The new economy is intangible

In the 90:s we talked a lot about “The New Economy”, an economy based on innovation, ideas and software rather than factories and mass production.

With the burst of the IT-bubble that discussion ended abruptly and the expression “The New Economy” died over night.

The problem we have when we think about the future is that we often overestimate the short term effects, which is what usually cause bubbles. But also gravely underestimate the longer term consequences, which is what surprise us when we suddenly realize that the world seems to have changed under our radar.

After having forgotten the Internet for almost a decade we suddenly became aware of its existence again in 2007 when eg the announcement of the iPhone opened up for social media and the app economy. There were also other developments during the period e g the emergence of the cloud. And with the Obama election in 2008 and the Arab spring starting in 2010, almost everybody realized that technology had very real effects on politics. And after 2016 there is no doubt at all if social media have any effects on politics.

But what about companies and the New Economy? The financial crisis in 2008 clouded the skies for some time, but there are definitely signs of real change. This graph from Visual Capitalist shows us some of the changes which happened within companies during the period.

Or can we interpret this development in a different way?

(originally posted on my Tumblr)