A new book by the author of the groundbreaking Out of Control has warned that Microsoft and General Motors will need to look at their company structure as they go into the next millennium.
In his new book, New Rules for the New Economy, published this month, Kevin Kelly argues that history teaches an important lesson on choosing company role models.
"In the 1950s, business reporters were infatuated with General Motors. GM was the paragon of industrial progress. Today, if your company is like GM, it is in deep trouble," says the executive editor of Wired magazine.
Similarly, Microsoft would wane in prominence.
"Just because Microsoft is heroic now, doesn't mean all companies will follow their lead and replicate intellectual property on floppy disks with a profit margin of 90%. No doubt many, many companies in the future will not resemble Microsoft at all."
Kelly says the new economy is based on communication. "This vanguard is not about computers. Computers are over. Most of the consequences that we can expect from computers as stand-alone machines have already happened.
"Communication is the foundation of society, of our culture, of our humanity, of our own individual identity, and of all economic systems. This is why networks are such a big deal."
Click here to read preview chapters of New Rules for the New Economy
A prominent contributor to Wired magazine, Peter Schwartz, president of the Global Business Network, will take part in a State of the World Forum keynote discussion on "Perspectives on the Future" in San Francisco on Wednesday, 28 October. Last year's The Long Boom, a Wired article co-authored by Schwartz, predicted "25 years of prosperity, freedom and a better environment for the whole world."