Interconnectedness, The Big Picture Thing and Innovation in the USA

Jeremy Rifkin* makes an extremely important point about the manner in which President Obama attempted to persuade/sell the US public about the potential of a green economy (greenconomy) — that being, that because several components had to be developed and understood to be synergistic with other components being developed in parallel, folks were not effectively imagining the future Obama was trying to describe. He was not effectively describing the interconnectedness of the big picture.

This overdependence on artificial categorization is a major stumbling block to American innovation. People from sectors which have independent policy, regulatory and regional origins fail to see similarities of areas of their sector with parts of other sectors–the kinds of similarities which allow for standardization and scaling, the network effect which has been behind so much economic growth over the past few decades. For an example of this I think of those who make a desitinction between virtual currency, mobile money, barter, coupons, advertizing payment schemes, etc. They are all nothing more then entries in web front ended database with unique IDs and transactional logging–from a technological point of view. From a legislative viewpoint, however, they are distinct “things”.

For those with the ability to see beyond these artificial divisions and may be of the entrepreneurial bent some recent Jumpstart Foundry resources: Tips for Entrepreneurs, a collection of essential tips from the Jumpstart podcasts.

*Jeremy Rifkin “The Third Industrial Revolution: How Lateral Power is Transforming Energy, the Economy, and the World” Jeremy Rifkin argues that internet technology and renewable energy could lead the way for a new industrial revolution in the United States and help the country regain its economic foothold in the world. He spoke at The Booksmith in San Francisco.