Friday, August 08, 2008

Link Roundup

Posting has been a bit slower due to an onslaught of work and the development of a new area of growth for us. In any event, I badly need to clear some of my tabs so here goes:

  • [Funny/Marketing] Embarrassing Urls (TrendHunter). While it certainly makes their websites/email addresses more memorable, I suspect the inflow of um, er, other traffic sort of negates this. Some of them are old but if you haven't seen this before this one is particularly good: Looking for a Therapist finder =

  • [Economics] As the US Dollar rises again - or in Paul Kedrosky's words, as other currencies collapse against the US Dollar, the opposite seems to be happening in some emerging markets.

  • [Economics/Entrepreneurship] The irony that sometimes the best thing that you can do to build value and wealth is by claiming you're not in it for the money. Here (Division of Labour) and here (core77). While Jim Buckmaster, Craiglist said "the key to their success is an anti-commercial value system based on three 'ironies': 'the ironies of unbranding, demonetizing, and noncompeting.'" (Fortune Magazine)

  • [Funny] Use your browser history to estimate your gender. Instapundit is androgenous. Sucks to be him. In case anyone is wondering, I'm 100% male. And yes, it really does put me at ease.

  • [Managing/HR/Marketing] Guy Kawasaki suggests that you read Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion by Robert Cialdini to learn how to be persuasive with an interesting sales story (PILOTed) to go with it (sure it's a bit long and yes, the word "interesting" to me may be indeed be synonymous with boring for you).

  • [Managing/Psychology] Apparently scientists now know what it is in certain faces that make them "trustworthy or fearsome" (Princeton via Instapundit). My question is as follows: since when are trust and fear binary choices?

  • [Managing/HR] We ooze non-verbal cues according to psychologist Carol Kinsey Goman, also author of The Non-Verbal Advantage. For the information you can use, in an interview with Connie Loizos @ PE Hub who asked "Aside from the face, what body part best gives away what emotions someone is experiencing? Feet! Feet are the least rehearsed part of the body, so even if you have your game face on and have adjusted your body posture to convey confidence, your feet will give you away. They’ll point in direction where you want to head — often at the door — or toward the person in the meeting who you prefer. When someone crosses his legs, his top leg and foot will point at a person with whom he agrees. Feet also bounce if you’re nervous, ankles cross and pull back when you feel like they aren’t part of the group, and toes point up when you’re feeling happy and confident. Really, if you want to know what’s going on in a meeting, just drop your pen and look under the table." Pervert.

  • [Funny/Scary] Freakonomics asks the question "why don't business leaders assassinate competitors?" and leaves it open ended.

  • [Other] The NYT rationalizes your coffee fix claiming that it's mostly good for you under certain circumstances. I don't like coffee myself. When I was young and naive, I deluded myself into believing I wanted to become a lawyer so I figured I wanted to save the effectiveness of coffee for law school and then when I never went, I just never took up the habit.

  • [Politics] A reminder that no matter what the CBC and other undoubtedly well meaning news organizations tell you, healthcare in the US is n0t a free market capitalist system. Indeed, pretty far from it. Reason online tells us both why and how it happened.

  • [Psychology/HR] Happiness inequality has fallen in the US despite the fact that income inequality has risen. It may be time to revisit the assumption that the two are related. From Justin Wolfers on the Freakonomics Blog.

  • [Politics/Development/Economics] On the brilliant minds at the World Bank: "The bank thought it financed an electric power station, but in fact financed a brothel" - quoted from Paul Rosenstein-Rodan at the Bayesian Heresy who also asks "What's the value added of the World Bank. Albeit with limited direct experience I suspect that on balance the answer is either "not much" or "negative".

  • [Finance/Managing] Find venture capitalists in your area. Introduction to the web utility from the company's blog via Guy Kawasaki

  • [R&D] While Gy Kawasaki talks about patents and how not to protect your intellectual property, Michael Heller in Forbes (via Instapundit) tells us why we need to change the patent system and why patent reform could save us.

  • [Politics/Regulation] Finally (last one for tonight), a reminder that deficits are the result of spending and regulatory problems not because the rich don't pay their "fair share" or some other trope. Steve Malanga from Real Clear Markets notes that state governments that have been favorable to business with low taxes and fewer regulatory burdens are getting through recent economic hard times considerably better than those who weren't:
    The DCI study, coming as it did amidst growing talk of state fiscal crises around the country, is particularly revealing. Of the approximately $48 billion in accumulated budget shortfalls that the 29 states with projected deficits are facing, $33 billion, or two-thirds of the gap, is concentrated in those five states considered by corporate executives to be the least friendly to business. Meanwhile, among the five states ranked as having the best business environment, Texas and North Carolina have no projected budget gaps, and Georgia, Tennessee and Florida are facing shortfalls amounting to about $4.1 billion, or less than one-tenth of the states’ total.
    Well let's hope that people start recognizing the relationship calling it justice rather than an excuse to bail poor fiscal management and governance out. Of course this effect bears some striking similarities to the economic state of other countries around the world.

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