Posts Tagged ‘incentives’

do you love your job?

April 28, 2010

do you have a dream job?

Being a sports announcer can be a fun job

you get to see you favorite teams in some of their greatest moments.

does not sound bad.

i am sure it has its dull moments as well. many days and nights away from home. many disappointments. many moments when not much happens.

but if you love your team, your job, your mission, it does not really matter.

take a look at Carlo Alvoni, announcer for Napoli football team and a fan for the team.

first question, does he love his job?

you do not need to understand italian. and if the beginning is boring jump to 3:00

this one may be more convincing

next question, do you love your job?

a note from an entrepreneur to VC

November 22, 2009

below is a one-line note i got one friday afternoon from a friendly entrepreneur who wanted advice over the weekend:

“Is it hard when people love you for your money 馃檪 ?”

working 9-5

November 9, 2009

feel good with your work-life balance?

think that work has too big a part in your life? your identity?

bought a nice lamp from this store in Venezia. in the part where locals live.

check out the store hours. works every day. monday-friday 5 in the evening to 8:30. when people come back from work? perhaps.

on weekends, both saturday and sunday 3-8:30. longer hours. hey, this guy works 7 days a week!

seems to me this guy has figured things out that we hi-tech savvy people have not. ( for other references to us champagne socialists take a look at this post). i bet you he will work till he is 75. you should have seen the smile on his face too.


end of daylight-saving time – 砖注讜谉 拽讬抓, how depressing!

September 30, 2009

we set the clock back this week here in israel.

real world leaders.

it is really depressing to see the sun set in the middle of the working day.

discussing the issue with Lior, my best friend and Carmel, my daughter, the issue of religious people and why they want 砖注讜谉 拽讬抓 to end quickly, and other special interest groups came up. why do they want or do not want it?

a few more thoughts:


  • why is it called daylight savings time. what are we saving? daylight? time?
  • i would love to save time
  • religious people want to end DST early. is it because of 住诇讬讞讜转? or till when to fast in yom kippur?
  • what was the claim of 讗专讙讜谉 讗诪讛讜转 注讜讘讚讜转 back in聽 the late seventies?
  • why do we need to be special and not just align with the European system? last sunday in march till last sunday in october
  • even better, adjust to central european time CET all year

i think people argue about this topic forgetting the real considerations.

the name DST stands for saving daylight, useful in agrarian societies.
The original motivation in israel and many other countries (e.g India potentially – it was to be widely accepted in 2005 – i stand corrected and this did not occur) was to save energy.

but in advanced economies, household energy usage pattern has changed. in the past most of our use was lighting and delaying the sunset helped save energy. now, most of our usage is A/C and delaying the sunset by an hour means MORE energy usage. after asking a lot of people about this, i finally ran into this. this spicy nodes way of presenting the topic is cool, too.

No contracts!

July 29, 2009

i gave a friend $50K a few month ago

no contracts

it is quite a bit of money and i am supposed to get it back next week

will i get any of it? some of it? all of it? with nice rewards?

i guess i will find out in a few weeks

but the point is, when are we willing to do deals without contracts?

in the Jewish diamond industry i understand it is common. it is a closed tight community with a high degree of trust. you break that trust once, and you are out of business.

in my business, lawyers make money, slow processes, and often, it turns out, do not do an outstanding job.

yet, i can not imagine a VC deal with no contracts

can you?

we can not get even to a ‘standard’ Term Sheet and every funding round takes about 45 days, usually arguing about the same things over again.

how inefficient!

the tension between ‘one person, one vote’ and ‘one dollar, one vote’

October 22, 2008

talk about corruption, consequences and reform.

parking violations by UN diplomats: UN diplomats in NYC do not pay parking tickets (until 2002) since a 90% drop. still, diplomats from Scandinavian countries have close to zero fines, other countries with high corruption have many tickets.

key takeaways:

Scandinavian countries have a lot of things that work. inequality, social services, cities with bikes.

the tension between power and money will exist forever. what is legitimate is relative. lobbyists, create almost all the problems of corruption, but just under a legal pretext. think of the tobacco lobby or the farmer’s lobby. the movie borat comes to mind regarding how relative values are.

corruption is the tension between power and money and actually tries to replace one person, one vote with one dollar, one vote

‘bribe is a way of getting personal’ creating a personal relationship.

singapore changed in a big way, buy paying public officials market rates. enforcement is crucial

transparency – aggregating costs and telling the public in a quantified way how much it costs may help.

size of government and likeliness of corruption? no clear evidence. some of the bigger governments (Scandinavia)聽 are not corrupt but there is a cause and effect, the state functions well, is big, and is not corrupt

key terms:

corruption: misuse of public power for private gain. could be included in private companies for self gain

CPI: corruption perception index. high number (1-10) means good = low corruption. poorer countries tend to be more corrupt.

incentives for bribery:

  • government gives access to scarce resources. e.g. license to run a casino. seek monopoly rent to be shared. only one electric company to be privatized. anything with a cap on it – admissions to universities, or anything requires a license.
  • better quality service. pay to get ahead of the queue
  • obtain a benefit to all qualified

is there a problem? inefficient, poor pricing mechanism, vicious cycle to create red tape. so better to privatize it or price it officially. consequence include lower state legitimacy, higher cost of doing business.

result: underinvestment in education and growth, over investment in infrastructure

Scandinavian countries are leaders. 2002 -2007 israel dropped from #20 to # 30 in the world. still a very good place.

strength of mafia has influence with positive corrlation

post conflict is great – destruction , need to build, lots of money coming in quickly with weak domestic institutions. iraq add natural resources. how you integrate former fighters is crucial.

shift in public attitude towards corruption?

  • could think of shift in opportunities. usually economic, occurs often
  • change in values. good people can not be suckers. slow but does happen once in a while. e.g. good government movement in the US in 19th century lead by jefferson

a random walk through current issues

October 7, 2008

doug rae. world economic transition.

his wife ellen schuman, in endowment business. best performing last year:

‘never pay fees’ (unless managers money is in and in a big way [dependent on net-worth]). you want the pilot on the plane.

key takeaways:

demography matters. great challanges for phase 4,5 countries. (but better than phase 1). huge policy consequences.

human development can be viewed as increase of available talent pool

current trend: destruction of historical cultures. languages: very rapid urbanization.

2 forms of religion. chronic and acute. acute we kill each other over


angus madison premiere quantifying economist

first volcano in western countries in 1870. countires where christianty took over indigneous people?

hans roslings – the best stats you ever saw. 2 ted talks

must see – a moving graph of gdp/capita development vs longevity thru time


world economic transition

1. upto 1800 – many children, many death, short lifespan. enough children to keep enough survivors. nearly uniform life lived in material misery. number of people who are able to learn (1%). recruitment of world talent was infeasible from biological point of view.

2. death rates fall. different times at different places. in europe, 1800. rapid change in death rate and same birth rate. infant mortality. infant mortality rate drop: clean water and public sewage, food, infectious disease is under-control. cities.prenatal nutrition a crucial predictor.

so clean water (in,out) available to mass populations in urban centers. huge growth in popluation

3. birth rates fall

4. equilibrium again at another point. long lives and human development

5. japan and east asian rich countries and western european ones (italy, germany poland russia). US (except for immigration [black br down, hispanic still high]). huge consequences.

china and ireland in sweet spot right now, but will age fast in 20 years. ireland (laps of faith in irish catholic church – all of a sudden use of birth rates). dependency ratio – people of working age vs total population. officially 15-65/total. can argue about increasing top end.



1850-1920. trains, immigration, industrialization, large labor pools.

in new haven, take a look at grand ave, fair haven and hispanic revitalization of ex italian neighborhoods.

equador has a consulate in new haven.

catholic churc is vey succesful because of great mangement. note its supra-state structure and ability to make exceptions to territorial parishism. e.g. italian church vs irish church in new haven.

lorcio italian restaurant best italianin new haven, ct

2 forms of religion. chronic and acute. acute we kill each other over. tony blair thinks differently. he is acute.

see william james, wrote influential books on the young science of psychology, educational psychology, psychology of religious experience and mysticism, and the philosophy of pragmatism


principle agency theory or agent dilemma.

sweetheartning. company in ct, builds sw systems to detect it

30% of cashiers do it. hard to detect it. giving benefits to shoppers. e.g. not scanning (non-)purchased items.

principle agency theory. ownership (principle) vs employees (agent). interests are different. problem when not performance based. employee has more information than ‘shop’. asymmetrical information. e.g. extremely unlucky dealers in casinos.

current economic crisis can be attributed to PAT or accountability problem. mis-alignment of incentives.

sub prime morgages vs redlining post homeowners act of 1934.

mortgage loan officers were incentivized by volume. no evaluation or measurements. fee basis on volume leads to problems.

simplicity – complicated structures create measurement problems


US elections:

US has no significant left-wing party. populism is getting out of hand and will be difficult to manage.

Palin winking at the camera during a debate

disconnect about much of the country and the elite institutions.