The Death and Birth of Technological Revolutions – Stratechery by Ben Thompson

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This is a thought provoking piece by Thompson reflecting on Carlota Perezs book Technological Revolutions and Financial Capital: The Dynamics of Bubbles and Golden Ages. This article has put this book on my reading list. I love the longer perspective she provides on technological revolutions”.

Meanwhile, in the world of big business, markets are saturating and technologies maturing, therefore profits begin to feel the productivity constriction. Ways are being sought for propping them up, which often involve concentration through mergers or acquisitions, as well as export drives and migration of activities to less-saturated markets abroad. Their relative success makes firms amass even more money without profitable investment outlets. The search for technological solutions lifts the implicit ban on truly new technologies outside the logic of the now exhausted paradigm. The stage is set for the decline of the whole mode of growth and for the next technological revolution.

That seems awfully descriptive of the current era, no? Products that break through reach saturation in record time (see TikTok reaching a billion users in three years, or DTC companies that seem to max out in only a couple of years), while the future of established companies seems to be quagmire in legislators and the courts, even as profits continue to pile up without obvious places to invest. And if the government’s response to the revolution has been disappointing, that also may be because of the revolution itself.

There is so much in here that I could highlight, you should just read the whole article. 🤔

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