The Picasso Effect: What The Success of Cubism Teaches Us About Radical Innovation

The Picasso Effect: What The Success of Cubism Teaches Us About Radical Innovation

ian leslie, August 6, 2013

Paris, 1907. In a ramshackle studio in Montmartre, a twenty-six year-old Spanish artist presented the painting he had been working on day and night for the best part of a year to a small group of fellow artists, dealers and friends. They were visibly aghast. One considered the work “a veritable cataclysm”. Another concluded that its creator must be on the brink of suicide. None could foresee that it would one day be considered the most influential artwork of the twentieth century. The painting, then untitled, was later to become known as Les Demoiselles d’Avignon. It is credited as the first work of Cubism, and the catalyst for a revolution in Western art and culture. Read more of this post

Richard Branson Taught Me That ‘Successful People Start Before They’re Ready’

Richard Branson Taught Me That ‘Successful People Start Before They’re Ready’


In 1966, a dyslexic sixteen–year–old boy dropped out of school. With the help of a friend, he started a magazine for students and made money by selling advertisements to local businesses. With only a little bit of money to get started, he ran the operation out of the crypt inside a local church. Four years later, he was looking for ways to grow his small magazine and started selling mail order records to the students who bought the magazine. The records sold well enough that he built his first record store the next year. After two years of selling records, he decided to open his own record label and recording studio. Read more of this post

Too soon to buy unloved emerging markets; “Bottom-line, investors are now almost unanimously bearish on EM in their minds, but not so in their books. Contrarian investors looking for extreme distress ought not to announce a buying opportunity yet.”

Last updated: August 23, 2013 8:40 pm

Too soon to buy unloved emerging markets

By Robin Wigglesworth

To be utterly unloved is an unusual state of affairs for emerging markets.

Since the economic cataclysms of the 1990s, investors in developing countries have reaped a financial bonanza. But a combination of deteriorating economic fundamentals and the US Federal Reserve’s plans to “taper” its monetary stimulus has convulsed emerging markets since the start of May. Emerging market equity fund managers are more familiar with the unpopularity of their asset class than their bond colleagues. While the latter have suffered only a few dismal months, the former have been in the doldrums for a few years. But with sentiment so overwhelmingly bearish towards equities in particular, is this a golden contrarian buying opportunity? Read more of this post

Emerging Stocks’ Emerging Problems; India Shows How the Emerging-Market Selloff May Have Only Begun

August 23, 2013, 5:28 a.m. ET

Emerging Stocks’ Emerging Problems

India Shows How the Emerging-Market Selloff May Have Only Begun



Emerging-market stocks have taken a thumping lately, and it could get a whole lot worse if foreign investors hasten their retreat. The MSCI Emerging Markets index is down 12.6% for the year, but it appears a lot of the selloff has been driven by local players. Foreigners have been slow to get out of emerging-market stocks. In fact, for most of the year they have been putting more money to work, according to EPFR, including inflows into stock funds much of the past two months. Read more of this post

Hot Potato: Momentum As An Investment Strategy; momentum’s strength has eroded over the past decade. Factor-based investing requires strong conviction and a steady hand

Hot Potato: Momentum As An Investment Strategy

August 2013 | Ryan Larson


Momentum investing has important features in common with other factor-based Smart Beta strategies. For example, it has straightforward index or portfolio construction rules that are easily explained and implemented. And, although momentum investing is emphatically not a contrarian strategy, neither is it necessarily inconsistent with the Smart Beta thesis that prices are noisy and mean-reverting. In this interpretation, momentum investing is a lively game of hot potato—buying rapidly appreciating stocks, holding them for a relatively short period, and selling them before their price trends reverse direction. And in favorable conditions it works very well. Read more of this post

Jeff Bezos’ Hiring Strategy in Amazon’s Early Days: The ‘Anti-Pitch’; Rather than tell prospects how happy and amazing Amazon is, Jeff Bezos would tell them that “it’s not easy to work here.” It had a powerful, intended effect — there was no disillusionment over what Amazon was when the prospect eventually joined. Those who chose Amazon in spite of the anti-pitch knew what they were getting into, and had in fact self-selected for the challenge. Amazon became known as a company whose engineers were intense and elite.

Jeff Bezos’ Hiring Strategy: The ‘Anti-Pitch’

WALTER CHENIDONETHIS BLOG AUG. 23, 2013, 3:36 PM 2,580 1

Today, the competition for top tech talent is as fierce as it’s ever been, and without a high-performing team, it’s tough to survive. It makes sense that such intense competitive pressure drives startup founders to pitch their company to prospective hires in ever more grandiose terms, exaggerate how well their company is “crushing it,” and make their culture sound like the happiest place on earth. How else can you stand out to a top candidate who’s considering offers from all of the hottest companies? It’s counterintuitive, but Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos takes a totally different approach to hiring: he gives prospects a hiring anti-pitch. Rather than tell prospects how happy and amazing Amazon is, Jeff Bezos would tell them that “it’s not easy to work here.” Even in 1997, during the dot-com boom, Bezos’s anti-pitch was stark and to the point: “You can work long, hard, or smart, but at you can’t choose two out of three.” Read more of this post

PandoMaps: An awesome interactive map of Larry Ellison and the Oracle mafia

PandoMaps: An interactive map of Larry Ellison and the Oracle mafia

ON AUGUST 23, 2013


This is the second in a four-part series of startup visualizations built by the students of Jay Rosen’sStudio 20 journalism program at NYU. Read the first post in the series which introduces the tool and maps out Silicon Valley’s “first family,” the Fairchild Mafia.

(startup descriptions pulled from Crunchbase)

[Visualization built by Simran Khosla, Jesse Kipp, Nuha Abujaber, and Jonathan Soma]

Is your company or a company you know missing? Click here to submit your information and get on the map!

The history of Oracle

Many of you may know that Elon Musk served as the inspiration for Robert Downey Jr.’s portrayal of executive-turned-superhero Tony Stark. But did you know Oracle founder Larry Ellison helped shape the character, too? He even made a cameo in the second Iron Man movie alongside Musk. Maybe the reason Musk’s Starkness gets all the attention is that Ellison doesn’t build spaceships and sports cars. He makes database management systems. Computer hardware systems. Enterprise software. Sexy, right? But while Musk supplied the character’s immense intellect and love of futuristic gadgetry, Ellison supplied Stark’s yacht-rocking, mansion-collecting opulence, not to mention the “5 o’clock shadow plus blazer look.” Ellison is party in the front and business in the back, like a reverse mullet. And just as Ellison’s outsized personality runs counter to Oracle’s wonky product line, there’s more drama behind the company and the companies it helped spawn than any enterprise software company should have a right to claim. Read more of this post

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