Two big hits in a world that seems to hang on big numbers:
- 4 million new model iphones sold by Apple over its launch weekend.
- 7 billion people expected to be sharing this planet on October 31st.
Will this new person be a future iphone owner?
And when we add that a soft landing for export-roided (or should that be synthol-ed) China is described as ‘mission impossible’ by Nouriel Roubini – on account of overinvestment and all the rest, our greatest hopes quickly morph into our greatest fears :
China massages/manipulates its macro/GDP data. 1st country to publish GDP estimate 2 weeks after end of a quarter. In US it takes 4 weeks
— Nouriel Roubini (@Nouriel) October 18, 2011
What’s more, in today’s rebalancing world, the fissures will probably mean that even those once safe bets (which made up that stellar opening weekend) wont be there in perpetuity. So here is the question: For a few years to come Apple goes through the roof breaking sales records, stockpiling cash, the most valuable, feted company in the world. Then all of a sudden, one day, the world stops working. The megamarket vanishes. Social unrest crashes nations, Apple’s share price plummets. This lowly product manufacturer is powerless to stop this from happening. They’re not a government, a central bank , a minted sovereign wealth fund. What could they have done about it? They were busy being the most successful company in the world. And anyway, as the Queen might be wheeled out to repeat: why did no-one see this coming?
Even Beijing is in a tizz about #OWS
Wants and needs are blurring
I’m not suggesting that Apple becomes UNICEF (though i do think they should never sell another new phone). But what i am gently getting at is that perhaps things are not the way they used to be. Wants and needs are blurring, changing with an expanding, ever more global population, with the death throes of a defunct Western model, with life giving resources becoming more scarce and with us more interconnected than ever before (see Bratislava sneezing, New York catching a cold…or sthg) So in this new blurred zone, churning out units and sitting on billions probably will break records, but probably not for that long. The real advantage is in thinking about what these new wants/needs are and realigning yourself with them. Perhaps we should stop gaming the system, pull our heads out of the sand and maybe talk about fight club in the fora where it doesn’t usually get talked about. It might just be that these firms that are making the headlines at the beginning of the third millennium are simply living off the fumes of the last one. What we need are new ideas (they might be firms but don’t have to be) whose power source is an altogether different brew; an undiscovered reserve that is now fighting its way to the surface (no, not fracked gas). The question is: do we have the ability, wit and foresight to tap into it before it is too late?