As a person whose state is currently embroiled in a debate over whether (and, more likely, how) the public should pay for a private company to build its new facilities, I found this quote from a 2000 issue of the Journal of Economic Perspectives to be particularly interesting:
Few fields of empirical economic research offer virtual unanimity of findings. Yet, independent work on the economic impact of stadiums and arenas has uniformly found that there is no statistically significant positive correlation between sports facility construction and economic development.
These results stand in distinct contrast to the promotional studies that are typically done by consulting firms under the hire of teams or local chambers of commerce supporting facility development. Typically, such promotional studies project future impact and almost inevitably adopt unrealistic assumptions regarding local value added, new spending, and associated multipliers.
There are three key lessons that this study highlights:
1. When you can get it, empirical data—that is, information gathered from real-life experimentation or observation—is better than projections.
2. Research done by independent analysts is better than research done by people who are being directly paid by clearly biased interests.
3. No matter how many times your football team says otherwise, a new football stadium is unlikely to be a good investment for public tax money.
Image: Image: Random Vikings fans, a Creative Commons Attribution (2.0) image from tigergirl's photostream. And, yes, I am making a cuckold joke, here.
I asked Amy Parness, the co-founder of Sparkle Labs, maker of fantastic educational electronics kits, to write a Medium post about gender and the business of being a maker business person. Her terrific essay calls out the problems with “pink girly engineering kits.” From Medium:
Zero UI is the new term for “invisible interfaces”—what happens in the future when all the clicking and tapping and typing is history: “If you look at the history of computing, starting with the jacquard loom in 1801, humans have always had to interact with machines in a really abstract, complex way.” [Fast Company]
CEO Dick Costolo will resign, to be replaced in the interim by Jack Dorsey
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