Surveillance capitalism could lead the way to the surveillance state. Digital contact tracing, once introduced, won’t go away any time soon.

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A hallmark of Marxist critique is that labour is exploited by capitalists. But what if it’s no longer labour, or labour alone, that’s being exploited, but human experience and attention? The result is then a new kind of capitalism. In last week’s post, we missed the final step: this kind of capitalism is what Shoshana Zuboff vigorously calls surveillance capitalism.

Now this is a stark antidote to the optimistic note we ended on last week. But it’s something we’ve discussed for years now. The reason that draws us back to this topic is a global crisis that shares a key characteristic with surveillance capitalism: both are unprecedented. …

The future of capitalism depends on what’s scarce and what’s abundant, and who owns the means of production. Let’s talk about the new scarcities: attention and experience.

What’s next? That’s a burning question, in times of crisis more than in times of normality ( if these exist any more). When Fjord published their annual trend report back in December, my favourite line was:

Capitalism is having a mid-life crisis.

To get this out of the way: Fjord is part of Accenture Interactive, which hosts this blog.

But let’s get back to our question: Are we seeing a mid-life crisis of capitalism unfolding now right before our eyes, just as we anticipated only four months ago? …

Roughly every decade, someone announces the end of business as usual. But somehow, business always continues, and with some changes, finds a new normal.

On October 25, 1987, the New York Times proclaimed the end of business as usual. It was the first Sunday after Black Monday, which saw the largest percentage drop of stock prices in history. The paper quoted Jay Schmiedeskamp, then director of economic surveys at Gallup:

This introduces uncertainty, and uncertainty is the enemy of business as usual.

In hindsight, of course, the stock market crash was only temporary. Shortly after the hiccup, business as usual resumed. Little more than a decade after Black Monday, the Cluetrain Manifesto in 1999/2000 again declared the end of business as usual. …

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Georg Blume-Schulz und Uli Schumacher

Still Day One Podcast, Episode 13

Das Thema Value Stream Management hat in letzter Zeit viel Aufmerksamkeit bekommen. Es scheint nach Agile und DevOps das neue heiße Thema zu sein. Warum das so ist und um was es dabei geht, diskutieren wir in der letzten Folge der zweiten Staffel von Still Day One mit Georg Blume-Schulz und Uli Schumacher.

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Peter Ehrenberg

Still Day One Podcast (Episode 8)

Nach einer längeren Pause sind wir nun zurück mit der zweiten Staffel von Still Day One, dem Podcast von SinnerSchrader. In dieser Folge sprechen Peter Ehrenberg und Martin Recke über Agile Softwareentwicklung. Und über die Frage, wie das eigentlich skaliert. Peter ist Product Engineer und seit zehn Jahren bei SinnerSchrader. Er leitet zusammen mit zwei Kollegen ein Studio.

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Photo by Brett Zeck on Unsplash

While the digital world is still dominated by US tech giants, China has risen to be the first challenger. And regions like Africa or India should be watched closely as well.

Silicon Valley and its offspring ruled the first waves of the digital revolution. As a result, the digital world pretty much looked like a unilateral world. There was a recipe for easy success: look at what’s happening in the Valley, copy and adapt it fast to your local market, and move on. The Samwer Brothers almost perfected this approach with a combination of German efficiency and entrepreneurial ruthlessness.

But the time of digital unilateralism is over. Look no further than to the list of publicly traded companies with the largest market capitalisation. As recently as two years ago, the top ten was an All-American endeavour, dominated by four digital companies. Till then, two Chinese digital superpowers have entered the elusive ranks: Alibaba and Tencent. …


Martin Recke

Co-Founder @nextconf, book author, editor @sinnerschrader, PR guy, blogger, journalist, political scientist, theology, singer, father, landlord, roman-catholic.

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