Hedge: A Greater Safety Net for the Entrepreneurial Age
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This book has 3 recommendations
Dan Colceriu (Creator/Strategy, Digested newsletter)
My favourite book in 2018 was HEDGE by Nicolas Colin. The book resonated with me in many ways, but the two most important angles would be:
As a corporate strategist in the fintech vertical, the book has captured my imagination by surfacing a few important paradigm shifts, such as the rise of the multitude as a power structure in the corporate value-chain (end-users are now both consumers and suppliers), the implications of increasing returns to scale to business models, and the imperative of reinventing consumer finance and insurance based on how people will live and work in the future (more hunting, less settling, changing jobs faster, the new reality of continuous risks that are now part of people’s lives). As I grasped with this perspective, and then re-assessed the current fintech landscape, it gave me a new theory about the startups that might be the winners in this space – because there’s a difference between radical reinvention of finance and the simple digitization of it, by applying a layer of tech on top of existing practices.
Personally, the book resonated with me mostly by flagging the asymmetry between today’s job market realities (people hunt more and the career is re-defined as a series of gigs across the world), versus the policymakers’ failure to grasp with these new realities and create new institutions that are designed to remove the friction that comes with this unprecedented geographical and economic dynamism. Having changed countries twice in the past 2 years, I experienced first-hand the downside of economic-hunting and the failure of the current societal infrastructure to serve us – from banking services, to housing, to governmental institutions. But this vacuum creates opportunity, especially for existing or future entrepreneurs as the book clearly illustrates, and this opportunity is what has been keeping me up at night, lately.
Azeem Azhar (Creator/Exponential View)Carefully documented yet contemporary, Hedge makes for compulsive and thought-provoking reading, which will hopefully stir you into action.
Carlota Perez (Author)An eye-opening primer to the technological present, proposing bold solutions for a ‘Safety Net 2.0’ and a better future for all.
For three decades we’ve been living through a paradigm shift. Our world is moving from the fading Fordist age to the ever-strengthening digital age. This shift is as unstoppable as the one that once brought us from railroads and steel mills to Fordist factories. And its impact on our lives is just as radical.
In this context, the lessons from history are clear: Providing economic security for the many generates prosperity for all. But this can only be done with the right safety net supporting both households and businesses against the risks brought about by the digital age.
There are those who long to re-establish the standards and regulations that marked the post-war boom. Others, especially in tech, realize that the institutions we know are anachronistic and no longer fit for today’s challenges.
Alas, neither group is considering the real solution: A complete redesign of our safety net that will let it do its critically important job without getting in the way of progress. Moving toward that new design is what Hedge is all about.
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Dan Colceriu, Azeem Azhar, Carlota Perez