Looking at brewery data
Brian Hill showed data he collected in an attempt to understand what is happening on the beer market. We looked at this data, talked about it, and talked about the larger work Brian does for thirdraileconomy.com
A good quote Sarah from idibon gave: "you know an area is booming when the cheapest beer is at the airport"
-Even though there are 100s of breweries, 5 beer companies have 70% of the market share Anheuser Busch= BUD has the most. -There are lots of cool breweries, yet they primarily sell at local pubs. -If we look at beer drinkers, we see that drinks they consume follow a power law, with the top drinkers drinking almost all the beer. (this is just a cool insight and doesn't necessarily have to do with the 5 big beer companies but it does broaden the knowledge of what is happening on the beer market. It would be interesting to see if every beer drinker drinks from the top 5 beer companies, or only the alcoholics who drink almost all the beer.)
-There are only 5700 publicly traded companies in the US. Their stock is about equal to our GDP (I might have written this note wrong) It is bad that these small number of companies control so many aspects of our lives. A particular example: it is bad if you like good beer. At safeway you can only buy beer from one of the 5 shitty companies. This is bad because the beer is bad, and because it means higher transportation costs (the big companies usually aren't local)...other reasons...
Brian has an idea that might be an effective way to destabilize these unhealthy monopolies: -You expose their stock to risk if you include their stock IDs when you give them negative media attention. By including the financial buzzword you get the people who invest in their stock to see your post, and that makes them worried, which lowers the value of the company. -Another method is to put pressure on other companies they are connected to. Like Safeway. If, for example, you show your local safeway that people want them to stock the microbreweries, then they might do it and if they do then you hurt the 5 big companies and make it even easier for the microbreweries in the future.
thoughts beyond beer: Looking at relationships between large companies can explain a lot of why our life is the way it is. If you dig into the relationships between these companies you will find the current structure is often remnants of past major historical events (like prohibition for the beer). Seeing it from this high level of abstraction makes it easier to imagine a new way for the market to look. And imagining this new way the market can look is an effective way to create the change: If you share the idea, and include the stock ID while you share the idea, then you can introduce instability in the stock of the big companies and therefore open space for your imagined new way.