Re: Peer Economics

James Rogers (
Wed, 27 Nov 1996 14:30:23 -0800

>> 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
>> 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
>> 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
>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.