A Blog by Jonathan Low


May 25, 2016

About That Brand: Bookings At Trump Hotels Are Down 59% Over Last Year. Down 70% in NY and Vegas

The data come from a travel search engine so the demographics may skew younger, as the following article explains. But it may also suggest that the traditional caution against mixing business and politics was and still is prudent. JL 

Price Economics and Hipmunk report:

Bookings at Trump Hotels have decreased 59% compared to the same period last year. Prior to his political rise, Trump Hotels were quite popular, garnering 1.7% of all bookings in the major cities where Trump Hotels are located. Will the Trump brand suffer permanent damage? That may depend on how he fares in the election. If you mix business and politics, there's a good chance it will have implications for your business.

Google and Levis Are Now Making Connected Jean Jackets

The question is whether people really want their clothing to connect with their technological devices.

And if they do, whether they will use these new powers in the way the designers envisioned they would - or in some totally novel manner that creates an entirely new set of functions. JL

Nikki Ekstein reports in Bloomberg:

Woven into one of the sleeves is a patch of conductive fibers that lets you tap or swipe across its surface and toggle a series of customizable commands, from silencing calls to querying Google Maps for directions. The metal-based conductive fibers are fully washable and sewed into the denim, and a button-sized piece of removable hardware called the “smart tag” allows the jacket to connect to your phone or tablet via Bluetooth.

Mapping the Skies To Make Them Safer For Drones And Other Autonomous Flying Objects

Because it's going to get busy up there and as of right now, no one's in charge. JL

Sean Gallagher reports in ars technica:

Future drones flying autonomously will need a whole additional layer of communication to operate safely. In particular, these devices will need drone-to-drone communication to help "deconflict" any potential collisions in more crowded skies. Services like AirMap would be part of a larger "federated" traffic control system, providing both rules for general drone traffic flow and automated alerts and responses to potentially dangerous situations.

More Young Americans 18-34 Are Living At Home Than Anytime Since Great Depression

And more are likely to live with their parents versus any other possible rooming situation since the 1880s when records were first kept.

And analysts wonder why the electorate seems so frustrated? JL  

Camila Domonoske reports in Pew Research:

Male unemployment has been on the rise for decades. (And) for young men  inflation-adjusted wages have been falling since 1970. American men ages 18-34 live with their parents 35 percent of the time, and with a spouse or partner 28 percent of the time. For women, the numbers are reversed; 35 percent live with a partner, while 29 percent live with their parents.

Why Knowledge Work Jobs Are Growing Despite the Automation Threat

Because many creative skills that optimize the benefits of technology require human knowledge and, where available, even wisdom. JL

Josh Zumbrun reports in the Wall Street Journal:

The number of people in knowledge work jobs has more than doubled, and there are no signs of that trend slowing. This strongly suggests that though technology is eliminating some jobs, it’s creating more in different fields. Even as machines get smarter, many jobs have critical components that are social, emotional, creative or relational.

How Platforms Became the Basis of Silicon Valley's Competitive Advantage

Silicon Valley's dominance is based on the understanding that rapid change is not just a factor with which they must deal, but a feature they must build into their strategies in order to remain competitive.

To do that, as the following article explains, successful organizations have focused on the 'how' as much as the 'what.' JL

Vivek Wadha comments in the Washington Post:

The fastest growing and most disruptive companies in history — Google, Amazon, Uber, AirBnb, and eBay—aren’t focused on selling products, they are building platforms. A platform enables rapid evolution as technologies, consumer behaviors, and regulations change.

To Write Better Code, Study the Humanities

Coding is a creative process so, as the following article explains, can often be optimally accomplished by applying thinking honed by disciplines other than a rigid linear mindset.

Which is not to say engineering and math are unimportant, but that they may best be leavened with subjects that encourage a broader world view.

Before he dropped out of college, Steve Jobs studies literature, poetry, physics - and calligraphy. JL

J. Bradford Hipps comments in the New York Times: