Sunday, 1 July 2012
Digital property and the Great Land Rush of 1893
"They're not making any more land" is clichéd. In our generation, new territory has been discovered in digital space. We're rushing in and staking claims where no one has been before. You have GPS turn-by-turn guidance on your bicycle? Is Dropbox is collecting all your news discoveries and letting your friends around the country read and edit them in real time? Do you point your phone at a bottle of shampoo and learn what the best price within 20 miles is? You push a button while hearing a snatch of tune and the melody is identified, a copy plus lyrics is downloaded into your hip-mounted memory and your Facebook friends know you like it. It's like the Land Rush of 1893. First come, first served and the stronger and swift prevail.
The opportunities to profit in this new land are unprecedented. Almost no one is there ahead of you. None of the people you went to school with knew about them. Your parents didn't even have words to describe them. Heck, ten years ago I didn't have the words either. Try reading the last dozen headlines at Engadget and imagine explaining them to your elementary school classmates during "What I did for my summer holidays" time.