A Blog by Jonathan Low


Jul 30, 2015

Twitter Is Deleting Tweets of Stolen Jokes Based on Copyright Infringement

When people think their musings, jokes, revelations and otherwise brilliant ideas are so valuable that it is worth filing a copyright infringement complaint, it may be a sign that a market top for intellectual property has been reached. JL

Dante D'Orazio reports in The Verge:

Twitter has an entire system for claims of copyright infringement. Twitter is provided "safe harbor" from claims so long as it does not try to protect infringing material. Typically, claims concern embedded media like videos. It's rarer to involve the actual text of a 140-character tweet. It should come as little surprise that corporations use takedowns for illegitimate reasons.

Why Uber Is Succeeding In China When So Many Others Have Struggled

Uber is becoming a fashion statement, much like Apple. To use it is to signal that you are at one with the universe. It is also to Uber's benefit that unlike Google or Apple, a new taxi service with a thin veneer of technological overlay offers new jobs - and is not a threat to China's far more serious tech aspirations. 

But in order to make all the complex pieces work, very important people in the Chinese government have to be supportive (a few years back McDonald's lost the lease on a store it had opened near Tienanmen Square because someone else with a more powerful patron wanted the real estate for another purpose). It helps if they are invested in Uber's success.Which they now are.  JL

Bhaskar Chakravorti reports in the Washington Post:

Uber has tapped into a deep reservoir of unmet need: demands on the transportation systems are growing in China’s cities, the existing taxicab system is over-stretched and the customer experience is unsatisfactory. In the meantime, the Chinese urban consumer is increasingly facile using mobile phones, so using an app to locate a car with better service is an easy transition.

Jul 29, 2015

Labels Still Matter in Consumer Goods: But What's In a Label?

It's just that 'the label' now encompasses far more than advertising or logos or spokespeople. It suffuses everything a company and product says or does. JL

Vijay Vishwanath comments in Forbes:

Nearly half of the highest-valued consumer goods companies in 1999 no longer rank in the top 20 by market capitalization in 2015. Also, between 2004 and 2014, the top three brands in major categories maintained top-three status in only 30% of U.S. categories

Silicon Valley's Political Endgame

The ultimate battle will be between the desire to do good and the desire to make good. JL

Greg Ferenstein reports in Medium:

The growth of the knowledge economy has empowered a novelty-seeking personality that places an extreme faith in the power of information to solve the world’s problems.

iPhone Supplier Ecosystem Is Getting Crushed

Connectivity effects go both ways. JL

Matt Egan reports in CNN/Money:

The good news for investors is that while the Apple ecosystem is taking a hit, the broader market doesn't appear to be freaking out about 1.5 million fewer iPhone sales than expected.

Online Firms Seek to Eat Banks' Lunch

Large financial institutions became so focused on large quick profits from investing rather than lending that they virtually invited disruptive innovation to fill the market need. Now it's here - and they have to deal with the loss of business. JL

Peter Rudegeair reports in the Wall Street Journal:

Around $11 billion in profits from making and servicing loans is at risk of leaving banks and going to alternative lenders, according to analysts at Goldman Sachs.

Why Happy Employees Are 12% More Productive

People who are happy also tend to be self-confident, which makes them more effective at working with others - a crucial attribute in the distributed economy. Ancillary benefits are numerous, including superior time management, creativity, collaboration and possession of leadership skills.

But most importantly for managers, the results are quantifiable - and causal rather than simply correlated - meaning that emotion causes the desired behavior. JL

Jonha Revesencio reports in Fast Company:

Happiness has large and positive causal effects on productivity. Happy employees etter at dealing with stress, make better decisions, excel at managing their time, and possess crucial leadership skills.  Happiness led to a 12% spike in productivity, while unhappy workers proved 10% less productive.