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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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What do these two have in common? It is not the history of Starbucks opening outlets in Israel. That failed. I am partially to blame. I helped Starbucks open in Japan with a very appropriate partner. Starbucks was so startlingly successful in Japan that top management thought they were geniuses at overseas business. They didn't understand what I had done... Continue reading
Posted yesterday at Pro Commerce
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The story is longer than the lesson. The lesson is that one person’s generosity may reduce other people’s generosity to the same recipients. The story. The estate of Beryl Buck was not large enough to warrant its own foundation with all the administrative costs; roughly $8 million. So it was folded into the San Francisco Foundation for operation as a... Continue reading
Posted 2 days ago at Pro Commerce
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I often hear people talk about a generic 'banker' and how such a banker thinks. It is always negative and demeaning. I know more about how bankers think, having been one. I was the first person hired by Bank of America to start a marketing research department. Joe Bowler was my partner and Barney Taylor, an old department head, was... Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at Pro Commerce
You are wise. I would never interfere in the life of a grandchild.
Toggle Commented 4 days ago on School these days at Pro Commerce
1 reply
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The public doesn't understand random very well. Otherwise we wouldn’t have long lines at the Mexican border or for TSA at airports and immigration at ports of entry. (I know immigration at ports of entry are being automated, fortunately for all of us travellers.) Random selection for screening works just as well for finding and deterring people trying to get... Continue reading
Posted 4 days ago at Pro Commerce
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Special thanks to Pamela Geller and the world of Lefties. Together they have opened a genuine discussion of free speech. Pamela Geller sponsored a cartoon competition about drawing Mohammed. Two Muslims got shot trying to kill attendees of the competition. Geller has personal body guards. She is the brave person defending two basic American rights, the rights described in the... Continue reading
Posted 5 days ago at Pro Commerce
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I’m not too positive about ‘visioning’ in business, even for non-profits where it is much more common. My experience has been negative. In several non-profits, the visioning preceded a disaster within a year. One non-profit disaster was where the general manager was embezzling. In another case, the leader was having sex with the staff. It finally blew-up. In the case... Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at Pro Commerce
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As I've explained before, we have tips and tipping in all the occupations formerly occupied by servants. In America these were also occupations for blacks and slaves. I have never seen a way to get rid of tips. Now I can. The new Uber service and its taxi peers, are based on smartphone apps and pre-registered credit cards. There are... Continue reading
Posted 7 days ago at Pro Commerce
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I've had several grandchildren who were much smarter than their elementary and preschool teachers. I was. So I know what an issue it is. I watched each one try several strategies over several years. First, she tried to be smart and do well. She finished everything immediately and had nothing to do. She was treated as a smart aleck who... Continue reading
Posted May 14, 2015 at Pro Commerce
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In the previous blog, one of my brilliant readers comments about the role of ‘nationalism’ and ‘religion’ in extending the realm of tribes for the purposes of trade. The only connection I see is one exceptional circumstance, otherwise trade comes before nationalism and religion. The exception is when ‘tribes become states’. We Jews are a ‘state’ A state is held... Continue reading
Posted May 13, 2015 at Pro Commerce
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My circle was talking about Yuval Harari’s book Sapiens. So I read it. It is a speculative history of humans. It is definitely not “wise”. It is just an up-to-date speculation with a synthesis of the latest popular journalism in anthropology, biology and history. I hate to say this about an Israeli, (the author) but there are below average Israelis... Continue reading
Posted May 12, 2015 at Pro Commerce
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In 1972 the U.S banned the use of DDT and made finding a supply of it impossible. Japan followed suit. After a trip in the Third World in 1975, with my girlfriend, Annie, we returned to Japan and found we had hair lice. I found a doctor in the countryside near Nagoya who had hidden a supply of 10% DDT... Continue reading
Posted May 11, 2015 at Pro Commerce
Phil, I'm in the high-end restaurant business. Nobody in the business has top quality tableware unless there is someone in the dinning room watching full time. All diners suffer from the cost of thieves. The wait staff is constantly asking patrons for courtesy concerning smart phones and excess perfume. I am sure there are plenty of restaurants that have notices about these issues in their menus, not on the walls.
Toggle Commented May 10, 2015 on Tomorrowland at Pro Commerce
1 reply
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Walt Disney created a wonderful world of make-believe movies and physical environments. He saw the business connection of the two. Back when Disney World in Florida was opened in 1971, I read about a national contest to submit designs for a Tomorrowland exhibition that would be added to the new Disney World. It was later called the Epcot Center. I... Continue reading
Posted May 10, 2015 at Pro Commerce
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My years of being a professional statistician run into conflict with the opinions of my close friends and family on occasion. Usually around medical issues. When blood test results come back with some potentially alarming news, or the same is true of an Xray or MRI, most people treat that as a serious reason for distress. I must admit that... Continue reading
Posted May 9, 2015 at Pro Commerce
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For more than 30 years we have had black leaders blaming every black death at the hands of the police on police racism. The same with white on black rape. Ann Coulter cites the evidence in her book Mugged: Radical Demagoguery. The earliest and most prominent lying black leader was Al Sharpton in the Bernhard Goetz and Tawana Brawley public... Continue reading
Posted May 8, 2015 at Pro Commerce
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You can read this article. The French passed a law giving them double the voting rights on shares of stock the government owns in private companies. Since France controls Renault, the auto company, which also owns the Japanese Nissan, that means that the French government controls Nissan now. The CEO who took Nissan from a minor auto company to a... Continue reading
Posted May 7, 2015 at Pro Commerce
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My Dutch bias hasn’t been part of this blog for a long time. You can go way back and find that I trace the origins of modern commerce to Holland in the 1600’s. I also locate the American facility with commerce in the Dutch colony of Manhattan and Alexander Hamilton, a Manhattanite. In reading a history of the English people... Continue reading
Posted May 6, 2015 at Pro Commerce
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There are currently several big art shows in my area. The shows have political themes such as ‘political dissidents’. My problem is I've never seen the work of an artist who had any political sophistication at all. Artists are just plain lousy at understanding politics. That includes Bruegel and David. So I avoid political art. I even question whether it... Continue reading
Posted May 5, 2015 at Pro Commerce
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If you have been watching, stores that sell pianos have been closing steadily for the past 50 years. The exception is probably Miami where old folks use pianos as decoration. For the past 25 years that is also true of rug stores and rug cleaners. I had two small Tibetan rugs that need cleaning. The rug man came to pick... Continue reading
Posted May 4, 2015 at Pro Commerce
Chained cars would work like car pools. There would be centralized locations to hookup and a destination location for everyone to unhook. The hookup location could be outside Yokohama and the unhook location could be near Shinagawa.
Toggle Commented May 4, 2015 on Chained cars at Pro Commerce
1 reply
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Much of my life I've thought about social improvements. One obvious need is for better transportation. The best I have come up with is a chain of cars. The chain part gives individual drivers time to read and work on a long freeway trip instead of paying attention to driving; leaving them with their private cars to uncouple and drive... Continue reading
Posted May 3, 2015 at Pro Commerce
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Two major changes are happening in the ad world. First, it is shrinking. The best evidence of this is the steady and unceasing merging of international ad agencies. It is hard to get exact data on advertising just as it is on movie attendance. As the price of movie tickets increase it covers the dramatic drop in movie attendance. Nevertheless... Continue reading
Posted May 2, 2015 at Pro Commerce
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Sometimes there is not a good solution. That is when we need to learn to accommodate. One meaning of the word is to accept a situation as it is. To me that is clear in the West Bank-Israel situation. The situation will remain unchanged for a century and it is the best that can be done under the circumstances. The... Continue reading
Posted May 1, 2015 at Pro Commerce
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President Obama and AG Holder have regularly proclaimed that America has a race problem that it is unwilling to confront. These are two men who are doubly blind to this issue. They fail to see and admit the creation of a black hereditary criminal class in America. They also fail to see another less visible American black issue. America has... Continue reading
Posted Apr 30, 2015 at Pro Commerce