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Hello GGers:

Alasdair McLeod posted this review of "Post-Capitalist Society"by Peter Drucker in the GGlist. I figured it was a book with important concepts related to GG investing so I obtained his permission to reprint his review here.

Post-Capitalist Society
written by Peter Ferdinand Drucker
Paperback Reprint edition (May 1994)
Harperbusiness; ISBN: 0887306616

Review by Alasdair McLeod

I've just finished reading, on the recommendation of Bill Meade, Peter
Drucker's "Post Capitalist Society". Whilst this is not a book on Gorilla
Game investing it does provide an intellectual foundation for the work of
Geoff Moore and others. Here are a few of the reasons why I now put it at
the top of my list of "must reads" and why I think it should be of
particular interest to gg-ers.

Drucker has been a towering figure in management theory since the Second
World War and this book encompasses the sum of his experience and the
development of his world view over the decades from the 1940s to the early
1990s. Although it was published in the early 1990s and therefore pre-dates
the surge in popularity of the Internet, it takes as its central theme the
rise in the perceived value of knowledge as the force which is shaping not
only the economy but the whole of our society. It is "post capitalist", not
only because knowledge is seen to be replacing capital as the central
economic driver but because the capitalist himself/herself, as exemplified
by a Morgan or a Rockefeller (or, dare I say it, a Gates), has become less
important as the controller of vast sections of the economy as more and more
corporate equity is owned by institutional investors. Perhaps we should add
Gorilla Game investors to that!

The central figure in the Post Capitalist Society is the knowledge worker.
The Industrial Revolution (the capitalist society) was primarily about the
application of technology to improve the productivity of making and moving
things, and the people involved were essentially blue collar workers whose
work was itself dictated by the technology they used. In the Post Capitalist
Society the essential figure is the white collar knowledge worker who is the
master of the information technology which he/she uses, rather than its
slave. Whilst the productivity of making and moving things has improved
steadily since the late 18th Century by the application of engineering
technology, improving the productivity of knowledge workers requires the
application of knowledge to knowledge itself, and the exploitation of
technology to aid the process. My take on this from the gg standpoint is
that gorilla candidates will always have a technological value proposition
that is central to the further development of knowledge work and the new
corporate structures predicated on it. Although he does not use the term,
Drucker does give a good summary of why gorillas arise in the technology
space.

The book is about much more than this, though. He theorises on the effects
of the application of knowledge to the whole range of economy and society,
from the individual to the nation state and beyond. Particularly interesting
are his comments on the power of the underground press in Eastern Europe
before the fall of communism. In those days the photocopier was a key tool
in distributing knowledge freely and was suppressed by some regimes. With
the rise in popularity of the Internet since the book was written, the
opportunities for evolution of the knowledge-based society and economy are
rapidly increasing. We ain't seen nothing yet.

Alasdair

------

Hope this helps.

-xerohype


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