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Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Joy’s Law

(Bill) Joy’s Law, “No matter who you are, most of the smartest people work for someone else.”

What if overcoming Joy’s Law is the new baseline for succeeding?

Chris Anderson’s Makers showcases how Joy’s Law has already changed the front end of our economy.

If you’ve convinced yourself you’re not affected, God bless. My experience is that every time I have been unusually successful, we get out where no man has gone before, and start looking for signals for how to keep the party going.

If you noticed 2009 and 2010 were snafu,

That 2011 and 2012 were fubar, and

You suspect 2013 may be bohica...(NSFW), read on.

Makers gives some excellent ideas and case studies about why the old ways of working and organizing have have run their course, become uncompetitive, and how some are being successful in a number of industries. Showing up is no longer an acceptable baseline. Winners are going to have to attract the people who are really passionate and creative, the top tier for whatever they need done.

Chris Anderson is the guy to write Makers. The first time I met him, he was defending copyright by day as editor in chief of Wired magazine, and pushing the limits of copyright and Joy’s Law by night running the open source project for radio controlled flying vehicles (includes drones).

Yes, he’s a reporter, but he’s also writing about what he has learned making, starting, running, investing, and guiding more than a dozen companies. During his decade at Wired, they grew spectacularly. Consider what’s been happening to the rest of print media during that time.

What Chris has seen, done, realized, and written is that we are in a new paradigm. Limits sinking formerly well run companies have to be overcome and are being overcome.

We’ve learned a lot with open source software. Development is faster and more efficient, less error-prone, costs are lower, and open source has revolutionized the space formerly served by enterprise software. Anderson’s message is that “atoms are the new bits,” that technology has advanced enough to give the same increases in efficiency, opening new markets, that has already happened in software.

Read the book. Find your own models for moving forward. Move forward.

As Werner used to say, “Joy is when you have a new possibility.”

Happy New Year!

Kick off the New Year Right at Talk Your Business - How to make more and better sales right away! Wednesday Jan 30, 11:45 - 1:00 at the Arlington Chamber Small Business Roundtable


  1. Though some of us have execellent ideas, we are afraid of the loss of income so work for others that claim the fame.

    Entrepreneurship has lead this country forward but without the backing of our government it has fallen short. This movement needs to rise again without JV vultures asking for 75% of the idea.

    Just my thoughts. I could be wrong....

  2. Hi Randy!
    Thank you for commenting...all year! *grin*
    I really appreciate your continuing support.
    I think we are going to have to say that the idea doesn't have much value until it is actualized (made real through action) and I'm seeing that the idea maker has to do the work.
    The good news is especially in software, the barriers to entry are now "ankle high," and the point of the book was that making things is moving in that direction.
    If someone else does it, they get all the value.

  3. Dick:

    For the past 30 years, until recently, when a seed fell out of your pocket - an entire garden would grow.

    AND we'd claim to be the 'leader' who made it happen.

    During the past 6 years or so, things have gone from ugh, to ugly to awful' and we're at a lost about what to do to fix it - as Chris points out, it just don't work now!

    Drop the seed now and an angry bird swoops in and snatches it away. Dig a hole, drop in the seed, add some plant food, cover lightly, and water sparingly AND a squirrel becomes by to dig it up for lunch.

    We go home and tell Mommy it's too hard now and we can't do it - "it isn't fair!"

    Guess we're not prepared for the real world, since we were just delivering seed before, not operating a garden.

    Great post!