Software: an optimistic view

Marc Andreessen’s op-ed piece in the Wall Street Journal received a lot of commentary and retweets today, and rightly so.  His premise that software is gobbling up the world, and that it’s a good thing, may seem to some to be counterintuitive and provocative.  He’ll likely face a lot of criticism for his article. He cites solid examples from many sectors of our economy, and he illustrates that while software was introduced to speed up processes or otherwise make things more productive, it has in the meantime transformed entire industries, and in some cases, destroyed decades-long business models.  He also poses some tough questions for investors and regulators of how valuation can be done reliably and accurately.  Because (he argues) software has the potential for far-reaching positive societal effect, in order to accelerate further innovation there needs to be an update to how the securities industry looks at valuing software companies.  He contends that by doing so, the industry could be unleashed to expand and produce even more. Better to read his argument than to rely on my two sentence representation.

However, this post is not meant to be a rehash of what was presented in today’s WSJ.  I highlight it here to make a bigger point about  optimism, and how it’s an often sneered-at attitude.  Why is that? Why do some people seem to prefer gloom over hopes and dreams? One can say lots of things about optimism, and optimists… some of it valid… but if you give it a bit of thought you would likely agree that optimism really is the only attitude that can propel the world positively forward.

About Peter Armaly
I get jazzed by automation, big data, and blockchain tech. Business, technology, and fitness are things I understand. Scotch, wine, food, and fiction are things I appreciate.

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