The Doom and Gloom Forum

On rv.net it was suggested that a Doom and Gloom forum section be created for those who are disposed to complain about the ‘end of the world as we know it’ in the form of high gas prices, global economies, or other such things.

Many of these ‘doom and gloom’ posters have an exaggerated expression of the rose colored glasses phenomena. They see only that part of the past that suits their sense of a catastrophic trend to the future. One facet that is regularly obvious is an obliviousness to current reality.

It is bad enough when measures and statistics are ignored or set aside. Add the inability to give thanks for the many blessings we have now that our forebearers did not that is just plain tragic. Then there are the more subtle things. Wired carried a story about one of these in The Untold Story: How the iPhone Blew Up the Wireless Industry by Fred Vogelstein.

as important as the iPhone has been to the fortunes of Apple and AT&T, its real impact is on the structure of the $11 billion-a-year US mobile phone industry. For decades, wireless carriers have treated manufacturers like serfs, using access to their networks as leverage to dictate what phones will get made, how much they will cost, and what features will be available on them. Handsets were viewed largely as cheap, disposable lures, massively subsidized to snare subscribers and lock them into using the carriers’ proprietary services. But the iPhone upsets that balance of power. Carriers are learning that the right phone — even a pricey one — can win customers and bring in revenue. Now, in the pursuit of an Apple-like contract, every manufacturer is racing to create a phone that consumers will love, instead of one that the carriers approve of. “The iPhone is already changing the way carriers and manufacturers behave,” says Michael Olson, a securities analyst at Piper Jaffray.

This is a matter of commercial relationships. The story explains how an entrepreneur created significant change in commercial relationships. It is not just a simple picture of the end consumer versus the product supplier. That is where the real revolution in our growth has occurred. Yes, the products are innovative and make their own contribution. But it is the process that goes into creating those products, the commercial relationships, and how one idea can change a structure to create new opportunity and new means of expression that really tells the story.

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