It’s doubtful that the subject of this episode is something you’ve given much thought to, but once concept of ‘intangible assets’ is laid out it can make for a really important conversation about the future. Simply put, how do you put a value on a ride company that owns no cars(Uber)or a hospitality service with no rooms(Airbnb)? Generally, we have thought about assets as tangibles–factories, inventories, trucks and such. Since 2013, intangible assets have grown faster than tangible ones in our economy. It creates a whole set of new questions about how to measure those intangible assets as part of GDP(software is now included) and how companies can protect the value of what they have designed when another company can come along and ‘model’ it, shall we say? Refer to Apple and the development of the Google Android, in its wake, as a prime example.. Stian Westlake, co-author of ‘Capitalism Without Capital’, joins us to discuss.
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