March 18th, 2013
The Internet and the connection economy turn the economics of mass on its head. It’s now cheaper and more efficient to make edgy, amazing products for the weird edge cases (who are listening and talking and who care) than it is to push yet another average product onto the already overloaded average people in the middle of the curve.
S. Godin (The Icarus Deception: How High Will You Fly? )

(Source: dagautier)

Reblogged from The Good Idea Exchange
February 18th, 2013
November 17th, 2012
November 12th, 2012
October 24th, 2012

The widening gaps within many countries are beginning to worry even the plutocrats. A survey for the World Economic Forum meeting at Davos pointed to inequality as the most pressing problem of the coming decade (alongside fiscal imbalances). In all sections of society, there is growing agreement that the world is becoming more unequal, and that today’s disparities and their likely trajectory are dangerous. (via For richer, for poorer | The Economist)

September 22nd, 2012
April 13th, 2012
March 12th, 2012

Newspapers Have A Special Gravity

LinkedIn and the Council of Economic Advisors have crunched the numbers and newspapers are the biggest losers in the the new economy:

February 29th, 2012

Onshore Wind May Be Cheaper Than Oil This Decade

Damian Carrington via

Electricity produced by wind turbines in the UK may be cheaper than that generated by burning gas within five years, even if the climate-warming pollution from the latter is allowed to be pumped straight into the air. That is one startling implication of a comprehensive analysis produced for the Guardian by experts at Imperial College London and the UK Energy Research Centre.

The chart, which is from preliminary analysis, reveals the folly of betting the UK’s energy future on the hope of cheap gas, the preferred option of many of the critics of reneweable energy.

This is not because wind power, or any other energy source, is certain to be cheaper. Instead, says Dr Robert Gross at Imperial College, it is because the principle of targeting subsidy to create viable new energy sources is well founded and the notion of gas as a cheap and relatively low-carbon energy source is not. Look at the range of gas cost forecasts from 2020 onwards: they are much wider than those for wind.

February 21st, 2012

Al Gore Pushes ‘Sustainable Capitalism’

Al Gore has taken on the root cause of most of our modern societal ills: unsustainable business practices. He and David Blood, a partner with Gore in  Generation Investment Management, have written a Manifesto for Sustainable Capitalism:

Before the crisis and since, we and others have called for a more responsible form of capitalism, what we call sustainable capitalism: a framework that seeks to maximize long- term economic value by reforming markets to address real needs while integrating environmental, social and governance (ESG) metrics throughout the decision-making process.

Such sustainable capitalism applies to the entire investment value chain—from entrepreneurial ventures to large public companies, seed-capital providers to institutional investors, employees to CEOs, activists to policy makers. It transcends borders, industries, asset classes and stakeholders.

And how would this work? And will capitalists willingly change their ways? Generation has also written a more in depth white paper on Sustainable Capitalism that makes a clear argument: the rejection of short-term thinking is necessary to increase long-term value creation. To allow capitalists to make a transition to a long-term timeframe in their thinking, we have to change the way the game is played. Specifically they recommend five key actions:

  1. Identify and incorporate risks from stranded assets — Assets that would change dramatically in value under new approaches to long-term scenarios of change might be ‘stranded’, and as a result give businesses an incentive to maintain the status quo, and avoid transition to more sustainable models of operation.
  2. Mandate integrated reporting — Integrated reporting of financial data along with environmental, social and governance factors will allow investors to make more informed judgments about investment options.
  3. End the default practice of issuing quarterly earnings guidance — Quarterly earnings guidance can incent executives to manage for the short term.
  4. Align compensation structures with long-term sustainable performance — Financial rewards should be tied to long-term value creation, using multiyear milestones for performance evaluation.
  5. Encourage long-term investing with loyalty-driven securities — Short-termism makes for a more volatile and unstable market, driving away long-term investment; loyalty-driven securities provide additional financial rewards for holding securities for a longer time, which leads to more stable markets.
There is no doubt that these ideas are sweeping and revolutionary. We will have to see what the response is from the international financial community… if they can take their eyes off the newest flare-up in the Euro debt crisis, China’s slowing growth, or the spike in US gas prices. It might take a generation for this change to happen.