Amateurs are the New Professionals

There is a major disruptive force going on in our world today, and it involves a do-it-yourself behavior on a large scale. Individuals are sharing home videos with the world, performing citizen journalism, and selling goods all via the Internet. Companies are getting into non-core lines of business in order to expand their reach; such as selling music online, offering data centers accessible over the web, and distributing other people’s software through their infrastructure. This subtle and large scale trend is amateurization: the empowerment of firms and individuals to provide goods and services that used to be the realm of a professional organization.

Whether it is uploading funny videos on YouTube, posting breaking news on Twitter, providing the latest hits on iTunes, or listing the hottest video game on eBay, amateurs are creating and distributing products around the world at a scale unthought-of before. What factors are driving this large scale amateurization? It’s a consumer base that finds the amateur products “just good enough”, timely, and entertaining. Let’s look a little bit closer at those three attributes:

1. Just Good Enough. Being just good enough means having most of the features that a consumer wants at the price they are willing to pay. Twitter has recently been hailed as a great place to get near real time news, even though the facts initially are sketchy as an event is being published. Music on iTunes is not usually stored in the original bitrate it was recorded, but consumers find the music just good enough to download and listen to.

2. Timely. Speed is of the essence in today’s world, especially with amateur products and services. Consumers are willing to get their news fast and raw from Twitter or a blog, as long as hits the web before the popular new channels on T.V. But timeliness isn’t just about getting content quickly; it’s about getting products on your own time. If a consumer wants to sell something on eBay versus a yard sale or resale shop and has the time to wait for a good price, then they will. People are frequently looking for a DVR for their life, and purchasing amateur goods or using amateur services is allowing people to time shift their lives.

3. Entertaining. Using amateur goods and services has to provide some sort of entertainment for people, or serve a leisure activity. People posting videos on YouTube get a kick out of sharing their content with the world, and people watching the videos hope to be entertained by the amateur filmmaking. Consumers get a thrill out of getting the best deal off of eBay, and sometimes make a game out of it by “sniping” for the last second deal. Even commentors on a blog try to seek entertainment by getting in the “first post” or reply to a blog entry.

Amateurization is a newish microeconomic force going macroeconomic through the power of the Internet and new technology. It is causing everybody to want to be an entrepreneur of some niche product or service, in hopes of hitting it big on the global scale (if only for 15 Internet minutes of fame.)

What do you think about amateurization? Is it a fad or a trend?


About jpthomp137
Techie/student/husband/father interested in new technology, social media, and innovation.

One Response to Amateurs are the New Professionals

  1. Sajib says:

    It’s a trend. :D

    Anyway, I’ve dropped at your blog from LostInTechnology. I guess you already know me. I write there as “Aminul Islam Sajib” (/author/aminul.sajib). It’s great to see your blog. But as it’s dark, it’s hard to read stuffs here.

    Would you have a go to my blogs?


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