Just look at this “exciting” slide (if there can be such a thing) i found in my LinkedIn feed:
We are so thrilled this is happening but:
- Do we have the economic theory to explain what is going on?
- Is capitalism in good shape as a theory and economic formula to sustain this future where the biggest companies own none of the actives producing their profits?
- Are profits even what we believe them to be, in this future when every big company will be in that slide?
- Are we all ready to be nothing but the large worldwide workforce for money shoveling brokers of our work?
Do you want to know what the slide means today?
It means this:
Uber is not a taxi company.
Airbnb is not an accommodation provider.
Skype and WeChat are not phone companies.
Alibaba is not a retailer.
Facebook is not a media company.
SocietyOne is not a bank.
Netflix is not a movie house.
Neither Apple nor Google are software vendors.
They are all brokers of merchandise.
Merchandise represents an economic good capable of satisfying a need and which is available for sale on a market through a bilateral transaction.
They are all brokers of merchandise because global market exposure transfers value from the production unit to the distribution chain.
This is not an effect of the Internet, nor is it disruption. Disruption is Tesla if they make that car cost 15k euros, or Theranos if they don’t lie, disruption was high speed broadband to traditional media, the Postal services have been disrupted, armies could be disrupted by drones. That slide is simply an effect of our globalized economy and free trade that, for the moment at least, works! If we had no fiber optics on Earth, but everything else was the same, in 30 years that slide would still exist, because the global economy has a clear path ahead.