The Self Reliance Myth……The Future of Work….. The REAL Reason for Self Driving Cars…. Econ Recon: Tight…or “Less Loose”; The New Economy is here

Week of August 29, 2016

“You cannot do a kindness too soon; for you never know how soon it will be too late.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson



The Self Reliance Myth

We glorify the lone entrepreneur (Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Elon Musk et al) that have created so much of our economy today.  You may recall that in his 2014 book “Outliers”, Malcolm Gladwell looks at successful people and concludes that “no one—not rock stars, not professional athletes, not software billionaires, and not even geniuses — ever makes it alone.”  

Most of Gladwell’s book looks at what he calls “accumulative advantage” from early childhood;  however, many adults in business, especially in C-Level positions, find that being intentional about relying on others, especially peers, has its advantages as well.  To wit, check out this short article from Fast Company which looks at data that “dismantles the self-reliance myth.”   Who are you relying on?

The Future of YOUR Work

It’s been said that “necessity is the mother of invention.”  If so, the “father of invention” may be the frustration with the status quo that accompanies the necessity for something new.   This article from Fortune looks at sixteen industries (retail, food, medicine, government, construction among them)  and the people laboring within them who decided that the way it’s being done was not good enough anymore.  Take a minute to ponder what the future of YOUR work looks like.

The REAL Reason for Self Driving Cars

Does a day go by without a mention in the media of self-driving cars?  This is a new business and as anyone who has started a business will tell you, the business they envisioned looked more than a little different than the one they ended up with.  

Technology blogger and former PC World Columnist Robert X Cringely shares in a recent posting that self-driving cars will happen for several reasons such as demographics, technology and years of research…but that the REAL reason for the inevitability of truly autonomous vehicles is a very human one; and he reminds us that we’ve been here before.  Learn more in his article “Self Driving Cars are Old Enough to Drink and Vote.”    

This is an excellent article for everyone about the opportunity that change presents entrepreneurs and how a new industry will be created, although Cringely wonders if there isn’t a cheaper way to do accomplish the same thing.  

Econ Recon:  Tight…or Less Loose?  The New Economy is finally here

Tight…or “Less Loose?” The luminaries of the Federal Reserve have descended on Jackson Hole, Wyoming for their annual monetary and economic love fest.   What? You weren’t invited?   Neither was economist Brian Wesbury but he looks at the data and shares his take about the future of interest rates and the real economy.  Take a moment for his latest Wesbury 101 video (6 minutes) and his musings about whether monetary policy will be “tight, or less loose.”

The “New Economy” is finally here:   We’ve heard a lot about the “New Economy”, especially since the advent of the internet.  It may be finally here!  If you want a remarkable graphic of how the economy has changed in the past 15 years, look at the presentation below of the top 5 publicly traded companies by market cap in 2001 and again in 2016.   

2001 shows a diverse group at the top consisting of manufacturing, IT, oil, finance and retail.  In 2016 the assortment is definitely less diverse!  Clearly, it’s a New Economy…whether it’s the one we want is a different question.