Congratulations Jay and Deb and welcome to the world Sadie Rose
And welcome to the 52nd edition of the Carnival of the Capitalists. Jay and Rob rolled out the inaugural issue on Rob's Business Pundit site Oct 13, 2003. And for the last 51 Mondays we have been treated to over 1200 submissions from more than 250 authors. Every week an average of 25 entries to entertain, inform and ponder. The authors are thought-leaders, commentators, professors, practitioners and pundits representing a broad spectrum of businesses, academic institutions, non-profits, governments, foreign and domestic. Each edition is a combination of frequent contributors (30 authors have more than 12 posts) and very often a number of new contributors (5 per edition on average). Over half the authors have contributed just one post.
Of the 23 original posters, three (Professor Bainbridge, Rob and Barry Ritholtz) have posted in more than half the CotCs. Of the top 20 posters to CotC, only 2 were not contributors to any of the first 3 editions. Special mention must be made for Catallarchy and Barry's The Big Picture, contributors to at least 40 CotCs. Six authors have contributed 30 or more times. Eleven contributors have submitted at least 20 times. In addition to the contributors, 49 blogs have served as hosts, Jay's Accidental Verbosity and Josh Cohen's d-42 having served twice. This is the foundation upon which CotC is built. And all of us who look forward to each edition are grateful for the efforts.
So this week’s entries include:
The Big Picture’s Barry Ritholtz again looks to help the Music industry with understanding basic economics in this post: Music sales rebound on cheaper CDs, DVD sales increase. Barry provides his lessons in clear, precise prose – for example: higher prices = lower sales. This insight alone could help the industry relieve some of their self-inflicted pain if only they were open to suggestion. It doesn't appear to be working.
Arnold Kling of Econlog provides us with a lesson on the Economics of Health Insurance, an introduction to a longer Tech Central Station essay. The essay includes a primer on an economist's view of insurance. Current health care schemes, which manage predictable health care needs, can be described more accurately as 'passing the buck' or "splitting the check" and are insurance in name only. The complete TCS essay is here.
Tim Worstall provides perspective from across the pond on the UK's minimum wage practices and the economic acumen of the Guardian with this post: Minimum Wage Idiocy. Tim laments the Government practice and pokes ridicule at the Guardian's fawning editorial approval. And as a bonus, Mr. Worstall presents an unflattering review of a recent piece by the Guardian's commentator - George Monbiot on Taxation .
David Foster posts an insightful commentary on innovative products clearly targeted at consumers within 2nd and 3rd tier economies in this Photon Courier entry: INNOVATION AND POVERTY. Innovations and techniques used to develop products for rapidly expanding consumer classes in emerging economies may someday be adapted for top tier economies.
Joe Kristan of Roth & Company provides us with a Tax Update entitled SEEING RED: THE DISTRIBUTION OF THE FEDERAL BOON and notes a curious similarity between a map showing states where the Feds spend more than they take in and the infamous Red vs. Blue 2000 electoral maps. Guess which color states get the Federal spending in excess of receipts? Joe provides the reasons.
Tips on Selling Your Business from Jeff Cornwall on The Entrepreneurial Mind offers timely suggestions for entrepreneurs who may someday want to cash out and move on - and the time to start thinking and acting is now. The process is long, difficult, complex and frustrating. Those best prepared will get maximum value for their business when it sells.
And for the other side of the selling transaction, we have this piece from new contributor Warren Meyer, a small business owner in the southwest, and the first of a series on Buying a Company Part 1 (or how I got into this). The Coyote Blog has Part 2 and Part 3 here. Warren has provided considerable detail and explains the hows, whats and whys of buying a business, getting through and enlisting the aid of brokers, valuations, C vs. S Corps, due diligence and other matters pertinent to making a good acquisition.
OSCommerce is an expert's reference site and Giselle provides solid practical advice for conducting business and especially e-commerce. This week's entry offers these tips: 10 Ways to Cut Shopping Cart Abandonment . Understanding what consumers need and expect and supplying easy means for them to conduct transactions may reduce the number of abandoned shopping carts.
Small Business Trends explores the changing nature of companies in this post by Dave Patterson: Changing Role of the Company. Businesses have evolved from vertically integrated producers of products and services that are sold to customers into managers of other businesses which each specialize in a link of the value chain. What might be the impact of these changes on the way companies are built, organized and managed?
The Interested Participant notices that Oklahoma based Shawnee Announce $250 Million Casino along the I-75 corridor between Dayton and Cincinnati, Ohio. This attests to the increasing sophistication of the tribes as they expand their investment and economic developments onto property not directly controlled. While good strategy, the Shawnee will find increased degrees of coordination and cooperation are required to complete these developments.
Jim Stroup at Managing Leadership continues his series on the characteristics of leadership and offers a contrary view about "Passion" and individual leadership within an organization. He believes that an important personal leadership characteristic - passion - is not an organizational leadership skill. Rather, passion for the purpose of an organization - not via the will of a passionate leader, is what matters.
This week, PeopleSoft stunned the business community by firing its CEO, Craig Conway. Frank Scavo at the Enterprise System Spectator looks at the explanations given thus far by PeopleSoft and various news reports and finds that they still don't add up. Huh? PeopleSoft fires Craig Conway looks at the situation and provides links with reactions from the press, industry analysts and Wall Street.
Professor Bainbridge on his wine blog examines the The Law of Interstate Wine Shipment and suggests that the Supreme Court may review current law next fall.
On a post from his law blog, Professor Bainbridge responds to a recent Wall Street Journal column panning group decision making in management. The Professor looks at the empirical literature on when groups make better decisions than individuals in this post - Group Decision Making. The Professor concludes that groups tend to be better at exercising critical evaluative judgment, while individuals tend to be better at tasks requiring a high level of original creativity.
Torsten Jacobi, an original poster, at TJ's Weblog compares the costs of starting a business today versus 10 years ago with Different start-up costs in 2004?
Bizz Bang Buzz author Anthony Cerminaro, a business and technology attorney, updates an article he wrote for the Pittsburgh Post Gazette on Tech Startups Face New Reality - a reality that includes lower valuations, more onerous terms and conditions from investors, bootstrapping and adaptability. For start-ups to get VC attention they have to get real - real businesses with real plans and solving real problems.
Dave of b2blog, a CotC inaugural poster, gives us a brief introduction to a longer piece by marketing guru Laura Ries on We try harder...being #2. To be a successful #2, Ries recommends you position yourself as the opposite of the frontrunner, not as a competitor along the same attributes: 7-Up the uncola, Linux the un-Microsoft, Scope the good tasting mouthwash are successful examples of this strategy.
Elizabeth Albrycht of CorporatePR in a post entitled One-to-One Marketing a False Trail provides 4 reasons why corporations cannot make it work. A blog, a personal or team written dialogue, may be an effective means of reaching customers or managing communication during a crisis. Very interesting insights about people, who or what they trust, through the eyes of a PR professional who understands technology.
And Evelyn Rodriguez offers a personal affirmation about marketing to her as a consumer and two common pitfalls when tying marketing and branding to trends involving “Lovemarks” - Two Deadly Sins of Mixing Love, Spirit and Marketing over on Crossroads Dispatches ( last week's CotC host). A keen observer, Evelyn's post provide excellent insights, lots of links and introduces us to crystal-washing. Read the post.
Thinking by Peter Davidson offers some solid recommendations to companies and individuals with respect to understanding their audience when Thinking About Product Blogs. Peter neatly encapsulates the dilemma of trying to reach divergent audiences with a single correspondence or media type when interests and information needs of these audiences are different.
A more direct marketing approach is provided by Jay Allen, The Zero Boss, who gives us a contest to help deserving authors get noticed and the books they produce get read. The winner is selected from among submitted blog entries. And the interesting part is to see this all on a blog often focused on a dad and writer's adventure with parenting! A combination that works very well: Blogging for Books #4 Starts Monday!
And a quick hit from Abnu on a Texas store's contest to find a new name. Wordlab has the details: Name The Store. It is an interesting approach to be sure, we will need to wait and see if it is effective.
James Joyner of Outside the Beltway, one of the original CotC posters, reflects on his experience and asks whether Blogging Sells Out?. He comments on the emergence of bloggers accepting media jobs, media types starting blogs and the pay-offs some of the highest traffic proprietors get from advertising.
Cheap hits: You get what you pay for from Wayne Hurlbert at Blog Business World has some cautionary advice for those seeking to increase their traffic through means that will get you found, but won't help you build readership.
Craig Henry from Lead and Gold wonders Where do blogs go from here? He finds it curious that while most people have learned about blogs from the mainstream press, most people still don't regularly read blogs. Why is the MSM so interested and simultaneously dismissive?
The Noble Pundit, an original poster and host for CotC, examines capacity constraints and Problems In The Rail Industry. It is a fascinating web of cause and effect. Declining traffic in one decade is followed by ICC neglect in the next. Rail Road industry innovation like locomotive motor pooling and line sharing leads to shortages in capital stocks and tracks going to weed. Business cycles and balance sheet gerrymandering conspire to place RRs on weak foundation and now with no excess capacity to take up increases in demand.
Patri Friedman has some thoughts about the densely connected world in which we can compare our talents, wits and circumstances in ways and against populations previously unimaginable in this post from Catallarchy: Psychological Impact of a Large Connected World. The networked world has obvious and abundant benefits. Patri reflects on some of the negative aspects which involve self-esteem, relationships and standards of comparison.
Dave Johnston, Managing Editor of Big Slick News, gives us a view into the intersection of online gaming and bots - software agents created to interact with machine-mediated processes in this post: Will robots doom online poker? . Dave contends it will be awhile before the programmers can effectively create high quality bots for participating in games like no-limit Texas hold-em. Be that as it may, it will be a challenge for virtual casino owners to insure that only humans are playing the games for something other than entertainment. Gaming the games is sure to be among the highest hurdles online casinos will face.
As a hedge fund manager, David Jackson is in a position to provide a unique perspective on this type of investing, strategies and marketing. He posts his thoughts at Seeking Alpha on the developments of a hedge fund launching a mutual fund here: Lone Pine's long-only bet is risky. David also maintains a fairly extensive set of links on the site for those who want more information about funds, venture finance and personal investing.
That concludes this edition of the Carnival of the Capitalists. Thanks to all those who submitted articles for consideration, not all were used. To be considered by the hosts, please submit your entries (early) to cotcmail -at- gmail -dot- com or, as always, capitalists -at- elhide -dot- com. Submissions should include at minimum - your Blog URL, Post URL, title of the piece, abstract or summary, your name, alias or nom de plume as you want it to appear. Next week's host will be The Business Pundit - where it all began 52 weeks ago.