Business Must Lead.
John Battelle

At the risk of bringing a simple mind to a very complex discussion, there are two ways of looking at business’ role which I think relevant here:

First, the Internet was supposed to disintermediate the big retailers and connect customers directly with makers. This didn’t happen. Instead we got this century’s version of what Sears was 100 years ago. Should this be revisited?

Second, the absolutely brutal application of capitalism to the computer supply chain in the 1990s and 2000’s (which isn’t that different from what happened in the auto industry in the 1970s and 1980s), epitomized by Dell, shook out most of the players and people, concentrated manufacturing in just a few hands as economies of scale proved important, but also concentrated power in the hands of a few large pools of capital which are in effect the guarantors of that supply chain to the end consumers of the products.

In a sense, these guarantors are hollowed out companies. In another sense, perhaps such a brand guarantee is needed to front a distributed economic entity. Are such needed in the future economy?

Oh, and it’s past time for that brutal application of capitalism in the US medical industry. We just don’t have a competitor to force it.

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