Technology-driven Business Cycles
In the beginning of the 20th century, industrial revolution was beginning to kick business activity into pace. The economy began to gain momentum from the newfound productivity from all the machinery. That created a shift from organizations that were until then more family-run to enterprises. This trend spread across the globe. In the second half of the century, air travel became more and more prevalent. Globalization began. It became easier to do business across borders just like it became easier to travel. This led to the strengthening of conglomerates and monoliths of the corporate world. They had access to resources and capital that enabled them to expand globally.
In the last 20 years, we can see a similar trend that is fuelled by the internet. Internet companies were fragmented after the dot-com bubble. But they were in a position of advantage to get a sense of the scale of the internet early on. Those companies went on to become internet giants. Newer technology like the blockchain and trends like higher social media adoption is kickstarting a new wave in business cycles.
In the coming 20 years businesses will become more remote and decentralized. They can be owned, managed and operated in a distributed manner that was not possible before. Now the technology exists. Incentives to build on such platforms are limited but expanding. The true potential of decentralized businesses is still not known. We are in a state of early adopters moving to the peak of the hype.