The Fugue for February 26th

Interesting stories from the day; now I need to figure out why.

Chinese Wheels

Hessler describes a world in which people happily cut corners to get what they want.  Quality is never king. “No matter what you make, you’re going to have competition.” “So now it’s not the product that counts. It’s the volume.”

An Apology From Toyota’s Leader

“I have personally placed the highest priority on improving quality over quantity,” Mr. Toyoda said. “And I have shared that direction with our stakeholders.”

Debt of No Honor

The financial fiasco:

as Wall Street’s answer to post-modernism. Wall Street, too, in Lanchester’s account, engineered “a break with common sense, a turn toward self-referentiality and abstraction, and notions that couldn’t be explained in workaday English.”

Banks Bet Greece Defaults on Debt They Helped Hide

A result, some traders say, is a vicious circle. As banks and others rush into these swaps, the cost of insuring Greece’s debt rises. Alarmed by that bearish signal, bond investors then shun Greek bonds, making it harder for the country to borrow. That, in turn, adds to the anxiety — and the whole thing starts over again.

Why VCs and start-ups should love IP

86% of the VC-backed winners (ie, companies that are acquired or go to an IPO) they identified had strong as opposed to typical intellectual property assessments. In other words, while a healthy IP position may not guarantee that a start-up technology company is going to be successful, it is going to find it a whole lot harder to succeed if it does not have one. And ,crucially, it is not just ownership of IP that is important, it is understanding the IP that is key.

Brilliant inventor or patent troll?

imagine if authors had to buy intellectual-property rights for every idea that they referred to in their work, rather than simply acknowledging it in a footnote.