Category Archives: Development

A Tale of Two Highways

As I mentioned last week, we drove from Cincinnati to Milford to return home from our vacation. Why do I mention this again? Not for pity. (No, no. We’ve done many of these long, day-long drives over the last couple … Continue reading

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Universal health coverage

I love my commonwealth. The economy is robust. Taxes are low (5% sales tax, 5.35% flat income tax, 12% capital gains tax). Anyone who wishes can marry without running into out-of-date legal impediments. And now we have universal health coverage. … Continue reading

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You dropped the bomb on me, baby!

Do you live somewhere other than the United States? Did you at one point? Does your country have declared or undeclared nuclear weapons? Perhaps it exploded them in 1998? Perhaps it’s working on a nuclear fuel cycle but not to … Continue reading

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Indian economy and society

I’m toying with the idea of starting an outsourcing carnival — the blog equivalent of a “special issue” dedicated to a particular theme. If you’re interested let me know. Whilst surfing the blogs to see what kind of info is … Continue reading

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Personal views on outsourcing

So I’m going to apply the same kind of thinking out loud that we do at lunch to outsourcing, an issue that I haven’t completely made up my mind about. I’ll tell you what I think — it’s probably not so bad as software engineers fret, but we need to do more to stay competitive — and why I think so; and you tell me whether you agree and/or point me to the things you’ve heard or read that should lead me to reevaluate my narrow, misguided views.

Offshoring involves hidden costs; each one of the criteria for successful outsourcing — qualified, imaginative staff; alignment with company values and needs; and the desire to build a stronger brand — is increasingly rare, costly, and essential to a successful company. These are rarely discussed in outsourcing diatribes.

If we in the U.S. are going to continue as competitive innovators, then education, taxation, economic policy, venture capital, and worker benefits must remain competitive.

Plus a guide for mitigating outsourcing risks:

  • Be really smart and have depth in more than one skill.
  • Save for retirement and a rainy day.
  • Work at a small or medium size company.
  • Work at a company that understands what it’s doing and the true cost of outsourcing.
  • Be part of your company’s core purpose.
  • Accept that your job could leave and be willing to take what you know and move on.

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Updates

Steichen: The Times reports that the $2.9M Steichen sale is just the tip of the iceberg. Sugimoto: Holland Cotter reviews Sugimoto’s retrospective at the Hirshhorn. Hiroshi Sugimoto, the celebrated Japanese-born photographer, designed the installation for his own retrospective at the … Continue reading

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Current score

Today’s close Dow: 11,120.68 Sensex: 10,124.30 Bombay Stock Exchange Sensitive Index v. Dow Jones Industrial Average (5-year)

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Outsourcing challenges

Today’s New York Times looks at outsourcing to India and China in two very different ways. Steve Lohr examines the increasing willingness of American and European businesses to outsource high-paying, knowledge-intensive R&D jobs. The Times’ Saritha Rai — whom I … Continue reading

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India has a better economic future than China?

From China Could Learn From India’s Slow and Quiet Rise, a Yale Global Online reprint of Yasheng Huang’s FT article of 27 January 2006: Two years ago the view that India might have a more competitive economy than China was … Continue reading

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Outsourcing encourages innovation?

A couple weeks ago Business Week published a very interesting cover article about the future of American outsourcing. I found its argument compelling that offshoring encourages innovation and domestic economic growth by freeing up resources (i.e., cutting jobgs) and allowing … Continue reading

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Brooks accentuates the positive

The Times’ David Brooks tells me not to worry about foreign competition. I wish I could tell that big fish (who I often find insightful and occasionally agree with) to read this low-power and frequently schizophrenic blog. We’re far from … Continue reading

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Indian airport workers strike

Airports in India were the single greatest reminder that, despite all of the nation’s progress and aspirations, the ground truth is troubled and complicated. Most airports are glorified train stations, but with metal detectors. Planes leave late or don’t show … Continue reading

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Competitiveness Initiative

Despite not being a friend at all of the current administration, I am really intrigued by GWB’s competitiveness initiative. I have no doubt that he and congressional committees are going to mess it up completely while putting it into practice, … Continue reading

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Follow ups #1

Brain Drain: The Times ran an article yesterday saying that some Indians find they can go home again. Exurbs: Whilst searching for the Times article to link against last, week I chose “exurb” as my keyword. That led to an … Continue reading

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National Academies report on technology leadership

Last month I wrote how well-qualified international applicants are filling the holes in higher education that native-born Americans just can’t (or won’t) seem to fill, and how (anecdotaly) this trend is influencing hiring in high tech. Whether or not you … Continue reading

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