Intellectual Happy Hour

Jack Welch posted a column in the April 23, 2007 issue of BusinessWeek that's dear to my heart. He posits that the US faces a "brain drain" from the "best & the brightest" MBA's electing to work for private equity firms & hedge funds rather than taking management roles in operating companies. This is a real problem in my opinion, and I wrote a thesis on the subject nearly ten years ago. I suggested that the "best & the brightest" undergraduate engineers were electing to work for consulting or investment banking firms rather than taking product development roles in operating companies.

That same BusinessWeek issue had a wonderful article on the race to build an affordable car. That sounds like a losing proposition to any one of the major OEMs today if you ask me. Given the corporate overhead, expertise, & current troubles at the likes of GM, Ford, Daimler, Renault-Nissan, Chrysler, etc, a $2,500 car initiative couldn't be any less appealing to me as a shareholder. Why would you ever move downstream? Again, these sorts of decisions just highlight the incompetent managment of these organizations... it's not about volume folks, the game is profits!!

And, Metcalfe has a fun read in Forbes on network effects and the evolution of computing & the human mind.
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