Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Close Enough for Rock and Roll (and Disruption)

Cory Doctorow:

This is the pattern: doing something x percent as well with less-than-x percent of the resources. A blog may be 10 percent as good at covering the local news as the old, local paper was, but it costs less than 1 percent of what that old local paper cost to put out. A home recording studio and self-promotion may get your album into 30 percent as many hands, but it does so at five percent of what it costs a record label to put out the same recording.

What does this mean? Cheaper experimentation, cheaper failure, broader participation. Which means more diversity, more discovery, more good stuff that could never surface when the startup costs were so high that no one wanted to take any risks.

This is sort of the culture version of "disruptive innovation." Same tune, different verse.


Mike Caulfield said...

I think Doctorow is closer though to the "Good Enough" Capps formulation than the "Disruptive Innovation" formulation. You don't have to look at the article and say "all things must be rock and roll". I don't want public water that is half as safe that costs 10% of what my water does now, and I think the argument recognizes that.

Parts of education will be affected by the Good Enough Revolution, and parts won't. The thing is to have a conceptualization that helps distinguish between the two. (And I think you've said as much before, right?)

Tom Hoffman said...



Bill Kerr said...

As the amount of mushy knowledge increases exponentially the general accessibility to expert knowledge declines. So, the overall IQ goes up (Flynn effect) but the level of insight needed to make a significant important change goes down (not many saw the economic crisis coming).