Sunday, September 28, 2008

New generation business demands new DNA

Due to the spread of financial crisis at Wall Street, more people start to rethink the intrinsic problem in the present business infrastructure. In a recent Harvard Business Publishing post, Umair Haque, Director of the Havas Media Lab, appealed to "building a better kind of business" that would challenge the rot he saw at the heart of the institutions of business.

Among the five steps of resolution Haque recommended, I am particularly interested in his third suggestion (which mentioned by himself to be the "simplest, and most fundamental step"): understanding that next-generation businesses are built on new DNA, or new ways to organize and manage economic activities.

Haque believed the reason behind the institutional flux to be that "the centuries-old institutions of orthodox capitalism cannot support the transition to a hyperconnected global economy." Therefore, a tactical adjustment of the present financial policy might not be enough to really solve the problem. By contrast, Haque asked for a strategical revision of business fundamentals.

Unquestionably bold the claim is, I do agree to his words about "bringing new DNA to a table." This is what we need to do now.

What is the new DNA?

In his article, Haque, however, has not clearly explained what the new DNA of new business is. He mentioned the demand as well as the functions the new DNA must hold in order to "addresses the rot which pervades the economy at every level." But there is no explicit interpretation of the new DNA itself.

Certainly to define such a new DNA is not easy. I would also not pretend to knowing the answer. However, from a Web researcher's point of view (since many business people including Haque believe that Internet is the future of economy), I would like to share a few of my viewpoints.

I believe the new DNA would be mind asset. The crisis happening at Wall Street right now is rooted by the fundamental of capitalist economy. By nature, capital is near-sighted and selfish. As long as the economy is still built upon capital transaction, there is no way to really overcome the problem occurred today at Wall Street. The only possible solution is to revise the fundamental. By saying that I do not mean communism. By contrast, I expect the rise of mind asset and a new form of human society (harmonious society?).

Mind asset, as the name suggests, is property of human thoughts. The term is contrast to capital asset, which is property of all kinds of products and services.

About four months ago, before this financial crisis I have discussed a vision on the rise of mind asset when sharing with Adam Lindemann, CEO of Imindi. This vision is a reasonable derivation by my theory of Web evolution.

Web evolution is essentially a gradual increment of quality of Web resources. Meanwhile, Web resource is the basic presentation form of modern mind asset. Therefore, the eventual formation of modern mind asset is an inevitable consequence of Web evolution. Since mind product (in contrast to capital product) is the essential asset type of input and output of the postmodern industry, saying the Web industry (or Internet industry), mind asset would replace capital asset being the basis of the coming new economy.

To understand why mind asset being the new DNA can overcome the fundamental problem in the capitalist economy, we need to learn another subtle difference between capital and mind. In essence, capital is mass/energy while mind is information. As we discussed earlier, mass/energy cannot compute itself unless it consumes while information may compute by itself without consuming extra energy.

Now back to the current financial crisis at Wall Street. The crisis happens because the greedy Wall Street bankers tried to let capital compute itself to produce more wealth without literally consuming any real-world mass/energy. Fundamentally this thought contradicts to the computational nature of mass/energy. Therefore, this financial behavior itself is a bubble to burst from its beginning. It only matters when (but not whether) the financial crisis would come.

On the contrary, in theory information may indeed compute by itself without consuming any real-world mass/energy. Therefore, by replacing capital asset with mind asset we may eventually solve (or at least greatly eliminate) the future financial crisis when it is in reality impossible to get ride of the financial business at all (and nor might we remove greed from human's heart).

Referenced resources:


gregory said...

"new dna" is just shorthand for having a higher state of consciousness.

umair haque sees the need, and articulates it very well, but never can say how to change people or organizations.

you, at least, recognize the need for a higher order of mind.

but if mind is flawed, thinking about thinking will never improve thinking.

the only thing in human history that raises consciousness is meditation.

everything else is just intellectual game-playing.


Hi Yihong Din,

This is quite interesting subject...I also have something similar to say,

Just preparing.....

have a nice day

Yihong Ding said...

thank you for all the comments.

I would say that this is a tough topic. Though I said something, it is not promised that they are truth. Solving the present crisis and moving into the next stage is a very difficult task. Let's see how the world is approaching forward.