And I feel fine.
Why? Shouldn’t we be scared? BofA and Citi completely insolvent (Don’t trust one word of their CEO’s: Both institutions are dead in the water. The only question is how their shells will be propped up for a while.), the government clueless how to deal with these ongoing massive, financial tsunamis, Detroit basically done and unemployment increasing to scary levels. And, even worse, the real pain is still to come.
So, why am I fine? Because this is not a typical recession. Or even depression. It’s a global shift in everything the capitalistic world believed in for the last decades. This can only be compared to the Continental Drift: an event that will transform us and our world for generations to come. And it will take at least one generation to adjust to the changes and come to grips with the idea that this transformation is permanent:
- Large, decentralized corporations will disappear. These organizations were built for overconsumption, price pressure and cheap production. Micro-production is the future. Goodbye Detroit. Welcome to thousands of small car companies.
- Destruction will be replaced with collaboration.We won’t destroy competition, nature or other nations to achieve our goals. It’s too costly, not efficient and goes against everything humans are wired for. Goodbye Wall Street. Hello Main Street.
- Strategy will be replaced by mini-experimentation. Wars needed strategy. The 21st century economy needs mini-initiatives, mini-tests that continually evolve businesses. Goodbye Accenture. Hello lab operation.
- Faking value will be replaced by real value. What’s the difference between Crest and Total? Exactly. But there’s a huge difference between an Apple and Dell experience. Goodbye advertising. Hello value creation.
- Productivity will be replaced by creativity. We’ve had dumb growth for too long. We need sustainable, resilient growth. Goodbye China. Hello new world.
The 20th century was about consuming stuff. The 21st century will be about consuming ideas. Consuming stuff is too hard on the planet, laborers in the 3rd world and our wallet. Consuming ideas will still create a value chain but a value chain that’s more adjusted to changing the business world. Slowly, we see these idea consumption models popping up: Think Nike Plus. Think Twitter. Think Wikis.
We’re at Ground Zero. Things will get worse in the next few years. Much worse. But out of this destruction will come a new world. And the world we now know will be gone and in a few decades we’ll shake our heads and think: How did we ever believe these were the good times?
Hang in there. And create new ideas.