Business Reputation Risk – ‘Insurrections Occasioned by the Internet’

Michael D. Moberly, Principal, Founder, kpstrat

For reader consideration…presumed (marketing) preludes to describe (business reputation) risk routinely includes dramatizing eminence, vulnerability, probability, and criticality, i.e., costs. Should this post be similarly interpreted, kpstrat’s messaging has indeed failed.

Should some readers here sense it useful to consider (whether – how) ‘the internet’ may have materialized as mini – asymmetric forms of insurrection…

  • occasioned – rendered possible and embedded with
  • “feel like expressions of a world in which everyone is desperately seeking their own audience and fracturing reality in the process”.

These perspectives, standing alone, may have limited palatability. But pragmatically they warrant some consideration in ways this post wishes to convey.  

Perhaps, a strategically constructive – relevant (business benefit) context to frame and consider the above perspective, is for readers to examine whether and/or how

Michael Goldhaber’s (mid-1980’s) prognostications of ‘complete dominance of the internet’ would lead to (as he argued then)…

  • increased shamelessness in politics,
  • terrorists co-opting social media,
  • the rise of reality television,
  • personal websites,
  • oversharing,
  • personal essay,
  • fandoms and online influencer culture,
  • along with the near destruction of our ability to focus,”

Should there be agreement (among readers) regarding whether, which, and how, a few, or several of the above prognostications offered by Michael Goldfaber (in the mid-1980’s) may hold current relevance.

Either way, we are probably obliged to, at least consider same, insofar as aspiring to offer good – better – best reputation risk mitigation guidance, e.g.,

  1. will or how will either prognostication, influence business reputation risk mitigation. i.e., thinking, strategy development, and practice relative to distinguishing – assessing,
  • vulnerabilityprobability to at willkeystroke speeds which reputation risks can, and frequently do materialize and cascade, and
  • mitigate eithers frequency, criticality, depth-breadth, potential irreversibility, adverse effects, and cascading enterprise-wide.

This blogs’ readers likely recognize (individual, collective, collaborative) obligations to consider, whether and/or how this posts’ message may reflect

  • current (future) business operation – transaction realities and potentialities, and, as such – if so,
  • may warrant discussion, consideration, and possible integration, not summarily dismiss nor defer.

@ Business Intangible Asset Blog, it is routinely argued, businesses, their leadership, and management teams, are (fiduciarily) obliged to consider – recognize…

  1. overwhelming percentages of most business – brand development, value, and sustainability, etc., are irreversibly intangible asset intensive, dependent, and reliant.
  • 80+% of most businesses value, sources of revenue, competitiveness, sustainability, wealth creation potential, and revenue generation capability variously derive from business things intangible, e.g.,
  • forms, contexts, and applications of intellectual, structural, and relationship (cultural, reputational) capital.
  • business things intangible are qualitative – quantitative measurable contributors to developing + sustaining a positive and resilient reputation.

Empirically, this posts’ message warrants some discussion – consideration to – for those who wish to serve as contributing to businesses being (good…better…best) positioned to sustain a favorable, competitive, and lucrative reputation.

We are obliged to consider – factor the global irreversibility of intertwined business development and transactions which fittingly attract aggressive, competitive, predatorial, and winner-take-all practices, wherein

  • reputation (risk) vulnerabilities can be readily exploited and materialize asymmetrically @ keystroke speeds, at the will and timing of others which wish harm.

Business – leader reputation risk routinely emerges – converges via dedicated and variously organized – aligned legions of independent and/or state sponsored economic, ideological, and competitive advantage adversaries across sectors…

Those receptive to reasons, influences, and/or rationales which avoid pragmatically factoring the above realities do so at some liability.

Strategies to mitigate business reputation risk going forward, are (fiduciarily) obliged to…

  1. avoid being distinguished – assessed narrowly, i.e., near-sighted reliance on conventional ‘risk probability’ perspectives, tend not to
  2. recognize perspectives which distinguish a business’s intangible assets (ala reputation) in playat risk 24/7/365, which
  3. reflect same as nearing inevitability + the various motivations, i.e., when, where, why, how, reputation risk surfaces, and
  4. factor critically + capability to + speed of + cascading potential throughout any enterprise.

These experientially influenced perspectives offered here, endeavor to reach beyond a single – desired outcome or resolution by recognizing same

  • warrants – necessitate prudent discussion and communication that factor the asymmetry of reputation risks, not one, but the convergence of many simultaneously, consecutively, and repeatedly.

Readers who may agree (whole or in part) with these characterizations, perhaps may also sense obligations to frame same (legitimately – normatively) as being relevant to…

  • encouraging business leadership receptivity toavoid simplistic comfort of conventional ‘one-size-fits-all’(reputation risk) mitigation strategies – practices apart from thought and resources dedicated to prudently considering current realities,
  • which can, and likely will variously effect reputation – brand value sustainability and fragility.

The NYT opinion piece which influenced this post…

Charlie Warzel (at-large) opinion writer for New York Times (a February 4, 2021) opinion piece, described Michael Goldhaber as the ‘Cassandra of the Internet’, a metaphor for describing another’s (earlier) work as valid warnings or concerns disbelieved by others (at the time). 

  • The Casandra effect, is a metaphor for ‘warnings or concerns disbelieved by others’ to describe Michael Goldhaber’s earlier (1980’s) work regarding ‘the internet’.
  • Goldhaber, a theoretical physicist by training (self-described as)‘unable to square his work in physics with his political views’ worked at the Institute for Policy Studies (Washington, DC) on technology policy and ways of recasting science to be more open to non-experts, and predictions of an ‘attention economy’.

which also lead to popularizing the concept (attributed to Goldhaber) of the “attention economy.”

Readers are respectfully invited to explore other posts, books, and papers available for review at


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