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Pop business for the intelligent reader. A publication from Medium.

Why Europe doesn’t produce innovative new companies

Back in 1991, while I was still halfway through my MBA course, I left the U.K. and headed to California. As a very atypical U.K. passport-holder, I knew I wanted more from my life than merely to be one more cubicle slave among millions. And I knew, from the few years I’d spent in the U.K., that if I remained on the gloomy little island it would be impossible for me to create any commercial enterprise that could potentially grow to employ thousands of well-paid people.

I’m briefly back in the U.K. 30 years later and nothing at all has…


Metropolis

Why EV’s are false prophets in the fight for a better world

A Tesla driving in freeway traffic
A Tesla driving in freeway traffic

Few narratives in the last decade have generated as much momentum as that of electric vehicles. They’ve been heralded as a revolution. Saviors to our gasoline addiction and warriors in the fight for a more sustainable world. Federal departments have noted they have the potential to dramatically improve public health and reduce ecological damage. Financial observers have christened EVs as the next frontier for outsized opportunity and returns. To be seen in one is the ultimate status symbol, signifying that you’re not only someone, but someone who cares about the world, and how the world thinks of you. …


Number Crunch

Blue Origin auctions off its first seat for July launch

$28 million: That’s how much an unnamed bidder spent at auction to aboard Blue Origin’s first flight to earth’s outer limits.

Blue Origin’s New Shepard rocket will shoot over 340,000 feet (64 miles) into the earth’s atmosphere on July 20. The rocket will be boarded by company founder Jeff Bezos, his brother Mark, and this anonymous $28 million man.

A fourth person will also board for the July launch, to be announced later. The New Shepard rocket can seat up to six people.

The proceeds from Blue Origin’s auction will go to the company’s education foundation named Club for the…


Companies that can’t offer Black workers money, security, and positions in leadership should expect to lose their talent

A friend said something to me about white-collar jobs that has stuck with me for weeks now. He said that the reason there’s so little representation in the corporate world is because there’s so little room for Blacks to be mediocre.

He didn’t mean mediocre in the sense of underperforming. He meant mediocre as in meeting goals and just being good enough without the added pressure of having to be a top performer day in and day out, especially when compared to their counterparts.

And then it hit me, as it should hit you too. …


The nonalcoholic movement reserves 37% of the days in a calendar year, nearly three times as many as Meatless Monday

The first time Americans were asked to reduce their meat consumption was during World War I. With the help of soon-to-be president Herbert Hoover, the U.S. Food Administration coined a slogan: Food will win the war. It was an effort to care for struggling Allies and nourish U.S. soldiers overseas that included asking Americans to cut back on their fat, sugar, wheat, and meat consumption through Meatless Tuesdays and Wheatless Wednesdays.

The campaign returned during World War II when Presidents Roosevelt and Truman were called upon to help feed a war-torn Europe. …


And we’d love your help writing it

Marker’s daily column Number Crunch went on hiatus in March. While it used to be written and published by Marker Editors, we’re now resuming the column on a less frequent basis, and opening it up to writers on Medium. Marker contributor Tabarak Khan has done the honors of reopening the series with her fascinating look at how the U.S. Justice Department recovered $2.3 million in Bitcoin from a recent ransomware attack, revealing that cryptocurrencies are not as anonymous or untraceable as some criminals might like to believe.

If you’re interested in writing for this series, take a look at past…


Number Crunch

Blockchain technology still leaves digital crumbs behind

Sixty-four bitcoin, or roughly $2.3 million: That’s how much cryptocurrency the Justice Department recovered earlier this week from the total 75 bitcoin ransom paid by Colonial Pipeline, as reported by the Wall Street Journal. The cyberattack shut down the country’s largest oil pipeline in May, prompting gas shortages and price hikes across the country.

The ransom recovery reveals a fundamental misconception that cryptocurrencies are anonymous and not traceable. Cryptocurrencies are not tied to people but to digital keys, making their owners pseudonymous rather than fully anonymous. As explained by the Journal’s David Uberti, criminals have relied on blockchain’s pseudonymity to…


Competent monopolists aren’t good monopolists

Ida  Tarbell’s uses her writing to kindle a fire on a tree labelled “Standard Oil Traditional Policy of Silence.” A panicked John D Rockefeller peers out of a squirrel-hole, screaming in alarm.
Ida  Tarbell’s uses her writing to kindle a fire on a tree labelled “Standard Oil Traditional Policy of Silence.” A panicked John D Rockefeller peers out of a squirrel-hole, screaming in alarm.

If you do much reading about antitrust, you’re sure to come across Ida Tarbell, the campaigning investigative journalist whose masterful 1904 book, The History of the Standard Oil Company (free ebook, free audiobook), brought down John D. Rockefeller and his monopolistic Standard Oil Company, which was broken up in 1911. It split into seven companies, many of which are still with us—or were, until recent mergers (think: Exxon, Mobil, Esso, Chevron, Texaco, and Amoco).

After repeatedly reading about Tarbell’s remarkable work, I decided I should read it for myself. I’d just finished Amy Klobuchar’s somewhat overlong Antitrust (do yourself a…


No Mercy No Malice

Much like an Etch-A-Sketch, Covid has presented an opportunity to envision our lives turned upside down, powder redistributed

While the fires of Covid-19 continue to rage around the world, here in the U.S. we’ve turned a corner. The intensity of an emergency doesn’t register until after it’s over, and many of us are still trying to wrap our heads around the events of the past year. Inevitably, our pause turns to curiosity … what happens next? What will be different, what will be the same?

I took some time this week to look back at where we were a year ago: reeling from the initial shock of the pandemic; facing the long grind of a summer in isolation…


From meditation app Calm donating to mental health on behalf of Naomi Osaka to brands flying rainbow flags for pride month, corporations will seize any opportunity for cheap publicity

Last week, number one tennis player Naomi Osaka refused to attend a post-match press conference. She released a statement on Twitter explaining that she wouldn’t continue to put her mental health at risk to satisfy the press. She was fined $15,000.

In the furor surrounding both sides, she then posted another message to say she was withdrawing from the French Open altogether.

People had thoughts. There were supporters who said mental health should come above some boring post-match interview that nobody really cares about. There were those who said it was simply part of the job to be harangued by…

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Pop business for the intelligent reader. A publication from Medium.

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