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How My English Degree Helped Build a Tech Company

When I was 26, my dad got sick and asked me to take over as CEO of the tech company he started. I was armed with my English major from Allegheny College and a couple of years in a retail management training program. In other words, I didn’t have a…

The Agency Game

by Evan Pattak
Pipitone Group, an ad agency in Pittsburgh’s Observatory Hill neighborhood, counts Vitro Architectural Glass as one of its largest clients. For the Cheswick-​based company, which purchased PPG Flat Glass in 2016, Pipitone manages advertising and web strategy. Yet when Vitro wants to develop and implement a public relations initiative, it…

Pittsburgh Business Show Ready to Launch Second Year

Last year, Linda Jo Thornberg created the Pittsburgh Business Show with notable success, attracting 157 exhibiting business and 2,800 attendees. Prior to this year’s show, April 25 and 26 at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center, we asked her how she got the show started and what to expect in…

A Lesson in Growth from Austin, Texas

With the U.S. Census Bureau reporting continuing populations losses for metropolitan Pittsburgh, the region is one of only a few “large” U.S. metros reporting losses, putting us in the company of Youngstown, Ohio and Altoona/​Johnstown, Pa. This is not a good story. Companies often choose where to locate or expand…

Airport Overhaul

by Jeffery Fraser
As birthday celebrations go, this one was fairly harsh. The local news media was gathered at Pittsburgh International Airport’s Midfield Terminal on a late-​summer day last September. Earlier, they’d reported the terminal complex, once lauded for its innovative design, had turned 25. Now, with cameras rolling, airport officials noted its…

Gaining Critical Mass

by Jeffery Fraser
Alfred Hunt knew a good idea when he saw it. And Charles Martin Hall had one. In 1886, the 23-​year-​old chemist had discovered a smelting process to make aluminum inexpensively while working in a lab he cobbled together in a shed behind his parent’s house in northern Ohio.

How Private Capital Made America the Greatest Society

by Greg Curtis
Last week we discussed Fundamental Law of Private Capital #1 — that private capital is the secret weapon that allows some economies to out-​compete others. This week we’ll turn to Fundamental Laws #2 and #3.

Three Fundamental Laws of Private Capital

by Greg Curtis
A few years after “Capital in the Twenty-​First Century” exploded on the scene, the University of Chicago surveyed 36 well-​known economists, asking if they agreed with Piketty. The results? One yes and 35 no’s.

The Rich Will Lose Their Money Soon Enough

by Greg Curtis
We are talking about Thomas Piketty’s “Capital in the Twenty-​First Century,” including its extraordinary publishing history and its subsequent fade from grace. I reviewed the various problems with Pikkety’s theses as they have been noted in the economics literature, and I also proposed my own view of the book’s central…

The Economic Outlook for 2018

by Jeffery Fraser
Stronger hiring last year, rising wages and upcoming tax cuts lead those who read the economic tea leaves to be cautiously optimistic that 2018 could reward southwestern Pennsylvania with the largest increase in job growth in five years, finally shaking the malaise that works to contract the local labor force,…

On r > g, Part II

by Greg Curtis
Thomas Piketty’s “Capital in the Twenty-​First Century” exploded on the scene in mid-​2013, but it’s impact faded quickly. I reviewed last week the widely discussed reasons why Piketty’s book fell from grace, but I also proposed a reason of my own: that Piketty is a naïf.

The Trouble with “Capital”

by Greg Curtis
In the summer of 2013 a remarkable event occurred in the publishing industry. A challenging, 685-​page economic text written by an obscure French economist and published by an academic press became an overnight best seller.

Examples of What to Say

by Greg Curtis
Even small children love to hear simple stories about their ancestors, and as children grow into teenagers and then young adults the stories can become more complex and serious. For example, consider Great-​Grandpa Henry Knox’s many shortcomings as a rancher. Or the general klutziness of the Knox men, who are…

Tell the Right Stories to your Children

by Greg Curtis
In the last few posts I’ve spent a lot of time talking about kids who grow up in wealthy families and the issues they face, as well as talking about how virtually all American kids are raised these days. I’ve devoted so much time to these subjects because I want…

Trust Fund Baby Syndrome: An Interesting Case

by Greg Curtis
In the fall of 1997 I found myself in the spacious, many-​windowed living room of a large home in a southern state I’ll call Florida, although that’s not where it was. I have also slightly modified some of the details of the family to protect their privacy.
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