World Cupenomics

We are big fans of the global game, so this is a month to relish - and a tremendous start.  As enthralling as the competition is, the cultural implications of futball are equally captivating.  Some of the best writing on the game off the field -- and which deserves a read no matter your sport  -- is in The Economist, who…

Read More

Weedconomics

The intersection of theoretical economics and practical reality are often akin to the collisions between the Roadrunner and ACME products. Often these two forces align over time, but the blackboard simplicity of supply and demand curves rarely work out so cleanly in real life, particularly when there is transformational change.  In Colorado, the collision between theory and practice is seen…

Read More

Where are Wearables We Want to Wear?

Wearables -- electronic devices attached to the body in some way -- are generating some serious buzz, capturing imaginations with visions of science fiction coming to life.  Although wearables have been on the market in some form or another since a complex and miniature  abacus was attached to a ring in the Qing dynasty, dramatic improvements in sensor technology and data…

Read More

Income and Culture

The considerable growth in wealth of top earners over the last generation -- with one study estimating that after-tax income for the top 1% of earners increased 275% between 1979 and 2007, compared to just an 18% bump for the bottom quintile -- and the media surrounding the Occupy protests mean that there is increased focus on income inequality. However,…

Read More

What Once Was New

As the new year slipped into memory, two transactions may provide the footnote on the hyped expectations that accompanied the last decade.  First is Friendster.  The pioneer social networking company and Facebook's predecessor, Friendster had lost virtually all of its US market share to MySpace and Facebook.  Friendster was even profiled as "once the hottest start-up in America, [it then]…

Read More

Bin Laden’s Death: Twitter Killed It

That Twitter is an impressive distribution network for breaking news is increasingly a given; however its sheer ubiquity for the immediacy of big events is now also leading to some intriguing analyses about the patterns and speed with which its network disseminates information. SocialFlow, a small company based in New York City, looked at 14.8 million individual tweets and links…

Read More

Information Overload

A recent piece in the McKinsey Quarterly makes a simple, if maternal, point: technology results in information overload and attention fragmentation, and the more responsibility one has (and the more data one is supposed to absorb), the more pronounced the impact.  The perils are fairly obvious: consistent multi-tasking slows down the completion of tasks, harms our creativity, and is highly…

Read More

Venture Twits

Like many people, I am now getting more and more news and information through twitter. I've always thought that facebook is socially familiar --  because it is permission-based and synchronous, one gets information about people one knows.  However twitter is socially aspirational -- you can follow people you don't know well and who, if you met them in real life,…

Read More

And B is for Bonehead…

From the good-humored folks at Better Capital in the UK comes Private Equity A-Z, an amusing glossary of terms.  My personal favorite is probably: D: DCF analysis (aka Deceit by Computer Fraud); A highly scientific and extremely unreliable method of valuing companies... And if you have not seen it before, it's worth revisiting Bessemer's Anti-Portfolio, with wonderfully self-deprecating descriptions of…

Read More

What’s the ROI on that Pound of Flesh?

Three young guns – and not a detained Nigerian prince among them – are currently offering investors a chance to invest cash now in return for a percent of future income.  One, a 26-year-old Stanford grad, has even priced it out: 6% of future income for $600,000.  Even with no hurdle rate, this would require her to average annual income…

Read More