Google+ comes up short

What problem does Google+ solve for consumers? The answer appears to be: nothing. And, therefore, it solves nothing for Google either. As with many of these social launches — an exception being the ill-fated Google Buzz — the launch of Google+ was limited. Like Gmail and Google Wave, Google relied on invites to scale initial users and …

Can Digital Technologies Replace Superstars?

Japan's newest pop star, Aimi Eguchi, is a digital creation.  For the past couple of decades, digital technologies have been responsible for skill biased technical change, automating and replacing routine, low-skill work while augmenting the demand for more skilled workers. Bank tellers, clerks and assembly line workers were early targets of automation, while rock stars and CEOs benefited from being …

Agreeing on Groupon

Harry Truman famously begged for a one-handed economist. Why? He was sick of his economic advisers saying "on the other hand." Charles Schultz expressed similar frustration here. The idea that economists hedge their bets or disagree constantly with one another is a feature of the discipline. We see it today over issues such as the deficit and health …