Why I Haven’t Been Worrying About Creating Markets in Make Creativity Work

Watching CTO Francesca Bria’s amazing talk on Barcelona’s bottom up tech efforts, I realized why I haven’t gotten to writing about how the markets proposed by Make Creativity Work might function.

There are a number of groups across the globe who are trying interesting experiments in what’s sometimes called Platform Cooperatives that are trying to build an alternative to an economy dominated by Facebook, Google, Amazon, and Apple. I have complicated feelings about these efforts.

The way think about it is similar to what I think around healthcare. I’m strongly in favor of Single-Payer, Medicare/Medicaid for All, or national health insurance. But almost every industrialized country other than us has a healthcare system that works quite well for their citizens, and most of them don’t use one of those approaches. My goal is to get the job done even if the end result isn’t exactly what I want.

So although I have a tremendous amount of respect for the Platform Cooperative’s crowd, given just how bad things could get if we don’t get a solution to the robot jobs crisis threat in time, I wouldn’t want to say there’s only one right solution. And if I’m being completely honest with myself, more than a handful of people who talk about co-ops in general and platform co-ops in particular are so loosey-goosey about how the tiny examples they love to talk & talk & talk about would scale to the point where they would have a real effect on the economy that I probably don’t give them a fair hearing, because they get on my nerves.

That said, I’m pretty impressed by some of the experiments that have popped up in the last two years, such as some of the projects highlighted by Bria. And so a part of me hasn’t been in any rush to do some of the hard, headbanging-against-wall analysis it would take to come up with a smart market proposal. I’d rather wait for a bit and see how some of these on the ground efforts pan out.

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