RTCrawford's Weblog

I don't make this stuff up. I'm not that smart.

Archive for November 2008

Clinical Pathways and The Story of O

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Newton wrote the Principia (the most influential, non-religious text in human history) in 1684.  His three laws of physics and theory of gravitation are contained within it.  Almost immediately there was controversy, when Leibnitz published his text creating calculus, and Newton off-handedly claimed he had invented calculus in order to perform his research for the Principia.  The issue is not resolved until Newton produced his working papers – with credit ultimately given to both for this monumental advance.

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Written by rcrawford

November 30, 2008 at 12:39 am

The Google Model of Healthcare Quality and Advertising

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The Google model — trading advertising for quality:

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/24/business/media/24carr.html?em

The article notes that Google rarely advertises its new functionality, but, having built a better mouse trap, users seek and adopt it — because, by reputation and past exposure, it consistently delivers on three fronts … simplicity, utility, and price … the constituent attributes of its character and persona.  With each new addition, a web of use and reliance follows, creating a barrier to exit for the consumer and more strongly establishing customer loyalty.

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Written by rcrawford

November 25, 2008 at 8:46 pm

For Want of a Gadfly, the Shoe Was Lost …

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The subject at hand is the managerial practices of Citibank.  While this is not obviously relevant to those seeking excellence as executives within healthcare (my area of professional focus), it informs it, nevertheless.

During graduate school, I recall a professor’s insistence that, in team settings, a “gadfly” should be appointed.  The gadfly, for those who are not familiar with the term, is a “horsefly,” whose company is stinging and whose presence prompts the cow in the pasture to swish its tail in defense.  In business settings, the “gadfly” is the person who questions every assumption, no matter who makes them.  Without a “gadfly,” no team has a chance of withstanding the threat of “group think” or any of the other flaws associated with team dynamics – such as, deference to authority, appealed to convention, or mimetic decision-making.

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Written by rcrawford

November 23, 2008 at 5:09 am

Posted in General

The Milpo Lorax Response

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I “simulcast” the investment related blog entries on my Motley Fool CAPS profile page — where my comparative performance against the S&P 500 can be tracked (my moniker in the Motley Fool is “Bertiii”).  CAPS participant Milpo responded to the most recent submission (The Lorax Investor) with a series of thought-provoking questions and assertions.  Of necessity, my response is long-winded (even by my standards), but it was a beneficial exercise — forcing me to confront long-established assumptions concerning the utility of value investing.  Here is that response, starting with Milpo’s two comment submissions:

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Written by rcrawford

November 10, 2008 at 9:13 am

Posted in General

The Lorax Investor

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2002 Nobel laureates Daniel Kahneman and Vernon Smith used computer simulations to study behavioral finance, demonstrating that speculative bubbles arrive with greater frequency than most of us would otherwise expect. Those bubbles can be hedonistic or pessimistic, defying the “efficient market theory” — which argues that the market fairly prices openly-traded equities, commodities, and other goods and services with near-instantaneous accuracy. The mispricings associated with speculative bubbles often follow from a “herd mentality,” and this leads to the trading approach known as “technical analysis.” Eventually, however, bubbles deflate, no matter how analytical the technician.

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Written by rcrawford

November 8, 2008 at 8:08 am