Pixels and Fail
Consider the impact of the mechanical clock and the curved lens on early analytics.
The mechanical clock enabled consistent, scale, time.
You won’t optimize what you won’t measure. And Europeans most certainly started optimizing time.
They’ve been optimizing work per time unit, productivity, since the renaissance.
Countries that didn’t have a method of measuring productivity simply didn’t optimize it. Worse, cultures that didn’t value the standardization of time simply didn’t value productivity. Why care about productivity when you have loads of population to toss at a project? It put whole swaths of the globe at a competitive disadvantage.
The curved lens, aside from giving us astronomy and microbiology, enabled great strides in miniaturization and productivity. A skilled worker could work through to middle age thanks in no small part to glasses. The pocket watch was to then as the cell phone is to us today. Ever smaller. Ever more accurate. Ever more personal.
Therein lies a judgement about culture, time, incentives, and productivity.
These are great inventions that had a huge impact on competitive advantage.
Is creative destruction within an economy so violent because cultures simply won’t change their value systems in response to productivity shocks? In that sense, are they really made of pixels and fail?