Are most new technology products just fashion items?
A recent encounter I had with Google Glass was not, I must say, very convincing.
You will no doubt have heard about Glass, the computer in a pair of spectacles. It's an attempt to focus on the next wave of computing: the wearable, immersive stuff they were getting all excited about at the vast Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas at the start of the year.
My encounter with Glass was not a showcase event, but real life. I tried it out round a boozy south London dinner table.
An unfair test because nobody was concentrating on using it properly, but fair because random use is when consumer electronics get interesting.
You put on the glasses, adjust them a bit - which is fiddly because you can't quite see what you're doing - and then marvel at the clarity of the tiny screen picture in front of you.
The difficult art of a good brainstorm
Three men in stiff collars are at work in an office in the Netherlands in the early 20th Century, when they pause for the above picture.
One of them, on the left, is my grandfather-in-law. His father (on the right) is in charge of the business, a successful textile company employing something like 1,000 people.
Unlikely front line in the war on cybercrime
The view is quite glorious from the top of the Worcestershire Beacon: 360 degrees of the coloured counties of England fading into the distant mountains of greyer and less coloured Wales.
This is the main summit on the spine of the Malvern Hills, where one day in the middle of the 14th Century William Langland lay down to sleep and dreamed one of the greatest English poems - Piers Plowman.
Wise words from an (almost) unknown guru
What can I tell you about Mary Parker Follett? Well, she was a woman, which meant that though she was taught by Harvard professors, the university could not give her a degree.
She also uttered and wrote some of the wisest words about business life that anyone has put together.
Is digital piracy possible on any object?
3D printers are not new: they've been around for 20 or 30 years, used by designers to make rapid prototypes of products they are developing.
It's a sort of extension of computer aided design, which has so transformed professions such as engineering and architecture.
Should we fear the growth of Chinese telecoms company Huawei?
When I first went to see Huawei, about 10 years ago, I had very little idea of who the company was, or what it did.
Ten minutes in the impressive corporate display hall in the booming city of Shenzhen illuminated me. It was full of elaborate and expensive machines.
The complicated art of retail logistics
It's almost the season to be jolly interested in how things are selling in the shops.
The news media, both print and broadcasting, seem to think that how retail sales fare over Christmas is as meaningful a part of the festive season as carols and mince pies.
Smashing way to start a global business
I will never forget my first encounter with the Chinese business leader Zhang Ruimin almost 10 years ago.
There, in a glass case in the boardroom of his company Haier was a sledgehammer, not something you normally encounter in corporate surroundings.
A train trip through the UK's industrial past
The train stopped in the countryside. The signal was sticking out at 90 degrees.
It was not a red light, but one of the old-fashioned semaphore arm signals was barring our way. Not something you encounter very often today.
The art of selling luxury goods
Despite my recent immersion in the solemnity of the tea ceremony in one of the poshest shops in China, I do not pretend to understand or appreciate luxuries, nor the fact that when a developing country starts getting just a little bit rich, luxury goods stores are the first things to pop up and apparently flourish.
Luxury playthings from clothes to yachts have a big impact on the media business, of course.