What is going on in the world?

What is going on in the ? How is it that Bear Sterns can go from $20 a share to $2? Basically, my feeling is that the credit crunch of the past 6 months sends a serious message to us all, a message about value.

The problem with board members who rely on econometrics and statistics to forecast company growth and decide who the CEO should be is that they have become too focussed on the profit, and have completely forgotten value. To paraphrase Oscar Wilde, who summed up the crisis we’re in quite well: beware the man who puts a price on everything whilst not knowing the value of anything. The sub-prime mortgage is a result of a bunch of spin-doctors who tried to put a price on things without caring about value.

Blackberries, Smart-phones, spread-betting software and all the other plagues of today’s world have made the average business proposition a mile-wide and an inch deep. Very little in today’s business environment adds actual value, carries real substance or does anything beside enrich the very people who push them.

Take cell-phones for instance… its in Motorola’s best interests to sell you something that is highly desirable but only lasts a year, to ensure that you are a repeat customer. Now, there may be nothing wrong with that, but in a world where 1 million cell-phones are thrown away on a daily-basis in an environment that is already destabilized and polluted, perhaps we should forsake profit in the name of . Doesn’t is turn your stomach to think about the land-fill that will one day be home to all the Guitar Hero 3 guitars sold this past Christmas.

I think the ways and the reasons of and for doing business need to be fundamentally re-appraised. Guitar Hero 3 does not give any value to society, the consumer or the environment. A real guitar on the other hand is a piece of art that can be handed down from generation to generation. Another product with inherent value is wine. Wine farmers have the environment and eco-systems in their best interests, and sustainability is at the heart of their business. The jobs created along the supply chain enrich communities, and its production enlivens a century’s old tradition of pairing wine with food in the company of friends and spreading good will. The contemporary wine-lover is a person who inherently appreciates value and whom Oscar Wilde would hold in high-esteem. Long-live the love of wine!

Story of Stuff

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Posted in Business, Industry, Lifestyle, News | 7 Comments »

  • http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2008/apr/09/olympicgames2008.usa?gusrc=rss&feed=networkfront Ruarri

    San Francisco Torch Olympic Protest –
    Some of the world’s most despicable men have been teetotallers: from the 9/11 Hijackers to Adolf Hitler and Robert Mugabe – whilst a bit of booze has always been a good thing for societies – and from ancient Greece to post-industrial Britain open societies that indulge in alcohol have come up with shit-hot art, music and philosophical ideas. The exception here would be Russia which has the alcohol and the ideas and the art… but it wasn’t a free society for most of last century: and here I refine my rather slap-dash prognosis to ‘wine’ instead of just plain alcohol.

    London has always been a fantastic wine culture; Paris goes without saying – and the darling of the sunshine-state, San Francisco – have all proved themselves stellar wine-drinking countries with the free-thinking and upstanding individuals who have thrown themselves in the path of China’s tyranny letting their objection to the suppression of free-speech and freedom from oppression be known during the farce of China’s Beijing torch procession. Let us all raise a glass tonight in a toast to the young enlightened wine-drinking crowd who have let their voices be heard in London, Paris and San Francisco by protesting so bravely.

    Once the Olympic torch leaves wine-country – we’re likely to see a silence. With wine comes creativity, freedom of expression and greatness… look at ancient Greece, Rome, modern Paris or San Francisco… you are what you eat and your choice of drink speaks volumes about you. Wine is part of our history and forms a part of what makes our culture great.

  • http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2008/apr/09/olympicgames2008.usa?gusrc=rss&feed=networkfront Ruarri

    San Francisco Torch Olympic Protest –
    Some of the world’s most despicable men have been teetotallers: from the 9/11 Hijackers to Adolf Hitler and Robert Mugabe – whilst a bit of booze has always been a good thing for societies – and from ancient Greece to post-industrial Britain open societies that indulge in alcohol have come up with shit-hot art, music and philosophical ideas. The exception here would be Russia which has the alcohol and the ideas and the art… but it wasn’t a free society for most of last century: and here I refine my rather slap-dash prognosis to ‘wine’ instead of just plain alcohol.

    London has always been a fantastic wine culture; Paris goes without saying – and the darling of the sunshine-state, San Francisco – have all proved themselves stellar wine-drinking countries with the free-thinking and upstanding individuals who have thrown themselves in the path of China’s tyranny letting their objection to the suppression of free-speech and freedom from oppression be known during the farce of China’s Beijing torch procession. Let us all raise a glass tonight in a toast to the young enlightened wine-drinking crowd who have let their voices be heard in London, Paris and San Francisco by protesting so bravely.

    Once the Olympic torch leaves wine-country – we’re likely to see a silence. With wine comes creativity, freedom of expression and greatness… look at ancient Greece, Rome, modern Paris or San Francisco… you are what you eat and your choice of drink speaks volumes about you. Wine is part of our history and forms a part of what makes our culture great.

  • Greg

    good points — i love the video. That is essentially the whole ‘green’ movement in a nutshell. I’ve been waiting for someone to show the change from linear to cyclical for awhile now. I hear The Story of Stuff won an award at SXSW this year. When this change starts to happen, renewables, organic food, holistic treatments, etc. all start coming into play. However, things must be made cyclical or recyclable as corresponding policies would put the pressure on the manufacturing level to create products that recycle easy and don’t pollute the environment in the manufacturing process.

  • Greg

    good points — i love the video. That is essentially the whole ‘green’ movement in a nutshell. I’ve been waiting for someone to show the change from linear to cyclical for awhile now. I hear The Story of Stuff won an award at SXSW this year. When this change starts to happen, renewables, organic food, holistic treatments, etc. all start coming into play. However, things must be made cyclical or recyclable as corresponding policies would put the pressure on the manufacturing level to create products that recycle easy and don’t pollute the environment in the manufacturing process.

  • http://yahoo.com Chrishunda

    I think this video actually shows alot of whats going on in the world, and its outspoken and actually makes some people who care see the factors and listen to how you can solve the problem.But what some people don’t realize is everything cant be solved by one person a community needs to join. Im only 14 and i think peole can help but i loved the video!!!!!!

  • http://yahoo.com Chrishunda

    I think this video actually shows alot of whats going on in the world, and its outspoken and actually makes some people who care see the factors and listen to how you can solve the problem.But what some people don’t realize is everything cant be solved by one person a community needs to join. Im only 14 and i think peole can help but i loved the video!!!!!!

  • Jake

    I absolutely agree Chrishunda. I too found the video to be very insightful. Ruarri’s post explains a lot about what is wrong in the Industrialized world, and how we tend to buy things that we don’t really need. I think our generation (under 30) is able to see this much more clearly, I just hope there are enough people like yourself who can help inspire the necessary change.

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