CS and the City Sean Lynch

Larry Smith Insight

Larry Smith is one of the best lecturers the University of Waterloo has to offer. The great thing about Larry is that he’s a bit of a geek. Even though he’s teaching economics, he gives the whole thing a CS-Engineering treatment that tends to result in a few increadible gems of insight. The following is a few I’ve caught over the past few weeks.

“The technology sector is driven by the market place, not by cool technology.”

Inventory control isn’t sexy, but it built Walmart

[on the creation and eventual adoption of computerized inventory control in the 70s]

The technology market place is inherantly chunky and if it continues to develop products that require massive investments, it will be more and more volitle.

[on investment cycles and capacity planning]

Look at VoIP. Vonage shares are dropping like a stone and Skype is giving it away. Too many railways, not enough demand.

[on market saturation]

“Companies institutionalize ambition.” Waterloo co-ops are some of the cockiest kids out there and cocky is synonymous with self-confidence.

[on the importance of “animal spirits” in investment]