The New Economy 2.0

cafemarco.jpg

Every now and then you just have to stop and contemplate the radical transformation of the world we live in. I’m hardly pointing out anything new, yet it’s still mind-boggling. This is Cafe Marco on Santa Monica Blvd. in West Hollywood. Every single person here is working on their laptops (I counted 12, almost half of them Macs), taking calls on cell phones and presumably earning a living while sipping soy lattes. These are not kids, they’re professionals. What everyone does, I have no idea, but they’re probably free agents doing an LA version of what I’m doing here (i.e. something related to “the industry”), which is working on three projects at once: a book, a real estate article, and posting blog items about New York even though I’m not even there (see below). I can work from a cafe in LA rather than at the home office in New York for a number of reasons, the obvious one is technology, but also cheap airfare and a widely dispersed network of friends who, even though they don’t live in the same city as me, account for a significant portion of my social life because we get around so much and communicate effortlessly. It’s a truly astonishing change that has become almost like the air; it’s all around us yet goes virtually unnoticed.

3 Responses to The New Economy 2.0

  1. j says:

    rad insight moment.
    !
    good luck w/these projects. keep us posted (though you will, intrinsically, because the blogosphere IS one of yr projects.)
    best to you.

  2. It is a mind boggling change. And semi invisible. And then very sudden. I recall in 1997 Alex Marshall and I drove down to Chapel Hill, and, by something of a lark, I had a cell phone at that time. I only had the cell phone for 2 or 3 months, then I gave it up (I got my current cell phone in 2001). I recall in 1997 cell phones were still somewhat rare, and my friends tended to comment on it. I recall during that trip Alex borrowed my phone at one point to call his brother, and Alex made a point of mentioning that he was calling using a cell phone. It was the kind of thing that people still remarked about back then. Nowadays, of course, it would sound a little… um, strained, maybe, if someone said “Hi! Guess what? I’m calling you using a cell phone!” Somewhere between 1997 and now it became common place.

  3. minterests says:

    I also appreciate what you pointed out, it is always worth taking the time to stop and think about this amazing transformation. I think that sometimes it is difficult to notice because we are right in the middle of it. What amazes me most is that we are only at the beginning, what will all these technologies look like in just 5 years? I was speaking with a colleague this morning that is much more knowledgeable about this than I, he said we are not far away from being able to use a computer like Tom Cruise did in the Minority Report. Can you imagine no keyboard, no screen and you are moving files or what ever around with your hands! I just want to be here to see it!

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