Welcome to the Mclowd Community Newsletter.
“We have reached the point where a confluence of trends, digital disruption, shifts in the locus of economic power, globalisation and demographic change – each of which on their own would rank among the strongest economic forces the global economy has ever seen – are casting our world into a completely different reality.”
Catherine Livingstone, Chair Business Council of Aust, National Press Club April 29
An article recently appeared in the Wall Street press describing how hedge funds are leveraging cloud computing and artificial intelligence to undertake quantitative analysis on a scale that would previously have involved costs running into the hundreds of thousands (if not millions) of dollars.
Today that same computing power can be accessed for little more than the price of a cup of coffee (and the computations can be generated in the time it takes to brew the same).
There is a very simple reason as to why the cost of developing a trillion-point data model has fallen so far and so fast:
THE MARGINAL COST OF THAT COMPUTING POWER IS ZERO
Access to unlimited – and virtually free – computing power will act as an accelerant on our journey towards zero marginal cost, and in the process will compromise incumbent business models across the technology and professional services sectors in timeframes that will be measured in months, not years.
Accounting Platform Update
As mentioned in the April Newsletter the Mclowd Team has been expanded in recent months, and in response to feedback from a growing User Community we have moved to a continuous release cycle, pushing updates live as an when they are available.
The following new features are either live or currently in development:
- General ledger report (live)
- Reports upgrade – bugfixes for PDF and Excel output (live)
- Ability to dispose of multiple parcels in a single transaction
- Support for scrip for scrip rollovers
- Manual import of bank data
- Integration with Macquarie CMA
- Integration with BMR Corporate Solutions (allowing practitioners to set up a new SMSF online and in minutes)
A summary of new features will be provided in the Newsletter, on the website and in regular user updates.
We are also in the process of refreshing the Mclowd website, with improved navigation on mobile devices and an upgraded Help section. For a sneak peak click here.
As quoted above, on April 29th 2015 Catherine Livingstone, the Chair of Telstra and the Business Council of Australia gave a speech to the National Press Club.
A transcript of her speech can be viewed on the BCA website, and the content will be very familiar to anyone who has read the work of author Jeremy Rifkin.
There is a very simple reason as to why the Chairperson of the Business Council of Australia would spend an hour standing in front of the National Press Club repeating verbatim the key messages from Rifkin’s book Zero Marginal Cost Society:
THAT SOCIETY IS EXACTLY WHERE WE ARE HEADED
Unfortunately Ms Livingstone’s speech was the philosophical equivalent of Glenn Stevens driving interest rates towards 0%, or Joe Hockey borrowing $100 million a day to prop up the Australian economy.
All three are seeking to envision a future where the existing capitalist paradigm is sustained.
For better or worse there is no scenario in which the Third Industrial Revolution generates mass wage employment for any length of time. (Robotics, artificial intelligence, 3D printing, renewable energy, driverless cars, driverless trucks, free online education, crowdsourcing, cloud computing and digital disruption in its various forms will simply not sustain such an outcome).
Instead of accumulating yet more debt (which is the macroeconomic equivalent of drinking poison to quench our thirst) what is actually required is a brutally honest discource about our transition to a society which is not based primarily on exchange (as the publishers of Encyclopedia Britannica will tell you, exchange-based markets simply cease to function as prices approach zero).
Anything less ultimately risks the ongoing stability of both the banking system and civil society.
Mclowd Pty Ltd