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This is a research blog for my MA in Visual Effects @ Ravensbourne, UK.

Private companies, public infrastructure

Great post by Paul Krugman about Google’s decision to shut down Google Reader. He cites Ryan Avent, who argues that Google has been providing crucial public infrastructure — but doesn’t seem to have an interest in maintaining that infrastructure, which indeed seems to be a quite interesting thought.

Whether you agree with Google’s executive chairman Eric Schmidt defending Google tax affairs, saying that the firm plays a key role in the UK’s high-tech growth or not, I do think this poses an interesting conflict to the whole notion of open innovation, social value and the idea of private companies working, collaborating and offering solutions in the public sphere by applying certain models of governance that generate benefits for a large number of people.

I think as we slowly see more companies adopting socially inclusive business models, becoming increasingly aware of their responsabilities in generating social benefits and moving away from a “shareholder value”, we will become more familiar with issues like this one. To be fair, to a certain extent, I do think Google enables a number of businesses around the country to operate, which generates social value. Notice that I’m not interested on the discussion about which conduct is the correct or wrong one.

As I’ve mentioned before here, the transition from a “shareholder” to “social” may be contradictory. The question in the future will be what form of autonomy is desired for a company to have in the economy and in the public sphere.

- Posted by rrraul on 05/05/2013 | PG03 |