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Listen to the Interns

Ethan Zuckerman on Chris Anderson.

He [Chris Anderson] walks us through some of the business changes that happen as we move from scarcity to abundance:

– In the past, we built business cases based on ROI. Now we build it and build the business afterwards.
– In the past, “everything is forbidden unless it’s permitted.” Now everything is permitted unless forbidden.
– Scarcity is about paternalism, a decision that an editor knows what’s best. Abundance is about egalitarianism.
– Scarcity is top-down, abundance is bottom-up. Instead of command and control, it’s out of control.

Chris tells us that he’s trying a new management philosophy – “I do whatever my interns tell me to do.”

Perhaps I’ll try this next summer.

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#1 Comment By frank uible On October 22, 2006 @ 7:57 am

I’ll tell you what’s scarce – it’s my attention span – but on the other hand my boredom is plentiful.

#2 Comment By Guy Creese ’75 On October 22, 2006 @ 6:15 pm

Geez, welcome to a time machine, plopping us into San Francisco in 2000, when 20 year olds and VCs ruled, and everyone else was stupid and just didn’t “get it.”

While I agree huge changes are afoot — for example, command and control is going, going, gone — I don’t see interns as the source of all wisdom. That attitude is so 1960s. True, they see the world very differently than us Baby Boomers, but there’s still plenty of us old farts around. Companies that wimp out will cater to one age group; the smart ones will figure out how to morph themselves for their different audiences.