A few years ago, I was chatting with a stranger in a bar. When I told him I was an economist, he said, “Ah. So… what are the Two Things about economics?”
“Huh?” I cleverly replied.
“You know, the Two Things. For every subject, there are really only two things you really need to know. Everything else is the application of those two things, or just not important.”
“Oh,” I said. “Okay, here are the Two Things about economics. One: Incentives matter. Two: There’s no such thing as a free lunch.”
• Harboring destruction
The U.S. has a few key vulnerabilities. One in particular: its ports. A few smart companies are developing technology to plug – and profit from – those security holes.
• Gmail Invitation Prices Crash
Nelson to speculators: Ha-ha!
• Food Makers Changing Genes
Not a surprise at all . . .
• 2004 Top Ten Favorite Words
Some favorites: Onomatopoeia, discombobulate, plethora, persnickety, kerfuffle . . .
Quote of the Day
“The average big company grows at about ten percent a year. So if you’re running a big company and you do everything the way the average big company does it, you can expect to do as well as the average big company–that is, to grow about ten percent a year.
“The same thing will happen if you’re running a startup, of course. If you do everything the way the average startup does it, you should expect average performance. The problem here is, average performance means that you’ll go out of business. The survival rate for startups is way less than fifty percent. So if you’re running a startup, you had better be doing something odd. If not, you’re in trouble.”
– Paul Graham, “Beating the Averages”.