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.  Jeff Bezos, John Henry and the New Reality: Bill Taylor, co-founder of Fast Company, is stunned by the sale of The Washington Post to Internet billionaire Jeff Bezos. In a post at the HBR Blog, Taylor notes that Tumblr, “a company launched in 2007 to host a collection of photos and short blog posts,” is worth more than four times one of the nation’s premier news outlets. He observes that, “in a world defined by ‘creative destruction,’ the destruction happens a lot faster than the creativity.” And he asks, “Are we being as honest about the costs of the digital revolution as we are about its benefits?”

2.  The Stupidity of the Crowd: We’ve been hearing about the wisdom of crowds in recent years. Now it’s time for some new conventional wisdom: Crowds are stupid. Olga Khazan writes in The Altantic that new research from Arizona State University and Uppsala University in Sweden shows that “while crowds might indeed be wise when it comes to making tough, close calls, they are actually worse than individuals at choosing between two options, one of which is vastly superior to the other. When the choice is easy, in other words, the crowd can actually be pretty dumb.”

3.  Starbucks Ups the Stakes in Battle Over Wireless Charging: When it’s time for not just a caffeine boost but also a battery boost, go to one of 10 Starbucks that are now offering fast, free phone charging to phones with a special sleeve. Might not sound like a big deal, but Starbucks thinks otherwise. As Ina Fried reports at AllThingsD, “Starbucks is hoping to spur the wireless charging industry in much the same way it did with Wi-Fi more than a decade ago. And, as it did with the Wi-Fi standard, Starbucks is also potentially shifting the balance of power in a standards battle.”

4.  Dx Comment of the Week: Last week, when we considered the actions of Edward Snowden and Bradley Manning and asked whether the two men were heroes or villains, reader Brendan had this to say:

Responsible citizenship requires that we question the acts of governments in the quest for ‘national security.’ Had either person gone through the proper channels, would the actions of the intelligence agencies involved even made it to the public domain? They are neither heroes or villains, but [they] chose to bring into the light the true working of governments, thus opening the debate on the rights of citizens to privacy. Inevitably, they serve to make governments more responsible, more transparent and more accountable to the people they serve.