From Competition to Cooperation

We are living in a world undergoing great change – including this change in the way we work together.

The Industrial economy assumed that competition in the marketplace would produce the greatest good overall. And it did produce wealthy countries, including the USA. But this economy had huge problems. It was subject to financial panics – later called depressions, because this sounded better. And it produced the very rich and the very poor. And it even produced the Holocaust.

Something was wrong, but no one knew how to fix it – without wrecking everything, as the Soviet Union tried to do.

A new way of doing things, came from the strangest place – the Computer and its Software. To produce good Software, people have to cooperate. Software companies know this – but they are still prone to the old ways of doing business – fighting everyone else to get a bigger share of the pie. Instead of making the whole pie bigger – something that can be done.

Now, we have two ways of doing things, (1) going to war to get more – or (2) cooperating to help everyone. The first alternative, right now, is the most popular- even though it means wrecking everything. War has always been popular.

If we go back to the Fifties, we can see how we went wrong. Companies found it more profitable to move their manufacturing to China – and the Federal Govemment did nothing to stop them. The Industrial Midwest (including Detroit) became a Rust Belt.

No one realized that our economy included all Americans – the Workers, the Consumers, and the Capitalists. We all had to work together.

I included the Consumer in this mix. Software people have renamed them the User – and emphasize that they have to be part of the Development Cycle. Companies have to produce products and services that the User wants.

The User has to be included in the process of developing a new product – using an iterative process. Develop a prototype, and see if the User likes it.- if not, try a new idea, that often as not – he suggests.


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