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Tuesday, March 09, 2010


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Arcadia Codesmith

Be careful what you wish for.

When it was announced that LoveMachine was hiring, I bemoaned the fact that they wanted somebody in meatspace instead of allowing that employee to work remotely/virtually.

Now they are farming out tasks remotely (which is super), but the competitive bidding means they're paying peanuts with zero bennies.

I hope it's just Philip's visionary charisma that makes people willing to cut code for next to nothing.

Because if this is a trend... well, maybe it's not too late to become a dog groomer.

Annyka Bekkers

This sounds more than a little scary. I think it might be time to go back to trade school and learn a real trade like plumbing.

Adric Antfarm

Huffington Post proves this is a valid (yet amoral) business model.

It strikes me as odd the most liberal "look for the union label" orgs are the ones who love the free/cheap labor.

JeanRicard Broek

On January 26th I blogged: http://jeanricardbroek-architect.blogspot.com/2010/01/love-machine.html

"While reporters look for the product, I have been looking at the process. Think about what he is doing."

"Imagine - Building software in small chunks with "The Love Machine", piece by piece, a process of "rapid micro-outsourcing" for lets say a total of less then $100,000. ~woot~ "

Now the reports are $30,000 for three products. I am afraid this is a peek at the future. While Linden Lab moves to rigidity with a flash of scrum, Philip is off again, defining the future. I am not sure that the products matter. He will monetize the process.

brinda Allen

I'm wondering if a similar *rewards* system was in place at the Lab when the code for 2.0 was written.
(Maybe it was handed out daily and used for Ukranian vodka so as to assuage the guilt for that piece of work?)


What evidence do you have of these three "significant" projects or the workforce model effectiveness beyond that provided by the company? Sounds like a cheap, benefits-bereft cheap labour model to me...let's hope that Philip does not revolutionize real work back to the early 20th century.


Didn't "Heaven's Gate" build websites and make software the same way? No pay, all cult of personality.

Ignatius Onomatopoeia

My God, if this model could come to academe, it would be the best thing since academic freedom.

I'd put committee meetings up there as "no work done" and establish a system of points for publication, by status of the journal, teaching, advising, making coffee...

Goodbye, departmental deadwood :D

Bob L

Phil rediscovered piece work. How cleaver of him. Back to the 19th century it is then.

Ann Otoole

He could post the work on getafreelancer.com and get it done faster cheaper better. This is not a new idea at all.

Matthew Perreault

This may be the tech equivalent of getting someone to join your band so you can use their PA system.


LOL w/ Ignatius, but that is where education is(or on a crash towards, if you have not noticed); should be. Work more efficiently, farm out the clerical stuff, delegate routine tasks to interns.

Anya Ristow

SL has taught Philip that people will work for peanuts if they can do it in their underwear at their computer without having to talk to real, live humans. Combine that work force with the open source / wiki crowd, who have day jobs and don't need to be paid at all, and it's win win win for Philip. The irony is that the latter group, who hate established power structures, are helping him create yet another way for the charismatic to reward their own kind.

I figure Philip will always be able to support himself lavishly on the work of others. Good for him. Fortunately for the rest of the world I don't see him ever creating anything with a broader appeal than SL.

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