Re: Peer Economics

Alonzo Davis (
Wed, 27 Nov 1996 08:29:49 -0600

James Rogers wrote:
> >> The widespread use of computer networks will make it much easier to be
> >> self-employed and contract one's services and talents out to those who offer
> >> an agreeable trade, much like a free lance artist does. It will become less
> >> necessary to have a "steady job", where one trades with the same person day
> >> after day, and it will become easier and more secure for someone to have
> >> several clients that they work for and multiple streams of income, so
> they are
> >> not dependent on any single source of income.
> >
> >I myself have worked that way, and your theory has some flaws. Those who
> >makes the most money are usually close conncted to a single company.
> >Those i know who are not, spend to much time trying to sell their
> >skills. (And most of them don't like that part of their job. They wish
> >they could have a sales force.)
> And that's where technical consulting/recruiting firms come in. (And also
> where some of the *real* money is...). It is becoming common for
> independant freelancers to band together to form consulting
> companies/groups/associations. You get more exposure that way.
> >You are right that there will no longer be technical reasons why an
> >individual shouldn't be able to compete with huge corporation. And it
> >will also happen.
> In the software industry, this is already happening.
> >If one person with a high level of skills makes a difference, then many
> >high skilled workers cooperating will make more of a difference. At my
> >current job (a media an marketing company) we are not cheap. Our
> >costumers know that. They also know that we are a group of talented
> >individuals with a strong background in as diverse areas as marketing,
> >video produktion, distribution.... all the things a large corporation
> >need to sell and comunicate their services and products. Still they use
> >us because we can do something that an individual cannot. (we have
> >redundancy in our system for one thing, making us safer.)
> >Instead of using us they could use individual subcontractors. But for
> >every two or three subcontractors they would need somebody to keep an
> >eye out on them. (Most people are note that talented and ned to be
> >supervised closely not to make bad desicions.) There will then be no net
> >profitt. just more FUD than if they chosed a *professional* solution.
> >
> >> One could first hire a team
> >> of engineers to plan the project and organize it into sub-projects. Then one
> >> could hire teams and individuals to complete the various sub-projects until
> >> the greenhouses are built and food is being grown in them. Then one would
> >> receive requests for food and hire people to transport the food to the
> >> appropriate places.
> >
> >This would all take a lot of money. A person with a lot of money
> >wouldn't he hire e secretary to do the boring bits? Already there we are
> >on the way from the single man comapny.
> As an individuals business presence grows, it is inevitable that they will
> start to coalesce something resembling a company. It is unavoidable if they
> want to maintain economic growth.
> >> Now it's becoming a
> >> lot easier for the average person to do, because computer networks are
> helping
> >> to lower the costs of organizing a business.
> >
> >Large scale projects can still only be done by large groups with a lot
> >of money.
> It will always require a lot of money, but increasingly, it can be done with
> the cooperation of independant developers.
> >> I predict that it will become increasingly less common
> >> for someone to have a "steady job".
> >
> >Probably it will be more in the direction of people working at home for
> >2-3 days a week. While they are still in a steady job.
> >
> >> it will seem foolish and dangerous to have only one major client
> >> that one is dependent on for income.
> >
> >But a lot easyer than looking for work all the time.
> >
> >> As a project manager, you
> >> may find someone who consistently does excellent work, and you may hire them
> >> regularly to work on various projects, and this will probably be common. But
> >> that same person will likely have many other clients that they work for as
> >> well.
> >
> >Or they will find someone else because the other guy is occupied to
> >often.
> >
> >> I believe that the widespread use of computer networks will create
> >> even greater flexibility in people's lives and allow people many more options
> >> for organizing their lives, including greater flexibility of who they work
> >> for. Technology is providing people the tools they need to take care of
> >> themselves better and manage their own lives.
> >
> >I agree with a lot of things you are saying, but we must keep in mind
> >that it is only true in some situations and for some jobs.
> >Small companies working together on large projects would need to much
> >coordination and thus be inefficient. We are still humans that need to
> >work and comunicate with other humans. Thats the most important thing to
> >remember.
> >
> >The new way of working probably won't be a revolution but an evolution.
> >People have worked together for may years now, and only a limited number
> >of ways seem to be efficient. Of course technology will change
> >something, but i don't think it will be a very radical departure.
> >