Lessons for innovators: Venetian style



How Venice was supposed to compete with a series of emerging nation states bordering the Atlantic for Atlantic trade is I confess as a non-innovator somewhat beyond me particularly as the dominant early Atlantic colonial power of Spain controlled the only sea lane leaving the mediterranean but I’m sure other non Atlantic bordering European countries became maritime and colonial powers in the America’s and Europe………I just can’t think of any right now………..Also aren’t we ignoring the centralisation of European states (leading usually to the nation state) and the rise of the Ottomans as factors here? it’s hard to think how Venice could have fought the former and they did fight the latter but unsurprisingly they could not ultimately succesfully contest with the Ottoman juggernaut for dominance of the Eastern med: which was the heart of Venice’s colonial empire and trade network. In the end I suppose what I’m saying is that if innovators are to learn any lesson from the fall of Venice it’s not explore more (Venice never really explored, the whole mediterranean was already known to all states around it) or focus production for markets you can’t compete in but be better at fighting Turks. But the real lesson for “innovators” to learn from the decline of Venice is that sometimes your just screwed.

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Samuel Runge


By Samuel Runge

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