(This Could Be Our Future) [Kindle] å Yancey Strickler

On the measure of GDP in 1968 Robert *Kennedy saidToo much and for too long we seemed to have surrendered personal excellence and community values in *saidToo much and for too long we seemed to have surrendered personal excellence and community values in mere accumulation of material things Our Gross National Product now is over 800 billion dollars a year but that Gross National Product if we judge the United States of America by that that Gross National Product counts air pollution and cigarette advertising and ambulances to clear our highways of carnage It counts special locks for our doors and the jails for the people who break them It counts the destruction of the redwood and the loss of our natural wonder in chaotic sprawl It counts napalm and counts nuclear warheads and ard cars for the police to fight the riots in our cities It co A phenomenal book a powerful call for positive change and a road map to giving our lives real meaningThis Could Be Our Future offers a range of invaluable insights from varying examples to prove why the current system of value maximisation is not just counter productive it s counterintuitive From Bentoism to the 3 point shot to the value helix this book offers an alternative to our progress at any costs mentalityThe life lessons he learned from his time as CEO of Kickstarter have clearly served him well A good book for a politician Profit is bad but it can also be good Money is bad but it can also be good Everybody vote this guy He oversimplifies conflates individual and corporate mindsets and has a woefully incomplete understanding of economics but Strickler s call for us to reject a focus on money as the only measure of value in our society is a message we need In a world dominated by big yet meaningless words like disrupt innovate hustle go big this book is a relief It brings a new perspective on how we can build a better future one that makes far sense than financial maximization Generosity should stay at the core of everything we do if we want better businesses better relationships better teams better communities We need to uestion our values and search for the ones that help us become the best version of ourselvesI am beyond grateful I came across this read via Jerry Colonna s podcast Reboot It awakens a lot of perspectives and ideas that I might thought are naive but they are not They are the driver that will lead us far We humans don t get to run a million iterations We only get to live life once We need every tool we can find to make the best decisions This is why a broader spectrum of values is so crucial Values are a guidance system based on the collective wisdom of our ancestors and the inputs of our cultures Values are what make right and wrong We ignore them at our peril For a company whose mission focuses on improving the health of the earth the environmental impact of its products should be as serious a concern as the company s profitability Yancey Strickler the author of this book is also the co founder of Kickstarter and he unabashedly calls his book a manifesto for a new economy As democratic socialism and a universal basic income are now being seriously discussed in the US I figured his manifesto would be along the same lines except with a bend toward supporting people s creativity which is definitely the ind of economy I d like to live under When I was traveling in Israel in the 90 s I met a young man from the Netherlands who was trying to make it as a photographer an artsy sort not a photojournalist Because the Netherlands is a socialist country he had free health care and received cash benefits without stigma so he could devote himself to his art full time If something like that existed in the US I d uit my office job and work on my writing And if I was lucky enough to publish a book and become rich from it I d

Be Only Too Happy 
only too happy share my success in the form of higher taxes That would subsidize other future artists to come up with other wealth creating productsBut here in the States socialism even democratic socialism is demonized Ayn Rand s philosophy that selfishness is a virtue has held sway over many prominent government officials since the 1980 s from Alan Greenspan to Paul Ryan Strickler pins the blame specifically on a 1970 New York Times op ed by economist Milton Friedman of the Chicago School He wrote the then radical view that a company s primary responsibility is not to its customers or employees but to its shareholders and that view took hold It s part of the reason so many jobs have been outsourced overseas If maximizing profit is the only thing that matters then cutting costs with cheaper labor is the right thing to do That is how the profit motive became falsely euated with morality I can t say whether Milton Friedman bears the main responsibility in the cultural shift from the idealistic 1960 s to the materialistic 1980 s but as someone who came of age in the 80 s I lived the transition If I had to choose an anthem for that period it would be Peter Gabriel s Big Time which was a hit in 1986 the year Break free from a wealth obsessed worldWestern society is trapped by three assumptions 1 the point of life is to maximize your self interest and wealth 2 we're individuals trapped in an adversarial world and 3 that this path is inevitableThese ideas separate us eep us powerless and limit our imagination for the future We see them as the truth but they are just a point of view that previous generations accepted as inevitable It's time we replace them with. Graduated high school and entered *college It s meant a sarcastic song but most of my peers didn t *It s meant as a sarcastic song but of my peers didn t to realize that They just sang along to the disco beat and dreamed of making it to the Big Time Idealists like me were ridiculed So I found it fascinating that Strickler brought actual statistics that verified life as I remember it He compared polls of college students in the 50 s through the 80 s In 1967 students said the main factor in choosing their majors was to find meaning but after Milton Friedman s article the goal of making money began rising on the list In the 1980 s it hit the top spot and it s been there ever since Strickler goes on to take down some of the fallacies that have gotten promoted in this age of maximizing capitalism and many of them have bothered me for years My personal pet peeve is that competition is good and always yields the best results I hate that mentality As another entrepreneurial thinker said it s turned business into the human euivalent of the Westminster Dog Show People are playing to the judges not truly pursuing creative ideas The college admissions process is the same Why does everyone have to prove they re the best in order to earn something as basic as an education It just turns teenagers and their parents a bunch of nervous wrecks And as we saw recently even the wealthiest will cheat their way to the top So is competition really yielding the best results Another fallacy he takes on is the argument that if you tax the rich too much they ll lose their motivation to work as hard as they do I ve heard that one every time I ve argued in favor of Scandinavian style socialism But as Strickler correctly states the rich aren t working just for money They re the lucky ones whose work is about meaning and fulfillment The current tech giants have money than they can ever spend It s not about wealth any for them It s probably not even about taking care of their ids and grandkids It s about the achievement of creative and entrepreneurial goals To this point Stickler references Maslow s hierarchy of needs The bottom two are about the basics of life food shelter health and physical safety If you don t have those you won t be happy Once you do have them you can work toward completing the third level love and belonging And once you have friends and family who love and accept you you can pursue the top two levels which are all about the achievement of loftier goals be they creative or spiritual Strickler argues that the trouble about our world today is that we ve been overfocused on the bottom needs instead of aiming higher A society that would provide people s basic needs so they could pursue their creative ventures would make many people happier and might even create wealth in the form of scientific artistic and entrepreneurial breakthroughs The fallacy Strickler takes on for the second half of the book is that pursuing self interest always results in the best outcomes for everyone overall He argues that self interest isn t even what dominates most people s decision making People think about we much than just I and he doesn t just mean obvious we s like family members Remember the Chilean miners who were trapped in 2010 They didn t survive because everyone acted in rational self interest They survived because they were committed to sharing what they had and getting out of danger togetherNow you may be wondering if I agree with so much of what this book has to say why not five stars It was because of the tone It s just a little too much cheerleading for me He sets one chapter in 2050 and describes an ideal workplace where people are experimenting ind of like those stories people tell about Google now It s a beautiful picture but a tad too rosy Utopian thinkers may well point the way toward a better society but they re persuasive when they stick with true stories like that of the Chilean miners instead of dabbling in futuristic fiction But I absolutely hope that Strickland is right I hope this will be our future It pains me slightly to give this book a negative review because I think his diagnosis is basically correct He argues that since the late 1970s basically in response to Milton Friedman s 1970 New York Times article about maximizing shareholder value American life has had only a single value financial maximization to the detriment of all of us He argues that though it won t be easy or uick we can and should start working to change thatThe book is broken into two parts first he tries to convince you that financial maximization is the root of many problems plaguing us today then he offers his plan for action on how to ensure 30 years from now the year 2050 looks very differentBoth parts are weak and unconvincing Heck I agree with him and I still thought that I can only imagine all the positive reviews are due to mood affiliation They think the underlying idea is correct and are rating the book based on that rather than the merits and flaws of th. Something newIn this bold powerful book Yancey Strickler – co founder of Kickstarter – lays out an inspiring vision for a new world we have the power to create and how we can change course While the pursuit of wealth has produced innovation and prosperity it's also produced dire conseuences environmental collapse corruption exploitation and unhappiness around the world We don't have to get rid of money entirely though we can co opt the tools we have us. .
E book itselfIn the first part Strickler tries to convince you that "His Diagnosis Is Correct "diagnosis is correct it is facile and unconvincing He brings up a baker s dozen of flaws in the modern economy and implies that they are due to financial maximization rather than making direct arguments In some cases as when he talks about the consolidation of radio stations and the subseuent loss of music diversity it is clearer to see the link he s suggesting But in others it remains uite murky Tax deductions on shopping centers Falling entrepreneurship rates Recycling The rise of credit card debt Stock buy backsStrickler specifically calls his book a manifesto so it isn t Entirely Fair To Judge It fair to judge it detailed and serious books But all of these topics are well trod Heck one of *Karl Marx s critiues of capitalism was that it would inevitably result in having a single value *Marx s critiues of capitalism was that it would inevitably result in having a single value Other books that do a better job of exploring aspects of this are The Shareholder Value Myth How Putting Shareholders First Harms Investors Corporations and the Public This Life Secular Faith and Spiritual Freedom The Myth of Capitalism Monopolies and the Death of Competition The Economists Hour False Prophets Free Markets and the Fracture of Society and Transaction Man The Rise of the Deal and the Decline of the American DreamPart of the problem is that Strickler never makes a good distinction between businesses and individuals most of the book focuses on faceless businesses but then how do the steps I can take have any realistic impact and usually ignores the contributions of individual people He talks about how when Wal Mart enters a town 85% of the business comes from existing local businesses But that s entirely the fault of individual people not Wal Mart Individual people are saying paying lower prices is important than living in a diverse neighborhood But Strickler never mentions this obvious pointNot making this distinction between business and private is what also undermines the second half of the book What are we supposed about it This is the make or break section of the book and it just doesn t really deliver He suggests that when we re faced with a decision we should do a ind of variation of the SWOT analysis Except he calls it Bentoism like a bento box There are four uadrants Now Me Now Us Future Me and Future Us He argues that financial maximization focuses solely on New Me a dubious claim that he doesn t even really argue for By thinking about other things other values will come to mind family friends institutions etc Andthat s it That is literally the only Call To Action he providesButdoes anyone really think the average family is guilty of financial maximization to any significant degree Almost every family has children which can hardly be described as financial maximization Sure people do things that are focused on money at the expense of other things But how much of that is structural you need a car to get to work everywhere in America so you need a job that can pay for a car or a result of modern precariousness How much money do you need to be safe when you might be hit with a 50000 medical bill Or be subject to age discrimination at age 50 and suddenly find yourself retired a decade before you can receive Social Security Would you spend time with family and friends if your job didn t send you email at 10pm If they didn t change your shift schedule every weekThroughout the entire book the only examples of non businesses living with values areTaylor Swift and Adele It is hardly a compelling argument It is just very unclear to me what normal people can do I don t think we re actually helpless despite what you think ignoring that 10pm e mail probably won t get you fired but I don t think Strickler gives many useful tools to find our way out of the world we currently live in Yet another work tracing what s happened to us since the day we were cast out of the garden of eden some call it Reaganism some neoliberalism Strickler refers to Milton Friedman s article bringing financial maximization to the public s attention Since that day the well nown curve showing that productivity continues to rise but wages stagnate Strickler thinks we can overcome the problem thru the power of platitudes Specifically he proposes what he calls Bentoism from the Japanese takeout lunch box which guides our decision making on 2 axes present future me us As feel good ideas go this ain t a bad one but I m skeptical of results A really interesting look at the ways in which our society has formed itself solely around financial maximisation and has lost sight of goals which aren t related to making money Strickler explores other ways we might measure value through his ideas about Bentoism and gives examples of companies and individuals who are genuinely value led showing how possible it is I feel like listening to this book has changed my perspective for the better and given me hope that we might be able to create a better rational futur. Ed toward better measurement of what matters technology and specificity of goals and refocus them to build a generous fair and future prepared society By re calibrating our definition of value a world of scarcity can blossom into a world of abundanceHopeful but firmly grounded full of concrete examples and bursting with creativity This Could Be Our Future brilliantly dissects the world we live in and shows us a road map to the world we are capable of makin. ,

This Could Be Our Future

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