Gongol.com Archives: June 2013
Brian Gongol

June 4, 2013

Business and Finance Lessons from Zynga's troubles
The online-game maker is in trouble, with plans to lay off 20% of its employees soon. What lessons can be taken away from their experience? (1) All bubbles eventually burst; desktop gaming was just another of many. (2) The best way to stay in business is to try to put yourself out of business; Zynga apparently didn't try hard enough to get mobile platforms right, and stayed too long with desktop games. (3) Overspending may be fun, but it's not good business; buying office buildings and overpriced subsidiaries doesn't seem to have helped Zynga's fortunes.

News "Functional obsolescence" and our bridges
When a bridge is called "functionally obsolete", that means it still works -- but we wouldn't design a replacement in the same way. Unfortunately, even though "roads and bridges" are a popular refrain for infrastructure spending right now (and there are many bridges, for sure, that need it), infrastructure is about much, much more than just roads and bridges. We are generally ignoring dams and water plants and the power grid and many other things, to our peril.

Socialism Doesn't Work 24 years ago: Tiananmen Square
Watch the Frontline special on "The Tank Man"

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