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Must we endure excessive drug prices to encourage pharmaceutical R&D?

A mechanism of funding pharmaceutical research which leads to drug prices far in excess of marginal cost is bound to lead to anguish and injustice. But is there a better idea?

Why do we welcome innovation to products more readily than to processes?

Children love to play with new toys but hate disruption to their routines. These traits persist in adult life: innovation is readily adopted when it is incorporated in new gadgets but innovation that involves doing things differently is resisted. There are understandable reasons for this.

Regulators will get the blame for the stupidity of crowds

Just as dammed water finds new channels of escape, crowdfunding seems to provide a way around the blockage.

Technology’s crystal ball offers only a hazy view of the future

Knowledge is more than additive. What we learn when we bring two bodies of knowledge together may be much more than the sum of each alone.

Sometimes the best that a company can hope for is death

Humans have always found it hard to cope with the idea that every individual has a lifespan even as life itself goes on. The idea of a natural life cycle for a business, or industrial centre, is even more difficult to accept.

Enduring lessons from the legend of Rothschild’s carrier pigeon

Why do we devote more resources to training carrier pigeons and building fibreoptic links than to understanding military and business strategy?

Fair value is not the same as market price

The growth of the trading culture has encouraged the belief that the only measure of value is what someone is willing to pay. But this is a mistake.

New York’s wonder shows planners’ limits

If unplanned social interactions are the key to a vibrant city, they are also the key to a vibrant organisation.

Why Sony did not invent the iPod

Narratives of industry evolution often represent fairy tales constructed by corporate financiers, or ambitious chief executives. They relentlessly seek rationale, however spurious, for the next deal.

Publishers badly need a new Sir Thomas Bodley

As the commercial market is being transformed, anyone who thinks that the policy challenge is to restrict internet piracy has missed the point.