Writing in Wired, Institute for Local Self-Reliance (ILSR) researcher and anti-monopolist Ron Knox gives a thorough, important account of how music industry monopolization resulted in declining revenue for artists, even as the industry itself has reaped greater profits.
Knox describes how concentration has come to every link in music’s supply chain, from radio to recording, streaming to live performance. The monopolists who dominate these sectors fight fiercely between each other, but no matter who wins, artists lose.
Let’s go segment by segment. Two-thirds of all North American music comes from three labels. The labels grew through anti-competitive mergers: giant…
You’d be forgiven for assuming Ikea’s best-selling product is its meatballs (full disclosure: not a fan). In fact, the company’s biggest hit is the humble Billy bookcase. Ikea sells one from its famous blue and yellow gates every 5 seconds. An unfortunate consequence of this staggering volume is that a Billy bookcase is also just as likely to end up in landfill every 5 seconds.
Note: I was not under influence of Zacapa or edibles writing this one … so it’s wonky. Oh well, my blog.
A perfect storm may be brewing: tech, software as a service (SaaS), and climate change. My podcast co-host, Kara Swisher, believes the first trillionaire will be an entrepreneur who addresses climate change. It’s not unthinkable, as Elon Musk is already 15% of the way there — to a trillion in wealth, not solving climate change. I’m more skeptical and believe the only entities that can begin to reverse climate change are the EU and the governments of China and…
The Psychology of Money: Timeless Lessons on Wealth, Greed, and Happiness published in September 2020.
Morgan Housel is a former financial columnist for the Wall Street Journal. He is now a partner at Collaborative Fund, an early-stage venture capital firm.
Unlike in the fields of medicine or engineering, expertise in finance requires an understanding of human psychology. Investors and consumers behave with flawed attitudes such as overconfidence, impatience, and anchoring bias. These irrational patterns have tangible effects on global markets and, likely, on your own personal finances.
Housel explores these topics with a thoughtful mix of anecdotes, research, and advice…
We are not in a second industrial age. That may be the dream of those who really want to double down on the dehumanizing legacy of the past few hundred years of employment. But the emergence of digital technology, algorithms, and robots offers much more than an opportunity to further automate our businesses, alienating our workers and customers alike; it’s a chance to retrieve the human sensibilities at the heart of our organizations, and embrace the truly collaborative, participatory spirit of this age.
The digital renaissance of the early 1990s was about the unbridled possibilities of the collective human imagination…
At the heart of the Theranos trial is a story about a founder with a potentially world-changing idea who took some questionable steps in desperation to achieve it, only to see that dream go up in flames. The fate of Elizabeth Holmes — the one-time “future Steve Jobs” — and her actions aside, the trial is also putting the very practices of Silicon Valley under the microscope; namely, the practice of ‘fake it till you make it.’
Two decades ago, you would need to go to the mall if you wanted to chase trends. All of the most popular fashion brands had their own stores and the department stores tended to have the latest trends in home goods. In 2020, this experience has drastically changed. Malls are closing, and customers have more options when it comes to making purchases.
During this time period, the name Gap was synonymous with cool. While the brand doesn’t have the same “cool” factor it had decades ago, it was still considered more fashionable than many big-box stores. Now, the brand is…
Jimmy McMillan had a point. Just one. The rent is too damn high.
McMillan founded the Rent Is Too Damn High party and ran for mayor of New York City in 2005 and 2009 and governor of New York state in 2010. While his bids were unsuccessful — McMillan never won more than 1% of the vote — he succeeded in going viral, spawning memes and even a music video.
McMillan retired from politics in December 2015, so he’s probably never seen Peloton’s income statement. If he did, he’d have a second point:
The criminal trial of Elizabeth Holmes, the founder of the blood-testing startup Theranos, began last week. As the trial drew near, I had a foreboding feeling that games would be played with the ideas of victim and victimizer — games that would leave many people, possibly even including the jury, confused about how to apply the law.
Understanding the sociological mechanisms that influence our perception of guilt has been my key work over the past several years. …
I Read It So You Don’t Have To is a series that gives you the TL;DR on a business book you want to read — but don’t have time to.
Power Play: Tesla, Elon Musk, and the Bet of the Century by Tim Higgins.
Tim Higgins is a tech and auto reporter for the Wall Street Journal and an on-air contributor to CNBC. Higgins has won two awards from the Society for Advancing Businesses Editing and Writing (SABEW) for his past reporting on Elon Musk and driverless cars.
While Tesla Motors is today nearly synonymous with its CEO and “Technoking”…
Pop business for the intelligent reader. A publication from Medium.