Category Archives: Uncategorized

CEO Pay & Performance

More studies keep coming out that show a decoupling from CEO pay and performance. From this study:

The researchers studied how three levels of incentives affected performance of different tasks. Confirming their hypothesis, but likely confounding those compensation-setting boards, the academics found that while performance often improved from low-incentive to midlevel-incentive, it decreased across the board when incentives were at the highest level.

US Tax Levels vs GDP

Lane Kenworthy has posted an excellent write-up on whether high tax levels affect GDP. He walks through a comparison of the United Stats vs Denmark vs Sweden and observed that, despite higher tax levels in Denmark and Sweden, the countries have very similar metrics on economic growth.

Lane sums up with:

A challenge

At what point does the harmful impact of taxes on the economy kick in? And how large is it? The Danish and Swedish experiences over the past generation pose a challenge for those who believe the answers to these two questions are “somewhere below 50% of GDP” and “large.” It’s a challenge that in my view has yet to be met.

I take no position on tax policy other than there is absolutely zero data being injected into the conversations happening in Congress right now. Any battle being fought on dogmatic terms instead of with data is doomed from the get-go.

Hat tip to Economist’s View

Science & Business of Colors

This originally came to my attention through an article on properly designed blog aesthetics. It’s an interesting short-discussion on the interpretations and reactions to colors. From the article:

  • White: Pure. Clean. Youthful. It’s a neutral color that can imply purity in fashion and sterilization in the medical profession.
  • Black: Power. Elegant. Secretive. The color black can target your high-end market or be used in youth marketing to add mystery to your image.
  • Red: Passion. Excitement. Danger. Red is the color of attention, causing the blood pressure and heart rate to rise. Use red to inject excitement into your brand.
  • Orange: Vibrant. Energy. Play. Add some fun to your company if you want to create a playful environment for your customers.
  • Yellow: Happy. Warm. Alert. Yellow can be an attractor for your business with a relaxed feeling.
  • Green: Natural. Healthy. Plentiful. To create a calming effect or growth image choose green. Go green go.
  • Purple: Royalty. Wise. Celebration. Maybe add some purple tones to your look for your premium service business.
  • Blue: Loyal. Peaceful. Trustworthy. Blue is the most popular and neutral color on a global scale. A safe choice for a business building customer loyalty.

Play Chicken and Save $50 On HP Laptops

I had been looking at getting a new laptop. I finally settled on one of the already-assembled HP ones since the price had been a little less expensive for what I wanted. I had looked on Amazon and the price wasn’t competitive, so I ordered it from HP. About 30 minutes after ordering the laptop from HP, the Amazon price dropped to $100 less than the Amazon order ($50 less and no sales tax). So I did want I hope any rational person would do. I bought the Amazon one also and planned to return the HP one. HP told me that they couldn’t cancel the order (only 1 hour after buying it) and that I would have to generate an RMA after receiving it.

After I receive the laptop, I contacted HP customer service and let them know that I wanted to return the laptop. After explaining my situation (and telling them that I did order the laptop I wanted already), they offered an additional $50 off to keep the laptop. So, by playing chicken with HP and threatening to return a laptop after getting it, you can save $50. And this is on top of any HP coupons that you can find out there.

I think this is a perverse incentive structure at HP, but, as long as it’s out there, go take advantage of it. In my case, HP would’ve been better off giving me a few hours to cancel my order before forcing me to take delivery – they lost because of it.