Another great talk at TED: Fashion designer Isaac Mizrahi’s whirlwind reflections on his sources of inspiration and creativity.
Archive for February, 2009
Reena Kapoor is the principal of Conifer Consulting, a marketing consulting firm based in Silicon Valley. A native of India, Ms. Kapoor came to the United States in 1988 to attend graduate school, received her Master’s degree from Northwestern University, and went on to work at Procter & Gamble and Kraft Foods before starting several businesses of her own. We met with Ms. Kapoor in Los Altos, California to explore her thoughts on culture and entrepreneurship and marketing strategy for entrepreneurs.
Kaizen: It is a long way from India to Silicon Valley. Where in India did you grow up?
Kapoor: Yes, it definitely is a long way. I actually grew up all over India. My father was a doctor in the army, so I had the typical nomadic army life growing up. So when I think about India—I’m from India, but sometimes it’s hard for me to pinpoint an exact region, because some of my formative years are not from my hometown, which is New Delhi, because I didn’t spend a lot of time there.
A worthwhile read: Tim Sandefur’s entry on “Innovation” in the Concise Encyclopedia of Economics from the Library of Economics and Liberty.
Worth checking out: Academic Earth’s video collection of lectures on entrepreneurship.
A great resource on entrepreneurship: Stanford University’s Entrepreneurship Corner is “an online archive of content from the Stanford Technology Ventures Program and leading entrepreneurship faculty at universities world-wide. This constantly-expanding resource includes an extensive searchable database of video clips and podcasts of entrepreneurial thought leaders; reading lists; case studies on entrepreneurship; and links to conferences, foundations, and groups that support entrepreneurship education.”
A great article from the The McKinsey Quartely (2008, No. 4): Hayagreeva Rao and Robert Sutton, both at Stanford University, discuss “The Ergonomics of Innovation” (PDF). They focus on the example of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement’s successful 100,000 Lives campaign, which brought together 3,000 hospitals to save 100,000 patients from dying due to preventable errors. The IHI case shows that
innovations spread quickly when organizations focus relentlessly on selecting and spreading ideas in ways that ease the burden of thought and action for everyone involved. This mindset differs from the one that burdens most organizations, where innovation is seen as difficult, expensive, and protracted. The IHI staff’s ergonomics-of-innovation mind-set focused on making things easier and cheaper for everyone, including the staff itself.
Here is a great article that describes a four-year process for turning your passion into a profession.
Over at The American, an article points out a recent study by University of Chicago economists Christian Broda and John Romalis, which found that income inequality has risen very little over the past few decades and that the benefits of trade have been underestimated.
The Broda-Romalis paper, “Inequality and Prices: Does China Benefit the Poor in America?,”[PDF] shows that from 1994 to 2005, much of the increase in U.S. income inequality was actually offset by a decline in the price index of the goods that poorer households consume. Inflation for the richest 10 percent of U.S. households, which tend to spend more on services, was 6 percent higher than inflation for the poorest 10 percent, which tend to spend more on nondurable goods, the type of goods often imported from China and sold at Wal-Mart.
Broda and Romalis found that in the sectors where Chinese imports have increased the most (especially nondurable goods such as canned food and clothing), prices have fallen dramatically. They estimate that about one-third of the price decline for the poor is directly associated with rising imports from China. “In the sectors where there is no Chinese presence,” Broda says, “inflation has been more than 20 percent.”
Business Week has launched its own social networking site called Business Exchange. The site is still in beta but definitely worth checking out. Business Exchange “allows users to create business topics, collaboratively aggregate content from the entire Web and connect with other business focused users around these topics.”