Showing posts from 2020

Florida and Texas flattened the curve. California did not.

After the initial shutdowns in March, ventilators, PPE, and testing shortages were mostly solved by early May. Florida, Texas, and other states that followed the original plan to flatten the curve for hospitalizations have re-opened their economies while maintaining hospital capacity. California opted for a novel virus suppression strategy that has destroyed its small businesses with a profoundly negative impact on minorities. California is now about to run out of hospital capacity. In March, we were all introduced to “flatten the curve.” During a surge, patients in need of a hospital bed would have one available. The entire country pitched in for two weeks , followed by 30 days . In that hectic time, the Federal government and states prepared hospitals with ventilators, PPE, and testing infrastructure. As I wrote in August, states then reached a critical juncture : re-open with prepared hospitals per the original virus mitigation plan or continue lockdowns in an attempt to suppress th

The alt-cities: Why Tech, Finance, and Music chose Austin, Miami, and Nashville

Three months ago, my wife and I moved from San Francisco to Miami. I previously lived in San Francisco for over 23 years, where I started multiple companies and worked at companies like Sun Microsystems. Given the spate of people now moving, I thought it would be useful to aggregate the unique characteristics that have turned Austin, Miami, and Nashville into such hot destinations. Globalization and network effects have produced centers of industry in mega-cities, such as finance in New York and technology in San Francisco. It takes a monumental event to displace an industry from a mega-city; the only such event in the modern era is the handover of Hong Kong to China, which shifted Asian finance to Singapore. The coronavirus is now as significant an event as the handover of Hong Kong. Three alt-cities (alternative cities) for key industries are quickly emerging: finance from New York to Miami, technology from San Francisco to Austin, and music from Los Angeles to Nashville. There is al

Florida and Texas are the new and improved Sweden: short shutdowns work best

From March to early May 2020, the U.S. caught up on ventilators, PPE, and testing. In May there was a juncture: continue the “flatten the curve” strategy, or attempt to suppress the virus with an extended shutdown. States that continued with the “flatten the curve” strategy and re-opened had a lower unemployment increase and a similar death rate as states with extended shutdowns. Sweden is much maligned for not implementing a complete shutdown, resulting in a much higher COVID-19 death rate than its neighbors Norway and Denmark , albeit a lower death rate than many other European countries . Almost half of Sweden’s 6,000 deaths came from not sufficiently protecting nursing homes . Sweden’s GDP contracted significantly but outperformed most of Europe since Sweden had far fewer business closures. The U.S. coronavirus response was much looser than most European and Asian countries, many of whom had strict shutdowns where people could rarely leave their homes. Within the U.S., there we