Sunday, December 02, 2007

Hollywood writers' strike

The US is without question an information economy in the sense that intellectual property is one of the few areas where we have an unquestionable competitive advantage. US companies know that information and innovation are the only areas in which they can continue to compete with low-cost emerging markets. Correspondingly, they nearly worship the fertile minds who can create it from thin air. If you want job security today, don't join a union - go innovate. Then sell yourself to the highest bidder, be it your current employer or someone new.

Then repeat.
Then repeat again.

It's how the entire corporate world gets along ... and I very seldom hear execs complaining about exploitation -- they know they're getting paid exactly what they're worth because they constantly test it by keeping themselves on the market. And believe me, the bar on creativity in the corporate world is low. These Dilberts get highly bankrolled for some pretty mediocre brainstorms.

Software and media are the two industries with perhaps the greatest reliance on creativity. Why then, in the latter hotbed of ideas, do the writers feel so impotent that they have to resort to the childish collective bargaining tactics invented by braun-over-brains steelworkers a hundred and some years ago (and not innovated since). If they each would simply take responsibility for extracting their full value, and if they were ballsy enough to go out there and compete, the good ones would undoubtedly rise to the top. The not-good would appropriately go do something else they're better at.

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