By Vanessa Bates Ramirez – “Our assumptions about how economies function no longer seem to hold true entirely because of exponential technology.”
This claim came from entrepreneur and Singularity University faculty member, Amin Toufani.
In what he calls exponential economics or “exonomics,” Toufani breaks the tech-driven changes happening in the modern economy into seven pillars: people, property, production, price, power, policy, and prosperity.
Toufani pointed out that exonomics’ ultimate goal is to connect people and prosperity.
“Technology is empowering all of us, and people seem to be doing what companies used to do and companies seem to be doing what governments used to do,” Toufani said.
The democratizing effect of information technology is enabling small teams to have an outsized impact. He showed a graph of collaboration app Slack’s user growth, and it’s practically a vertical line. A few years old, Slack reaches millions of users, many of whom pay for the service, and was recently valued upwards of $9 billion.
The kicker? Slack was created by a team of 12 software developers. And it’s far from the only such example. more> https://goo.gl/wpBRPz
Posted in Banking, Business, Economic development, Economy, Education, Energy, Net, Technology
Tagged Exonomics, Gig Economy, Inequality, Price, Production, Productivity, Prosperity
Identify and rise above load-bearing assumptions
By Linda E. Ginzel – How could you build a really, really tall building without building really, really thick walls?
A man named William Le Baron Jenney came up with the answer. Jenney is widely recognized as the father of the American skyscraper, and according to Chicago lore, he had a breakthrough idea when he observed his wife placing a very heavy book on top of a tall metal birdcage. The cage not only supported the weight of the book, Jenney could see that it could have easily supported a whole stack of books. A stack of books piled high and balancing on a birdcage—what an image.
Jenney introduced the idea of a complete, steel skeleton, and he built the first fully metal-framed skyscraper in Chicago in 1884. Just as his wife used a birdcage to support the weight of a very big book, Jenney used metal columns and beams to support his building from the inside.
This story demonstrates the combined power of shedding a default assumption that weighed people down with making a major conceptual shift, which, in this case, provided architects the strength they needed to build higher.
Many of us face load-bearing assumptions, perhaps about management, strategy, finance, or leadership. For example, you may assume that the economic world is a zero-sum game.
Shedding assumptions is not an easy task because many have served you well in the past, and there is risk in abandoning them. Yet one of the most important skills that you can acquire is a willingness to question your load-bearing assumptions and make a different choice, when necessary. more> https://goo.gl/zR2hFR
Posted in Banking, Business, Economic development, Economy, Education, History, Leadership, Technology
Tagged Chicago Booth, Construction, Inner framework, Leadership, Load-bearing assumptions, Skyscraper
By Katy Steinmetz – The world’s most valuable venture-backed company is no doubt in crisis. And the story of Uber, in its extreme success and what may turn out to be extreme failures, is in some ways singular. But it also hits on issues in the technology industry that are far bigger than one company.
Silicon Valley has struggled for years with diversity and inclusion, as critics have wondered whether the industry can achieve its grand self-image: a bunch of brilliant minds set on making the world a better place, for whom no problem is too tough to solve, no status quo too established to upend.
Despite whistle-blowing at other companies about hostile office cultures and widespread acknowledgement that the industry needs to “do better” when it comes to hiring and retaining women and people of color, those problems have persisted.
The fact that Uber, the brightest product of the Silicon Valley ecosystem of the past several years, could become such an influential global powerhouse while seemingly neglecting its own workplace speaks to some of the reasons that broader progress, as many see it, has been slow.
The pressure for startups to grow fast — and the prospect of profits or an enriching “exit” for investors — can be blinding. Taking time to think about unsexy HR practices often feels antithetical to hard-charging disruption.
Company culture and bias can be hard things to see, much less change, especially if the people at the top believe they’re running a meritocracy. more> https://goo.gl/WwGncQ
Posted in Banking, Broadband, Business, Economic development, Economy, Education, Leadership, Media, Net, Regulations, Technology
Tagged Capital, culture, Exit strategy, Silicon Valley, Startup, Workplace