Chances are, sometime in the last few years you've been frustrated when you tried something that always used to work, and this time it failed. Maybe you used a tried and true marketing tactic to get new customers, but this time you found that your strategy no longer reaches enough people. Maybe you tried a new product or design that went awry because the resources you've always relied on for your products have shot up in price, making your product unaffordable. If you work in government, maybe you've found that a policy just isn't working, despite mounds of evidence that it always worked in the past. Maybe it was a personal investment strategy that no longer works.
Everywhere we turn, we are slowly realizing that the ground is shifting beneath us. Conditions have changed. The world has changed.
What do you do when faced with a new set of circumstances? Despite the evidence that a method is no longer working, I often repeat the same old familiar tactic, hoping it will work, even in the face of evidence it won't. Eventually, I have to accept that what worked in the past won't necessarily work in the future. My success will require a shift in strategy.
Today, we hear a lot of promises about "getting the economy back on its feet." We all want things to improve; we want the economy to produce more wealth for more people again. I'd like to believe that we're just experiencing a cyclical dip, like others we've seen before, and that things will bounce back to "normal." But this time I don't think that's true.
The global economic game has changed swiftly and immensely during the last 50 years. There are now twice as many people on the planet competing for a shrinking resource base. Our tactics and policies for success simply have not adapted quickly or drastically enough. We are trying the same things, over and over again, hoping they will work.
I don't believe there's any limit to human potential or to our collective ability to improve our lives – to make wealth. But we can only do it if we are willing to change our strategy. The way to achieve sustained economic development progress in the 21st century is embodied in the principle of dMass: To expand wealth while dramatically reducing the resource mass required to produce that wealth.
We'll be exploring this idea and the opportunities that dMass presents in this blog. Please join the conversation - comment below, sign up for our RSS feed, and follow us on Twitter for updates.