My op-ed piece “When New Yorkers Cheered the Wright Stuff” has a message that is complementary to my book Openness to Creative Destruction.
Addendum: “When New Yorkers Cheered the Wright Stuff” was syndicated through InsideSources.com. To be best of my knowledge, it was run by three newspapers. Davis Enterprise. [California.] Sun., Sept. 22, 2019, p. B5; Findlay Courier. [Ohio.] Sat., Sept. 28, 2019, p. A4; Monroe News. [Michigan.], Tues., Oct. 1, 2019, p. 4A.
(p. A1) SPRINGFIELD, Mo.— Steve Stepp and his team of septuagenarian engineers are using a bag of rust, a kitchen mixer larger than a man and a 62-foot-long contraption that used to make magnetic strips for credit cards to avert a disaster that no one saw coming in the digital-music era.
The world is running out of cassette tape.
National Audio Co., where Mr. Stepp is president and co-owner, has been hoarding a stockpile of music-quality, ⅛-inch-wide magnetic tape from suppliers that shut down in the past 15 years after music lovers ditched cassettes. National Audio held on. Now, many musicians are clamoring for cassettes as a way to physically distribute their music.
The company says it has less than a year’s supply of tape left. So it is building the first manufacturing line for (p. A10) high-grade ferric oxide cassette tape in the U.S. in decades. If all goes well, the machine will churn out nearly 4 miles of tape a minute by January. And not just any tape. “The best tape ever made,” boasts Mr. Stepp, 69 years old. “People will hear a whole new product.” Continue reading “Firm Revives Cassette Tape Production”
(p. 1B) Downtown Omaha resident Rob Luhrs spends his early mornings and late nights hunting for scooters.
Luhrs, 41, is a “juicer” of Lime scooters (“Lime juicer” — get it?) who charges scooters and then sets them out again around town. He said he makes about $60 a day, seven days a week, doing the work. During the College World Series, he said, he was making between $80 and $90 a day.
Luhrs also is an instructor of Brazilian jiu-jitsu and a part-time real estate broker who works for a grocery delivery service. But he said he hopes to make charging scooters his primary source of income.
(p. 2B) “I want to work when I want to,” he said. “When I want to take a day off, I don’t want anybody complaining about it, and if I work extra hard, I want to get paid more. I can’t just go apply to somewhere and get that job.”
. . .
Luhrs said charging scooters is a great job for “independent-minded entrepreneurs.”
“For me personally, I’m willing to spend time during the day picking up scooters and make it a full-time gig,” he said. “I see other people out there, during the daytime, picking up scooters, so I know that they’re trying to make it a full-time gig, too.”
After his disappointing improved-vacuum-tube invention (see below), Kates did not give up. He went on to make important contributions in coordinating traffic lights to ease traffic flows.
(p. A9) When he demonstrated a computer tic-tac-toe game called Bertie the Brain in 1950, Josef Kates thought he was on the verge of making a fortune. The game, introduced at the Canadian National Exhibition, featured streamlined vacuum tubes invented by the Austrian-born Dr. Kates, who came to Canada in the 1940s as a refugee from Nazism. He hoped the tubes would revolutionize computing.
His timing was off. The rise of semiconductors was about to render vacuum tubes obsolete as computer components. “I got the patent, but the patent was useless,” he said in an oral history. “Okay, so on goes the world.”