The Brass Tack

Let's get down to it.

Cory Doctorow’s “Makers”

Posted by srconstantin on July 15, 2009

I like the idea of serializing novels. It made Dickens a bundle. It might be a good way to experiment with free content without sending writers into ruin. It’s especially good when the novel in question is very very good.

Cory Doctorow, he of the cape and goggles, is making Makers available in segments on the Tor.com website, which incidentally has a great blog. If any publisher is actually making an effort to survive in a future where the internet still exist, Tor is. Pity I’m a student and not an eccentric millionaire who can actually buy thousands of dollars’ worth of books.

Makers is a novel about a business model.

“We will brute-force the problem-space of capitalism in the twenty first century. Our business plan is simple: we will hire the smartest people we can find and put them in small teams. They will go into the field with funding and communications infrastructure—all that stuff we have left over from the era of batteries and film—behind them, capitalized to find a place to live and work, and a job to do. A business to start. Our company isn’t a project that we pull together on, it’s a network of like-minded, cooperating autonomous teams, all of which are empowered to do whatever they want, provided that it returns something to our coffers. We will explore and exhaust the realm of commercial opportunities, and seek constantly to refine our tactics to mine those opportunities, and the krill will strain through our mighty maw and fill our hungry belly. This company isn’t a company anymore: this company is a network, an approach, a sensibility.”

It’s rare that you run into a book that gives you an idea. It’s all but impossible to find a book that gives you a funny, perceptive, useful idea on every damn page. And I’m only four segments in. Read it.

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