8 minute watch
NRG Systems, Inc. is the global leader in the design and manufacture of highly-engineered wind resource assessment and plant optimization equipment for the renewable energy industry. Founded in 1982, NRG has been at the forefront of the wind industry for 35 years; the company’s products have facilitated the development of two-thirds of all the wind energy generated worldwide. NRG was the life’s work of Jan Blomstrann, a passionate and dedicated owner who was looking to transition to her next chapter. She had built a unique culture over three and a half decades with enthusiastic employees who shared a common passion for building a cleaner world fueled by renewable energy sources. It was critical to find a new owner who would share the same beliefs while bringing additional growth opportunities and resources to the company. In 2017, after many years of working with Jan and her team, Bigelow led the initiative to proactively identify the best new majority shareholder for NRG.
Where has Jan’s unconventional path taken her and NRG, what was the impact on her family and what will this Women in Wind of the Year’s positive legacy be? This unforgettable, heartfelt piece reflects the joy Jan has found both in running her business and in enjoying life after. Press play to see the life that’s possible after a next new owner is found.
What I am Reading / Listening to
Directed by Lesley Chilcott
Miniseries (3 episodes)
Look I might as well admit it from the beginning: I have never seen Arnold Schwarzenegger in a body building competition (hell the truth is I’ve never seen a body building competition), I have never seen a film with Arnold Schwarzenegger in it (I mean I know about the Terminator and Twins or whatever, but I’ve never seen them), and I follow California politics only a dite. So why was I so delighted and awed by Arnold the Netflix Series?
The guy may just be one of the most incredible Entrepreneur Owner-Managers of our time. I won’t bore you with the story that you probably know better than I, but let’s just say he came from modest roots. Didn’t have a privileged upbringing. When he came to America, people could barely understand his thick accent (when he was introduced to Dino De Laurentiis as a possible star, Dino said “Star, hell the kid can’t even speak English how’s he going to be in film?"). So, with lots of friction and doubters watching, Arnold ignored them and turned inward.
I never knew this until this documentary (and they didn’t make a big deal about it), but Arnold was very accustomed to making big goals and then visualizing his way to working on them. He wasn’t just dreaming big—he was dreaming big very specifically, and then taking action to achieve his dreams. And he was unafraid to ask anyone any dumb question as long as it advanced him towards the achievement.
I know he’s a little controversial because of some of the actions in his personal life. I guess I was mostly unaware of those things, but I love the high roadway Arnold seemed to take to handle them.
I have a really well tuned inauthenticity gauge. Not once in this documentary did, I see anything but out and out authenticity from Arnold. He’s my new hero. I think I have a crush on him.
I liked it so much, I am going to watch parts 1-3 again.
Entrepreneur Owner-Manager Quote
"I am so appreciative of Bigelow’s professionalism and hard work. Their team was in lockstep with me from beginning to end. I felt personally taken care of, and I knew the company was in good hands. I don’t imagine we could have achieved the same success without Bigelow’s involvement.”
-Jan L. Blomstrann, Former Chairwoman & Owner of NRG Systems, Inc.
Why AI Will Save The World
By Marc Andreessen
June 6, 2023
Copyright 2023 Marc Andreessen
This time, we finally have the technology that’s going to take all the jobs and render human workers superfluous – real AI. Surely this time history won’t repeat, and AI will cause mass unemployment – and not rapid economic, job, and wage growth – right?
No, that’s not going to happen – and in fact AI, if allowed to develop and proliferate throughout the economy, may cause the most dramatic and sustained economic boom of all time, with correspondingly record job and wage growth – the exact opposite of the fear. And here’s why.
The core mistake the automation-kills-jobs doomers keep making is called the Lump Of Labor Fallacy. This fallacy is the incorrect notion that there is a fixed amount of labor to be done in the economy at any given time, and either machines do it or people do it – and if machines do it, there will be no work for people to do.
The Lump Of Labor Fallacy flows naturally from naive intuition, but naive intuition here is wrong. When technology is applied to production, we get productivity growth – an increase in output generated by a reduction in inputs. The result is lower prices for goods and services. As prices for goods and services fall, we pay less for them, meaning that we now have extra spending power with which to buy other things. This increases demand in the economy, which drives the creation of new production – including new products and new industries – which then creates new jobs for the people who were replaced by machines in prior jobs. The result is a larger economy with higher material prosperity, more industries, more products, and more jobs.
But the good news doesn’t stop there. We also get higher wages. This is because, at the level of the individual worker, the marketplace sets compensation as a function of the marginal productivity of the worker. A worker in a technology-infused business will be more productive than a worker in a traditional business. The employer will either pay that worker more money as he is now more productive, or another employer will, purely out of self interest. The result is that technology introduced into an industry generally not only increases the number of jobs in the industry but also raises wages.
To summarize, technology empowers people to be more productive. This causes the prices for existing goods and services to fall, and for wages to rise. This in turn causes economic growth and job growth, while motivating the creation of new jobs and new industries. If a market economy is allowed to function normally and if technology is allowed to be introduced freely, this is a perpetual upward cycle that never ends. For, as Milton Friedman observed, “Human wants and needs are endless” – we always want more than we have. A technology-infused market economy is the way we get closer to delivering everything everyone could conceivably want, but never all the way there. And that is why technology doesn’t destroy jobs and never will.