Andrew McAfee on Technology and the American Workforce

On the PBS NewsHour last April, Andy McAfee spoke about how increased use of technology does play a role in the current disappointing job growth statistics.

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      MIT Sloan Professor Scott Stern’s latest research draws a clear correlation between the elements present at the founding of entrepreneurial startups and their later success. In addition, he and MIT doctoral candidate Jorge Guzman, use other widely available data-- such as incorporation information, patents, trademarks, IPOs and venture capital funding-- to measure and identify the potential for future growth.


      The findings of the study, “Nowcasting and Placecasting Growth Entrepreneurship,” were presented at an MIT IDE seminar in March by Stern, who is Professor of Management of Technology and Chair of the Technological Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Strategic Management Group at the MIT Sloan School of Management. He and Guzman were not only able to draw conclusions, but to observe data-documented entrepreneurial trends, using algorithms and estimation models. These can “help us understand the origins and dynamics of startups,” Stern said.


      Shifting Growth Patterns

      Placecasting can be used to “evaluate the role of regional ecosystems” in the growth—and decline -- of startups, and to identify clusters of “hyperinnovation.” “Our approach allows us to track the changing locational patterns of growth entrepreneurs over time,” and in real-time, he said, as opposed to traditional, static survey methods. For example, “in Massachusetts, we are able to document the transition from Route 128 growth entrepreneurship to clustering in Kendall Square in Cambridge and Boston.” Similarly, in California, he is tracking the move of entrepreneurship from Silicon Valley to San Francisco.

      guzman chart.JPG

      Using what he calls nowcasting, Stern expects to develop a predictive model of growth outcomes and assign a probability of growth based on current developments and past indicators. It will also be easier to spot and evaluate why some firms will not succeed. Going forward, Stern also understands that the pace of change and the “app economy” will require new criteria and there will be new shifts to track.


      Stern works widely with both companies and governments in understanding the drivers and consequences of innovation and entrepreneurship, and has worked extensively in understanding the role of innovation and entrepreneurship in competitiveness and regional economic performance. For more about regional clusters, watch this video and for more on the research, contact Stern at .

      This blog first appeared in The Business Impact of IT on April 10 here.



      Just a quick note to let Washingtonians know about two happenings in their city this week. I find them interesting not because I’m speaking at them, but rather because of the people I’m speaking with.


      April 10 from 5:30 to 7 I’m sitting down to talk with Prof. Amitai Etzioni at George Washington University about “the effects of the coming digital revolution;” the event is free and open to the public, and details are here. I’m going to use this opportunity to play interviewer myself and ask Prof. Etzioni how a communitarian thinks about the second machine age and the opportunities and challenges it brings. If you’re geekiness extends to the subjects of technology, policy, economics, and/or political philosophy, I think you’ll enjoy the conversation a lot, especially because it’ll include audience members.


      On Saturday afternoon the IMF, as part of its anniversary celebration, is bringing together an all-star panel to talk about “IMF 70 Years Later: Reflections and Looking Ahead.” The Fund’s managing director Christine Lagarde will participate, as will Madeleine Albright, Peter Ho from Singapore, and my friends Bob Gordonand John Lipsky. Ali Veishi will moderate (I wonder if he’ll try to stoke the ongoing debate about tech progress and innovation I’ve been having with Bob or suppress it).


      We’re at George Washington University’s Lisner Auditorium from 3:45 to 5 on April 12, and a live webcast will also be available. If you’re nearby please do come; I can promise you an informative, informed, and lively discussion.


      As these events show, the conversation in our nation’s capital is starting to include the topic of rapid technological progress and its consequences. I find this very good news…



      Screenshot 2014-04-10 11.19.55


      Gary Loveman Discusses Impediments to Analytics

      MIT CDB's Andrew McAfee talks with Caesar's CEO Gary Loveman about why businesses don't make better use of analytics, especially in a weak economy.

      Video: The Big Data Revolution

      At the last MIT CDB conference on Big Data, Erik Brynjolfsson discussed how big data will profoundly change the way business is conducted going forward and why CEOs must get on board or be left behind.


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      Paula KleinCreated by Paula Klein on Aug 29, 2012 in Featured Content

      MIT CDB in the News

      The work of our faculty and researchers is often featured in the global press. Here are some very recent articles and references to follow:

      • George Westerman writes about whether CIOs should be Chief Digital Officers in this HBR blog.
      • Michael Schrage, Harvard Business Review blog on Enterprise Social Media.
      • Erik Brynjolfsson writes about Competing in the Age of Omnichannel Retailing in the MIT Sloan Review.
      • Andrew McAfee writes about the alarmingly sorry state of higher education in HBR.