Saturday, 9 August 2008

Competitive advantage in frontier markets

One of Daniel Broby's ex-Colleagues from Renaissance Capital explained to him why frontier markets, like Russia, have the edge. When NASA first started sending up astronauts, they quickly discovered that ball-point pens would not work in zero gravity. To combat this problem, NASA scientists spent a decade and $12 billion developing a pen that writes in zero gravity, upside down, underwater, on almost any surface including glass and at temperatures ranging from below freezing to over 300° C.

The Russians used a pencil!


Jenny and Shawn said...

Contrary view:

When the Soviet Union first discovered that Communist agricultural policies weren't generating enough food, they spent 70 years, tens of millions of lives and hundreds of billions of dollars trying to develop an agricultural system that can deliver bread to the G.U.M. store in Moscow *and* have some left over for export.

The American capitalist system just had market incentives like sharing the gain from capital and labor, and fed the world.

So the advantage is Western-style capitalism. Governments of all kinds do some things well, but more often waste money and lives.

Frontier Markets Blog said...

Can't disagree with that. Hedge funds are unashamedly in the capitalist camp. Everywhere we invest practices capitalism now.