In a recent podcast , Horace Dediu of Asymco.com reminds designers, entrepreneurs and anyone else trying to solve problems using mobile devices that the context one uses a mobile device is often very different, as are the cognitive demands associated with the context, such as driving a car versus sitting on the couch. To better address this range of demands, he suggests thinking of mobile within a cognitive continuum, as a opposed to a dichotomy (i.e., mobile design or browser design).
My dad died young in the 80s before capturing every moment and thought paralleled life. Luckily for me, he was caught in a few photos and videos, so I know what he looked like and sounded like, but without these recordings, a few belongings and several colorful anecdotes, I wouldn't know him at all. His existence would be lost forever. And to a large degree that's still true. Unlike the children of children born today, I will never get to see my dad grow up by scrolling the thousands of photos that would have no doubt been taken throughout his life had he been born today or learn how he thought by reviewing his emails or text messages to friends and family that he would have written.
Billions of souls throughout human history died without having their picture taken, or their thoughts and stories recorded. Many people in the world still die this way. The cumulative life experience and wisdom lost as a result is countless and gone forever.
For the most part, the children of children born today will be the first to witness the growth of their parents from birth to death in a granular way. Setting aside locked accounts and privacy issues, children will see who their parents knew, when they met, the things they did, and the conversations they had. Children will experience their parents getting older as they scroll through their lifetime of photos. Children will see the music, books, movies and causes that inspired their parents and made them unique.
As new generations are born, I think this whole-life perspective of our parents will profoundly change the parent-child relationship, as well as how each sees themselves fitting within their greater ancestry line. People will have a clearer understanding of who they are and who they descended from than they've ever had before.
Same-sex marriage opponents argue that polygamy is the next logical step if same-sex marriage is legalized. And while I don't personally oppose polygamy among adults consenting from the outset, I do see the political necessity in distinguishing it. Same-sex marriage is favored by many, polygamy is not.
So to further what I believe should be a right for same-sex couples and to try to solve a political puzzle, I occasionally try to construct legal language the Supreme Court could use to grant rights to same-sex couples while, ironically, limiting its decision to a two person marriage.
Here is my proposed language:
With marriage comes a presumption of exclusivity. Like opposite-sex marriages, same-sex marriages include this presumption; polygamous marriages, by definition, do not. Without this presumption, marriage would no longer be a single bond between two people, but rather an open-ended agreement where additional spouses could be added or removed without consent. This would not only have whirlwind effects for those finding themselves unintentionally within a polygamous marriage, but would also negatively affect existing and future marriages, same-sex and opposite-sex alike, because a fear would permeate that a spouse may assert their constitutional right to marry an additional spouse.
I'd love to hear your thoughts or suggestions regarding this argument.
In the Economist last week, an article entitled “The Endangered Public Company” blamed the decline of American IPOs over the last decade on burdening securities regulation unique to public companies.
Because public companies sell shares to the unsophisticated, policymakers are right to regulate them more tightly than other forms of corporate organisation. But not so tightly that entrepreneurs start to dread the prospect of a public listing. The public company has long been the locomotive of capitalism. Governments should not derail it.
Now, while securities regulation may be irritating to public companies, I completely disagree that it is the reason for the decline. For one, I can't see private business owners denying themselves and their employees instant IPO wealth to avoid a few regulatory filings. On a behavioral level, it does not make sense. Two, regulation is a part of business whether you are public or private. Few business environments have more regulation than China, yet most business owners are standing in line to get in. Generally speaking, regulation is predictable, and companies can handle predictable. Predictable enables estimates, forecasts, and plans. Unpredictable destroys plans and weakens control. And loss of control is why companies are avoiding initiating a public offering.
Public markets are fickle and sharing ownership with thousands of scattered shareholders can have consequences. The most frightening being that in tough times even the best leaders can be fired by a shareholder controlled board (see Steve Jobs).
Warren Buffet addresses the problem indirectly. His company, Berkshire Hathaway, has never split its Class A stock. Having a high share price reduces liquidity and in turn the amount of fickle shareholders. Apple, Google, and others maintain higher share prices for presumably the same reasons.
A more direct method is to simply issue shares with less or no voting rights, a tactic used by Google in its IPO and more recently in its upcoming stock-split. Facebook structured their IPO to reduce voting rights as well.
But Google, Apple, Berkshire, and Facebook are highly coveted, large market cap companies. Their leaders have shareholders' trust and takeover protection through size. Acquiring majority voting rights would take billions. Smaller companies lack the same attributes and so losing control is a very real possibility. Staying private keeps the shareholders close, the control strong, and reduces the unpredictable nature of public markets.