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http://www.well.com/user/mp/host.html
Expert witness in nearly all areas of business: finance, marketing, management, compensation, ethics...Author of 11 books on money and commerce
Interests: Licensed Pilot Single Engine Sailor Skier Welder Chinese Martial Arts student Motorcycles
Recent Activity
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A short while back I was discussing how Bill Gates achieved his financial success. Part of it was arrogance. I was questioned about that statement. I cannot say that I have known many CEOs who are arrogant. It is not a universal nor even a common quality. However, there is a strange element of almost all business leaders that is... Continue reading
Posted 13 hours ago at Pro Commerce
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I had trouble finding a title for this blog. I have been looking at recent articles on leadership. I was forced to ask myself what I knew about the subject. I've taught management many times and never included the concept of leadership in my teaching. Let me explain the problem. I have been a leader all my life and nothing... Continue reading
Posted yesterday at Pro Commerce
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The subject of philanthropy comes up for me on a regular basis. I always say that it doesn't work. It doesn't. Philanthropy often comes up in connection with some wealthy person who is ascribed unusual powers because of their philanthropic donations. Utter nonsense. More than 95% of all philanthropic donations go to existing philanthropic organizations that are in the business... Continue reading
Posted 2 days ago at Pro Commerce
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Mass transit is of a political issue but it should not be. The Left has somehow or other come to believe that mass public transit is desirable. They particularly like fixed line public transit like light rail. From what I am watching in the rapidly growing San Jose Bay Area this is a bad policy idea. The initial thinking about... Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at Pro Commerce
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This is a success story based on my business advice. My advice is unusual and so this story is worth telling. Sometime in late 1974 about five or six months after I started the Briarpatch Network of small hippie business, I was having lunch with my kids at our favorite Taqueria on Mission Street in San Francisco. Since it had... Continue reading
Posted 4 days ago at Pro Commerce
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Several books by Lefties have made the point that demographics are on the side of the Left. They argue that minorities are growing and are increasingly Democrats. They argue that young people especially single women are increasing in numbers and are decidedly Democrats. Lastly they argue that there is a migration back to central urban cores and those are Democratic... Continue reading
Posted 5 days ago at Pro Commerce
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In this blog there has been the persistent viewpoint that most of contemporary children's playgrounds are a visual and experiential disaster. Ugly, no fun and without any danger. Three negatives from a child's point of view and from the point of view of a grandfather who has to entertain kids. I finally saw a simple, inexpensive and brilliant alternative. What... Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at Pro Commerce
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There has long been a discussion about the future of soccer in America. I have landed on the 'no future in America' position on several occasions in my blogs. My explanation deals with many issues ranging from the metaphor implicit in soccer to the emotional nature of the game. A new phenomenon has entered the discussion which has really ended... Continue reading
Posted 7 days ago at Pro Commerce
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I wanted one of my grandchildren to see how ideas flow and influence the world. We were at a street fair for design in Seattle and there was a table from the local design school with several students at the desk. I said to them that one of the most common objects in nearly 100,000,000 American households had never been... Continue reading
Posted Sep 15, 2014 at Pro Commerce
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My friends on the Left continue to delude themselves. They do not acknowledge that 99.2% of the hatred of Israel among Americans and European non-Muslims is entirely on the Left. Is it possible that only .8% of the Jew-Israel hatred is to be found in right wing parties in France, Austria and Greece? Yes and it is still less than... Continue reading
Posted Sep 14, 2014 at Pro Commerce
You and I were both living in another culture before 23. That may be the explanation. But we need a bigger sample and we need all the examples of people who became frozen despite that experience, like Noam Chomsky who had exactly the same experience as I did and has never had an original thought since then.
Toggle Commented Sep 13, 2014 on The 23yr old hump at Pro Commerce
1 reply
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You have to be pretty intelligent to have noticed that we have changed sides. ‘We’ being the United States under Barack Obama and the Democratic party and ‘sides’ being the Middle Eastern battle between Sunni and Shia. Before the actual names (Sunni, Shia) came out of Islam this battle was already 3000 years old. Before Barack Obama we were allies... Continue reading
Posted Sep 13, 2014 at Pro Commerce
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It has regularly been a theme of this blog that people stop thinking after age 23. They become like cast concrete or a hard-boiled egg. This happens to 993 people out of 1000. I have a near orgasm anytime I meet one of the remaining seven out of the thousand. There is no mystery in my definition of being able... Continue reading
Posted Sep 12, 2014 at Pro Commerce
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I have come to believe that Bill Gates is not a particularly bright guy. It was good luck and arrogance that made him rich. The good luck was having someone else's software to sell at the very moment IBM wanted to get out of the personal computer business. The arrogance was in Gates’ absolute unwillingness to amend the agreement he... Continue reading
Posted Sep 11, 2014 at Pro Commerce
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There is a problem with many Leftist Americans who can't understand why the Israelis and Palestinians don't get along. It seems to them that people who live so close together and have such a similar historic background should find some accommodation. The permanent hatred that the Palestinians teach their children and they deeply ingrain in every act of self abnegation... Continue reading
Posted Sep 10, 2014 at Pro Commerce
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I recently looked at the market for electric charging stations in downtown urban areas paid for by the local utilities. If you see any charging stations in downtown, take a photo for your records. They will come and go in an historic blink of an eye. Why? Electric cars are a short lived fad. The hybrid is a good idea... Continue reading
Posted Sep 9, 2014 at Pro Commerce
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I know the two words in the title of this blog are usually connected: politics and theater. It is because politics is nearly all theater and a shameful amount of theater is Democratic Party politics. That is not what this blog is about. This blog is about pro-commerce. The unexpected reality of commerce, which is making it increasingly impossible for... Continue reading
Posted Sep 8, 2014 at Pro Commerce
No. This Eric wasn't born until 1979. He went to Yale.
Toggle Commented Sep 7, 2014 on Small capital at Pro Commerce
1 reply
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There is a reason you don't hear me often complain about lack of acknowledgment for my many contributions. The reason is that I have led such a charmed and joyful life that to ask for recognition for my contributions would be sheer greed. I get an acknowledgment for a few of my contributions and that is frosting on the cake... Continue reading
Posted Sep 7, 2014 at Pro Commerce
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The recent black anti-retail violence in Ferguson, Missouri has raised the question of violence in the black community which is so horribly self-destructive. The black violence in 1967 in Detroit has totally destroyed that city. Forever. I have been willing to discuss the serious taboo about the rise of a black permanent hereditary criminal underclass. There is a separate origin... Continue reading
Posted Sep 6, 2014 at Pro Commerce
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East Germany became a part of a united Germany in 1990. There is one lesson that the world has drawn from this reunification and another lesson that I have drawn from it. The lesson the world learned was that reunification of a successful commercial society with a communist society is an expensive proposition. It is such an expensive proposition that... Continue reading
Posted Sep 5, 2014 at Pro Commerce
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When we discuss a body politic it is not uncommon to use a metaphor of social fabric. When we look at a society in distress we use the term ‘ripped social fabric’. I think the metaphor is particularly appropriate because fabrics are composed of woof and warp. Warp is the closely aligned parallel threads through which the woof is woven... Continue reading
Posted Sep 4, 2014 at Pro Commerce
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This is neither a rhetorical question nor an expert comment. Nobody knows the future. The reason I bring up the question is because I've recently become conscious of the impact of the World War I on Europe. Up until 1914 Europe was a rapidly growing center of commerce as well as culture, technology, the arts and a fully integrated society... Continue reading
Posted Sep 3, 2014 at Pro Commerce
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The actual data are not available yet but I can tell you, based on walking and driving around San Francisco and talking to my retail clients, that this summer has been the best tourist summer in San Francisco history. Ordinarily the city gets about 9 million tourists. This year the number is closer to 10 million. In asking around, I... Continue reading
Posted Sep 2, 2014 at Pro Commerce
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The two streets in San Francisco that I want to describe are both pedestrian shopping streets in the same Marina neighborhood. They are both straight East-West streets and they both go roughly 6 blocks; they have the same parking and residential circumstances. In the 1960s, Union St. got an overall design by an architect friend of mine, Beverly Willis. For... Continue reading
Posted Sep 1, 2014 at Pro Commerce