Economies

Within the second section of the book “Remix” Lessig introduces the reader to different economies which we live in within the technological world. Lessig states that when there is an input of A to B then there is either a direct or indirect output back to B. He states that there are two major types of economies. Commercial economies which revolves around the concept that price is how we negotiate things whereas in Sharing economies revolving around the concept of having social relations without having to be insulted and bothered by the money. We all live in many different commercial and sharing economies because they both complement one another and our lives are richer because of this diversity. This review will be focusing on these two concepts together with their differences and their positive and negative aspects on the world.

When looking into what Lessig was describing in the section of Commercial economies he states that people participate within the economy so long as they get enough back relative to what they give. This meaning that people in an economy will only give out money if they will receive the same amount of satisfaction and quality as they gave out “Buy what is worth buying”. Lessig talks a great deal about how the internet is a kind of Commercial economy. This is due to the fact that the internet has allowed opportunities for business to make money by making old businesses work better. There are three main examples which show successes from internets commercial economy. 1) Netflix: Starting off 30 years ago there was a war launched against a technology that was quickly becoming ubiquitous such as Netflix which has radically changed the video rental market. Blockbusters changed their business model to mirror Netflix, and Wal-Marts service was take over by Netflix. 2)Amazon launched in 1995 as a simple book store and when online stores opened up they used this to their advantage and offered their book browsing online. 3) Google: Founded at Stanford by two students and became known for its advanced algorithm search results based upon how the NET linked to the results. Know google uses these search engines to know exactly what people want and offer searches to them to profit their company. All these companies became so big due to creating a commercial economy and finding methods to become successful.  Three main keys to these successes involved: 1) Long Tails principle: as the cost of inventory falls, the efficient range of inventory rises. 2) Little Brother principle: This learns what people are likely to want and then recommend new things to them based upon what the little brother has learnt by collecting data from the customers. 3) LEGO-ized Innovation principle: It gets turned into a block that others can add to their own Web sites or their own business.

When looking into Sharing economies refers to peer-to-peer-based sharing of access to goods and services. A sharing economy is different from commercial economies because sharing economies don’t revolve around money whereas commercial economies do. Lessig states that money in the sharing economy is not just inappropriate but also poisonous. The concept of “Helping out” is only common in sharing economies whereas in commercial economies it is unheard of. Sharing economies are where access to culture is regulated not by price but by a complex set of social relationships. This revolves around building connections with people and establishing relationships for example a gift. Its not about how much it costs but how much it means to you to give it to someone. However, price is sometimes mixed into sharing economies causing disruption and changing relationships between people. Sharing economies are also found on the internet such as Wikipedia which offers information for free and were people can contribute their knowledge to update the Wikipedia pages.

In conclusion both commercial and sharing economies coexist with one another to contribute and benefit the economy. If we were to lean to much toward one the economy would become unbalanced causing disruption across the world. Personally I feel that we must focus on having a more sharing economy however keeping in mind that commercial economies are more beneficial to the overall economy money wise.

Written By: Jelle Debruyne

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