Archive for August, 2014

CEE Review: Bounties for whistleblowers? | Will machines replace workers? | Food truck politics, and more

Wednesday, August 27th, 2014

News and Opinion

Daniel Kline reports: British Commission Says “No” to Bounties for Whistleblowers.

Walmart shakes up the medical clinic business: $40 per visit, or $4 for Walmart associates. “Anybody, with or without insurance, can go into one of these clinics and be seen by a qualified health professional, without the usual paperwork.” At the Independent Institute’s site.

Education entrepreneurship: Is James Tooley a dangerous man? The Guardian wonders. india-school-girls

How much should FedEx know about the contents of its customers’ packages? The U.S. Justice Department has charged it with complicity in money laundering. Bloomberg’s site.

Leah Busque, founder of TaskRabbit on workers as micro-entrepreneurs: “I definitely agree that the future of work is going to end up being more flexible, but not that automation will replace people. It’ll be much more in the hands of what I like to call micro-entrepreneurs—people setting their own schedules, setting their own rates, saying what skills they have and what they’re good at.” At The Wall Street Journal.

Hilary Gowins at HuffPo: “Three Cities Show How Food Trucks Live and Die on Political Whim.”

Endeavor helps high-impact entrepreneurs by networking them with “seasoned business leaders, who provide the key ingredients to entrepreneurial success.”


The U.S. Association for Small Business and Entrepreneurship’s 2015 conference will be in Tampa, Florida from January 22-25, 2015. The theme is “Sun, Fun and Innovation.” Hard to argue with that.

On September 4, Stephen Hicks will be giving a lecture at the University of Chile, Santiago, on “Philosophy, Entrepreneurship, and Education.”

Blast from the past: Our Kaizen interview with artist Michael Newberry.

Idea: “You have to have a culture that is explicitly tolerant of the crazy idea, the criticism of it, and then its renewal.” (Eric Schmidt, CEO of Google)

CEE Review: Socrates as consultant | VC funding up | Mirzakhani | Most influential cities, and more

Wednesday, August 20th, 2014

News and Opinion

Venture capital up significantly: “Corporate venture-capital arms funneled almost $5 billion into startups in the first half of the year, a jump of about 45% from a year earlier and the highest level since the dot-com era, as executives expanded their horizons for growth and tried to stay ahead of rapidly changing technologies.” The Wall Street Journal.


Fields Medal winner Maryam Mirzakhani on her brainstorming method for working on mathematics problems. At VentureBeat.

Steve Jobs and his hero Edwin Land on market research. Land: “Market research is what you do when your product isn’t any good.” And on innovation: “Every significant invention must be startling, unexpected, and must come into a world that is not prepared for it. If the world were prepared for it, it would not be much of an invention.” Thirty years later, when a reporter asked Jobs how much market research Apple had done before introducing the iPad, he responded, “None. It isn’t the consumers’ job to know what they want.” More at The New York Times site.

Consider hiring Socrates as your management consultant. At WorldCrunch.

Joseph Bravo on entrepreneurial arts education: “There are tens of thousands of painters and sculptors in this economy who are selling work and executing commissions in the $2,000-$40,000 range and making a respectable living doing it. There are indeed countless others who are struggling to find markets for their talents. But this is not so much because they chose the wrong course of education but because the fine art business model is essentially a 19th century entrepreneurial craftsman model. The current state of arts education does little to prepare students to become independent business operators in the 21st century. One must also realize that in this country, success as an entrepreneur in any field requires heroic tenacity and that the typical American entrepreneur will fail at their first fourteen ventures before they finally succeed. Given the often entrepreneurial nature of a fine arts career, it is not surprising that there would be risk involved but not necessarily substantially more risk than many other entrepreneurial endeavors.” steamWhich is why we need STEAM education.

The world’s most influential cities. Forbes.

Starbucks tries to regularize its scheduling of employees. The New York Times.


Applications are open: Thiel Fellowships for world-changers under 23.

Stephen Hicks’s new weekly column “The Good life” at EveryJoe. The first week’s topic: “Are Philosophers Stupid about Politics?” The second week’s topic: “When Can Professors Have Sex with Their Students?” Forthcoming: “The Richest Man in the World’s Healthcare” and “Is Life Unfair? My Challenge to the World’s Best Tennis Player.”

CEE Review: Hong Kong facts | Our aging economy | Startup Weekend | Bogus Repairs, and more

Tuesday, August 12th, 2014

News and Opinion

Doing business in Hong Kong: Facts worth knowing. At Forbes.

Robots could replace half of workers. Why we need to be educating students with an entrepreneurial mindset.robot-workers

Bogus repairs at Progress Rail Services, a subsidiary of Caterpillar? WSJ report.

Cool infographic: Kauffman Index of Entrepreneurial Activity, 1996-2013.

Entrepreneurs are disappearing, and our economy is increasingly dominated by older firms. Why? “We do not have an explanation,” write the University of Maryland and the Census Bureau economists. “One theory is that the cumulative effect of regulations,” he says, discriminates against new businesses and favors “established firms that have the experience and resources to deal with it.”


Beginning in 2015, Business Ethics Quarterly will be published by Cambridge University Press. Stephen Hicks’s review of Donald Frey’s America’s Economic Moralists: A History of Rival Ethics and Economics (State University of New York Press) was published in BEQ in 2012.

ru-entranceStartup Weekend in Rockford, Illinois is taking place November 14-16 in partnership with Rockford University. The long-weekend event will be held at the 5100 E. State Street building on the Rockford University campus.

Nassim Nicholas Taleb: “In order to progress, modern society should be treating ruined entrepreneurs in the same way we honor dead soldiers, perhaps not with as much honor, but using exactly the same logic (the entrepreneur is still alive, though perhaps morally broken and socially stigmatized, particularly if he lives in Japan). For there is no such thing as a failed soldier, dead or alive (unless he acted in a cowardly manner) — likewise, there is no such thing as a failed entrepreneur or failed scientific researcher, any more than there is a successful babbler, philosopher, commentator, consultant, lobbyist, or business school professor who does not take personal risks.”

Sports entrepreneurship: Three interviews (Snider, Reinsdorf, Checketts)

Sunday, August 10th, 2014

Here are three of our Kaizen interviews on entrepreneurship and ethics in sports:

51546099 Ed Snider, owner of hockey’s Philadelphia Flyers and basketball’s Philadelphia 76ers: “I think when you’re young you’re a bigger risk-taker than when you’re older. And I think when you’re young it’s not the risk as much as it is you have this idea and you feel like it’s going to work. And then you go for it. When I was a kid I was always doing things—selling magazines, I had a paper route. In college I hired all of my fraternity brothers because I had these lots I could get Christmas trees or Easter flowers from. In those days all of the kids in the fraternities would go to work at the post-office for Christmas. So I’d hire them, I’d pay them more and say, ‘We’re going to have Christmas tree lots.’ Stuff like that—I was always looking to do something.”

Reinsdorf webJerry Reinsdorf, owner of basketball’s Chicago Bulls and baseball’s Chicago White Sox: “First of all, if you want to be successful, you have to follow basic business principles. The problem in sports that keeps people from doing it is that every move is chronicled by the media. There are so many people who own teams who are afraid to be criticized by the media, so they make stupid decisions just to make the media happy. I, on the other hand, delight in doing what the media doesn’t want me to do. And that’s not a good trait either. You have to make your decisions without regard to what the media thinks. Sometimes they’re right, and sometimes they’re wrong.”

Checketts webDavid Checketts, owner of soccer’s Real Salt Lake and hockey’s St. Louis Blues: “I live by a standard that Steve Covey taught me, which is that a person will do more with their bad idea than they will with your good idea. So I try to hire real capable, competent people, put them in place, make sure that they have the right incentives and motivation, and then give them the freedom to do the job. The skill that I had to learn was to hold them accountable, regardless of my personal feelings about them. Because I am somebody who builds friendships and relationships quickly and who really wants people to succeed. So it makes it hard. I stuck with some people too long in some instances.”