Sunday, December 24, 2006

On Meritocracies

The open source world is a meritocracy. Write a tool, put it on the web, and you can compete head-on with Microsoft and IBM. David Heinemeier Hansson, the creator of Ruby on Rails, came out of nowhere to change the way many of us approach web development, because his tool is better than the old ones. It's all about talent.

Then there's the music business. I don't know how it works, but it doesn't seem to have much to do with talent. I was reminded of that, yet again, when we saw MoDeBree last night. The lead singer, Kelli Moss, has a great voice. She moves effortlessly from jazz to blues to rock to soul. But she's at Shenanigans, singing her butt off for seventy people, while half the world discusses Britney Spears' panties.

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