Big lumpy clumpy balls of crap

Leading on from the previous post about the coolness of chaos…

Have you ever had to deal with a big lumpy piece of complex old software that was written years ago, then updated countless times, new bits added on, a new guy adding another bit, bolt-ons, sticking plasters and fixes… until it’s a big slow cumbersome piece of crap nobody can change or work with?

That’s pretty much industry as it stands – and other big systems for that matter (e.g. government, education). Since the industrial revolution, we’ve built up this massive ball of crap. Now nobody can do a damn thing with it.

The most obvious example that’s hurting right now is the whole free thing. We can listen to music for free. We can watch TV shows for free. We can read books for free. This of course screws record companies, publishers, broadcasters… oh yeah, and then there’s the whole fact that we don’t pay a blind bit of notice to advertising. The big massive balls of crap are stuffed because they’re prisoners within their own structures – too slow, too fat, too inflexible. They’re waiting to die, with their fingers in their ears, screaming ‘lah lah lah!’ as nimble network-based businesses spring up under the radar, taking over the world at lightning pace.

At the end of the day, all a business traditionally does is ensure people get paid. That’s it, when you think about it. Traditionally the big boys get paid much more than the little boys, but it’s just a bunch of individuals getting paid.

Now, think about the overhead in a big-lump-of-crap business. Big shiny offices, management structures, HR departments, blah blah blah. Think about MARKETING BUDGETS… zillions and squillions… to make sure you sell LOADS to make sure you can pay the overheads and pay the individuals (staff, bosses, shareholders etc). So we pay more to make more to sell more to pay more.

And it ain’t just the hippies who know sustainability is an issue. We need to stop producing so much crap. Reuse, reduce, recycle and all that jazz. Yet still we need to make people want more so they buy more so we sell more to pay individuals.

What if we scrapped all the crap?

What if there were no management structures?

What if there were no multi-million advertising / marketing budgets?

What if there were more or less no overheads?


Answer? We wouldn’t need to sell as much, so we wouldn’t MAKE as much. Sweet! It isn’t rocket science.

And could we do business without these business-as-usual / this-is-business stuff that costs so much? Hell yeah. It’s already happening. It’s soooo easy to change from ground level, as a bunch of individuals, with no management, a pinch of leadership and a sprinkling of magic dust – in comparison to attempting change from the ‘top’. It’s no surprise that people feel pretty darn good when they’re an individual within a collective, creating profit through good growth, without all the psychologically, environmentally (and every other ‘ally’) damaging self-fulfilling prophecies inherent in business as we know it.

I mean, we all know we went a bit crazy over the past few years (decades). We all got a bit carried away. It’s like full on raving in the 80s/90s (or whatever equivalent!). Bloody hell what a blast. Dance your face off – time of your life. But after a few years everybody starts to feel like crap, go nuts and realise it’s no fun any more and life’s better when you feel good. The individuals-formerly-known-as-consumers are just started to ease off the uppers. They’ve been turning your brain cells to mush and it’s much nicer to be wide awake.

So what now? Sit back and wait until the chaos period is over and this network-based commerce phase kicks in and emerges as the new status quo?

Err… that would be pretty boring.

Instead you could join a tribe. Or you could start one. Soon it’ll pay way more than your job (if that’s what you care about)… and really when you get into the swing of the new way you won’t give a toss.

Take it a leap beyond ‘markets are conversations’ into the realms of DOING, not planning. ACTION IS THE NEW FORECASTING.

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