The founder of eBay, Pierre Omidyar, has been increasingly in the news. And BusinessWeek online has an interview with him here. From the interview:
What we see in the blogging community is that it’s very easy to focus around radical points of view. I think that’s totally fine. But it does tend to create centers of gravity around polar opposite points of view, and that’s a challenge for our time.
That bit resonated with me since in some circles lately my position in favor of copyright enforcement is viewed as a pro-corporate position. It’s not. The issue in my opinion are the laws that dictate the kinds of protection society gives to its creative individuals. At one pole are the “make everything free” utopians who don’t seem to want any laws, and at the other are the “we need to extend copyrights forever” corporations who want more controlling laws. Believe it or not, there is a position between the two. And I’m taking it because it’s in my self-interest.
From Mr. Omidyar:
Self-interest is a powerful motivator. The nice thing about eBay is that it’s very clearly based on self-interest. You’ve got sellers interested in getting the highest price for their item, and buyers interested in acquiring the item, yet somehow they agree on a price. So even through the pursuit of your own self-interest, by connecting with other people you do create some shared value.
Y’know, when I look at those poles, I see Consumers and Distributors. I don’t see many Creators.