Gabe Newell on ‘Productivity, Economics, Political Institutions and the Future of Corporations’ – the video link

On 30th January, Gabe Newell gave a talk at the University of Texas, Austin, with the above title. Click here for an abstract and a description of the motivation behind the talk. The video of his talk is now available below:

6 thoughts on “Gabe Newell on ‘Productivity, Economics, Political Institutions and the Future of Corporations’ – the video link

  1. Pingback: Janis Varufakis ekonomista, ogled o budućnosti kompanija Digitalni anarhosindikalizam | Biznis i Finansije

  2. Excellent talk. Gabe nailed it. For readers unfamiliar with videogame culture (a field I research and track as part of my day job), it’s worth knowing that Valve is not a unique outlier, but is very typical of a slew of smart, savvy videogame studios who understand the value of respecting and cooperating with the digital commons, e.g. Poland’s CD Projekt, which has been running its own DRM-free digital platform. Also, one minor point of clarification: Gabe mentions user-generated content runs at a 10:1 ratio. That doesn’t mean sheer numbers — fan content would be much bigger as a raw number (try 100 to 1), but you get lots of amateurish or halfbaked efforts. Gabe is referring to the much smaller subset of actual content innovation (as determined by fan ratings and audience response), as compared to what the folks at Valve create. In a nutshell, the audience is becoming the studio.

  3. Thanks for posting this, (insert a swearword here :-) ) – this was impressive, great to watch. There is a lot of inertia in this world which is very far from the developments talked about here, but it’s great to see a glimpse of the guture and a guy who is making a real difference.

    The real change in this world will not come from politicians, but from Gabe (and hopefully others who start to get it too).

    Besides that point, the mechanism of price within the framework of “free market” is really about sharing accurate (good) information between people. That is it’s true value, it enables us to understand to direct our effort where it’s going to be appreciated and than get something that we want for our effort back for almost no cost. Everybody is happy (or better to say this is the maximum happines point for all parties) when the information flows openly and is acted upon honestly. That is the beauty, the reality though is that through other social creations (regulation/or the lack of it/both can be used to distort the information flow) the information flow is skewed for the benefit of minority, agreements dishonoered and someone gets to screw the otherone without any kind of retribution, so the negative cycle continues. We see it all the time, micro and macro scales, especially during “not well understood events”, one of them being the current crisis.

    What is so interesting here, is that the future economy will be creating other kinds of fluid information flows (at almost no cost) which will be making it harder for one side to screw the other. Reddit example is great, hard to trick it, but the information while almost free is not very fluid though. Steamrep is another very primitive one, very fluid but limited in scope. A crude projection would be steamrep for everything where people who have information can share it with the rest of the world, because they can, from local bakeries to CDO’s. Price will get another fluid information sharing mechanism (or more) within a future framework (like Steam?) where it will be really hard to screw the other side to start with (without requiring the effort of legal system at the back end to try to correct some wrongdoings after the fact as is currently the case for really bad offences). It would enable the participants in the system to share the information about it with the users instantaneously, as ultimatley people want to do so, but are very often unable to do it in current world.

    Once understood and socially accepted, information about where to direct your effort should become a lot easier to see and productivity will skyrocket.

    That is the true value of a digital economy, as such frameworks are actually possible, and other kinds of “superfluid” information sharing to supplement the price are sort of here, and about to become “core” to the to future evaluation of transactions, whether digital or otherwise and therefore making us all better at focusing the effort into being productive as opposed to disruptive – the dissuasion for disruptiveness will be built into the system already. Therefore changing the way we live, do business and eventually even change those 19th century hierarchical pyramids that are todays corporations.

    The future looks bright, let’s hope we do not get something really bad like WWIII on the way there.

  4. This has been one of the best moments of profound understanding I have ever experienced. So thank you Yanis; a wonderful contribution to the debate about the evolution of new business models for the future.

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