Much of our discourse about the New Enterprise seems to use the premise that our traditional business organizations will be transformed. I am beginning to doubt that. But I think that there is a new Enterprise but that it will look more like that I propose in this post.
All the news about employment remains bad. Will the jobs ever come back? I don't think so. Business as we know it makes less and less and in reality offers fewer roles and jobs that have any meaning or that can pay todays bills. Business as we know it has no capacity to offer most people what they need.
I think that the real new economy is going to emerge out of desperation and out of this failure.
Here are some trends that we should watch out for. They are all linked into the great Trinity of real needs - Food - Shelter and Surplus
Hyper Local Food - If you have no money, food becomes very important. The Food Bank model takes us no where - it relies on charity - offers shit food and does not add any impetus to the lack of work or role. People are doing better than this by making the growing of food the centre piece. Here is an example. We see already in the worst hit cities like Detroit, that people are starting to grow their own food amidst the ruins of the city. And its not just that food is grown but that real community is created. People who grow food together and then share it return to the society of our hunter gatherer past. They become Tribes. With this Trust comes the potential to do more.
Cheap Land and Real Estate - As many areas become blighted, the land and the space becomes very cheap. Offering the opportunity to get the second part of the trinity. In the old model, people would have to pay others to make shelter or working space. But if enough Trust is created by say starting with co growing and sharing food, then "Barn Building" is possible. The "Tribes can help the members have shelter or work space. The capital that is required is less financial capital but social capital.
Surplus - But we still all need money or some way of exchanging value outside the Tribe. This is where the social web comes in. There can be a surplus of food that can be sold locally. Inner Detroit is a food desert. There are only corner stores. This is true for many urban areas. The food operation can scale and can also network with others offering in the end large scale. 1,000 mini farms in a large city can produce a very large amount of food collectively. Enough to feed most people. A real surplus is possible. Those who start to grow food to feed themselves will make a good living feeding other. With this surplus and with their social capital all sorts of new ventures then becomes possible. For the capital costs of business in this context are very low. Anything will soon be able to be made locally with very little capital. This trend is most visible in the media now. Did you know that True Grit was edited by the Coen brothers on Final Cut Pro,? The technology is here right now that can empower a small hyper local group to go even into manufacturing. Here I see the idea like Fab Labs coming into prominence. For about $25,000 a community can equip itself to make almost anything. As with a network of tiny farms, a network of tiny shops can build on a large scale. This was how in fact Germany kept its war production growing throughout WWII. To avoid bombing, all aircraft production was dispersed into small shops and the parts were assembled at the bases!
Again as with food - the social web connects all of this. Producers to Buyers - Suppliers to producers - Producers to Producers. In a network the nodes are small, but the network and so the output and the opportunity can be vast. In the old, we all depend on the MAN. In the network we are all the man. No one is going to move your urban farm to Iowa or your Fab Lab to China.
Food is the starting point I think. We all need it and if we go down this road we re-invent society. Food offers us the core of what we need and growing it and sharing it creates a real tribe. For a food model like this brings us all back together where as the old model splits us all up.
So with this wealth model come also wealth distribution. A new better form of capitalism. Capitalism 2.0?