The Umbrella Man

Wonderful short video work from Errol Morris on JFK and the “umbrella man”. Such loveliness.

Umbrella man

Going Public Decreases Innovation

I’m generally skeptical of using patent data to measure innovation, but this is still an interesting paper on the relationship between innovation and going public. By this measure, going public reduces innovation. [-]

Does Going Public Affect Innovation?


This paper investigates the e§ects of going public on innovation. Using a novel data setconsisting of innovative firms that filed for an initial public offering (IPO), I compare the long-run innovation of firms that completed their filing and went public with that of firms that withdrew their filing and remained private. I use NASDAQ fluctuations during the book-building period as a source of exogenous variation that affects IPO completion but is unlikely to affect long run innovation. Using this instrumental variables strategy, I find that going public leads to a 50 percent decline in innovation novelty relative to firms that remained private, measured by standard patent-based metrics. The decline in innovation is driven by both an exodus of skilled inventors and a decline in productivity among remaining inventors. However, access to public equity markets allows firms to partially offset the decline in internally generated innovation by attracting new human capital and purchasing externally generated innovations through mergers and acquisitions. I find suggestive evidence that changes in firm governance and managerialincentives play an important role in explaining the results.

Full paper here.

Latest on Barefoot Running

I’m a complete convert to barefoot running lately, so this is a helpful overview from a recent presentation on the current science.



Twitter Digest: 2011-11-21

  • Weight Not Shape Modulates Brain fMRI Responses in When Judging Attractiveness of Human Female Bodies #
  • Financial illiteracy: New evidence from Germany shows investors grok interest, but not risk – #
  • Patents as measure of innovation are dubious, but … new study shows post-IPO cos slow innovation – #
  • Retirement ages around the world, Mexico (75) vs Bulgaria (58) – #
  • The ECB as Wallace Stevens' "blue guitar" – /via @gmrobertson #
  • World and U.S. Lowest Barometric Pressure Records – #
  • Nifty map: Starting up in NYC #
  • 72 hour trip to Madrid, Lisbon and London. Now back in San Diego and totally worked. #
  • Good take on urgent issues facing Mariano Rajoy, Spain’s (likely) next prime minister – #
  • Full Kyle Bass interview on Eurozone from BBC Hardtalk this week – #
  • Just had iPhone autocorrect change "Eurozone" to "eros zone". That made me happy. #
  • Just so we can all stop paying attention: a) There will be no US debt supercommittee deal, b) the preset cuts won't ever kick in. fyi. #
  • The end of Chinatown – #
  • Speaking of startup maps, a live map of tech ecosystem in East London – #
  • This tweet intentionally left blank (other than the words "This tweet intentionally left blank"). #
  • Nice to have a phrase for one of my traits: Irish goodbye. #
  • Yet Another Eurozone Visualization (YAEV): Who owes what to whom? #
  • Good overview of all the ways the end of the world may be nigh. Nothing about bears tho. – #
  • Detailed and convincing look at the inadequacy of pumped hydro storage for grid-scale storage in U.S. – #
  • RT @Richard_Florida: UC Davis as "turning point" RT @billmckibben #
  • I get more tweet spam in response to mentioning Occupy Wall Street than I do from mentioning iPads. #PiningForEightWeeksAgo #
  • Hey, the Angel Investing is A Bubble About to Collapse meme is back. Its periodicity is down to two weeks, & shrinking. #
  • We need to move beyond collapsing angels. I now think angels will end up eating each other with fava beans & a little chianti. #
  • Whistler Opening Day — love the latenight lift line – /via @earlyups #
  • 130cm of snow in this week's forecast for Whistler-Blackcomb. That's not fair. #
  • McAfee: Nearly All New Mobile Malware In Q3 Targeted At Android Phones – #

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Kyle Bass on Hardtalk: Full Interview

Twitter Digest: 2011-11-20

  • The push-me/pull-ya configuration of biz class on this LHR/SAN flight is bizarre. What efficiency expert idiot cooked this up? #1 Problems #
  • As an LHR aside, Terminal 5 is a cross between Colossal Cave, the West Edmonton Mall and a bus yard. #

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Twitter Digest: 2011-11-19

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Twitter Digest: 2011-11-18

  • Played with new Amazon Fire yesterday. Sputtering UI, plus too small to watch movies, & too heavy to read books. 5/10. #

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Twitter Digest: 2011-11-17

  • The Pew U.S. budget challenge simulator #
  • Me in Forbes on migration in America – /cc @Richard_Florida #
  • That'll teach 'em RT @BloombergNews: U.S. Marines to be deployed in Australia | #
  • Seemingly every male under 30 on this flight wearing Tapout shirts and hoodies. If Desmond doesn't push button this group won't last long. #
  • 100 best last lines from novels. I'm fond of "Now everybody—" from Pynchon's Gravity’s Rainbow – #
  • I closed out long side of my oil calendar spread trade today on the price surge. Tease me later if it continues to $110. #
  • I love the email ideas I get from hedgies: "You only lose money on this if Credit Suisse goes belly up". #
  • Nice RT @om: What a human being should be able to do #
  • New paper: Social networks and cooperation decay – @arbesman #
  • Busy saturating this AA flight wifi with streaming music, Bloomberg terminal, etc. The bits stop here. #
  • Hitwise: All US search engines outside Google/Bing/Yahoo accounted for sum total of 6% of searches in October #
  • As ever, general purpose eats special purpose: The end of the portable device – #
  • California legislative analyst forecasting $13b deficit in 2013. Now that won't be easy to bridge with IPO option gains. #
  • Favorite graph from excellent new Bloomberg Government report on Keystone XL pipeline fallout – #
  • [post] Buiter: Europe’s Time is Running Out Fast #
  • Fitch on U.S. banks' exposure to European contagion. Read with strong drinks handy. #
  • Great work. Glad I could assist: The completely new Forbes interactive migration map, now with 5 years of data #
  • Rambus just re-opened down 78% after a court time-out for bad behavior. Prize to anyone who finds biggest option move. #
  • Nifty new book – Magical Mathematics: The Mathematical Ideas that Animate Great Magic Tricks /via @arbesman #
  • Boarding for long overseas flight. Preemptive despondency plus many unwarranted pre-judgements of fellow passengers. #
  • Whew. MT @AspenInstitute: "Business Schools Continue to Focus on Ethics" – #
  • And … now it's Spain. #
  • Dude on plane to Madrid looked like @nickbilton of NYT's clone. Turned out to be @nickbilton. Shared whiskey over Greenland. #

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Buiter: Europe’s Time is Running Out Fast

Citi’s Willem Buiter on Bloomberg TV today: Europe’s time is running out fast. [-]