Great Riches and Low Theft

In early 1998 I walked the open plan floor of what was then one of the largest web development shops. The founder was giving me a tour so I could see the scores of web developers working diligently. They looked the part, the founder looked the part, the place had good energy. I liked it. […]

On failing

Don’t confront me with my failures, I have not forgotten them. – These Days, J. Browne   Six years ago. I was working on a startup with a bunch of friends, a big idea and one that got me out of bed every morning, excited to go to work. We had raised money from a Name […]

Kicking Quora

I am now one of the top answerers on Quora in both online advertising and Zen Buddhism. This is a problem. I read once that Tetris’ addictiveness is an unfortunate side-effect of the human brain’s built-in desire to learn.  Learning something results in positive stimulus.  This is usually offset by the actual need to work […]

Getting Gold When Buying Iron

“The theory of Induction is the despair of philosophy–and yet all our activities are based upon it.” — Alfred North Whitehead, Science and the Modern World Jonah Lehrer writes, in the New Yorker, [A]ll sorts of well-established, multiply confirmed findings have started to look increasingly uncertain. It’s as if our facts were losing their truth: […]

In which we are the protagonists in the low comedy of our economy

This morning I was rereading Merton and Bodie’s “A Conceptual Framework for Analyzing the Financial Environment” in The Global Financial System: a Functional Perspective, published in 1995 but still immensely interesting*. This passage, though, ended the paper: In the traditional bank arrangement, there is a mismatch between the liquidity of the deposits issued by the […]

Musing on luck & Thank You

I was visiting a venture capitalist friend of mine a few months ago, talking about what we thought the future held and what kinds of companies intrigued us. He made a comment regarding a company I liked and he didn’t. He said “I only invest in companies I know will be successful.” On further questioning […]

Not yet Enough

I was reading Skidelsky’s critique of Keynes’ “Economic Possibilities for Our Grandchildren“. In Economic Possibilities, written in 1930, Keynes asked What can we reasonably expect the level of our economic life to be a hundred years hence? What are the economic possibilities for our grandchildren? He concluded that by the year 2030, Assuming no important […]

Being allowed to make your own decisions, right or wrong

There was a fairly banal column over at the New York Times last Friday, complaining about being condescended to by a bank “customer service” rep.“Did you want to add him to the account, or open a separate joint account?” she asked. “We’ve talked about the options,” I said, giving my husband, James, my secret “not […]

Away from witnesses

My favorite thing about this blog is that many of the readers are practitioners. People actually out making money by using marketing to sell products or generate leads. I spend a lot of time daydreaming about the future, and one of my primary heuristics is a belief in progress, that things will become better, faster, […]

How to rake it in by screwing your customers

A long, long time ago I was at Prodigy when we decided to change from hourly pricing to a flat rate of $19.95 per month. Flat rate pricing was clearly preferred by our customers, and our competitors who were offering it were taking them away from us. Problem was, when people are accessing the internet […]