I think there are a variety of things, one is my earlier point that not many people in business now have actually been through this process before. I think the second one is that the whole thrust of shareholder value and the, you know, the financial economic engineering that there is mitigates against that kind of risk taking for the long term.
I don’t want to get into a short termism kind of rant.
But there is a definite prejudice against taking those kind of long term risks.
And I think the third thing is as well that the media, the politicians are pretty bad at suggesting we’re ever going to get out of this, you know, they’re almost making a meal of the gloom.
And so even if you are a businessman who has an optimistic streak about your own business, it’s very difficult to be optimistic about the wider economy because every time you turn on the television or pick up a newspaper, you know, you get slapped in the face, I think it’s bad news.
There are times when you do have to react quickly clearly. Social media’s a difficult one.
I mean 99% of stuff on Twitter you could … has been dismissed as complete garbage. And so the entire range of vaguely interesting through to useful is sandwiched in that one percent at the top
Companies are mentioned, you know, companies used to be discussed in pubs all the time, and they didn’t know about it so they took no notice.
And most of the stuff on social media, I mean a million people will read it and a million people will forget it thereafter. So there’s a tiny amount of stuff, a tiny, tiny amount that actually will go viral and could damage a company. Now, how you spot that and know how to react to it, I’m afraid I don’t have the answer
But I think most of it could be ignored. And I despair of companies that spend their time endlessly monitoring social media in case something pops up. They ought to have something better to do with their lives, you know, get a life.
A key thing I put forward as an investment, I mean that history shows that the companies that do well in the upturn are those that manage to maintain their investment and their marketing and basically the fabric of the business intact so that when the upturn came they could take advantage of it.
Those that as it were waited until it was obvious missed the boat.
And yet if you look at the levels of investment, the levels of marketing and all these indicators in the UK economy, it’s clear that for the most part people are cutting back.
And so they’re not actually looking through the current difficult times so that when the good times do come an awful lot of them aren’t going to be ready and so they’ll miss the markets.