Category: Environmental Psycology

What Is The Most Important Element Of A Successful Startup? Hint, It’s Not The Idea, Team, Business Model Or Funding Dollars.

The number of self-employed people in the U.S. has grown by nearly 150,000 since 2014 to 8,751,000. This number is up from 8,602,000 at the end of 2016. That data, from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, is interesting yet unfortunately many of these future entrepreneurs will fail.

Over 80% of new businesses fail in the first 5 years, and 96% fail within their first 10 years according to the U.S. Department of Commerce.

So, how do you hedge your bet?

According to Bill Gross, founder of Idealab, it’s not the idea, plan, business model, team, or surprisingly, even the money that’s the most significant factor in a startup’s success. It’s all in the timing.

Read the full article here . . .

Team closes in on ‘Holy Grail’ of room temperature quantum computing chips | PHYS.ORG

Huang and colleagues, including graduate student Jiayang Chen and senior research scientist Yong Meng Sua, dramatically boosted system efficiency by using a chip made from lithium niobate on insulator, a material that has a unique way of interacting with light. Unlike silicon, lithium niobate is difficult to chemically etch with common reactive gases. So, the Stevens’ team used an ion-milling tool, essentially a nanosandblaster, to etch a tiny racetrack about one-hundredth the width of a human hair.

Before defining the racetrack structure, the team needed to apply high-voltage electrical pulses to create carefully calibrated areas of alternating polarity, or periodic poling, that tailor the way photons move around the racetrack, increasing their probability of interacting with eachother.

Chen explained that to both etch the racetrack on the chip and tailor the way photons move around it, requires dozens of delicate nanofabrication steps, each requiring nanometer precision. “To the best of our knowledge, we’re among the first groups to master all of these nanofabrication steps to build this system—that’s the reason we could get this result first.”

Read the full article here . . .

Makerspaces under pressure to revamp business models | The Globe and Mail

This Globe and Mail article speaks to the core assumption in my forming of the Federated Union, Fleet Réalta Cooperatives.

Fleet Réalta is intended as a vision of MakerSpace that extends the common focus beyond enthusiastic hobbyists and experimenters to encompass Makers who have entrepreneurial aspirations.

Here is an article in support of Makers Making A Better Living . . .
Makerspaces – the commercial venues where creative people gather to design and make their products – are under pressure to transform their business models or face closing shop.

A growing number of makerspaces have ceased operations or are under threat because of rising rents, building redevelopments and not enough cash flow to cover costs.

Read the full article here . . .

How Democracies Die

I finished listening to How Democracies Die by Steven Levitsky, Daniel Ziblatt, using a combination of Kindle and Audible.

The book warns against the breakdown of “mutual toleration” and respect for the political legitimacy of the opposition. This toleration involves accepting the results of a free and fair election where the opposition has won, in contrast with advocacy for overthrow or spurious complaints about the election mechanism. The authors also assert the importance of respecting the opinions of those who come to legitimately different political opinions, in contrast to attacking the patriotism of any who disagree, or warning that if they come to power they will destroy the country.

The authors point out that the various branches of government in a system with separation of powers have actions available to them that could completely undermine the other branches or the opposition. The authors warn against ramming through a political agenda or accumulating power by playing “constitutional hardball” with tactics like court packing, stonewalling nominations, or abusing the power of the purse, and recommend “forbearance” and some degree of cooperation to keep government functioning in a balanced fashion. Other threats to democratic stability cited by the authors include economic inequality and segregation of the political parties by race, religion, and geography.

The authors dedicate many chapters to the study of the United States and the 2016 elections, but also apply their theory to Latin America or European countries. According to them, the United States has, until 2016, resisted the attempts to undermine democracy thanks to two norms: mutual toleration and forbearance, the latest defined as the intentional restraint of one’s power to respect the spirit of the law if not its letters.

They finally predict three potential scenarios for the post-Trump United States. Try Audible and get the book free . . .

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