Monday, December 27, 2010

The Individual Producer

Welcome back to Sensical Gibberish. I'm back with more gibberish and hope to post once a month going forward. To follow-up on my last post on the once quaint tradition of doling out gold Rolex's upon retirement, I'd like to develop the thought a little deeper: The Individual Producer.

Advances in technology along with the myriad of issues facing today's labor force are allowing (forcing) individuals to become productive. Quick example -- at one point in time if a journalist wanted to get their voice heard it entailed looking for a job at major newspaper and using that outlet to disseminate their work. Now, that same journalist can start blogging in a matter of minutes, distribute using social mediums, and generate income using advertising and subscriptions.

The theme: forget the days when individuals had to rely on large entities with deep pockets and technological know-how as portals to reach and acquire customers. The return to production is something I have been thinking about for a long time. Today someone passed this article on to me: How E-Books Are Changing the Economics of Writing. It demonstrates how technology is providing individuals amazing tools to harness their abilities.

The article quote from J. A. Konrath caught my attention:
"I have an acquaintance who is a New York Times bestseller," he notes. "She got a great advance. But I'm on track to earn $200,000 this year on e-books alone, and the e-book market is still in its infancy. If she'd kept the rights and self-published her e-book, I bet she would have earned more money in three years on her own than she will with her publisher."
There you have it. Technology is making it attractive for individuals to move away from big firm dependence and give it a shot on their own. As the article points out, there are some hurdles that face all individual producers (in this case self-published e-book authors) such as marketing and distribution to name a couple. Of course, when aren't there problems with a new business model?

I have faith in two things. One, entrepreneurs will continue to come along and enhance the individual producer ecosystem by providing individuals the tools to market, distribute, and solve any other future hurdles (think as a strong ecosystem for small artists and producers). Two, technology will continue to make it easier for individual producers to create and distribute whatever they are good at. I'm talking broad spectrum; from investing advice to farming -- harnessing any act using technology. It can only get more interesting and I'm excited to see whats next.