Importance of Social Networks and Idea Execution

The first reason is that Darwin’s network was much, much better than Wallace’s. Darwin was friends with Hooker, Lyell and Huxley. It was Hooker and Huxley that arranged the joint presentation of Darwin’s and Wallace’s papers to the Linnean Society after Wallace submitted his before Darwin was ready to publish The Origin of Species. One of the reasons that Darwin became synonymous with natural selection is that he had pre-existing strong relationships with the people that needed to use and write about the theory. The modern lesson is that your network connections are critically important. When you try to get your ideas to spread, it helps tremendously if you are well-connected within the network of people that can use your idea (and this is true whether your idea is a product, a service, a way of doing things, or a theory).

Anuncios

by Tim Kastelle

Importance of Social Networks and Idea ExecutionI’ve always been a fan of Charles Darwin. I think that he was a great scientist – a careful observer and deep thinker. But I still agree with many of Richard Lewontin’s points from his article about Darwin in the New York Review of Books. The main point that Lewontin makes in the first half of the article is that much of the Darwin fetishism these days is out of proportion to the quality of Darwin’s work. In particular, he tries to move away from the great man theory of science. In doing so, Lewontin cites Alfred Russel Wallace’s simultaneous publication of a theory of natural selection, and the dependence of both theories on a hereditary mechanism as developed by Mendel. So instead of talking about Darwinian evolution, Lewontin maintains that we should be discussing Darwinian-Wallacian-Mendelian evolution.

Fair enough – we probably should be doing exactly that. Or we should be calling it the modern synthesis to recognise the great genetics-based development of evolutionary theory in the 20th century. So why do we still often talk about Darwinism? Darwin and Wallace first published their pieces on natural selection at the same time – they essentially had the same idea. Why did Darwin’s version have the greater impact? I have two reasons for this, and both are important for modern innovators to understand. Leer más “Importance of Social Networks and Idea Execution”

Can the Brazilians Rescue Burger King?

“I’ve been to this movie a few times.” Such was the response of one prominent Burger King franchisee, when asked his reaction to the $4 billion leveraged buyout that will take the country’s no. 2 hamburger chain private for the second time in the past decade. In 2002, investment firms TPG Capital, Bain Capital, and Goldman Sachs Capital Partners bought Burger King from Diageo, the U.K.-based spirits maker, for $1.5 billion. The company tapped the public markets in 2006, but now 3G Capital Management, a New York investment firm backed by prominent Brazilian businessmen, has agreed to acquire the chain for $24 a share, a 46% premium on Burger King’s August 31 closing price.

To this skeptical franchisee, these ownership shuffles threaten to mask the more crucial issues facing the company: lousy sales — down 1.4% for the fiscal year ending on June 30, lousy profits down 6.6% during the period and lousy relations between the company and its franchisees last November, the local owners sued Burger King over its insistence that franchises sell Double Cheeseburgers for just $1.


A meal at a Burger King restaurant.

Kevin Lamarque / Reuters

“I’ve been to this movie a few times.” Such was the response of one prominent Burger King franchisee, when asked his reaction to the $4 billion leveraged buyout that will take the country’s no. 2 hamburger chain private for the second time in the past decade. In 2002, investment firms TPG Capital, Bain Capital, and Goldman Sachs Capital Partners bought Burger King from Diageo, the U.K.-based spirits maker, for $1.5 billion. The company tapped the public markets in 2006, but now 3G Capital Management, a New York investment firm backed by prominent Brazilian businessmen, has agreed to acquire the chain for $24 a share, a 46% premium on Burger King’s August 31 closing price.

To this skeptical franchisee, these ownership shuffles threaten to mask the more crucial issues facing the company: lousy sales — down 1.4% for the fiscal year ending on June 30, lousy profits down 6.6% during the period and lousy relations between the company and its franchisees last November, the local owners sued Burger King over its insistence that franchises sell Double Cheeseburgers for just $1. Leer más “Can the Brazilians Rescue Burger King?”

Breve historia del pensamiento económico I: del Mercantilismo al Marxismo

Aunque fueron frecuentes las divergencias entre los economistas desde la publicación de La Riqueza de las Naciones (1776) de Smith hasta la de Principios de Economía Política (1848) de Mill, los economistas pertenecientes a esta escuela coincidían en los conceptos principales. Todos defendían la propiedad privada, los mercados y creían, como decía Mill, que “sólo a través del principio de la competencia tiene la economía política una pretensión de ser ciencia”.

Compartían la desconfianza de Smith hacia los gobiernos, y su fe ciega en el poder del egoísmo y su famosa “mano invisible”, que hacía posible que el bienestar social se alcanzara mediante la búsqueda individual del interés personal.

Los clásicos tomaron de Ricardo el concepto de rendimientos decrecientes, que afirma que a medida que se aumenta la fuerza de trabajo y el capital que se utiliza para labrar la tierra, disminuyen los rendimientos o, como decía Ricardo, ”superada cierta etapa, no muy avanzada, el progreso de la agricultura disminuye de una forma paulatina”.

El alcance de la ciencia económica se amplió de manera considerable cuando Smith subrayó el papel del consumo sobre el de la producción. Smith confiaba en que era posible aumentar el nivel general de vida del conjunto de la comunidad.


adam-smith-historia-del-pensamiento-economicoHace una semana leí un muy interesante artículo sobre  historia de la economía escrito por Sebastián Laza hace al menos 5 años. Trata de manera muy breve y completa sobre las 8 principales corrientes de pensamiento económico desde Grecia hasta nuestros días. Está escrito en un lenguaje muy sencillo para los profanos en la materia, por lo que cualquiera que tenga curiosidad y 15 minutos podrá aprender mucho con ambos artículos. Para hacer más amena su lectura, he dividido el artículo original de Sebastián en dos posts.

Imagen: Adam Smith, padre del capitalismo. Fuente: Google Sites. Leer más “Breve historia del pensamiento económico I: del Mercantilismo al Marxismo”

Japan Has More Than Just a Yen Crisis

Disappointment over token efforts resulted in exactly what Japan didn’t want: an even stronger yen, which has gone from 85.2 to the greenback on Aug. 23 to 84.4 on Sept. 1. Suzuki Motor Chairman Osamu Suzuki, who has built a big export business for his company’s sturdy little cars, speaks for many when he says of the currency: “I spend every day feeling anxious about this.”

So do politicians in Tokyo. That they are at a loss to do anything about it has Japan suffering the same fate as Aesop’s boy who warned of crisis so often that no one took him seriously anymore.

As the dollar and euro slide, the yen rises by default. Rarely before has it been so difficult for Japan to control its currency. The yen’s jump to a 15-year high says much about where Japan finds itself in 2010. Here are three specific things to consider about Japan’s plight.


The currency crisis is merely one symptom of the country’s general aversion to change after the boom-and-bust 1980s

By William Pesek

It’s the economy that cried wolf.

With growth slowing, deflation deepening, and the yen inexplicably surging in late August, Japanese policymakers pledged bold action. Bank of Japan Governor Masaaki Shirakawa rushed home from Jackson Hole, Wyo., to deal with the emergency. Investors braced for aggressive intervention. The media mobilized on Aug. 30 to cover Prime Minister Naoto Kan unveiling a fat stimulus package to counter the export-crimping effects of a strong yen. Then—nothing. Leer más “Japan Has More Than Just a Yen Crisis”

Launch your dream career in ‘retirement’

So while it might not be possible to completely stop work at 55 (an age when many women would like to retire, Fitzhardinge says), at least she might be able to reduce her hours at work and transition into a role that excites her. Fitzhardinge says often these roles aren’t as lucrative as the salaries women have enjoyed earlier in their career, but they provide a top-up to income into retirement, and can be merged with lifestyle as much as possible.

As part of this strategy, Fitzhardinge works with women to add skills development into their financial plan so they can begin to build the skills they will need in their new ‘passion’ career.


An assortment of United States coins, includin...

For many of us dreams of retirement include visions of finally having the time to do all those things we’ve never had the time to do. But did you ever imagine your ‘retirement’ planning might include a way to finally embark on a business idea you are passionate about?

Linda Fitzhardinge is an empowerment coach at the organisation Women Building Wealth. She gives women financial advice and encourages them to take an holistic approach to their health, wealth and spirit – and says all three elements are closely inter-related.

Fitzhardinge says there are times when she has met with a client to discuss her retirement plans and the session has ended in tears because dreams do not align with financial reality.

But instead of focussing on the negatives of such a realisation, Fitzhardinge has been working with older women to draw out their ideas for earning income from ideas they are passionate about. Leer más “Launch your dream career in ‘retirement’”

What President Obama Can Learn From Steve Jobs

I have long held that the most qualified people to be in government are business folk. Not just Billionaires like Mayor Bloomberg, but anyone who has successfully run anything, been responsible for making payrolls, paying back loans, paying bills on time, navigating through good times and bad. Most important: balancing a budget. But the reality is most people who have these credentials are too smart to get sucked into the dysfunction of the public sector. Nor will they submit themselves to the relentless intrusion and scrutiny of the press. So what’s the next best thing for the “beleaguered” President? Take some lessons from the guys who know how to really get things done. And who better than the best CEO in the Universe: Steve Jobs.


obama jobs

The sunlight of summer has begun it’s annual transition to equinox, and we are all reviving the pulse of the work-year.The President has returned from Martha’s Vineyard to face what will surely be a challenging fall.  It’s mid-term election season and the mood of the voting public is downright ornery.

ODS (Obama Disappointment Syndrome) a growing wave of depression, has created a huge anti-incumbent wave.  “Throw ‘em all out!” seems to be the mantra of the season.

In the last couple of weeks the number of negative op-eds on the President from both sides of the aisle have grown considerably.  The mildest theme seems to be “he is too smart to be in touch with the people,” or “we just don’t know who you are or what you really are about Mr. President.”  The really challenging ones drift into the inevitable issues of racism.
Leer más “What President Obama Can Learn From Steve Jobs”

Fidel Castro reapareció en un acto masivo en La Habana


INTERNACIONALES

El ex presidente cubano Fidel Castro volvió a advertir sobre el riesgo de una guerra nuclear en el planeta, en su primera alocución pública luego de que en 2006 se alejara del poder por problemas de salud.

El líder revolucionario se presentó este viernes ante una multitud en las escalinatas de la universidad de La Habana con su uniforme verde oliva y gorra, y leyó un discurso de unos 50 minutos a la población, reseñó Ansa. Leer más “Fidel Castro reapareció en un acto masivo en La Habana”