Inequality, network capital and the future of the firm

Posted by Mike Walsh

Feb 12, 2017 3:53:33 AM

Richard Holden.jpg


Richard Holden, a Professor of Economics at UNSW Business School, is one of the world’s leading experts on contract theory. He has also been a Visiting Professor of Economics at the MIT Department of Economics and Visiting Professor of Law at the University of Chicago Law School - and has written extensively on the boundary of the firm, incentives in organizations, mechanism design, and voting rules. Many years ago, he was also one of my debating rivals at university.

After running into each other on a flight to Dallas recently, we caught up to discuss some of his recent research on why so much wealth is controlled by so few, the impact of smart contracts and the Blockchain on the future design of companies, and why now is a good time to brush up on our understanding of game theory.


CATEGORY: Leadership, Research

Addiction, ludic loops and why smartphones are mobile ‘Skinner boxes’

Posted by Mike Walsh

Oct 2, 2016 12:00:00 AM

Natasha Schull


With every new connected device, messaging application or digital service that enters our lives - it becomes increasingly difficult to resist the seductive lure of technology on our attention. For Natasha Schull, a cultural anthropologist and associate professor in the Department of Media, Culture, and Communication at New York University, the addictive nature of devices, whether slot machines or smart phones, is no accident. In her recent book, ADDICTION BY DESIGN: Machine Gambling in Las Vegas, she explored the relationship between technology design and the experience of addiction. Her next book, KEEPING TRACK: Personal Informatics, Self-Regulation, and the Data-Driven Life concerns the rise of digital self-tracking technologies and the new modes of introspection and self-governance they engender. Meeting up in Soho, New York - we spoke about the nature of addiction and what makes the design of a particular technology so enthralling, the strange trance-like states that gamblers experience, the quantification of work and life, and why smartphones are a kind of ‘Skinner box’.


CATEGORY: Research, Customers

Decision-making, influence and the seductive allure of technology

Posted by Mike Walsh

Jul 2, 2016 12:00:00 AM

Adam Alter


Adam Alter is the author of the New York Times bestseller ‘Drunk Tank Pink: And Other Unexpected Forces That Shape How We Think, Feel, and Behave’, which examines how the world shape our thoughts and feelings beyond our control. I met up with him at NYU Stern, where he is an Associate Professor of Marketing with an affiliated appointment in the New York University Psychology Department. We spoke about his research on judgment and decision-making and social psychology, as well as his new book, which asks why so many people today are addicted to so many behaviors, from incessant smart phone and internet usage to video game playing and online shopping.


CATEGORY: Leadership, Research

Con artists, counting steps, and thinking like Sherlock Holmes

Posted by Mike Walsh

Sep 18, 2015 12:00:00 AM



Maria Konnikova is the New York Times bestselling author of Mastermind: How to Think Like Sherlock Holmes, a brilliant book that draws on the adventures of the fictional detective to illustrate the power of observation and critical thinking. Her latest book, The Confidence Game, explores the flipside of detection, and why humans are so hardwired to believe in con artists and those that would exploit our trust. Over breakfast in New York, we spoke about the differences between the way Holmes and Watson see the world, the art of building a memory attic, and how con artists are so adept at manipulating people’s belief systems. Of course, none of these things might strike you as shocking if you had chanced upon her first ever book, written in Russian. It was five pages long and, she assures me, had something to do with trolls.


CATEGORY: Innovation, Research