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89

Networks and the Nature of the Firm

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O'Reilly, T. (2018). Networks and the Nature of the Firm. In O'Reilly, T. WTF?: What's the Future and Why It's Up to Us. Random House Business, pp. 89-108

94

These firms thus use technology to eliminate the jobs of what used to be an enormous hierarchy of managers (or a hierarchy of individual firms acting as suppliers), replacing them with a relatively flat network managed by algorithms, network-based reputation systems, and marketplace dynamics. These firms also rely on their network of customers to police the quality of their service. Lyft even uses its network of top-rated drivers to onboard new drivers, outsourcing what once was a crucial function of management.

outsource to customers AND making them cops in one go. Investing customers with that kind of power which they didn’t ask for and often don’t want: tension, desire to treat other human beings well, vs being honest? Also: jobs are indeed displaced transformed but don’t focus on the jobs, focus on the workers. Who will provide for them? Stat about them employing more drivers: yeah but what else do they do? Can’t survive on just Uber etc. Also look at the bigger picture, more nuanced than Uber is good bad, look at the context and whether Uber is a piece in a larger problem and you have to change that. Like Brexit - unidimensional condensed to scalar when really complex vector Random thought: he talks about maps a lot. I feel like understanding left critiques of tech really opens up your map. Wish he would see that ​

—p.94 by Tim O'Reilly 8 months, 3 weeks ago

These firms thus use technology to eliminate the jobs of what used to be an enormous hierarchy of managers (or a hierarchy of individual firms acting as suppliers), replacing them with a relatively flat network managed by algorithms, network-based reputation systems, and marketplace dynamics. These firms also rely on their network of customers to police the quality of their service. Lyft even uses its network of top-rated drivers to onboard new drivers, outsourcing what once was a crucial function of management.

outsource to customers AND making them cops in one go. Investing customers with that kind of power which they didn’t ask for and often don’t want: tension, desire to treat other human beings well, vs being honest? Also: jobs are indeed displaced transformed but don’t focus on the jobs, focus on the workers. Who will provide for them? Stat about them employing more drivers: yeah but what else do they do? Can’t survive on just Uber etc. Also look at the bigger picture, more nuanced than Uber is good bad, look at the context and whether Uber is a piece in a larger problem and you have to change that. Like Brexit - unidimensional condensed to scalar when really complex vector Random thought: he talks about maps a lot. I feel like understanding left critiques of tech really opens up your map. Wish he would see that ​

—p.94 by Tim O'Reilly 8 months, 3 weeks ago
95

Similarly, robots seem to have accelerated Amazon’s human hiring. From 2014 through 2016, the company went from having 1,400 robots in its warehouses to 45,000. During the same time frame, it added nearly 200,000 full-time employees. It added 110,000 employees in 2016 alone, most of them in its highly automated fulfillment centers. I have been told that, including temps and subcontractors, 480,000 people work in Amazon distribution and delivery services, with 250,000 more added at peak holiday times. They can’t hire fast enough. Robots allow Amazon to pack more products into the same warehouse footprint, and make human workers more productive. They aren’t replacing people; they are augmenting them.

make human workers more productive. The ideal is: more neisurely. More skilled jobs. Like sysadmin with a well functioning system. The reality: overwork the shit out of them. Management by stress toyota model

also this really does not age well in light of the recent spate of articles about amazon workers being injured and overworked af

—p.95 by Tim O'Reilly 8 months, 3 weeks ago

Similarly, robots seem to have accelerated Amazon’s human hiring. From 2014 through 2016, the company went from having 1,400 robots in its warehouses to 45,000. During the same time frame, it added nearly 200,000 full-time employees. It added 110,000 employees in 2016 alone, most of them in its highly automated fulfillment centers. I have been told that, including temps and subcontractors, 480,000 people work in Amazon distribution and delivery services, with 250,000 more added at peak holiday times. They can’t hire fast enough. Robots allow Amazon to pack more products into the same warehouse footprint, and make human workers more productive. They aren’t replacing people; they are augmenting them.

make human workers more productive. The ideal is: more neisurely. More skilled jobs. Like sysadmin with a well functioning system. The reality: overwork the shit out of them. Management by stress toyota model

also this really does not age well in light of the recent spate of articles about amazon workers being injured and overworked af

—p.95 by Tim O'Reilly 8 months, 3 weeks ago
104

Over time, as networks reach monopoly or near-monopoly status, they must wrestle with the issue of how to create more value than they capture—how much value to take out of the ecosystem, versus how much they must leave for other players in order for the marketplace to continue to thrive.

the very way he frames it makes it so obvious that there's something wrong with this picture. WHY SHOULD THEY HAVE THE POWER TO DECIDE HOW MUCH VALUE TO CAPTURE, vs how much to leave for the "others". fuck that

—p.104 by Tim O'Reilly 8 months, 3 weeks ago

Over time, as networks reach monopoly or near-monopoly status, they must wrestle with the issue of how to create more value than they capture—how much value to take out of the ecosystem, versus how much they must leave for other players in order for the marketplace to continue to thrive.

the very way he frames it makes it so obvious that there's something wrong with this picture. WHY SHOULD THEY HAVE THE POWER TO DECIDE HOW MUCH VALUE TO CAPTURE, vs how much to leave for the "others". fuck that

—p.104 by Tim O'Reilly 8 months, 3 weeks ago