This also puts the “new business model” mantra in a new light. Remember that the classic business model is a simple monetary trade: the customer gets something of value and they pay money for it. It is fair and easy to understand. The further we go from it, the closer we come to a point where we are forced to choose between going out of business or throwing business ethics out of the window. In order to maintain the illusion that the customer can get something valuable for free, we may have to introduce the illusion that they are getting it for free (while in reality, we collect stuff from them that they may not be inclined to give away). Once you cross that moral event horizon, it becomes much easier to do other objectionable things. I mean, that’s how the new economy works, right?
I’m just thinking out loud and I have no ready-made conclusions to offer, but perhaps we should be a little more hesitant to sing praise of “revolutionary” new ways of doing business. Unless there’s a clear element of trade evident and the terms are set out, chances are that somebody’s getting cheated. Continue reading →
[This piece continues my theme that the more convoluted transactions become the more problems they create for our society—Stay close to the source. If I drive to a store and purchase something made by the individual selling it (or at least the person in the shop in the back) that has tremendous social value. And it doesn’t matter if that’s a kitchen knife or software or a bicycle. The longer the chain gets from “I did it” to “you bought it” the chances for negative social effects increases, and happily the positive social effects increase the closer you get to the source. In the case of Google most of us were happy users because of their great search results. That was a long time ago, and they started tracking me long before I paid any attention to them. Facebook’s “sale” takes place when you sign up, with no explanation of the game whatsoever. I recently saw a news program where individuals were asked about the GOP candidates by name. And while I realize it was a produced segment (edited for results) they had no problem finding people who didn’t even know the names of the candidates, never mind anything about them. Considering the barrage of coverage and the endless debates… imagine what people don’t know when it’s actively being hidden from them? ]
Source: The Cynical Musician