Sun Aug 18th, 2013 at 05:44:49 PM EST
Jarod Lanier has taken a lot of (largely deserved) flak for his clumsy statement comparing Kodak and Instagram in employment terms - and using that as a "proof" that the Internet age is undermining employment.
Including in gmoke's review of his book here.
And yet... many people wonder if there is something going on...
So I thought it would be interesting to apply some more figures from the Industrial and Internet sectors and see what we can see.
I used Enterprise Value (which tries to correct Market Cap with data on borrowing and cash reserves) as some measure of the investment by the financial system in the companies. I didn't include any banks because the metric doesn't compute properly for them. EV figures from Yahoo, except for the Twitter estimate, which is from Forbes (Twitter is not yet a public company.)
Employment figures are from news articles around the internet, mostly reputable. Amazon's highlights a calculation problem - it's not clear how various corrections are made for full time vs part time. At least half of the 88,000 are part time.
|Company||Enterprise Value (bn $)||Employment (est)|
| || || |
So what does it all mean?
I'm not sure, but contact with the physical still produces jobs, as can be seen from Amazon's warehouse and delivery - or even Google's 16,000 employees in the Motorola phone subsidiary. But if you can keep away from the physical, it seems that a lot of money produces much less employment in the software business.