Work is the refuge of people who have nothing better to do. : Oscar Wilde

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

We Are Already Free

By ‘we’ I mean career developers. By ‘free’ I don't mean we have freedom though, I mean that basic services we offer are available at no cost from others. (This concept is often cited by software developers because it has made an enormous difference in our industry; see Gratis versus Libre for an explanation.)

In my opinion, people need career support now more than ever yet the structuring of our economic sector might well prove to be about as well suited to this stage of history as are newspapers and magazines. They're dying.

As Seth Godin says, “In a world of free, everyone can play.” No-one needs to be paid to tell others how to write résumés, do interviews or even how to train for a career in biotechnology. Think LinkedIn. Read his article and tell me what you think.


John FitzGerald said...

Seth Godin's article is certainly intelligent and plausible, but why does he think that we have no choice? He seems to have drunk the Kool-Aid that makes you think that government's role is only to manage the economy rather than to implement political principles.

The idea that business models are going to change is scarcely new. Why wouldn't they change as technology changes. The problem these days is that the business model that is running the market is the cartel. Governments have abetted transnational corporations in their campaign to reduce competition by merging and driving small producers out of the market. If we take Godin's example of writers, we have a handful of writers today who make tons of money because they're the minions of giant corporations (could Bill O'Reilly get a job in a truly competitive market?), and the vast majority of writers who make pittances. Godin seems to be arguing that we can do nothing about this. One of the reasons we can't at the moment is all the writers like Godin who ridicule the idea that governments might be able to pass laws about things other than free trade.