Friday, 7 October 2011

Ever heard of a nontrepreneur?

Nor had I, but this article on The Register seems to cover it.

For quite a long time there seems to have been a 'reality distortion field' surrounding the internet every bit as strongly as there has been within certain fruity IT companies. Google, for example, just simply ignored everyone's copyright on books, and has now placed huge numbers online for people to read FOC. The BBC (that bastion of all that's good in British broadcasting) has considered pictures found on the internet as being 'in the public domain' and has been known to use them while carefully stripping out the exif data (information about how the image was taken that might identify it) while carefully not paying royalties.

I'm not immune to this in some ways: I'll happily use software that is available FOC online (and I'm not talking about warez) and enjoy the fruits of other's labours. And that's fine when they are offered free, but the internet isn't really a place of computer hobbyists anymore, like is was in the late 90s.

Now knowing people as I do, humanity isn't about to miraculously transform into some kind of utopian culture, where everything you need and want is available free.

But the thing is, what many of the internet giants have really done is create a service industry ecosystem where the money just gets moved round in circles, without creating anything. And in the case of google, for example, what they've done is rob from the real world to pay for their exploits in the virtual one. As the report says, it's more and more looking like we have billions of dollars invested in a couple of hamsters and some guys in a horse costume.

So..... who wants to be the first to pay for facebook - to become a customer instead of the product?

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