What Peter Drucker Would Be Reading

Peter Drucker

Recent selections from around the web that, we think, would have caught Peter Drucker’s eye:

1.     Apple’s $1 Billion Win Over Samsung: Q&A: If you are looking for an efficient rundown of what to make of the recent patent trial that found in favor of Apple against Samsung, Christina DesMarais at PCWorld interviews Van Lindberg, an IP and open-source attorney, and gets the answers. Some of them might surprise you. For instance, says Lindberg, “Although it is somewhat fashionable to be anti-patent these days, this was one trial in which Apple was using its patents exactly as intended under the system.”

2.     In Praise of Copycats: If, as Van Lindberg claims (see previous item), being anti-patent is somewhat fashionable, then leading the promenade on the catwalk are Kal Raustiala and Chris Sprigman, authors of The Knockoff Economy: How Imitation Sparks Innovation. In a book excerpt in The Wall Street Journal, Raustiala and Sprigman says we’d all be better off if we were a bit more relaxed about intellectual turf protection: “There are many examples of successful industries that survive despite extensive copying. In fact, some even thrive because they are so open to copying.”3.     Best Buy’s Best Bet: Focus on the Long Term: What’s a store like Best Buy to do? It’s burdened by bulky, expensive, low-margin items like televisions. It has to pay for sales staff and showrooms. It is, in short, a retailer in a business that’s going online. A post at Knowledge@Wharton Today considers the many, many factors working against the survival of Best Buy. It also tries to offer some ideas. For example, “Best Buy could find solutions in stocking unique products” that come with “exceptional service that cannot be replicated online.”

4.     The Dx Comment of the Week: Last week, we brought up the uncomfortable topic of medical providers basing a lot of their treatment on guesswork with little data to back it up. Where, we asked, do practice and results diverge most in medicine today? Reader jon said “they diverge everywhere” and suggested two fundamental remedies:

1.   For doctors: There should be a performance metric, an incentive to come up with the right solution, instead of having it feel like throwing darts in the dark. 2. Patients have to realize that the right things don’t always come easy.