Weekly FWSR: Snacks, Bosses & Competitors

March 17, 2011

Two weeks ago, we started a new feature at the Prosperity Blog: Fun With Search Referrers! And yes, I know, we start more features here than a first run movie theater, but what can we say. If it sounds like something that can help us fill blog content, we’ll take it! So, here’s the latest Fun with Search Referrers, featuring snacks, bosses, competitors and more.

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Hey, Kid: Here’s a Diploma. Why Don’t You Take Off Your Coat and Stay Awhile

December 27, 2010

Who should Washington’s public universities be trying to educate? If you ask most people, they’ll probably say that it’s our state’s residents. And that’s mostly the case. Overall, 89% of students in the six public universities in this state are residents (or at least find a way to qualify as residents for in-state tuition). And that makes a lot of sense, in terms of using our tax dollars to educate our kids.

But in terms of return on investment, that’s not actually the biggest bang for the buck. The best way to ensure that our state is getting a return on that investment is not to educate people that grow up here, but rather people who are going to stay here after the get their degree. Those are the people who are going to get jobs, pay taxes and be generally productive in our economy. Ideally, a lot of them are both kids who grow up here AND who stay here after college. But making sure that there’s a relationship between who goes to school here and who stays here isn’t as easy as you might think.

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The Two Body Problem

June 14, 2010

I was at today’s City Club lunch listening to a panel on “Revolutionary Innovation.” One of the speakers was Dr. Yoky Matsuoka, an Associate Professor at the University of Washington who is literally pioneering the field of neurobotics (which is the combination of the two disciplines you think it is). She’s a true star in the scientific community, a MacArthur “Genius” Fellow and someone who moved here after a career at MIT and Harvard. So the moderator asked her what it was about Seattle that attracted her to come out here. Her answer? The region helped her solve the “two body problem.” Read the rest of this entry »


Economic Development: A Love Story

May 19, 2010

The Seattle Times this morning has a blog post on the revelation that the big news about Facebook’s new Seattle office was driven in part by love:

The story begins with Ari Steinberg, a Facebook engineering manager, and his wife, Daniela Witten, a Stanford grad student. When Witten began looking for a job teaching biostatistics, the couple decided to think about places where Facebook could someday open an office. Steinberg was going to follow Witten, thinking he could work remotely for a while. That was a possibility in Seattle, after Witten ended up landing a job this year as an assistant professor at the University of Washington. Then the company decided there was a bigger opportunity.

Absolutely a great story.  Except that it’s totally not unique. Read the rest of this entry »