Corporate Greed Isn’t New. The Internet Is Just the New Playing Field

Published on Apr 9, 2016

Media Theorist Douglas Rushkoff explains how the need for rapid corporate and economic growth has always been great for aristocracy, but bad for everyone else. Today’s digital behemoths like Google and Facebook are simply applying these old rules to a new playing field called The Internet. The idea is to extract value from customers in the name of absurd growth. But maybe it doesn’t have to be this way, says Rushkoff. His latest book is Throwing Rocks at the Google Bus: How Growth Became the Enemy of Prosperity

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Corporate Greed Transcript – The digital economy is breaking things because most people running digital companies aren’t aware of the operating system that’s beneath what they’re doing. There’s a good old fashion venture capital driven operating system. It goes back to central currency and corporatism and chartered monopolies and really the way our economy works, which has worked for a good 400 or 500 years and promoted everything from the British East India Trading Company right through to Walmart and General Electric. But when you take that and juice it up with digital steroids, weird things start to happen. You end up able to tweak and optimize your business so carefully that you can really see is a growing? Is it not growing? What can we do to promote growth? Growth. Growth. And if your company is not growing you end up in big trouble against all the other players that are growing.

It’s simple power law dynamics. It’s a winner takes all landscape. So if you have a company like Twitter, which I would see in my old fashion view as a successful company. It makes $500 million a quarter based on 140-character app. Success, right? No. In the current environment that’s a failure because they don’t have a growth strategy. They don’t know how to turn into a video company, a news company, a social company, an everything company. And the reason why the digital economy is breaking our businesses is because we’re taking the old agenda of growth and running it on digital platforms and it ends up amplifying and spinning this priority out of control.

Throwing Rocks at the Google Bus: How Growth Became the Enemy of Prosperity

Full transcript here: http://bigthink.com/videos/douglas-ru…

Corporate Greed

Corporate Greed Isn’t New. The Internet Is Just the New Playing Field