New Year Prognostications

Adam Hanft writes a monthly column for Inc. In December’s issue, he makes some forecasts for the New Year. Here are the ones that caught my attention:

  • Open Sourcing – “Why can’t business users join with, say, Steelcase, to create a new line of furniture”. I think this has huge implications for society. It raises all sorts of issue about what is property and who owns it. I have just started to get my head around this. Expect more on this…
  • Reverse Consolidation – “In 2004, nimble entreprenuers will emerge in a host of industries to create a more complex purchasing ecosystem.” I think you are starting to see free agents pulling together to compete on projects they individually couldn’t do. I think you have to be very creative and identify strong compliments to your business. 20% of my business now comes selling services that partners provide.

Hanft ends with a comment near and dear to my heart:

Lastly, here’s a trend we won’t see-but should: a new focus on manufacturing. America’s smarter-than-thou elevation of technology and knowledge-based products over stuff that gets produced in factories is reaching the crisis point. Our ability to “make” anything globally competitive- other than pharmaceuticals and enterainment- is an underexamined economic cancer, and it’s high time we embark on the race for the cure. The world’s most powerful economy can’t exist solely on bits, bytes, and rap.

I have been seeing a lot of economists try to explain how globablization is going to be good for the economy. Those same economists told me in school that there are three ways to create wealth – make it, mine it, or grow it.

Everything else is playing with money.