Kjell Nordström: Planet Earth’s flying bazaar

We all now live in a matrix, says Swedish economist Kjell Nordström, where the business community has no choice in a number of dimensions and must prepare accordingly.

Nordström, the well-known author of Funky Business and Karaoke Capitalism, elaborated on this matrix concept during an interview with Business Insider Nordic at the Nordic Business Forum. He said that people have initiated a transformation on this planet that is “far bigger than any political party or movement.” These changes have created an entirely capitalist planet, with the exception of a few countries, such as North Korea, where no one doubts in the principles of a market economy.

Earth has a become a sort of “flying bazaar,” in Nordström’s words. “If you are against the market economy, this planet is not the place to be. Another feature of Nordström’s matrix is massive urbanization. “Oslo is the fastest growing city in Europe,” he pointed out, with a dozen or so expanding cities not far behind. This is leading to a “planet of cities, not a planet of countries,” where people make money differently.

In a sense it defeats the idea of a ‘multinational’ company, Nordström believes, as companies focus instead on certain cities. “It will no longer be Austria, it will be Vienna, and then Athens, and Istanbul,” he said.

The third attribute of this new matrix is the demise of what he termed “temporary monopolies,” companies that for a given period of time seem to saturate the market with a particular offering. He provided Ikea, Apple, and even Volvo as examples of such monopolies that could be challenged by the potent modern mix of the market economy and IT that will quicken the breaking down of temporary monopolies.

“Volvo was safety for 14 years,” said Nordström. “Can you believe that? It will never happen again.”

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