The Software Business is a Different Kind of Business

I am taking another MOOC – about Business in Society. There have been a bunch of these – because Business is rightly seen as a big problem in the 21st Century.

The professor in the School of Business at the University of Virginia has just asked me “What changes have you seen in Business?” This is an easy question for me, because of my involvement in the Software Business. Which I still dabble in, as a hobby.

Business was started by the Industrial Revolution – which is now over. And Businessmen are baffled by the new interest in the Computer that has clearly taken over. Which is not interested in the same things at all.

I just read an article in the NY Times, where the Feds were asking themselves about the Productivity of Silicon Valley. When this kind of question does not apply to Software.

Huge amounts of money are sloshing around there, but the excitement is not about money. It’s about making software better. They believe, correctly, that money will follow their success at doing this.

Let me say that again – money flows toward whatever people are interested in. Which used to be – making more money – but this is no longer the case.

Facebook is extremely profitable – because its focus is social – helping people communicate with each other better.

The interest now is on doing it better – where “it” can be almost anything.

There is a downside to this – a huge loss of jobs. Most people are not interested in, or capable of making it better. Money is not flowing to them.

I have painted a rosy picture here – about the world getting better. When, in many ways, it is getting worse.

The forces of Evil and Good are as active as ever.

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