Amanda Hocking is making a million dollars a year publishing her own work to the Kindle. No publisher.
Rebecca Black has reached more than 15,000,000 listeners, like it or not, without a record label.
Are we better off without gatekeepers? Well, it was gatekeepers that brought us the unforgettable lyrics of Terry Jacks in 1974, and it’s gatekeepers that are spending a fortune bringing out pop songs and books that don’t sell.
I’m not sure that this is even the right question. Whether or not
we’re better off, the fact is that the gatekeepers–the pickers–are
reeling, losing power and fading away. What are you going to do about
I’ve written many times about the drivers that enable such magnificent achievements. It begins with de-industrialization, a process whereby capabilities that once belonged only to large companies or government entities are passing increasingly into the hands of individuals. Today anyone who wants to can record a single, produce a TV show, or become a radio talk show host. I referenced this process on last week’s Transparency Revolution (one of the two Internet radio shows for which I have picked myself to be host), which I’ll just share with you here in case you missed it:
I wrote not long ago about how automation has turned us all into our own travel agents, check-out clerks, and gas station attendants. The same wave of technology is now turning us all into our own gatekeepers. You see, a choose-yourself world isn’t all upside. As Seth points out, when there are no gatekeepers telling you “no,” what is your excuse for not telling yourself “yes?”
Face it: there is no excuse. That’s a scary proposition. If you never give it a try…well, there’s no one to blame but you. If you try, you might fail. But surely it’s better to fail spectacularly in a choose-yourself world than it is to live in frustrated “safety” in a world where the gatekeeper passed you by–especially if the gatekeeper is you.
(Cross-posted to Transparency Revolution with some organizationy stuff thrown in to make it a little more, you know work-like. Please leave comments on that version as I have closed them here. And thanks for the link, Glenn!)