Archive of posts with tag 'trade'

Systems and Supply Chains

November 10, 2021 • #

You can’t touch current events online (at least in circles I follow) without running into 25 opinions on what’s causing our supply chain lock-ups.

Global supply chains are just about the most interesting examples of systems by the traditional systems thinking definition. They have stocks and flows, feedback loops, and nonlinear response dynamics, plus they’re highly visible, global, and impact each of us in very direct ways. Because everyone on earth is impacted directly by these problems, we’re hyper-aware of the issues, which drives the experts out of the...

Image credits: Unsplash

Second and Third-Order Effects

October 6, 2020 • #

From Mark Levinson’s The Box, on the shipping container and its impact on global trade:

The true importance of the revolution in freight transportation would be found not in its effect on ship lines and dockworkers, but later, as the impact of containerization resonated among the hundreds of thousands of factories and wholesalers and commodity traders and government agencies with goods to ship. For most shippers, except perhaps government agencies, the cost of transporting goods was decisive in determining what products they would make, where they would manufacture and sell them, and whether importing or exporting...

Weekend Reading: Data Moats, China, and Distributed Work

May 25, 2019 • #

🏰 The Empty Promise of Data Moats

In the era of every company trying to play in machine learning and AI technology, I thought this was a refreshing perspective on data as a defensible element of a competitive moat. There’s some good stuff here in clarifying the distinction between network effects and scale effects:

But for enterprise startups — which is where we focus — we now wonder if there’s practical evidence of data network effects at all. Moreover, we suspect that even the more straightforward data scale effect has limited...