My hope is that in this new gig, I can explore the next frontier for business and economics reporting.
There was a time when Fortune was the must-read business magazine. Then it was BusinessWeek and Inc., and after that Fast Company and Wired. What the “hot book” is these days is anyone’s guess. What tends to catch my attention and admiration are the special reports in The Economist, the page-long takeouts each day in the Financial Times, NPR’s Planet Money and Michael Lewis’s narratives, and the interesting mix of business, psychology and cultural anthropology served up in the New Yorker by Malcolm Gladwell (a Post Business section alumnus).
Remember when we all were sure that the future of the global economy would be in the BRICS—Brazil, Russia, India and China and South Africa. Now, not so much. Could it be that the new hot investment opportunities are to be found in our own Western hemisphere, from Vancouver down to Santiago?
Here in Washington, decades of growth in federal spending and outsourcing has made this one of the richest regions in the country, if not the world. We know that’s about to end, but is there nowhere to go but down?
Ever since Tom Peters and Robert Waterman launched the “In Search of Excellence,” 30 years ago, there has been a steady flow of hot new management theories, from empowered work teams to reengineering to design-driven innovation. What’s striking today, however, is that there doesn’t seem to be an agreed-upon hot theory, just as there is no longer a hot company that has captured the public imagination or a hot chief executive who has attained Steve Jobs rock-star status. As my friend, Alan Webber, the founding editor of Fast Company, put it to me this week, maybe the new zeitgeist is that there is no new zeitgeist.
In the coming months and years, those are just some of the themes I expect to explore. My hope is that if we’re at the same party sometime in the future, you’ll come up and tell me how much more you like what I’ve been writing than even the old columns — not because you always agree with what I have to say, but because you always learn something new.
Thank you for reading and for sticking with me all these years. And look for other new and interesting voices in this space in 2013.
Best wishes for the holidays and the new year.