A Disconnected World – The Information Age Irony

As economic beings we are extremely ‘short-sighted’ by nature. We don’t fully appreciate the differences and interactions between the short-, medium- and long-term.

English: Watt's steam engine at the lobby of t...
Image via Wikipedia

It was Burns & Mitchell (1946) who tried to measure the economic cycles. Today there are four broad classifications of business cycles as follows:

  • Kitchin cycle (3 – 5 years) – The rate at which businesses build up their inventories
  • Juglar cycle (7 – 11 years) – Related to Investment flows into Capital such as factories and other capital means of production
  • Kuznets cycle (15 – 25 years) – Period between booms in corporate or governmental spending on large scale Infrastructure projects, such as rail, roads, etc.
  • Kondratiev wave / cycle (45 – 60 years) – The ‘super-cycle’ referring to the phases of capitalism.  Crises such as the Great Depression and the current Financial & Sovereign Debt driven contraction.

But the Information Age has undermined these cycles? Or only undermined our understanding of these cycles?  That is the key distinction we need to draw.

Are there any longer-term term cycles, which are beginning to contract with advances in Technology.

The Dark Ages (lets say from the collapse of the Roman Empire) until the enlightenment lasted around 1,000 years.  The Enlightenment (approximately 1650s) through to the First Industrial Revolution (from mid 1700’s to mid 1800s) lasted around 200 years.  The Second Industrial Revolution (driven by electricity from around mid 1800s) lasted another 100 years.

Another view of the bridge
Image via Wikipedia

The Third Industrial Revolution, or rather the Digital Revolution is the COMPUTER or DIGITAL AGE.

However, interesting this brief synopsis of economic history is, the actual relevant issue is recognising the length of the TRANSITION period between these ‘Leapfrog’ Technological advances.

We are not very good (yet) at recognising, never mind managing these tectonic shifts in the economic landscape.

Is this were we found ourselves today?

English: Plot of growth of exponential economi...
Image via Wikipedia

theMarketSoul ©2012 

Funky New Job Titles

Below is an extract from a posting we made back in 2008.  Maybe still relevant today:

In this new, new world of work

What titles are there yet to lurk?

The new MD

He or she or it could be:

Maverick Director;

Not your average reflector!

The IM is the person

Where intuition is the key

Or are they the Ideas Merchants

or just another fee?

IT stands for Interesting Thing

Technology drives the process

And we are told that knowledge

Must definitely be better than porridge!

The SD drives the sales

Or Sets Deception

Yet revenue collection

their fortunate projection

The HR director,

You’d better respect ‘er

Yet Human Potential

Sounds much more consequential?

Or politically correct,

You OLD cynical fool!

Now even that word

We must reject!

Where am I heading?

With this you ask

Must there be an end?

Or just another bend?

Charisma, inspiration

Or just hyper inflation?

Inspired Profit Mechanic

just more rats running manic?

But to get to the point

I forgot my route

Just tinkering

Under this hood.

I look forward

For backwards is hard

Because of this strain

And a lot of neck pain

Yes, its true!

In the race of life

Looking over my shoulder

I had it all misconstrued

No matter what you call yourself

As long as you with hand on heart

Can jump and not worry, off that shelf

Look out below!!! I’ve made my start!

theMarketSoul © 2008

Random Collisions of Chance

Chance and spontaneity are two interesting phenomenon required for innovation and creativity.

We were reminded of this in an interview recorded of a LinkedIn executive recently*.  He stated that chance encounters are “where we make some of our most significant connections“, be it your life partner, business associates, etc. and that speeding up those chance encounters was one of the fundamental principles and aims of social networking.

That idea struck a chord with us.  Like our free market principle of ‘Spontaneous Order’, random collisions and network creation, leading to opportunity exploitation and ultimately wealth and welfare maximisation is intuitively an attractive proposition.

The Free Market: A False Idol After All?

So, we have the mechanisms in place, with online tools and social networking sites, but how much of this activity is outward focussed revenue and income generating?  What is meant by this is that the revenues are not focussed on increasing advertising and network operator revenues, but individual participant to participant’s opportunity flows.

And beyond building an online presence with followers and individuals being influencers and thought or trend leaders in their domains, how many of us focus on being revenue leaders and wealth and welfare ‘maximisers’ in this space?

Do you have personal metrics of success, which help inform and modify and moderate your personal behaviours to ensure that you maximise your ‘Return on Ether-time’? [ROET]

Maybe it is well worth a thought because in the neo-classical world of market participation, if you aren’t in the market and making a living (or a half descent living) from it, you might get marginalised and lose out on the wave that hit us when Web 2.0 arrived.

English: A tag cloud (a typical Web 2.0 phenom...

theMarketSoul ©2010

* We are searching for a link / reference to this interview.  Once we have found it, we will update this post