Category Archives: economics

Looking a gift ereader in the mouth

Welcome to another whiny installment of, "why can't I buy..." brought to you by the infinite diversity of humanity and the hard reality of market forces. In other words, just because I think it's a great idea and would like to buy it, that doesn't mean anybody else - much less a critical market mass of…
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Community Supported Arts Harvest

This summer, I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to teach a business basics class for a group of artists participating in a new way to create and sell artwork, Community Supported Arts. Like its inspiration, Community Supported Agriculture (CSA), CSArts is a way for producers to get paid in advance for their work, and…
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Why can’t you buy a fare card on the train platform?

Usually on the first (business) day of any given month, there's a terrible line at the charlie card machine. I guess many people don't know you can buy next month's T pass about halfway through the current month. But I'm not here to shame procrastinators, I'm here to ask a weird dumb question about public…
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Only a schnook would buy a Nook now

They say that it's hard for a company to shrink to greatness, but I do think that it's possible to simplify to greatness. There's been some moves in the e-reader world lately that raise the question, shrink or simplify. Sony, the first mover in the dedicated e-reader world, recently announced that they will no longer…
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Five years later, my cupcake prophecy is fulfilled

Just about five years ago on this very blog, I called peak cupcake and announced the age of pie. Finally, the world is catching up. You can scoff at me five years ago, but behold the WSJ delivering the truth earlier this month: But the popularity of high-end cupcakes—embodied by chains such as New York's Magnolia Bakery…
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It's wicked hahd to pahk your cah

I should have known it would not be long. Just last month I posted about the battle between the city of San Francisco and the app Monkey Parking, and now the kerfuffle has come East as Universal Hub reported today that Boston mayor Walsh is squaring off against Haystack, a parking space marketplace app not unlike Monkey…
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Now you can buy art made in Massachusetts from a CSA

There's a new concept in buying art based on the tried and true Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) model used by farms and other food producers. Community Supported Art means you pay in advance for a share and on "harvest day" you pick up a box of artwork. Like the farm-based CSA, with CSArt, you never…
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Now whose back is the parking monkey on?

What's interesting to me is that Monkey Parking has put a real number to how underpriced metered parking is, even in San Francisco where meters can cost as much as $6 per hour in some areas at some times. When you choose to drive around in circles looking for a parking space instead of just pulling into a paid lot or garage, you're valuing your time, fuel, and wear and tear on your car lower than the difference between parking meter and parking garage prices.

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The limepocalypse is here, but it's not what you think

You may have heard that there's a shortage of and increase in the price of limes going on here in the USA where we get most of our limes from Mexico. I can verify that limes at Haymarket, which could be had six or eight for a buck last year, are going for 50 cents…
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Artificial Scarcity Two Ways

Listening to the radio and drifting in and out of sleep this morning, I thought I heard somebody say that "destroying stockpiles of ivory will dampen demand" for it. Eh?Apparently, Hong Kong is planning to destroy 28 tons of elephant ivory that it has confiscated over the years. Other countries, including the USA, have been…
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Are farmers afraid of the dark, or is it just Boston?

This evening, I was making my semi-usual Monday after work loop heading to the Boston City Hall Farmers Market to pick up raw material for dinner. As I approached the market I thought, "wow, it's nice that they have those lights so people can still shop after dark now that they set the clocks back."…
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Lies, damned lies, and investment indices

While researching a piece for the Currensee Blog about contemporary art as an alternative investment, I came upon an excellent piece on the Reuters blog from last year with the excellent title, Artnet’s silly indices. In this post, Felix Salmon opines that Artnet's desire to legitimize fine art as an investible asset class has gotten ahead…
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