The Software Society

How digital technology is changing our culture and economy


The Productivity Paradox: Efficiency without Jobs?

A core problem is largely being ignored—a “productivity paradox.” If a company can produce a product or service at less cost, that company has improved its productivity and potentially its profits. But, when a company improves productivity by reducing the number of employees, jobs disappear. For most of modern history, new categories of quality jobs appeared quickly enough to replace the jobs lost. Today, productivity improvements driven by accelerating technology development are destroying jobs faster than good jobs are being created. This leads to an economic problem rather than the boost that productivity has historically given the economy.

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It’s all about jobs

October 23, 2013 [Continuing discussion on themes from The Software Society: Cultural and Economic Impact (2013), by William Meisel] The latest employment numbers support my concern in The Software Society that the economy was generating too few jobs because companies were automating away jobs at a faster rate than individuals or the economy could adapt. […]

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Technology Communities: Microsoft’s Reorganization Reflects a Major Economic Trend

Microsoft’s recent reorganization focused largely on unifying its products and services. The reorganization is a symptom of a major economic trend that I call “Technology Communities” in The Software Society. Briefly, technology communities are based on families of products and services that work well together. If a buyer has a product from an effective community, […]

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Reducing digital overload

What is the biggest problem most of us face today using our digital devices and services? Too much of a good thing. Email and other messaging systems are wonderful inventions, but we spend too much time going through irrelevant or marginal messages. Web resources are indispensible, but search engines too often return an overwhelming number […]

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The Ubiquitous Personal Assistant: The battle has begun

Apple popularized the concept of a digital personal assistant with Siri. In The Software Society, I predicted the importance of an extension, “ubiquitous” personal assistants (UPAs), personal assistants that use advanced language understanding and carry their knowledge of you and your interests across devices (e.g., mobile phones, tablet computers, and PCs). I also predicted the […]

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