchip, and the first programmable computers. These are the advances that fundamentally change our world. Today, many of the core technologies that provide the basic functions for traditional computers are mature; they have been in use for decades. In some cases, each wave of improvements is less profound than the wave that preceded it. We’re reaching the point of diminishing returns.


pages: 484 words: 104,873

Rise of the Robots: Technology and the Threat of a Jobless Future by Martin Ford

"Robert Solow", 3D printing, additive manufacturing, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, AI winter, algorithmic trading, Amazon Mechanical Turk, artificial general intelligence, assortative mating, autonomous vehicles, banking crisis, basic income, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, Bernie Madoff, Bill Joy: nanobots, business cycle, call centre, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Chris Urmson, Clayton Christensen, clean water, cloud computing, collateralized debt obligation, commoditize, computer age, creative destruction, debt deflation, deskilling, disruptive innovation, diversified portfolio, Erik Brynjolfsson, factory automation, financial innovation, Flash crash, Fractional reserve banking, Freestyle chess, full employment, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, Gunnar Myrdal, High speed trading, income inequality, indoor plumbing, industrial robot, informal economy, iterative process, Jaron Lanier, job automation, John Markoff, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, John von Neumann, Kenneth Arrow, Khan Academy, knowledge worker, labor-force participation, liquidity trap, low skilled workers, low-wage service sector, Lyft, manufacturing employment, Marc Andreessen, McJob, moral hazard, Narrative Science, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, Norbert Wiener, obamacare, optical character recognition, passive income, Paul Samuelson, performance metric, Peter Thiel, plutocrats, Plutocrats, post scarcity, precision agriculture, price mechanism, Ray Kurzweil, rent control, rent-seeking, reshoring, RFID, Richard Feynman, Rodney Brooks, Sam Peltzman, secular stagnation, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, single-payer health, software is eating the world, sovereign wealth fund, speech recognition, Spread Networks laid a new fibre optics cable between New York and Chicago, stealth mode startup, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Steven Pinker, strong AI, Stuxnet, technological singularity, telepresence, telepresence robot, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, The Coming Technological Singularity, The Future of Employment, Thomas L Friedman, too big to fail, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, uber lyft, union organizing, Vernor Vinge, very high income, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, women in the workforce

If you were to multiply a single computer’s increase in computational power since 1960 by the number of new microprocessors that have appeared since then, the result would be nearly beyond reckoning. It seems impossible to imagine that such an immeasurable increase in our overall computing capacity won’t eventually have dramatic consequences in a variety of scientific and technical fields. Nonetheless, the primary determinant of the positions of the technology S-curves we’ll need to reach in order to have truly disruptive innovation is still the applicable laws of nature. Computational capability can’t change that reality, but it may well help researchers to bridge some of the gaps. The economists who believe we have hit a technological plateau typically have deep faith in the relationship between the pace of innovation and the realization of broad-based prosperity; the implication is that if we can just jump-start technological progress on a broad front, median incomes will once again begin increasing in real terms.

Imagine a future where college students can attend free online courses taught by Harvard or Stanford professors and subsequently receive a credential that would be acceptable to employers or graduate schools. Who, then, would be willing to go into debt in order to pay the tuition at a third- or fourth-tier institution? Clayton Christensen, a professor at Harvard Business School and an expert in disruptive innovation within industries, has predicted that the answer to that question will result in a grim future for thousands of institutions. In a 2013 interview, Christensen said that “15 years from now, half of US universities may be in bankruptcy.”22 Even if most institutions remain solvent, it is easy to imagine dramatically declining enrollments and revenues coupled with massive layoffs of both administrators and faculty.


pages: 603 words: 182,781

Aerotropolis by John D. Kasarda, Greg Lindsay

3D printing, air freight, airline deregulation, airport security, Akira Okazaki, Asian financial crisis, back-to-the-land, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, big-box store, blood diamonds, borderless world, Boris Johnson, British Empire, business cycle, call centre, carbon footprint, Cesare Marchetti: Marchetti’s constant, Charles Lindbergh, Clayton Christensen, cleantech, cognitive dissonance, commoditize, conceptual framework, credit crunch, David Brooks, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, Deng Xiaoping, deskilling, digital map, disruptive innovation, edge city, Edward Glaeser, failed state, food miles, Ford paid five dollars a day, Frank Gehry, fudge factor, full employment, future of work, Geoffrey West, Santa Fe Institute, George Gilder, global supply chain, global village, gravity well, Haber-Bosch Process, Hernando de Soto, hive mind, if you build it, they will come, illegal immigration, inflight wifi, intangible asset, interchangeable parts, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), intermodal, invention of the telephone, inventory management, invisible hand, Jane Jacobs, Jeff Bezos, Joan Didion, Kangaroo Route, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, kremlinology, low cost airline, Marchetti’s constant, Marshall McLuhan, Masdar, mass immigration, McMansion, megacity, Menlo Park, microcredit, Network effects, New Economic Geography, new economy, New Urbanism, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, peak oil, Pearl River Delta, Peter Calthorpe, Peter Thiel, pets.com, pink-collar, pre–internet, RFID, Richard Florida, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, Rubik’s Cube, savings glut, Seaside, Florida, Shenzhen was a fishing village, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, smart cities, smart grid, South China Sea, South Sea Bubble, sovereign wealth fund, special economic zone, spice trade, spinning jenny, starchitect, stem cell, Steve Jobs, supply-chain management, sustainable-tourism, telepresence, the built environment, The Chicago School, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Nature of the Firm, thinkpad, Thomas L Friedman, Thomas Malthus, Tony Hsieh, trade route, transcontinental railway, transit-oriented development, traveling salesman, trickle-down economics, upwardly mobile, urban planning, urban renewal, urban sprawl, walkable city, white flight, white picket fence, Yogi Berra, zero-sum game

It has since been eclipsed by others owned by Homegrown and Oserian, the latter of which gears up for months to produce six million roses in time for Valentine’s Day. Even during the chaos following Kenya’s disputed 2008 elections—a terrifying spasm of ethnic strife—Oserian’s five thousand employees reported for work dutifully each morning, more afraid of losing their monthly salaries of $80 (plus benefits) than they were of any mobs. The London tabloids pleaded with Britons to buy Kenyan roses for Valentine’s Day to help the victims. Like other disruptive innovations, Kenyan roses entered the market at the bottom, with a reputation for being cheap instead of good. Compared to light- and climate-controlled Dutch greenhouses, Kenyan farms (or Colombian, for that matter) are decidedly low-tech, low-cost affairs. Their flowers take shelter under plastic sheets, or are left to grow in the ground and open air. These are the roses and filler flowers that supply the cash-and-carry bouquets at European supermarkets like Tesco.

His flagship clinic in Bangalore has six times as many beds as the average U.S. hospital, and his army of cardiac surgeons perform twice as many surgeries as their American colleagues. The question isn’t why is surgery in India or Thailand so cheap; it’s why is surgery in America so expensive. For someone like Toral, the hypertrophied medical-industrial complex is just begging for a dose of disruptive innovation. He calls his vision the “Toyota-ization of health care”—just as Japan’s automakers went from being cheaper to better than their American counterparts, so too will Asian surgeons. In his view, medical tourism as we know it is giving way to “globalized health care.” Hospital chains at home will buy, partner with, or even sell out to foreign rivals like Bumrungrad, creating world-wide aerial networks of patients who will hopscotch across continents chasing the best care and costs.

In a single year, netbooks captured 7 percent of the world’s entire laptop market; the next year they doubled that, as laptops outsold desktops for the first time ever. In Europe, wireless carriers began giving them away for free to lure new customers. Without meaning to, netbooks had paved the way for the PC’s extinction. ASUSTeK didn’t take it upon itself to invent just a new product; they invented a new category. It’s a classic example of the disruptive innovations Clayton Christensen describes in The Innovator’s Dilemma—a cheap, seemingly inferior imitator appears to gut the incumbents’ business models. In this case, their only response was to hire the insurgents to slap their names on the same models. Suddenly, the Taiwanese firms and their mainland factories were dictating terms to the rest of the industry. Netbooks are old hat—tablets are where the action is.


pages: 469 words: 132,438

Taming the Sun: Innovations to Harness Solar Energy and Power the Planet by Varun Sivaram

addicted to oil, Albert Einstein, asset-backed security, autonomous vehicles, bitcoin, blockchain, carbon footprint, cleantech, collateralized debt obligation, Colonization of Mars, decarbonisation, demand response, disruptive innovation, distributed generation, diversified portfolio, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, energy security, energy transition, financial innovation, fixed income, global supply chain, global village, Google Earth, hive mind, hydrogen economy, index fund, Indoor air pollution, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet of things, M-Pesa, market clearing, market design, mass immigration, megacity, mobile money, Negawatt, off grid, oil shock, peer-to-peer lending, performance metric, renewable energy transition, Richard Feynman, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, smart grid, smart meter, sovereign wealth fund, Tesla Model S, time value of money, undersea cable, wikimedia commons

At the time, silicon solar panels—in addition to their hefty weight, rigid shape, and ugly aesthetics—were expensive, making the cost of their electricity more than twice that from the grid.1 Silicon was a costly commodity, and the process for manufacturing solar cells was adapted from that for producing expensive microchips. Roscheisen, formerly an Internet entrepreneur, planned to apply Silicon Valley’s model of disruptive innovation to upend the lumbering solar industry. It was an exhilarating time to be in solar. Al Gore’s documentary An Inconvenient Truth had captivated the country. Investors were juiced at the prospect of red-hot market growth, running up the stock market valuations of early solar companies. At Nanosolar, the culture was infectiously optimistic. Around team lunches, we would dream about shipping cheap solar coatings to every corner of the developing world and carpeting remote deserts.

But it is still the case that most of these firms’ R&D expenses remain targeted at incrementally improving existing silicon technology. Technology disruption is simply not the aspiration for most Chinese firms. Rather, their preferred route to a better market position has been vertical or horizontal consolidation.69 It’s clear, now that China and silicon have won the day, that the solar industry plans to steer clear of disruptive innovation. The industry has come of age. Yet, that dearth of innovation should be deeply worrying to anyone hoping for a solar-powered future. Notes 1.  Kevin Bullis, “A Price Drop for Solar Panels,” MIT Technology Review, October 22, 2012, https://www.technologyreview.com/s/410064/a-price-drop-for-solar-panels. 2.  DealBook, “Nanosolar Raises $300 Million,” New York Times, August 28, 2008, http://dealbook.nytimes.com/2008/08/28/nanosolar-announces-300-million-financing-round. 3.  


pages: 140 words: 91,067

Money, Real Quick: The Story of M-PESA by Tonny K. Omwansa, Nicholas P. Sullivan, The Guardian

BRICs, business process, business process outsourcing, call centre, cashless society, cloud computing, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, delayed gratification, dematerialisation, disruptive innovation, financial exclusion, financial innovation, financial intermediation, income per capita, Kibera, Kickstarter, M-Pesa, microcredit, mobile money, Network effects, new economy, reserve currency, Silicon Valley, software as a service, transaction costs

For the unbanked, mobile money forms the beginning of a shadow banking system. For everyone, cash is the enemy—expensive to print, hard to store and move. Dematerializing money is good for people rich and poor, businesses, and governments. Mobile money, e-money, e-float, e-wallets, mobile banking, however you characterize it, is not just a cool app. It’s a killer app, the first for mobile phones in the developing world. It’s also a disruptive innovation that threatens incumbent businesses and is sparking new business formation and entrepreneurship. Nowhere is this mobile money phenomenon more prevalent and successful than in Kenya, an East African country of 40 million people. In five years, 19 ******ebook converter DEMO Watermarks******* million Kenyans, nearly 70% of the adult population, have signed up for mobile money services. Sixteen million are customers of M-PESA (‘M’ for Mobile and pesa means money in Swahili), the mobile money service offered by Safaricom, the leading mobile operator in Kenya.


pages: 200 words: 47,378

The Internet of Money by Andreas M. Antonopoulos

AltaVista, altcoin, bitcoin, blockchain, clean water, cognitive dissonance, cryptocurrency, disruptive innovation, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, financial exclusion, global reserve currency, litecoin, London Interbank Offered Rate, Marc Andreessen, Oculus Rift, packet switching, peer-to-peer lending, Ponzi scheme, QR code, ransomware, reserve currency, Satoshi Nakamoto, self-driving car, Skype, smart contracts, the medium is the message, trade route, underbanked, WikiLeaks, zero-sum game

Bitcoin as a Mechanism to Opt In and Opt Out If you understand that bitcoin is a technology and not just a currency, you can truly grasp the importance it has. Again, it’s not about us. It is about the other 6 1/2 billion. It is about the ability to bring to the world a level of financial integration that the world has never seen before. From our perspective in the privileged world, it is a great technology. We can do some disruptive innovation. We can build some interesting services. But if you’re a Kenyan farmer who’s trying to raise money in order to buy seed, and now you can do decentralized peer-to-peer lending and reach out to lenders from all across the globe, this is not just a technology—this is truly life-changing. "Bitcoin is about the ability to bring to the world a level of financial integration that the world has never seen before."


pages: 1,014 words: 237,531

Escape From Rome: The Failure of Empire and the Road to Prosperity by Walter Scheidel

agricultural Revolution, barriers to entry, British Empire, colonial rule, conceptual framework, creative destruction, currency manipulation / currency intervention, dark matter, disruptive innovation, Eratosthenes, European colonialism, financial innovation, financial intermediation, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Johannes Kepler, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, knowledge economy, mandelbrot fractal, means of production, Network effects, out of africa, Peace of Westphalia, peer-to-peer lending, plutocrats, Plutocrats, principal–agent problem, purchasing power parity, rent-seeking, Republic of Letters, secular stagnation, South China Sea, spinning jenny, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, trade route, transaction costs, zero-sum game

Reliance on domestic resources was another: as energies were devoted to the vast challenges of taxing those who were already subject to the empire’s rule, rulers lacked strong incentives to develop external assets. In turn, prioritization of maintenance and conservatism supported delegational localism that limited the state’s ability to penetrate society. In the case of China, the overall result was a sociopolitical order that helped secure peace and basic welfare for a large population but did not lend itself to disruptive innovation. It generated Smithian growth by promoting division of labor, market integration, and intensification of established techniques but could not lastingly overcome Malthusian constraints. The differences between these two schematic scenarios are relative, not absolute. Innovation did occur in China, and the societies of early modern Europe labored under the burden of inherited elite privilege and rampant corruption.

Mokyr thus plausibly contends that “had a single, centralized government been in charge of defending the intellectual status quo, many of the new ideas that eventually led to the Enlightenment would have been suppressed or possibly never even proposed.”11 But these networks effects also highlight the limits of fragmentation: although political pluralism was essential in ensuring free discourse, so was the relative ease of transnational intellectual communications. In the absence of some degree of underlying cultural unity, the costs of catering to a larger market of ideas would have been higher, limiting entry and competition and protecting incumbents from disruptive innovation. This cultural unity—manifest above all in the use of Latin and Christian norms—was a legacy of the Roman empire: later polycentrism was made more productive by a shared background of antecedent, if safely distant, hegemonic empire. I revisit this issue in the Epilogue. For now, suffice it to note that whereas the widespread use of Latin as an elite language undeniably served to maintain and reinforce connections beyond individual polities, persistence of its privileged position would have limited access to useful knowledge beyond refined circles.

The violent demise of Warring States pluralism discouraged “intellectual vigor and élan”: a key proponent of Confucian thought under the Western Han, Dong Zhonshu, called for the suppression of “perverse teachings” so as “to unify governing principles, to clarify laws and measures; and the people will know what to follow.”22 As already noted, serial imperial reconstitution gradually cemented the hegemony of neo-Confucianism over the course of the second millennium. Upholding an orthodoxy that valued stability and continuity above all else, it was structurally inimical to disruptive innovation. The fact that Confucian thought was primarily social, more interested in human relations than in nature, contributed to its utility as a means of preserving the established order but not to scientific curiosity.23 In late imperial China, the canonization of neo-Confucian compendia furthered a closing of the literati elite’s mind. Engagement with classical texts, always a cornerstone of this tradition, was stepped up under the Ming and Qing.


pages: 559 words: 155,372

Chaos Monkeys: Obscene Fortune and Random Failure in Silicon Valley by Antonio Garcia Martinez

Airbnb, airport security, always be closing, Amazon Web Services, Burning Man, Celtic Tiger, centralized clearinghouse, cognitive dissonance, collective bargaining, corporate governance, Credit Default Swap, crowdsourcing, death of newspapers, disruptive innovation, drone strike, El Camino Real, Elon Musk, Emanuel Derman, financial independence, global supply chain, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, hive mind, income inequality, information asymmetry, interest rate swap, intermodal, Jeff Bezos, Kickstarter, Malcom McLean invented shipping containers, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Maui Hawaii, means of production, Menlo Park, minimum viable product, MITM: man-in-the-middle, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Network effects, orbital mechanics / astrodynamics, Paul Graham, performance metric, Peter Thiel, Ponzi scheme, pre–internet, Ralph Waldo Emerson, random walk, Ruby on Rails, Sam Altman, Sand Hill Road, Scientific racism, second-price auction, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, Snapchat, social graph, social web, Socratic dialogue, source of truth, Steve Jobs, telemarketer, undersea cable, urban renewal, Y Combinator, zero-sum game, éminence grise

Do they keep a stable work-life balance, with regularly scheduled two-hour workouts and time for a Thursday date night? Or do they look like they got ingested by a blue whale and spent three days transiting its digestive system? Total commitment, like unconditional love, is the only type that matters. The bike-riding, date-night-going types will never give everything to a company or an idea, and are nothing more than complacent bourgeois, whatever trappings of the “disruptive innovator” they may sport, often in the form of ponderous blog posts or a bookshelf of bound B-school-level bloviation. The ones who could pass for a homeless person, though, those are the startup kamikazes who will give everything for the entrepreneurial cause, and are stopped only by death or jail. Are they what passes for the American ruling elite? Do they hail from the urban archipelago of American privilege: Chevy Chase, Maryland; Winnetka, Illinois; Tiburon, California; Scarsdale, New York; and so forth?

.* In keeping with the engineering-first cultures of most tech companies since Google, hackathons had also come to serve as pep rally–like pageants of Facebookness, more than mere excuses to code all night and eat crappy Chinese food. As I’d later learn, weirdly pointless versions of them would be held in the regional offices where no engineers even worked, as a sort of pagan celebration of the values of do-it-yourself creation, total commitment to the company, and disruptive innovation. Pedram was here to expound on those same values. We had gotten the prophetic vision from Cox, precisely the sort of seductive propagandizing a product person does. Now it was time to hear about the martial virtues that would make that vision a reality, which was the engineer’s duty. A tall, broad-shouldered figure in a Facebook T-shirt who looked as though he worked out, Pedram commanded us in a hectoring tone: “Whatever you learned at your previous job, whatever politics and bullshit you’re bringing with you, just leave all that shit behind.”


pages: 807 words: 154,435

Radical Uncertainty: Decision-Making for an Unknowable Future by Mervyn King, John Kay

"Robert Solow", Airbus A320, Albert Einstein, Albert Michelson, algorithmic trading, Antoine Gombaud: Chevalier de Méré, Arthur Eddington, autonomous vehicles, availability heuristic, banking crisis, Barry Marshall: ulcers, battle of ideas, Benoit Mandelbrot, bitcoin, Black Swan, Bonfire of the Vanities, Brownian motion, business cycle, business process, capital asset pricing model, central bank independence, collapse of Lehman Brothers, correlation does not imply causation, credit crunch, cryptocurrency, cuban missile crisis, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, demographic transition, discounted cash flows, disruptive innovation, diversification, diversified portfolio, Donald Trump, easy for humans, difficult for computers, Edmond Halley, Edward Lloyd's coffeehouse, Edward Thorp, Elon Musk, Ethereum, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, experimental economics, experimental subject, fear of failure, feminist movement, financial deregulation, George Akerlof, germ theory of disease, Hans Rosling, Ignaz Semmelweis: hand washing, income per capita, incomplete markets, inflation targeting, information asymmetry, invention of the wheel, invisible hand, Jeff Bezos, Johannes Kepler, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Snow's cholera map, John von Neumann, Kenneth Arrow, Long Term Capital Management, loss aversion, Louis Pasteur, mandelbrot fractal, market bubble, market fundamentalism, Moneyball by Michael Lewis explains big data, Nash equilibrium, Nate Silver, new economy, Nick Leeson, Northern Rock, oil shock, Paul Samuelson, peak oil, Peter Thiel, Philip Mirowski, Pierre-Simon Laplace, popular electronics, price mechanism, probability theory / Blaise Pascal / Pierre de Fermat, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, railway mania, RAND corporation, rent-seeking, Richard Feynman, Richard Thaler, risk tolerance, risk-adjusted returns, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Coase, sealed-bid auction, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, Socratic dialogue, South Sea Bubble, spectrum auction, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Tacoma Narrows Bridge, Thales and the olive presses, Thales of Miletus, The Chicago School, the map is not the territory, The Market for Lemons, The Nature of the Firm, The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas Bayes, Thomas Davenport, Thomas Malthus, Toyota Production System, transaction costs, ultimatum game, urban planning, value at risk, World Values Survey, Yom Kippur War, zero-sum game

More recently, economic fluctuations have been attributed to both unexpected changes in demand and supply conditions – ‘preference shocks’ and ‘productivity shocks’ – as well as to ‘frictions’ that slow the adjustment of wages and prices, and also expectations, to their equilibrium values. The underlying growth trend of the economy was interrupted from time to time by these shocks and a return to equilibrium slowed by these frictions. Of course, consumer tastes do change and respond to new products and new fashions. And productivity is affected by disruptive innovation. But there was no explanation of the sources, let alone the size and volatility, of preference shifts or disruptive innovation, nor could their incidence be characterised by any probability distribution. There was only the need for some deus ex machina to reconcile the model with observed data. 20 Productivity has been described as the measure of our ignorance. 21 The distribution of productivity shocks is then the measure of our ignorance of our ignorance.


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, 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

Only in retrospect can we look back and say, ‘That was it, that was the peak, that was when we should have started to think anew.’ Unfortunately, being wise after the event is too late to be useful. First-curve success can blind one to the possibilities of a new technology or a new market, allowing others to seize the initiative. Clayton Christensen of Harvard Business School termed it the problem of disruptive innovation, citing, among many others, the case of Kodak, who ignored the possibilities of digital photography until it was too late. They allowed outsiders to intrude and, in my words, create the new curve instead of them. New technology is offering the chance of those new curves every day. Spotting them and seizing them is the new strategic challenge for education, health and government as well as business.


pages: 210 words: 56,667

The Misfit Economy: Lessons in Creativity From Pirates, Hackers, Gangsters and Other Informal Entrepreneurs by Alexa Clay, Kyra Maya Phillips

Airbnb, Alfred Russel Wallace, Berlin Wall, Burning Man, collaborative consumption, conceptual framework, creative destruction, different worldview, disruptive innovation, double helix, fear of failure, game design, Hacker Ethic, Howard Rheingold, informal economy, invention of the steam engine, James Watt: steam engine, Joseph Schumpeter, Kickstarter, lone genius, Mark Zuckerberg, mass incarceration, megacity, Occupy movement, peer-to-peer rental, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, supply-chain management, union organizing, Whole Earth Catalog, Whole Earth Review, Zipcar

Wrote Zuckerberg: “We have the words ‘Done is better than perfect’ painted on our walls to remind ourselves to always keep chipping.” With Facebook claiming a hacker ethic, we can certainly see the risk of corporations who look to co-opt hacker subculture. But co-optation is only one of the ways in which the hacker movement is mainstreaming. A lot of the hacker ethic is still oriented around disruptive innovation and challenging the underlying logics and norms of the establishment, and these are the cases we’re interested in—the hackers who are changing systems. HACKING THE ESTABLISHMENT Ivan Arreguín-Toft, an expert in asymmetric conflict, analyzed battles between larger armies and their smaller adversaries in his study “How the Weak Win Wars.”17 He found that in roughly 30 percent of these asymmetrical battles over the last two hundred years, the smaller, outnumbered army prevailed.


pages: 256 words: 60,620

Think Twice: Harnessing the Power of Counterintuition by Michael J. Mauboussin

affirmative action, asset allocation, Atul Gawande, availability heuristic, Benoit Mandelbrot, Bernie Madoff, Black Swan, butter production in bangladesh, Cass Sunstein, choice architecture, Clayton Christensen, cognitive dissonance, collateralized debt obligation, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, deliberate practice, disruptive innovation, Edward Thorp, experimental economics, financial innovation, framing effect, fundamental attribution error, Geoffrey West, Santa Fe Institute, George Akerlof, hindsight bias, hiring and firing, information asymmetry, libertarian paternalism, Long Term Capital Management, loose coupling, loss aversion, mandelbrot fractal, Menlo Park, meta analysis, meta-analysis, money market fund, Murray Gell-Mann, Netflix Prize, pattern recognition, Philip Mirowski, placebo effect, Ponzi scheme, prediction markets, presumed consent, Richard Thaler, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, statistical model, Steven Pinker, The Wisdom of Crowds, ultimatum game

People frequently attempt to extrapolate successful choices from prior experiences to new situations, with predictably poor results. Flawed research that draws common attributes from organizations that have done well and offers those attributes as a general prescription for winning is also popular. Neither mistake properly considers decisions in context. One positive example is an exercise that Thomas Thurston, a former Intel employee, completed in 2006. Steeped in the theory of disruptive innovation, which is based on circumstances, Thurston reviewed almost fifty business plans that Intel’s new business initiatives group had funded. Applying the theory that specifies when innovations succeed, he was able to predict, without knowledge of the outcomes, a statistically significant 85 percent of successes and failures.19 Further, he was able to identify where some of the failed businesses had gone wrong.


pages: 233 words: 64,702

China's Disruptors: How Alibaba, Xiaomi, Tencent, and Other Companies Are Changing the Rules of Business by Edward Tse

3D printing, Airbnb, Airbus A320, Asian financial crisis, barriers to entry, bilateral investment treaty, business process, capital controls, commoditize, conceptual framework, corporate governance, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, currency manipulation / currency intervention, David Graeber, Deng Xiaoping, disruptive innovation, experimental economics, global supply chain, global value chain, high net worth, industrial robot, Joseph Schumpeter, Lyft, money market fund, offshore financial centre, Pearl River Delta, reshoring, rising living standards, risk tolerance, Silicon Valley, Skype, Snapchat, sovereign wealth fund, special economic zone, speech recognition, Steve Jobs, thinkpad, trade route, wealth creators, working-age population

While it’s too early to tell whether Sky City will ever be completed, Zhang Yue’s approach to the project epitomizes the way in which China’s most ambitious business leaders go about their work. Given the continuing growth and ever greater complexity of the China market and its hyperintensive competition, especially in its open sectors, he has to be on the search for new things to do and new ways of doing them that will allow them to leapfrog over others both domestically and internationally. Zhang Yue is not alone in his search for disruptive innovations. Victor Koo’s Youku Tudou also offers a glimpse of just how different China will be in the not-so-distant future. His company offers people freedom to watch videos of their choice, anytime and from anywhere. Along with all the various forms of social media and messaging apps available to people in China, plus the e-commerce option, Yukou Tudou and China’s other online video services are already watched more on mobile devices than on computers, a trend that will become more pronounced as hundreds of millions of new smartphones and tablets are sold in China in the next few years.


pages: 430 words: 68,225

Blockchain Basics: A Non-Technical Introduction in 25 Steps by Daniel Drescher

bitcoin, blockchain, business process, central bank independence, collaborative editing, cryptocurrency, disintermediation, disruptive innovation, distributed ledger, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, fiat currency, job automation, linked data, peer-to-peer, place-making, Satoshi Nakamoto, smart contracts, transaction costs

• Compliance and audit: Auditing business activities of people or organizations in regulated industries in an audit track. • Tax: Calculating and collecting taxes based on transactions or on sole ownership, reducing tax avoidance,2 or double taxation. • Voting: Creating, distributing, and counting digital ballot papers. • Record management: Creation and storing of medical records. 1World Economic Forum. The future of financial services—How disruptive innovations are reshaping the way financial services are structured, provisioned and consumed. An Industry Project of the Financial Services Community, 2015; World Economic Forum. The future of financial infrastructure—An ambitious look at how blockchain can reshape financial services. An Industry Project of the Financial Services Community, 2016; Foroglou, George, and Anna-Lali Tsilidou. Further applications of the blockchain. 2015.


pages: 213 words: 70,742

Notes From an Apocalypse: A Personal Journey to the End of the World and Back by Mark O'Connell

Berlin Wall, bitcoin, blockchain, California gold rush, carbon footprint, Carrington event, clean water, Colonization of Mars, conceptual framework, cryptocurrency, disruptive innovation, diversified portfolio, Donald Trump, Donner party, Elon Musk, high net worth, Jeff Bezos, life extension, low earth orbit, Marc Andreessen, Mikhail Gorbachev, mutually assured destruction, New Urbanism, off grid, Peter Thiel, post-work, Sam Altman, Silicon Valley, Stephen Hawking, Steven Pinker, the built environment, yield curve

Back then, the world was populated exclusively by single-cell organisms, which lived beneath the surface of oceans that were bloodred due to the massive levels of iron in the water. These microbes relied exclusively on anaerobic methods of respiration—until one species, the cyanobacteria or blue-green algae, began to use the Sun’s light to generate vastly more energy than its anaerobic colleagues, by which method it thrived and increased its numbers exponentially, creating via the disruptive innovation of photosynthesis an exploding surplus of oxygen in the planet’s atmosphere, toxic to almost every other living thing on Earth. This one rogue microbe changed the atmospheric constitution of the Earth, causing the obliteration of most existing life on the planet and preparing the way for the evolution of multicellular organisms such as ourselves. “We sort of are those bacteria,” said Caroline Ross, an artist who resided on a riverboat on the Thames.


Big Data at Work: Dispelling the Myths, Uncovering the Opportunities by Thomas H. Davenport

Automated Insights, autonomous vehicles, bioinformatics, business intelligence, business process, call centre, chief data officer, cloud computing, commoditize, data acquisition, disruptive innovation, Edward Snowden, Erik Brynjolfsson, intermodal, Internet of things, Jeff Bezos, knowledge worker, lifelogging, Mark Zuckerberg, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Narrative Science, natural language processing, Netflix Prize, New Journalism, recommendation engine, RFID, self-driving car, sentiment analysis, Silicon Valley, smart grid, smart meter, social graph, sorting algorithm, statistical model, Tesla Model S, text mining, Thomas Davenport

If so, how are they likely to use it? Since the exploitation of big data can involve new products and services (in addition to internal decision support), there may well need to be more integration of big data initiative targeting with product development and strategy processes. If you’re developing a new product, can there be a big data adjunct to it—perhaps in the form of a service? If you’re thinking about disruptive innovations in your industry, how might big data contribute to them? Analysts for Big Data I have largely covered this topic in chapter 4, where I discussed the human side of big data. The only issue to address here is whether smart human analysts are any more important with big data than they were with traditional analytics. There is probably more emphasis on data scientists in big data than there was on quantitative analysts for analytics in the “old days.”


pages: 218 words: 68,648

Confessions of a Crypto Millionaire: My Unlikely Escape From Corporate America by Dan Conway

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, bank run, basic income, bitcoin, blockchain, buy and hold, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, disruptive innovation, distributed ledger, double entry bookkeeping, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, fault tolerance, financial independence, gig economy, Gordon Gekko, Haight Ashbury, high net worth, job satisfaction, litecoin, Marc Andreessen, Mitch Kapor, obamacare, offshore financial centre, Ponzi scheme, prediction markets, rent control, reserve currency, Ronald Coase, Satoshi Nakamoto, Silicon Valley, smart contracts, Steve Jobs, supercomputer in your pocket, Turing complete, Uber for X, universal basic income, upwardly mobile

The Enterprise Ethereum Alliance (EEA) announced eighty-six new members, including Bancor, Deloitte, Mitsubishi, and Broadridge. A Forbes article on May 22 by the crypto journalist Laura Shin included what I considered the understatement of the year: “The EEA new members include both financial services incumbents and blockchain startups, and span industries, including state government, health, and entertainment. The diversity of the members in terms of industry and age suggests the possibility for disruptive innovation.” (Emphasis mine) Crypto suddenly wasn’t so weird anymore. The old-timers couldn’t believe how quickly things had changed. Even Bitcoin veterans who’d been through the explosion of interest in Bitcoin in 2013 were shocked. ETH’s sweet smile kept lighting me up. On a break, I took a cab downtown to the Freedom Tower. As I waited in line, ETH crossed $200. We were up $4.5 million. Everything that I thought would happen after Consensus occurred, but more so.


pages: 381 words: 78,467

100 Plus: How the Coming Age of Longevity Will Change Everything, From Careers and Relationships to Family And by Sonia Arrison

23andMe, 8-hour work day, Albert Einstein, Anne Wojcicki, artificial general intelligence, attribution theory, Bill Joy: nanobots, bioinformatics, Clayton Christensen, dark matter, disruptive innovation, East Village, en.wikipedia.org, epigenetics, Frank Gehry, Googley, income per capita, indoor plumbing, Jeff Bezos, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Kickstarter, Law of Accelerating Returns, life extension, personalized medicine, Peter Thiel, placebo effect, post scarcity, Ray Kurzweil, rolodex, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, Singularitarianism, smart grid, speech recognition, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Thomas Malthus, upwardly mobile, World Values Survey, X Prize

Terry Moe (Stanford, CA: Hoover Institution Press, 2001), 13. 20 See www.waitingforsuperman.com. 21 Howard Gardner, Five Minds for the Future (Boston: Harvard Business School Publishing, 2006). 22 Jordan Kaplan, cited in Stephanie Armour, “Generation Y: They’ve Arrived at Work with a New Attitude,” USA Today, November 6, 2005, www.usatoday.com/money/workplace/2005-11-06-gen-y_x.htm. 23 Riaz Hassan, “Social Consequences of Manufactured Longevity,” MJA 173 (2000): 601–603 (Adelaide, South Australia: Flinders University). 24 Clayton M. Christensen, Michael B. Horn, and Curtis W. Johnson, Disrupting Class: How Disruptive Innovation Will Change the Way the World Learns (New York: McGraw-Hill, 2008), 100. 25 Tom Lowry, “Extreme Experience,” BusinessWeek, August 28, 2008, www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/08_36/b4098046922925.htm?campaign_id=rss_daily. 26 Jim Oeppen and James Vaupel, “Broken Limits to Life Expectancy,” Science 296 (May 10, 2002), supplemental material, table 2. 27 Christopher F. Chabris, David I.


pages: 265 words: 74,807

Our Robots, Ourselves: Robotics and the Myths of Autonomy by David A. Mindell

Air France Flight 447, autonomous vehicles, Captain Sullenberger Hudson, Charles Lindbergh, Chris Urmson, digital map, disruptive innovation, drone strike, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, fudge factor, index card, John Markoff, low earth orbit, Mars Rover, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, telepresence, telerobotics, trade route, US Airways Flight 1549, William Langewiesche, zero-sum game

Ordinarily, this secretive outfit quietly took advanced, commercially available components and combined them into new systems for unique missions, usually building just a small number of any given platform. Big Safari was known for innovation, not bureaucratic skill at producing documents. It tried to normalize the program, often in conflict with the General Atomics engineers, who considered themselves disruptive innovators not answerable to military bureaucracy. The company had developed Predator largely with internal funds, so the engineers were reluctant to turn over data to the government for standardization. While some of the engineers were pilots, they tended to be from the general aviation world, flying small aircraft on weekends, rather than from the military, where aircraft needed close cooperation with larger systems.


Raw Data Is an Oxymoron by Lisa Gitelman

23andMe, collateralized debt obligation, computer age, continuous integration, crowdsourcing, disruptive innovation, Drosophila, Edmond Halley, Filter Bubble, Firefox, fixed income, Google Earth, Howard Rheingold, index card, informal economy, Isaac Newton, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, knowledge worker, liberal capitalism, lifelogging, longitudinal study, Louis Daguerre, Menlo Park, optical character recognition, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, peer-to-peer, RFID, Richard Thaler, Silicon Valley, social graph, software studies, statistical model, Stephen Hawking, Steven Pinker, text mining, time value of money, trade route, Turing machine, urban renewal, Vannevar Bush, WikiLeaks

Moreover, the expressive aspects of countervailance as I will outline them here serve as an important counter to the technocratic consumer rights initiatives that frame the debate in terms of property—those “MyData” initiatives that seek only to transfer ownership of data to the individual and to develop personal data banks for everyday functionality and monetization.48 There are a number of practices that have the potential for disruptive innovation vis-à-vis the new regime of dataveillance. For example, Gary Marx outlines a range of behavioral techniques and legal, economic, and technological exploits ranging from refusal to masking that work toward “neutralizing and resisting the new surveillance” system; neutralization, as he puts it, is a “dynamic adversarial social dance involving strategic moves and counter-moves and should be studied as a conflict interaction process.”49 With respect to consumer (re)targeting and behavioral profiling, a common counter-move is the design and programming of anonymizers, encrypters, distributed networks, and ad and cookie blockers.


pages: 345 words: 75,660

Prediction Machines: The Simple Economics of Artificial Intelligence by Ajay Agrawal, Joshua Gans, Avi Goldfarb

"Robert Solow", Ada Lovelace, AI winter, Air France Flight 447, Airbus A320, artificial general intelligence, autonomous vehicles, basic income, Bayesian statistics, Black Swan, blockchain, call centre, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Captain Sullenberger Hudson, collateralized debt obligation, computer age, creative destruction, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, data acquisition, data is the new oil, deskilling, disruptive innovation, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, everywhere but in the productivity statistics, Google Glasses, high net worth, ImageNet competition, income inequality, information retrieval, inventory management, invisible hand, job automation, John Markoff, Joseph Schumpeter, Kevin Kelly, Lyft, Minecraft, Mitch Kapor, Moneyball by Michael Lewis explains big data, Nate Silver, new economy, On the Economy of Machinery and Manufactures, pattern recognition, performance metric, profit maximization, QWERTY keyboard, race to the bottom, randomized controlled trial, Ray Kurzweil, ride hailing / ride sharing, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, statistical model, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, strong AI, The Future of Employment, The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver, Tim Cook: Apple, Turing test, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, US Airways Flight 1549, Vernor Vinge, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, William Langewiesche, Y Combinator, zero-sum game

For example, most search engines provide similar results to common searches. Whether you use Google or Bing, the results from a search for “Justin Bieber” are similar. The value of a search engine is driven by its ability to give better results for unusual searches. Try typing “disruption” into Google and Bing. At the time of this writing, Google showed both the dictionary definition and results related to Clay Christensen’s ideas on disruptive innovation. Bing’s first nine results provided dictionary definitions. A key reason Google’s results were better is that figuring out what the searcher needs in an unusual search requires data on such searches. Most people use Google for both rare and common searches. Being even a little better in search can lead to a big difference in market share and revenue. So, while the data technically has decreasing returns to scale—the billionth search is less useful for improving the search engine than the first—from a business viewpoint, data might be most valuable if you have more and better data than your competitor.


pages: 254 words: 76,064

Whiplash: How to Survive Our Faster Future by Joi Ito, Jeff Howe

3D printing, Albert Michelson, Amazon Web Services, artificial general intelligence, basic income, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, Black Swan, blockchain, Burning Man, buy low sell high, Claude Shannon: information theory, cloud computing, Computer Numeric Control, conceptual framework, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, data acquisition, disruptive innovation, Donald Trump, double helix, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Ferguson, Missouri, fiat currency, financial innovation, Flash crash, frictionless, game design, Gerolamo Cardano, informal economy, interchangeable parts, Internet Archive, Internet of things, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, John Harrison: Longitude, Joi Ito, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, Mark Zuckerberg, microbiome, Nate Silver, Network effects, neurotypical, Oculus Rift, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer, pirate software, pre–internet, prisoner's dilemma, Productivity paradox, race to the bottom, RAND corporation, random walk, Ray Kurzweil, Ronald Coase, Ross Ulbricht, Satoshi Nakamoto, self-driving car, SETI@home, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Simon Singh, Singularitarianism, Skype, slashdot, smart contracts, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, Stuxnet, supply-chain management, technological singularity, technoutopianism, The Nature of the Firm, the scientific method, The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver, There's no reason for any individual to have a computer in his home - Ken Olsen, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, universal basic income, unpaid internship, uranium enrichment, urban planning, WikiLeaks

So did the innovators who built Silicon Valley, and it still holds a special place as a hub for agile, scrappy, permissionless innovation. The culture of creative disobedience that draws innovators to Silicon Valley and the Media Lab is deeply threatening to hierarchical managers and many traditional organizations. However, those are the ones who most need to embrace it if they are to support their most creative workers and survive the coming age of disruption. Innovators who embody the principle of disobedience over compliance do not only increase their own creativity—they also inspire others to excellence. Since the 1970s, social scientists have recognized the positive impact of “positive deviants,” people whose unorthodox behavior improves their lives and has the potential to improve their communities if it’s adopted more widely.11 Over the past two and half decades, positive deviance has been used to combat malnutrition, hospital-acquired infections, female genital mutilation, and other health and social problems worldwide.12 It’s also been used by corporations to implement successful change programs that draw on the talents of positive deviants who are already in the company, rather than attempting to impose a new discipline from above—essentially allowing others to adopt the productive disobedience of their positive-deviant colleagues, rather than requiring them to comply with an outsiders’ rules, and enabling greater creativity and innovation in the process.13 In the industrialized, mass-production society of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, only a small number of people were supposed to be creative—the rest were simply expected to do as they were told.


pages: 287 words: 80,180

Blue Ocean Strategy, Expanded Edition: How to Create Uncontested Market Space and Make the Competition Irrelevant by W. Chan Kim, Renée A. Mauborgne

Asian financial crisis, borderless world, call centre, cloud computing, commoditize, creative destruction, disruptive innovation, endogenous growth, haute couture, index fund, information asymmetry, interchangeable parts, job satisfaction, Joseph Schumpeter, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, market fundamentalism, NetJets, Network effects, RAND corporation, Skype, telemarketer, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, There's no reason for any individual to have a computer in his home - Ken Olsen, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Vanguard fund, zero-sum game

It created a blue ocean via nondestructive creation. By reconstructing existing market boundaries, blue ocean strategy creates new market space within and beyond existing industries. When new market space is created beyond existing industry boundaries, as with Viagra, reconstruction tends to bring about nondestructive creation. When, on the other hand, new market space is created within an existing industry, like disruptive innovation, displacement tends to occur. However, in many cases, even when the reconstruction occurs within industries, blue ocean strategy also produces nondestructive creation. Nintendo’s Wii, for example, created a blue ocean in the video game industry. It had an element of creative destruction. However, the new market space it created of physically active, family-centered video gaming had an even larger element of nondestructive creation that complemented, more than disrupted or displaced, existing video games.


pages: 252 words: 79,452

To Be a Machine: Adventures Among Cyborgs, Utopians, Hackers, and the Futurists Solving the Modest Problem of Death by Mark O'Connell

3D printing, Ada Lovelace, AI winter, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, artificial general intelligence, brain emulation, clean water, cognitive dissonance, computer age, cosmological principle, dark matter, disruptive innovation, double helix, Edward Snowden, effective altruism, Elon Musk, Extropian, friendly AI, global pandemic, impulse control, income inequality, invention of the wheel, Jacques de Vaucanson, John von Neumann, knowledge economy, Law of Accelerating Returns, life extension, lifelogging, Lyft, Mars Rover, means of production, Norbert Wiener, Peter Thiel, profit motive, Ray Kurzweil, RFID, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Singularitarianism, Skype, Stephen Hawking, Steve Wozniak, superintelligent machines, technological singularity, technoutopianism, The Coming Technological Singularity, Travis Kalanick, trickle-down economics, Turing machine, uber lyft, Vernor Vinge

But Silicon Valley’s culture of radical techno-optimism had been its own sustaining force for him, and a source of financial backing for a project that took its place within the wildly aspirational ethic of that cultural context. There were people there or thereabouts, wealthy and influential people, for whom a future in which human minds might be uploaded to computers was one to be actively sought—a problem to be solved, disruptively innovated, by the application of money. One such person was Dmitry Itskov, a thirty-four-year-old Russian tech multimillionaire and founder of the 2045 Initiative, an organization whose stated aim was “to create technologies enabling the transfer of an individual’s personality to a more advanced non-biological carrier, and extending life, including to the point of immortality.” One of Itskov’s projects was the creation of “avatars”—artificial humanoid bodies that would be controlled through brain-machine interface, technologies that would be complementary with uploaded minds.


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, David Heinemeier Hansson, deliberate practice, disruptive innovation, Donald Knuth, Donald Trump, Downton Abbey, en.wikipedia.org, 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, Ruby on Rails, 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, zero-sum game

At the same time, don’t lionize this quest for interaction and positive randomness to the point where it crowds out the unbroken concentration ultimately required to wring something useful out of the swirl of ideas all around us. Execute Like a Business The story has become lore in the world of business consulting. In the mid-1990s, Harvard Business School professor Clayton Christensen received a call from Andy Grove, the CEO and chairman of Intel. Grove had encountered Christensen’s research on disruptive innovation and asked him to fly out to California to discuss the theory’s implications for Intel. On arrival, Christensen walked through the basics of disruption: entrenched companies are often unexpectedly dethroned by start-ups that begin with cheap offerings at the low end of the market, but then, over time, improve their cheap products just enough to begin to steal high-end market share. Grove recognized that Intel faced this threat from low-end processors produced by upstart companies like AMD and Cyrix.


pages: 268 words: 75,850

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

3D printing, algorithmic trading, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, augmented reality, big data - Walmart - Pop Tarts, call centre, Cass Sunstein, Clayton Christensen, 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

Kelly says, with a twinge of genuine pain in his voice. “In the old days there was tons of stuff around for them. It might not always have been exciting work, but at least it was available. Now guys like us can do a lot of that work just by using the right algorithm.” Divorce by Algorithm Business-management guru Clayton Christensen identifies two types of new technology: “sustaining” and “disruptive” innovations.19 A sustaining technology is something that supports or enhances the way a business or market already operates. A disruptive technology, on the other hand, fundamentally alters the way in which a particular sector functions. An example of the former might be something like the advent of computerized accounting systems, while the arrival of digital cameras (which famously led to the downfall of Kodak) represents the latter.


pages: 209 words: 80,086

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

active measures, affirmative action, barriers to entry, Branko Milanovic, BRICs, business process, business process outsourcing, call centre, collective bargaining, corporate governance, creative destruction, credit crunch, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deindustrialization, deskilling, disruptive innovation, Frederick Winslow Taylor, full employment, future of work, glass ceiling, global supply chain, immigration reform, income inequality, industrial cluster, industrial robot, intangible asset, job automation, Joseph Schumpeter, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, low skilled workers, manufacturing employment, market bubble, market design, neoliberal agenda, new economy, Paul Samuelson, pensions crisis, post-industrial society, profit maximization, purchasing power parity, QWERTY keyboard, race to the bottom, Richard Florida, Ronald Reagan, shared worldview, 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, zero-sum game

Here’s the rub, which is captured by Zeng and Williamson: “because the Chinese are using their cost advantage across a broad swath of activities, including R&D, design, and customization, not just in volume manufacturing, moving to successively higher-end segments is just as likely to result in bankruptcy as it is in salvation.”17 Hence, the widely touted view that American workers and companies can prosper in the global economy by moving up the value chain fails to understand the realities of today’s quality-cost revolution. Simply moving upmarket is based on the same residual thinking that assumed it would take China and India decades before they could compete with the West on brainpower. Whatever strategies are developed in response to this kind of disruptive innovation, they must begin from a shocking truth that in the global auction there are few places to hide from price competition. 58 The Global Auction Sustaining Asia’s Low-Cost Model A key question is whether the quality-cost equation is sustainable in the medium term; there are also questions about its impact on the jobs and incomes of American workers. One view is that even if emerging economies are now competing for knowledge work, their cost advantage is due to temporary differences in wage rates.


pages: 1,136 words: 73,489

Working in Public: The Making and Maintenance of Open Source Software by Nadia Eghbal

Amazon Web Services, barriers to entry, Benevolent Dictator For Life (BDFL), bitcoin, Clayton Christensen, cloud computing, commoditize, continuous integration, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, David Heinemeier Hansson, death of newspapers, Debian, disruptive innovation, en.wikipedia.org, Ethereum, Firefox, Guido van Rossum, Hacker Ethic, Induced demand, informal economy, Jane Jacobs, Jean Tirole, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, Kubernetes, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, Network effects, node package manager, Norbert Wiener, pirate software, pull request, RFC: Request For Comment, Richard Stallman, Ronald Coase, Ruby on Rails, side project, Silicon Valley, Snapchat, social graph, software as a service, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Nature of the Firm, transaction costs, two-sided market, urban planning, web application, wikimedia commons, Zimmermann PGP

Software must also change to meet these needs, or else risk becoming irrelevant. Clayton Christensen famously identifies and analyzes this problem in The Innovator’s Dilemma, the 2003 book in which he tries to understand why successful companies can be overtaken by new ones, even if they are doing well. By focusing too much on iterating upon their incumbent product, companies risk missing major opportunities for so-called “disruptive innovation,” which eventually replaces existing products.228 Similarly, state-of-the-art software, even with regular maintenance, will eventually be replaced by something else that better addresses modern user preferences. It’s easy to write off the cost of newness as unnecessary, compared to the more urgent costs of maintenance, but good stewardship of infrastructure requires the foresight of innovation.


pages: 302 words: 74,350

I Hate the Internet: A Novel by Jarett Kobek

Anne Wojcicki, Burning Man, disruptive innovation, East Village, Edward Snowden, Golden Gate Park, Google bus, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, immigration reform, indoor plumbing, informal economy, Jeff Bezos, liberation theology, Mark Zuckerberg, MITM: man-in-the-middle, Norman Mailer, nuclear winter, packet switching, PageRank, Peter Thiel, quantitative easing, Ray Kurzweil, rent control, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, technological singularity, Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, union organizing, V2 rocket, Vernor Vinge, wage slave, Whole Earth Catalog

This billboard advertised the Bay Club, a chain of private fitness clubs and spas located throughout the Bay Area. (15) TechCrunch DISRUPT SF 2013 This billboard advertised the TechCrunch DISRUPT 2013 San Francisco conference. TechCrunch was a website that provided biased, pro-industry pseudojournalism about developments in imaginary technologies. DISRUPT was the name of TechCrunch’s many conferences, after disruptive innovation, a popular Silicon Valley concept developed by a Mormon who believed, literally, that he was in verbal communication with God. (16) The All New Droid This billboard advertised the Motorola Droid, which was a smartphone. Motorola was a company owned by Google. The brandname Droid was a trademark of LucasFilm and licensed to Motorola. LucasFilm was owned by Disney. (17) #1 for a Reason This billboard advertised Trend Micro Inc, a Japanese company that sold consumer level and enterprise level security software and services


pages: 290 words: 76,216

What's Wrong with Economics? by Robert Skidelsky

"Robert Solow", additive manufacturing, agricultural Revolution, Black Swan, Bretton Woods, business cycle, Cass Sunstein, central bank independence, cognitive bias, conceptual framework, Corn Laws, corporate social responsibility, correlation does not imply causation, creative destruction, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, disruptive innovation, Donald Trump, full employment, George Akerlof, George Santayana, global supply chain, global village, Gunnar Myrdal, happiness index / gross national happiness, hindsight bias, Hyman Minsky, income inequality, index fund, inflation targeting, information asymmetry, Internet Archive, invisible hand, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Arrow, knowledge economy, labour market flexibility, loss aversion, Mark Zuckerberg, market clearing, market friction, market fundamentalism, Martin Wolf, means of production, moral hazard, paradox of thrift, Pareto efficiency, Paul Samuelson, Philip Mirowski, precariat, price anchoring, principal–agent problem, rent-seeking, Richard Thaler, road to serfdom, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Coase, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, survivorship bias, technoutopianism, The Chicago School, The Market for Lemons, The Nature of the Firm, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Thomas Malthus, Thorstein Veblen, transaction costs, transfer pricing, Vilfredo Pareto, Washington Consensus, Wolfgang Streeck, zero-sum game

Then there was Joseph Schumpeter, whose views could be summarised as ‘never let a recession go to waste’. He was the apostle of wealth-creation through ‘creative destruction’. Progress was not a smooth evolutionary process but a chaotic one, in which moribund giants are constantly being replaced by agile upstarts through a succession of crises. This is a concept that modern-day Silicon Valley has embraced under the softer label of ‘disruptive innovation’. For Schumpeter creative destruction is the way the capitalist system works. He would have said that it creates more ‘value’ than it destroys. The same reply is given by techno-enthusiasts. To be sure, they say, automation will destroy many existing jobs and ways of life, but in the long run all will benefit. The ‘costs of progress’ literature was all about the costs to the current generation.


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, 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 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

,” Economist, January 14, 2012. economist.com/node/21542796/print. 57 Stone, The Everything Store, p. 348. 58 Joshua Cooper Ramo, The Age of the Unthinkable: Why the New World Disorder Constantly Surprises Us and What We Can Do About It (New York: Bay Back Books, 2010). 59 Paul F. Nunes and Larry Downes, “Big Bang Disruption: The Innovator’s Disaster,” Outlook, June 2013, accenture.com/us-en/outlook/Pages/outlook-journal-2013-big-bang-disruption-innovators-disaster.aspx. 60 Larry Downes and Paul F. Nunes, “Big-Bang Disruption,” Harvard Business Review, March 2013, hbr.org/2013/03/big-bang-disruption. 61 Ibid. 62 Larry Downes and Paul Nunes, Big Bang Disruption: Strategy in the Age of Devastating Innovation (New York: Portfolio/Penguin, 2014), p. 193. 63 Jason Farago, “Our Kodak Moments—and Creativity—Are Gone,” Guardian, August 23, 2013, theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/aug/23/photography-photography. 64 George Packer, “Celebrating Inequality,” New York Times, May 19, 2013. 65 Ibid. 66 “The Onrushing Wave,” Economist, January 18, 2014, p. 25. 67 Josh Constine, “The Data Factory—How Your Free Labor Lets Tech Giants Grow the Wealth Gap,” TechCrunch, September 9, 2013. 68 David Brooks, “Capitalism for the Masses,” New York Times, February 20, 2014. 69 Ibid. 70 George Packer, “No Death, No Taxes: The Libertarian Futurism of a Silicon Valley Billionaire,” New Yorker, November 28, 2011. 71 Ibid. 72 Ibid. 73 Robert M.


pages: 270 words: 79,992

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

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, commoditize, creative destruction, crony capitalism, cross-subsidies, crowdsourcing, David Brooks, death of newspapers, disruptive innovation, Donald Trump, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, en.wikipedia.org, Exxon Valdez, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Filter Bubble, Firefox, global supply chain, Google Chrome, Gordon Gekko, Hacker Ethic, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, John Markoff, Julian Assange, Kevin Kelly, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, Lean Startup, Mark Zuckerberg, minimum viable product, Mitch Kapor, Mohammed Bouazizi, Mother of all demos, Narrative Science, new economy, Occupy movement, old-boy network, peer-to-peer, period drama, Peter Thiel, pirate software, publication bias, Robert Metcalfe, 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

As radical connectivity continues to advance, and as it increasingly comes to affect fabrication and manufacturing, anyone will be able to design and sell anything, and anyone else will be able to buy anything. That’s right—anything! The Collapse of Scale Now, I can hear the skeptics: Will everyday individuals really achieve Walmart’s capacity to sell goods globally? Maxwell Wessel seems to think so. He’s part of the Forum for Growth and Innovation, a Harvard Business School think tank developing and refining theory around disruptive innovation (innovations that disrupt existing markets). Wessel argues that scale, “one of the last bastions from the competitive storm,” is no longer profitable or safe. For a long time, technology made being big very profitable and very safe—because no one else could afford to be big. If you were Ford Motor Company, no one else could afford the vast machinery needed to manufacture cars. If you were Walmart, no one else could afford the complicated technology to track the demand logistics from shoppers in Peoria to production plants in China.


pages: 309 words: 81,975

Brave New Work: Are You Ready to Reinvent Your Organization? by Aaron Dignan

"side hustle", activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, autonomous vehicles, basic income, Bertrand Russell: In Praise of Idleness, bitcoin, Black Swan, blockchain, Buckminster Fuller, Burning Man, butterfly effect, cashless society, Clayton Christensen, clean water, cognitive bias, cognitive dissonance, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, correlation does not imply causation, creative destruction, crony capitalism, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, David Heinemeier Hansson, deliberate practice, DevOps, disruptive innovation, don't be evil, Elon Musk, endowment effect, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, Frederick Winslow Taylor, future of work, gender pay gap, Geoffrey West, Santa Fe Institute, gig economy, Google X / Alphabet X, hiring and firing, hive mind, income inequality, information asymmetry, Internet of things, Jeff Bezos, job satisfaction, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, Lean Startup, loose coupling, loss aversion, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, minimum viable product, new economy, Paul Graham, race to the bottom, remote working, Richard Thaler, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, six sigma, smart contracts, Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Its Profits, software is eating the world, source of truth, Stanford marshmallow experiment, Steve Jobs, TaskRabbit, the High Line, too big to fail, Toyota Production System, uber lyft, universal basic income, Y Combinator, zero-sum game

Questions on Innovation The following questions can be applied to the organization as a whole or the teams within it. Use them to provoke a conversation about what is present and what is possible. What is our philosophy on innovation? Where, when, and how does innovation happen? Who participates in innovation? Who has the right to innovate? How do we approach incremental and disruptive innovation? What is the role of failure and learning in innovation? How do we evaluate new ideas, approaches, and products? How do we balance the short term and the long term? How do we manage our portfolio of ideas, prototypes, and products? What does it mean to be People Positive about innovation? Recognize that people are inherently creative given the right conditions.


pages: 348 words: 83,490

More Than You Know: Finding Financial Wisdom in Unconventional Places (Updated and Expanded) by Michael J. Mauboussin

Albert Einstein, Andrei Shleifer, Atul Gawande, availability heuristic, beat the dealer, Benoit Mandelbrot, Black Swan, Brownian motion, butter production in bangladesh, buy and hold, capital asset pricing model, Clayton Christensen, clockwork universe, complexity theory, corporate governance, creative destruction, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, deliberate practice, demographic transition, discounted cash flows, disruptive innovation, diversification, diversified portfolio, dogs of the Dow, Drosophila, Edward Thorp, en.wikipedia.org, equity premium, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, fixed income, framing effect, functional fixedness, hindsight bias, hiring and firing, Howard Rheingold, index fund, information asymmetry, intangible asset, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, Kenneth Arrow, Laplace demon, Long Term Capital Management, loss aversion, mandelbrot fractal, margin call, market bubble, Menlo Park, mental accounting, Milgram experiment, Murray Gell-Mann, Nash equilibrium, new economy, Paul Samuelson, Pierre-Simon Laplace, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, random walk, Richard Florida, Richard Thaler, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, shareholder value, statistical model, Steven Pinker, stocks for the long run, survivorship bias, The Wisdom of Crowds, transaction costs, traveling salesman, value at risk, wealth creators, women in the workforce, zero-sum game

The description itself caused a stir in the finance and investing worlds.5 2. Classify the phenomena into categories based on similarities. Categorization simplifies and organizes the world so as to clarify differences between phenomena. An example of categorization in physics is solids, liquids, and gases. In innovation research—Christensen’s specialty—the categories are sustaining and disruptive innovations. Investing has many variations of categorization, including value versus growth stocks, high risk versus low risk, and large- versus small-capitalization stocks. These categories are deeply ingrained in the investment world, and many investment firms and their products rely on these categories. 3. Build a theory that explains the behavior of the phenomena. A robust theory based on sound categorization explains cause and effect, why the cause and effect works, and most critically under what circumstances the cause and effect operates.


pages: 472 words: 80,835

Life as a Passenger: How Driverless Cars Will Change the World by David Kerrigan

3D printing, Airbnb, airport security, Albert Einstein, autonomous vehicles, big-box store, butterfly effect, call centre, car-free, Cesare Marchetti: Marchetti’s constant, Chris Urmson, commoditize, computer vision, congestion charging, connected car, DARPA: Urban Challenge, deskilling, disruptive innovation, edge city, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, future of work, invention of the wheel, Just-in-time delivery, loss aversion, Lyft, Marchetti’s constant, Mars Rover, megacity, Menlo Park, Metcalfe’s law, Minecraft, Nash equilibrium, New Urbanism, QWERTY keyboard, Ralph Nader, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, ride hailing / ride sharing, Rodney Brooks, Sam Peltzman, self-driving car, sensor fusion, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, smart cities, Snapchat, Stanford marshmallow experiment, Steve Jobs, technoutopianism, the built environment, Thorstein Veblen, traffic fines, transit-oriented development, Travis Kalanick, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, Unsafe at Any Speed, urban planning, urban sprawl, Yogi Berra, young professional, zero-sum game, Zipcar

In May 2017, Uber’s biggest rival in the US, Lyft, announced a partnership with Waymo, just as Waymo and Uber were embroiled in a legal battle over Intellectual Property concerning LiDAR.[118] Baidu China's top online search firm Baidu said in 2015 it aims to put self-driving vehicles on the road in three years and mass produce them within five years, after it set up a business unit to oversee all its efforts related to automobiles.[119] In a surprise follow up announcement, Baidu revealed it would make its driverless cars technology, including its vehicle platform, hardware platform, software platform and cloud data services, freely available to others, particularly car manufacturers, to develop autonomous vehicles.[120] A Baidu driverless car prototype. Photo courtesy Baidu. Disruption? While the interest of technology companies in driverless cars has grabbed the headlines, it’s worth considering if these new entrants into the car market are genuinely disruptive? The theory of disruptive innovation published in the Harvard Business Review in 1995 has been frequently misquoted. In its truest form, it refers to a smaller company with fewer resources challenging an incumbent business. They usually service segments overlooked in terms of functional or price needs by established players chasing profits. It is when customers start opting in volume for the entrants’ products that disruption has occurred.


pages: 275 words: 84,980

Before Babylon, Beyond Bitcoin: From Money That We Understand to Money That Understands Us (Perspectives) by David Birch

agricultural Revolution, Airbnb, bank run, banks create money, bitcoin, blockchain, Bretton Woods, British Empire, Broken windows theory, Burning Man, business cycle, capital controls, cashless society, Clayton Christensen, clockwork universe, creative destruction, credit crunch, cross-subsidies, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, David Graeber, dematerialisation, Diane Coyle, disruptive innovation, distributed ledger, double entry bookkeeping, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, facts on the ground, fault tolerance, fiat currency, financial exclusion, financial innovation, financial intermediation, floating exchange rates, Fractional reserve banking, index card, informal economy, Internet of things, invention of the printing press, invention of the telegraph, invention of the telephone, invisible hand, Irish bank strikes, Isaac Newton, Jane Jacobs, Kenneth Rogoff, knowledge economy, Kuwabatake Sanjuro: assassination market, large denomination, M-Pesa, market clearing, market fundamentalism, Marshall McLuhan, Martin Wolf, mobile money, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, new economy, Northern Rock, Pingit, prediction markets, price stability, QR code, quantitative easing, railway mania, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Real Time Gross Settlement, reserve currency, Satoshi Nakamoto, seigniorage, Silicon Valley, smart contracts, social graph, special drawing rights, technoutopianism, the payments system, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, too big to fail, transaction costs, tulip mania, wage slave, Washington Consensus, wikimedia commons

This is because the blockchain has provided new larger-scale ideas about how to organize financial services and, as Swan and other observers have noted, there is a very strong case for decentralized models. She is surely right to say that ‘decentralisation is an idea whose time is come’, and to identify the Internet as a new cultural technology that admits techniques such as shared ledgers. The blockchain is, as I have mentioned, only one kind of such a shared ledger, and the Bitcoin blockchain works in a very specific way. This may not be the best way to organize shared ledgers for disruptive innovation and it may not, in my opinion, point towards where the disruptive influence of shared ledger technology will deliver its biggest benefits to society. Shared ledgers Interest in shared ledger technology has been rekindled as interest in the blockchain has grown. The blockchain is the specific distributed shared ledger technology that underpins Bitcoin (Wood and Buchanan 2015), and it can be seen as a consensus database that everybody can copy and access but, by clever design, not subvert: a permanent record of transactions that no one can go back and change.


pages: 316 words: 87,486

Listen, Liberal: Or, What Ever Happened to the Party of the People? by Thomas Frank

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, Amazon Mechanical Turk, American ideology, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, blue-collar work, Burning Man, centre right, circulation of elites, Clayton Christensen, collective bargaining, Credit Default Swap, David Brooks, deindustrialization, disruptive innovation, Donald Trump, Edward Snowden, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial innovation, Frank Gehry, full employment, George Gilder, gig economy, Gini coefficient, income inequality, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, Lean Startup, mandatory minimum, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, market bubble, mass immigration, mass incarceration, McMansion, microcredit, mobile money, moral panic, mortgage debt, Nelson Mandela, new economy, obamacare, payday loans, Peter Thiel, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, post-industrial society, postindustrial economy, pre–internet, profit maximization, profit motive, race to the bottom, Republic of Letters, Richard Florida, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, TaskRabbit, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, Travis Kalanick, Uber for X, union organizing, urban decay, women in the workforce, Works Progress Administration, young professional

Collaborations such as “Startup NY,” a program that uses public universities and tax breaks as entrepreneur bait; it is, Cuomo tells us, “a game-changing initiative” that works by making public universities “into tax-free communities that attract new businesses, venture capital, start-ups, and investments from across the world.”4 There is also a version that comes from sky-blue Delaware, where Democratic governor Jack Markell—a man much beloved of the East Coast banking and telecom communities—has tried to privatize the Port of Wilmington, has done battle with public workers, and has fashioned a role for himself as an info-age thought-leader. Toward the end of 2014, Markell traveled to Stanford University, the center of the knowledge economy, to speak about “Disruptive Innovation,” meaning, in this case, web-based companies that displace an existing personal service. The question before policymakers like him, Markell said (according to his prepared text) was “how we can facilitate the success of these innovations.” He further wondered how Delawareans might “switch our schools” in order to produce the kind of workforce that innovative companies want and even how they might consult with the “business community to make curricula relevant.”5 If you think this is about bowing down before the One Percent, you’ve got Markell all wrong.


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, David Heinemeier Hansson, disruptive innovation, 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, lifelogging, market design, Metcalfe's law, Minecraft, minimum viable product, Network effects, new economy, peer-to-peer, post scarcity, prediction markets, pre–internet, profit motive, race to the bottom, random walk, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, remote working, RFID, Rubik’s Cube, 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, survivorship bias, too big to fail, US Airways Flight 1549, web application, zero-sum game

Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009 CHAPTER 14 The big game: an introduction to gamification Gamification entered the business parlance a few years ago when some successful web-based businesses, or more accurately, web apps and web-based properties started to rise to prominence. In some ways it actually faded away as a hot digital topic before it took hold the way other arenas and terminology — such as crowdfunding — did. But this doesn’t mean the predictions of what it may become were inaccurate. It was more a reflection of the diffusion of innovation rather than of it disappearing. Most disruptive innovations and technologies go through similar trajectories (see figure 14.1). Figure 14.1 expectation and utility curve: a personal variation on Gartner’s hype cycle (The underlying concept for this was conceived by Gartner, Inc.). The truth is we’re still hurtling towards a gamified future of commerce. We’re all still playing the games right now, but like many aspects of commerce, we go deep into the wormhole before we realise it.


pages: 304 words: 80,143

The Autonomous Revolution: Reclaiming the Future We’ve Sold to Machines by William Davidow, Michael Malone

2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, agricultural Revolution, Airbnb, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, Automated Insights, autonomous vehicles, basic income, bitcoin, blockchain, blue-collar work, Bob Noyce, business process, call centre, cashless society, citizen journalism, Clayton Christensen, collaborative consumption, collaborative economy, collective bargaining, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, disintermediation, disruptive innovation, distributed ledger, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, Filter Bubble, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Geoffrey West, Santa Fe Institute, gig economy, Gini coefficient, Hyperloop, income inequality, industrial robot, Internet of things, invention of agriculture, invention of movable type, invention of the printing press, invisible hand, Jane Jacobs, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Joseph Schumpeter, license plate recognition, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, mass immigration, Network effects, new economy, peer-to-peer lending, QWERTY keyboard, ransomware, Richard Florida, Robert Gordon, Ronald Reagan, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, sharing economy, Shoshana Zuboff, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, Snapchat, speech recognition, Stuxnet, TaskRabbit, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, the scientific method, trade route, Turing test, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, universal basic income, uranium enrichment, urban planning, zero day, zero-sum game, Zipcar

Gesturing at an array of early-generation robots working on the assembly-line floor, Ford smugly declared that not one of those machines would ever go on strike, nor would they ever pay dues to Reuther’s union. “Maybe so,” Reuther allegedly replied, “but not one of those machines will ever buy an automobile, either.” Reuther’s riposte anticipates Davidow and Malone’s depiction of a future in which hyper-disruptive innovations such as artificial intelligence and distributed 3-D printing will have solved the ancient problem of how to make things, even while raising an urgent new problem of who will buy those things, and what they will offer for them in exchange. This is but one example of the countless visions of the future that readers will encounter in The Autonomous Revolution. ——— While historians have long been preoccupied with change, they have been especially so since the eighteenth-century Enlightenment—not surprisingly, since they have lived in an environment where time itself seems to have been dramatically sped up by the engines of the great revolutions—political and industrial—with which the eighteenth century came to a climax.


pages: 302 words: 84,881

The Digital Party: Political Organisation and Online Democracy by Paolo Gerbaudo

Airbnb, barriers to entry, basic income, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, call centre, centre right, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, disintermediation, disruptive innovation, Donald Trump, Edward Snowden, feminist movement, gig economy, industrial robot, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, Joseph Schumpeter, Mark Zuckerberg, Network effects, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, oil shock, post-industrial society, precariat, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Richard Florida, Richard Stallman, Ruby on Rails, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Skype, Slavoj Žižek, smart cities, Snapchat, social web, software studies, Stewart Brand, technoutopianism, Thomas L Friedman, universal basic income, Vilfredo Pareto, WikiLeaks

They adopt a philosophy of ‘distributed organising’, to use the terms of Sanders’ staffers Becky Bond and Zack Exley10 to tap into the political labour of their diffuse support base, much in the same way in which social media companies extract value from the ‘free labour’ of their dispersed user base. However, this organisational revolution cannot be understood as stemming merely from strategic and economic considerations, as a translation of the ‘lean management’ and the ‘disruptive innovation’ philosophy adopted by several Silicon Valley firms to the political arena. Rather, it is also premised on, and justified by, the utopian vision of an online democracy using digital technology as a means to extend and deepen political participation, reintegrate in the polity many citizens who have for a long time been distant from the political arena and allow them to have a more direct and meaningful intervention in the political process.


pages: 502 words: 82,170

The Book of CSS3 by Peter Gasston

centre right, disruptive innovation, en.wikipedia.org, Firefox, Google Chrome, web application, wikimedia commons

The notion of defining a syntax for variables or constants in CSS has been floated many times, but until recently had yet to be taken up by the CSS Working Group. Although some firm opposition seems to coming from within the CSSWG, two competing proposals have been put forth. The first was created by Daniel Glazman, co-chairman of the CSS Working Group, and Dave Hyatt, a leading light at WebKit, so this proposal has a pretty good pedigree. Their concept for CSS Variables (http://www.disruptive-innovations.com/zoo/cssvariables/) is notionally similar to the example I used in the introduction to this section and is persuasively simple. The first step is to use the new @variables at-rule to define string and value pairs: @variables { exampleColor: #F00; exampleLength: 10em; } These strings can then be used as values in the var() notation, applying the value to relevant properties: E { background-color: var(exampleColor); width: var(exampleLength); } The second proposal, CSS Constants (http://fantasai.inkedblade.net/style/specs/constants/), was created by another CSS Working Group member and is more flexible, allowing for three different types of constants: values, style-sets, and selectors.


pages: 389 words: 87,758

No Ordinary Disruption: The Four Global Forces Breaking All the Trends by Richard Dobbs, James Manyika

2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, access to a mobile phone, additive manufacturing, Airbnb, Amazon Mechanical Turk, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, autonomous vehicles, Bakken shale, barriers to entry, business cycle, business intelligence, Carmen Reinhart, central bank independence, cloud computing, corporate governance, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, demographic dividend, deskilling, disintermediation, disruptive innovation, distributed generation, Erik Brynjolfsson, financial innovation, first square of the chessboard, first square of the chessboard / second half of the chessboard, Gini coefficient, global supply chain, global village, hydraulic fracturing, illegal immigration, income inequality, index fund, industrial robot, intangible asset, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet of things, inventory management, job automation, Just-in-time delivery, Kenneth Rogoff, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, labor-force participation, low skilled workers, Lyft, M-Pesa, mass immigration, megacity, mobile money, Mohammed Bouazizi, Network effects, new economy, New Urbanism, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, old age dependency ratio, openstreetmap, peer-to-peer lending, pension reform, private sector deleveraging, purchasing power parity, quantitative easing, recommendation engine, Report Card for America’s Infrastructure, RFID, ride hailing / ride sharing, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, smart cities, Snapchat, sovereign wealth fund, spinning jenny, stem cell, Steve Jobs, supply-chain management, TaskRabbit, The Great Moderation, trade route, transaction costs, Travis Kalanick, uber lyft, urban sprawl, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, working-age population, Zipcar

Barely a decade later, in January 2014, Illumina, the world’s leading seller of gene sequencing machines, unveiled the HiSeq X, a supercomputer that can sequence twenty thousand genomes a year at a cost of $1,000 each.20 The rapidly declining cost of gene sequencing is spurring studies in how genes determine traits or mutate to cause disease. Increasingly affordable genetic sequencing combined with big data analytics will allow rapid diagnosis of medical conditions, pinpointing of targeted cures, and potentially even the creation of customized organisms through synthetic biological methods, with applications in agriculture, food, and medicine. Advances in materials science are another disruptive innovation. The process of manipulating materials at the molecular level has made nanomaterials possible. Such breakthroughs have already transformed ordinary materials such as carbon and clay to take on surprising new properties—greater reactivity, unusual electrical properties, and greater strength. Nanomaterials have already been used in products ranging from pharmaceuticals to sunscreens to bicycle frames.


pages: 343 words: 91,080

Uberland: How Algorithms Are Rewriting the Rules of Work by Alex Rosenblat

"side hustle", Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, Amazon Mechanical Turk, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, basic income, big-box store, call centre, cashless society, Cass Sunstein, choice architecture, collaborative economy, collective bargaining, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, disruptive innovation, don't be evil, Donald Trump, en.wikipedia.org, future of work, gender pay gap, gig economy, Google Chrome, income inequality, information asymmetry, Jaron Lanier, job automation, job satisfaction, Lyft, marginal employment, Mark Zuckerberg, move fast and break things, Network effects, new economy, obamacare, performance metric, Peter Thiel, price discrimination, Ralph Waldo Emerson, regulatory arbitrage, ride hailing / ride sharing, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Skype, social software, stealth mode startup, Steve Jobs, strikebreaker, TaskRabbit, Tim Cook: Apple, transportation-network company, Travis Kalanick, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, union organizing, universal basic income, urban planning, Wolfgang Streeck, Zipcar

The only constant logic is expansion and control. We can see this in three major trends. First, as Uber enters a new space, it takes a direct-to-consumer approach, bypassing potential barriers, like regulations or political opposition, by winning over consumers with its effective app. It cautions opponents that might try to constrain some of its practices by conveying the message, “Be grateful for the disruptive innovation we bring, because what we offer is superior to the regulations that would hold us back” (what I refer to as “gratitude logic”). Because of its size and influence, it simply shrugs off regulation that it doesn’t like. Then, Uber shifts and reshifts its identity, trying to find exploitable cracks and inconsistencies between various systems of rules and laws. Finally, Uber plays stakeholders against each other, using temporary alliances to gain a foothold wherever it goes.


pages: 321 words: 89,109

The New Gold Rush: The Riches of Space Beckon! by Joseph N. Pelton

3D printing, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, Buckminster Fuller, Carrington event, Colonization of Mars, disruptive innovation, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, full employment, global pandemic, Google Earth, gravity well, Iridium satellite, Jeff Bezos, job automation, Johannes Kepler, John von Neumann, life extension, low earth orbit, Lyft, Mark Shuttleworth, Mark Zuckerberg, megacity, megastructure, new economy, Peter H. Diamandis: Planetary Resources, post-industrial society, private space industry, Ray Kurzweil, Silicon Valley, skunkworks, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Thomas Malthus, Tim Cook: Apple, Tunguska event, uber lyft, urban planning, urban sprawl, wikimedia commons, X Prize

The bottom line is that in the age of “New Space” and electronic innovation, that change is coming faster than anyone thinks today. A few years back, the author wrote a book called e-Sphere : The Rise of the Worldwide Mind. This book is about e-Space, a new age of human expansion into a cosmic world and New Space economy that transcends the world as we know it today. “E-Space” will become a new reality within the next half century. It seems that only major disruptive innovations variously described as “the singularity,” (Kurzweil) “abundance,” (Diamandis) etc., can alter humanity’s future evolutionary course, or we are indeed headed into some major global troubles. These global problems include such challenges as climate change, overpopulation, intensive urban crowding, lack of potable water and a host of other problems related to over consumption of resources.


pages: 285 words: 86,853

What Algorithms Want: Imagination in the Age of Computing by Ed Finn

Airbnb, Albert Einstein, algorithmic trading, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, bitcoin, blockchain, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable:, Claude Shannon: information theory, commoditize, Credit Default Swap, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, disruptive innovation, Donald Knuth, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Elon Musk, factory automation, fiat currency, Filter Bubble, Flash crash, game design, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, High speed trading, hiring and firing, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, iterative process, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Conway, John Markoff, Just-in-time delivery, Kickstarter, late fees, lifelogging, Loebner Prize, Lyft, Mother of all demos, Nate Silver, natural language processing, Netflix Prize, new economy, Nicholas Carr, Norbert Wiener, PageRank, peer-to-peer, Peter Thiel, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, Republic of Letters, ride hailing / ride sharing, Satoshi Nakamoto, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Silicon Valley startup, social graph, software studies, speech recognition, statistical model, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, supply-chain management, TaskRabbit, technological singularity, technoutopianism, The Coming Technological Singularity, the scientific method, The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver, The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, transaction costs, traveling salesman, Turing machine, Turing test, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, urban planning, Vannevar Bush, Vernor Vinge, wage slave

Behind the facade of the facile, friendly computational interface, there is a world of labor translation, remediation, and exploitation at work. Algorithmic Labor: Cloud Warehouses While the interface economy supports many human-to-human interactions where consumers and contractors operate on relatively equal footing, there is another sphere of algorithmic arbitrage where human labor is almost entirely obscured behind the veil of computation. The disruptive innovations that upended traditional blue-collar industries have changed the fundamental assumptions of many corporations around their business operations. All of the algorithmic businesses we have discussed so far—companies like Zynga, Uber, Google, and Apple—depend on a massive infrastructure for distributed, global computation: millions of servers running around the clock in vast warehouses, processing and managing tremendous data stores.


pages: 324 words: 92,805

The Impulse Society: America in the Age of Instant Gratification by Paul Roberts

2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, 3D printing, accounting loophole / creative accounting, activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, asset allocation, business cycle, business process, Cass Sunstein, centre right, choice architecture, collateralized debt obligation, collective bargaining, computerized trading, corporate governance, corporate raider, corporate social responsibility, creative destruction, crony capitalism, David Brooks, delayed gratification, disruptive innovation, double helix, factory automation, financial deregulation, financial innovation, fixed income, full employment, game design, greed is good, If something cannot go on forever, it will stop - Herbert Stein's Law, impulse control, income inequality, inflation targeting, invisible hand, job automation, John Markoff, Joseph Schumpeter, knowledge worker, late fees, Long Term Capital Management, loss aversion, low skilled workers, mass immigration, new economy, Nicholas Carr, obamacare, Occupy movement, oil shale / tar sands, performance metric, postindustrial economy, profit maximization, Report Card for America’s Infrastructure, reshoring, Richard Thaler, rising living standards, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Rodney Brooks, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, speech recognition, Steve Jobs, technoutopianism, the built environment, The Predators' Ball, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, total factor productivity, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Walter Mischel, winner-take-all economy

And these are only previews for the automation blockbusters said to be just around the corner, as the exponential rise in computing power, sensor technologies, and Big Data pushes the economy, and the job market, into entirely new territory. This isn’t supposed to worry us, though. As members of an educated, technologically savvy, postmaterialist society, we’re supposed to understand that even truly disruptive innovations and the enormous new efficiencies they bring make us better off. And historically, that’s been absolutely the case. Innovation has been very good for us and very good for the job market. By allowing us to increase our output and reduce our costs, each new increment of efficiency-enhancing innovation—our laborsaving machines, our higher-volume factories, our more meticulous management strategies—though they might bring temporary “dislocations,” eventually meant more jobs and better jobs, with higher wages and safer conditions.


pages: 284 words: 92,688

Disrupted: My Misadventure in the Start-Up Bubble by Dan Lyons

activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, Airbnb, Ben Horowitz, Bernie Madoff, bitcoin, call centre, cleantech, cloud computing, corporate governance, disruptive innovation, dumpster diving, fear of failure, Filter Bubble, Golden Gate Park, Google Glasses, Googley, Gordon Gekko, hiring and firing, Jeff Bezos, Lean Startup, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, minimum viable product, new economy, Paul Graham, pre–internet, quantitative easing, ride hailing / ride sharing, Rosa Parks, Sand Hill Road, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, Snapchat, software as a service, South of Market, San Francisco, Stanford prison experiment, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, telemarketer, tulip mania, uber lyft, Y Combinator, éminence grise

For themselves. Thirteen The Ron Burgundy of Tech Imagine Joel Osteen pumped up on human growth hormone. Imagine there’s a secret government lab where scientists have blended the DNA of Tony Robbins with the DNA of Harold Hill, the aw-shucks shifty salesman from The Music Man. Imagine a grizzly bear in a pinstriped suit, standing on his hind legs and talking about changing the world through disruptive innovation and transformation. If you can imagine those things then you can almost imagine the horror of seeing Marc Benioff, the billionaire founder and CEO of Salesforce.com, on stage at his company’s annual conference, Dreamforce. It’s November 2013, and that’s where I am, along with Cranium and Spinner and a bunch of other HubSpotters, sitting through Benioff’s three-hour keynote speech on the opening day of the conference.


pages: 327 words: 90,542

The Age of Stagnation: Why Perpetual Growth Is Unattainable and the Global Economy Is in Peril by Satyajit Das

"Robert Solow", 9 dash line, accounting loophole / creative accounting, additive manufacturing, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, Alfred Russel Wallace, Anton Chekhov, Asian financial crisis, banking crisis, Berlin Wall, bitcoin, Bretton Woods, BRICs, British Empire, business cycle, business process, business process outsourcing, call centre, capital controls, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Carmen Reinhart, Clayton Christensen, cloud computing, collaborative economy, colonial exploitation, computer age, creative destruction, cryptocurrency, currency manipulation / currency intervention, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, declining real wages, Deng Xiaoping, deskilling, disintermediation, disruptive innovation, Downton Abbey, Emanuel Derman, energy security, energy transition, eurozone crisis, financial innovation, financial repression, forward guidance, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, full employment, gig economy, Gini coefficient, global reserve currency, global supply chain, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, happiness index / gross national happiness, Honoré de Balzac, hydraulic fracturing, Hyman Minsky, illegal immigration, income inequality, income per capita, indoor plumbing, informal economy, Innovator's Dilemma, intangible asset, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Jane Jacobs, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Kenneth Rogoff, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, light touch regulation, liquidity trap, Long Term Capital Management, low skilled workers, Lyft, Mahatma Gandhi, margin call, market design, Marshall McLuhan, Martin Wolf, Mikhail Gorbachev, mortgage debt, mortgage tax deduction, new economy, New Urbanism, offshore financial centre, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, old age dependency ratio, open economy, passive income, peak oil, peer-to-peer lending, pension reform, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, Potemkin village, precariat, price stability, profit maximization, pushing on a string, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, Ralph Nader, Rana Plaza, rent control, rent-seeking, reserve currency, ride hailing / ride sharing, rising living standards, risk/return, Robert Gordon, Ronald Reagan, Satyajit Das, savings glut, secular stagnation, seigniorage, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, Slavoj Žižek, South China Sea, sovereign wealth fund, TaskRabbit, The Chicago School, The Great Moderation, The inhabitant of London could order by telephone, sipping his morning tea in bed, the various products of the whole earth, the market place, the payments system, The Spirit Level, Thorstein Veblen, Tim Cook: Apple, too big to fail, total factor productivity, trade route, transaction costs, uber lyft, unpaid internship, Unsafe at Any Speed, Upton Sinclair, Washington Consensus, We are the 99%, WikiLeaks, Y2K, Yom Kippur War, zero-coupon bond, zero-sum game

Further underlying the nature of modern innovation, in 2015 Ashley Madison, an online site for people seeking extramarital affairs, announced plans to raise US$200 million to expand the market for adultery. Industrial revolution 3 emphasizes disruptive technologies, a term associated with Harvard professor Clayton Christensen and his influential 1997 book The Innovator's Dilemma. It differentiated between sustainable innovations, which improve products and make valuable changes for a firm's current customers, and disruptive innovations—cheaper, poorer-quality products that initially target less profitable customers so as to undercut existing businesses, with the object of eventually dominating the industry. In a vituperative exchange characteristic of academic cloisters, historian Jill Lepore criticized Christensen's heavily marketed and promoted thesis, arguing that his hand-picked case studies did not support the theory.


pages: 323 words: 90,868

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

"Robert Solow", 3D printing, Airbnb, American energy revolution, assortative mating, autonomous vehicles, Bakken shale, barriers to entry, basic income, Bernie Sanders, BRICs, business cycle, call centre, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Clayton Christensen, cloud computing, collective bargaining, computer age, creative destruction, dark matter, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deindustrialization, dematerialisation, Deng Xiaoping, deskilling, disruptive innovation, 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, intangible asset, interchangeable parts, Internet of things, inventory management, invisible hand, 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, Marc Andreessen, mass immigration, means of production, new economy, performance metric, pets.com, post-work, 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 Future of Employment, The Nature of the Firm, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, trade liberalization, transaction costs, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, very high income, working-age population

The information-processing role of the firm can help us to understand the phenomenon of ‘disruption’, in which older businesses struggle to adapt to powerful new technologies or market opportunities. The notion of a ‘disruptive’ technology was first described in detail by Clayton Christensen, a scholar at Harvard Business School.4 Disruption is one of the most important ideas in business and management to emerge over the last generation. A disruptive innovation, in Christensen’s sense, is one that is initially not very good, in the sense that it does badly on the performance metrics that industry leaders care about, but which then catches on rapidly, wrong-footing older firms and upending the industry. Christensen explained his idea through the disk-drive industry, which was once dominated by large, 8-inch disks that could hold lots of information and access it very quickly.


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

active measures, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, barriers to entry, business cycle, business process, buy and hold, Claude Shannon: information theory, Clayton Christensen, commoditize, conceptual framework, corporate governance, creative destruction, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, discounted cash flows, disruptive innovation, diversified portfolio, double entry bookkeeping, Exxon Valdez, financial innovation, fixed income, hydraulic fracturing, index fund, information asymmetry, intangible asset, inventory management, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Arrow, 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

More recently, research on capitalized development costs (the “D” of R&D), mandated by the international accounting rules (IFRS), substantiated that these capitalized R&D values are indeed recognized by investors as valuable assets, on par with physical and financial assets.15 Even the oft-mentioned abnormally high uncertainty associated with intangibles, and R&D in particular, to justify their immediate expensing, is a gross generalization. A recent study documented that, in general, R&D risk is no higher than that of tangible assets, except for the risk posed by the infrequent and transformative disruptive innovations.16 Summarizing, given the compelling logic of capitalizing intangible investments—as well as the partial R&D capitalization already required by the international accounting rules (IFRS), and the capitalization of intangibles in the national income accounts, what else, we wonder, is required to convince US accounting regulators to scuttle the dated intangibles expensing rule and move accounting to the twenty-first century?


pages: 372 words: 89,876

The Connected Company by Dave Gray, Thomas Vander Wal

A Pattern Language, Albert Einstein, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, Atul Gawande, Berlin Wall, business cycle, business process, call centre, Clayton Christensen, commoditize, complexity theory, creative destruction, David Heinemeier Hansson, disruptive innovation, en.wikipedia.org, factory automation, Googley, index card, industrial cluster, interchangeable parts, inventory management, Jeff Bezos, John Markoff, Kevin Kelly, loose coupling, low cost airline, market design, minimum viable product, more computing power than Apollo, profit maximization, Richard Florida, Ruby on Rails, self-driving car, shareholder value, side project, Silicon Valley, skunkworks, software as a service, South of Market, San Francisco, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Tony Hsieh, Toyota Production System, Vanguard fund, web application, WikiLeaks, Zipcar

Amazon’s front stage is its customer-facing website. Amazon can expect that the level of change on the web is likely to remain volatile for some time. Constant innovation in online services will cause customer expectations to evolve accordingly. So it makes sense for Amazon’s web-development approach to be highly adaptive and flexible, with lots of room for creative experiments and innovation. But radical, disruptive innovations on the fulfillment side of Amazon’s business are less likely. It’s reasonable to predict that customers will continue to want fast, efficient delivery, and that warehousing, shipping, and logistics, because they involve large investments and existing physical infrastructure (ships, trucks, planes, railroads, and so on), won’t change anywhere near as rapidly as online services. So it makes sense for Amazon to focus on reducing variety through standards and controls in its back-stage operations, while maintaining maximum adaptability on its front stage with customers.


pages: 344 words: 94,332

The 100-Year Life: Living and Working in an Age of Longevity by Lynda Gratton, Andrew Scott

3D printing, Airbnb, assortative mating, carbon footprint, Clayton Christensen, collapse of Lehman Brothers, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, delayed gratification, disruptive innovation, diversification, Downton Abbey, Erik Brynjolfsson, falling living standards, financial independence, first square of the chessboard, first square of the chessboard / second half of the chessboard, future of work, gender pay gap, gig economy, Google Glasses, indoor plumbing, information retrieval, intangible asset, Isaac Newton, job satisfaction, longitudinal study, low skilled workers, Lyft, Nelson Mandela, Network effects, New Economic Geography, old age dependency ratio, pattern recognition, pension reform, Peter Thiel, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Florida, Richard Thaler, Second Machine Age, sharing economy, side project, Silicon Valley, smart cities, Stanford marshmallow experiment, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, The Future of Employment, uber lyft, women in the workforce, young professional

In order to support those destined to live long lives, the agenda faced by educational institutions is fourfold: how to incorporate new learning technologies and experiential learning; how to break down boundaries between age groups; how to think more deeply about ways to teach creativity, innovation, humanity and empathy; and how to rapidly expand practical specialisms in order to ensure that education wins in its race against technology. It is no surprise therefore that Harvard Business School Professor Clayton Christensen argues that technology makes education ripe for ‘disruptive innovation’, and that this will have a positive impact on lifelong learning. Investments in digital innovations will transform the classroom, with online teaching, MOOCs, digital degrees and certifications with new providers and new entrants. Looking forward, Jane and her cohort will find an ever-increasing array of options for how, what and where they study, and at what price. If Christensen is right, then this disruptive force will leave existing incumbents slow to change and increasingly superseded and replaced.


Alpha Girls: The Women Upstarts Who Took on Silicon Valley's Male Culture and Made the Deals of a Lifetime by Julian Guthrie

Airbnb, Apple II, barriers to entry, blockchain, Bob Noyce, call centre, cloud computing, credit crunch, disruptive innovation, Elon Musk, equal pay for equal work, fear of failure, game design, glass ceiling, hiring and firing, Jeff Bezos, Louis Pasteur, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, Mitch Kapor, new economy, PageRank, peer-to-peer, pets.com, phenotype, place-making, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, Sand Hill Road, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, Snapchat, software as a service, South of Market, San Francisco, stealth mode startup, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, TaskRabbit, Tim Cook: Apple, Travis Kalanick, uber lyft, unpaid internship, upwardly mobile, urban decay, web application, William Shockley: the traitorous eight, women in the workforce

Melinda took to coding immediately, finding it like solving a puzzle, something she’d always loved. She then got a summer job teaching kids how to program in LOGO. She attended Duke because the university had a grant from IBM for two big computer labs. She had worked at Microsoft for nine years and loved her job. “I’ve always been interested in how tech serves all of society,” Melinda said. “I am a big believer in disruptive innovation. But if we want more innovation and better products, we’ve got to put more money behind women and minorities.” Theresia was impressed by Melinda, finding her engaging, impassioned, and down-to-earth. Theresia offered her ideas on how to increase the number of women in tech in general as well as women investors and women founders. The two women talked about what it’s like when a firm only has one woman, and that woman is under pressure to assimilate into the boys’ club rather than change it.


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, 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, 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, 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, young professional, zero-sum game

data entry workers: The Department of Labor reports that over the first decade of the new millennium, the United States lost more than 1.1 million specifically secretarial jobs. The same decade also saw steep declines in other clerical jobs: employment for telephone operators, typists and word processors, travel agents, and bookkeepers fell by 64, 63, 46, and 26 percent respectively. See Andrew Leonard, “The Internet’s Greatest Disruptive Innovation: Inequality,” Salon, July 19, 2013, accessed November 18, 2018, www.salon.com/2013/07/19/the_internets_greatest_disruptive_innovation_inequality/. These job losses add up, so that since 2007, the United States has lost more than two million clerical jobs in total. Quoted in Robin Harding, “US Has Lost 2m Clerical Jobs Since 2007,” Financial Times, April 1, 2013, accessed November 18, 2018, www.ft.com/content/37666e6c-9ae5-11e2-b982-00144feabdc0. workers with JDs and BAs: See Michael Simkovic, “In Law Firms, Lawyers and Paralegals Prosper While Secretarial Jobs Disappear,” Brian Leiter’s Law School Reports, April 1, 2016, accessed November 18, 2018, http://taxprof.typepad.com/taxprof_blog/2016/04/simkovicin-law-firms-lawyers-and-paralegals-prosper-while-secretarial-jobs-disappear.html.


pages: 364 words: 99,613

Servant Economy: Where America's Elite Is Sending the Middle Class by Jeff Faux

back-to-the-land, Bernie Sanders, Black Swan, Bretton Woods, BRICs, British Empire, business cycle, call centre, centre right, cognitive dissonance, collateralized debt obligation, collective bargaining, creative destruction, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, crony capitalism, currency manipulation / currency intervention, David Brooks, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, disruptive innovation, falling living standards, financial deregulation, financial innovation, full employment, hiring and firing, Howard Zinn, Hyman Minsky, illegal immigration, indoor plumbing, informal economy, invisible hand, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, Kickstarter, lake wobegon effect, Long Term Capital Management, market fundamentalism, Martin Wolf, McMansion, medical malpractice, mortgage debt, Myron Scholes, Naomi Klein, new economy, oil shock, old-boy network, Paul Samuelson, plutocrats, Plutocrats, price mechanism, price stability, private military company, Ralph Nader, reserve currency, rising living standards, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, school vouchers, Silicon Valley, single-payer health, South China Sea, statistical model, Steve Jobs, Thomas L Friedman, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, trade route, Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, union organizing, upwardly mobile, urban renewal, War on Poverty, We are the 99%, working poor, Yogi Berra, Yom Kippur War

The movement is generously financed by a network of billionaires, including the Gates (Microsoft), Walton (Walmart), and Broad (SunAmerica) foundations. Also prominent is a group of wealthy hedge fund operators and investment bankers, who in 2005 started Democrats for Education Reform in order to convince Democrats to embrace the traditional Republican education agenda. Echoing the management styles that have pervaded the U.S. corporate sector for the past twenty years, business-model reformers urge “disruptive innovation”: schools that are not performing should be shut down, have their teachers replaced en masse, or be privatized. In response, states and cities deliberately hired education chancellors with no teaching experience and, in some cases, former corporate executives with no education experience at all. Education conferences and publications airily discuss the management philosophy inspired by former General Electric CEO Jack Welsh: regularly fire the 10 percent of employees that the supervisors consider the least productive.


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, 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

Or see http://www.kodak.com/ek/US/en/Our_Company/History_of_Kodak/George_Eastman.htm. 2 See http://www.kodak.com/ek/US/en/Our_Company/History_of_Kodak/George_Eastman.htm. 3 Ibid. 4 See “Kodak Moments: Steve Sasson, Digital Camera Inventor,” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wfnpVRiiwnM. 5 John Pavlus, “How Steve Sasson Invented The Digital Camera,” Fast Company, April 12, 2011, http://www.fastcodesign.com/1663611/how-steve-sasson-invented-the-digital-camera-video. 6 Steve Sasson, “Disruptive Innovation: The Story of the First Digital Camera,” Linda Hall Library Lectures, October 26, 2011. 7 Andrew Martin, “Negative Exposure for Kodak,” New York Times, October 20, 2011, http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/21/business/kodaks-bet-on-its-printers-fails-to-quell-the-doubters.html?pagewanted=all. 8 Pavlus, “How Steve Sasson Invented The Digital Camera.” 9 Gordon E. Moore, “Cramming more components onto integrated circuits,” Electronics, April 19, 1965, 4. 10 Ray Kurzweil, “The Law of Accelerating Returns.” 11 Michael J. de la Merced, “Eastman Kodak Files for Bankruptcy,” New York Times, January 19, 2012, http://dealbook.nytimes.com/2012/01/19/eastman-kodak-files-for-bankruptcy/. 12 Chris Anderson, Free: How Today’s Smartest Businesses Profit by Giving Something for Nothing (New York: Hyperion, 2010), 2–3. 13 Elizabeth Palmero, “Google Invests Billions on Satellites to Expand Internet Access,” Scientific American, June 5, 2014. 14 Richard Foster and Sarah Kaplan, Creative Destruction: Why Companies That Are Built to Last Underperform the Market—And How to Successfully Transform Them (New York: Crown Business, 2001), 8. 15 Babson Olin School of Business Advertisement, Fast Company, April 2011, 121. 16 Foster and Kaplan, Creative Destruction. 17 Salim Ismail, AI, 2012. 18 Virginia Heffernan, “How We All Learned to Speak Instagram,” Wired, April 2013, http://www.wired.com/2013/04/instagram-2/. 19 Chenda Ngak, “Instagram for Android gets 1 million downloads in first day,” CBS News, April 4, 2012, http://www.cbsnews.com/news/instagram-for-android-gets-1-million-downloads-in-first-day/. 20 Joanna Stern, “Facebook Buys Instagram for $1 Billion,” ABC News, April 27, 2012, http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/technology/2012/04/facebook-buys-instagram-for-1-billion/. 21 Unless otherwise noted, all Ben Kauffman information comes from a series of AIs conducted in 2013. 22 Issie Lapowsky, “Quirky Lands $79 Million in Funding,” Inc., November 13, 2013, http://www.inc.com/issie-lapowsky/quirky-79-million-funding-connected-home.html. 23 AI conducted 2013. 24 Austin Carr, “Inside Airbnb’s Grand Hotel Plans,” Fast Company, April 2014. 25 Serena Saitto and Brad Stone, “Uber Sets Valuation Record of $17 Billion in New Funding,” Bloomberg.com, January 7, 2014.


pages: 347 words: 97,721

Only Humans Need Apply: Winners and Losers in the Age of Smart Machines by Thomas H. Davenport, Julia Kirby

AI winter, Andy Kessler, artificial general intelligence, asset allocation, Automated Insights, autonomous vehicles, basic income, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, business intelligence, business process, call centre, carbon-based life, Clayton Christensen, clockwork universe, commoditize, conceptual framework, dark matter, David Brooks, deliberate practice, deskilling, digital map, disruptive innovation, Douglas Engelbart, Edward Lloyd's coffeehouse, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, estate planning, fixed income, follow your passion, Frank Levy and Richard Murnane: The New Division of Labor, Freestyle chess, game design, general-purpose programming language, global pandemic, Google Glasses, Hans Lippershey, haute cuisine, income inequality, index fund, industrial robot, information retrieval, intermodal, Internet of things, inventory management, Isaac Newton, job automation, John Markoff, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Joi Ito, Khan Academy, knowledge worker, labor-force participation, lifelogging, longitudinal study, loss aversion, Mark Zuckerberg, Narrative Science, natural language processing, Norbert Wiener, nuclear winter, pattern recognition, performance metric, Peter Thiel, precariat, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Feynman, risk tolerance, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Rodney Brooks, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, six sigma, Skype, social intelligence, speech recognition, spinning jenny, statistical model, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, strong AI, superintelligent machines, supply-chain management, transaction costs, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Works Progress Administration, Zipcar

CareerSearch, “Career Advice on How to Become an Insurance Underwriter,” http://www.careersearch.com/careers/real-estate-and-insurance/insurance-underwriter/. 13. Mike Batty and Alice Kroll, “Automated Life Underwriting: A Survey of Life Insurance Utilization of Automated Underwriting Systems,” prepared for the Society of Actuaries, 2009, file:///C:/Users/jkirby/Downloads/research-life-auto-underwriting.pdf. 14. Thomas Arnett, “How Technology Displaces Teachers’ Jobs,” Clayton Christensen Institute for Disruptive Innovation, November 19, 2014, http://www.christenseninstitute.org/how-technology-displaces-teachers-jobs/#sthash.PyjrVrNk.dpuf. 15. David Port, “Reckoning with Robo-Advisors,” LifeHealthPRO, December 31, 2014, http://www.lifehealthpro.com/2014/12/31/reckoning-with-robo-advisors. Chapter 4: Stepping Up 1. “Statement of Ronald J. Cathcart,” Hearing Before the United States Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations of the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, April 13, 2010, https://www.hsgac.senate.gov/downloads/stmt-cathcart-ronald-april-13-2010-psi-fin-crisis-hrg. 2.


pages: 550 words: 89,316

The Sum of Small Things: A Theory of the Aspirational Class by Elizabeth Currid-Halkett

assortative mating, back-to-the-land, barriers to entry, Bernie Sanders, BRICs, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, clean water, cognitive dissonance, David Brooks, deindustrialization, Deng Xiaoping, discrete time, disruptive innovation, Downton Abbey, East Village, Edward Glaeser, en.wikipedia.org, Etonian, Geoffrey West, Santa Fe Institute, income inequality, iterative process, knowledge economy, longitudinal study, Mason jar, means of production, NetJets, new economy, New Urbanism, plutocrats, Plutocrats, post scarcity, post-industrial society, profit maximization, Richard Florida, selection bias, Silicon Valley, The Design of Experiments, the High Line, The inhabitant of London could order by telephone, sipping his morning tea in bed, the various products of the whole earth, the market place, Thorstein Veblen, Tony Hsieh, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, upwardly mobile, Veblen good, women in the workforce

Hollywood: The place, the industry. Princeton: Princeton University Press. Seckler, D. W. (1975). Thorstein Veblen and the institutionalists: A study in the social philosophy of economics. Boulder: Colorado Associated University Press. Second wind. (2014, June 14). Economist: Schumpeter. Retrieved from http://www.economist.com/news/business/21604156-some-traditional-businesses-are-thriving-age-disruptive-innovation-second-wind. Segran, E. (2016, March 16). Why clothing startups are returning to American factories. Fast Company. Retrieved from https://www.fastcompany.com/3057738/most-creative-people/why-clothing-startups-are-returning-to-american-factories. Shapiro, S. M. (2012, May 23). Mommy wars: The prequel. New York Times Magazine. Retrieved from http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/27/magazine/ina-may-gaskin-and-the-battle-for-at-home-births.html.


pages: 359 words: 96,019

How to Turn Down a Billion Dollars: The Snapchat Story by Billy Gallagher

Airbnb, Albert Einstein, Amazon Web Services, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, augmented reality, Bernie Sanders, Black Swan, citizen journalism, Clayton Christensen, computer vision, disruptive innovation, Donald Trump, El Camino Real, Elon Musk, Frank Gehry, Google Glasses, Hyperloop, information asymmetry, Jeff Bezos, Justin.tv, Lean Startup, Long Term Capital Management, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, minimum viable product, Nelson Mandela, Oculus Rift, paypal mafia, Peter Thiel, QR code, Sand Hill Road, Saturday Night Live, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Snapchat, social graph, sorting algorithm, speech recognition, stealth mode startup, Steve Jobs, too big to fail, Y Combinator, young professional

It has to be so hardwired into who we are that even talking about it seems redundant. The Internet is not a friendly place. Things that don’t stay relevant don’t even get the luxury of leaving ruins. They disappear. Like any good religion, the cult-like startup world has a holy scripture: The Innovator’s Dilemma, a 1997 book by Harvard Business School professor Clayton Christensen. Christensen wrote the book before “disruptive innovation” was a punchline on the HBO comedy Silicon Valley, and it has managed to maintain its revered status for two decades. We can see the core concept of The Innovator’s Dilemma at work in Snapchat’s story: a new entrant makes a product that is so far beneath what an incumbent does that it seems silly—why would we waste our time down there? Who cares about a sexting app? But the entrant fills a need, as teenagers prefer using an impermanent messaging app.


pages: 328 words: 96,141

Rocket Billionaires: Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, and the New Space Race by Tim Fernholz

Amazon Web Services, autonomous vehicles, business climate, Charles Lindbergh, Clayton Christensen, cloud computing, Colonization of Mars, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, disruptive innovation, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, high net worth, Iridium satellite, Jeff Bezos, Kickstarter, low earth orbit, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, minimum viable product, multiplanetary species, mutually assured destruction, new economy, nuclear paranoia, paypal mafia, Peter H. Diamandis: Planetary Resources, Peter Thiel, pets.com, planetary scale, private space industry, profit maximization, RAND corporation, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman: Challenger O-ring, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, skunkworks, sovereign wealth fund, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, trade route, undersea cable, We wanted flying cars, instead we got 140 characters, X Prize, Y2K

Blue Origin’s ambitions to build out the lunar economy are, in turn, very much in the vein of Jeff Bezos’s approach to business: envision something entirely fantastic—like an invisible store where you can buy everything, or mining water to produce energy on the moon—and figure out how to make it real. As always, however, they find a way to converge: both companies are focusing their next-generation rocket engines to be built to run on natural gas, not only because of its power but also because scientists believe it could be manufactured in space, unlike kerosene. “If you don’t have disruptive innovation in your DNA, you’re not going to understand space resources,” Sercel says. Still, there are skeptics who question whether all this effort will catalyze ambitious space projects. “This is our third wave of launch developers, but we’ve never seen them with pockets like this, and we’ve never seen them with business experience like this—that’s different,” Carissa Carlson, an economic analyst who specializes in space business, told me.


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, 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

Instead they may hoard cash to maximize their market value so they can outbid competitors to buy unexpected emerging technologies that threaten their existing business if necessary. The threat of technological disruption may be too high for companies with valuable franchises, like Google, to close off their options by using all their cash, whether for investment or distributions to shareholders. If companies are hoarding cash to protect themselves from emerging technologies, it indicates that the risk of loss from unexpected disruptive innovation is high. It’s also possible that entrepreneurialism has grown so prevalent that companies like Google and Facebook—with limited upside to their market value—can no longer attract the most productive innovators. That would be consistent with the opening of a broad window of investment opportunities, albeit opportunities that disrupt existing businesses. In those circumstances, large companies may not be able compete successfully by relying exclusively on internal resources for product development.


pages: 361 words: 97,787

The Curse of Cash by Kenneth S Rogoff

Andrei Shleifer, Asian financial crisis, bank run, Ben Bernanke: helicopter money, Berlin Wall, bitcoin, blockchain, Boris Johnson, Bretton Woods, business cycle, capital controls, Carmen Reinhart, cashless society, central bank independence, cryptocurrency, debt deflation, disruptive innovation, distributed ledger, Edward Snowden, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, eurozone crisis, Fall of the Berlin Wall, fiat currency, financial exclusion, financial intermediation, financial repression, forward guidance, frictionless, full employment, George Akerlof, German hyperinflation, illegal immigration, inflation targeting, informal economy, interest rate swap, Isaac Newton, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Johannes Kepler, Kenneth Rogoff, labor-force participation, large denomination, liquidity trap, money market fund, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, moral hazard, moveable type in China, New Economic Geography, offshore financial centre, oil shock, open economy, payday loans, price stability, purchasing power parity, quantitative easing, RAND corporation, RFID, savings glut, secular stagnation, seigniorage, The Great Moderation, the payments system, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, transaction costs, unbanked and underbanked, unconventional monetary instruments, underbanked, unorthodox policies, Y2K, yield curve

A cryptocurrency that cannot be used for legal retail purchases or converted at banks might have a longer life than a defunct $100 bill, but its reach, importance, and usefulness would likely be distinctly limited. Plenty of other targets in the transaction ecosystem in theory could be overtaken by digital currencies, even after adjusting to regulation. The huge fees collected by credit card agencies, wire services, and other extant electronic transaction technologies make these media extremely vulnerable to disruptive innovators. Already, digital currencies are far cheaper for transmitting money internationally than wire services, where the charges can often run as much as 10–15% of the amount transmitted. And some applications of distributed-ledger technology offer the promise of cutting out intermediaries in transactions between, say, two banks. This would substantially reduce costs, particularly in international transactions.


pages: 344 words: 96,020

Hacking Growth: How Today's Fastest-Growing Companies Drive Breakout Success by Sean Ellis, Morgan Brown

Airbnb, Amazon Web Services, barriers to entry, Ben Horowitz, bounce rate, business intelligence, business process, correlation does not imply causation, crowdsourcing, DevOps, disruptive innovation, Elon Musk, game design, Google Glasses, Internet of things, inventory management, iterative process, Jeff Bezos, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, Lean Startup, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, market design, minimum viable product, Network effects, Paul Graham, Peter Thiel, Ponzi scheme, recommendation engine, ride hailing / ride sharing, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, Snapchat, software as a service, Steve Jobs, subscription business, Travis Kalanick, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, working poor, Y Combinator, young professional

Reporting in the Harvard Business Review on a major study of growth stalls they conducted, Olson and his colleagues cite the case of the iconic brand Levi Strauss, which hit a historic high mark of sales in 1995, reaching revenue of $7 billion, but then, starting in 1996, saw a decline in sales so precipitous that by 2000, revenue was down to $4.6 billion, a 35 percent drop. Other major brands the authors identify as having suffered stalls include 3M, Apple, Banc One, Caterpillar, Daimler-Benz, Toys “R” Us, and Volvo. Though one might think that such abrupt reversals must be due to some dramatic disruption in the market, the study showed that often stalls are not caused by the entrance of a bold new competitor or a disruptive innovation, like smartphones, but by chronic failures on the part of companies to closely monitor customer satisfaction and to zealously look for early warning signs of disaffection. Often, erosion of customer loyalty has been going on for years but the company has failed to perceive it—until it’s too late. Stalls are also often caused, the authors report, by companies becoming overconfident of having secured a premium position in the marketplace.


pages: 337 words: 101,440

Revolution Française: Emmanuel Macron and the Quest to Reinvent a Nation by Sophie Pedder

Airbnb, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, bike sharing scheme, centre right, disruptive innovation, Donald Trump, Downton Abbey, Erik Brynjolfsson, eurozone crisis, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, ghettoisation, haute couture, Jean Tirole, knowledge economy, liberal capitalism, mass immigration, mittelstand, new economy, post-industrial society, rent-seeking, ride hailing / ride sharing, Second Machine Age, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Travis Kalanick, urban planning, éminence grise

A private individual, who struggled to reveal anything intimate in his autobiographical book, he sought the most publicly scrutinized office of state. An unworldly teenager, he won over a drama teacher (now his wife) 24 years his elder. A provincial outsider, he is the embodiment of the French metropolitan elite. A personality with unusual private empathy, he has trouble persuading the French that he likes them. A disruptive innovator, he has ended up strengthening the institutions he used to stage his insolent revolt. This book is an attempt, after his first year in office, to make sense of Emmanuel Macron, his contradictions, and his ambition to remake France. How did a political novice manage to defy the unwritten rules of the Fifth Republic, and secure the presidency at his first attempt? What had happened to France over the previous 20 years that laid the ground for this improbable feat?


pages: 330 words: 99,044

Reimagining Capitalism in a World on Fire by Rebecca Henderson

Airbnb, asset allocation, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, business climate, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, carbon footprint, collaborative economy, collective bargaining, commoditize, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, crony capitalism, dark matter, decarbonisation, disruptive innovation, double entry bookkeeping, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, Exxon Valdez, Fall of the Berlin Wall, family office, fixed income, George Akerlof, Gini coefficient, global supply chain, greed is good, Hans Rosling, Howard Zinn, Hyman Minsky, income inequality, index fund, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), joint-stock company, Kickstarter, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, means of production, meta analysis, meta-analysis, microcredit, mittelstand, Mont Pelerin Society, Nelson Mandela, passive investing, Paul Samuelson, Philip Mirowski, profit maximization, race to the bottom, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, Second Machine Age, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Snapchat, sovereign wealth fund, Steven Pinker, stocks for the long run, Tim Cook: Apple, total factor productivity, Toyota Production System, uber lyft, urban planning, Washington Consensus, working-age population, Zipcar

Phil’s investors missed Nike’s potential, and Phil and his colleagues missed the supply chain issue because they were both architectural innovations—changes in the way the pieces of the puzzle are put together. Incremental innovation—innovation that improves one particular piece of the puzzle—is often harder to deliver than it sounds, but it’s usually easy to see that it must be done, and it doesn’t threaten the status quo. Nike under Phil was an expert incremental innovator, introducing significantly improved running shoes year after year. “Radical” or “disruptive” innovation tends to get most of the attention. These are innovations that make old ways of doing things completely obsolete. Think of digital photography or of the new drugs that stimulate the patient’s own immune system to fight cancer. But while radical innovation presents a profound challenge to successful organizations, it’s a challenge whose scope is immediately clear. Digital photography forced Kodak into bankruptcy, but not because Kodak failed to see the threat that it represented.


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, 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 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

So unless we create entirely new industries based on demand for services that don’t exist today, it’s likely that we’ll see significant issues with employment growth. What sort of disruption to employment and wealth will come over the next 20 to 30 years as we emerge into a new age? ____________ 1 The term “disruption” is often overused today. When we refer to “disruption”, we generally refer to disruptive innovations that fill unmet or future needs or created entirely new markets, and in doing so displace incumbents who fail to adapt (see Clayton Christensen’s The Innovator’s Dilemma). 2 In this case, until 25 per cent adoption in the US economy 3 “This is the best iPhone yet!” All Apple® and iPhone® trademarks are the property of Apple Inc. 4 “Cramming more components onto integrated circuits” by Gordon E.


pages: 391 words: 105,382

Utopia Is Creepy: And Other Provocations by Nicholas Carr

Air France Flight 447, Airbnb, Airbus A320, AltaVista, Amazon Mechanical Turk, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, Bernie Sanders, book scanning, Brewster Kahle, Buckminster Fuller, Burning Man, Captain Sullenberger Hudson, centralized clearinghouse, Charles Lindbergh, cloud computing, cognitive bias, collaborative consumption, computer age, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, Danny Hillis, deskilling, digital map, disruptive innovation, Donald Trump, Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, Elon Musk, factory automation, failed state, feminist movement, Frederick Winslow Taylor, friendly fire, game design, global village, Google bus, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, Googley, hive mind, impulse control, indoor plumbing, interchangeable parts, Internet Archive, invention of movable type, invention of the steam engine, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, Joan Didion, job automation, Kevin Kelly, lifelogging, low skilled workers, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, Menlo Park, mental accounting, natural language processing, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, Norman Mailer, off grid, oil shale / tar sands, Peter Thiel, plutocrats, Plutocrats, profit motive, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, Republic of Letters, robot derives from the Czech word robota Czech, meaning slave, Ronald Reagan, self-driving car, SETI@home, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Singularitarianism, Snapchat, social graph, social web, speech recognition, Startup school, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, technoutopianism, the medium is the message, theory of mind, Turing test, Whole Earth Catalog, Y Combinator

Your refined personal profile will then feed back into the personalization algorithms used to generate your messages, resulting in a closer fit between your computer-generated messages and your computer-generated persona. And around and around it goes until a perfect stasis between self and expression is achieved. The thing that you once called “you” will be entirely out of the loop at this point, of course, but that’s for the best. Face it: You were never really very good at any of this anyway. UNDERWEARABLES December 8, 2013 IF THERE’S ONE PRODUCT category ripe for disruptive innovation, it’s lingerie. So it comes as little surprise that Microsoft has developed a prototype of a smart bra. The self-tracking undergarment is designed, its creators explain, to “perform emotion detection in a mobile, wearable system” as a means of triggering “just-in-time interventions to support behavior modification for emotional eating.” The smart bra, which I trust will be called Titter when it hits store shelves, is outfitted with sensors that measure a woman’s stress level by tracking her heart rate, respiration, skin conductance, and body movements.


pages: 417 words: 109,367

The End of Doom: Environmental Renewal in the Twenty-First Century by Ronald Bailey

3D printing, additive manufacturing, agricultural Revolution, Albert Einstein, Asilomar, autonomous vehicles, business cycle, Cass Sunstein, Climatic Research Unit, Commodity Super-Cycle, conceptual framework, corporate governance, creative destruction, credit crunch, David Attenborough, decarbonisation, dematerialisation, demographic transition, disruptive innovation, diversified portfolio, double helix, energy security, failed state, financial independence, Gary Taubes, hydraulic fracturing, income inequality, Induced demand, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invisible hand, knowledge economy, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Naomi Klein, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, pattern recognition, peak oil, Peter Calthorpe, phenotype, planetary scale, price stability, profit motive, purchasing power parity, race to the bottom, RAND corporation, rent-seeking, Stewart Brand, Tesla Model S, trade liberalization, University of East Anglia, uranium enrichment, women in the workforce, yield curve

If Swanson’s Law proves true, the levelized cost solar PV could be expected to fall to around $24 per megawatt-hour in the next ten years. That would not be too cheap to meter, but it would cost far less than any of the current forecasts for fossil fuel electric power generation technologies. Of course, this rough projection does not take into account the huge issue of intermittency (the sun doesn’t always shine) that makes solar power problematic as a baseload source of electricity. However, potentially disruptive innovations like the solar subcell developed by German Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems that can turn 44.7 percent of sunlight that strikes it into electricity or Sakti3’s new high-capacity battery that the Michigan-based company claims offers double the energy density of current lithium-ion technology at a fifth the cost could accelerate the wider adoption of solar power. Will Wadhwa’s prophecy come true?


pages: 419 words: 109,241