Monday, October 31, 2011

Economics of a Zombie Attack

My Ignite Phoenix talk on the Economic Effects of a Zombie Attack is here. The video doesn't capture the energy from the audience. It was fantastic.

The basis for the talk was the longer lecture and Q&A from last spring.

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Sunday, October 02, 2011

Complements - Devices and Content

One thing that is missing in the debate over the Kindle Fire versus the iPad is acknowledgement of what it is we really consume. There's no reason to have a tablet computer without electronic content, and there is no reason to have electronic content without something to display it on. Tablet computers and electronic content are complements. Both Apple and Amazon understand this, but are coming at the market from different directions.

The iPad and Kindle Fire are emblematic of their makers. Apple’s primary business is selling devices for a healthy profit, and they back that up with a side business of selling digital content for those devices. Amazon’s primary business is as a retailer, including as a retailer of digital content. They back that up with a side business of low-cost digital devices that are optimized for on-the-fly purchasing of anything and everything Amazon sells. The Kindles are to Amazon what the printed catalog was to Sears a century ago.

I'm not sure who will win the market in the end - the better device with adequate content or better content with an adequate device.

For now, I'm happy with my Color Nook.

HT: John Gruber at Daring Fireball


Saturday, October 01, 2011

Maybe They Will, Maybe They Won't, Apparently They Did

Although Arizona voters passed a medical marijuana initiative, state officials have been trying to get a definitive ruling from the Feds on whether or not the Feds will prosecute those that engage in the medical marijuana business. I wrote about the controversy here.

Since actions speak louder than words, I think we have an answer.

A medical-marijuana clinic owner and his girlfriend were arrested after the Drug Enforcement Administration raided the Tempe facility Thursday morning.


"Essentially what we discovered is that they were illegally distributing marijuana for a fee," Sanchez said. "Which of course is a federal violation."

Engaging in an illegal activity certainly raises the opportunity cost of a business, even one sanctioned by state law.

HT: Espresso Pundit