"In recent years, economists have been drawn to the music industry
like lawyers to a car wreck. Napster, Grokster, digital sampling, and
Chinese piracy have thrown the industry into chaos. Economists have
realized it’s the best place to study what happens when new
technologies disrupt established industries. They have also realized
it’s really fun.
Among the crowd rushing the stage is Alan Krueger, the Princeton labor economist who is an expert on the minimum wage and many other things. In a paper written with Marie Connolly, which managed to cite both singer Paul Simon and Nobel Prize-winning economist Gary Becker,
Krueger set out to answer some fundamental questions of what he and
Connolly call "rockonomics." (This is not to be confused with Freakonomics, the book co-written by University of Chicago economist Steven D. Levitt and journalist Stephen J. Dubner.*)
Why are Cher concerts so expensive? How have falling record sales and
the rise of downloading affected big-name stars? And what’s the deal
How can you not love a serious economic analysis of music called "Rockonomics?"
Rockonomics and Its Uses
Finally, economic proof of Elton John’s genius!
Slate, May 13, 2005, at 7:06 AM PT
Here’s a fascinating list of the top 50 cyber elite — the most influential titans of tech, and a great guide for how investors should put their money to work.
#1 is Bill Gates, and with good reason. Hasn’t he and his company done so much for internet technology? Of course he’s at the top of the list. Think of all the innovation Microsoft is responsible for.
#2 is Nobuyuki Idei, President and co-chief executive officer of Sony Corp. ‘Cause really,when you think of "Cyber," doesn’t Sony immediately pop into your mind?
#3 is Steve Case of AOL. ‘Nuff said.
Worldcon’s Bernie Ebbers is #11, GeoCities founder and chairman David Bohnett is #16, and
Lucent Technologies’ Chairman and CEO, Richard Mcginn is #18. Then there’s Eckhard Pfeiffer, Compaq’s CEO at #21.
Be sure to watch VC Ann Winblad at #22. Latest investments: "Keep an eye on Biztravel.com, Liquid Audio and wedding services and information site, The Knot." Oh, and she once dated BIll Gates.
And yet — somehow — the guys at Google got overlooked in this list. (I wonder how that happened?).
If you haven’t figured it out yet, I am pulling your leg. I left out one small detail: The list is from Time Magazine’s 1998 most influential Cyber elites. The point I hope to make is just how caught up in the moment the financial press can get (btw,that’s a new category I am introducing with this post).
Magazines love lists, and while this might make entertaining reading, its a classic example of exactly how dangerous it is to follow these sorts of rearward-looking junkets for investing ideas.
While the list as investing advice is laughable (Gerald Levin of Time Warner! Christos Cotsakos of E*Trade!), some of the quotes contained within are outright hysterical: The fawning over Eckhard Pfeiffer’s plans for Compaq.
But this one is truly my favorite:
The full 1998 list can be seen below:
Category: Financial Press