Companies as Curators


Future companies will exist for only one reason: to be curators of all that is out there and to let their fan base know about them (Amazon).

To be selective is to prejudge, a priori.

And to prejudge, as social animals, we rely on our subconscious.

As David Brooks puts it, “it’ s a loop”.

Before the arrival of social networking, we thought our Dunbar limit was 150 in a model village (Cheers, where everyone knows your name). Now it’s 700 with less than 7 degrees of separation between any two people on this crowded planet.

Companies will have to be restructured  to accommodate massive amount of data, market potential and inquiries (wait until the Billions of Chinese and Indians – followed by the Arab youth – go online, and want to have some of that too!).

Be ready for a Long Tail economy, a  post-WikiLeak environment and post-oil era. That milieu will make house church, home schooling and in-call health care look like Martin Luther’s 95 theses.

That 4-hour-work-week guy will have finished his 10th revision (not in book form, of course). Jon Stewart was joking that we should offshore the education of USA students by “teletransport” them.

Already we see online Math tutoring services offered by Indian companies (tele-tutoring).

What can be digitized will be digitized. And 3-D printing will usher in an age of customization we all long for i.e. from mass production to mass customization.

I know companies are commanding a high price for recycled jeans.

Key word is “recycle”.

Again, with all the Search results (and none among us has ever gone past the first few pages), we will have to rely on VAR’s as curators to help pinpoint “Black Swan”.

USA Inc recently got a free audit by Mary Meeker (excerpt was printed in Bloomberg Business Week issue). The premise was, “what if USA Inc could be viewed as a company”. All fine and dandy, except that:

USA Inc doesn’t move as fast as Silicon Valley start-ups.

Its CEO can only stay 8 years or two terms max.

And as stakeholders, most of us just want to get away with the least amount of contribution (tax) for a maximum amount of entitlement (pension). “Ask not”. It’s ironic that GE, as a company, paid zero tax in 2009. Yet its CEO is now on the White House Task Force for job creation.

He must have brought a lot of job creation experience back from overseas.

To be fair, we should look at USA Inc as  a curator of imagineering (Hollywood) and immigrants. It has incurred a lot of bad raps (e.g. Empire this, Empire that).

And when its native sons died in service, Baptists would show up at their funerals, not to honor but to stage demonstrations (Supreme Court voted 8:1 on this !).

All USA Inc wants to do is have some fun, until “the sun set on Santa Monica boulevard”.

The hangover has been hard to shake off, WWII victory party, that is. USA Inc just now wakes up to look at the bills, partly covered by many  sovereign funds. On this note, USA Inc should make financial literacy a prerequisite for its high school graduates (i.e. money doesn’t just spit out of ATM’s like in Game Shows).

By filling up its Universities with bright students from overseas, USA Inc stumbled upon the most secret weapon of all: weapon of mass education, in-shored, that is. As a company, USA Inc, in this respect, has served well as curator of immigrants and innovation. Even Mary Meeker relied on her co-worker, I assume came from overseas going by the last name, to generate that VC’s audit . Her slide show brings home the point I am trying to make: future companies’ main task is to serve as curator and value-creator i.e. massaging vast data base to serve their constituencies.

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