The fact is our current business models are highly inefficient. We sacrifice up to 50% of the value we produce in virtually every level of marketing.
We’ll always need marketing that deep for consumer products, because that’s all about exploiting bugs in human neurology; but when we’re talking about B2B stuff, it really is a nearly complete waste. Entire organizations of people are paid millions of dollars to convince three or four other individuals a year to make particular decisions – which those people could make correctly, easily and without being influenced by their “help,” if they just had the financials open in front of them.
We sacrifice another 10% or thereabouts of total production, just in the premium we pay CEOs and other upper management for having personal connections. If decisions were made mainly on the basis of (open) information rather than personal connections, the CEO would have influence only in terms of actual organizational ability and financial judgement, and paying for personal connections would be a misallocation.
We sacrifice actual talent and hard work by promoting well-connected brown-nosers over people who could run the company better. If the books were open so you could see what kind of results are attributable to whom, you couldn’t ever justify that decision to the stockholders.
Much of the money given by businesses to politicians could be saved for business purposes if the ledgers were open. Of course that won’t be a popular idea with most politicians, but I can imagine some stockholders going for it.
We sacrifice yet more money paying armies of accountants to demonstrate that we haven’t been breaking the rules – when anyone ought to be able to demonstrate that instantly, automatically, and without cost, at any time.
And then there’s the corruption issue D’Angelo brings up when he talks about the open ledger and its effect on charity organizations here. Depending on where you’re doing business, corruption is not just the norm, it’s the dominant form of the whole damned economy. The thing all of those places have in common is that corruption prevents the domestic economies from producing any significant value. My God, can you imagine how wealthy the Russians would be if they got out from under the thumbs of their mobsters?
Whatever else it means, open ledgers would mean no room for thieves to stay secret.