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When you buy a Samsung phone, are you without legal remedies if the software breaks down? Of course there will be a contractual structure in place when the corporation is gone, it will just be different than the corporate ones you accede to now. Note that in both the current-day examples above, Uber and Samsung act as vestigial contractual frontmen for the nameless multitudes of drivers and software programmers who actually get the work done. In the near future, that last frontman will be replaced by automated contracts and exchanges, with no need for a Samsung or Uber corporation at all.

Many jump to the wrong conclusion from the rise of large platform companies like Samsung, Uber, Google, Amazon, or Apple, that the world is stratifying into large platform companies and millions of individual contractors operating on those platforms, like Uber and their drivers. How would you describe an arrangement among a group of like minded individuals who join together for a common purpose, and who describe and define their relationships and common purpose through a unanimously agreed statement of purpose and binding contracts?

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Constitutional democracy? Medeival apprenticeship guilds?

Feudal serfs? Your description is so vague that it applied to a host of wildly disparate systems over the millenia. In any case, all those old systems are irrelevant, as the computer and the internet allow a host of new organizational structures that are obsoleting whatever it is from the past that you have in mind. Surely you believe there will be some type of cooperative efforts between and among individuals.

What form will those mutual agreements take? What will we call them? What does it matter what name we assign to those future efforts?


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That is precisely what I am saying, yet you keep missing it. It is strange that you cannot imagine such a world, when that is the world our ancestors lived in for most of our history. To stick to the specifics and the principles rather than your hazy naming and generalizing, see this recent piece that I just stumbled upon, that lays out one vision of how the firm dies. But regardless of the specific name or implementation, that kind of decentralization is about to kill off the firm and eventually its host, government.

Sprewell, I appreciate your enthusiasm, but I think you conflating the dispersion of the Interweb with a dissolution of companies. Very interesting company and I think they will have something very big. But, Kik itself is not a dispersed organization. Alas, its organized as a traditional company that provides a very innovative product that capitalizes on the Net.

I have no idea why you think a technology could be confused with a corporate trend. The piece highlights the decentralized structure of bitcoin itself, which has no one company controlling or behind it, hence all the arguing between its various camps today about how to improve it, which that author mentions. In passing, he links to the recent Kik ICO in a single sentence, because they launched their own cryptocurrency.

Funny that you ignore his central point and seize on a single link from his long article. You seem to have missed the entire point of their cryptocurrency, called Kin. They claim to have launched it to allow independent software developers, who do not work for the company Kik , to make money off of their platform. Perhaps you should look into the details more before making claims that nothing has changed. Blockchain — or something like it. You may be overly optimistic about the general level of enthusiasm for alternative forms of collaboration in the foreseeable future.

I have gone into great detail on the properties of what replaces the corporation in this and previous threads with you on this blog, yet you now keep insisting on a simple, one-word name for this phenomenon. In other words, the new system is still being built, so it would be dumb to name it, when all its qualities are not finalized yet. Your misunderstanding is swirling like a dream, and my use of Kik was completely justified as per your reading recommendation. Crytocurrency is a payment method which is growing in acceptance by organized companies, but those companies are intact.

Why am I not surprised all my comments have flown over your heads? Perhaps you should pick a better audience elsewhere. And no, you and the writer of the article you referenced are not on the same page. Kik is still fleshing out its advisory team and, for now, the company declined to name partners it is working with. Kik looks very, very interesting, but Kin looks to be an ill advised theoretical distraction for a promising start-up. Uber and Bitcoin are bad examples.

The Corporation as a legal structure will still exist, as such a structure provides some level of benefits to the owners. The next year , they added lists of the 50 biggest merchandisers retailers , commercial banks, insurance companies, transportation companies, and utilities. Oddly, they left Colgate-Palmolive, one of our oldest and most durable companies, off the list.

On the other hand, they list Kraft Foods, which is a very different company from the National Dairy Products of the s.

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Given that, i doubt they did a close company by company look. Many companies merged but in fact were the surviving or most important entity. The big change in the future will be the dominance in a global list of companies from China, India, Brazil, etc. The commenter who says corporations will soon be history, and such lists will disappear, could not be more wrong. It is pretty confusing, apparently using the names of acquiring companies in place of the original. Their real predecessor was a retailer, Melville Shoe.

Turns out that was a mistake by AEI…. Fortune did not list subsidiaries of other companies, foreign or domestic. To be consistent, it should not be considered a survivor. But Colgate-Palmolive and possibly others should! Thank you, Gary. I removed CVS from the table.

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I apologize for leaving Colgate-Palmolive off the list by mistake, it should have been there, and I added it so it is now there. This raises a more general question, which although not on the list is if a company is acquired and the merged company takes the name of the acquired company, but the management is still from the acquiring company is it the same company? So the larger question, since the issue is control, might be in events such as those listed above how do you determine which survives the merger acquisition?

Given the increasingly short lifespan of these corporations that Mark points out above, the data seems to be on my side.

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OK, I see what you are referring to. Maybe you skimmed and missed it. As for the evidence, usually when something dies quicker and quicker, extinction is next. Well, we have these great automated tools to do that nowadays, something called the computer and the internet, which is why it is so easy for you to get random Lyft drivers to come pick you up wherever you are nowadays. It is fairly uncontroversial these days to say that the corporation is dying as a result of these new tools, leaving a few software platform companies and millions of independent contractors, like Lyft and their drivers.

The only question is whether the platform is the last bastion of the corporation or whether that is a last retreat before corporations are eradicated altogether. I was looking at the following year, numbers, in my notes above. The company both made shoes and ran shoe stores.


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But the next year, when they started the merchandisers list, Fortune moved them there, off the industrials list. So in fact it is accurate that CVS direct descendant of Melville, founded in was on the list in results and , though not on the list from into the s. Hovnanian is rebuilding. Medtronic's sensors go Web 2. The company known for pacemakers is updating its medical devices to deliver health warnings over the Internet.

Wall Street's value to society. Included in the survey are U. This includes private companies Current Issue. Issue date: May 3, Top 50 Headquarters Top 50 Most Profitable Fortune 1 2 Interactives A changing landscape See how revenues and profits at America's 25 largest companies have risen and fallen over the past decade.

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