July 16, 2017

“What an amazing opportunity to expand demand!”

Tim O’Reilly (the guy behind O’Reilly Media) was interviewed by Charles Duhigg of the New York Times about Tim’s new book “What’s The Future?”

Here’s an abstract from the talk:

Job loss from automation is not inevitable. It is a choice. The fundamental technology design pattern is that economic activity increases and jobs grow when you use technology to do more, rather than just to cut costs. What is the nature of the “more” we should be doing? What are the policies that might encourage it? What is the future shape of the economy that we already see emerging and that we ought to be supporting if we want a better, more human-centered economy?

I think anyone who works in the digital space will think the whole talk (about 50 minutes) is great, but what made me send it to you was a point about 18 minute in where Tim shares the story of a friend who is both a lawyer and a developer. My favorite quote was:

“His ability to automate rote tasks conflicted with the business model of the law firm which was to charge as much as possible from billable hours. He quit just ahead of being fired.”

Here’s a link to the video:





P.S. If you bill your clients hourly, why would you ever upgrade to a faster computer? http://hourlybillingisnuts.com