What it means for space and the future of innovation
Ben and readers,
I think it'd be great to expand this post to look at Western VS Eastern mindset in long term business futures with the examples of Japanese corporations making 400 year plans.
The short term outlook to technologies which promise global impact is understandably prominent in Western business cultures, fueled by the region's emphasis on immediate return on investment, competition, and rapid innovation. Here, business futures are often determined by the scope of five to ten years, aligning with the rapid pace of technological and market evolution (meeting inherently flawed VC schedules) and often coming across as "scammy" as you mentioned.
In contrast, the Eastern business mentality, epitomized by Japanese corporations' 400-year plans, focuses on longevity, sustainability, and intergenerational equity. This outlook is deeply rooted in cultural values of perseverance, respect for tradition, and communal stability, even in the face of changing technological trends. These businesses see technologies not as independent forces of disruption, but as tools to be gradually integrated into existing systems to ensure long-term sustainability and growth.
For example, one could consider the corporate philosophy of companies like Mitsubishi or Sumitomo, who have diversified interests across a wide array of industries, and who maintain their operations with a balance of innovation and traditional business values. While they have certainly adopted and adapted new technologies, they have done so with an eye on long-term stability and growth, rather than immediate returns.
It's interesting to observe how these differing philosophies have shaped and will continue to shape global technological impact. The Western approach fosters rapid technological innovation and adoption, often pushing the boundaries of what's possible, but can risk instability or unforeseen consequences (or simply be that snake oil you mentioned). Conversely, the Eastern approach can potentially lead to slower adoption of new technologies, but offers greater predictability and stability in long-term planning.
In today's increasingly interconnected world, it's crucial to recognize the strengths and weaknesses of both these perspectives. Blending the Western focus on innovation with the Eastern emphasis on long-term sustainability could lead to a more balanced, resilient global economy that effectively harnesses the full potential of new technologies. Dare I say corporations setup with a focus on public and environmental benefit.