A Second Law of Strategy: All Profits come from Routine Innovation

If you want to convince yourself you can read a foreign language, try reading business articles.  Well, let me clarify that: I’m not saying business English is a foreign language, I’m saying that business articles in another language you more or less know will prove surprisingly transparent. I spent a recent flight back to the … Continue reading A Second Law of Strategy: All Profits come from Routine Innovation

Before ISIS, there were people having an intelligent discussion on the prospects for an Islamic State

Political and cultural critics of Islam often point to Islam’s supposed lack of provision for “civil society”, that is, a failure to provide enough separation between “church” and state for politics to have any independence of religion or for “rights” to have any foundation or existence other than in Islam. Brookings Institution fellow Shadi Hamid … Continue reading Before ISIS, there were people having an intelligent discussion on the prospects for an Islamic State

Buzz is Noise: A Law of Business Strategy

Thought leadership is not leadership.  Expertise in the direction of the moment does not make one a strategist any more than the direction itself constitutes a strategy. We can see this by looking at the waves of fashion in business consulting.   A time series of business buzz phrases- if you picked them carefully - might suggest some … Continue reading Buzz is Noise: A Law of Business Strategy

Two Cheers for Positivism: On the Methodology of Economics

Bruce Caldwell is an economist, historian of economics, Hayek scholar, and Director of the Center for the History of Political Economy (“CHOPE”) at Duke University.  I recently came across his 2012 Southern Economic Association presidential address, “Of Positivism and the History of Economic Thought” (VI), in which he links the decline of positivism with the hope … Continue reading Two Cheers for Positivism: On the Methodology of Economics

Against the Winds: Can Innovation Overcome the Negative Trends in the American Economy?

On average, over the last 145 years, the economy of the United States, measured by GDP per capita, has grown 2% per year.  Over the last 45 years, however, US per capita growth has been markedly slower, averaging 1.62% for the period 1970-2014.  In the wake of the 2008 financial crisis and the slow recovery … Continue reading Against the Winds: Can Innovation Overcome the Negative Trends in the American Economy?