I aim to cover progressive approaches to business. Reviews of fictional works don’t usually qualify. However, a novel I just finished seems germane to my “future business” theme: “Super Sad True Love Story” by Gary Shteyngart.
Shteyngart explores one possible future that may follow from some of our current trends. He painfully describes in detail the distopian demise of the american society and economy. It would not be quite so painful if it were not obvious that we have already started down many of the paths he treads.
In his future, people have become fanatically involved in their personal information devices; to the point where face to face interaction has become somewhat awkward. People relate to each other based on a series of public scores/rankings. Starting to sound familiar?
In this fictional society the US is even more indebted to foreign powers who have grown impatient with our inability to handle our economic and social issues. Everyone is so worried about their personal status and their purchasing power that they have lost all sight of what it takes to create real value and drive an economy.
Happily, I can envision some different paths for the US. I am heartened by the new class of social entrepreneurs and the recent increased focus on education. We have a growing set of people with good ideas and the gumption to execute. If we can win the masses over from their sense of entitlement, innovation could usher in a new wave of prosperity. The US has a rare combination of access to capital, resources, and tools for innovators to succeed.
My hope is that more and more people will weave innovation into their day job, ideas they have for a side business, or social projects they pursue. Future business in this country can be even more successful than ever if the majority stop acting like cogs and begin working as engines.
Anyone else read this book? Even if you haven’t, what are your thoughts on where we are headed?