Top Quotes & Sayings by James SurowieckiShow picture quotes only
James Michael Surowiecki (/ˌsʊəroʊˈwɪkiː/ SOOR-oh-WIK-ee; born April 30, 1967) is an American journalist. He was a staff writer at The New Yorker, where he wrote a regular column on business and finance called "The Financial Page". Wikipedia
Technology is supposed to make our lives easier, allowing us to do things more quickly and efficiently. But too often it seems to make things harder, leaving us with fifty-button remote controls, digital cameras with hundreds of mysterious features and book-length manuals, and cars with dashboard systems worthy of the space shuttle.
Disasters redistribute money from taxpayers to construction workers, from insurance companies to homeowners, and even from those who once lived in the destroyed city to those who replace them. It's remarkable that this redistribution can happen so smoothly and quickly, with devastated regions reinventing themselves in a matter of months.
Self-dealing, essentially, occurs when managers run companies to line their own pockets instead of those of the companies' owners. It's been a perennial problem in American capitalism and became a real dilemma when America moved toward a model in which corporations would be run by professional managers who had only small ownership stakes.
Companies have long gathered data to break down their customer base into specific segments. Now political parties have become adept at micro-targeting, too, using data on shopping habits, leisure activities, voting histories, charity donations, and so on, in order to pinpoint likely supporters and the type of appeal most likely to win them over.
Markets work best when there's lots of information available and a historical track record to go on; they excel at predicting things like horse races, election outcomes, and box-office results. But they're bad at predicting things like who will be the next Supreme Court nominee, as that depends on the whim of the president.
On the simplest level, telecommuting makes it harder for people to have the kinds of informal interactions that are crucial to the way knowledge moves through an organization. The role that hallway chat plays in driving new ideas has become a cliche of business writing, but that doesn't make it less true.
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