A challenge: Admit when you are wrong… Just ones

I value honesty above everything else. Often to the degree that it likely hurts my own career and income, but I do not see a point in games or taking credit. Straight to the point and get the job done is more me. Besides, what goes around comes around, so honesty is likely the best path to lead the world down.

I do however appreciate boldness a lot. People who state opinions or form hypothesises are the important shakers of humanity that play an essential part in propelling us all forward.

I also understand that with the modern complexity you cannot know everything, not even with google as your best friend. That is why methodology and theory of science is even more important tools today. They give a universal grounding from which to build shared understanding. A simple such statement is A is A. After all, if A is not A, it must be something else. Just like, if you to state categorical statements or hold beliefs as data-points you must admit that such beliefs are either true or false. If not, you are doing your part to help humanity slumber (sidenote: I believe an attitude of not caring about facts or your role in the world is what the song Slumber by Bad Religion is about).

Unfortunately in big organizations and the way we have decided to run our governments we use politics, and a basic element in politics is never admitting that you are wrong or that your opponent are right (even if they copied your own ideas to the letter). Some even take joy in this weird game it seems. This is one of the (several) reasons the philosopher Oppenheimer and later American essayist A.J. Nock was critical of representative government, and according to the brilliant Popper, this kind of behavior is one of the biggest treats to any system as it hampers discovery and decision making.

So my good deed mission for you is this: Next time you are caught being wrong. Admit it, no matter the consequence…

… but please feel free to share the consequences in  a comment below.

Don’t feel bad. Remember the “old” motto of the internet: Fail Faster. We fail too slow if people for whatever reason, will not admit being wrong.

On a site note: at Echo it we truly believe that the next frontier of social media is to provide technologies that improve the world we inhabit and help to fill the void left by the departure of traditions and ethics in the modern world. Echo it has to play a part in this development. Even if we fail, we must fail in such a way that humanity benefit from learning from our example.

PS: The last three posts have looked a bit political… I am sorry if I offended anybody. Please remember to use echo it nomatter what your views are. I am just rambling CEO who has too many opinions.

PPS: Here is the song referenced above for your enjoyment

Have a nice day and thank you for reading this. 



Leadership is all about showing that it can be done

A big part of Echo it is about leadership. In the sense that you often hear the suggestion that doing good is too hard and takes too much effort. On Echo.it you can lead by example to show other people a good example in yourself. So when you echo your deeds and inspire others you are showing clear leadership.

I recently looked around the web for examples of leadership by the example among the people who have decided to spend their life wanting to lead us; i.e. politicians. I did not find many… Maybe they are too busy managing us to lead by example, but be that as it may, there is always something you can do and the best example I found is Republican congressman and internet-darling Ron Paul.

Even with no direct incentive he decided to save on his office spending sending $141,580 of unspent office funds back to the US Treasury.  This represents just over 9% of the total office funds, and an increase over the $100,000 returned last year. Impressive!

Now I am a net taxpayer in the most expensive welfare state with laws on close to every human choice, so I believe I should always be skeptical of people using my money, especially those not given voluntary. However I would be a little less skeptical if they were more like Ron Paul here.

In a company you’re driven by margins to always be more efficient. That aspect is absent from government, so it must become a personal responsibility to spend resources more efficient.

So if you are a politician, do a good deed and hand over some of which ever small faction of the taxpayer income you are directly responsible for and show leadership. Try to set target to be more efficient and handover even more next year. Every little counts, right?

If you are like me and not a politician, try to look around for projects where you are entrusted with the funds of others, and see if you, even with no direct personal incentive, can be more efficient and spent less of other people funds and still solve whatever task you set out to solve.

Ok, after this reading you will say I am very likely social liberal and fiscally conservative, which means that most hated outcast called a libertarian. Go ahead, I don’t mind name calling aimed at me if it makes you feel better – it is your right after all.

PS: Punk rock trivia of the day: Fletcher Dragge of Pennywise support Ron Paul. Below are them during a Ramones cover to brighten your day.

Thank you for reading this and have a nice day.

The value of supporting Gus ( @ideasoutloud ) on Twitter: A econ-nerd blog post on transaction costs

Readers of this blogs will by now know that my main fascination with the Internet is that it gets transactions cost of actions down.

Transaction costs are small costs that come from using a pricing-mechanism or in other ways send a signal in a group of trading individuals. As such money need not be involved. In fact money often aren’t directly. There is a cost to using Twitter for instance; even if we do not pay per tweet, it still takes time to do it (and we use electricity, wear and tear on the computer, data subscripting costs etc.)  and that time could be spent chopping wood, shooing horses or whatever way you normally make your living. However we choose to tweet because the small cost that the transaction cost us pales in insignificance to the potential impact it can cause – or so we hope. In fact measuring the actual cost of transaction costs, like those incurred while tweeting, is likely more costing than the transaction. But let’s try for a moment.

So if we ignore all other cost than time spent, and I assume it takes 2 min to  tweet a statement (to think, decide, formulate and tweet) and if it is read by say 200 followers, that is  0.6 seconds per receiver. And maybe some of these receivers RT so that it is spread even more and the price of the transaction goes down further. I might also build followers, getting the price further down over time. But it never goes way.

Imagine if you tweet 15 times a day. That is about 10 whole days a year (I assume you sleep 6 hours) spent on nothing but tweeting. And I am still not taking other costs than time into consideration.  Wow. But it is still not much compared to printing a flyer and start handing it out at the local grocery… Not that long ago people did this. Some still do – They are quite often promoting policies that will raise taxes or products that are bad for your health.

So tweets is all about price signals because you are suffering a cost when you tweet and that cost becomes  an inclination of what value tweeting your particular message has to you. You could have done something else with your time. While at the same time you probably would not do 15 flyers a day, right?

The reason for this adventure in the exciting world of the transaction costs of tweeting is that I believe that if enough people send price signals, the world will change. If nobody picks up those pretty flyers and subsequently does not buy the product, the company behind the flyers will go bust. If enough people tweet about something somebody out there might alter their behavior or decision. Maybe not this time, but over time at least.

So yesterday I tweeted my support to local Australian entrepreneur Gus Murrey who is being kicked out of Denmark despite having received an education and being an active and social-conscious citizen with high entrepreneurial ambitions. I know Gus from my old alma mater and he is a stand up great guy and if it was a place to crash or a nice meal he needed I would always offer help. So of cause I will also tweet his message of political injustice. It was not free, but it was an expense well spent. Happily a lot of other people did this too. Pooled together the joint time investment of people is now up to 28 hours (at 21:30 last night) or with an average hourly pay of 250 DKK it comes to about 7000 DKK value (or with a 60% tax rate; 4200 lost revenue for the tax man) in tweets alone (add media coverage and Facebook comments to get the whole campaign cost if you like). It is too early to tell if the supplier of laws (parliament) have seen the price signal, but it surely is out there.

Thank you for reading this and for supporting Gus and have a nice day!

Read more on Gus’ plight here.