GOOD

Joi Ito on the (Common) Value of Sharing

Joi Ito is the CEO of Creative Commons. My entrepreneurial life happened when the internet started. And I think the...



Joi Ito is the CEO of Creative Commons.

My entrepreneurial life happened when the internet started. And I think the biggest difference between my entrepreneurial life and the entrepreneurial life of some other people is the internet is all about-as David Weinberger would say-small pieces smoothly joined, and about people doing new things and connecting with each other. And so I built a bunch of companies on the internet, or using the internet, with the idea of everybody participating in a community and being able to innovate without asking permission. It's a very different kind of entrepreneurialism.

Ever since the internet started, the cost of collaboration, and the cost of putting anything together, has continued to go down. It would have taken millions of dollars to create Google, or something even remotely similar, before the internet. With open source and the internet, the cost of creating a search engine went down dramatically. Today, it would even be cheaper. And so what that means with things becoming cheaper and collaboration becoming easier is that entrepreneurs can try more innovative things.

Getting customers has always been one of the key factors for success or failure. The big portals were all about getting everybody signed up, and then making switching expensive-the old term people used to use a lot was "stickiness." Now the user is much smarter and, they know that they can use bits and pieces from different places, and as the net has become more and more open, you don't gain customers by putting up barriers, and you don't hear the word "sticky" as much anymore. It's really more about how do you become part of this conversation, how do you become one of the tools that users use to create the experience that they're creating, and how do you join this little ecology of small companies.

One of the big failures of the whole web 1.0 thing was when AOL and all these other guys packaged everything up into these walled gardens. Everybody-both the users and the entrepreneurs-have realized that that doesn't work. Google, Microsoft, and others are still trying to lock you in, but a very different way. Facebook is, as well. They're trying to become a platform for other people to come and share and communicate with each other. So the architecture has changed. It's not that everybody is completely altruistic and giving, but I think the layer of content, the layer of connection that used to be closed, is open.

We've reached a point where it's technically feasible to do all kinds of things, like put together academic databases, or communities of people to mix music or video. But it's currently very legally cumbersome to do this, whether it's the universities not having compatible contracts or users not being able to separate the content that wants to be shared from the content that doesn't want to be shared. Most of the cost of transaction, or the cost of collaboration right now, is the fact that you have to have a lawyer involved every time two services, or two people, want to interact with each other at the content layer. And this also is very divisive in terms of the communities. So these legal things only surface once you actually try to do something, and Creative Commons solves that by providing a standardized license and a bunch of technology to help you track that, which means you don't need to involve a lawyer every time you try to mash things together. I think that Creative Commons will enable a whole sort of explosion of innovation at the next layer and up.

Story as told to Eric Steuer. Click the play button below to listen to the interview on which this piece is based.



Eric Steuer is the creative director of Creative Commons, a nonprofit organization that works to make it easier for creators to share their work with the rest of the world. It also provides tools to make it easier for people to find creative work that's been made available to them-and the rest of the world-to use, share, reuse etc., freely and legally. This is the third in a series of edited and condensed interviews called "We like to share," in which Steuer talked to people who work across a variety of fields who use sharing as an approach to benefit the work that they do.



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 United States License.

Articles
via The Howard Stern Show / YouTube

Former Secretary of State, first lady, and winner of the popular vote in the 2016 presidential election, Hillary Clinton, sat own for an epic, two-and-a--half hour interview with Howard Stern on his SiriusXM show Wednesday.

She was there to promote "The Book of Gutsy Women," a book about heroic women co-written with her daughter, Chelsea Clinton.

In the far-reaching conversation, Clinton and the self-proclaimed "King of All Media" and, without a doubt, the best interviewer in America discussed everything from Donald Trump's inauguration to her sexuality.

Keep Reading Show less
Politics
Pixabay

Offering parental leave for new fathers could help close the gender gap, removing the unfair "motherhood penalty" women receive for taking time off after giving birth. However, a new study finds that parental leave also has a pay gap. Men are less likely to take time off, however, when they do, they're more likely to get paid for it.

A survey of 2,966 men and women conducted by New America found that men are more likely to receive paid parental leave. Over half (52%) of fathers had fully paid parental leave, and 14% of fathers had partially paid parental leave. In comparison, 33% of mothers had fully paid parental leave and 19% had partially paid parental leave.

Keep Reading Show less

Bans on plastic bags and straws can only go so far. Using disposable products, like grabbing a plastic fork when you're on the go, can be incredibly convenient. But these items also contribute to our growing plastic problem.

Fortunately, you can cut down on the amount of waste you produce by cutting down on disposable products. And even more fortunately, there are sustainable (and cute) replacements that won't damage the environment.

Coconut bowls


Cocostation

Who says sustainable can't also be stylish? These cute coconut bowls were handmade using reclaimed coconuts, making each piece one of a kind. Not only are they organic and biodegradable, but they're also durable, in case your dinner parties tend to get out of hand. The matching ebony wood spoons were polished with the same coconut oil as the bowls.

Cocostation Set of 2 Vietnamese Coconut Bowls and Spoons, $14.99; at Amazon

Solar powered phone charger

Dizaul

Why spend time looking around for an outlet when you can just harness the power of the sun? This solar powered phone charger will make sure your phone never dies as long as you can bask in the sun's rays. As an added bonus, this charger was made using eco-friendly silicone rubber. It's win-win all around.

Dizaul Solar Charger, 5000mAh Portable Solar Power Bank, $19.95; at Amazon, $19.95; at Amazon

Herb garden kit

Planter Pro

Put some green in your life with this herb planter. The kit comes with everything you need to get a garden growing, including a moisture meter that helps you determine if your herbs are getting the right amount of food to flourish. All the seeds included are certified to be non-GMO and non-hybrids, meaning you can have fresh, organic herbs right at your fingertips.

Planter Pro's Herb Garden Cedar Planter, $39.00; at Amazonedar Planter, $39.00; at Amazon

Reusable Keurig cups

K & J

Keurig cups are convenient, but they also create a ton of plastic waste. These Keurig-compatible plastic cups are an easy way to cut down on the amount of trash you create without cutting down on your caffeine. Additionally, you won't have to keep on buying K Cups, which means you'll be saving money and the environment.

K&J Reusable Filter Cups, $8.95 for a set of 4,; at Amazon

Low-flow shower head

Speakman

Low-flow water fixtures can cut down your water consumption, which saves you money while also saving one of the Earth's resources. This shower head was designed with a lighter flow in mind, which means you'll be able to cut down on water usage without feeling like you're cutting down on your shower.

Speakman Low Flow Shower Head, $14.58; at Amazon

Bamboo safety razor

Zomchi

Instead of throwing away a disposable razor every time you shave, invest in an eco-friendly, reusable one. This unisex shaver isn't just sustainable, it's also sharp-looking, which means it would make a great gift for the holidays.

Zomchi Safety Razor, $16.99; at Amazon

The Planet