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Andrew McAfee
Works at MIT
Attended MIT
Lives in Cambridge, MA
5,758 followers|28,181 views
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  • MIT
    Scientist, present
  • PRTM
  • Harvard Business School
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Cambridge, MA
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Hobart, Indiana
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Introduction
I study the ways that information technology (IT) affects businesses and business as a whole. My research investigates how IT changes the way companies perform, organize themselves, and compete. At a higher level, this work also investigates how computerization affects competition itself –  the struggle among rivals for dominance and survival within an industry.

I'm a principal research scientist at the Center for Digital Business in the MIT Sloan School of Management and a fellow at Harvard's Berkman Center for Internet and Society.

I coined the phrase “Enterprise 2.0” in a spring 2006 Sloan Management Review article to describe the use of Web 2.0 tools and approaches by businesses. I also began blogging at that time, both about Enterprise 2.0 and about my other research. I also maintain a Facebook profile and Twitter account.

My book on Enterprise 2.0 was published in November of 2009 by Harvard Business School Press.

In the July / August issue of Harvard Business Review Erik Brynjolfsson and I published “Investing in the IT that Makes a Competitive Difference,” a summary of our research investigating IT’s links to changes in competition. This work was the first to reveal that competition began to heat up in the US in the mid 1990s –  to become faster paced, more turbulent, and more winner-take-all –  and that this acceleration was greater in industries that spent more on IT.  This research continues, and continues to highlight that technology appears to be significantly reshaping the landscape of competition.

I'm the author or co-author of more than fifteen scholarly articles and ninety case studies and other materials for students and teachers of technology. This work has convinced me that modern information technology is the most powerful tool available to business leaders, yet also the most misunderstood and under-appreciated resource at their disposal.

In 2008 I was named by the editors of the technical publishing house Ziff-Davis number 38 in their list of the “100 Most Influential People in IT.” I was also named by Baseline magazine to a separate, unranked list of the 50 most influential people in business IT that year. I was invited by Prof. Gary Hamel to join a ‘renegade brigade’ of thinkers in the task of assembling a set of Moon Shots for Management, which was published in the January 2009 Harvard Business Review.

I speak frequently to both academic and industry audiences, and have taught in executive education programs around the world.

I received my Doctorate from Harvard Business School, and completed two Master of Science and two Bachelor of Science degrees at MIT.

You can reach me by email at this address.

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  • Harvard
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Andrew McAfee

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New post is up: "Recent Trends in Labor Intensity. Or, the History (and Future?) Of Steady Jobs in the US."
Feedback is always much appreciated...
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David Acklin's profile photoRoseline Kouakou's profile photoPatrick Tucker's profile photo
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Hi Andrew. Can I repost this to THE FUTURIST magazine blog under your byline, with linkback to your blog?
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Andrew McAfee

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SO true (heard via +Tim O'Reilly )
Bruno Oliveira originally shared:
 
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Dalton Pierce's profile photoTravis Scudder's profile photoJohn Roussin's profile photo
 
Andrew,
Your brilliant. 
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Andrew McAfee

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Because +Erik Brynjolfsson and I know your holiday shopping isn't done and you're struggling to find the perfect gift for that economics / technology / policy geek on your list, we've marked down "Race Against the Machine" to the absurdly low price of $2.99 . You'll never forgive yourself if you pass this opportunity up...
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Jack Mason's profile photoBeckie Yoder's profile photoShawn Hannah's profile photoAndrew McAfee's profile photo
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+Marcel de Ruiter Try changing your country settings here: https://www.amazon.com/gp/digital/fiona/manage?ie=UTF8&ref_=sa_menu_myk3&#cor

I often see price (and availability) discrepancies when switching between France and the US. In any case, the book is worth $6.89 too, though no reason to not increase your consumer surplus if you can ;)
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Andrew McAfee

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Great column by Rahm Emanuel in WSJ about Chicago's new partnership between community colleges and employers. Favorite quotes include:

"The Chicago area has near 10% unemployment, but more than 100,000 unfilled jobs."

"at a time of high unemployment, more than 80% of manufacturers say they can't find skilled workers to hire."

"Recently I met a young student at a public-transit stop who was commuting from Harold Washington Community College, where he goes to school, to his night job at a department-store warehouse. Riding from downtown to the Southside, studying along the way, that student, like millions of Americans, is doing his part to ensure he has a shot at a good job. But those of us in government have not been doing our part to meet him halfway. We need to guarantee that the diploma he earns has economic value. I want that student to worry only about doing well in his classes, not about whether the skills he gains in those classes will earn him a job."

"I hope that cities across the country will follow Chicago's model. If we revive and modernize our training programs to match the needs of our high-growth industries, our community college system can catapult millions of people into employment and into the middle class, as it has done for generations of Americans."

Let's hope this initiative succeeds and is a model for other communities...
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Andrew McAfee

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‎@jameswilsdon pointed me to a story at the Singularity Hub site saying that Hon Hai, the huge Asian contract electronics manufacturer -- corporate parent of iPad assembler Foxconn -- plans to replace 500,000 of its workers with robots over the next three years, and to build a robot-making factory. Since its workforce is currently somewhere around 900,000 people, this represents a huge commitment to automation.

If this kind of move makes financial sense in China, is there anyplace where it doesn't make financial sense?
http://singularityhub.com/2011/12/13/chinese-company-continues-plan-to-replace-workforce-with-500000-robots/
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Jonathan Tanner's profile photoJon Teets's profile photo
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I'm willing to bet a beer that they will back away from this to some degree. It represents a significant job loss in a country whose policymakers make it clear that every business interested in support should be optimizing for employment.
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Don't you love it / hate it when someone perfectly expresses some thoughts that have been knocking around in your head before you have the time, talent, and energy to do so?
Matt Ridley on the crucial difference between 'the market' (which is hugely beneficial to all of us) and 'capitalism' (which has been letting a lot of us down miserably lately):
http://www.rationaloptimist.com/blog/market-antidote-capitalism
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cannot access the doc anymore :(
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Have him in circles
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Andrew McAfee

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One of my New Year's Resolutions is to bring back and maintain the once-popular #andyasks. It's a daily question I ask via Twitter on whatever topic springs to mind.
I usually ask once in the morning to get East Coast US and European folk, then again in the afternoon once our West Coast colleagues have woken up and joined us.
The fun and learning are in the answers much more than the questions, so please don't just lurk: join in. When you do, it'll be better if you don't simply reply (if you do, only people who follow both you and me will see your response). Start your replies either with #andyasks (preferred) or with a period -- .@amcafee.
I look forward to hearing from you...
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Great! I enjoyed those questions. Will attemp to participate more. Will you be doing that on Google+ too?
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Andrew McAfee

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"The Rebound that Stayed Flat"
Here's a new post comparing at data about growth in GPD, profits, and investment since the Great Recession ended (good news) with data about employment (bad news).
Feedback very welcome.
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Frank Nestel's profile photoBryan Ruby's profile photo
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It is all looking plausible. However, without digging the detailed data, these curves should look different in Germany, employment rate is on a 8 year high (i.e. unemployment on such a low). Should we still be that less automatised here in Germany? I cannot believe that.
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Lots of people think that the Cloud will cause a competitive shakeup among enterprise IT vendors. Will it also shake up 'old economy' industries -- those that buy IT instead of selling it? In a new post, I argue that if history is any guide, this will in fact be the case.
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The path taken may make a difference. A couple of friends are rolling in the proprietary direction and their respective organizations have serious security needs. But I don't see them getting the power and scale they think they're going to get doing it that way. Maybe their problem could be addressed the same way we could address transaction processing in the open. (?)
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Andrew McAfee

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If I could carry around only one Christopher Hitchens quote with me, it would be this one:

"We have the same job we always had: to say that there are no final solutions; there is no absolute truth; there is no supreme leader; there is no totalitarian solution that says if you would just give up your freedom of inquiry, if you would just give up, if you would simply abandon your critical faculties, the world of idiotic bliss can be yours."
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Andrew McAfee

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"Seek the company of those who search for truth. Run from those who have found it." - Vaclav Havel

I can't think of a better motto.
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The Quants by Scott Patterson (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Quants) tells the story of the high tech quantitative analyst traders who where in search of alpha...market truth. It was around 2007 when a few of these maths wizards claimed they had found it. Bring on the sub-prime mortgage crisis and this truth triggered and fueled much of the downward spiral. Patterson likewise warns against those in the financial industry that claim they have found the truth.
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Andrew McAfee

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H&M no longer uses human models to generate the images it uses for its online catalogs. According to a spokesperson, “This is done for all garments, not just underwear. It applies to both women’s and men’s clothing.”

I doubt that virtual models will engender unrealistic body images any more than current real-world ones do, especially after they've been photoshopped to sever all links with actual human anatomy.

But I do think this will reduce employment opportunities for human models. Image manipulation software is now good enough to start putting catalog models out of a job.

(Thanks, +Tim O'Reilly , for making me aware of this story)

http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/entertainment/2011/12/clothing-giant-hm-defends-use-of-virtual-models/
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