Make it matter

Chris Shipley of Guidewire Group has a great post bemoaning how entrepreneurs are driven to invest their time and energy and (other peoples’ money) on more and more vacuous projects:

“Indeed, the collective attention of young entrepreneurs seems be have been hijacked by all things trivial. How many knock-off AirBnB sites does the world need? Or new vertical social networks for niche groups that can’t figure out how to create a Facebook page? Or Foursqure meets meets World of Warcraft?

Presumably, these proportedly hot startups are endorsed by the taste makers of the angel investor scene. And if you’re an investor, these businesses may be a good way to turn a quick profit – for you, if not the entrepreneur. But, really, where’s the long-term positive impact? (by Chris Shipley)

Personally I totally agree with the sentiment. Are we bemoaning capitalism? Does that make us communists, oh dear? I don’t know – it’s true that these entrepreneurs are pursuing their dream of making it big as expected from rational economic actors. If we as a society chose to reward – with our attention, time and money – vacuous projects, then in a way, aren’t we getting what we asked for?

Analogous I suppose to my thoughts about TV. Isn’t TV (and especially Cable) news terrible, repetitive, overly polarized, superficial and everything else? I doubt (Murdoch may be the exception) that folks deciding what to put on Cable have any other agenda than simply: “measure what brings in viewers and give them more of that. If it doesn’t work then try something else.)

What we asked for.