Far from what might be true I have to wonder if the social networking and web 2.0 has actually reduced productivity in companies leading to loss of revenues and fueling the recession.. Obviously there’s far more to it than that but with all the worry of monetizing websites and social media, perhaps we need to look at how they are devaluing the hour of productivity. Work days however have gotten mobile and the concept of ‘office hours’ is no longer relevant.
So what is the REAL cost of employees sitting on computers all day and sometimes being distracted into the world of friends and what they are doing instead of working?
An unrelated question also arises, how can non tech companies take real advantage of the internet beyond marketing and selling..
Music for example is a business that is digitizable as we have seen. Content delivery has become a whole other aspect of the entertainment industries, something which suits the information age. How though can other industries do the same. For example, transport is necessarily a physical problem, moving people and items from one location to another. How can companies like Ford, BMW, Mercedes etc. digitize themselves to become as ubiquitous as Google for the longer term?
We face some problems in the future with energy, if for example petrol/gasoline runs low or out, how can transport companies keep a grip, and more to the point, would it really matter. The motor industry worldwide is a large proportion of all revenues and it is seeing a drop in sales to the point that even the seemingly most stable companies are either going under or being baled out by governments. This is not a sound business model going forward. If in the next 10-20 years the resources to power cars and planes has dwindled to the point that the average consumer can’t afford it we will see all kinds of ill affects.
So companies that provide communications could be set to replace real travel? Virtual reality replaces physical meetings? I don’t believe it’s that simple.
Two major issues present themselves. The power consumption of computing will continue to rise and itself be an issue to power. Secondly, goods must be transported, whether from farms to supermarkets, or as we shop and do more online, goods being transported between buyers and sellers.
Although alternative fuels are probably not so complicated for ground travel, air travel is a different story. Getting a compact and powerful enough fuel to power trans atlantic flight is only one of the concerns.
The reality is that if we don’t find alternative energy sources and perfect them in time, then society in it’s entirety will collapse. The current economic recession is not directly related to this but perhaps a not too distant future recession will be. Companies that are not profitable must be removed to free up resources for current and future business models that actually work.
None of this is simple, and as usual I’m not an economist or in any way qualified to make real statements on the subject, this is purely conversational. We now have the technology to gather and analyze statistics and make a difference, perhaps even on a global scale. Of course this requires political support as changes to society cannot be imposed but have to be agreed upon. If we were allowed to play god or perhaps just “global leader” how would money and resources best be distributed?
Global trade is great for causing very noisy statistics but it seems to lead to a very unstable global economy as we are seeing now. As a very isolated example, since the economy is bad, car exports in Japan are down by a HUGE amount. Not directly the fault of – but the devaluation of currencies such as the British Pound and US Dollar vs Japanese Yen has had a hand in the nosedive of Japanese exports. We simply cannot afford to buy in as we could before, and it seems that we’re not really buying as before in terms of cars and technology products at least. We are complaining of things we cannot afford when many countries may compare us in a similar way, we just don’t like the roles reversed.
My data set is purely here-say, but to me this seems like a reasonable round assessment of the situation. The point is that the data itself is not important, it’s the concept of trade resting on top of currency markets. GDP is an interesting but flawed way to measure economies. It’s worth taking a look at wikipedias GDP entry. I would be interested to see what might happen if currency were unified across the world. I am not advocating that, and I haven’t really researched into the Euro’s affect on Europe’s economic situation, but simply, if we all used a universal currency, what would that do to import and export? Would it empower the countries who’s currency is generally considered weak enough to exploit? Or would it cause collapses to the supposedly ‘more powerful’ economies like the USA etc. or both.
I could imagine that leveling the playing field would not be very popular, I will generalize that – the rich would most likely want to hold on to control of their assets, and the super poor would possibly most like to have a standard of living suitable for a human being, and people in between would probably like to have a little more.
I have to apologize that this entry (as probably many others) are not simple structured, “identify problem and discuss” kinds of posts. What I want to say is a mixture of
a) beyond my true knowledge to talk in detail about, and
b) important enough that I want to say something about
Any and all opinions are flawed because although they are trying to be ‘bigger picture’ concepts, there are large parts of society and economies that are missing and so it’s not even an argument, merely a set of semi related questions to myself. Something that perhaps I will take a bit more in depth at some point.
Thanks for listening