Incoherent thoughts about capitalism, marketing and why in hell they call it ‘sustainable development’

future

Image from Wikipedia ‘Future’

I’m currently reading a book where one chapter forced me to write this post which is basically a mixture of thoughts about capitalism, its future and the too often used term ‘sustainable development’. These are thoughts and ideas to be shared, not answers nor facts to anything. Someone much smarter than me can write them to their blogs, if they have something to say.

About power

When you think of different eras of human history and the question of who has had power over other people, the agent, the medium, the instrument has often been a significant factor in that: Land owners once ruled other people because they owned the land and got their power from there, other eras of power proceeded and followed and now there has been a short period where men with suits and the strange conglomerate called ‘the board’ has usually had the power [and of course the stock holders in some way too].

But what now and after this? When professionals are shouting that the power is moving to the people through social media and other funny things? When you have a large number of people who act like hippies did and think that everything should be free and say ‘Yay!, why should I pay 20€ for one CD when I can suck it free from the bosom of mother Internet?’.

And how do you control people who are now connected to each other more and faster than ever before? Now someone says ‘But, but… this could just be a passing trend!’. Well, is it then?

Do you really think that when people have found a way within minutes to ask ‘How are you Pete?’ and passionately play something totally irrelevant to their lives called Mafia wars, they’ll just want to give that up and regress to watching TV like they used to? TV which has only default channels and one schedule that won’t understand your schedule and your ‘When I want it, then I want it, instantly, without ads’.

This has to change the ways to make money, dear corporate man, and that’s a fact. And above all this nightmare of future visions comes that awful term sustainable development.

Sustainable development

First things first: capitalism and sustainable development aren’t lovers – no use to pull that BS on me, I won’t buy it. If you can read and understand your reading, just listen to the terms in this sentence:

In capitalism, someone has to consume the sold products [the consumer] in order to companies achieve more growth and thus more revenue to invent new products for the consumers to consume.

And like one of my clients asked me the other day, ‘I don’t even understand what we need the growth for and why so much of it? Every damn year’. This is a good question indeed. And when in every field and genre there are race horses [companies] who go on like this, can we call our way of living sustainable? How can it be?

For example, is it really necessary for a mobile device manufacturer to launch new cellphones almost every quartal? Could just a few new great models come out annually? Sometimes you can’t even separate the models from each other. How do I even know which one I need?! Of course Apple has done this one for you really easy.

And here lies another question: Will people still replace their mobile phones, TVs, computers that often? I think not. Of course the manufacturer thinks they should, because how in earth they could develop and make new ones if they aren’t getting the revenue?

In this case I don’t care what studies may or may not show, but you cannot ignore what people are saying. They are saying more and more things like ‘Why should I replace this device already, it has served me good ’till now’, ‘I don’t understand what’s so great about that new model’, ‘I don’t even need those features’, and ‘I still haven’t finished paying for this model, so I can’t get a new one, even if I wanted to’ [the last one is me].

The point in this being; how on earth can this religion of technology consuming androids ever be called sustainable? Really.

If you think of all this in concrete terms, to every little product we make we need material and bunch of other resources. We also need logistics  and thus trucks, ships, planes, warehouses, so that as soon as they come from the factory they can be send to different places in the world.

The products also need someone to market them as the ‘NEXT BIG THING THAT WILL CHANGE YOUR LIFE AND MAKE YOU HAPPIER!’ and tell you that your old one sucks. Yes, the last job description is somewhat mine.

Who has the power of the future?

Those who can work with others, not control them. Those who listen to, not listen to me I know better. Too much power has been concentrated to those who want it, and not to those who deserve it. This is an oxymoron that could change the soul of the term ‘power’ in the future. Someone has to lead projects, but with a different kind of touch.

When I project this to the corporate world I would say the power is for those who understand what terms like ’emotional’ and ‘social intelligence’ mean and overall understand the machine called human being, and won’t think that artists, innovators, social media addicts and researchers are stupid and laughable funny little people. These aforementioned people often have a lot of valuable knowledge about something specific, and he or she who can work efficiently with these kinds of people [of course we need the business intelligence there too] is going to create the success stories of the future.

The media field is shattered, the whole world is changing. One has to stop thinking how to use old ways to cope with the new situation. Yes dammit, one has to invent something that is actually new!

The reason I wrote this post wasn’t because I somehow wanted to show how sustainable or environmentally aware I can be. This was more to shake the water in the glass and say ‘I am sick of your bullshit and terms like sustainable you often don’t even understand; and I see how people see through these’.

If you don’t understand anything else, understand this: Start to act and innovate, it comes cheaper in the end and you can even make yourself useful in the big scale.

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3 thoughts on “Incoherent thoughts about capitalism, marketing and why in hell they call it ‘sustainable development’

  1. A lot of companies are only interested in the so-called sustainable development if they can use it as a marketing gimic. I think it’s a real shame because a lot of the times being more ‘sustainable’ would also bring in other benefits.

    The world is changing indeed. The way I see it is that the power has definitely moved more to the customers’ side, or at least now we can SEE who had the power in the first place. Maybe it’s not a matter of the power shifting but increased transparency, I don’t know.

    Your questions of power are worth pondering!

  2. Thanks to you both for commenting!

    These are questions one comes across daily, especially when in the marketing/advertising business. And sometimes you just need to let some out. 😐

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