Saturday, December 21, 2002

After Napster

There was Kazaa, which has over 100 million customers using its file-swapping software. The record companies and the movie people and the TV types are trying to shut Kazaa down, but it's easier said than done. The Washington Post has a good story about the company today.

Thursday, December 19, 2002


Scientific research into the creation of super-soldiers continues apace in both the US and China. Today, ABC News has a report on "the sleepless soldier." You will read more and more about this kind of scientific research in the years ahead. The creation of what has come to be called "ecto-warriors" is a growth industry around the world.

Wednesday, December 18, 2002

Department of Self-Promotion

My latest column for Fast Company can be found here. It's an unhappy appraisal of AOL's problems and prospects.

The Jacksonian Response

What to do if Iraq uses chemical or biological weapons against US forces? A majority of Americans believes the proper US response should be nuclear weapons. Jacksonian America wages war towards one end: the enemy's unconditional surrender.

Tuesday, December 17, 2002

Location, Location, Location

Yale economist Robert Shiller, whose best-selling work "Irrational Exuberance" called the top of the "bubble" market almost to the day, has a piece in today's Wall Street Journal that looks at the housing market "bubble." Shiller argues that the housing market is largely stable across the country, except in places like New York, Boston, Los Angeles, Silicon Valley, Denver and Seattle. In those areas, Shiller contends, a sharp correction (if not a crash) in home values is possible (and maybe probable).

At dinner last night, Reed Hastings, the chief executive officer of Netflix, said that the real estate correction in Silicon Valley (particularly on the commercial side) is gathering steam. "We pay $5 a foot right now (for Netflix warehouse space)," said Hastings. "When the contract expires, the price will probably be $2 a foot."

Monday, December 16, 2002


Given the press of other business, I've decided to remodel this blog along the lines of Just One Thing, which is published by another Fast Company contributing editor, Dan Pink. The self-evident idea is to post one item every day, usually a link with some commentary attached. And that's what I'm going to do, beginning tomorrow.

Sunday, December 15, 2002

Gore Gone

I was amazed when I flipped on my homepage and read the news. Gore seemed to me a lock to win the Democratic presidential nomination in 2004, which left him with a less than 50-50 but better than 46-54 chance to win the general election. Yes, Democratic insiders and their soulmates in the media were down on Gore, but so what? In places like New Hampshire and South Carolina, such enemies are assets.

With Gore gone, two front-runners emerge: Rep. Richard Gephardt and Senator Joe Lieberman. Gephardt will have the full-throated backing of Labor, Lieberman has national name recognition (and a good network of support) from the 2000 campaign. One problem for Lieberman is that the calendar sets up badly for him. He's a Connecticut Senator in Iowa with no labor support. He's probably blocked out in New Hamshire by Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry. And South Carolina is not Lieberman country. Let's just say.

One thing to remember is that the 2004 primary season will be exceptionally short. The whole thing begins and ends inside of 8 weeks. Once the winnowing process (Iowa and New Hampshire) weeds out the Howard Deans and General Clarks, South Carolina will be the state where the race goes from 3 candidates to a two-man race (the TV networks can only afford to cover two candidates once the Super Tuesdays begin).

Had he run, Gore would have been one of the two, post-South Carolina. Now it appears that Gephardt will be one of the two, post-South Carolina. Given the make-up of caucus attenders/primary voters in Iowa and New Hampshire, the opening (post-Gore) is on the left, not the right. Which is good news for Senator John Kerry. Which is good news for George W. Bush.