Plenty of cults exist - every cult has its 'religious dogma', its idols, its 'prophets', its 'science', its 'proof' and its intolerant liturgy of demands. Cults everywhere: Islam, the State, the cult of Gay and Queer, Marxism, Darwin and Evolution, 'Science', Globaloneywarming, Changing Climate, Abortion....a nice variety for the human-hater, amoral, anti-rationalist to choose from. It is so much fun mocking them isn't it ?
Tempus Fugit Memento Mori - Time Flies Remember Death
Technology as a % of total GDP
Technology as a share of GDP in Europe 1990: 3%
Technology as a share of GDP in Europe 2012: 12 %
Technology as a share of GDP in North America 1990: 3 %
Technology as a share of GDP in North America 2012: 17 %
Constraints do exist in the definition of the category 'technology'. Bio-technology, ICT, web application and software development, services, training, and consulting in the tech industry need to be included. Numbers collected by governments are usually vague, incomplete or miss parts of the 'tech' nexus within business. But largely we can say that in 2012, 17% of North America's economy is based on and around technology – a 500% increase in 20 years. In North America, this means that roughly 25 million jobs have been created in the tech industry. Technology is now one of the largest market segments in our economy. Retailing for example, is about 14% of GDP. Housing about 15 %. Manufacturing, roughly 16-18%. The mustard seed of tech, falling on barren ground in 1990 has grown into a sizeable entity.
What does it all mean ? The lessons from technology are clear and can be summarized:
Government de-regulation of the telecoms sector unleashed the animal spirits of tech innovation.
Private equity and capital, unchained through a reduction in income, dividend and capital gains tax rates, has been instrumental in creating firms and millions of jobs, not to mention, financing the development of leading edge tech products and ideas.
The shift from low-wage, low value add products, into high-value, higher wage sectors and jobs, is based in part on a digital evolution and at times revolution.
Tech is mainly a manufacturing process – albeit an immature one – and when people say 'we don't manufacture anything', that is simply untrue. We make more than ever with our basic. manufacturing processes with fewer workers, thanks to huge productivity gains. If you add in part of the tech sector, manufacturing is well over 20% of the workforce and probably nearer to 25%.
High taxes on labour, income, and oppressive regulatory fees and laws will force firms to 'offshore' as part of their supply chain process. In the case of manufacturing it is clear that part of offshoring or most of it, is in response to government policy and high tax rates. It is also part of a natural process of economic change.
"Manufacturing’s declining share of GDP over the last forty years is nearly identical to the decline in world manufacturing as a share of world GDP, which fell from 26.6% in 1970 to 16.2% in 2010. Therefore, we can conclude that the declining share of manufacturing’s contribution to GDP is not unique to America, but reflects a global trend as the world moves from a traditional manufacturing-intensive “Machine Age” economy to more a services-intensive “Information Age” economy.
In that case, even if the U.S. was a closed economy with no competition from foreign manufacturers, it would have been inevitable that manufacturing’s share of national income and employment would have followed exactly the same downward trend that prevailed over the last forty years, as the U.S. economy evolved into a modern service-based economy. When we complain that "nothing is made here anymore," it's not so much that somebody else is manufacturing the goods that used to be made here as it is the case that we (and others around the world) just don't need as much "stuff" any more in relation to the overall size of the economy.
An alternative explanation is that we really are experiencing an inevitable shift to a post-industrial, Information Age economy where manufacturing’s importance to output and jobs is declining, similar to the trend in agriculture over the last century.”
2 % of the population are farmers making enough food product for both domestic and export consumption. Manufacturing is following the same path. If you want more manufacturing jobs in higher-value added physical products, you need to reform and lessen the burdens of payroll taxes, capital taxes, corporate income taxes, and eco-and other sundry fees. These changes will increase manufacturing opportunities. The same could apply to the world of high tech. Digital technology, which is the basis of many business systems, governmental processes, lifestyles, educational programs, and services such as banking, will not disappear, but only grow in GDP share, and job creation if proper policies are enacted, and if the sector is encouraged to bloom.
The Midas Touch was actually a curse visited upon King Midas of rich Phyrgia, by the deities to show the ruin of rampant greed, egoism and conceit. Midas killed his own daughter and was starving to death because everything he touched turned to gold. Begging mercy for his sins of excess, he was saved by Dionysius. The title is thus incongruous with what two master entrepreneurs want to teach the reader. Leaving that fact aside we can say that for the 10 % of the population which will become entrepreneurial this is a pretty good book by two men who are experts in the fields of business development, sales and marketing.
Most people should never become an entrepreneur. The word says a lot. Entrepreneur is dervied from the French verb 'entreprendre' or to 'undertake or make' and this verb was used by at the least 15th century to mean someone who undertook a business venture or a commerical act of independence and risk. Kiyosaki who wrote 'Rich Dad Poor Dad' and the idea that your house is not an asset [a book and phrase made famous by Oprah], and who has had a number of successful retail, consumer goods, real estate and now mining businesses clearly states that most people will fail at 'entreprendre'. Trump the master of the deal, communication and negotiation in high end real estate, suggests that if people are too formally trained and educated they will never acquire the Midas Touch. Kiyosaki a determinedely average student concurs. Much of what they have to say is common sensical and relevant.
Here are some interesting highlights from the book.
”Success comes from failure, not from memorizing the right answers”.
”Possibly the most important skill entrepreneurs can have is to turn bad luck into good luck.”
”One of the greatest attributes you can have is an intense sense of responsibility.”
”If you are not a brand you are just a commodity.”
“Focus on Assets not money.”
Key issues to be successful
-'Midas Touch' indicates a framework represented by the digits of your hand. Thumb: character, Forefinger; focus, Middle Finger; branding, Ring Finger; relationships, Little finger; doing the little things right.
-Most entrepreneurs fail due to a lack of capital, lack of experience [and a mentor]; lack of will to sacrifice.
-Keep your daytime job and build your 'dream' on your own time.
- The poverty of education and the dictum that you must never take a risk, memorize, restate answers and conform. These attributes do not lend themselves to entrepreneurial success.
-The need for an intrapersonal intelligence and the ability to control your emotions, fears, thoughts and actions.
-Do not become overly specialized as a entrepreneur in one area [example being the best forensic accontant around, you do not develop the other necessary skills in business, marketing, sales, product development, IT etc.]
-Learn leadership skills. Kiyosaki and Trump both served in the military. Kiyosaki was a US Navy fighter pilot – a job that less than 1 % of pilots ever attain. They both say that their military experience and taking orders was mandatory to learn how to lead men.
-People work harder and smarter when they are held and trusted to be accountable.
-Building a brand not a commodity, is essential to creating a Midas Touch, meaning the development of assets [not liabilities], which produce revenue and profit streams. Examples including real estate, intellectual property, systems revenues, copyright income and any other business model which is replicable, manageable and has the ability to generate cash flow from both its business model, and its brand.
-Focus on building these assets not maximizing your income. This will change your mentality in how you build and manage your business.
-Focus or concentration on the business model and making it work is an obvious essential that most entrepreneurs simply fail to grasp. They don't focus, they don't innovatve, they don't have market knowledge and they don't have the right mentors, partners and capital base.
“Most entrepreneurs do not realize that wealth does not come from work, but from the assets they build.”
-Where others see dead-ends the entrepreneur sees an opportunity. It is a unique view of the world, of money and of opportunity. But without focus and the Midas framework, this positive attribute might not amount to much.
The book is a good repository of information and easy to understand frameworks which help explain how some entrepreneurs have been, or can be successful. Like all such books it must be taken with a grain of salt. Each case example of business greateness is fairly unique and more interesting than any conceptual framework which even the best teachers can elucidate. But unlike most popular business books, the Midas Touch is practical, real and relevant. It is a good read, because you learn as you go.
RIP Steve Jobs.
There are two things missing in most media accounts about the inimitable Steve Jobs. The first is that the transformation of Apple began to occur with its purchase of Jobs' NeXT software firm which was focused on object oriented programming and development. Apple's technical functionality took off post the late 90s acquisition. The second, is that Jobs is simply an impossibility for all who pray and prostrate themselves at the altar of benighted socialism and Marxism.
For the one-world, everyone-is-equal-wonders, Jobs must be a pariah. His career is more like the moronically named 'robber barons' of the 19th century, who brought mass production to steel, rail, oil, consumer goods, and transport. Jobs does not fit into an equation as a Keynesian letter. Krugman and most economists must hate him. He cannot be marched around to the tune of the communal cult. Even the 'great man' Obama would be annoyed by his truculent pride. He represents everything that the crying statist hates – independence, creativity, emotion, intelligence and individuality. He is the anti-Christ of the many Marxist cults which caper like drunken monkeys on the political-economic landscape. Steve Jobs is simply an un-programmable part of life's truly diverse [in the realist sense] equation.
The Marxist-Socialist-Statist position, which is about 60% of the voting population is that real wealth is only plundered not made, and must therefore be shared. Marxian 'economics' badly states that capitalism simply consumes and eventually implodes. No new markets, products, price-points or general welfare will ever emanate from the enjoinment of capital with labor and brains. This was and still is an 'iron law' amongst the redistributionists and class-warfarists.
Socialists are of course hypocrites. Many use the products that the Jobs enigma produces. Some 'minority' politicians in the US are even demanding that iPhones and iPads be redistributed to poorer minority households [see Jesse Jackson Jr.]. Smart phones, tablets and wireless connectivity will soon be declared human rights by the big-brains and liberal left. Even when they have no clue about economic processes, and no stakeholder interest in the merger of capital, risk and development, the Marxist cult will still demand 'their fair share' of the proceeds and spoils. It is their right of existence after all.
When Jobs sold NeXT back to Apple and then became the CEO, the company of Macintosh was struggling and was worth 7000% less than it is today by stock value. In the past 10 years Apple has hired 50.000 workers, and indirectly now supports well over a million jobs which provide products and services up and down-stream for the Apple brands. Jobs innovation was to bring the NeXT programming and engineering talent to bear on merging the consumer and professional markets into a prosumer 'experience' that over-used word which means nothing or everything.
With NeXT Jobs took the 'experience idea' and infused the entire architectural design at Apple to transform it into discrete, manageable pieces from the operation system to the user interface. These ideas were not his, nor were they unique. What was special was the way Apple revamped its code to be of the highest quality. This allowed code reused, faster innovation, and manageable maintenance. Jobs has come as close as anyone in making technology a manufacturing process of high quality and reliability, as well as easy to use. These objectives have been, and still are the IT nirvana. Instead of fixing your engine every morning before driving your car, Jobs forced his team to allow users to simply turn a key and be confronted by a simple dashboard. No more crashes, no more hassle, no more incomprehensible interfaces.
But imagine the world of the Obama cult, and of centralized UN-Euro governance. Would a Steve Jobs flourish in Norway or Nice, or in a Moslem state ? Is it possible that an over-taxed, over-regulated Obama-political-economy will produce a future successor to the iPhone? Does Moslem culture produce 'geniuses' like Jobs ? Is life by bureaucracy and unions a sure path to prosperity? Will a Steve Jobs Jr. be able to produce disruptions and excellence in autos, energy, banking, telecoms, and agricultural? Jobs not only made money, he redistributed millions each year to private and public charity. But this will never stop the big-brains from whining that the economy is too 'capitalist', when in fact it is largely statist, and that the benefices of capitalists like Jobs need to be managed, owned and spread by the caring, loving state and its enforcers. The real lesson about Jobs is that a free economy helps everyone. It gives the geniuses an opportunity to make and create.