March 25, 2013

WHERE THE JOBS WENT:

Google was worth 1,838,389 workers in 1998, maybe Ethan Herdrick)

What is an innovation worth? I'm not asking how much money it makes, because that's just part of it. To take an extreme example, if you give an invention away to the public it can still provide value to people, it's just that you're not getting any of it, or no more than anyone else. But the cash value of the uncaptured part is notoriously hard to quantify. How about a different approach?

Human labor has always been a fundamental good. And lots of new technologies have been called "labor saving devices". If we can figure out a way to calculate an innovation's equivalent in human work, we'd have a measure that works across history, even prehistory. [...]

 On the day Google launched they were providing, free of charge and with less than 1/120th the latency, what you'd need 1,838,389 smart workers to do the day before.

Posted by at March 25, 2013 7:15 PM
  

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