Companies are more important than governments. This is the slogan of the new digital economy stage. What is happening today is only an explicit confirmation of that. In the past governments, through their plans and ministries, would outline the economic trends and ambitions, and companies would play in the space allowed.
Today, modern technology has provided unprecedented means of empowerment and offered great solutions to simple and difficult problems. Re-engineering has become a reality for all investors in all sectors. The technology offered as solutions by companies, not by governments, to the communications and financial banking sectors has, for example, revolutionized, transformed, and completely changed the traditional business models of these sectors.
The method of payment is changing now. Today paper money is on its way to extinction. Television in its current form is also on its way to extinction, it will be replaced by new solutions that will grant the choice in the hands of clients directly by the company and not by the government.
Education and health will be the sectors that are likely to see a tremendous development in their business models so that the new models are more flexible, efficient, effective and more interactive with the intended needs of the customers. This model will be the standard for the firm’s strength rather than the government’s terms.
Today, Amazon has become a source of horror for many governments because it threatens their retail sectors, which employ scores of citizensHussein Shobokshi
Conditions on governments
There are very powerful and influential companies that have the ability to impose their conditions on the governments of the world in all its forms. At the very least, the governments of the world may limit their activities if they doubt their capabilities, just as it did with Google in China and Yahoo in China. Exxon Mobil, Shell and Toyota in many countries of the world, or some of the banks belonging to British and French colonial countries.
Today, Amazon has become a source of horror for many governments because it threatens their retail sectors, which employ scores of citizens, as well as virtual tourism companies that have wiped out travel agencies, causing the loss of millions of dollars of investment and hundreds of jobs.
Governments are realizing that they can no longer impose their conditions on Coca-Cola for example, to disclose the amounts and recipe of its secret beverage and could not force Microsoft to give its software keys. The conditions of companies always prevailed, and all of which have more financial and legal influence than many of the world’s governments combined.
Companies such as Apple, Toyota, Nike and Google, for example, their decisions, their financial statements and their marketing policies have an immediate global impact.
Companies stronger than governments is not a slogan nor a warning, but the assertion that the power of companies came at the expense of sovereignty and this is the title of the next important stage.
This article was first published in the Saudi Gazette on July 24, 2017.
(Hussein Shobokshi is a Businessman and prominent columnist. Shobokshi hosts the weekly current affairs program Al Takreer on Al Arabiya, and in 1995, he was chosen as one of the "Global Leaders for Tomorrow" by the World Economic Forum. He received his B.A. in Political Science and Management from the University of Tulsa. His twitter handle is @husseinshoboksh.