jose marquez

Category: business

competition

An intrepid researcher has mapped some of the microwave towers being used to conduct high-frequency-trading around the world. HFT requires competitors to use cutting-edge technology to see ahead. It has antecedents: Height, then, played an important part in facilitating that speed. A trader’s physical height became an advantage, which is part of the reason some […]

Balls

Ev Williams is a 42 year-old billionaire and one of the founders of the company that created the popular communications tool Twitter. Recently, Ev Williams posted a five-second video on Twitter implying that Human Rights Watch (HRW) should be embarrassed because one of its pieces of marketing was made in China. China, which has not […]

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The heroes we get (summer of 2014, continued)

Thoughts on the commercially successful superhero movies Guardians of the Galaxy and Lucy. Apparently, superhero movies are a bad place to look for heroes. Guardians of the Galaxy is full of clever jokes and features a disarmingly charming actor as its protagonist. It was clearly made by very talented people whose greatest achievement is to […]

Watered down baby formula

Many film critics, including some of the most astute, have written praises for the 2014 movie “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes”. I greatly enjoyed a few scenes and marveled at many shots that are visually stunning. I also found it an offensive commercialization of its immediate and distant predecessors. This is why. In […]

The Management of Feelings

soundtrack Feelings by Morris Albert art Standard Loneliness Package by Charles Yu Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind by Charlie Kaufman Brave New World by Aldous Huxley commerce Affective Labour, Pret a Manger and the political economy of post-recession England by Paul Myerscough AKB48 member’s ‘penance’ shows flaws in idol culture Private Dancer by Tina […]

Mad Men 2013

About 15 years ago I saw Tyler Brule, then just two years into Wallpaper, give a presentation that would forever change my understanding of art and commerce. He explained how Wallpaper was cajoling its clients into letting the magazine’s art team redo their ads so that these would play better as facing pages to the […]

The new co-viewing. Same as the old.

Television sets often determine the layout of the furniture in communal rooms. Their position in the typical American home is a clear testament to their social function, a purpose that can be traced back to the origins of theater and other communal rituals. Television programmers have always been involved in family and/or group dynamics. Successful […]

Cost management is for winners.

You don’t create better products by cutting costs. You cut costs after you create a better product. It may be tempting for companies with unpopular products to cut costs in order to hide a shrinking or flat market share. This is cost management as denial. A free marketplace does not forgive companies that fail to […]

Butterfly and hurricane, tick and $2bn trading loss

A tick > Lyme disease > absent boss > riskier trades > $2bn trading loss.

Do bad companies fire more workers?

Successful companies have better employees. They are more productive and more profitable because they are better at hiring (choosing, attracting) and developing (guiding, coaching) their workers. So, does the inverse hold: do bad companies fire more employees, more often? This may be a matter of correlation, not causation. Also, perhaps, this has already been investigated […]

Panic: single working moms, unemployed single men, and high finance.

One way to explain the moral panics of our day: a society governed primarily by old, rich white men of European descent apprehends an economy driven by single, working moms, weighed down by unemployed single men and traumatized by the reckless mass incarceration of the poor. Their imagined community is obsolete to an increasingly multiracial, […]

why do marketers anthropomorphize cookies and candies?

perhaps, eating is inherently social – that is, we are hardwired to eat with others. how then to justify “indulging” oneself with food? perhaps, by believing, however remotely, that one is in the company of the very food we are consuming. What’s crackin!       Wassup, bro!!!!! Hey pal, can I join you?

what if car dealerships were run more like Apple stores?

Nissan Leaf, Apple iPhone recently, i went to check out one of the most expensive high tech gadgets you can buy: a new car.  perhaps, our experience was atypical. but I suspect not given the larger transition underway in the auto industry. at one dealership, only a single dealer – out of say 10 – […]

Why do taco trucks promote their Facebook pages?

What RSS promised, Facebook delivered: easy to use, personalized news. There’s tremendous canny in shortening “subscribe” to “like”.

more on Mexican restaurants; planting a cactus in too small a pot

A few weeks ago I asked why Mexican restaurants are so often decorated like 19th century ranch homes when Mexico is a living, modern culture. Such decor perpetuates the lie that traditions are preserved in amber, when, in fact, they are preserved by usage and adaptation. La Surtidora Abarrotera Mercantil “Julio Gabriel Verne” is the […]

should Mexican restaurants always be decorated like 19th century ranch homes?

Near our home is a newish Mexican restaurant that bills itself as a “modern Mexican delicatessen.” Like many Mexican restaurants, it is decorated as if it were a 19th century Mexican ranch home. It has dark wood beams, stone and brick walls (they’re painted-on, like trompe l’oeil) and the shelves are lined with knickknacks resembling […]

toxic math labs devastate nation

toxic math labs produce synthetic highs that lead to a devastating crash, expensive cleanup. math teeth: before, after

living in the age of digital singles, what of digital shorts?

Computers have transformed music production and consumption by enabling the cheap and easy manipulation of sound. Digitization took apart music culture (industry included) and put it back together again in a very new way. Using free software, consumers took apart the pop album ushering in an era of digital singles. Using samplers, producers took apart […]

extending play: from lp’s to mp3′s and beyond

One of the benefits that record companies enjoyed when albums were the prevalent packaging for pop music was the upward pressure this scheme placed on song prices. In a typical pop* album, there will be a few hit songs as well as some songs that never really catch on. Yet even these less popular songs […]