2 Takes on Underemployment in America

January 17, 2014

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation reads the Internet so that you don’t have to, sharing a short list of curated blog posts for your Friday reading.


Forty-four percent of recent college graduates are underemployed. Worse yet, as Jordan Weissmann finds, “During the last decade, the underemployed have come to look less like administrative assistants and more like dog walkers.”


On a similar theme, Bloomberg points out that over two-thirds of college instructors are poorly paid, part-time adjuncts or graduate students.


Google bought Nest, the smart home device maker, for $3.2 billion this week. Chris Mims at Quartz argues that in time this purchase may become a bigger deal for Google than Android was. Why is that? Because Nest is an overt play for what may soon be the trillion-dollar-plus market for what’s known as the Internet of Things.


What is it like to crowdfund? The Economist’s Babbage correspondent found out for his own project just how hard it can be to get Average Joe’s to back your project. Which is likely as it should be, as it shows a certain selectivity on the part of backers.

While 10% of all Kickstarter projects fail to attract any pledges, it turns out that the hardest part is simply reaching halfway to your poject’s funding goal. Most projects that fail never reach 40% funding. Reach the 50% mark, and only 3% of projects fail to reach the finish line of full funding (though success varies based on the project’s size). The funding can flow in unevenly, often coming in bursts during the first two and the final two days.

Yet for this one correspondent, crowdfunding proves successful—now, of course, he must deliver on behalf of his backers.