Upon reading a fine piece of prose from none other than the based god Billy G, I have internalized his concerns and definitely see where he’s coming from. I mean, it must suck to be eating ramen and coding nonstop for years, only to be paid a measly $2 an hour. His share on the sexual marketplace has also noticeably taken a plunge. He looks like Shaggy from Scooby-Doo in confused harmony with a geriatric.
While he doesn’t explicitly mention it, he’s undergoing an internal conflict. Essentially, it boils down to this: should I look like Shaggy and do what I love for $2 an hour or head to the dark side (Goldman Sachs or some other greedy corporation), which has cookies and exponentially better pay? He’s pleading for us to tip the scales to the Shaggy side. And it benefits him, and us, but in a slightly more convoluted way.
As he states, we get more innovative and well thought out products from the swagmeister (Billy G) if we give him the money for a haircut and the occasional steak. And we’ll even get some dark side converts that aren’t as generous or gritty as Billy to return to the software world. The answer seems simple, no?
Yes, but on a couple of contingencies. First, software companies need to respect the privacy of their users more. All of these damn 50 page EULAs are so sketchy and at this point, they’re just preying on the laziness of users that gave them their job. Just look at Facebook, or Google, or Apple. As Barry O would quip, we need a fundamental transformation here.
Lastly, companies need to be affordably price their products. Adobe, pls. $700 for Photoshop Extended?!? Honestly, what’s the point in paying for that? If I get some obscure and deadly virus from torrenting it, I could easily buy another high quality laptop for under $700 dollars and run my luck again.
To end on a slightly serious note, I think people are more willing to cough up money than these companies think. All we need is a baseline dialogue in which both parties attempt to understand each other and compromise.