6.22.2012

When You're a Hammer, Everything's a Nail (The Business Nut's Version)

I guess I was destined to go to Wharton and yet do something slightly different with that passport.  I eschewed the more common destinations for Wharton grads (Wall Street, hedge funds in Greenwich, McKinsey anywhere in the world) because I'm neither a pure quant (though I lean that way) nor a pure cut-throat capitalist (though I lean that way).  But I'm glad for my Wharton roots because I love business.

And, in the category of "when you're a hammer, everything's a nail," I see business everywhere.  Here's three examples from my recent print and online reading:

(1) Sci fi is a great way to explore how the future will play out.  In that sense, authors in this genre are identical to economists, who similarly set up simplified models, make some basic assumptions, and then forecast what will happen next.

(2) Bees can teach banks a thing or two about "too big to fail," risk management, hedging for the long run rather than maximizing in the short run.  Next thing you hear the phrase, "hive mentality," let's hope it means this. [Hat tip: kottke.org.]

(3) Nigerian email scams - why are they so intentionally obvious?  So as to only lure in the really gullible,  thus efficiently focusing follow-up efforts on the most lucrative respondents.   [Hat tip: Marginal Revolution.]




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