29 September, 2011

Power to the Pad: Why the revolution of these devices will make them more ubiquitous than phones.

In a recent article at Business Insider the acceleration in the pad device market is discussed. ILinkn a blog post from January of 2010, just prior to the release of the Ipad I explained why the pad device was going to be the hottest consumer electronic device of the next 5 years. Now, nearly 2 years later my prediction has become more than validated by the market. The fastest growth rate of any consumer device by far Pad devices are finally taking off in the mind of the consumer and many players are itching to get in the game. I had been wondering of the ways that the form factors of these devices constrain manufacturing and price conditions and decided to write those out in this blog post. The premise of the BI article was that Amazon had no clear line to profitability but that analysis leaves out what costs will be like for such devices even two years down the line. If Amazon can gain market share now they'll make profit when production costs are far lower than they are today but the devices are still selling for a good margin above those costs.

Tech. angle is not factored in, you'd just need to ask a clued in hardware engineer what is going to happen to the hardware that drives these form factor based devices in 5 years and he will tell you quickly and loudly.

"The prices are going to fall through the floor."

why? because the components will become commodity very quickly...even across different devices much of the chips, memory and SCREENS are going to become mass produced baked out items that suppliers like Samsung make and sell to whoever wants to pack them into a pad device. Amazon being the latest player to he space.

How does this help prices fall? Easy, the costs of production are amortized over all the people putting them together...the suppliers quickly recoup expensive fabrication facility costs since they have multiple profit lines coming in from their customers...all of which are one time payments with no restrictions other than defective unit agreements. So once fab. and R&D costs are swallowed these components will fall in price but that's what we've seen as standard for 30 years in electronics for IT. We saw it with the PC when the clones were manufactured by many suppliers using the IBM architecture as a common template, reducing costs for builders significantly and enabling competition to crash prices downward. Allowing the PC (and not the arguably better designed Mac, Amiga or Atari from a UI perspective) to win the computer wars of the mid to late 80's.

What is different here is that PC's have no natural limit on the needs of the machine. A desktop could continually be improved with better graphics cards to do CAD or GAMES over just web surfing, audio to do music over just play games, SCSCI addition to enable scanning and other add on's. This kept the 'form factor' of a PC dynamic as really there was no form factor...it was matched to whatever the needs of the user were. So there is always a "high end" pc for various things as there are always high end components that serve different needs.

Now refocus your gaze on a pad device, these are precisely restricted by their physical use conditions and that places on them necessary and desired hardware limitations that constrain costs downward in a whole new way once volume production picks up. A 7" pad is always going to be a 7" pad...it will serve mostly the use case of being used to read digital versions of books, play games, watch films and web surf. It will do nothing else (maybe some crazies will add a radio to it for some reason but that will not be a major use case for that form factor). The same is true of the 10" accept it's use cases open up new areas...such as good size for a digital tablet for drawing, or as a dashboard replacement surface for controlling some device remotely...none of these uses though require any more horsepower than devices have today so they are more application driven than Pad internal component driven. So what will happen is once Screen resolution has hit "retina" equivalent on both form factors (and that is already a year away for both sizes) screens will *not* need to get any better. superAMOLED (the best overall screen tech. in this engineers opinion) is improving power utilization and thinness and weight but those are subjective qualities not ones that improve visual quality. Once the tech. can do super high res. the consumer will be happy and the cost of production for each panel will fall to near nothing (ie. base raw materials and production costs + profit sliver) once the suppliers have recouped R&D costs. Since the form factor is fixed and people will be refreshing devices world wide periodically screens of that size will always be in similar demand (or at least at a predictable demand correlated with the replace rate and the growth of adoption in various markets). The same will happen at the 10" pad sizes...how the makers will likely eek out more profit is by offering larger panels for other reasons (um...tv's) or different types (flexible, transparent...etc.)

I blogged about why I felt OLED was going to be the LAST great display technology here those interested can click through for those reasons.

Now , display is not the only component of interest to pad devices...the brain and graphics chips are also on a road to commodity once a given processor core count and speed is fast enough to perform many actions nearly instantly *there will be no need to make them any more powerful for the given formfactor* costs will again crash as those parts become commodity and retain a permanent profit line for devices that are optimized by those component specs. for processor. Memory as well, will be constrained but I predict will be the largest factor of price variability for all pad devices because memory requirements vary with application use not form factor.

Battery technology is about to see a silent revolution, recent advances in being able to increase the charge surfaces of batteries by orders of magnitude make the promise of hyper charging batteries in only a few years ...just in time to go into super thin, super line pad devices. People will always want more power but once you get to a device that runs continuously for 4 or 5 days and when it does need charging can be charged in 1 minute instead of 3 hours...well the game has totally changed. We are going to see such devices within 5 years.

So the devices will be ubiquitious and extremely cheap fairly quickly...if Android has many devices in the hands of consumers using their other services they are happy to take an early loss. It beats watching Samsung and others fill that niche while Apple continues to grow, as production costs fall they can take their time reducing prices and thus rake in a great deal of profit on the long end, the future and a little appeal to what the constraints of the hardware are will bare this out.

23 September, 2011

Meat production local versus export and why SHI will make it not matter any more...

From this blog post an interesting quote highlighted is:

it is twice as energy efficient for people in Britain to eat dairy products from New Zealand than from domestic producers. It is four times more energy efficient for them to eat lamb shipped from the other side of the world than it is to eat British lamb.

The main reason for this is one simple phrase from the economics of manufacturing:

Economies of scale.

New Zealand pretty much has defined industries around the lamb, they have massive herds and it is a big part of the economy as a result locally lamb is very cheap to produce. It is also over abundant there for the population, we means demand is low and that in turn means local pricing is low...local producers would have a glut if they don't export. Exporting is profitable since local producers can tie the price of export into the final distributor fees and those are padded on a bit before sitting in English meat stores, where lamb is much more rare...is not in abundance and there for greatly in demand to command a high price.

If we analyze any other produced good with few limited regions of production with out sized advantages to production we will see this type of advantage built in...how do we fix it?

Well, we are approaching a time (I say within 10 years) when our ability to produce high quality locally produced meat products will flatten the production playing field. Lamb grown in a sterile factory in England will be just as inexpensive to produce as lamb grown in New Zealand since the advantageous factors in the latter location that made natural grown lamb more efficient can be normalized away. However delivery cost will still make the latter over all more expensive. Thus final costs post production will be dissimilar in both places which would bias against export from one place being price competitive with locally grown product. So it simply won't happen. At least not at first, as delivery costs zero this will normalize but the localization of production movement I predict will happen ahead of the zero cost of distribution is achieved. This state will be reached when photovoltaic cells finally achieve cost parity with gas/coal...the idea of paying a provider to line in electricity will exceed the cost of purchasing panels and maintaining them over the life time of need...this will kill remote delivery in favor of ubiquitous self generation.

Much further down the road, I predict in about 40 years or so once we have fully autonomous humanoid robots with artificially intelligent minds we'll be able to have them take over the bulk of the physical tasks that we currently perform. Contrary to what many fear this will not be the tragedy to work that it may seem...humans will be able to profit from the labor of their robot work force (like slaves but minus the ethical issues) and pinch off more and more of the production loop. Homes that run from photovoltaic panels on the roof will eliminate electric and heating bills. Robots set to plant and harvest from personal plots will reduce the costs of produce in general and make much cheaper for humans to buy good produce, robots will drive delivery trucks (actually the trucks will BE robotic and will drive themselves), robots will mine for ore and work in the smelting factories that produce our goods. Robots will even design and repair other robots...as more and more are done by the robots at zero cost to us the more our existing wealth is maximized in it's efficiency. Eventually we will pinch off from the cycle entirely...with robots doing everything for us and requiring nothing from us to maintain the system, that is when we will reach full SHI (self healing infrastructure).



15 September, 2011

Action Oriented Workflow : Maximize your Value.

As I approached the problem of creating a distributed web application platform I found it necessary to construct an efficient workflow and business process foundation that would enable any applications built on the platform to enable fluid collaboration and interaction between the agents responsible for designing, building, maintaining and using the created applications. Around 2004 as the critical aspects of the architecture were being finished I began to think about how to build this workflow tool. It turns out that choices I'd made in the architecture pushed me to think about the concept of "action" in the context of a business application and business process workflows.

Action is all that matters

A common business consists of a group of people separated into specific roles and responsibilities over business related objects, products or services working together to serve the business goals with regard to those objects, products or services. We can look at each function required to prosecute these aims as an action that needs to be completed by the people that serve as prosecuting agents for those actions. This is true in any business, a real estate broker is responsible for actions such as creating listings for homes that she is trying to sell or updating listing reports for homes that have sold.

The broker also interacts with clients external to her business in the form of the home owners and prospective home buyers, toward this end she uses various computer based tools to manage each of the sub actions that she must perform to ensure the function is achieved. The business provides her with the tools necessary to ensure that these actions are performed as quickly as possible so that the business can make profit and hopefully expand. However, the fact that the broker is performing the actions is not really relevant to the business.

If we could imagine the business as an entity that is dispatching action requests to brokers, what is most important is how quickly the actions are done and not who is doing them. There is no real reason for the agent that executes the action to be a particular person other than that the agent is efficient in performing it. Security is important as well in many cases but for many actions even that is less important than that the action be completed with alacrity. Also unimportant from the business perspective is the actual location of the agent.

The requirement that they perform a required business action in an office is a silly one from the perspective of the business which just wants the action done. Where it is done is irrelevant. When we look at business from the perspective of actions we see a radical way in which we can design a system to ensure expedient execution of dispatched business actions while enabling agents to maximize the use of their internal value.

What is your intrinsic value?

A few years ago I had a discussion with my father over the value that I felt I possessed inherently and that I had a right to attempt to be paid in any job that I worked, for all the value I brought to the table, weather or not I was actually using that value on the job. He thought this was absurd, to him as to most people, an employer pays employees to perform a specific set of functions and the employee should expect to be paid for what they are doing for the employer and no more.

I saw that as a horrible waste of the intrinsic value of a person that defines all the things that they can do but are not being paid to do. As a result in my professional career I was always trying to maximize my value by doing more than I was "paid to do" to use more of my value in the organization and over time through raises be paid more for it. I saw this as being unfair to the worker, here they are forced to commute (time for which they are not paid) to a work location, where they will be tasked periodically to perform a specific set of actions for which they've garnered expertise. For the next 8 hours or so all their other talents lay dormant and uncompensated, I saw this waste as a huge problem.

From the perspective of the employee...the need to commute is a major hassle, the need to be silo-ed in an office a type of work prison where by being contained they can't be with their children, they can't be on the beach, they can't be doing other things they would rather be doing. The answer to this problem was simple, if an employee is given freedom to do their work from any location then the business would be potentially improving the employees outlook on work as being labor in a temporary prison and see it as a hobby that returns money. The employer now can evaluate across a number of employees performing necessary work actions and dispatch work to them.

In the real world most businesses that are not international have a day/night cycle. During the day the business is active since the working agents in the local region are active and at night the business effectively goes to sleep just like all it's worker agents. Allowing a global pool of potential agents to commit actions enables the business to have a 24 hour operations cycle. If they could call on a pool of potential agents all over the globe they would be guaranteed a number of individuals that can perform actions on behalf of the business. Also, the business would no longer have to house workers in massive buildings and offices, they wouldn't have to pay for the lighting, gas, HVAC costs to keep these buildings available for the periodic workforce that must gather in them.

The costs savings that would attend removing these requirements is a significant chunk of capital expenditures for all modern businesses. On the employee or worker side of the equation, these agents would be performing work reciprocally on their free time or when they receive an action from the business. If different businesses in different fields were able to dispatch work this way...agents could opt to perform work across their intrinsic value map instead of restricted to one particular area of expertise. This would allow the agents to maximize their value by allowing them to derive profit from more of their talents. Thus both the employer (business) and the employee (action performing agents) are most efficient when the former is able to select from a global pool of agents to perform needed work actions and the latter are able to select work actions that are encompassed by their entire value map.

Implicit selection of efficient workers

Probably the most interesting aspect of being able to decouple the "actions" that businesses want done from the "agents" that perform them is the ability to map the interactions between action dispatch and action execution and to record aspects of the interaction, who performed it and how fast they performed it.

 This "action delta" as I call it, allows each "action" requested on business objects to be tied to agents that have performed the action efficiently in the past. Enough samples of this performance can then be used to route new actions to agents who have shown efficiency in the past thus allowing the normal dispatch and completion of actions across the pool of agents to teach the business which agents are most efficient.

This is a very important learning process that then allows the business to focus on the efficient agents and prune action requests to inefficient agents. Thus those individuals in the agent space who have acquired great skill across their value map can derive payment for that skill as they perform actions efficiently. This would make possible a true meritocratic management process that is free of cronyism or nepotism in selecting which agents are granted more responsibility. Indirectly, being good at what one is performing for the business grants that person more responsibility (in the form of more action requests). I called this action focused system of task execution Action Oriented Workflow (AOW).

The Action Oriented Workflow paradigm is fully implemented as described above in the AgilEntity framework, it enables businesses to find workers to perform actions from a potential global pool, to identify the best workers over time as they perform actions without requiring a set of hierarchical human management layers (which eliminates another major expense in many large businesses) and finally to reward those workers with action requests and compensation for being good at what they do. On the agent side, it allows the agents to opt into work by performing actions submitted to them, it also allows them to opt out of work by delegating action requests forward to other agents. Thus allowing agents to work on their own schedule free of the hegemony of time, without degrading their efficiency deltas for the actions that they receive. It also allows them to work from any where, using any device to connect to the business and perform the action.

I truly believe that systems of the type that I've invented are the future of the work force, in a post I wrote originally in 2006 and posted here in 2008 I described the future where a telepresent workforce reshapes how business will be done. The age of what I call hyper efficient businesses is upon us with tools like AgilEntity using the action oriented workflow paradigm. They allow employers to emancipate their workforce and it allows employees to be free of work and maximize the use of their intrinsic value space. Popular writer and technology thinker Douglas Rushkoff recently started talking about the need for us to redefine how we think about "jobs" and I agree with him 100%, I designed AgilEntity to do just that so I am glad that others are finally starting to think in a new way.




14 September, 2011

Google's plan for Google+ is not to steal you from Facebook....now...

This is a response I posted to a thread on Facebook regarding Google+, I'd been reading from some who think that Google is trying to swipe users from Facebook and that is not only a failing strategy it is not the strategy that their actions indicate. Read:

Google is not interested in pulling you and your massive network over to their service primarily. They want to allow people who are using their distinct services to create a social networking home on G+.

The point is often made that many people who go to Google+ from Facebook come back. I've read many formerly very active users here with big networks go and stay there. They have much more to lose by switching but went anyway...yet still they aren't the fish Google are trying to catch. Those fish are mostly not even American's for the most part they are people in foreign countries using mobile devices for accessing google services...where FB penetration is still low (the numbers of people fitting bill hover in the billions) so there is a lot more potential market there than here.

The task of building a compelling service that enables social interaction among google service users that people like is done already, now it's a war of attrition in the works. As a result, I predict Google+ will continue a moderate growth in adoption over the next couple years and will be where Facebook is with total numbers (700 million) in about 5 years. Time will tell if this prediction is true or not.

Some people think that the main prize is going after the internet's "identity system" and though this is a valuable prize. There isn't going to be a *single* global internet identity system, as it stands google has what Facebook doesn't; a suite of web based tools used by a lot more people collectively than are on Facebook (including many who are on Facebook) and they are adding social to that. Facebook has the much harder task of going in the other direction ..of tacking tools onto their social component. I definitely find it convenient to login using Facebook but I have a big network here already, I centralized here already...that's not the case for *most of the planet* they are the low hanging fruit to google and as soon as they can put up similar "login using google" buttons all over the place people who use their services will surely use them. (I actually trust google over facebook by far...as far as I can trust any public corporation) This is why the attrition that will happen will mostly benefit google over facebook over time...IF Facebook doesn't quicky gain parity tool wise with Google...that is a tall order as much of what Google has built in the ad space will be energized significantly by the social elements they've already added in this *beta version with invitation only access* of their vision of social.

Google+ growth by comparison:


04 September, 2011

How an approach to Self Healing Infrastructure solves the jobs problem....eventually.

In this series of articles on the robot revolution, popular science writer and founder of howstuffworks.com Marshall Brain does a great job of explaining the technological factors of automation that are fast eliminating manufacturing jobs world wide and are contributing to rising unemployment in the human work force as an automated work force ascends.

I wrote a blog post in July that explains why eventually the robot workforce will completely remove humans from the production loop. Once humans are no longer required to either design or build the machines that othttp://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gifher humans use to build and farm the world around us, the costs of production will virtually collapse. Marshall paints a gloomy scenario of a future with rising numbers of unemployed humans that suddenly appear due to specific automation events, for the most part he is correct. The events have been happening, the last great one occurred after the dot com bomb of the early aughts and led to implementation of productivity technologies (like factory floor robots for placing, picking and packing products for delivery to humans and RFID technology for eliminating unit losses)that eliminated many thousands of jobs inside factories. The trend only is on the rise as indicated in the links provided in my last article. We are currently undergoing our second massive productivity consolidation world wide as corporations look for ways to make more with less across sectors. The forecast for the next few years regarding manufacturing and service jobs is gloomy and people must adapt if they are to maintain their standards of living on that point we agree. However, he seems to think that the use of robots (in particular the autonomous kind that will see construction for sale to people around 2030 as he predicts) will only have a negative effect on humans ability to survive but he's leaving out the other side of the equation.

If I own robots I essentially own my own workforce, if they are as adept as a human I can have them perform the daily tasks that I would otherwise either have to do myself OR pay some one else to do. Thus a way for humans to gain the benefits of productivity that the robots will be providing to the manufacturing and service industries from which we gain service is to also buy robots and have them at our side to enable us to maintain the standards of living we are used to. If as Marshall indicates that robots will become increasingly intelligent then when that happens we will be able to use their intelligence as proxy for the tasks we may need done. We could conceivably rent out our robots to those that can't afford them and derive profit from the act. The point is, having robots is not going to be the good fortune of businesses...people will be free to purchase them as well. As you might have seen in the movie "I Robot" the robots were completely integrated into society performing the mundane tasks that humans do today, mean while humans free of the burden of needing to be as physical do other things. In this way autonomous human like robots will be the same as a virtual slave work force. There is a reason slave owners keep slaves, slaves are highly efficient from a cost perspective...disproportionate work for pay (basic food, shelter) can be extracted from them. In the past, slave work forces were used to build massive human structures, many of the ancient wonders were done using slave labor and might not have been possible any other way. The riches of the rulers that used slave labor were then available to fund wars to gain more slaves and build more wonders. If personal robots reduce our costs of living then we all can be as those ancient rulers accept we'd be lording over (hopefully) non self aware simulations of humanity that we can task to the labors we would otherwise be forced to engage.

Thus, I see more unemployment to come in the short term (next 20 years) as automation accelerates and make no mistake it is accelerating...all of the work I have been doing on the AgilEntity platform has been designed to usher in the next form of this automation, but once fully autonomous robots can be put to roles for humans as slaves were in the past(and unfortunately present in many parts of the world as it has actually risen world wide)...humans can use those robots as a currency to maintain their standards of living even as robots continue to replace the remaining roles that are the last domain of human involvement in the production cycle. So from the perspective of individual humans the costs of living will actually go down over time as the robots begin to be used as personal workforces by people all over. This will then mean that the standard of living can be maintained near levels that most desire depending on how they are using their robot work forces. There will be impulsive shifts but eventually as the self healing infrastructure is constructed and humans pinch off the production circle entirely, costs for services and products will zero out completely and the word "unemployment" will not be a expletive but a fact of all human beings.

US job losses, automation is the culprit not outsourcing.

The predominant reason jobs are dwindling in the states is over overwhelmingly due to advances in automation HERE. The number of jobs created else where as companies look for ways to save money or reduce production costs pales in significance to the number of jobs gone up in smoke because of better use of software and automation of hardware. The studies are 100% clear on this point, so why people can't do the home work to realize that their assumption is patently false in this internet age is beyond me.

Here some sources:

(Marshall Brain ...incase you don't know is the founder of the very popular site , "howstuffworks.com", his story is anecdotal but representative of why America really is shifting in how jobs are available)

Here's another:


"Baily and Lawrence released a paper in late 2004 that asserted that the manufacturing job loss
suffered between 2000 and 2003 was driven only minimally (about 12%) by a rising trade deficit."

What is so unique about that time? Why would productivity go UP and manufacturing go down? The answer lies in what happened in late 2000, the dot com bust so a recession hit the economy that forced *belt tightening* and cost saving maneuvers by companies. Historically this always happens after a bust, the waste is assessed and ways to save on old methods that failed are use to replace them. In 1995 most manufacturers had large factories filled with humans packing, stocking and shipping products to fulfill orders...today?

 Robots take orders, robots retrieve product from shelves and robots package those products for delivery...humans only load the trucks and drive in advanced companies like Amazon, Walmart and others. These innovations started hitting the market...surprise surprise in the early thousands as companies looked for ways to reduce costs and boost profits in tough times.

That story by Marshall is a perfect example of how automation here is eliminating jobs, with a kiosk the job of a clerk behind the counter is eliminated and only the food makers matter...McDonald's can cut staff costs and make more profit and customers get faster service...win win. The workers are only enablers for two chief concerns, a) that the company make profit and b) that the consumer gets the service they are looking for...the workers do not factor into that mix and must cater to their own interests...within the interplay of the other two. It's how it is, how it always was. Any one that has believed an employer when they say they are looking out for them in a corporation are kidding themselves.

When I incorporated my company Apriority LLC I did it with a charter that would make explict two things. 1) I was going to try to hire as FEW people as possible. (yes, you read that righ) and 2) The few people I hired would be given equity in the company (meaning they would be owners not just workers).

If you don't get equity in a company you work for you are a disposable cog...that turns and turns and wears out while the vast machine of which you are a part services customers. True power is owning the machine.

As a software engineer *who is actively working on reducing the amount of work that humans have to do* I see the movement toward more automation as a VERY good thing. It enables the country to remain dynamic and competitive with emerging markets and it gives our people the *first* opportunity to tool up for the new type of economies that will be de regeur in the next few decades. Knowledge economies. If you aren't retooling yourself after that factory you used to work at closes down that is YOUR FAULT.

The country may owe you some basic services in return for your taxation but the world owes you NOTHING. If the thing you did all your life goes obsolete, learn something new and keep up. I believe that people should have a right to certain basics...especially in a nation as rich as the US but I also believe that people have an obligation to improve themselves for the benefit of themselves and their family yes, but also for the benefit of humanity.

The sooner we embrace this type of selflessness and throw ourselves full force into continuous improvement we will find happiness, contentment and success. The people that lost their jobs and sit in their homes behind the internet gnashing their teeth because they can't find a job doing the same thing are idiots that deserve the fate that befell them. Retool for the new economy or go extinct, it really is that simple. Companies are free to seek efficiency by enabling automation and going over seas, you are free to increase your value with respect to those around you by improving your skills. If the factory replaces you with robots...learn to build robots.

If you think there is a light at the end of the tunnel as far as manufacturing or manual jobs guess again. Any job that a human does now can be done by a robot or software so obviously everyone should be retooling NOW for robotics, AI and other types of automation in the various fields in which this automation will require service.

At some point, I predict about 50 years away we will reach what I call S.H.I. self healing infrastructure. At that point, robots and automation will literally do everything we need done for us and humans will be entirely pinched out of the production loop (even as designers) when that happens we should hope that a) the robots are our friends. and b) that the person or persons who control them is willing to emancipate them to the world in lieu of profits at some point in time.



03 September, 2011

In business, evolution versus free market, why competition matters.

In a recent article the actions of the president to chose a stance that seems anti-environmental has gotten many eye brows to raise. The action involves giving up a little bit on the environmental conservation in hopes of enabling businesses to create more jobs in a particular sector. The nuance of the give and play of politics is only a side actor to the real story driving the debate which to me falls on a simple core difference between the free markets and species in evolution.

A capitalist economy...models in a very similar way, the natural process of survival of the fittest identified by naturalist Charles Darhttp://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gifwin. Though he and Adam Smith weren't contemporaries I am sure they would have seen eye to eye on many ideas and I am sure watching nature inspired Smith. The difference is that in evolution species emerge in environmental niches due to the selection processes produced by the fact that environments shift *under* populations of common ancestry. The similarity of needs of resources in an environment between species that emerge from sources of common ancestry (be it recent common ancestry as Humans are related to Chimpanzees or distal common ancestry as Humans are related to fish) are what breed potential competition between those species when they cross paths. Companies emerge to satisfy demands for product or services, these companies in turn require supplies and services and other companies satisfy those demands.

As multiple players emerge in the same place to satisfy similar demand needs competition also necessarily results. However, unlike in evolution where no single species (as a collective) is able to modify the groups behavior in response to environmental shifts, in capitalism ..corporations have minds, rather a small set of controllers probed on by the relentless "need" for continuous profits on the part of their nameless and faceless "investors". Corporations can be starved into extinction if they fail to execute in their markets of focus in contrast to other competing companies. Note, success in and of itself is not good enough..it is important to be the best and some how magically maintain that status indefinitely for a company to gain an increasing valuation.

Being continuously good at a given level is punished by investors...one must always be better than one was an arbitrary unit of time before. This is in my view the biggest weakness of capitalism as the need to constantly be better drives corporations to actively go out of their way to consume or destroy other companies as those are means for continuous gains. Why is this bad? It is bad because once sufficient consolidation has occurred and only a few players remain, the corporations can (unlike species) choose to enter cyclical relationships in which they depend on one another in a complex way that forgoes innovation in the effort of extracting greater profit. Collusion as it was termed in the late 19th century led to stagnant markets with increasingly high prices for product and service passed on to the consumers of those products and services with little options available for them to use other companies.

The movements to regulate monopolies in the 1880's and onward were precisely geared toward eliminating high pricing, collusion and anti-competitive practices between large companies that had dominated the competition and then (because the market only rewards continuous growth) continue to raise prices far beyond material and service costs...just to keep investors continuously happy.

In evolution, species never can make an agreement not to compete with one another...crossing into different selection domains does that automatically, thus evolutionary selection is relentless and uncontrolled where as capitalistic selection becomes *more controlled* the more individual companies in segments are eliminated by competition and consolidated into mega-corporations. Also, in natural selection the environment is constantly shifting...also there is natural mutation within individuals which forms the other side of the coin of the evolution process that continues on even if the environment is relatively stationary...as a result species emerge to expoit minute differences in the environment. The species diversity per unit of square area in a rain forest far exceeds that of the, tundra, northern forests, deserts or grasslands because mutation continues to tweak populations in micro environmental niches that are maintained in forests but transitions between seasons in other other types of biosystems.

Again, in capitalism this mechanism has no analog...companies diversify only so long as they can maintain a profit while providing services and products to a finite demand. When the number of companies are high...there is an incentive to innovate in services or products to gain more of the demand and keep the investors happy...when the number of companies are low, despite demand there is little incentive to innovate as demand is driven not by what people think they need (in the future) in a product or service it is driven by what they know they need (today). Thus under low competition, companies are more likely to choose to simply continue providing present need, rather than *wasting money* on innovation when innovation doesn't serve the aim of EVER increasing profits...in fact research&development is a cost center for it's duration until and if it succeeds in creating innovation that can be brought to market to boost sales. Only the competition provides the incentive for the innovation in order to make gains on that competition via product or service delivery costs..eking out more profit...with it gone that urge is non energy conservative so it is removed from the corporations strategy set.

Thus, unlike species which come to natural regulation under selective environments governed only by variations in environmental selection...corporations that dominate service and product markets have intention and can use that to enter completely foreign markets (and thus the mega-conglomerates are born) stifling and killing competition in those areas by leveraging their ownership or control of various supplies or products and again shutting the faucet on innovation. This is why regulation MUST happen at some point in the competitive landscape for every market, making things more difficult is the fact that it is difficult to determine at which point optimal innovation will be generated between competing companies in a given market. The waters are made more muddy when we consider that some companies enter and control multiple markets...consuming former suppliers to gain leverage on providing parts to their own products (and subtly ...denying those same parts to their competitors)...this can't happen in evolution. An invasive species doesn't dominate a niche left open in a new land or an existing species in that land by facilitated cooperation...it does it by pure domination and obliteration. More Mongol Empire than Alexander the Great...innovation (in the form of speciation) is a continuous necessity in a continuously changing environmental domain.

Conversely, in the free market...once corporations have controlled their environment essentially by consuming, neutering or coming to agreement with all potential competitors, innovation the driver of lower prices and better products is superfluous. Thus it is important to regulate the markets to prevent "too much" consolidation...as consolidation retards the advance of innovation while boosting prices to the consumer.

The different political parties and economists only really disagree on one fundamental question. "How much regulation is the right amount for a given market?"