Are You Thinking What I Was Thinking III

  • Most major media outlets are less relevant to our lives than at any point since 1984. Most major technology firms are more relevant in our lives than at any point since 1984. Not one major media outlet was established after 1984. Not one major technology firm was established before 1984.
  • Never confuse “wealthy” people with good manners. People, who insist on using their iPhones, blackberries and handheld video cameras in restaurants, places of worship, and children’s schools, merely do so at the risk of ridicule.
  • A “Fit and Proper Person Test” is rarely credible. We are happy to see our sporting and cultural institutions in Western Europe take the “coin” from billionaires in Russia, the CIS states, the Gulf states, China and South East Asia but are appalled when their country’s leadership displays a disregard for beliefs (liberty, democracy, freedom and respect) we cherish highly (Ukraine, Hong Kong, Iraq, Brunei and so on).
  • How many television shows (X Factor, Strictly Come Dancing, Dancing with The Stars, Big Brother, Survivor) and indeed, careers (Conan O’Brien, Cheryl Cole, Piers Morgan) in the entertainment industry end BEFORE they reach their “sell-by” date?
  • Our politicians talk about “sustaining” civilised societies. Opinion polls routinely cite this as an important electoral issue. Yet the most civilised societies are those where individuals largely share a set of common beliefs (decency, respect, a lack of self-aggrandizement) that informs their attitudes and behaviour. Those beliefs are largely influenced by our family and the individuals to who we look upto. When politicians’ actions denigrate the importance of the family environment in society, call me a traditionalist, aren’t we shooting ourselves in the foot?
  • We are  “shocked” and “surprised” in equal measure by largely foreseen events (over-indulged celebrities’ transgressions, mass shootings in the US, Twitter outbursts) but are largely serene about unforeseen and truly exceptional events (EBOLA outbreak, global cyber attacks).
  • We feel “sad” for celebrities, whose behaviour rarely warrants it (Adrian Peterson, Kevin Pietersen, Jennifer Lawrence)
  • If you are likely to be upset in this digital era by anything you write about (social media trolls or abuse), speak about (recounting private conversations with The Queen), or photographs you store (intimate nature) , don’t go there! Simple.
  • With key elections coming in US, UK, Brazil, many European, African and Asian countries, the paucity of outstanding leadership candidates is at record levels. Yet many electorates are largely indifferent to the situation and doing next to nothing about creating an environment, which would draw in higher quality candidates.
  • Economies in the euro-zone will not emerge from the snail-like growth until they grapple head on the “environmental” issues that limit their effectiveness and efficiency (bureaucracy, regulation, accountability and so on)
  • If you own a strong and dynamic business, there has never been more strategic or financial buyers calling this decade with an “expression of interest” in buying or backing your firm.
  • In many sectors, there is a small group of firms, who have learned to intelligently use their capital and resources, and position their brand as the “go to” home to exploit convergence opportunities (capital, technology, mode of distribution and so on). The power of the “Convergence Kings” is not so much about the size or influence that they have in their respective market today but what reasonably they could bring to bear in the next 12-24 months. Can you spot them and build appropriate relationships?

© James Berkeley 2014. All Rights Reserved.

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