Question of the Day: What Boomerangs in Value?

Our latest podcast, "Weird Recycling," is about the unlikely reuse of cast-off items. A reader named Gavin Castleton just happened to write in with an appealing riddle in the same vein:

Has there ever been a good/product whose value was reduced to zero, but somehow rose again? If so, could you shed any light on the market dynamics or social catalysts that revived it?

To put my question in context: I'm researching the music industry's rocky transition from goods to services (download/physical goods to streaming music subscription services). Journalists, industry folk, and consumers are all quite fond of declaring "Music will be free. It's obvious and inevitable." But I started to wonder if it really was all that inevitable. So I started looking for other examples of a product that lost its monetary value completely, but somehow returned from the dead.

Newt Gingrich Answers Your Questions

Photo: Callista Gingrich, Gingrich Productions Last week, we solicited your questions for Newt Gingrich, the former speaker of the House whose latest book is “Real Change: From the World That Fails to the World That Works.” His answers, below, are comprehensive, measured, and often fascinating. I think this is easily one of the best Q&A’s […]

Got a Question for Newt Gingrich?

Photo: Callista Gingrich, Gingrich Productions Readers of a certain age may think of Newt Gingrich as a book critic, prolific author, and regular TV guest. But before that, he was one of the most powerful politicians in the land. A former history professor at West Georgia College, Gingrich was a long-serving congressman who, in 1994, […]

What does a politician do after he leaves office: write amazon reviews

In response to our last post, a reader named “A” pointed us towards an interesting article about Newt Gingrich’s second career as an amazon reviewer. Gingrich cracked the coveted “top 500 reviewer” rank in 2004, but has now slipped to #599. Gingrich abruptly stopped reviewing in December 2004. I guess we will never get to […]