Friday, March 6, 2009

Better days ahead...

Almost 3.5 years ago I started following a woman named Carlota Perez. She’s a senior research fellow at the Cambridge Endowment for Research in Finance at Cambridge University, and author of Technological Revolutions and Financial Capital, a book she wrote to discuss financial cycles in technological revolutions.

Let me digress for a second and I’ll come back to Carlota.

I watch a lot of different things, but the assignment of our country’s first Chief Information Officer, Vivek Kundra, is the most compelling indicator that the next generation is upon us. If you don’t take the time to read about Vivek, just keep this in mind…he’s all digital, and should he not blow the opportunity as Obama’s CIO, he will have at least 4 years (if not 8) to reshape the way our country operates using IP technologies.

Other present day indicators: (linked to articles)

Reid Hoffman – CEO of LinkedIn
“I actually think every individual is now an entrepreneur, whether they recognize it or not.”

Adeo Ressi – Founder of
“wants to do his part to help jump start the economy with fresh ideas and leaders.”

The Big Shift: Constant Disruption
“If this premise is right--that the pattern of disruption followed by stabilization has itself been disrupted--then it may be we're facing the mother of all disruptions, a big shift into a world without equilibrium, one that will continue to shift rapidly even once the current recession has passed”.

Back to Carlota:
She answers two questions in her 2005 Strategy + Business interview that I feel shed more light into the environment we are in now and what’s to come:

S+B: On the airplane here, I read two articles about the future. One predicted economic clear sailing and the other foresaw crisis and collapse.
Perez: They’re probably both right. We may well have a jolt or two in the near future, and then a great boom probably lies ahead. But the Nasdaq collapse of 2000 was not big enough to force the changes necessary to get there.

S+B: For people who lost their retirement savings, that’s a difficult statement to hear.
Perez: I couldn’t agree more, but that’s the price we’ve historically paid for our ability to reach great booms. The collapse has to be disastrous enough to make it clear to everyone that the time when the stock market drives the growth of the economy is finished. Finance capital has done its job; it’s brought forth the resources to pave the way for the next wave of technology. Along the way, it’s created an environment in which companies like Microsoft, Intel, and Google could emerge and flourish. Now we need to spread out the new paradigm of our era through all the economies of the world, just as in the past.

Our country is calling for more innovation, business leaders are helping by creating avenues to product creation, the world is in a major shift, and a long wave theorist (with credibility) is saying this is really the beginning and not the end.

When I read items like this, it doesn’t tell me we’re done, it tells me we should be taking advantage of this opportunity by creating new products, opening lines of communications, creating more value with existing products, and driving more innovation into our customer businesses.

This is how we navigate this pullback and ready ourselves for better days.