BCG reports recent findings indicating US unemployment will continue to be high for decades:
There's an obvious and huge mismatch in what the economy needs, and what our education systems are training people to do. Meanwhile, politicians juke the stats, and the mainstream US media makes like the US labor force and economy is doing just fine.
The surplus in the U.S. presents a starkly contrasting picture. Again, we modeled labor supply and demand using the same two sets of assumptions: GDP and productivity growth rates for the past 10 and 20 years. In each scenario, the supply of labor in 2030 will exceed demand. In the best case (the 20-year demand scenario), supply will exceed demand by at least 7.4 million people.
Of the six unemployment measures used by the U.S. Department of Labor, the one commonly reported in the press is U-3. The broadest unemployment measure(U-6) has hovered around 14 percent since late 2012 and mid-2013, versus the 8 percent rate that is generally reported.
These situations where I can't make a choice because I'm too busy trying to envision the perfect one—that false perfectionism traps you in this painful ambivalence: If I do this, then that other thing I could have done becomes attractive. But if I go and choose the other one, the same thing happens again. It's part of our consumer culture. People do this trying to get a DVD player or a service provider, but it also bleeds into big decisions. So my rule is that if you have someone or something that gets 70 percent approval, you just do it. 'Cause here's what happens. The fact that other options go away immediately brings your choice to 80. Because the pain of deciding is over."And," he continues, "when you get to 80 percent, you work. You apply your knowledge, and that gets you to 85 percent! And the thing itself, especially if it's a human being, will always reveal itself—100 percent of the time!—to be more than you thought. And that will get you to 90 percent. After that, you're stuck at 90, but who the fuck do you think you are, a god? You got to 90 percent? It's incredible!
Take your butter and put it on a toothpick tripod. Pop it in the microwave and stop it right as the butter starts to slide down. Voila, turn refrigerator-cold butter into perfectly spreadable butter with no mess or melt.
I wish there were simple tricks like this to solve all of life's problems.
This is a pretty powerful idea. There are two sets of people in the world - those who are ambitious dreamers, and those who have capital to allocate. 99.999999% of the time, those two things don't really meet. Sure, there are VC's, and sure there are forward thinking people who invest, but that is still not enough.
"Page recognized that Google’s search-advertising business, with its insane profit margins and sustained growth, was exactly the kind of cash-generating machine that his hero, Nikola Tesla, would have used to fund his wildest dreams."
Israeli electric car startup Better Place ate through $900M in funding and died. In his coverage, Max Chafkin writes this gem:
This is very true, and startups die every other day of some form of this. The money comes tomorrow only when you perform. Even if it's easy now, it won't be easy forever.
Entrepreneurs are frequently told not to drink their own Kool-Aid--which is to say, to remember that the stories they tell about how their products will save humanity are just that.
Privately, they are cautioned to focus on the small things; to make more money than they lose; to cut costs when needed; and, when necessary, to pivot to a more promising business. The caution seems especially important in a culture that increasingly celebrates startups, threatening to confuse their mythmaking with reality.
“If only it were all so simple! If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds, and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart?”
It's always great when a big company innovates, but just like a little knowledge is a dangerous thing, a little innovation can be that way for creating a million paper cuts of user pain.
Here's one paper cut by American Express's ReceiptMatch service, that can take posts by email. But unfortunately, when its servers are down (and they are down often), the service just starts instantly rejecting email.
This simply isn't the kind of thing a normal software engineer would do. Emails queue by default, actually — and receipts are rarely so mission critical that I need 200 millisecond response times on my receipt emails. So just leave the email in the queue and process it when you can.
A rare case of addition by subtraction — it's actually more work to send a rejection email than it is to let it sit in an email queue. That's the easiest thing in the world to do, and infinitely better than what they do now.
"The problem with human progress is that it tends to go too fast—that is, too fast for the great majority of comfortable and incurious men."