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Why Measuring Digital Capital Matters

Although largely uncounted, intangible digital assets may hold an important key to understanding competition and growth in the Internet era. On July 31, 2013, the US Bureau of Economic Analysis released, for the first time, GDP figures categorizing research and development as fixed investment. It will join software in a new category called intellectual-property products. In our knowledge-based economy, this is a sensible move that brings GDP accounting closer to economic reality. And while that may seem like an arcane shift relevant only to a small number of economists, the need for the change reflects a broader mismatch between our digital economy and the way we account for it. This problem has serious top-management implications.   More