In this page we use CAS theory to review the asymmetric
challenges of the retailer Amazon.
understood a key opportunity of the Internet early on. If
you can browse for details of books you might want to read
online and then seamlessly purchase and obtain your selections
you have an interesting alternative to a book store.
Adding near infinite inventory with low prices to the offer
tilted the competitive advantage to Amazon. But to deliver
on this formula Amazon had to develop a low cost supply chain
coupled with superb supply chain management systems.
The power of a new weapon and an aligned strategy
moved early to develop great web infrastructure to make online
book buying a pleasure is the outcome of the dopamine reward system, argues UCSF professor Robert Lustig. He, like the early Christians, contrasts [addiction oriented] pleasure with serotonin driven happiness & contentment.
It coupled the new competitive weapon of web software with a new
strategy of how a book seller should operate using this
weapon. And then it added extra strategies to keep its
The Kindle allowed Amazon to extend its web site relationship
with users to the selection, delivery and e-reading
Its competitors were left trying to cope with:
- The added costs of physical book shops,
- A lack of experience of building great web sites and
supply chain planning systems
- No technical understanding of e-readers
Amazon's core skill set naturally extended into adjacent
technologies, and supply chain infrastructure. This
transformation increased the strategic pressure on its
competitors. And then the Amazon prime
This page reviews the strategy of setting up an arms race. At its
core this strategy depends on being able to alter, or take
advantage of an alteration in, the genome
or equivalent. The situation is illustrated with examples
from biology, high tech and politics. evolutionary amplifier provided
further strategic leverage, even presenting Wal-Mart
with a potential threat.
The constraint caused by phenotypic alignment
But the New York Times 16 August 2015 article "Amazon's
Bruising, Thrilling Workplace" highlights one challenge for
Amazon and the Fire phone another.
For me the New York Times investigation illustrates how
This page reviews the inhibiting effect of the value delivery system on the
expression of new phenotypic
effects within an agent. extended phenotypic alignment
constrains the operations of Amazon's value delivery
system. It shows:
And so the disastrous investment in the fire phone becomes of no
surprise. Who would tell the senior managers, with so much
power over them, that the executives were wrong about the
attractiveness of the phone offering?
- Even though Amazon seeks to hire the best candidates for
its white collar workforce it requires that they fit its
model of success - secrecy about the company, crazy long
hours, focus, speed, conflict, snitching, openness to
inspection from above, 'purposeful
Darwinism'; the Times even includes
Darwin's initial Malthusian, Thomas Robert Malthus was an English cleric, East India Company economist and scholar. He described the geometrical expansion of populations supported by sufficient resources and the population's subsequent collapse as the land used to grow the resources became fully deployed. Initially concerned by England's leaders' fears of a French style revolution and disagreeing with William Godwin's visions of utopian progress and the idea of the Noble Savage, he argued for harsh treatment of the unemployed poor, denouncing charity. Subsequently he softened his position accepting that emigration, education, and celibacy could constrain the impact of exponential population growth. He socialized with the Wedgwood and Darwin families. His ideas influenced Charles Darwin.
Desmond & Moore paint a picture of Charles Darwin's life,
expanded from his own highlights:
- His naughty
- Apprenticeship with Grant,
- His extramural
activities at Cambridge, walks with Henslow,
life with FitzRoy on the
- His growing
love for science,
- London: geology, journal and Lyell.
- Moving from
Gower Street to Down and writing Origin and other
- He reviewed his position on
religion: the long
dispute with Emma, his
slow collapse of belief
- damnation for unbelievers like his father and brother, inward conviction
being evolved and unreliable, regretting he had ignored his father's
advice; while describing Emma's side of the
argument. He felt happy with his decision to dedicate
his life to science. He closed by asserting after Self &
Cross-fertilization his strength will be
Following our summary of their main points, RSS frames the details from the
perspective of complex adaptive system (CAS) theory. Darwin placed
evolution within a CAS framework, and built a network of supporters whose
complementary skills helped drive the innovation.
"Conflict brings about innovation is the economic realization of invention and combinatorial exaptation. Keynes noted it provided the unquantifiable beneficial possibility that limits fear of uncertainty. Innovation operates across all CAS, being supported by genetic and cultural means. Creativity provides the mutation and recombination genetic operators for the cultural process. While highly innovative, monopolies: AT&T, IBM; usually have limited economic reach, constraining productivity. This explains the use of regulation, or even its threat, that can check their power and drive the creations across the economy.
- Data-driven management extended into the workplace making
it 'infused with transparency and precision about who is
really achieving and who is not.' It sounds logical
but it can so easily enable tyranny. Ulcers, being
forced out when: ill, distracted by outside trauma,
pregnant; all highlight tyranny in operation. And
tyranny leads to panic not creativity.
Competitive horizontal solutions will emerge
But these are problems of too much success. Soon Amazon
will have to ensure that its end-to-end model can perform as
well as competition built from a set of horizontal
partners. Amazon will have to leverage synergies from its
value delivery system. Its apparently combative workforce
will have to cooperate and identify ways to counter
competitors. Amazon can use the opportunities inherent in
its platform is agent generated infrastructure that supports emergence of an entity through: leverage of an abundant energy source, reusable resources; attracting a phenotypically aligned network of agents.
business-structure. Competitors can highlight the
conflicts of interest inherent in Amazon's business:
Possibly the New York Times investigative reporters have been
misled. Maybe Amazon is really building a creative and
dynamic workforce that will identify additional strategies to
subdue their current and future competition. Maybe that
explains the meteoric rise in Amazon's share price.
- Microsoft Azure web services can assure Amazon competitors
that it is not hosting Amazon's internal business
Microsoft and Google phones and tablets will use Moore's law
to chip away at the Kindle e-reader hardware advantages
while applets will provide creative alternatives to the
reader and its book delivery mechanism. The Kindle
could easily become a costly anchor that Amazon will have to
invest in to defend.
- Supply chain management specialists like Wal-Mart
will seek to undermine the investments that Amazon is making
in physical warehousing.
Time will tell.
Carlo Rovelli resolves the paradox of time.
Rovelli initially explains that low level physics does not
- A present that is common throughout the universe does not exist
- Events are only partially ordered. The present is
- The difference between past and future is not foundational.
It occurs because of state that through our blurring appears
particular to us
- Time passes at different speeds dependent on where we are and how fast we travel
- Time's rhythms are due to
the gravitational field
- Our quantized physics shows neither
space nor time, just processes transforming physical
- Fundamentally there is no time. The basic equations
evolve together with events, not things
explains how in a physical world without time its perception can
- Our familiar time emerges
- Our interaction with the world is partial, blurred,
- The ignorance determines the existence of thermal time
and entropy that quantifies our uncertainty
- Directionality of time is real
but perspectival. The entropy of the world in
relation to us increases with our thermal time. The
growth of entropy distinguishes past from future: resulting in
traces and memories
- Each human is a
unified being because: we reflect the world, we
formed an image of a unified entity by
interacting with our kind, and because of the perspective
- The variable time: is one
of the variables of the gravitational field.
With our scale we don't
register quantum fluctuations, making space-time
appear determined. At our speed we don't perceive
differences in time of different clocks, so we experience
a single time: universal, uniform, ordered; which is
helpful to our decisions
Politics, Economics & Evolutionary Psychology
Nature and nurture drive the business eco-system
Emerging structure and dynamic forces of adaptation
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