Author: Scott Galloway
Review by: Albert M. Hodge, Jr., retired economic development professional and president of Hodge Consulting Services
Even within his subtitle, serial entrepreneur and NYU Business School Professor Scott Galloway hints that he will identify winners and losers as the U.S. economy prepares for the post-pandemic era.
Observant readers will have noticed the tremendous pace of acceleration recently, especially in the digital and tech realms, where 10-year projections for adoption and usage have taken place in months. Online giants like Amazon and Google are adding to their bottom line while gaining even more power.
But what about other businesses and organizations?
Galloway believes they can benefit as well by expediting digitization, either by offering contactless service or adapting and overhauling products and services. Many should even rethink their entire business models as they’re “freed from legacy decisions.”
Galloway’s own disruptability index tracks unearned margin, where price increases without a corresponding rise in value, and he posits that higher education and health care are two of the most vulnerable sectors.
Netflix and Tesla are publicly traded corporations that have so-called “T Algorithm” factors: appealing to human instinct, balancing growth and margins, and offering visionary storytelling among their traits, though they are not immune to challenges from companies from companies like Neeva, which is aiming to take on Google with ad-free search. Shopify is offering small companies an e-commerce alternative to Amazon, which he describes as abusive.
Global Atlanta has reported on some great examples of businesses who are taking advantage of creativity in this Time of Overhaul. Even nonprofits are adapting: The Japan-America Society of Georgia, where I’m honored to serve as chair, immediately offered online seminars, networking and more, along with extending its language instruction and other service offerings virtually, reaching people around the world.
What other opportunities does Galloway foresee or ideas does he posit for recovery?
One of the most ambitious is the Corona Corps, a national service program which would employ many who have lost their jobs during the pandemic as contact tracers and in other health-related roles. He also believes we should normalize gap years and expand the variety and efficiency of certification programs for retraining workers in dying industries.
Like most readers of this and many book reviews, I seek out different perspectives in what I read, and I certainly diverge from Galloway on some fronts. His principal cures call for the government to break up monopolies, increase taxes and use other means to impede the growth-at-any price model that creates unintended consequences of poverty and worse. He condemns much of the capitalist system, criticizing bailouts, stock buybacks and CEO bonuses.
These are legitimate concerns, but for all its flaws, the capitalist system is the best one we’ve got for creating wealth and opportunity, and I believe we should continue to work with the private sector, as many have done during the pandemic, to raise wages, retrain workers, provide better access to education and steer targeted philanthropy to the most vulnerable.
Galloway concludes on a very upbeat note, that I believe all can (and most are) work together while using good sense to stop the virus’s spread. His compliments to generations and countries who fought tyranny evoke a positive spirit for all of us to fight with the same sacrifice and determination:
“The generations that endure and observe the pain are best prepared for the fight.”
Read Mr. Hodge’s previous reviews:
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