Hobby Economy

Rob Horning has an interesting article speculating that much of the benefits of the networked economy aren’t going to show up in conventional economic statistics. This makes sense to me.

…gains in productivity derived from things like the internet aren’t showing up as more money in our pockets, and they are not showing up as corporate profit, but they do exist in a kind of nascent alternative economy. The “consumer surplus” is being generated outside of capitalist structures, outside of the market, though it is still occurring within a capitalist, consumerist society. It’s being made through activity that has in the past been generally dismissed as hobby behavior—collaborative open-source projects, online content production and archiving, tagging information, sharing and organizing useful data, etc., etc. The internet amasses this effort, consolidates it, distributes the example and rewards of it, and draws more people into contributing.

Hat tip: Andrew Sullivan

1 thought on “Hobby Economy

  1. Ton Zijlstra

    I’m not surprised it makes sense to you Johnnie. Do you remember us talking with Martin Roell at lunch during a NGO workshop by Olaf Brugman in Brussels in 2003, when we together postulated that in a real knowledge economy GDP would actually go down, because it was looking at the wrong indicators?

    Reply

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