Media Futures

The blog world is starting to produce some really interesting thought pieces.

A case in point is Seth Goldstein’s five part treatise on Media Futures.

We are waiting for the finale, to be titled Arbitrage.  I suspect it will be a fitting conclusion.

But the leadup is really quite brilliant and alliterative too.

Starting with Automata, Seth lays the foundation for his vision of a world of participatory media.

Then with Algorithm, Seth starts hitting his stride, laying out the essential ingredients for his vision.

In API, we get to the glue that stitches the vision together.

And in the truly "must read" Alchemy, we understand that this new world is fundamentally differnet and building companies in it requires a new apprpoach.  I must share with you this Pierre Omidyar quote from Alchemy because it says it so well.

So people often say to me – "when you built the system, you must
have known that making it self-sustainable was the only way eBay could
grow to serve 40 million users a day." Well… nope. I made the system
self-sustaining for one reason: Back when I launched eBay on Labor Day
1995, eBay wasn’t my business – it was my hobby. I had to build a
system that was self-sustaining… …Because I had a real job to go to
every morning.

I was working as a software engineer from 10 to 7, and I wanted to
have a life on the weekends. So I built a system that could keep
working – catching complaints and capturing feedback — even when Pam
and I were out mountain-biking, and the only one home was our cat.

If I had had a blank check from a big VC, and a big staff running
around – things might have gone much worse. I would have probably put
together a very complex, elaborate system – something that justified
all the investment. But because I had to operate on a tight budget –
tight in terms of money and tight in terms of time – necessity focused
me on simplicity: So I built a system simple enough to sustain itself.

Seth leaves us in the hands of market speculators at the end of Alchemy and looking forward to how his vision reveals itself in a world of Arbitrage.  I can’t wait to read it.