- The Mortality of Companies — Geoffrey West paper: we show that the mortality of publicly traded companies manifests an approximately constant hazard rate over long periods of observation. This regularity indicates that mortality rates are independent of a company’s age. We show that the typical half-life of a publicly traded company is about a decade, regardless of business sector.
- The Fortune 500 Teller — profile of Geoffrey West. (via Roger Dennis)
- Gizmo — a microservice toolkit in Golang from NYT. (via InfoQ)
- Intellectual Need and Problem-Free Activity in the Mathematics Classroom (PDF) — Although this is not an empirical study, we use data from observed high school algebra classrooms to illustrate four categories of activity students engage in while feeling little or no intellectual need. We present multiple examples for each category in order to draw out different nuances of the activity, and we contrast the observed situations with ones that would provide various types of intellectual need. Finally, we offer general suggestions for teaching with intellectual need.
The O’Reilly Solid Podcast: Entrepreneurship, niche product development, and spotting business opportunities.
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Many of the hardware creators we speak with come into their work through the enthusiast route: they start with an engineering problem they want to solve or a piece of technology they think is interesting, then look for an application that would support a business.
Julia Ko, our guest on this week’s episode of the Solid Podcast, started her company SurePod a very different way. She saw the business opportunity first, studying wholesale mobile contracts and the sales networks that distribute medical devices, and she developed a plan for a simplified mobile phone for older people. Only then did she learn the technical aspects of hardware production.
In this episode, we talk about Ko’s development as an entrepreneur, the challenge of creating a product for which you aren’t the target audience, and the best mobile phone carrier (Ko says it’s AT&T).