The actual first rule of Fight Club is to get your retaliation in first.
It is this which explains the two linked stories today. Why are tech companies employing the likes of Nick Clegg and David Cameron? One is simply awaiting the time when it will be meet to accept the Earldom, both are looking forward to being able to outearn their wives for the first time. What’s the value in actually employing them? The answer is that politics is coming after Big Tech.
So who is getting their retaliation first?
It is possible to construct a world in which the politicians are righteously looking to regulate companies now so important to our new world out of a sense of nothing but duty. If you believe that, I’ve got a bridge you might be interested in…
The real answer is that the political system is looking to take its cut from this new sector of the economy. In that Don Corleone manner, – nice business you’ve got here, be a shame if something happened to it.
That might sound cynical but the correct question about politics is always “Am I being cynical enough?”
Remember, we went through this with the last generation of tech companies as well. Google, a part of both cohorts, and Microsoft famously spent little to nothing on lobbying for years of their existences. They didn’t see the need, as they were able to just get on with the coding and business building without having to kowtow to politicians in Washington DC.