In our present society, the competition is for victimhood. It’s almost hilarious how people want to rush onstage to tell you how they’re the victim. And they’re almost in competition to see who’s the most wronged. Who’s the most wronged gender or race or color? Who’s a victim of money, social position, politics? Everybody’s out there in the competition to see who has been the most wronged. It’s like a moral competition. Who’s the most wronged here? Is it the old people or the young people? The Republicans or the Democrats? Who’s getting the biggest part of the wrong? It’s almost comical when you see it. Everybody just loves to rush on television and say how they’ve been wronged. That’s narcissism—to milk everything for all you can get out of it. And then when you finally see it for what it’s worth, and you see it through the viewpoint of the self-feeding of narcissism, you only feel sorry that people got stuck in it. It’s one thing to, as a passing phase, milk a crisis for all it’s worth, but then there’s a time to get over it. What you want to do is help people get over it and move on in life.
An investment banker and professor explains what really drives success in the tech economy
Many think that they understand the secrets to the success of the biggest tech companies: Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix, and Google. It’s the platform economy, or network effects, or some other magical power that makes their ultimate world domination inevitable. Investment banker and professor Jonathan Knee argues that the truth is much more complicated–but entrepreneurs and investors can understand what makes the giants work, and learn the keys to lasting success in the digital economy.
Knee explains what really makes the biggest tech companies work: a surprisingly disparate portfolio of structural advantages buttressed by shrewd acquisitions, strong management, lax regulation, and often, encouraging the myth that they are invincible to discourage competitors. By offering fresh insights into the true sources of strength and very real vulnerabilities of these companies, The Platform Delusion shows how investors, existing businesses, and startups might value them, compete with them, and imitate them.
The Platform Delusion demystifies the success of the biggest digital companies in sectors from retail to media to software to hardware, offering readers what those companies don’t want everyone else to know. Knee’s insights are invaluable for entrepreneurs and investors in digital businesses seeking to understand what drives resilience and profitability for the long term.
“If you want to be successful in business (in life, actually), you have to create more than you consume. Your goal should be to create value for everyone you interact with. Any business that doesn’t create value for those it touches, even if it appears successful on the surface, isn’t long for this world. It’s on the way out.”
“In what ways does the world pull at you in an attempt to make you normal? How much work does it take to maintain your distinctiveness? To keep alive the thing or things that make you special?
I know a happily married couple who have a running joke in their relationship. Not infrequently, the husband looks at the wife with faux distress and says to her, “Can’t you just be normal?” They both smile and laugh, and of course the deep truth is that her distinctiveness is something he loves about her. But, at the same time, it’s also true that things would often be easier – take less energy – if we were a little more normal.
We all know that distinctiveness – originality – is valuable. We are all taught to “be yourself.” What I’m really asking you to do is to embrace and be realistic about how much energy it takes to maintain that distinctiveness. The world wants you to be typical – in a thousand ways, it pulls at you. Don’t let it happen.
You have to pay a price for your distinctiveness, and it’s worth it. The fairy tale version of “be yourself” is that all the pain stops as soon as you allow your distinctiveness to shine. That version is misleading. Being yourself is worth it, but don’t expect it to be easy or free. You’ll have to put energy into it continuously.
The world will always try to make Amazon more typical – to bring us into equilibrium with our environment. It will take continuous effort, but we can and must be better than that.
It’s coming through a hole in the air From those nights in Tiananmen Square It’s coming from the feel That this ain’t exactly real Or it’s real, but it ain’t exactly there From the wars against disorder From the sirens night and day From the fires of the homeless From the ashes of the gay Democracy is coming to the USA It’s coming through a crack in the wall On a visionary flood of alcohol From the staggering account Of the Sermon on the Mount Which I don’t pretend to understand at all It’s coming from the silence On the dock of the bay, From the brave, the bold, the battered Heart of Chevrolet Democracy is coming to the USAIt’s coming from the sorrow in the street The holy places where the races meet From the homicidal bitchin’ That goes down in every kitchen To determine who will serve and who will eat From the wells of disappointment Where the women kneel to pray For the grace of God in the desert here And the desert far away: Democracy is coming to the USASail on, sail on Oh mighty ship of State To the shores of need Past the reefs of greed Through the Squalls of hate Sail on, sail on, sail on, sail onIt’s coming to America first The cradle of the best and of the worst It’s here they got the range And the machinery for change And it’s here they got the spiritual thirst It’s here the family’s broken And it’s here the lonely say That the heart has got to open In a fundamental way Democracy is coming to the USAIt’s coming from the women and the men Oh baby, we’ll be making love again We’ll be going down so deep The river’s going to weep, And the mountain’s going to shout Amen It’s coming like the tidal flood Beneath the lunar sway Imperial, mysterious In amorous array Democracy is coming to the USASail on, sail on O mighty ship of State To the shores of need Past the reefs of greed Through the squalls of hate Sail on, sail on, sail on, sail onI’m sentimental, if you know what I mean I love the country but I can’t stand the scene And I’m neither left or right I’m just staying home tonight Getting lost in that hopeless little screen But I’m stubborn as those garbage bags As time cannot decay I’m junk but I’m still holding up this little wild bouquet Democracy is coming to the USA To the USA
“As the world is lifted, as a new template is claimed, what you know of, what you have believed would always be there, must be reckoned with. And a reckoning, a facing of oneself and one’s creations, must indeed extend to the manifest world and what humanity has claimed in a need to control, in a need to justify greed or authority over others. And the walls will tremble, yes, but they are the walls of separation. And when they fall, they may be re-known in a higher way.