13 April 2012

The Smartest Thing Said About The Great eBook Kerfluffle of 2012

John Scalzi's blog post is spot-on about the Great eBook Kerfluffle of 2012.

Key quote:

"[All companies] have a fiduciary duty to their shareholders to maximize value. You are the means to that, not the end. The side these companies are on is their own side, and the side of their shareholders. This self-interest doesn’t make them evil. It makes them corporations."

While I've tried to keep this point visible, I've not done so as well
as he has here. *So far as motivations are concerned, corporations are corporations.* Neither Amazon or B&N or the "Big Six" or any of the rest are more or less evil than any other. (caveat: People within them might be, but the people in a system do not equal the
system. And yes, this applies to Google too.)

What *I* am trying to do is to figure out the economic ramifications of the strategies currently in play, and take some guesses about how that will play out for people in my position. Hence my "be able to DIY, no matter how you do it now" approach.

*Currently* Amazon is the 800# gorilla in the room, and is (IMHO)
acting like it. Thinking that Amazon (or any other player in this) is *individually* good/bad/etc is ignoring the social and economic ruleset they're all participating in. The structure of the system - just like chess - dictates what kind of moves are advantageous.

What's interesting - and scary - about the Great eBook Kerfluffle of 2012 is that it will, in some way, alter the rules of that game in
unknown ways. If you're busy demonizing (or beatifying) any individual corporation instead of talking about the *system*, you've missed the point.

- I'm mobile blogging, please excuse formatting SNAFUs
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