Brian Dear

Entrepreneur, traveler, universal dent-kicker..

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The Economics of 35 hours in France

In an effort to stop the economic bleeding in France, there is renewed talk about the viability of the 35-hour workweek. The Socialists are committed to the 35 hour week, while the smart people in France seem to get it – the 35-hour workweek does not decrease unemployment. This was the big promise when the French government introduced the measure in 2000.

The basic idea was this: A business, such as a shop, needs to have employees for 40 hours during the week. With the 35 hour rule, there is now only 4 days of “coverage” for a business that would typically open 5 days. The idea from the Socialists was that since the business needed 5 days of labor but only had a supply of 4 days, that would increase the demand for labor to fill that 5th day.

However, there are two factors at play here, the first is that a business likely couldn’t afford to hire another full time employee just to cover...

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On kids and airplanes

sebastian on plane.jpg

I travel extensively. Much of my wife’s family lives in San Antonio, Texas as well as Guadalajara, Mexico. My family lives in Houston and Austin. I met my wife while we were teaching near Shanghai, China. Our first baby, Sebastian, was born in China. Our second baby Sofi was born near New York City while we were living there because of our company iCouch. We lived in Mexico for 6 months and then France after that. Soon, we’ll be heading to Germany after spending 3 months in San Antonio. Needless to say, we are a very mobile, international family. My son’s passport has more stamps and visas than many people would get in their entire lifetime.

And we wouldn’t have it any other way.

There was a blog on FlyerTalk in 2012 that discussed the idea that some people would like to ban babies from airplanes. Of course, as a frequent traveler (both before having a family as well as now,) I have...

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We are all mentally ill.

Here’s to the crazy ones. The rebels. The troublemakers. The ones who see things differently. While some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do. – Apple, Inc.

Perhaps the great ad campaign in the history of my universe was Apple’s “The Crazy Ones.” This was one of the few times an advertisement spoke to that trait of the human condition that actually results in action, innovation, experimentation. Most advertising preys upon your insecurities, for example, “Buy this product because it’ll make you sexy.” Or “Buy your kids this product because it’ll make them less annoying on long car rides.” Advertising, by definition, is designed to reach the masses. If you’ve read or watched any advertising lately, you can conclude that society consists of fat, unhappy people with confidence...

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