The victory of Emmanuel Macron in the recent French elections against Marine Le Pen has represented a setback against the growing impulse of populism and intolerance, following the victories of Brexit in UK and Trump in the USA, as well as a welcome respite for those of us who we believe in a common market and a united Europe.
Amazon is nailing it. After sweeping online commerce and redefining the world of cloud computing with Amazon Web Services, the company founded by Jeff Bezos does not stop experimenting with innovations, each more surprising than the last one.
Some days ago in The Age of the Algorithm we spoke about how currently most of the greatest technological innovations have a computational origin, and how that trend will get reinforced as the companies spearheading change adopt the new generation of algorithms derived from sustained progress in the artificial intelligence field. This bears consequences not only for consumers but, even with higher significance, for the way to organize production in the enterprise.
“Technology” is a funny word, extremely malleable: we tend to recognize as technology only the most recent artifacts of human progress. In a more than purely metaphorical sense, technology is what appears in the world after we graduate. We call the likes of Google, Facebook and Amazon technology-based firms because the last great economic and social revolution hinged on the internet, but almost two centuries ago trains were all the novelty, and the technology firms of these age made huge fortunes covering the rolling plains of the Far West with a network of railroads among indian fights and bandit robberies, immortalized in John Wayne’s movies. Boilers over wheels replacing horses and carriages. Startups are technological because that allows to compete with the establishment.
The other day I found myself at the Madrid’s beautiful Plaza Mayor, sharing a cold Lambrusco and some appetizers with a group of friends to fight these 47 degrees celsius, from hell rather than summer, when in one of these debates of which not even financial analysts are spared appeared the question of whether trading is an art or a science. Markets are chaotic, some say. But contain patterns, others say.
We don’t need to finish throwing Spanish omelettes to each other, under the influence of the sweet wine; however please allow me to expose my point of view, mainly because I think it is a good declaration of philosophical and financial principles: trading is not only an art.