For technology companies, the market has drastically shifted from prioritizing growth above all else to the quality of the underlying business and its growth. This is healthy and grounded relative to the irrational exuberance over the better part of the past decade.
One of the things I have been thinking about recently are the parallels between this market correction and the way we think about the broader economy. So much of our capitalistic orientation over the past century has been focused around growth: “Growth in GDP equals good.” It’s a simplistic point of view that doesn’t account for underlying flaws, medium and long-term instability, and negative externalities associated with that growth. It was significantly more good than bad by any measure of progress, but we are beginning to see the objective measures of its limitations.
As more of the global population comes around to the consequences of the perils of the climate crisis, economic inequality, and the rapid attack against democracy, it is incumbent upon us to reevaluate our growth at all costs mindset and begin to value the quality of growth above arbitrary measures of it. We (i.e. Western Civilization) have operated like a company that spends money to grow top line without accounting for the health of the underlying business and its constituents. And that is now completely unsustainable.
While I am no fan of presenting problems without solutions, I do believe this is a critical concept to collectively wrap our heads around in the decades to come. We have an entrenched set of behaviors and way of life that is comfortable, but not healthy. We produce significantly more foods than we need, and as a result there is an obesity epidemic. To our hearts’ content, we manufacture and buy an unfathomable amount of shit we do not need and let much of it go to waste. We partake in activities daily that are enjoyable, but detrimental to long term health and sustainability of virtually every natural and human made system.
When I first dug into the upcoming energy transition, it became obvious just how much and how quickly we need to improve the way we produce energy in order to continue to flourish as a civilization. There is a profound difference in scaling energy and scaling quality energy. We are entering an era where the quality of growth matters exponentially more than growth in and of itself. While this is admittedly a rather highfalutin and subjective musing, I do think there is merit to it and I am particularly energized by the concept and think that not only is it a good thing in the long run, but it is absolutely necessary. More than anything, I am committed and excited to support entrepreneurs and causes that share this sentiment to make it a reality.