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January 14, 2009

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Joseph Concordia

Dear Nick Clayton:
Your concepts for the future of work and of capitalism are certainly enjoyable to read. However, I wonder how the real future will evolve. Can the small agile individual worker really prosper without the deep pockets of the large organized business entities? He perhaps can survive, but can he gain meaningful financial success? The old adage, "it takes money to make money" still applies, and the other one, "the golden rule; he who has the gold rules" is still at work. The life blood of business is money and money only comes to business when there are customers that buy and pay for the goods and services.

How can ki work to bring this about? I have technical skills, experience, and knowledge to offer in a world where we hear daily about the shortage of scientists and engineers. But there are almost no buyers seeking these services. For the few buyers out there, the sellers outnumber them many, many fold. The ki concept is beautiful in principle, but the chance for success is small for individuals like me. What is needed is an opportunity creating vehicle with tangible project activities presented to the work performer for action, not just a cyber-mall where offerings are displayed.

Nick Clayton

Hi Joseph

Thanks for your response. It's always good to know somebody's reading what I've written. As always I have to say that I can't predict the future, but neither can anybody. I do know that change is the only certainty.

I don't think you're necessarily right to talk about 'the deep pockets of the large organized business entities'. Those pockets are often either empty or filled with IOUs for the banks. And don't get me started talking about the depth of the difficulties faced by the banking sector.

As individuals we may feel as if we're massively in debt, but we won't cease to exist in the way that corporations will as a result of the current recession. Think about it. Enron's gone, but the majority of people who worked for the company are still doing the same job. Only the name at the top of their pay checks has changed.

Also while I certainly don't totally buy into the American Dream I don't agree always that "it takes money to make money". Being born rich is certainly the best starting point if you want to die rich. But there are plenty of entrepreneurs who started with relatively little money. I would also imagine that you have more money than 90% of the world's population.

I don't know what your technical skills are, but generally demand still outstrips supply globally. That doesn't mean you'll find exactly the employment you want, matching your experience, in a convenient location. Thanks to the internet any work that can be done online can be done anywhere. You're competing against the world.

And that's where ki work comes in. It's early days, but the idea is to create a platform where people can create virtual teams based on the strengths of individual members. Without the markup currently charged by bricks and mortar outsourcing companies the members of those teams will be able to take home more cash and undercut the conventional competition.

In a sense this is no different from what multinational corporations are doing already. First they shifted their manufacturing to countries where labor was cheap, then they began to move parts of their R&D. The point is that through ki work we as individuals can follow the same path unencumbered by the debt and old work practises of the corporations.

The financial crisis we're living through at the moment is horrible. To me it's also symptomatic of a fundamental change in the way capitalism works. I genuinely believe the ki work concept can take advantage of those changes in a way that is beneficial to all. If I'm wrong all that's lost to people who join is the time they've invested. And the way to make it succeed is by getting involved.


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