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The Next Web sheds key staff amid shift in editorial strategy to one that depends less on breaking news and more on reviews and analysis; Waywire CEO Nathan Richardson Departs As Company Shifts Focus From Content Creation To Curation

The Next Web sheds key staff amid shift in editorial priorities

BY HAMISH MCKENZIE
ON AUGUST 15, 2013

The Next Web, a leading tech blog, has fired or farewelled five of its top editorial staff in recent weeks as it shifts its editorial strategy to one that depends less on breaking news and more on reviews and analysis. In the last month, deputy managing editor Alex Wilhelm left to join TechCrunch, European editor and former TechCrunch writer Robin Wauters was laid off, and both features editor Harrison Weberand news editor Matthew Panzarino have left the company. Brad McCarty, who variously held positions as managing editor, director of business development, and head of TNW Academy, has also parted ways with the company. (Update: McCarty has since been in touch via Twitter to clarify that his departure was not related to the other personnel changes; the timing was coincidental.) Read more of this post

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If it’s not broke, break it: How David Marcus is dismantling PayPal to save it

If it’s not broke, break it: How David Marcus is dismantling PayPal to save it

BY SARAH LACY 
ON AUGUST 12, 2013

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These days, if you go up and down the elevator at PayPal’s headquarters, get out on each floor and look around. You’ll see the perfect metaphor for PayPal’s past, present, and future.

On the third floor, PayPal President David Marcus shows me a sea of high-walled beige and grey hexagonal cubicles. The kind you stared at for 16 hours a day if you worked at a Peninsula-based, late-1990s tech company. They look identical to Yahoo’s except no purple and yellow. The walls block out most of the natural light in the room and any sign of coworkers. Even “Cubicle Guy” would have to stretch to prairie dog over them. Marcus can’t hide his contempt looking at them. Read more of this post

Garages of the Rich and Famous

Garages Read more of this post

Why Innovation Is Still Capitalism’s Star

August 17, 2013

Why Innovation Is Still Capitalism’s Star

By ROBERT J. SHILLER

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CAPITALISM is culture. To sustain it, laws and institutions are important, but the more fundamental role is played by the basic human spirit of independence and initiative.

The decisive role of the “spirit of capitalism” is an old concept, going back at least to Max Weber, but it needs refreshing today with new evidence and new thinking. Edmund S. Phelps, a professor of economics at Columbia University and a Nobel laureate, has written an interesting new book on the subject. It’s called “Mass Flourishing: How Grassroots Innovation Created Jobs, Challenge and Change” (Princeton University Press), and it contains a complex new analysis of the importance of an entrepreneurial culture.

Professor Phelps discerns a troubling trend in many countries, however, even the United States. He is worried about corporatism, a political philosophy in which economic activity is controlled by large interest groups or the government. Once corporatism takes hold in a society, he says, people don’t adequately appreciate the contributions and the travails of individuals who create and innovate. An economy with a corporatist culture can copy and even outgrow others for a while, he says, but, in the end, it will always be left behind. Only an entrepreneurial culture can lead. Read more of this post

Springboard: Launching Your Personal Search for Success

Springboard: Launching Your Personal Search for Success [Hardcover]

G. Richard Shell (Author)

Springboard

Release date: August 15, 2013

Everyone knows that you are supposed to “follow your dream.”  But where is the road map to help you discover what that dream is?
You have just found it. In Springboard, award-winning author and teacher G. Richard Shell helps you find your future. His advice: Take an honest look inside and then answer two questions:
What, for me, is success? 
How will I achieve it? 
You will begin by assessing your current beliefs about success, including the hidden influences of family, media, and culture. These are where the pressures to live “someone else’s life” come from. Once you gain perspective on these outside forces, you will be ready to look inside at your unique combination of passions and capabilities. The goal: to focus more on what gives meaning and excitement to your life and less on what you are “supposed” to want.
Drawing on his decades of research, Shell offers personalized assessments to help you probe your past, imagine your future, and measure your strengths. He then combines these with the latest scientific insights on everything from self-confidence and happiness to relationships and careers.
Throughout, he shares inspiring examples of people who found what they were meant to do by embracing their own true measure of success.

Eric Adler: one of Shell’s former students who walked away from a conventional business career to help launch a revolutionary new concept in public education that has placed hundreds of inner-city high school students in top colleges.

Kurt Timken: a Harvard-educated son of a Fortune 500 CEO who found his true calling as a hard-charging police officer fighting drug lords in southern California.

Cynthia Stafford: an office worker who became one of her community’s leading promoters of theater and the arts.

Get ready for the journey of a lifetime—one that will help you reevaluate your future and envision success on your own terms. Students and executives say that Richard Shell’s courses have changed their lives. Let this book change yours. Read more of this post

In college, Meredith Perry wondered why wireless devices needed wires for recharging. That question has led to her work on a way to transmit electrical power via sound waves

August 17, 2013

An Inventor Wants One Less Wire to Worry About

By JACK HITT

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Meredith Perry with a covered prototype of uBeam’s wireless charger, which is under wraps until its release date

SOMETIMES, there is an actual eureka moment. For Meredith Perry, it was in late 2010, during her senior year studying astrobiology at the University of Pennsylvania. She was searching for an idea to enter into the college’s innovation competition. “It was my last year to do it,” she told me, “so I literally would just carry around a notebook and write down any annoyances, because that would be an opportunity to solve a problem and have an invention.” An admitted “professional Googler,” she’d been researching all day on her computer when she decided to pack it in for the night. “I was just standing in my room,” she said, “wrapping up my laptop charger and trying to fit it into my bag and suddenly it occurred to me: Wow, this is so archaic. Why are we using these 20-foot wires to plug in our quote-unquote wireless devices?” “See past old paradigms” is one of those cheesy riffs one might hear from an innovation expert working the business speakers’ circuit. Yet here it was, a question that inched just past what was simply accepted: Why, in a wireless age, do we still have electrical wires? Read more of this post

Good Deeds Gone Bad: Why does virtue sometimes beget more virtue but other times allow for vice?

August 16, 2013

Good Deeds Gone Bad

By MATTHEW HUTSON

ON your way to work today you may have paused to let another car merge into your lane. Or you stopped to give a dollar to a subway artist. A minute later, another chance to do the same may have appeared. Did your first act make the second more tempting? Or did you decide you had done your good deed for the day? Strangely, researchers have demonstrated both reactions — moral consistency and moral compensation — repeatedly in laboratories, leading them to ask why virtue sometimes begets more virtue and sometimes allows for vice. In doing so, they have shed an interesting light on how the conscience works. We often look to past behavior for clues about who we are and what we want, and then behave accordingly. Of course, we seek consistency not only with desirable behaviors, but also with less noble acts: in one study, subjects assigned to wear sunglasses they knew were counterfeit were more likely to cheat during the experiment. But other research shows that good behavior often makes people feel license to be bad. In one study, after shopping for environmentally friendly products, compared with conventional ones, subjects stole more money. Again, this works both ways: another study found that contemplating a taboo act increased one’s willingness to volunteer with an organ donation campaign. Read more of this post

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