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 […]

Skidelsky on Scapegoating

Here’s something I’ve been trying to say for a year, poorly. Skidelsky in his new book, Keynes: The Return of the Master, says it succinctly: Whenever anything goes badly wrong, our first instinct is to blame those in charge–in this case, bankers, credit agencies, regulators, central bankers and governments. We turn to blame the ideas […]

Communities vs. Networks

My first job, at IBM, I knew nothing about computers. Why they hired me to design mainframe CP logic, I can’t figure out. Columbia taught Electrical Engineering as a liberal art, so while I graduated able to talk in detail about semiconductor physics and hold my own in a conversation about Claude Shannon’s master’s thesis, […]

On Regulation and Innovation in the Financial Industry

Yesterday President Obama said We started taking shortcuts. We started living on credit, instead of building up savings. We saw businesses focus more on rebranding and repackaging than innovating and developing new ideas that improve our lives. But contrast that with this, from November of last year: The Securities and Exchange Commission this week issued […]

Why Bankers Will Continue to Make Just as Much as They Used To

I can understand the brouhaha over banker pay. Bankers make a lot of money. And the seeming unwillingness of the banks to lie low on the compensation front for even a quarter or two makes me wince. Case in point, this New York Times article: After Off Year, Wall Street Pay Is Bouncing Back Even […]