Life’s economy is primarily based on collaborative rather than competitive advantage

If we want to re-design economics based on what we know about life’s strategy to create conditions conducive to life, we need to question some basic assumptions upon which the narrative underlying our current economic systems is built. The narrative of separation has predisposed us to focus on scarcity, competition, and the short-term maximization of individual benefit as the basis on which to create an economic system. Life’s evolutionary story shows that systemic abundance can be unlocked through collaboratively structured symbiotic networks that optimize the whole system so human communities and the rest of life can thrive.

Source: Life’s economy is primarily based on collaborative rather than competitive advantage

Scaling: The surprising mathematics of life and civilization

So what is “scaling”? In its most elemental form, it simply refers to how systems respond when their sizes change. What happens to cities or companies if their sizes are doubled? What happens to buildings, airplanes, economies, or animals if they are halved? Do cities that are twice as large have approximately twice as many roads and produce double the number of patents? Should the profits of a company twice the size of another company double? Does an animal that is half the mass of another animal require half as much food?

Geoffrey West – Scaling: The surprising mathematics of life and civilization

Want to innovate like Amazon? This is their formula

You can’t escape Amazon in the digital economy. Now a trillion-dollar company, they have disrupted diverse sectors from retail to software development with a deftness and drive that’s admirable and alarming. They actually seem to be speeding up their rate of innovation as they scale, defying the Law of Large Companies that causes giants to get dragged down by their own girth.
How do they manage that?

Scott Brinker – Want to innovate like Amazon? This is their formula

Some great insight into how Amazon is able to innovate at scale, especially in AWS. Provides some insight into answers to the questions I asked a couple of years ago in Companies and Superlinear Scaling. (Which I now need to revisit and expand)

Superlinear scaling for innovation in cities

Superlinear scaling in cities, which appears in sociological quantities such as economic productivity and creative output relative to urban population size, has been observed, but not been given a satisfactory theoretical explanation. Here we provide a network model for the superlinear relationship between population size and innovation found in cities, with a reasonable range for the exponent

Arbesman, Kleinberg, and Strogatz – Superlinear scaling for innovation in cities

From 2009, work related to what Geoffrey West discusses in his book Scale.

Our Lives are Becoming Comfortable Illusions

But there’s a cost. We’ve unleashed dangerous oversimplifications of our humanity, and they’re spreading like viruses. They disrupt so many layers of our being, from our mental health, to our identities, to our relationships and our politics. We need a tribe of designers who are ready to step up and help lead the immune response. We need designers who care.

Modus – Our Lives are Becoming Comfortable Illusions

Using Service Design to Create Better, Faster, Stronger Designers

Product development isn’t just designers working alone – we need engineers, product managers and marketers to help us realize our plans and connect people to our creations. Using service design helps us be better collaborators and cultivate these all-important relationships with others.

Spotify Design – Using Service Design to Create Better, Faster, Stronger Designers

Facing Complexity: Wicked Design Problems

In other words, wicked problems are real world problems that acknowledge the complex interdependence of diverse factors and stakeholders, rather than simplistic, linear cause and effect abstractions that isolate the product of design from its context.

Source: Facing Complexity: Wicked Design Problems – Age of Awareness – Medium

The Toxicity of “Autism Parent” Memoirs

But most autism parenting stories are not positive, or about doing our best to understand what our autistic kids need and deserve. In recent “autism parent” memoirs like Judith Newman’s To Siri With Love and Whitney Ellenby’s Autism Uncensored, the authors hang their kids out to dry for being autistic and having intensely legitimate autistic needs, while centering the parent-narrators as victims of that disembodied demon, “autism.” That these stories keep getting green-lit is both an embarrassment and a tragedy.

Thinking Person’s Guide to Autism: The Toxicity of “Autism Parent” Memoirs

I also discussed this in A Tale of Two Mothers back in 2007. I ended that post with the following:

The events in the book take place in the late ‘90s and early ‘00s. Sadly, things probably haven’t changed much in the past few years. (I’ve hear that evidence of this can be found in Jenny McCarthy’s recent book about her autistic son, but I’ve not been able to get myself to read it.)

Disappointing, an embarrassment and tragedy indeed, that these types of books are still the ones that people want to write. And, perhaps worse, to read.

Innovating in Complexity (Part I): Why Most Roadmaps Lead Straight to the Graveyard

Roadmaps for change are thus mere hypotheses, in both journey and destination. They represent the aspirations, desires, and hopes of their creators while putting forward a step-by-step action plan for how these objectives might be achieved. Herein lies the essence of the Roadmap Fallacy: a tool originally developed to represent existing realities doesn’t work well as a mental model for creating new realities.

Source: Innovating in Complexity (Part I): Why Most Roadmaps Lead Straight to the Graveyard