From Cells to Cities: A Conversation with Geoffrey West
Comment of the Day

October 19 2017

Commentary by Eoin Treacy

From Cells to Cities: A Conversation with Geoffrey West

Thanks to a subscriber for recommending this 2-hour podcast with the author Scale: The Universal Laws of Growth, Innovation, Sustainability, and the Pace of Life in Organisms, Cities, Economies, and Companies. I’ve been working my way through this book for a while now. It’s a dense read but certainly worth the time. 

Eoin Treacy's view

What I find particularly interesting is the discussion of fractals which is a topic we discuss at The Chart Seminar. You can observe exactly the same interplay of crowd psychology and supply and demand in very short-term charts as long-term charts. Of course, we see these trends play out in slow motion on long-term charts but that does not challenge the fractal view. 

His additional comments on the size of systems and how they scale to certain sizes before slowing down have particular relevance for companies seeking to continue to grow at exponential rates. Companies like Google. Facebook and Amazon seem to understand this which is why they are willing to make large leaps towards backing completely alternative business strategies because they know the risk of disruption is very real. 


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