Our country is getting older. The youth in country are worse educated than they ever were. And we're denying entry to the vibrant talent we could tap from other countries. What is left for us? How can we compete? I say, we compete from our roots, our socks, our souls. We take what we've always done best, which is give individuals the space to work and live and create, and strike that happy medium somewhere between the safety net and oppressiveness of the best and worst parent who cares. We know freedom better than anyone.
Most of us were born with the moral pillar of fairness. We seem to think that because something is hard, it is intrinsically valuable. A piece of art labored upon for 20 years is somehow of more value than a photocopy. A complex story written alone and by candlelight is needed more than the comic strip. But why? Maybe because the story of the artist helps us learn and grow. Maybe. But I think it's more likely that deep down inside, the five-year-old in us thinks, "Otherwise, it's just not fair."
Apparently the new news is that chocolate keeps the pounds off. It's based on data. But it seems just loonbin crazy to me. So here's my guess -- we did a study that indicated that people who eat more chocolate tend to weigh less, and we scraped up a hypothesis to justify an otherwise unexplicable result. If people who eat more chocolate tend to weigh less, then the most likely explanation is that chocolate keeps the pounds off. No! This to me is an example of *when science fails*. We do these crappy two-variable correlations within complex systems, and come out on the other side with explanations that explain nothing except that one correlation. I don't know the answer but frankly most of the people I know or have met who are overweight are more predisposed to rich food than sweets. And I don't blame 'em because fried chicken is delicious.
The big takeaway is right there in the title - scale is becoming commoditized. Scale was always commoditizable (which is not a word but you get me). Scale is not a permanent differentiator - but then again, nothing is. It used to be, though, that scale was hard to come by. Even when the advantage was obvious to anyone with eyes, it was hard enough to come by that your competitors were hard-pressed to meet you on the battlefield with the same tooling. Nowadays though, that's no longer the case. You can pick up scale through networks on the cheap. Whoa nelly. It's no surprise that firms are getting smaller: Average New Establishment Size (1994-2010).
I feel for Mike Daisey and how naked he must feel right now. Sometimes you make a mistake for a very human reason and, despite it being objectively and inarguably wrong, it was human. Most of us are lucky enough that our darkest shames never come to the full light of day. I feel in my heart of hearts for what he must be suffering right now, that one of his human shames has come into the blazing light of day.