There is another article in the Guardian; it was published almost 12 hours ago (at http://www.theguardian.com/business/2014/dec/14/deficit-problem-crisis-productivity-george-osborne). It is a good story, it gives a decent view, but I feel that I cannot agree. It must be said that this is all in the eyes of the beholder. The article is good and sound and many will adhere to this idea. Yet, I do not completely agree. Yes, all the facts are right, the view is not incorrect, but it feels incomplete. The first quote “The most important issue is the poor performance of the nation’s productivity, which, far from being improved, has almost certainly been exacerbated by the constant emphasis on the putative need for austerity”, now this is a decent view to have, it is an optional view, yet in my view the following com up:
- Productivity relies on orders; the UK is competing with its baby brother India where daily labour rates are decently below the hourly rate of a UK worker. That in itself is not enough, the EEC overall is pretty broke, no less than one in 10 has no job, it is driven up by Spain and Greece, yet after a long term most Europeans are very careful about where money is spend on. So which manufacturing industry is getting the few coins that do get spend?
- There is no reputed need to austerity; there is an overspending in excess of 1 trillion that needs to be addressed. We can bark high and low on the reasoning for it, but that water passed the bridge a long time ago, now the debt needs to be taken care of. The US, Japan and UK have a combined debt of 30 trillion of national debt, the UK is a little over 3% of all this, let’s make sure that when the two behemoths stumble into nothingness, the UK does not end up being the biggest debt of all (again just my view), yet I feel certain that the banks will be in charge of a nation with such debts.
Yes, productivity will take care of all it, but I believe that the debt needs more then productivity. It needs innovation and IP. They will drive true productivity. People forget about the innovators. Alan Turing is still regarded as the man behind the concept of Artificial intelligence. What was a fab in the 40’s became the driving power for the planet from the 90’s onward; let’s not forget the foundations for the computer. We seem to herald IBM and others, yet Professor Sir F.C. Williams was at the foundation of the driving force that became the behemoth for almost half a century and this wave is still going strong.
The new currency will be IP; innovation will drive the places of work, the places of sales and the filling of coffers (the empty bags currently in a corner of George Osborne’s office).
People keep on ignoring the need for innovation; I tried it twice in a previous job. The response remained almost the same ‘it works as it is, so leave it‘, that is the drive stopper that ends a future, although the early 1900’s did not have the need for IP, consider the history of the paperclip and Gem Manufacturing Ltd, a British company. They had the better design, but never registered the patent, which is why Johan Vaaler is often seen as the inventor. I am not debating the validity, yet he registered his patent. In those days the rights were approached a lot more liberal then now. Nowadays our lives are all about IP, patents and who it is registered to. Haven’t we learned anything in 115 years? No matter that we now enjoy an article that is not patented, in nice contrast to people who enjoy a life because the man behind finding a cure (read vaccine) for polio did intentionally decide not to patent it (Dr Jonas Salk, who deserves a sainthood for that act), our future for certain, our survival to some exaggerated extent is depending on IP. Need drives production, but who owns the article that is needed? That part I see ignored again and again.
William Keegan does not look at the IP side, because he focuses on the steps following it, yet those in this real rat race seems to silence the need to look at it as they talk about productivity and manufacturing, but the innovator behind it, the one designing the IP, that person is worth gold. Consider Microsoft paying 2 billion for a piece of IP called Minecraft. A simple game, looking the way Minecraft does, is worth the revenue the high end looking GTA-5 made. It is all about IP in gaming; it should be the same in nearly any industry, not just the one that got kicked off by Alan Turing and Professor Sir F.C. Williams. IP drives every computer industry, it became the centre piece in the jewel that is now called ‘Business Intelligence‘ and ‘Predictive Analytics‘, but we broke the system after that.
Why was the system broken?
It is a broken system that is now illuminated in its flaws by people like Sir Kenneth Robinson and Brian Blessed. We ignored for too long that IP and innovation requires creativity. As Universities have been pushing logic and business, they forgot that the future tends to be created in the arts. Creativity is the driving force for any future, whatever is produced after this required a need for IP. It is a chicken and the egg issue, will the thought create the idea or is the idea the drive for creation? As I see it, this drive needs an artistic side, a side I was never any good in, but the best futures will need an artistic hand. It is shown into the massive amounts of IP the gaming industry manages. People might wonder why I keep on coming back to the gaming industry.
The answer is simple Games have driven a trillion dollar industry (totalled). Commodore Business Machines (C-64, Amiga) Atari (2600,800, ST), Creative Labs (soundcard), The consoles that followed by Nintendo, Sony, SEGA and Microsoft and the list goes on and on, all from creativity. Even the military sees the essential need of creativity. Consider the text “Space-based Missile Defense: Advancing Creativity“, it is at the heart of everything, so many forgot about that, those in charge forgot about that part. It is why my vote for Cambridge chancellor would not have been for Lord Sainsbury of Turville, but for Brian Blessed. Lord Sainsbury is not a wrong person, or a bad choice. As I see it, all our futures require a much stronger drive towards the arts and creativity. In my crazy creative view photography was invented in 1642 by a Dutchman named Rembrandt van Rijn; his visionary view came 200 years before the chemicals were invented, if you want evidence? It is in the Rijksmuseum and they call it ‘the Nightwatch’.