Mainstream Economists Favor Efficiency. That Should Not Be A Goal – It Should Be Avoided.

What does an economy do? Modern economics suggests it is about [production] efficiency, and develops models for assessing the degree to which it is achieved and predicting outcomes assuming it. This is a fundamental misunderstanding that, when scratching on the surface, clearly is as impossible as it is undesirable. Economy is about value creation: about getting more out of less. Efficiency is backward-looking and lacking in progress, while value creation is future-oriented and aspirational.

What I mean by that is that efficiency is about tinkering with processes and mechanisms that already exist, with the goal of making them run faster, smoother, and with less waste. It is about management, about reducing costs and cutting overhead. But one cannot cut costs unless there is already an established process for which costs can be cut. In other words, efficiency is not a matter of figuring out other things to do, but only how to do things already underway in other ways. Consider any production process, either within a firm or the economy overall, which is either already efficient or nearing such a state. Every step on the way toward increasing output at lesser per-unit cost is an improvement in terms of efficiency. Why, in this situation, would you take resources and speculate on producing something else? You wouldn’t, because it is inefficient and makes the overall undertaking less efficient.

But this is exactly what an economy does through entrepreneurship: attempts numerous new types of production, new types of goods, and so on. And a first attempt is never efficient. Very often, it is rather outrageously inefficient and wasteful. But where it turns out to be successful, new value is created. And then, through competitive discovery and skillful management, the production process can be improved in the direction of (whether or not it ever reaches) efficiency. With a little luck, this process–even though it’s approaching efficiency–is disrupted by, relatively speaking, a more inefficient process. But one that creates more value. More wasteful in terms of resource usage given the valued outcome, but more valuable in the outcome! Schumpeter addressed this as ‘creative destruction’ (see ch. 7 of Capitalism, Socialism, and Democracy), arguing that this process of discovery and creation will always beat a system that is ever maximized.

It is because there is slack/available resources that the open economy’s ‘essential element’ (entrepreneurship), through inefficient innovation and attempted value creation, creates immense value. All of those actions are future-oriented, as Menger stressed, whereas efficiency is about the management of that which was already established. One can only improve processes that already exist, and one cannot demand that something new is efficient from scratch. Consequently, efficiency necessarily leads us astray if our goal is increased standard of living and wellbeing, and saving humanity from poverty. Focusing on efficiency instead of value creation (and one cannot have both!), because it relies on historical rather than future value, also augments previous structures.

There is no saying that those owning capital in the past will be the ones creating value in the future. In fact, it is often the other way around: disruptions are brought about by small and seemingly insignificant players and innovators. But if our aim is efficiency, then whatever differences were will be augmented: those who already own existing production structures are those benefiting from making them more efficient/less costly. And the difference between capital owners and non-capital owners is thus strengthened. Not because of power or influence, though the State tends to provide them with that too, but because the past is not disrupted by new value creation. In this sense, efficiency should not be a goal, but should be avoided.

By Per Bylund,

19. Per Bylund: ACT! How To Apply Austrian Capital Theory In Modern Organizational Design, Contemporary Business Structure, and A High Response Business Model

Austrian Capital Theory (ACT) sounds arcane, academic and complicated. In fact, it’s the key to modern organizational design, cutting edge business structures, and the high-response business models leading entrepreneurs deploy to win in today’s business environment.

Show Notes

Austrian economics recognizes that capital and resources are so varied and different today that agile entrepreneurs can combine them and recombine them in ways that are highly differentiated – even unique. Every firm is a capital structure that is in continuous flux, as the entrepreneur changes and adjusts to create new value in response to marketplace and environmental changes. Therefore, the whole economy is a changing, rapidly evolving capital structure, generating economic growth. It is the appreciation of the need to continually shuffle the firm’s capital combinations, and the mastery and agility in doing so, that marks the Austrian Entrepreneur. He or she is an orchestrator of capital, buying and selling capital goods and combining them with new and retrained workers to change production processes, scale up to new levels of efficiency, and to solve customers’ problems in new ways.

The purpose of the orchestration function is to achieve the highest return on capital by creating the most customer value. The value of capital is the future revenue streams it generates from customers, and revenues are a reflection of value created. Entrepreneurs examine every piece of capital, and every capital combination, to measure how much value creation it contributes. Could it do more? Can the entrepreneur render the capital more productive in maximizing value at the end of the production chain?

How can entrepreneurs assess whether their combination of capital assets is right? The managerial accounting of Austrian entrepreneurs is not identical to formal financial accounting. A conventional balance sheet is not going to tell the truth about the money-value of assets, since it is not based on assessing future revenue streams. And this year’s P&L is of little use since it is static and backward-looking. How can entrepreneurs differentiate between assets that it merely feels good to own and assets that genuinely create consumer value and future revenue streams? It’s not easy, but there are two useful steps, both of which focus you single-mindedly on the consumer.

  • Root out those assets that clearly do not contribute directly to consumer value, or clearly contribute very little. An office building might be one such example. It’s nice to have a central office, but couldn’t your employees contribute as much from a remote location, so that you can eliminate the cost of centralization?
  • Examine capital combinations that could contribute more if they are rearranged. A server + software + trained personnel is a productive combination. What if the entrepreneur could ditch the server and rent computing power from AWS? What if the savings could be reinvested in more training for the person or better software? Would this rearrangement contribute more to consumer value? Renting rather than owning assets is one way to add dynamic flexibility to the firm.

Austrian Capital Theory Diagram

The entrepreneur should focus the firm on what it alone can uniquely do for its consumers and customers. Outsource everything else. The firm is a necessary vehicle for the entrepreneur to take ideas to market to earn a profit. It is at its most efficient when it is 100% focused on what it does uniquely: its unique brand, its unique processes, its unique recipe, its unique design, its unique functional and emotional benefits for the consumer. Everything else should be stripped away. The necessary infrastructure can be rented or outsourced. If you own 10 computers and have 10 people sitting at them every day, it’s hard to identify what productivity you are getting out of each of them every day. If you don’t own them, and you are thinking rigorously about the future streams of consumer value your firm is producing, you won’t feel locked in to your current capital structure.

A “capital-lite” structure in no way reduces the market value of the firm – in fact, it can increase it. In the past, companies were valued based on the assets they owned, as captured on the balance sheet. But this valuation method was based on an assumption that the assets were owned because they produced consumer value and contributed to profits. What if the assets are not contributing to future profit? They become a liability. Firms like GE are finding this out today – they own a lot of non-contributing assets and face major transaction costs in shedding them.

There is no need to own consumer value-producing assets. You need to control then and have the rights to utilize them to produce value, but not to own them. In venture capital markets, it is common to see firms change hands at a price that represents a high multiple of revenues or of earnings, even if the traditional capital base is insignificant. Assets that don’t appear on the balance sheet, like brand and a loyal customer base, are more important than those that do.

ACTIONABLE INSIGHT: The Austrian Entrepreneur reviews combinations of capital and labor and non-capital resources at every moment, seeking ways to improve that combination for the consumer’s benefit.

The single-minded focus is on consumers and their changing preferences and the consequent implications for responsive change in the capital structure of production.


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18. Steven Phelan on How To Assemble A Winning Combination Of Resources

Austrian Capital Theory holds that capital assets are heterogeneous and complementary. In business language, that means an entrepreneur can assemble set of assets that are special to his or her firm and combined in such a way that the combination is unique, or at least hard to copy. If the assets generate consumer value, and hence a revenue stream from consumer purchases, then the entrepreneurial firm can be said to have marketplace advantage – it is unique or advantaged in its creation of consumer value.

The Resource-Based View (RBV) of the firm came from this thinking. The marketplace advantage available to any firm results from its assembled resources (synonymous with assets for the purposes of our discussion). We talked to Professor Steven Phelan, Distinguished Professor at Fayetteville State University, an expert in this field.

Note: The conventional language of RBV is competitive advantage. At Economics For Entrepreneurs, we prefer the idea of the search for uniqueness, where the point of reference is the consumer rather than the competitor. Therefore, we’ll use terms like marketplace advantage and commercial advantage.

Show Notes

Resource-based strategic thinking guides entrepreneurs in the identification, assembly and use of resources in unique (or at least differentiated) ways to create sustained marketplace advantage. The use of resources is how entrepreneurs create revenue flows from consumers. The money-value of the resources – and hence the market value of the firm – derives from these revenue flows. The goal is to align the resources as perfectly as possible with consumer wants and preferences. Entrepreneurs who combine consumer-valued resources in unique ways can establish an advantage in the marketplace. If their combination of resources is unique, or at the very least hard to copy, then the advantage is sustainable and the revenue flows can be anticipated to continue absent changes in consumer preferences.

What kind of resources are we talking about? All kinds, both tangible and intangible, and both physical capital and human capital. It’s the combination that counts. A handy acronym for the kinds of resources available for entrepreneurs to combine is PROFIT: Physical, Reputational, Organizational, Financial, Intellectual and Human, and Technological resources. It’s a good exercise to review your resources under each of these headings and question whether they are unique and hard to copy.

Reputational, Organizational and Intellectual (Human) resources are the most usual sources of uniqueness (in the VRIO framework, “unique” translates into valuable, rare, hard to copy / inimitable and non-substitutable).

Reputational resources can include brand, customer satisfaction levels and trust.

Organizational resources can include processes, methods, and culture, and also includes the bundles of resources we call capabilities.

Intellectual resources include people (always unique), teams, decision rights, as well as patents and recipes.

Sustainable advantage is reinforced when other firms can’t see inside the “black box” of the combination of resources and can’t reproduce the “secret sauce”. It might be the case that your Physical, Financial and Technological resources are not differentiated, or even rare. The “secret sauce” is in how you combine them, and especially how you combine them with Reputational, Organizational and Intellectual resources. If outsiders can’t see inside, and can’t decipher the combination or copy the recipe, you can separate yourself in the consumer’s perception as a unique choice.

How you deploy the resources can also be a source of advantage. Operational excellence can be differentiating and value-creating. If you can guarantee customers and suppliers that you’ll operate with excellence in all directions – on time, on budget, high responsiveness – you’ll create an advantage over other firms that don’t keep their promises. Think of this as a bundle of resources that you deploy really well. The business literature sometimes calls it “core competence”. High quality, consistent operations do not come easily. This capability is also a resource.

Dynamic flexibility can be thought of as a bundle of capabilities around detection of and action in response to the need for change. Austrian economics stresses marketplace dynamics and the role of entrepreneurs in detecting and responding to changes in consumers’ wants and preferences. Such agility does not come easily to the firm. It requires “sensing” the uneasiness of consumers and using empathic diagnosis to identify the source of the uneasiness, and creativity and imagination in rearranging resources to produce new offerings. Organizationally, the entrepreneur must make the change occur – ready the organization for the adjustment and orchestrate individuals and functions to shift. It’s a rare capability.

Implementing the resource-based strategy is a continuous activity. Winning entrepreneurs shuffle and reshuffle resources continuously. Professor Phelan urges entrepreneurs to ask this question every day: what can we do better? Ask it in every resource area of the PROFIT framework. Gather information that tells you where you need to improve or change. (You can use a template like SWOT – Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats, but make sure your use of it is deeply analytical and not just a laundry list of what you do.) And then execute the hard part of dynamic flexibility: taking rapid action. This is the advantage of small companies and entrepreneurs.

Useful books mentioned by Professor Phelan:

Entrepreneurship Strategies and Resources; Marc J. Dollinger

The E-Myth Revisited; Michael E. Gerber

Crossing The Chasm; Geoffrey A. Moore



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Per Bylund’s Tweet Stream Explains The Concept Of Economic Cost And How It Directs Investment To The Highest Return Projects.

The concept of economic cost seems to confuse people. It is not the price you pay for a good, but the reason you pay it. The cost of one action is the value you could otherwise have gained, from taking another action. In other words, if you have $100 and you have the choice to buy two goods, each at a price of $100, you’ll naturally choose whichever is more important (valuable) to you. The cost of it is not the $100, which you give up to purchase it, but the value of the other good, which you can no longer purchase.
That other good is the opportunity foregone by your action, the ‘true’ cost of your action–the economic cost. Why does this matter? Because our actions are intended to create value, and we always aim to maximize that (subjectively understood) value. The economic cost concept brings to our attention what we *actually* give up to get a value, and thus why we choose a certain course of action.
An economy, which is a system of economizing on scarce resources, is the systematic allocation of resources to maximize value. It is not about minimizing price paid, which is something different. It is about value. While this may seem like an academic point, the implications are enormous. Those who are ignorant of this concept focus on the outcome of action only–the “net gain”–rather than the cost. Doing so means we end up wasting enormous resources while not getting the value that was well within reach.
Examples of this include arguing that there were massive gains from, for example, World War II or the US space program in the 1960s. Both were enormously wasteful, but also generated tangible benefits. WW2 led to the discovery of artificial rubber, freeing us from costly and time-consuming rubber production. Yes, that’s a benefit. And there were plenty of technologies developed as part of the space program. Those were also benefits. But at what economic cost? That’s the real issue: what *other* benefits did we never see because we instead pumped in enormous resources into war and the space race? What other discoveries and innovations were within reach had those resources been used differently?
The WW2 example should be obvious, since the war itself was hardly productive. But the space program is exactly the same issue: what opportunities did we, as a society, forego because the government preferred to invest billions of dollars into the prestige program of beating the Russians to the moon? We don’t know what we didn’t get, of course. But this doesn’t mean we cannot say whether it was the right thing to do. The fact is that in a market system entrepreneurs compete with each other not to minimize cost, but to produce value. Naturally, this means *net* value: what actual benefit is provided in the eyes of the consumer. The entrepreneurs don’t know what consumers will value, but they bet their livelihoods on what they think will benefit consumers most. The result is a variety of goods and services from which consumers can choose, and they will choose what is the best option from their point of view.
What is not produced cannot be chosen. But what is not produced also does not seem to be worth it to the numerous entrepreneurs engaging in value facilitation for consumers. Note that this is not a matter of whether entrepreneurs can “afford” the capital investment needed. It is about the rate of return: whether the value is high enough above the outlays necessary to produce the good/service (the production cost). With a sufficiently high ROI, relative to other possible and attempted projects, entrepreneurs can always find the funds needed: investors are looking for a return on their funds, after all. So the argument that “only the government can” invest in something because it requires capital is bogus. It asserts problems that don’t exist, and often fails to properly apply the concept of economic cost (as in the examples above).
Economic cost tells us what is expectedly most important to people, regardless of the capital investment magnitude. Higher ROI means greater value, which means a higher price can be charged–and more profit earned. This is where economic cost is essential to understand the workings of the economy. Because if a project envisioned by an entrepreneur appears to be highly profitable, regardless of initial investment needed, s/he will pursue it. This means, at the same time, that other entrepreneurial projects, which are expected to provide a lesser return on investment, will *not* be pursued.
What matters for society and the economy is that the greater value is pursued, because it makes all of us better off. This is why, through competition, the swift weeding out of entrepreneurs with projects that do not actually produce much value is important: they literally waste our resources because the value foregone–the projects that were not undertaken because the resources were bound up in these lesser projects–is higher than the value produced. It is an economic loss regardless of what benefits came out of it.
Consequently, we can conclude that the space program, just like war, was a wasteful act. The government stepped in because no entrepreneur was willing to undertake it, which is because its expected ROI (if any) was much lower than other projects entrepreneurs could pursue. We don’t know what we lost, but it could have been cures for nasty diseases, doing away with poverty, or whatever. The fact that consumers were not expected to spend their own money on the space program, and the fact that no entrepreneurs expected that they would, at
least not to the extent necessary, means it was not considered valuable enough. Its economic cost was expected to be higher than the economic value!
Now, does this mean that nothing good came out of the space program? Of course not. There were innovations and technologies discovered that have served us well. But they were, at the time of investment, either not expected (at all) or not expected to sufficiently serve people. There are certainly examples of flukes that ended up creating beautiful things (like Arpanet becoming the Internet), but who in their right mind would argue that we should waste resources on grand government projects because there might be unintended consequences that we’d benefit from? Considering the economic cost, what we could have gained from that investment was expected (by everyone!) to be higher than the project pursued by the government.
That’s the reason the government did it: Government is in the business of wasting scarce resources at high economic cost, i.e. without sufficient expected value. No matter how one looks at it, this is wasteful.
Unless, of course, one ignores the concept of economic cost: the higher-value opportunities that are foregone–lost–because we’re instead pursuing the lower-valued ones.
To simplify, it is a matter of picking the low-hanging fruits first, because there is much higher return–greater “bang” for the buck–from doing so. It makes no sense climbing to the top branches “in case” there is some other and unexpected benefit from putting in the extra effort.

17. Yousif Almoayyed on How Austrian Economics Can Make You A Better Businessperson

Yousif Almoayyed runs a concrete business based in Bahrein, part of a family conglomerate of businesses. It’s a complex business, requiring the procurement of raw materials both locally and imported, the manufacture of products to exacting standards, the provision of on-time and efficient service and deliveries, relationship management, and cash flow management. The business involves high-cost capital goods and careful economic calculation of the revenue flows from those capital goods in an environment of fluctuating costs and market prices.

His university education was in engineering: math and computer science. He declined the opportunity for a business degree in order to learn on-the-job. Part of his self-directed business education was the reading and thoughtful analysis of Austrian Economics texts, and the practiced application of the principles gleaned from non-stop reading. Some highlights from our conversation:

By reading Austrian Economics texts and thinking about how to apply the learning, It’s possible to develop an “economic way” of seeing and thinking. Yousif’s reading plan was eclectic and broad-ranging. He first discovered Irwin Schiff’s How An Economy Grows And Why It Doesn’t (we thought about providing an amazon or Abe Books link, but the originals are now priced at over $90 online). Then he found Bastiat, and heard Ron Paul mention Austrian Economics, so he signed up for Mises University, which he listened to in his car via iTunes U. Since then he’s read all the great texts, many downloaded free from His reading gave him principles, economic logic, and clarity and precision in vocabulary.

Looking through an economic lens results in a better understanding of people, their goals and motivations and the purpose of their actions. Now it is possible to look at people and understand why they do what they do. Economics teaches empathy – putting yourself in other people’s shoes to understand their motivations and therefore their actions. This analysis applies to customers, colleagues and employees. Yousif declared himself “surprised and shocked” at why he had not been taught this before.

For entrepreneurs, the core of economics is subjective value. Many people use the term “value” mistakenly and imprecisely. They equate money prices with value. But Austrians do not make this mistake, and by analyzing the subjective value preferences of customers and employees, it is possible to be more effective at motivating. To a customer, on-time delivery and operational efficiency have a value that can be reflected in higher price or longer cash flows through relationship strengthening. To an employee, convenient parking and recognition for extra effort can have more value than a pay raise. Your tennis coach tells you, “Keep your eye on the ball”. In business, it’s “Keep your eye on each individual’s subjective value preferences”.

Austrian economics provides a uniquely helpful perspective on pricing. Pricing is a particularly challenging subject for entrepreneurs. The Austrian perspective recognizes that, at any given moment, price is a kind of average of what many involved actors think it should be, i.e. it’s subjective. Some think it should be higher, some lower; some think it’s going to drop, some think it’s going to go up. At a point on time, all the actors settle on a number. Austrian economics teaches you to observe what all the actors are doing or hoping to do in the market at the time, and to analyze what’s motivating them. Many things influence price actors – including the supply and demand for the product or service, but also the supply and demand of money – but always in the specific market of your local set of exchanges and local actors.

Prices tell the truth. A lot of people won’t accept market prices. They deny the truth. If prices contradict what’s in the news, the news is fake. If a building owner fails to lower the rental prices of apartments because he thinks that would be going too low, and the building becomes one-third unoccupied, it is the prices that are telling the building owner the truth.

In Austrian economics, prices determine costs. The entrepreneur has some discretion to manage costs, but must meet the market price. Entrepreneurs must meet the market price in order to sell, and find ways of keeping costs below that level to make a profit. The entrepreneur can have some influence over costs e.g. via negotiating contracts based on volume, or speculating, or finding new suppliers.

Importantly, if market prices change, the entrepreneur’s cost must change. Subsequently, it’s important to understand that accounts look instantly different. What you did in the past is no longer an accurate indication of what you can do today. You can’t repeat old arrangements when future prices change. Prices change the way your accounts look in the past, present and future.

As a consequence, traditional accounting is mostly useless for entrepreneurs. Accountants do not really measure anything, at least not accurately. Many of their numbers are aggregated figures, or averages over arbitrary periods of time like quarters or months. Accounting takes something inherently dynamic and simplifies it and puts it into numbers for purposes of stewardship over capital. Accounts were originally simplified snapshots for owners who look periodically at what their managers are doing. Entrepreneurs who are actually running a business need to understand what is going on dynamically under the numbers. We need economics to understand “underneath the numbers”. Austrians are very careful with assumptions and are sensitive to the many assumptions in accounting.

For example, asset prices may fluctuate. They are accounted for via straight line depreciation, which is calculated for deduction from income tax, and therefore is not necessarily accurate regarding the real world.

Austrians examine the ends of the people who devised the accounting systems.

Knowledge of Austrian Economics is the foundation for confidence and decisiveness. An entrepreneur can never have complete data or complete information. Austrian economics enables the entrepreneur to make confident decisions under these conditions of uncertainty. That’s because the Austrian lens focuses not on data but on more qualitative understanding. Austrian entrepreneurs utilize the principle of distributed knowledge from F.A. Hayek. Talk to salespeople. Talk to cab drivers. Observe behaviors. Derive indications. If those indications are pointing in a certain direction, reach a conclusion. Confidence, of course, comes from being right. So keep practicing the formation of entrepreneurial judgements. Call things before all the information is in. Review the outcome based on results. If there is contradictory information, don’t be hasty. Economics helps you build a picture of what all these indicators mean.

Supplementals: Yousif mentions accounting as a field where Austrian Economics gives entrepreneurs a different perspective. Here is a link to Thomas C. Taylor’s Accounting In The Austrian Tradition and another link to an interview with him on

For a general view of Austrian Economics for Business, you might like this video by Peter Klein.

16. David Nordfors on the Huge Entrepreneurial Opportunity of the People-Centered Economy.

David Nordfors is CEO and co-founder of IIIJ and the co-chair of the i4j – Innovation For Jobs – Summit together with Vint Cerf. He was previously co-founder and Executive Director of the Center for Innovation and Communication at Stanford University. He has served on World Economic Forum Global Agenda Councils and was one of the WEF Innovation 100 in 2009. Here are some highlights from our conversation.

Will technological innovation kill or create jobs?

It’s the wrong question. The right question is whether technology being used enough to innovate new ways of earning a living, to open new sources of income. The value proposition should be focused on the individual earner.

David predicts there is a huge opportunity for entrepreneurs to make people more valuable to each other.

He calls this idea The People Centered Economy. It’s a research project, a book, a Summit and discussion group, and an innovation idea. Or, rather, an idea for a solution. The problem to be addressed is the fear that technological automation will destroy jobs. David wants to make sure technological innovation makes people more valuable to each other. We’ve illustrated David’s People Centered Economy in an infographic for you to download and share – click here to download it.

In his view, this is a disruption of the conventional economic approach – which he calls the Task Centered Economy.

In the Task Centered Economy, producers pay workers to do tasks with little concern for making those people more valuable. If they can eliminate them through automation, they will. But on the other side of the economy, the consumption side, they want those people to buy the goods and services that are produced. Corporations are working hard to help people consume, but less hard to help them earn.

In the People Centered Economy, entrepreneurs will work hard to make individuals more valuable to each other.

Entrepreneurs are creative people who identify an unmet need felt by customers, and devise novel and profitable ways to meet that need. David says that the need among earners that is largely unmet is to “work with people you like, be valued by people you don’t know, in order to provide for people you love”. That’s a pretty good description of the collaborative entrepreneurial economy. Making people more valuable will be a new market for opportunity-seeking entrepreneurs. It may be one where entrepreneurs will be highly successful, because the difficulty for large corporations – who control much of the relevant technology – in switching to a PCE (people-centered economy) mode from a TCE (task-centered economy mode) is daunting for them.

David has developed a concept for the execution of PCE:

In his book, David describes a conceptual platform called On one side of the platform are earners. Jobly applies A.I. to assess everything about the individual that’s available to know – probably more than they know about themselves – to profile them and assess their talents. Those talents may be latent or hidden. As an example, he uses people with synesthesia. They combine senses in an unusual way, for example, seeing colors when hearing music or a person’s voice. There may be no obvious way this talent can be applied in the job market to earn money.

But what if Jobly could also use A.I. to ascertain what unmet job needs can be met by this unusual talent. For example, HR can be viewed as an industry with 95% failure rate – only 5% of people say they have a job that both fits them and is engaging. What if a synesthetic could identify people who are in the “wrong” jobs – hear a marketer who’s “green”, and would be better placed in a technology job – and thereby improve the performance of an HR department with their hidden skills?

Jobly would match hidden talents to unrealized job needs so that both the earner and the employer become more valuable. Jobly could find a person with talents they don’t know about, and introduce them to an organization to solve a problem the organization didn’t know it had, creating the perfect job for both the individual and the organization.

David’s imagination of the future is that a good economy will be defined as people finding valuable things for each other to do.

If people don’t find valuable things for each other to do, ultimately no-one does valuable things. Then we don’t have a very good economy. The customer is the earner. It’s the difference between EBay and Uber. EBay makes its sellers – earners – the most important people; they’re more important than buyers. Uber takes the opposite approach, making riders more important than drivers – and now drivers are dissatisfied because of eroding earning power. Uber may have to think about how to make its Drivers more valuable.

We’ve prepared a graphic to illustrate the evolution of the People-Centered Economy. We’d welcome any ideas you have regarding entrepreneurial initiatives to make people more valuable. Click here to download the graphic.


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