CategoryIn the news

Too Big to Succeed

Blogging is just one more example of the key lesson I teach entrepreneurs, that it takes multiple iterations to find something that works. That is true not only for products, but also for sales, marketing, and messaging. The words I’ve failed to find in the story of WeWork and its lead investor Softbank I found buried in a CNBC article: Too big to succeed The problem with Softbank’s Vision Fund...

As Judged by Profits

This idea of corporations with a purpose beyond just shareholders continues to be discussed in the news. This week in The Economist published an op-ed “What Corporations are for” ($), repeating the Friedman Doctrine and dissing the 181 signers of at the Business Roundtable earlier this month. The key word in the Economist’s essay is their measure of success of American business...

The end of (solely) Shareholder Value

100 years ago, in 1919, the Michigan Supreme Court made a comment in their ruling of Dodge v. Ford saying (in its common paraphrased form), “The purpose of business is to maximize shareholder value.“ In 1970, Nobel Laureate in economics Milton Friedman repeated this in an essay in the New York Times entitled “The Social Responsibility of Business is to Increase its Profits...

The Trigger for American Recycling

Change is hard. Making change happen even harder. Looking for the origins of change fits in with my questions of how things used to work three or more generates ago, and my general search for hidden assumptions. I was thus delighted today when I flipped on the Planet Money podcast, Episode 925: A Mob Boss, A Garbage Boat and Why We Recycle. I was in high school living in suburban New York when...

A Daily Habit of Creation

Last week Seth Godin published a blog post that started like this: Today’s the 11th year in a row of daily posts on this blog. Nearly 5,000,000 words since my first post twenty years ago, and I haven’t missed a day (given some time-zone wiggle room) since 2008. Many times per year people ask me how on Earth I do everything I do. When I look at Seth Godin, I understand their point of view. But...

Logos for Eight of History’s Greatest Artists

I came across these logos on my news feed. I love a good logo, and these are great examples of how logos can the most elegant logos can be simple line drawings. In the last seven years I’ve helped (re)brand more than a dozen companies, and have personally created quite a few of their logos. A quick sampling of that effort is in the following video: Does your logo look this good? If not, why...

Conspiracies and Corporations

I try and keep politics off of this blog, but sometimes the coverage from politics sparks a question about entrepreneurship.  Specifically today it was an explanation in The New York Times about how the law punishes conspiracy above and beyond the underlying crime. That triggered the question of what is the difference between a conspiracy and a corporation?  Both are groups of people planning to...

A No-Lose Lottery

The staff at the Freakonomics podcast does an amazing job of uncovering interesting business ideas.  Two weeks ago the episode was “A No-Lose Lottery“. The idea is incredibly simple, but feels enough like a lottery that it is illegal in most countries.  It goes like this: Create a savings account, where the savers are guaranteed to not lose their savings (if not earn a small interest...

Are We Running Out of Ideas?

Last month I pointed out that tech seems to be peaking, but social good feels like its in its infancy.  The “peaking” story has cropped up a few more times: Freakonomics recent podcast asks, “Are We Running Out of Ideas?”  This podcast, like the book it is named after, always does a good job analyzing the root causes rather than just skimming over the surface.  That root...

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