The girl effect and value creation

I got a link to this pretty neat web site explaining how educating girls pays off.

It made me thing how value is created. Open source and value creation was also one of the topics we we chating about with Jon “maddog” Hall last week in Bogotá.

Related to open source, open content and free culture people are often asking where do these people find time to do these things? The answer is pretty simple: they are saving time from doing something else. Many people are also paid to do it (I am partly and so is maddog), because people paying for it see that the value created is valuable for them, too (in most of the cases the value translates to euros and dollars, too).

How is value created? Value is created all the time with almost in all human activity. Actually, most things we do in our life create some value. So, we just do things and value is created. Different activities, however, creates different amounts of value.

Examples: Some people like to play air guitar, some like to write Wikipedia articles. Some people want to play football, while other want to spend all their time on paid work, only. Some want to watch TV, some play with their children. Some people want to party. Most of us do all these things in different quantities.

The key is that some activities create more value than others.

Eating a dinner with your family creates value – social value. In many cases it may create more social value than clicking around in Facebook. In some cases having a family dinner together is very expensive – you may actually loose more social value than what is created. In Leo Tolstoy’s words:

All happy families resemble one another, each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.

Sleeping creates value. If you are tired you can’t create value. Good parties create social value. Bad parties may get expensive in many ways.

Watching TV is very expensive behavior from the value creation point of view.

Working in open source, open content or free culture projects create a lot of value. It creates so much value that some people are scared. They shouldn’t. They can benefit from the value creation, too.

When more people will have more control on their time, more basic skills and understanding on how the world works they can join the global value creation party. That is the girl effect.

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