Recently i had just completed the Book Signals by Pippa Malmgram, its an awesome book which opens up your perspective to the happenings around the world as they unfold. A very important concept in this book is the idea of innovation. Her viewpoint is that innovation will be the breathe of the economy moving forward in this information era. A video to better illustrate this innovation as part of the moving economy can be better explained in the video below. Do take note it is 30 mins long, however I can assure you it will be one of the best explanations of economics for the lay person.
I would like to give my own view points of this topic of innovation as a driving force for the economy as I am working in the IT industry and should have a perspective of how it is moving towards. The below are of my own perspectives only.
This IT industry is undergoing a tectonic shift as there has been a surge of what we call the sharing economy. You can take a 2-3 mins look at this video below for a explanation of the sharing economy. The beauty of the IT industry is that it does not have a fixed point to which industry it can disrupt.
Eg of sharing economies
- Grab / Uber (Transport industry)
- Facebook / Youtube / Netflix (News and media industry)
- Air BNB (Hotels and accommodation industry)
- Cloud computing (Infrastructure Industry – I will consider this to be a sharing economy as well as companies no longer have to purchase servers to store on their own)
Humans have an obsession with owning things, I say this with a 8 year old mentality in mind. As I recall asking my mum to buy me lots of toys of captain planet and ninja turtles almost 20 years ago. We highly believe owning something will make us happier. However this has led to a tipping point as things which are supposed to make us happier, make us fall into the trap of greed. We will keep wanting more and more and with a limited resource earth, we keep on purchasing as if all the resources are infinite.
Purchasing and owning things are made easier with cheap labor forces from China that pushes the costs of things down. It was just almost 20 years ago when the wave of owning CDs were the hottest thing as there was practically no internet and one of the past time was to listen to music and watch television. However with the sharing economy, CDs are slowly becoming obsolete, we can listen to any song which we like on spotify or youtube and this has made waste lesser, as we do not need to own the pieces of discs to have the same experience. Largely of the things produce lead to waste as most often, these things land up in the cupboard, without being used again after once. This places a strain on the environment as well. Thus the sharing economy solves this problem by matching willing “renter” with willing “service provider” instead of buyers and sellers. We rent that service we need for a fixed set of time and as a result, we pay lesser and get almost the same experience. The service provider earns a small amount for the service which he had provided and thus the asset he owns which generates this amount of cash for the service he rendered, instead of sitting there doing nothing, would enable him to get a return on asset.
The sharing economy will reward people with the ability to adapt to market conditions and provide the services which is required. However because due to the fact that the same thing can be shared around, it also means that moving forward, if industries which are in the sharing economy, Eg manufacturing of cars, hotels, physical dvd shops, do not innovate their way out of this, they will soon be rendered obsolete as the demand for owning something becomes lesser.
However there would be another camp which would suggest that the sharing economy do have its draw back, eg you will need to maintain servers which draw energy from the grid 24/ 7, and this leads to environmental impact as well. Well lets hope that sustainable and clean energy can get us out of this mess and we will begin loving Gaia once again instead of abusing it for our own needs.
My own signals (These are my own viewpoints – Just recording down and to see a few years later am I right). I believe sharing economies are here to stay with the over consumption in the past 20 years, we need to slow down. I will try to put in all the pure sharing economy play and these are just predictions on the big wave without any fundamental analysis on how the company is run and also their management and is only done for fun.
- Long data centers
- Keppel DC Reits (SGX) – Current price $1.20 (Author is vested in this)
- Long sharing economies
- Netflix (NASDAQ) Current price US $85.89
- Facebook (NASDAQ) Current price US $121.00
- Sales force (NYSE) Current price US $82.55 – CRM
- Long data centers
- Equinx (NASDAQ) Current price US $378.86
- Rackspace (NYSE) Current price US $23.37
- Long Green Energy
- Tesla (NASDAQ) Current price US $222.27
- Solar city (NASDAQ) Current price US $26.45
- Sun power (NASDAQ) Current price US $15.37
As you can see there are several theme play for other markets, but for Singapore, it remains slow to pick up in terms of cloud, the sharing economy and green energy. Part of it may be due to the small amount of investor pool in Singapore.
There may be more of such sharing economies such as Amazon, Google and Microsoft, however I did not list them down as they have other businesses which are not of a pure sharing economy play.