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Nir Kossovsky
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Jon, I can't improve on the original: "If fifty million people say a foolish thing, it is still a foolish thing." Anatole France French novelist (1844 - 1924) Nir
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Sorry, Jonathan. Have to respectfully disagree and remind you that complaining neighbors may not be a good leading indicator. Over the trailing twelve months, Netflicks (NASDAQ:NFLX) has outperformed the median of its peer group by 231% suggesting that management may have some notion of how to make money; S&P announced this week that NFLX is being elevated to the S&P500 (large cap) index. That pushed up their stock an additional 1.7%. There will always be a niche market for renting DVDs (and VHS tapes, and vinyl records); but providing services for physical goods is much more expensive than streaming. I guess they figured that that broadband is distributed widely enough that the cost of customers lost will be covered by costs saved.
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Jon, Again, we are in violent agreement. Populism as crowdsourcing does not have the power of predictive decision markets since the latter's effectiveness depend on each participant having (i) a semblance of knowledge and (ii) acting independently. Populism as crowdsourcing is an element of democracy; but the wild swings in democracy are tempered by institutions. Untempered populism is anarchy. It is not an accident that the Greek Democracy (Democracy 1.0) lasted only 200 years while the Roman Republic got a good 400 years out of the model (Democracy 2.0). "The Romans were much more respectful of tradition in their government, suspicious of innovations, while the Greeks, especially the Athenians, were always quick to question basic assumptions. That's what made the Greeks such brilliant innovators in so many spheres, but it also made them fractious and quick to challenge established traditions and ideas. When they ruled the known world later, under the empire, the Romans recognized this tendency, importing Greeks to teach their young men and women but never trusting them. ("Beware of Greeks bearing gifts!") Source:
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P&G's emulation of the Walmart strategy, without the cost savings-based logistics capability, is actually the second phase of their value strategy. The first was to eschew the "not invented here" attitude towards innovation - Chesbrough's much heralded open innovation model but taken to an unhealthy extreme. In time, they gutted that which kept them at the forefront of innovation. The short term gain of destroying your capacity for innovation is a very sexy P&L. The long term cost is what they have competitive advantage. To rely on their brands' reputation is folly. The FT quotes this week Count Anton-Wolfgang Von Faber-Castell, CEO of Faber Castell, the world's biggest pencil manufacturer founded in 1761, commenting on innovation and brand, "A unique past will only help your brand if you have credible performance today."
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Epistemological questions make for an interesting side dish to a Saturday morning order of French Toast. Anarchy historically emerged as a high profile phenomenon when established institutions failed to live up to expectations -- pax Americana, Britania, Espania etc. As I see it, the internet blogosphere obviates the need to burn tires to get one's message across.
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Aug 21, 2010