Jill Lepore, a professor of history at Harvard and writer for the New Yorker, has written a critique of Clayton Christensen’s theory of disruptive innovation that is worth thinking through. Christensen’s The Innovator’s Dilemma (the dilemma is for firms to continue making the same decisions that made them successful, which will lead to their downfall) … More Critiquing the theory of disruptive innovation
My friend and colleague Joel Mokyr talked recently with Russ Roberts in an EconTalk podcast that I cannot recommend highly enough (and the links on the show notes are great too). The general topic is this back-and-forth that’s been going on over the past year involving Joel, Bob Gordon, Tyler Cowen, and Erik Brynjolfsson, among … More Joel Mokyr on growth, stagnation, and technological progress
The Mercatus Center’s Adam Thierer analyzes communications technologies and the policies influencing the development and use of them, and I’ve always found his work extremely valuable in my own thinking. Adam and Brent Skorup have a new Mercatus study on lobbying in the information technology sector, A History of Cronyism and Capture in the Information … More Adam Thierer on regulating media platforms
From law professors Jennifer Stisa Granick and Christopher Jon Sprigman, in today’s New York Times: “We may never know all the details of the mass surveillance programs, but we know this: The administration has justified them through abuse of language, intentional evasion of statutory protections, secret, unreviewable investigative procedures and constitutional arguments that make a … More The Criminal N.S.A.
Lynne Kiesling The Economist recently did one of their periodic debates, this time on the pace and effects of technological progress. Moderator Ryan Avent framed the debate thus: This leads some scholars to conclude that accelerating technical change is an illusion. Autonomous vehicles and 3D printers are flashy but lack the transformative power of electricity … More Economist debate on technological progress
Lynne Kiesling The Atlantic’s Derek Thompson parses Mary Meeker’s annual state of the Internet presentation, which includes some nifty and insightful analyses of data. Here’s my favorite: Note that this is in percentage terms, so it doesn’t show the overall increase in the number and variety of digital devices used — the number of devices … More The ephemeral Schumpeterian monopoly
Lynne Kiesling Nest’s recent business developments are refreshing and promising. Building on the popularity of its elegant and easy-to-use learning thermostat in its first couple of years, Nest is introducing new Nest-enabled services to automate changes in settings and energy use in the home. Called Rush Hour Rewards and Seasonal Savings, Nest claims: Rush Hour … More Nest and technology-service bundling