Are we out of options?

I spend lots of time thinking about the economy and read a story that again talked about the same topics I have seen for almost a decade:

Low interest rates and flat economies

In the greater world around us improvements generally seem to be marginal at best.  No one country is really changing our world and the number of entrepreneurs pursuing true innovation seems to be a limited group.

I personally believe that there appears to be a lack of interest in creating life altering or earth changing ideas.  The risk involved and the resulting discomfort is too great.  Everything seems to be either incremental improvement to existing ideas or ideas that no one really should care about (i.e. an app that I can use on my phone for someone to bring me a coffee – really?).  This in turn is resulting in governments having to keep interest rates low while we all wait for the economy to “pick-up”.  We are all waiting for the next boom to come along but I think the problem is deeper than that.  There will be no boom or “pick-up” until innovation starts producing some new ideas for us to rally around.  New ideas generate new markets which in turn generate jobs, personal satisfaction, etc.

I was chatting with an investor a few weeks back who I am working with on a deal and we were discussing how two weeks worth of emails and text messages resulted in us barely moving the needle on completing the tasks we needed to do.  He mentioned how in the “good ol’ days” we could have walked down the hall to the boardroom, sat together for 15 minutes and gotten more accomplished compared to ping ponging emails back and forth amongst various people.  Has technology added anything to our lives or simply shifted the work in a less productive direction? (10 things at 10% and nothing at 100%)

So are we out of options in the creativity department? Are there groups of entrepreneurs out there that are actually thinking about solving real problems that would change our world (i.e. combustion, electricity, etc.)? Maybe there needs to be a movement. Maybe a younger generation will not see the use for useless technology and products that help us consume more than we contribute.  Maybe we need new leadership in the marketplace to challenge us.

What are you working on?

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