Thinks 412

: “Why didn’t the Industrial Revolution start 2000 years ago? One important reason: Those pre-industrial societies intentionally extinguished the sparks of progress. For millennia, stasis had powerful defenders. The Roman Emperor Tiberius executed rather than rewarded a man who had invented unbreakable glass. Queen Elizabeth I declined to grant a patent to the inventor of the stocking-frame knitting machine, worrying that the invention would deprive textile workers of their employment. The guilds of preindustrial Europe played a key role in making sure Europe stayed preindustrial by blocking new technologies.”

Naushad Forbes: “Most countries developed by putting millions to work in labour-intensive manufacturing. Millions of the unskilled and less-educated can be employed in good manufacturing jobs where average productivity is 15 times the national average. We do not have the huge firms in export-oriented labour-intensive sectors that employ millions in China, Vietnam, and Bangladesh. Foxconn’s largest factory in China, making iPhones among other products, reportedly employs 4,00,000 people. It employs over 1 million in the country overall. Compare that 1 million with 15 million employed in all larger manufacturing companies in India. Samsung employs 1,00,000 people in its largest phone assembly plant in Vietnam. These giant factories are missing in India. Take another example of labour-intensive manufacturing. A company we visited in Vietnam manufactures agarbattis. They learnt by sending 10 workers to a factory near Chennai for training. Today they employ 10,000 people making agarbattis, which they mainly export to India. Even when the technology is Indian and the market is India, mass manufacturing seems to be more efficient 4,000 km away from the country. The economics must be fixed — we need labour reform, so employing people is less expensive and improved logistics to move goods around more cheaply.”

David Perell: “The average quality of information is getting worse and worse, while the best gets better and better. That’s why markets of abundance are simultaneously bad for the median consumer but good for conscious consumers.”

Published by

Rajesh Jain

An Entrepreneur based in Mumbai, India.