Jul 26, 2005

button economics

It’s retrofun day on Kottke.org!  Jason’s linking to Mahir, the hampster dance, the Internet’s last page, the cookie recipe and, of course, the really big button that doesn’t do anything, which has a treasure-trove of user generated content, including this gem from “Esther Dyson.”

The really big button that doesn’t do anything poses interesting challenges both for owners/creators/sellers and for users of the button. Because the button allows for essentially endless pressing, it dramatically changes the traditional economics of “buttons.” In this new world, competing with the old one, the button is easy to press, but hard to understand. The button allows creativity to proliferate, but button quality will be scarce and hard to recognize. Button creators will have to fight to attract attention, and to get paid. Logistics alone used to add value to buttons; it does so no longer.

Ah, good times.