Market Maker

Some say if you want to get really rich you have to found a religion. Alternatively you create a charismatic brand for the masses. Currently you might also highjack a political party and make it a personal quasi-religious enterprise. Also, to become the richest man in the world you have to disrupt the usual market practices and create your own market and rules before everybody else understands it. Digital technology is key in this respect. Microsoft, Apple, then Facebook, Amazon, Google, (GAFAM in reverse order) have successfully exploited technological leadership. But there is more to it. The real challenge is to be successful in creating i.e. making your own market, where you are setting the rules yourself and each transaction on this market is paying a percentage into your pockets. It is amazing that this market making is not considered as creating a monopoly using technology long ago. This is changing but only slowly. Originally, the state or regulator set the rules for a market. The more the abuses of GAFAM in various respects become obvious to everybody, the more the call for rule-setting of politically responsible institutions can no longer be ignored. That is the point when either the state or non-profit organisations come in and can increase overall societal welfare. The strategy then is to have a state or quasi-state organisation regulate the conditions of the maket to overcome the information asymetry between buyers and sellers on these markets.
Accordingly we witness a multitude of local, sectoral, national or international maket makers. For profit it can be a true gold mine, as non-profit it still reaps sizable percentages on market activities of members, customers and service providers. One example of such a new non-profit market maker is the British organisation “modern markets for all” (MM4A). As it is run by a trained journalist, the media coverage is considerable. For all start-ups it should be part of their business plan to check whether they have a potential to become a (local, product or sectoral) market maker of some kind, rather than yet another contributor to the wealth of the GAFAM. Business school teaching could take this into account, particularly those training social entrepreneurs.

8-ter März

Corona in Form von Covid-19 lässt uns manche Gewohnheiten ändern. Viele lassen sich Impfen (#Impftermin). Das hat auch sein Gutes. Nur, das Ausfallen von Geburtstagsfeiern, Hochzeiten und bereits verschobenen Schulklassentreffen ist schon bedauerlich. Obwohl, der Protagonist im Roman von Norbert Gstreins »Der zweite Jakob« sieht das etwas anders. In der “Zeit” lesen wir: “Der Erzähler wird sechzig und der Autor Norbert Gstrein auch. Der Roman kann als “sati­rische Klage und künstlerische Selbstermäch­tigung eines leicht depressiven Sechzigjähri­gen” gelesen werden. »Natürlich will niemand sechzig werden, jedenfalls nicht als Jubilar, und na­türlich will niemand, der bei Sinnen ist, ein Fest, um auch das noch zu feiern«, lautet der erste Satz des Romans.” (S.52 vom 8.421). Es geht auch anders. Das DiesDasKollektiv aus Berlin organisiert Partys, Feiern und Festivals als gemeinnützige Organisation für die Berliner Club-Szene. Auf der Festivalkarte (z.B.) standen mehr als 10 Clubs/Bühnen gleichzeitig zur Auswahl und im Chat wird locker gequatscht. Also auf zur nächsten Ü60-Party. Schlusssatz im Zeitartikel: ” Es ist nicht so schlimm mit den sechzig Jahren, … Sech­zig ist heute das neue Fünfzig.” Es ist das knackige Alter. Wir können es eben jetzt so richtig knall/cken lassen. Machen wir es wie die Frauenbewegung, die eben auch nach dem 8-ten März als Grafitti sprüht.  


The exhibition of photos and film on “masculinities,liberation through photography” is an excellent example of how artistic approaches to central social phenomena enrich our understanding. The collection of images on masculinities enlightens and reveals the social construction of masculinity. All persons interested in such basic questions should grab the opportunity to pay a visit to the Barbican Centre in London until May 2020 (Later also in Berlin). Perfect choice of a location as the Barbican Centre represents a fine example of “brutal architecture” in London. This is already worth a visit for those not familiar with such concepts. Prepare to get lost somewhere in the multitude of cultural offerings. It feels like Centre Pompidou in Paris, but has additionally a splendid concert hall.

Depending on the time and location of our upbringing we are subject to different social constructions of masculinity. Browse through family collections of photos from grand fathers, fathers and your own youth and maybe your children. From the perspective of how masculinity has been framed at different epochs and across continents, it is obvious that masculinity just as feminity are constructed by social discourse, social choices and media representations. Make it a choice – nowadays – yes we can !
Read on with a critic published in “The Guardian” or “The Sunday Times“.


Book Creation 2017

Writing and creating books has been ongoing for more than 2000 years. The history facilitated by Gutenberg’s invention of multiplication through the printing press has helped along the reformist movement of Martin Luther as well. Single pieces of book art are more rare. The Bibliotheca Wittockiana in Brussels has a rich collection and changing exhibitions. The photo below was taken there in July 2017.

As I attended a workshop on book binding held by Mina Aboudarr I went through all steps of book production myself to get a hands-on impression of this centuries old profession and art work in special cases. With much fun I walked through the process of writing, months before, and self-production of my very own monograph. Self-publishing is likely to be the next step. Currently the book is “in pressing” but not in press.
… and all beginings have some magic … or in original voice from Hermann Hesse: … und jedem Anfang wohnt ein Zauber inne, …