Umair Haque on Google, China, Control and 21st Century Business Paradigms
Another brilliant post by Umair Haque via the Harvard Business Review - he spells out a lot of stuff that keeps coming up in my presentations, as well; so here's a bit of a remix of this juicy post, my comments are [...]
"On one side is the old high ground of the industrial era capitalism; on the other, the new high(er) ground of next-generation capitalism. The yawning chasm in between them is the gap between the 20th century and the 21st" [I call this the EGOSystem vs the ECOsystem, see more here and here]
"Currency intervention, breaking Copenhagen, crackdowns , collusion, corruption, coercion, and censorship: China's ongoing bad behavior as global citizen is, when we connect the dots, the gigantic elephant in the world's boardroom. What's driving it? The quest for monopoly, monopsony, and control" [I wrote about something quite similar in my 2007/2008 blog-book "The End of Control", check out the free online chapters here, and a related presentation, here]
"That's yesterday's high ground, and China's focused like a laser beam on it. China's moves are the textbook stuff of b-school's blackest arts. Through larger distribution, fiercer litigation, greater exclusivity, cheaper and faster production, a bigger cash pile, advantage is gained. But the high ground has shifted. The new high ground is an ethical edge. It's not about having more; it's about doing better. It's not about protecting exports, pressuring buyers and suppliers, price discriminating against the powerless, and programming consumers to buy, buy, buy — it's about making people, communities, and society authentically better off. It's not about caring less — but caring more. It's not about ruthlessness. It's about mindfulness" [Couldn't have said it better, myself; here are just a few things I would add: in this new ecosystem that Umair is describing, we will need to develop web-native economic models and entirely new metrics for evaluating them, friction will indeed be fiction (to a very large degree) and the importance of control will be utterly eroded by the steadily increasing power of trust, engagement and transparency]
"The old high ground was built for 20th century economics: sell more junk, earn more profit, "grow" — and then crash. An ethical edge operates at a higher economic level. It is concerned with what we sell, how profits are earned, and which authentic, human benefits "grow." It's a concept built for the economics of an interdependent world" [A key term, imo: an interdependent world, i.e. not a broadcast world but a connected and networked world]
"An ethical edge just might be the ultimate cause of advantage. It's how better distribution, production, marketing, and pricing — all just proximate causes of advantage — ultimately happen. Jim Chanos's investment thesis says: without an ethical edge, new value cannot be created — old value can only be shuffled around (hi, Wall Street)....So here's the single question everyone should be asking. The old high ground is the new low ground. Yesterday's mountain is today's valley. Are you ascending to the new high ground?"