3.30.2006

The Killshot: the End of Industry Dinosaurs
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26 years ago Walter Alvarez and colleagues at UC-Berkeley proposed the (then) far-fetched idea that a killshot (or two) had wiped out the dinosaurs. I recall reading about it in Astronomy magazine, sitting in the lanai, while a gecko 'barked' and walked across the ceiling, a kind of nanosaur. The thesis, that there was satellite evidence of an impact crater off the Yucatan and possibly, traces of irridium in the proper strata of the earth's crust was advanced.

Today, the dinosaurs of industry are similarly exposed to killshots from nano-startups, what we termed a couple of years ago as nanoglobals. Why is this?

1. Mobility of labor. Innovators are everywhere. (When I post this, it will be read by people in Eastern Europe, Asia, and India, almost immediately.)
2. Cost of development/barriers to entry. The costs are very low, while the demand for cleverness and innovation is high. This will lead to a great many innovative high-quality products that may be able to compete head-to-head or bypass antecedents
3. Mental Barriers. Without the baggage and constraints on thinking common to any bureaucracy, nanoglobals won't say "We've always done it that way." Instead, they'll just do something else entirely and most people will know about it after the fact.
4. Thriftiness. Nanoglobals adapt virtual network structures from the beginning. As a result they can compete imediately on a price/cost basis and do without the 'burn rate' phenomenon which puts a fixed time frame on a company's existence.



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