Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Why Michael Porter is a Dinosaur

A few years ago I got my first taste of the vaunted Harvard econ brainio Michael Porter whose big wheelhouse is "strategy." He recently had a Businessweek cover story that I'm listening to right now, titled, "America Needs an Economic Strategy." He argues, and I agree, that America never thinks strategically and instead opts for politics, short-term, quick fixes and, by inference, non-analytical thinking - "incoherent thinking" as he says. He goes on to say that education is the most important fundamental. There are other generalities too numerous to name that I also generally agree with.

But that's about the limit of my agreement with Porter - the generalities, such as bolstering our "entrepreneurial spirit" just keep on coming. Whatever he means, it sounds good. But I completely disagree with him in that all of his suggestions bolster the old capitalism because they never address where the true revolution lies waiting. What's needed is not strategy to resuscitate the old system, nor a revision, makeover reform, but a strategy to migrate to true capitalism, where that dormant energy lies waiting.

And what, exactly, is true capitalism, the new capitalism?

It's too much for now and too late to fully flesh out. But if you read this blog then you've had tastes of it. I talk about it in my work with indie filmmakers - it's the very same principles and energy there as in the new, true capitalism; it is true capitalism, albeit in an early stage of development. For now, Muhammad Yunis, Vinod Khosla,, and one guy who was ahead of us all, E.F. Schumacher, are examples and provide further clues; they're pioneers, really, at least in the modern world. Some tribal communities have very different notions of economic development that I'll get into later that I think the new capitalism can use. They are the real pioneers.

More later.