« The Innovator's Prescription: A Disruptive Solution to Health Care | Main | The Promise and Reality of Cloud Computing »

July 07, 2008

Comments

Alex O'Neal

As a knowledge engineer I deeply enjoyed this column. Skilled talent (knowledge capital) is not as appreciated as it should be; too many companies believe that knowledge workers, particularly contractors, can be switched around like interchangeable parts. This only hurts their business.

Re: "Individuals in society find it in their self-interest to develop sympathy as they seek approval of what he calls the impartial spectator. The self-interest he speaks of is not a narrow selfishness but something that involves sympathy."

Interestingly, evolutionary studies have increasingly shown that altruism is a highly adaptive trait. Societies (and by extension corporations) who take care of their own succeed much more frequently than societies that promote an every-man-for-himself approach.

Chris Ward

One trouble with 'Knowledge Capital' is that it tends to get you into commercial legal squabbles.

For example, I'm sure it has taken a tremendous investment of skilled time from Microsoft, to get Microsoft Windows and Microsoft Office to where they are now; and to develop the revenue stream they have.

But the new generation ... mostly university engineering and science students, and their teachers ... say 'We can do it with Linux and OpenOffice'. And if they win, that ends Microsoft's revenue stream. Very chilly capitalistic winds could blow.

In terms of 'knowledge capital', they have about the same investment that daisies growing in the garden have. A little water and some sunshine, and they will survive.

So there's competition. There is the old business, with a revenue stream to defend. And there are the new people, looking for space to grow and new businesses to start.

Society ... certainly in the Western world ... claims that it is short of scientists and engineers; so you would imagine that the public interest is in encouraging new ones to flourish.

But will it come out that way ?

The comments to this entry are closed.