Lessons From Game of Thrones – Players – Pawns & Market Chaos…

This is part 2 of 2 parts

In my previous post on “players vs. pawns”  I brought up a disturbing trend that I saw on a  YouTube comment thread.  The video was about the famous Little Finger monologue from season 3 of the series.  A disturbing number of people found this monologue “inspiring” and a metaphor for the acquisition of security and success in the United States today.  To say that this is deeply disturbing indicator of the state of our union is an understatement:   Once again – here is the monologue…

Chaos is a ladder.  Many who try to climb it fail, never get to try again.  The fall breaks them.  And some, given a chance to climb, they refuse.  They cling to the realm, or the Gods, or love.  Illusions. Only the ladder is real. The climb is all there is.  – Littlefinger GOT – Season 3.

When success is no longer  meritocratic…

If the culture in the US has degenerated to the point where success and destruction walk hand in hand while innovation and merit are shown the door, then we have come to a very dark place indeed.  When we begin with the premise that personal success leaves a pile of dead bodies in its wake, we are making a mockery of our “exceptionalism”.

There is nothing wrong with healthy competition.  Let he (or she) who builds the best mousetrap win the prize.  But let’s not confuse innovation and invention with predation.  The Little Fingers of the world offer nothing of value for society from their climb.  They leave destruction and chaos in their wake because they are scaling the same wall as their competition and have nothing of genuine value to offer.  The  only way to win is through destruction.

Our current corporate culture has created scenarios  like this where “winning” is synonymous with the obliteration of all in their wake.  These companies seek the decimation of their competition because it allows them to become complacent; they find it easier to stifle progress than to actually participate in it.  This type of winner-take-all dynamic impedes, progress, new technologies and creative destruction.

Remember Microsoft – the “evil empire”?

In the 1990s – Microsoft was all there was.  Microsoft had gone from innovative and fresh to clunky and bug-filled inside of a decade.  It had become a behemoth of a monopoly that saw no particular need to serve its customers effectively.  They were the only game in town, so why bother to actually innovate?

Microsoft had become the epitome of a predatory Little Finger and was known as the “Evil Empire” due to its cut-throat practices that stifled many a “better mousetrap” in the marketplace.  It left a string of dead bodies in its wake in the form of defunct startups and ruined entrepreneurs that actually DID have better mousetraps. Ironically, its biggest victim – Apple, which later rose from the ashes, is now in danger of creating its own complacent empire of destruction.

Renewable energy – or not so much?

Germany has managed amp up its use of renewables so that it supplies roughly 27% of their electrical  needs.  In spite of a colder climate and lots of cloud cover, it has fared very well with respect to its use of solar energy. The US – with its energy interests and moguls that push misinformation right and left about the unreliability and impracticality of renewable energy sources gets roughly 13% of its electrical needs met with renewables.   We are and will remain stuck in a carbon-based energy world far longer than we need to be thanks to a host of latter day Little Fingers flush with cash, playing the Game of Thrones  in their Armani suits.

The point here is that success should be the result of invention and innovation.  Offering something of unique value pushes our economy forward.  Industries that can either no longer compete or have outlived their utility need to contract in size or die.  The Little Finger scorched earth policy of climbing the ladder is more than just a moral anathema.  It pauperizes the inventors and startups that could propel us in the right direction  and becomes  an obvious sop to mediocrity.

© 2014 – RGHicks – http://ReinnovatingAmerica.com – All rights reserved.

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