When Uber puts surge pricing in place on a Saturday night, say, two things happen. The first is that some drivers who otherwise might sit…
My opinions have changed greatly on the topic of “price gouging.” Like most people, my first emotional response is to recoil at the idea of charging $3,000 today, for an portable electric generator that sold for $999 a few weeks ago.
The more I learn about these situations, the more I’m convinced that my original thinking is what Dr. Thomas Sowell calls, “Stage One Thinking.” Dr. Sowell is famous for asking the question, “and then what happens?” In the case of the generators, the current situation practically guarantees shortages of fuel, generators, water, bread, etc. Here’s how.
As soon as a storm approaches, people with sufficient money, rush out to fill their tanks with fuel, and their homes with bread and milk. They buy generators, chain saws, and bottled water. With the anti-price gouging laws in place, there is no disincentive for people to buy more than they would normally use. This quickly results in shortages.
Think about this example.
Let’s say I have a warehouse full of generators in Oklahoma City, about 450 miles away from the Houston. I really want to help. I’d like to take five tractor trailers filled with generators to Houston to sell. I don’t normally sell generators in Houston, because local sellers with lower transportation costs sell their generators for less, making this business unprofitable for me.
I figure out TODAY’S break-even price for each generator. I’m not looking to gouge anyone, but I also don’t expect my employees to work for free and I know the folks at the fuel depot expect to be paid as well.
The price I come up with is well above the price that would be considered gouging. Since I can’t afford to ruin my business to help the folks in Houston, I stay home. I am sad for the folks inside the tragedy for two reasons. I know I have a warehouse filled with generators that people need, and I know that, as a result of well meaning price-gouging laws, people will be worse off because I can’t sell my generators to them.
I’ll ask this question again. How should our society allocate scarce resources that have alternative uses?
I’ve tacked a couple of links below to get the deep thinking started.
Economists don’t think price gouging is a problem. But what about our social values? (from Marketplace.org)
Charging flood victims $30 for a case of water or $10 for a gallon of gas doesn’t sit right.
And a majority of states, including Texas, have laws against price gouging. The state attorney general has threatened to prosecute people who jack up their prices in the wake of the flooding caused by Harvey. He said his office has received hundreds of reports of profiteering.
But most economists think those high prices can actually benefit communities during a crisis. Sky-high prices are the market at work, the basic laws of supply and demand in action.
“Price gouging laws stand in the way of the normal workings of competitive markets,” explained Michael Salinger, an economics professor at Boston University and former director of the Bureau of Economics at the Federal Trade Commission.
(read the full article)
For years I’ve heard people complain that process improvement is pie in the sky concepts that don’t work in the real world. First of all, that’s crap. Second of all, process improvement doesn’t work, until it does, and everybody’s looking to do the new-new thing.
Jamie Flinchbaugh’s blog post on “The Founder” is a great take and means that I’ll be watching this movie soon!
Learning what works and what doesn’t work is driven by experimentation, real-world trials that inform us about cause and effect. How do we improve the ability to experiment? By reducing the cost, the effort, the friction required to test what
Rethinking What’s Next in Software Development
Al Shalloway is an acknowledged thought leader in how we design and develop software. In this post, he begins the conversation about where we are headed next. It seems that everyone is in software development these days and most agree that we need to improve. Al notes that the original manifesto mentions the Agile Manifesto mentions “the team 17 times, the customer 3 times, business twice and management not at all.” But rather than impaling the sacred Agile Manifesto cow, he offers us a place to start the conversation with his personal manifesto.
I think this is a wonderful place to start a conversation about where we go from here. If you have an opinion about how the software business needs to change, I encourage you to read this post.
A Personal Manifesto | Net Objectives
May 28, 2017 — Posted by Al Shalloway
Background and the Agile Manifesto.I have been asked several times to help in the rewrite of an Agile Manifesto. After having been involved in Snowbird 10 (the reunion of some of the original Agile Manifesto authors along with some others from the Lean/Kanban community) I realized there is no “Agile” community. Rather we have many sub-communities that are so diverse it is hard to think of them as being under one umbrella.
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Source: A Personal Manifesto | Net Objectives blog
Is Kanban Right for your team? Yep.
This is a nice post from the folks at Breath Agile.
Lots of us use a personal kanban to visualize our daily work. Kanban is a great way to see what you’re doing and what needs to be done. This article addresses a couple of real problems with kanban. How do I handle different types of tasks? What is the ‘right’ level of detail? I found this useful and I hope you will too.
Bob H 10/28/2016
This question comes up not only in Personal Kanban but also for teams and enterprise (portfolio) kanban boards as well. It is a great question – and quite often tricky to answer! What should be the level of work breakdown that gets visualized on the Kanban board? Should each card on your Kanban board be a project or a mini-project? Or should be each task that you can think of that you need to do at the lowest (smallest duration) level?
Click the link to continue to the article: How Granular should my (Personal) Kanban Board be? | The #1 Blog on Agile, Kanban and Project Management – Digite