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May 31, 2013 / glennlim thots

Why IDEAS are the most valuable commodities in the 21st Century

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Further to my previous link on IDEAS, I am getting more convinced of the need to value-add to our innovative capacity in this day and age (read article here) – “Why the Future of Innovation is in IDEAS”

100 years ago, the top 100 companies manufactured goods – hard, tangible commodities. Now, less than 30 manufacture. The rest deal in IDEAS. The cost of commodities has been driven to the floor while the value of grey matter has gone up.

The moment an industry moves from transmitting commodity to bits, “Free” becomes inevitable – think newspapers to Google News: or travel agents to online-bookings (& even check-ins): or traditional pen-palling to social media platforms…The business landscape has changed. In a way, it has become a ‘FREE’ economy now!

If the industry is competitive (the internet has resulted in more competition than ever), then prices will keep going down till it just covers cost. ‘FREE’, then, is a necessary and powerful part of the model.

The key now is in providing Higher Value in our process-chain that requires the human touch – IDEAS. Ideas inevitably set one entity apart from the other run-of-the-mill organisations that churn out the predictable. The new economy values Smarter over Bigger; Agility over Agressive marketing; Thoughtful efficiency over maintenance-oriented systems.

This week, let’s examine the dynamics of ‘FREE’ in our industry, and compensate that with value-adding IDEAS…Glenn Lim

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