Scale Vs Consolidation

I have big concerns about large-scale stuff.

Big/Complex System-s (e.g. jet planes, nuclear reactors) embody a lot of risk we tend to under-recognize.

Big institutions (corporations/BigCo, Big Government, religions/Monotheism, etc.) don't like individual people very much, they cause too much trouble. So they start to fight against having an Open Society.

As an organization gets big, it becomes much harder for most managers to manage the trade-offs of soft factors in decisions. So they don't, and just decide on the basis of short-term dollars (also relates to Management Vs Ownership).

  • a focused business and strong culture may reduce this problem (by reducing the variability, both in viewpoint and in breadth of issues arising)

People also become de-humanized drones, making moral choices they would never make as people.

And, since for a given market-size, bigger organizations means fewer competitors, they becomes even less concerned about external factors. Do banks really need to so huge? Do we really need only so few car companies?

Consolidation also reduces Bio-Diversity (speaking metaphorically), increasing the odds of stupid decisions going further due to a lack of local (in time/space) competition. Meaning that the eventual surprise will be a crisis (e.g. US auto manufacturers in the '70s).

Is this bigness "natural", or the result of Market Distortion? See Phil Jones:IsMassNatural

Eeek, am I going to become a Small Is Beautiful Duck Squeezer? Perhaps we need some bomb-throwing Creative Destruction...


Why do the capital markets encourage scale through consolidation/acquisition?

Why do some companies manage to squeeze out smaller-scale competitors so fully? (StarBucks, WalMart, Gap, etc.) (or oligopolies: music retailers, music publishers (distributors), Media Consolidation)


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