Good – this part:
Time to Restore Honest Capitalism
Part of what’s going on with WeWork is that monopolies and private equity have eliminated profitable opportunities for investment, which is why the Federal Reserve is increasingly powerless. Republicans like Mitt Romney are noticing that excess capital is harmful. Capitalism itself is breaking down in the face of business models that are simply organized around loss-making and endless access to the small number of (largely) men who can enable unlimited access to the capital markets.
Across the West, the basic problem of a corrupted productive process is becoming a quiet crisis. The reason is simple. The people that do the work in organizations are increasingly excluded from the decision-making about the work. That is why Boeing is losing its ability to build planes, why we can’t build infrastructure, and why New York City is on the verge of disaster. And the cherry on top is investors pouring money into enterprises that aren’t even speculative, but are purely loss-making, because they find a destructive personality like Adam Neumann compelling.
That’s why Neumann was given an unlimited charge card and a license to abuse his employees. As it turns out, the S-1 was correct; he was pivotal to WeWork, because WeWork only exists due to his ability to get money from investors.
It’s a good thing Neumann’s stepped down. And if we restore laws against predatory pricing and centralized financial control, the entire counterfeit capitalism model will go away. We can then get back to the business of making and selling things to each other without engaging in celebrated cases of fraud and abuse under the guise of ‘quirkiness.’
Will be interesting to see if this movement takes hold and how it could come to Asia.
Venture capitalists are banding together to push the IPO alternative as a better way for startups to go public.
— Read on fortune.com/2019/09/26/what-is-a-direct-listing-vc-ipo/
I am late to this one but cool to see Singapore on the big screen.
Sounds like Ben is shifting his stance quite a bit.
Will be interesting to see that change.
Going forward I plan to be a lot more skeptical about other tech startups that interface with the real world and the attendant drag on margins that follows; I am not saying that the category isn’t viable, and technology truly makes these companies different than the incumbents in their space, but they are not necessarily tech companies either.
Always a fan of Jon and his writing.
We got to hang again for breakfast – always a good chat. I think we need to do a breakfast meetup. 😉
I like this part in this week’s newsletter:
And finally… on the future
Visiting Singapore always gets me thinking. This week it was triggered by Bloomberg’s ‘Sooner Than You Think Event’ – as the name implies it is focused on current companies, tech and trends that will impact the future.
It didn’t take long to notice how so many of the faces on stage for interviews were people who I had met/got to know years ago when their companies were much smaller. Now they are the big guns, and I can think of countless others who weren’t at the show but fit that bracket.
Southeast Asia and tech are on such a growth spurt that it propels founders and startups. That’s not a bad thing at all, but it is quite something to see familiar faces consistently on stage at events, on TV interviews, or managed by large entourages such has been their rise.
The last five years have seen so much growth that it is impossible to imagine what the next five or ten will bring. Putting aside the tech and business models, I can say with certainty that many of the biggest companies/founders of the future are already active in the region today. That may sound obvious, but it is easy to lose perspective. (I’m not alone in thinking this.)
A recent report from Golden Gate Ventures – an investor in tech startup, of course – predicts “at least 700 anticipated startup exits between 2023–2025.” While, in the here and now, a new report from Preqin shows an increased interest (and activity) in Southeast Asia from global investment firms.
I’m not in the business of predicting numbers, but it is clear it’ll be a heck of a ride. That applies to tech anywhere in the world, but I do think it’ll be even wilder in Southeast Asia where the region is moving upwards despite challenging global conditions.
(This is also why I joined The Ken, I believe we need more analysis and thoughtful commentary. Shameless plug over.)
I think that the growth in the SEAsian tech scene over the next 10 years, even with a possible slowdown, will be much bigger than the last 10 years.
Singapore will continue to be a factor and the center of the SEAsian growth story.
Pretty amazing to see the folks that are becoming big players in the scene.
Also fun to he hear and be a part of it all.
Yesterday I had the pleasure of listening to the Deputy PM at the Mint Asia Summit.
No country is perfect but I appreciate listening to him and his honest views on education, taxes, taking care of the elderly plus his views on tech.
Then world is probably going through a global downturn soon and maybe even a total recession but I am happy to be anchored to Singapore for the coming global era of change.
Agree but wonder if it shouldn’t be even early than what Fred is suggesting.
Scaling In Lower Cost Locations – AVC
— Read on avc.com/2019/09/scaling-in-lower-cost-locations/
Cento taking the lead on the best “report” for VC in the SEA Region.