I am perhaps the most optimistic person the world will soon learn more about, and not just because I spent a lot of money on identifying a solution to our systemic problems. I made that investment over the last eight years as I painstakingly traced down the single root-cause of our self-induced destruction.
We can never fully recover if we do not face our problems, head-on, and that permeate everything we do. The reason for my conviction is that I am not selfish enough to pass our problems on to the next generation. Reminded by that guilt every time I look my 9-year-old daughter in the eye.
Realism, not hope
My optimism is steeped in reality. And I don’t walk around smiling (just yet). Because without implementation we remain (and I now know, not irreparably) broken from the top. And implementing real change is not for the faint of heart.
Our government is in a state of grand denial, spanning many presidencies. All they have done is feverishly turn the dials at the bottom, to meet nebulous performance metrics, invented by precisely those systems that have so poignantly failed us. Mark my words: they will not affect improving our creative and innovative capacity.
Quite the opposite: the tinkering with artificial stimuli accelerates the promotion of subprime, costs us dearly in blinding us from prime, and presents us with a growing deficit of cultural destruction that allows others to eat our lunch increasingly.
The continued ignorance of our real problems at the top keeps on kicking our proverbial can further down the road.
Asleep at our creative destruction
In light of the latter, and some who perceive my blogs as negative, the declaration mentioned above of optimism may be rattling. Perhaps also because I so frequently and brazenly rip the inherent deficiencies of venture capital, asset management, financial systems and, more recently, our economic policies. Including the pre-programmed or ill-conceived logic of its many staunch purveyors.
I hit on those deficiencies not just because I can, but to wake us all up from the debilitating reality of our comatose state, passive and fast “asleep at the wheel of creative destruction.” For only a critical viewpoint of the systems we designed, can lead to a more honest exploration of us, as the participants in it.
Only a critical analysis of the dysfunctional systems we create can lead to a major fix high enough up the food-chain to yield an impactful and lasting resolution we collectively and individually long for.
The seemingly gargantuan task associated with changing the way we operate and dealing with the vocal and fearful resistance to fundamental change is a pattern I, as an entrepreneur and CEO, have seen and tackled every time I ran and build a startup company. No surprise it is eerily lonely in the land of economic innovation, for few economists have ever invented anything of value, let alone brought their theories to acceptance of relevance. But that experience and realization do not make things easy.
How does one induce change when nobody appears to be listening, groundbreaking foresight leaves the pre-programmed stunned, and incumbent economists do not associate with any solution because their systems have failed to prevent or identify the problems?
The answer is quite simple, but perhaps best described by what Steve Jobs did when he returned to Apple. Steve Jobs’ return was not a deliberate choice by Apple’s “genius” board then, but merely an offer of last resort the company could not refuse. Apple was close to running out of money and ideas. Severe pain is an excellent motivator for fundamental change. Not unlike the severe economic depression that forms the impetus for the growing interest in my invention of renewable economics.
But, instead of taking the approach Apple’s board granted to John Sculley, Michael Spindler and Gil Amelio (in succession) to attempt to follow in Microsoft’s footsteps, Steve Jobs reset the focus of Apple – from the top – on serving the (then >90%) Greenfield of the worldwide population who want computers to enhance their lifestyle, rather than help the boss’s office. Not unlike my approach to convey the reinvention of our systems not to the current purveyors of our flawed systems, but instead to the majority of the world’s population who have been adversely affected by its ugly past.
To groundbreaking innovation of our systems, the world is its oyster. And leaning on Oprah Winfrey’s salient rhetorical question: “how is this all working for you?”, the trail of our highly imperfect past should not be followed, nor should we sell a simple refurbishment of the old to the needs of a bright new future.
Instead, the systems of our imperfect past should generally be ignored (save for a few nails I will put in its coffins to prevent any skeletal escapes).
The deflectors and defectors
The past, however, does not let itself be easily ignored. It is filled with deflectors who use their insidious pageantry of false positivity to benefit from, and comfortably ignore the signs of a broken system, and thus see no reason for a change. Which in turn forms a dense smoke-screen leading the opposing defectors into wild conspiracies about the presence of a raging fire surmised to burn only them alive, as the endless excuses for their inability to reach a sensible conclusion for change (for example: Occupy Wall Street).
The deflectors promote downstream innovation to secure their publicly unverifiable merit further and prevent the otherwise impending disruption that would wipe them all out. The defectors painstakingly point out what is wrong with the deflectors, each time stopping short of what a pragmatic new world ought to look like. Both would do very well in an episode of Desperate Housewives.
The stance of the deflectors as the self-proclaimed perpetual optimists and the attitude of the deflectors as the perpetually oppressed are equally destructive to the real process of innovation that needs to take place. Neither influencer has established an authentic equilibrium with the opposing side, and thus prevents the consensus on a meaningful correction.
So, for a system to indeed change and innovate, not the behavior of its current influencers matters, but the renewability of the desired behavior of its participants. Given their inability to come together, the current influencers consisting of the deflectors above and defectors, should therefore also be ignored.
Sustainability is not renewable
Now that we have thrown the unnecessary ballast of the systems from our sinking ship – we are all in – overboard, we can undisturbed and unencumbered begin to reinvent our world anew.
To reinvent our world anew, we need to reinvent the economics (defined by the ancient Greeks as the rules of the “household”) under which we operate. A topic I describe in a previous blog called: Economics Redefined.
And since our rules of the house are highly contingent on the laws of nature, we better reestablish the creation of any system by, and in support of, the perpetual rules of nature. A beautiful, clean slate that allows us to define what kind of manmade systems control and stimulate our behavior.
The first and cardinal rule of nature is that nothing is sustainable and everything is renewable. Nature renews itself continually, as the inescapable death of flora and fauna (of any kind, including us) serves to yield the repeated exposure of what takes its place.
So, the frequently touted adjective of sustainability is the improper classification or goal of a system that aims to achieve or support nature’s infinite value. Renewability is.
Our responsibility to the people’s evolution is not for each of us to sustain our life as long as possible but to ensure the quality of our renewability across generations to come. And maybe then each of us will live longer.
Renewable economics for all
While some of us may secretly and selfishly only care about the longevity of our own life on planet earth, all of the systems we build must adhere to renewable economics so they can drive the infinite value next generations can trust, build on, and evolve.
And that means economic systems, financial systems, companies, and governments must adhere to the rules of renewable economics to provide value beyond merely serving themselves.
All of our systems have failed us (asynchronously) because none of them have been created with the rules of renewable economics in mind. Not in the least because our governments have never enforced them. And one should not expect thriving economics that crosses multiple generations to come from a household that has no sensible ruler.
A ruler that in Cesar Milan’s words ought to establish and enforce the rules, boundaries, and limitations of renewable economics, so our contribution to evolution is not one of selfish and complex manipulation few fully understand, but of undeniable freedom and value, transparent and accessible to all.
Too good to be true?
“Yada yada” is the weak Seinfeld-ish response I hear in the distance, from those who have been bombarded with theories of change that force us all to change. But renewable economics are different, for its implementation mimics nature, and thus lets us be who we naturally are.
My discovery merely forces us to unlearn the previous flawed rendition of economics, that is not renewable anyway. Listen to me for evolution’s sake, or face the inevitable scythe of the grim reaper. Nature’s reaper that is already applying considerable pressure to our current systems.
Listening is the least you owe your kids.