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Econovation: Talking with Steve Faktor on Innovation, Economics and Business

Econovation: Talking with Steve Faktor on Innovation, Economics and Business

Friday, September 7th, 2012


Back in August, Toby Daniels sat down and talked with Steve Faktor to discuss the economy and what is really happening in business. Steve is the author of Econovation, former vice president and head of the Chairman’s Innovation Fund at American Express, and founder of Ideafaktory, a company that develops patents and incubates start-ups.

During our conversation, Steve shared how his path had landed at Ideafaktory. Merging what he loved at AmEx with innovation and his recessionomics sessions discussing how people can prepare both professionally and personally for what was happening in the economy, the concept of econovation was born. Steve then began talking in-depth about the cultural and economic changes we’re seeing today.

We’re seeing that technology is having a democratizing effect. The friction is removed from having to deliver a product or take capital. We are now competing with a broader set of people. We are also seeing the deconstruction of jobs. We have gone from careers to jobs to projects, all which are worth less because more can compete for it. Just look at content creation- no one pays for it anymore. Technology has created a sheer abundance of things because it’s unconstrained, which drives down prices.

This continued reduction in cost of labor and the redistribution of wealth is going to be a painful transition for many countries and people. What’s currently creating jobs is the artifice of marketing- jobs that Steve makes a strong argument for that are fundamentally unnecessary. We should start seeing a vast growth in job manufacturing: the manufacturing of jobs. But the new jobs will be in the areas of entertainment, administration, regulation. New legislation creates new jobs- new softwares, new consulting on how handle the new legislation, and new lawyers to handle the legal components. Inefficiency is a great job creator.

We also had Steve share his views on where the education and certification sectors are going and the four fundamental things that really matter in innovation: context, creativity, capabilities, culture. We learned a lot about what’s happening in the economy and what that means for businesses. See the full interview- and keep up with Steve on Twitter and Facebook. We have a feeling we’ll be learning a few more things from him.


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