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’

JAMES CLEARJAMESCLEAR.COM AUG. 23, 2013, 3:06 PM 2,709

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

ABHEEK BHATTACHARYA

AM-AZ945_INDIAH_NS_20130823051505

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

F_2013_08_Momentum_Factor_fig2_small

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 Amazon.com 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

http://s1.wp.com/wp-content/themes/vip/pandodaily2/post-assets/studio20/oracle.html

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

BY DAVID HOLMES
ON AUGUST 23, 2013

oracle-mafia

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

PandoMaps: An awesome interactive map of every startup that sprung out of the Fairchild Mafia

http://s1.wp.com/wp-content/themes/vip/pandodaily2/post-assets/studio20/fairchild.html

Introducing PandoMaps: A new interactive tool for mapping startup ecosystems

BY DAVID HOLMES 
ON AUGUST 21, 2013

fairchildmafia

When Sarah Lacy started PandoDaily, she used the metaphor of the Pando tree to describe what she loved about startups: Measuring 43 hectares and weighing 6,000 tons, they’re pretty impressive above ground. But what really matters is what is happening below. The interconnected root system is the oldest living organism in the world. No matter what happens above ground, that root system stays alive, and continually shoots up new trees. If each startup is the individual root in this metaphor, then the 6,000 ton tree trunks are the great families of Silicon Valley. Fairchild. Paypal. Oracle. Netscape. “Mafias” we call them today. The number of companies that have sprung out of these four giants and their founders, whether through acquisition or investment, is staggering. But how do you visualize this ecosystem? How do you display the hundreds of tangled startup roots yet make it comprehensive? To overcome these challenges we tapped students of Jay Rosen’s Studio 20 digital journalism class at NYU. During the Spring Semester, Rosen and his students embarked on a project called “The Networked Beat.” Rosen’s basic thesis is that journalists can more effectively cover their beat by identifying and giving voice to the smartest experts and observers in a given field. To do this, journalists should use whatever technology and techniques are available, whether that means crowdsourcing on Twitter or writing an algorithm that collects and sorts publicly-shared information. Read more of this post

An Alternative Reason Good Investment Managers Struggle To Persist; after the lifestyle moves up, the fear sets in. Now it’s less about the glory of the home run and more about the fear of a strikeout

An Alternative Reason Good Investment Managers Struggle To Persist

Posted by Michael Kitces on Wednesday, August 21st, 2013

Earning an income is a fundamental incentive to work. It starts with just earning enough for the essentials of food, clothing, and shelter. From there, it grows to a desire for a greater lifestyle, the “nicer things” of life, and perhaps even the opportunity to accumulate enough to not need to work in the future (i.e., to retire), which in turn incentivizes trying to further grow income and advance a career. Read more of this post

Star Stock Pickers Harder Than Ever To Find

Star Stock Pickers Harder Than Ever To Find

By Cinthia Murphy

August 22, 2013

Peter Lynch, George Soros and Bill Miller are some of the best active equity fund managers the market has seen, and to a certain degree, they also seem to be a disappearing breed. Active equity managers who become household names on the heels of stellar year-after-year outperformance are harder and harder to find these days. Lynch is famous as the stock investor who took the Fidelity Magellan Fund from its small beginnings in 1977 to $14 billion in assets by 1990, all the while beating the S&P 500 Index in 11 of those 13 years. Soros, meanwhile, is known in part for running the Quantum Fund for nearly 20 years, which generated an average annual return of more than 30 percent under his watch. Read more of this post

Why most brainstorming sessions fail; Trying to “think outside the box” won’t work if you don’t recognize the box you’re already in. Here’s how to brainstorm better

Why most brainstorming sessions fail

By Anne Fisher, contributor August 23, 2013: 10:41 AM ET

Trying to “think outside the box” won’t work if you don’t recognize the box you’re already in. Here’s how to brainstorm better.

Laughing Stock/Corbis

FORTUNE — Dear Annie: I’m a member of a 14-person brand-management team for a product whose sales were skyrocketing for a while but have now leveled off. My boss told me that senior management is “concerned” about this plateau where we seem to be stuck, and he wants me to organize some brainstorming sessions to try to come up with “outside the box” ideas for increasing sales. Not only have I never done this before, but it’s stressing me out for two other reasons. First, previous brainstorming efforts have led nowhere, so people here are pretty jaded about the whole idea. And second, my boss gave me the impression that this assignment is kind of an audition for a promotion, so I don’t want to screw it up. Do you or your readers have any suggestions? —Pittsburgh Pat Read more of this post

Paris pickpockets target tourists from China; Paris may be irrepressibly beautiful and intoxicatingly romantic, but it is still not heaven on earth

August 23, 2013 3:55 pm

Paris pickpockets target tourists from China

By Adam Thomson in Paris

For years, Paris has traded on its reputation as the City of Light and even as the city ofl’amour. But for a growing number of Chinese tourists, it is becoming the city of crime. Chinese visitors are descending on Paris in record numbers and their lavish spending on luxury brands has made them an irresistible target for thieves. Petty crime between January and the end of June in one of the world’s most-visited cities jumped 7.8 per cent compared with the same period in 2012 – but it was up by more than 24 per cent when it came to Chinese tourists. Jean-Francois Zhou, a tour operator based on the Champs-Elyseés, says that thieves see the hordes of Chinese as prime targets because they carry far more cash than visitors from other countries – in large part because of the significant fees involved in using their plastic cards abroad. Read more of this post

Otom (Others’ Time and Others’ Money) causing a ruckus among investors

Updated: Saturday August 24, 2013 MYT 7:53:44 AM

Otoms causing a ruckus among investors

GOVERNANCE MATTERS: BY SHIREEN MUHIUDEEN

THE acronym Otom looks harmless enough, but actually describes a devious charlatan who uses Others’ Time and Others’ Money (hence Otom) for their own gains. Most individuals will invest in a particular company only if they believe in the people who run it. It is all about trust and should that trust be broken, the investment will not be forthcoming. With so many investment opportunities these days, many investors are looking to diversify their portfolios by putting their money in various asset classes, which include properties, equities and, very often, unlisted equities. Read more of this post

MICHAEL BLOOMBERG: If You Want To Be Successful, Stop Going To The Bathroom

MICHAEL BLOOMBERG: If You Want To Be Successful, Stop Going To The Bathroom

JULIA LA ROCHE AUG. 23, 2013, 11:26 AM 18,286 41

michael-bloomberg-9

NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg, the billionaire founder of media giant Bloomberg LP, said on his radio show that people who want to be successful shouldn’t go the bathroom a lot. From Politicker: [via Daily Intelligencer] “Everybody’s got different opportunities in front of ‘em, different skill sets they bring and luck plays a part of it. But my experience is that you make your own luck. The harder you work, the luckier you get.” “I always tried to be the first one in in the morning and the last one to leave at night, take the fewest vacations and the least time away from the desk to go to the bathroom or have lunch. You gotta be there. I mean, everybody says, ‘Oh, that’s crazy!’ But if you want to succeed, … you can’t control how lucky you are, you can’t control how smart you are, but you can control how hard you work, so that’s the first thing.” Cross your legs, folks.

Beware the Sirens of Management Pseudo-Science

Beware the Sirens of Management Pseudo-Science

by Freek Vermeulen  |   9:00 AM August 23, 2013

Management is not an exact science, they say. And I guess most things that involve the study of human behavior cannot be. But I sometimes wonder if that is the reason — or the excuse — that the business sections at airport bookshops are so full of nonsense. Quite often these books are written with panache. And the authors — aspiring “management thinkers” and “gurus” (never scientists) — have an excellent sense of the pulse of the business public. They are neither crooks nor charlatans; they write what they believe. But that doesn’t make their beliefs right. People can believe vigorously in voodooism, homeopathy, and creationism. Read more of this post

Bankers turned novelists found starting a new chapter tough but rewarding; “The world I used to occupy was all about dirty money”; “If you thought you worked hard as a banker you will be begging for mercy by the time you reach the end of a novel”

August 22, 2013 5:57 pm

They plotted to escape the City

By Emma Jacobs

Elmore Leonard, the American crime writer who died this week, was once asked if he could write about the wrongdoers on Wall Stin the aftermath of the financial crisis. “No – where’s the action?” he said. “My people don’t have stock. It’s the most boring thing in the world to make your money that way – using money to make money.” Nonetheless, a number of former executives, bankers and traders have attempted to do just that by leaving the constraints of the corporate world to become novelists – with some of them drawing on experiences from their previous careers. Read more of this post

Bank of America reviews long-hours culture after intern’s death; “Looking back, the money was just an anaesthetic. Ultimately, the money and perks could never make up for the exhaustion or the lack of control we all had over our lives.”

Bank of America reviews long-hours culture after intern’s death

Moritz Erhardt, who was ‘tipped for greatness’ was found dead in shower after working solidly for 72 hours at Merrill Lynch

Shiv Malik

theguardian.com, Friday 23 August 2013 13.36 BST

Bank of America Merrill Lynch will review its working practices and culture of long hours following the death of a German intern last week, who colleagues said had pulled three all-nighters in a row before being discovered by emergency services. One of the world’s largest banks issued a statement on Friday afternoon expressing shock at the death of 21-year-old Moritz Erhardt, who was working in Merrill Lynch’s investment banking division, and announced a review of working practices with a special focus on junior members of staff. Erhardt, from south-west Germany, was found dead in a shower cubicle at his temporary accommodation in east London last Thursday evening. Read more of this post

Any society with a lot of “threshold earners” is likely to experience growing income inequality. A threshold earner is someone who seeks to earn a certain amount of money and no more. If wages go up, that person will respond by seeking less work or by working less hard or less often. That person simply wants to “get by” in terms of absolute earning power in order to experience other gains in the form of leisure—whether spending time with friends and family, walking in the woods and so on. Luck aside, that person’s income will never rise much above the threshold

From the January/February 2011 issue

The Inequality That Matters

Tyler Cowen

Does growing wealth and income inequality in the United States presage the downfall of the American republic? Will we evolve into a new Gilded Age plutocracy, irrevocably split between the competing interests of rich and poor? Or is growing inequality a mere bump in the road, a statistical blip along the path to greater wealth for virtually every American? Or is income inequality partially desirable, reflecting the greater productivity of society’s stars? Read more of this post

A Brief History of Maps: A look at maps through time and what they did, and didn’t, show us.

August 23, 2013, 9:40 p.m. ET

What Lurks Beyond the Boundaries

AMANDA FOREMAN

For adults vacationing with children, the greatest test of endurance used to be putting up with the refrain “Are we there yet?” The invention of Google Maps along with similar Internet tools has mercifully spread peace and good times where guesswork and frayed nerves reigned before. Still, it is important to remember that the desire to know “where and when” is one of the noblest questions of humankind. The earliest efforts to ascribe boundaries to space and time were directed up instead of down. The ancients began with the lights in the night sky. The oldest star chart in existence depicts the Orion constellation, carved onto the tusk of a woolly mammoth during the Stone Age. Read more of this post

The Cadbury legacy

Updated: Saturday August 24, 2013 MYT 9:54:30 AM

The Cadbury legacy

OPTIMISTICALLY CAUTIOUS: BY ERROL OH

WHAT should you do if you’re hoping that a prestigious institution will one day honour your work by setting up an archive to preserve and organise your records? Here’s a suggestion: Get appointed the head of a committee that produces an influential and timely report on a hot-button topic, and from then on, become a widely recognised authority on that subject. That worked for Sir Adrian Cadbury, not that there’s any evidence that he had indeed nursed such an ambition. On Wednesday, Cambridge University’s Judge Business School issued a press release saying Cadbury had recently donated to the school copies of all his speeches on corporate governance. These go to the Cadbury Archive housed at the school. The rest of the archive’s papers are those accumulated by Cadbury when he was chairman of Britain’s Committee on the Financial Aspects of Corporate Governance. The committee was formed in May 1991 by the Financial Reporting Council, the London Stock Exchange and the accountancy profession. Read more of this post

Does investing in gold have a future?

Last updated: August 23, 2013 7:33 pm

Does investing in gold have a future?

By Jonathan Eley

Few asset classes polarise opinion quite like gold. For some, it is the ultimate store of value that has withstood every crisis for millennia and will still be standing when the world’s financial system finally collapses under the weight of its own debt. For others, it is the “barbarous relic” that John Maynard Keynes so disdained, a non-productive, non-yielding asset beloved of crackpots and conspiracy theorists. Read more of this post

Why IKEA Doesn’t Care If Its Delivery Service Is A Nightmare; “Amazon can disrupt anything that doesn’t have to be assembled or curated”

Why IKEA Doesn’t Care If Its Delivery Service Is A Nightmare

JESSICA WINTERSLATE AUG. 23, 2013, 10:54 AM 1,659 3

It all started because I wanted the Nelson Swag Leg Desk. Not a new, licensed reproduction—I wanted the scuffed-up, 1960-vintage Nelson Swag Leg Desk I found on eBay. It seemed to me mostly irrelevant that I could not afford the Nelson Swag Leg Desk. But my husband suggested a budgetary adjustment: Instead of pairing the Nelson Swag Leg Desk with pricey custom-built bookshelves as planned, we could economize with a jumbo set of Ikea’s Billy bookcases, which fit the appointed space almost to the centimeter. At first, I resisted this financially expedient arranged marriage of a modern-design icon to a prosaic dorm-room staple that I associated with beer pong and Gustav Klimt’s The Kiss. Eventually, though, I started talking myself into the compromise. I tried to think of it as a chic high-low flourish, like Anna Wintour pairing couture with jeans on her first Vogue cover, or Mike D plonking a Target pouf smack in the middle of his otherwise ultra-customized Brooklyn townhouse. Or something.

Read more of this post

No excuse for Glencore Xstrata writedown; Argument claiming ‘accounting construct’ fails to convince

Last updated: August 23, 2013 1:52 pm

No excuse for Glencore Xstrata writedown

By Paul Murphy

Argument claiming ‘accounting construct’ fails to convince

When large companies announce big asset impairment charges after a controversial takeover, as Glencore Xstrata did this week, two things happen. First, the financial press bang the multibillion-dollar figure into a headline or two; then, almost immediately, ranks of investment banking analysts step up to explain, in condescending tones, that this is just an accounting exercise and really doesn’t matter since no cash was involved. If the acquisition under debate involved the predator paying solely or largely in shares, as Glencore did in acquiring Xstrata, then those ignorant newspaper headlines are treated with complete disdain. Read more of this post

In the past year, Chinese films have galloped ahead like a dark horse, beating Hollywood imports

Fast forward with film

Updated: 2013-08-23 23:54

By Raymond Zhou ( China Daily)

In the past year, Chinese films have galloped ahead like a dark horse, beating Hollywood imports.

It is hardly surprising that most of these domestic hits are comedies. Comedy is mostly local.When Hollywood sent scouts to recover the secret formula, many of them reported that theseChinese movies were not particularly funny. Of course not. When you translate every line intoEnglish, you have lost much of the fun, leaving only a few sight gags. You have to sit with a full-house local audience to gauge the effect of these movies. Read more of this post

Illegal rooftop temple prompts unholy ire in Chinese city

Illegal rooftop temple prompts unholy ire in Chinese city

A privately-built illegal temple-like structure is seen on the top of a 20-storey residential block in the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen

Thu, Aug 22 2013

By Alexandra Hoegberg

(Reuters) – An elaborate temple-like structure perched on an apartment block in southeastern China is an illegal hazard that should be torn down, residents say. But they may not be as lucky as opponents of a lavish rooftop villa in Beijing. The temple in Shenzhen is believed to have been on the roof for about seven years but the complaints have hit the spotlight only after a doctor in Beijing was given 15 days to demolish his 800-square-metre (8,600-square-foot) house and garden built illegally atop a 26-storey apartment block. Read more of this post

Chinese Airlines Lure Pilots With Double the Pay of U.S. Captains; Carriers Boost Salaries to Hire Seasoned Crews, Causing Shortage Across Asia

August 23, 2013, 6:54 p.m. ET

Chinese Airlines Lure Pilots With Double the Pay of U.S. Captains

Carriers Boost Salaries to Hire Seasoned Crews, Causing Shortage Across Asia

JEFFREY NG

HONG KONG—China is snapping up the world’s supply of senior pilots, contributing to a global shortage and creating headwinds for Asia’s fast-expanding airlines. China is among the world’s fastest-growing air-travel markets, with domestic passenger traffic second only to the U.S., with the market expanding 14.7% in June compared with a year earlier, according to the International Air Transport Association. The rising middle class in China means millions more people are taking to the skies. Beijing plans soon to allow even more growth in its tightly controlled sector by encouraging the development of budget airlines, which are already booming across Asia. Read more of this post

Picky Fund Flows May Shield Northeast Asia Currencies From Fed Storm

Picky Fund Flows May Shield Northeast Asia Currencies From Fed Storm

By Jonathan Vit on 10:36 am August 23, 2013.
Singapore. Faced with tumbling markets as the US Federal Reserve becomes more likely to ease its stimulus measures, investors dedicated to emerging Asian markets are betting that the South Korean won and Taiwan dollar will fare better than their Southeast Asian counterparts. Dedicated Asian investors have to invest in the region so they are putting their money into Taiwan and Korea. Read more of this post

“Asean countries were almost the darlings of Asia for some time because people were saying they had higher growth prospects”

nvestors on High Alert After Rupiah Dive

By Yudith Ho, Liau Y-Sing & Yumi Teso on 11:08 am August 24, 2013.
The Thai baht and Malaysian ringgit are under closer scrutiny from investors concerned that worsening economic data will put them in a similar predicament to the Indonesian rupiah, which plunged 11 percent this year. The baht dropped 2.1 percent this week and the ringgit declined 0.8 percent as money was pulled from emerging-market assets on speculation the US Federal Reserve will soon start tapering stimulus. The rupiah slid 4.2 percent during the week, the most since November 2008, after the country reported a record current-account deficit on Aug. 16. Read more of this post

Everything you need to know about the mobile market in Vietnam in 2013

Everything you need to know about the mobile market in Vietnam in 2013

August 23, 2013

by Anh-Minh Do

Some of you may already know Appota, one of Vietnam’s rising startup stars from Hanoi. It’s a mobile content platform that helps distribute apps, games, and general content to users while also doing the good work of getting developers paid. Well, every few months Appota compiles all the data it has on mobile in Vietnam. This time it’s got a comprehensive report of the latest figures and a nice slideshare you can check out at the bottom. The report frames the landscapes in three ways: the good, the bad, and the ugly. But before we get into the mobile insights, it’s worth noting some key stats on Vietnam. The majority of the population, about 70 percent, are under 35. That makes for a very young population, 30 percent of which live in the cities. More than 17 million people live in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh city, Vietnam’s two biggest cities and places where more than 70 percent of the population have access to the internet.

Read more of this post

Thailand’s joining Japan and Korea as one of the “old men” of Asia

Thailand’s joining Japan and Korea as one of the “old men” of Asia

By Gwynn Guilford @sinoceros August 23, 2013

The latest news on Thailand’s economy has been grim. Not only did the country enter a recession (paywall) in the second quarter of this year, but it increasingly faces the twin specters of rising household debt and capital outflows. And now there’s news that makes the outlook even grayer—literally. As a new Bank of America/Merrill Lynch report puts it, Thailand is “emerging as the old man” of Southeast Asia. Due to a low fertility rate, its population is aging faster than previously assumed. The dangerous implication for its economy is that Thailand’s working-age population will peak in 2017, rather than 2020, according to recent recalculations by the United Nations. So the labor force will start shrinking sooner than planned, falling 1.2% between now and 2023, according to BofA/ML projections. More on why that’s bad in a moment, but first, here’s the chart. As you can see, by about 2060, Thailand’s working-age (the orange line) population shrinkage will have become the biggest in Asia:

screen-shot-2013-08-23-at-9-23-41-am

(Data indicate working-age population, not total population.) Read more of this post

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