Simplicity is not the absence of clutter, that’s a consequence of simplicity. – Jony Ive Read More
How many music streaming services do we need? My talk with Shazam and Spotify Read More
And now for something completely different: I haven’t seen anyone point this out, but the very interesting Times story on why Microsoft is building its own tablet was a perfect illustration of Oliver Hart’s theory of the firm.
Just briefly: the theory of the firm asks why we sometimes rely on contracts — I sign an agreement with your company to make my widget — and sometimes go for direct control: I employ people to make widgets. Hart (and others) argue that such things depend crucially on our inability to write complete contracts, specifying all details — and that the incompleteness of contracts can pose problems for investment decisions. For example, if you contract with other people to build equipment, they may be unwilling to invest in quality in the belief that you will use your sole-buyer status to extract the benefits.
And that, apparently, is exactly what has been going on with Microsoft; its reliance on other people to build computers using its software worked very well for a long time, but lately Apple’s control-freak approach has been winning out.
Lots more to say, and I’m still on vacation, but this article was great fodder for the kind of economic analysis that I would be doing more of if we weren’t in such dire straits.
I saw this article today from Macworld, about what appears to be the demise of Apple’s Ping. I always thought it was a flawed product but I also found it far easier to ignore it than to criticize it. Read More
it seems this has been around forever, but somehow it’s even more relevant today Read More
Gmail’s redesign signals the aging of American design Read More
The man behind the design of the iPod and more Read More
Tik Tok – funds raised on Kickstarter, now on sale at Apple stores Read More
Apple has another can of worms popped open Read More