Message from the Web

If you haven’t read Tim Bray’s “Message from the Web”, take a few minutes to do so now. He spoke at a conference working on an XML schema for accountants, and must have shaken things up with his brief but eloquent description of the web’s sensibilities. It’s already being cited by the likes of Sam Ruby, deservedly so. I need it on a playing card to hand out to the many people I meet who haven’t absorbed the way things work now.

Getting started should be free. ¬∑ Also, it shouldn’t take more than a few days.

How much did it cost you to start using Google or Flickr or Facebook or YouTube? The answer is always the same. If you want people to adopt anything in any scale, you have to remove barriers, and money is one.

Let’s imagine a scenario: There’s a smart young-ish person who has a basic understanding of business realities and accounting fiction oops methodology. Let’s call her “Emma”. Emma decides that people are underestimating the importance of collecting receivables in Value-Investment portfolios, and figures out a better way to compute a number that reflects that. She lives in Manitoba and doesn’t work for Goldman Sachs, but she can write CGI scripts. She has the idea on Wednesday and gets the script working next Monday, and one quarter later, either gives up on the idea or is incredibly rich. Both are good outcomes.