Penned two weeks before the passing of the late great Jack Bogle.
Energy like human potential has lain untapped for millions of years which is felt everyday by geoscientists. It is this ability to be uncertain and yet still go after our exploration targets that now powers the world.
Romashkino, Chicontepec, and the rather snappier Kasgan, reserves laid untapped for millions of years. Man has always put himself at the centre of the world and we can see similar parallels with social media and the emphasis on our careers, our mortgage or our investment account. It is freeing to know that the universe doesn’t really care…
The reality is as ever more nuanced it takes massive amounts of capital; human, financial and yes a good dose of drive to persevere despite the naysayers. ‘You can’t change the world’, ‘just one man..’ ‘why are you giving away all the secrets?’
“It’s too big to keep in the shop… just take it….’’
The story of how the Middle East reserves got started is one such serendipitous tale of a delayed cable which resulted in drilling continuing and as you are aware the rest is history.
Just how big the teams of people working in an oil major hit home during a London conference last month. One of the speakers remarked that his team had built an ‘excel database’ which was reducing well time from 90 to 45 days thereby saving several $100m. Which is now free to be allocated elsewhere. The other key ingredient was putting engineers and geologists in the same office literally in each other’s laps.
A certain Steve in Silicon Valley knew the power of having like minds in the same place deliberately having one pair of washrooms in the ground lobby of the Cupertino HQ to encourage this cross pollination of ideas. It is one of the troubling things of this age that social media acts as echo chamber you are surrounded by the same ideas and often your hypothesis are not tested. See Niall Ferguson (The Square and the Tower) To quote Paula P the feature is also the bug.
So it takes pioneers- pioneers in energy, finance and music.
To reflect on a my favourite read of 2016 https://www.amazon.co.uk/How-Music-Got-Free-Industry/dp/0525426612 the evolution of the music business from the cash cow of the 90’s where CD’s were making TimeWarner, Universal some of the most powerful and wealthy people on the globe. To the Bittorent age anyone else spend half a day downloading ’99 problems’ on a dial up modem?
Embrace the change in all of our industries.
Once again the story was written not in the board rooms of NYC but at the CD manufacturing plants in North Carolina, the back bedrooms, corners. True innovation causes disruption, takes guts and a little rule bending or breaking. Digital gold? History doesn’t repeat but it rhymes.
A Warez Factory
The result music is now free… I can vividly recall a friend at school bringing in that first shiny white ipod and I think we all sensed that there was a little magic in that box. What Apple did so amazingly was sell a culture- have a look around in the nearest Starbucks you won’t find any dirty Macbook keyboards owners are proud to show the world who they are. If we could only go back to GCSE German and tell our folks to load up on AAPL stock then they would be the ones driving the lambo.
‘One man’s trash is another man’s trash is another man’s treasure’
Change is the only constant and it is fascinating to look back and see how much ridicule companies like Apple faced.
This 1999 Motely Fool Book essentially calls them a laughing stock.
So without the hungry pursuit by scientists, technology they would have been lost for another 50-100 years. A good friend of mine tells me that right now a kid in his mum’s basement is plotting the next blue ocean.
In the era of instant communication take a step back and connect.