Jobs disappearing thread

A good piece in the NYTimes on the stagnant jobs facing blue-collar America. I wonder if they would have written this if the votes had broken a different way and we were all talking of Hillary as president elect. A quote:

For workers like Mr. Roell, 36, who started at Carrier just weeks after receiving his high school diploma and never returned to school, the problem is not a shortage of jobs in the area. Instead, it is a drought of jobs that pay anywhere near the $23.83 an hour he makes at Carrier, let alone enough to give him a toehold in the middle class

Great stories and good reporting.

Quakers and the ethics of fixed pricing

From a 1956 issue of the then-newly rebrand­ed Friends Jour­nal, an expla­na­tion of the ethics behind pro­vid­ing a fixed price for goods:

Whether the ear­ly Quak­ers were con­scious­ly try­ing to start a social move­ment or not is a moot point. Most like­ly they were not. They were mere­ly seek­ing to give con­sis­tent expres­sion to their belief in the equal­i­ty of all men as spir­i­tu­al sons of God. The Quak­er cus­tom of mark­ing a fixed price on mer­chan­dise so that all men would pay the same price is anoth­er case in point. Most prob­a­bly Friends did this sim­ply because they want­ed to be fair to all who fre­quent­ed their shops and give the sharp bar­gain­er no advan­tage at the expense of his less skilled broth­er. It is unlike­ly that many Quak­ers adopt­ed fixed prices in the hope of forc­ing their sys­tem on a busi­ness world inter­est­ed only in prof­it. That part was just coin­ci­dence, the coin­ci­dence being that Friends hit upon it because of their con­vic­tions; the sys­tem itself was a nat­u­ral suc­cess.
 — Bruce L Pear­son, Feb 4 1956


+Matt Taibbi’s latest Rolling Stone piece explains the anger behind #ows: Wall…

Reshared post from +Tim O’Reilly

+Matt Taibbi’s lat­est Rolling Stone piece explains the anger behind #ows: Wall Street Isn’t Win­ning. It’s Cheat­ing. Real­ly excel­lent. Skew­ers the idea that this is class war­fare again­st the rich, focus­es on the tilt­ed play­ing field.

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Wall Street Isn’t Win­ning It’s Cheat­ing | Matt Taib­bi | Rolling Stone
I was at an event on the Upper East Side last Fri­day night when I got to talk­ing with a sales­man in the media busi­ness. The sub­ject turned to Zucott 

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A walk around the Occupy Philly encampment

There’s a dif­fer­ent feel since I last vis­it­ed – it’s qui­eter and more lived-in. Less a protest and more a small town. Ser­vices are orga­nized and there’s less peo­ple stand­ing with signs and tak­ing each other’s pic­tures.

I briefly sat in on the Quaker/Interfaith tent, where a meet­ing was going. I couldn’t hear much but the main issue of busi­ness was how open an inter­faith speaker’s series should be. I didn’t have too much time so I qui­et­ly slipped off after­wards to take more pic­tures of Occu­py. #blog

In album Occu­py Philly, 10/25 lunchtime #occu­pyphilly (7 pho­tos)

Part of the “Idea Wall”

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Steve Jobs on his major mistake during Apple’s troubled years: “Letting…

Reshared post from +Tim O’Reilly

Steve Jobs on his major mis­take dur­ing Apple’s trou­bled years: “Let­ting prof­itabil­i­ty out­weigh pas­sion” http://​huff​.to/​n​N​H​jGY #dit­to (a tweet by @stevecase) struck home for me, because in the after­math of Jobs’ death I’ve been think­ing a lot about O’Reilly, want­i­ng to make sure that we stream­line and focus on the stuff that mat­ters most.

Here’s the mon­ey quote from the arti­cle:

“My pas­sion has been to build an endur­ing com­pa­ny where peo­ple were moti­vat­ed to make great prod­ucts,” Jobs told Isaac­son. “[T]he prod­ucts, not the prof­its, were the moti­va­tion. Scul­ley flipped the­se pri­or­i­ties to where the goal was to make mon­ey. It’s a sub­tle dif­fer­ence, but it ends up mean­ing every­thing.”

Jobs went on to describe the lega­cy he hoped he would leave behind, “a com­pa­ny that will still stand for some­thing a gen­er­a­tion or two from now.”

“That’s what Walt Dis­ney did,” said Jobs, “and Hewlett and Packard, and the peo­ple who built Intel. They cre­at­ed a com­pa­ny to last, not just to make mon­ey. That’s what I want Apple to be.“
All of our great­est work at O’Reilly has been dri­ven by pas­sion and ide­al­ism. That includes our ear­ly for­ays into pub­lish­ing, when we were a doc­u­men­ta­tion con­sult­ing com­pa­ny to pay the bills but wrote doc­u­men­ta­tion on the side for pro­grams we used that didn’t have any good man­u­als. It was those man­u­als, on top­ics that no exist­ing tech pub­lish­er thought were impor­tant, that turned us into a tech pub­lish­er “who came out of nowhere.”

In the ear­ly days of the web, we were so excit­ed about it that +Dale Dougher­ty want­ed to cre­ate an online mag­a­zine to cel­e­brate the peo­ple behind it. That mor­phed into GNN, the Glob­al Net­work Nav­i­ga­tor, the web’s first por­tal and first com­mer­cial ad-supported site.

In the mid-90s, real­iz­ing that no one was talk­ing about the pro­grams that were behind all our most suc­cess­ful books, I brought togeth­er a col­lec­tion of free soft­ware lead­ers (many of whom had nev­er met each oth­er) to brain­storm a com­mon sto­ry. That sto­ry rede­fined free soft­ware as open source, and the world hasn’t been the same since. It also led to a new busi­ness for O’Reilly, as we launched our con­fer­ence busi­ness to help bring vis­i­bil­i­ty to the­se projects, which had no com­pa­ny mar­ket­ing behind them.

Think­ing deeply about open source and the inter­net got me think­ing big ideas about the inter­net as oper­at­ing sys­tem, and the shift of influ­ence from soft­ware to net­work effects in data as the key to future appli­ca­tions. I was fol­low­ing peo­ple who at the time seemed “crazy” – but they were just liv­ing in a future that hadn’t arrived for the rest of the world yet. It was around this time that I for­mu­lat­ed our com­pa­ny mis­sion of “chang­ing the world by spread­ing the knowl­edge of inno­va­tors.”

In 2003, in the dark days after the dot com bust, our com­pa­ny goal for the year was to reignite enthu­si­asm in the com­put­er busi­ness. Two out­comes of that effort did just that: +Sara Winge ‘s cre­ation of Foo Camp spawned a world­wide, grass­roots move­ment of self-organizing “uncon­fer­ences,” and our Web 2.0 Con­fer­ence told a big sto­ry about where the net was going and what dis­tin­guished the com­pa­nies that sur­vived the dot­com bust from those that pre­ced­ed it. 

In 2005, see­ing the pas­sion that was dri­ving garage inven­tors to a new kind of hard­ware inno­va­tion, Dale once again want­ed to launch a mag­a­zine to cel­e­brate the pas­sion­ate peo­ple behind the move­ment. This time, it was a mag­a­zine: Make: (http://​makezine​.com), and a year lat­er, we launched Mak­er Faire (http://​mak​er​faire​.com) as a com­pan­ion event. 150,000 peo­ple attend­ed Mak­er Faires last year, and the next gen­er­a­tion of star­tups is emerg­ing from the fer­ment of the move­ment that Dale named.

Mean­while, through those dark years after the dot­com bust, we also did a lot of pub­lish­ing just to keep the com­pa­ny afloat. (With a small data sci­ence team at O’Reilly, we built a set of ana­lyt­i­cal tools that helped us under­stand the untapped oppor­tu­ni­ties in com­put­er book pub­lish­ing. We real­ized that we were play­ing in only about 2/5 of the mar­ket; mov­ing into oth­er areas that we had nev­er been drawn to helped pay the bills, but nev­er sparked the kind of cre­ativ­i­ty as the areas that we’d found by fol­low­ing our pas­sion.)

It was at this time that I for­mu­lat­ed an image that I’ve used many times since: prof­it in a busi­ness is like gas in a car. You don’t want to run out of gas, but nei­ther do you want to think that your road trip is a tour of gas sta­tions.

When I think about the great per­sis­tence of Steve Jobs, there’s a lesson for all of us in it.

What’s so great about the Apple sto­ry is that Steve end­ed up mak­ing enor­mous amounts of mon­ey with­out mak­ing it a pri­ma­ry goal of the com­pa­ny. (Dit­to Lar­ry and Sergey at Google.) Con­trast that with the folks who brought us the 2008 finan­cial cri­sis, who were focused only on mak­ing mon­ey for them­selves, while tak­ing advan­tage of oth­ers in the process.

Mak­ing mon­ey through true val­ue cre­ation dri­ven by the desire to make great things that last, and make the world a bet­ter place – that’s the heart of what is best in cap­i­tal­ism. (See also the won­der­ful HBR blog post, Steve Jobs and the Pur­pose of the Cor­po­ra­tion. http://​blogs​.hbr​.org/​c​s​/​2​0​1​1​/​1​0​/​s​t​e​v​e​_​j​o​b​s​_​a​n​d​_​t​h​e​_​p​u​r​p​o​s​e​_​o​f​.​h​tml I also got a lot of per­spec­tive on this top­ic from +Lean­der Kah­ney’s book, Inside Steve’s Brain http://​www​.ama​zon​.com/​I​n​s​i​d​e​-​S​t​e​v​e​s​-​B​r​a​i​n​-​L​e​a​n​d​e​r​-​K​a​h​n​e​y​/​d​p​/​1​5​9​1​8​4​1​984 )

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What Steve Jobs Learned From His Biggest Fail­ure
Wal­ter Isaacson’s autho­rized biog­ra­phy of Steve Jobs traces the Apple co-founder’s career in Sil­i­con Val­ley – from its soar­ing highs to its crush­ing lows. Jobs has been hailed as a tech vision­ary, but … 

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