Prosperity and austerity


We are all into wealth creation. Until the voice of reason calls for cuts.

What happened to “you have to spend money to make money?”

or mental (muscle) memory (once you reached a certain peak, you tend to recreate the experience to get the same “rush” e.g. venture capitalists in search of another win).

Best of times, worst of times.

Now we know what we are made of. Will that be cash or cash?

Chocolate and Dollar Stores are selling.

Go Hershey go.

Flip the Flip, Cisco.

Back in 1999, a branch manager said something so prescient that its implications still work themselves out “it’s going to be all IP”.

I read up on it. The OSI model etc… back then, broadband and fiber link still remained “dark”. We were at the physical layer (build-out stage). Now, we see mobile apps and Apple Apps stores.

Netflix which got its start using the USPS as its “physical layer”, now evolves into online and on-screen.

My housemate doesn’t want to receive any mail. He said they were mostly bills.

We have become Pre-Paid nation.

First, we went paperless (paying online, save a tree) then we moved to paying everything upfront, render the billing department obsolete.

Home Depot, Walmart and other supermarkets now offer self check-out (a step up from bagging your own groceries to lower the costs). Everybody is living a student life-style (frozen orange juice and canned food), including zipcar (the rise of the sharing economy i.e. p2p lending).

And to add insult to injury, Tiffany doubles its efforts in China (not New York) in the wake of Japan‘s decline.

A new Disneyland is planned for China, and Happyland, Vietnam.

Follow the money.

Disney there, Dollar here. Prosperity and austerity.

They said the top 2% had more in common with one another (even across the cultures) than with the 98% of their fellow countrymen. Davos there, Dollar here. Prosperity and austerity.

Guy Kawasaki mentioned about “death as the great equalizer” (he was quite entertaining as well enchanting in his talk about Enchantment at Standford). I reflected on this just yesterday, upon reading about a 29-year-old Costa Mesa city worker who jumped to his death instead of facing mass lay-off.

There were so much life left despite austerity. Maybe prosperity will return in his lifetime. Isn’t technology supposed to make our lives easier and create more wealth? Greenspan called this a great disconnect (more capital pumped into the system, but not enough to spread around for projects. In short, wealth creation without job creation).

There isn’t any other time in history when we feel we don’t have enough time in the day to do everything

(Viet Film Festival in Irvine received “too many entries” ….Dish promised 200 channels with no contract, Apple cannot churn out enough Ipad 2).

Hence, the proliferation of filter apps e.g. Color etc… (incidentally, Billy Nguyen in Palo Alto who co-founded the company slept in his sleeping bag to rush product out of the window, while Huy Pham of the city of Costa Mesa jumped out of it for lack of work). Prosperity and Austerity. Best of times, worst of times.

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