[sociate] Again: what's so difficult about abundance?

  • From: "Jerry Michalski" <jerry@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: "Sociate News" <sociate@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sun, 25 Jul 2004 15:41:14 -0400

While moderating an afternoon panel at  <http://www.blogonevent.com/> BlogOn
last Friday,  <http://www.technorati.com/> Technorati's
<http://www.sifry.com/alerts/> Dave Sifry made a passing comment that got me
a little stirred up. I can't quote him verbatim, but he stated roughly that
in business, there's no value without scarcity. I couldn't help myself and
shouted a "no!" as I gave him a thumbs-down. (The quick-witted
<http://www.wen-xin.net/> Kevin Wen captured the
<http://owen.typepad.com/photos/moblog/image_29_1.jpg> moment on his
phonecam.) We had a brief back-and-forth during the session. 

It drives me nuts that scarcity is seen as such a fundamental requirement
for creating a business. Sure, there are plenty of businesses built around
scarce resources, and sure, Dave's time and my time are scarce, but that's
no proof that businesses can't cruise along profitably creating voluntary
loyalty by knowing their customers better, never betraying them, always
being available and fixing problems, responding more quickly than others....
you get the picture. But go to business school and what they teach you is
how to create artificial scarcity. That's the kind of thinking that got us
into the present mess. 

Perhaps more importantly, if you don't think from the point of view of
abundance, you're going to miss a ton of interesting new business ideas that
are emerging now. These businesses may not be IPO-track businesses (sorry,
VCs), but they can be vital, profitable enterprises. 

BTW, Dave and I hugged and made up later. Dave will be a special blog
analyst for CNN at this week's Democratic Convention. His brother Micah will
be there, too, blogging away for his  <http://www.iraqwarreader.com/> Iraq
War Reader and  <http://www.personaldemocracy.com/> Personal Democracy (a
follow-on from the conference I helped Andrew Rasiej organize recently in
NYC). To see who's blogging from the convention, visit
<http://www.conventionbloggers.com/> Convention Bloggers. 

posted by Jerry Michalski at 2:03
2142> PM

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