Shuffling through my notes, I found a post that slipped through the cracks. It references a Gillmor Gang from earlier in the month, Mark Lucovsky of Google was a guest on the show:
The conversation was wide ranging and focused on Lucovsky’s current role at Google and his former role at Microsoft. Jason Calacanis shifted the discussion on to the general ecosystem of online business infrastructure. He’s in the middle of making some decisions about the growth path for Mahalo and sees the cost of these services dropping rapidly.
Calacanis’s political point was that the virtualization of fundamental web infrastructure lowers the cost of business creativity and therefore will be a major economic driver– and may pull us out of this recession. Lucovsky commented that he didn’t see a consolidation of infrastructure providers, but rather an environment where each of the big online companies provided the thing that they do best as an API or service.
In a comment on Microsoft’s Live Mesh, Lucovsky asserted that the complexity of the problem required a seasoned professional like Ray Ozzie. He’s made the requisite number of mistakes to take on a project of that level of difficulty. Lucovsky goes onto say that there’s a difference between this kind of creativity and the frothy sort of Web 2.0 stuff that comes across our screens every day via TechCrunch.
Assuming that business creativity in this ecosystem is not the sole province of the young and the rich, there are a couple of pieces missing. This picks up the thread of a conversation that happened about a year ago about age and business creativity. It was a conversation that unleashed a lot of passion. Here are a couple of links back into that conversation space:
- Fred Wilson: The Age Question
- Dave Winer: I did it anyway
- Clay Shirky: The Future belongs to those who take the present for granted
- Clay Shirky: The bayesian advantage of youth
Creativity in any space is tied to risk taking. The young assume immortality and therefore have a high tolerance for risk, time allows for recovery from failure. The rich also can recover from failure through the buffer of money. As we all know, time is money and conversely money is time — and time heals all wounds.
If, as Calacanis asserts, it’s all about ideas in this new era of cloud-based infrastructure, then implicit in that is the notion that the services that sustain the human side of that equation take a similar form. National healthcare and a decent retirement system would reduce certain aspects of risk and open the field to a broader range of individuals: people who’ve lived a little and made the requisite number of mistakes to create at a deeper level.
A new era of a meritocracy of ideas in the technology businesses is deeply intertwined with the political questions that sustain the humans that do that work. In our conversations about the path of technology, these background processes need to brought to the surface– if there is to be change we can believe in.Comments closed