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<title>Action-Reaction </title>
<p>
Newton's laws of motion say, “<strong><a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Newton's_laws_of_motion">To every action there is an equal and opposite reaction</a></strong>.”
</p><p>
A Wired magazine article called “<a href="http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/15.03/snacklash.html">Snacklash</a>” explains that <strong>in a world of bite-sized entertainment from YouTube, 50-hour-long dramas like The Sopranos, Lost, or 24 are more popular than ever</strong>.
</p><p>
Chris Anderson remembers, “<strong><a href="http://www.longtail.com/the_long_tail/2008/04/seth-godin-asks.html">Every abundance creates a new scarcity</a></strong>.”
</p><p>
Every time a curmudgeon complains about how things are changing, remember that <strong>change leaves room for its opposite reaction</strong>, too.
</p><p>
Let's think of some examples, shall we?
</p>
<dl>
<dt>ACTION:</dt>
<dd>More and more and <strong>more music to choose from</strong>.</dd>
<dt>REACTION:</dt>
<dd>More need for <strong>tastemakers</strong> to tell us what's good.</dd>
</dl>
<dl>
<dt>ACTION:</dt>
<dd>Less <strong>venues</strong> for musicians to play.</dd>
<dt>REACTION:</dt>
<dd><strong><a href="http://concertsinyourhome.com/">House concerts</a></strong>.</dd>
</dl>
<dl>
<dt>ACTION:</dt>
<dd>Everybody getting <strong>too much email</strong>.</dd>
<dt>REACTION:</dt>
<dd>Increasing effectiveness of using <strong>anything-but-email</strong> to reach people. (Phone, SMS, snail mail, Facebook message.)</dd>
</dl>
<dl>
<dt>ACTION:</dt>
<dd>The push to make recorded music <strong>free</strong>.</dd>
<dt>REACTION:</dt>
<dd>Reaching people who are <strong>happy to spend</strong> money to show their dedication to an artist. (One of CD Baby's top-sellers costs <a href="http://cdbaby.com/cd/hypnotica2">$150</a>. Many of david m. bailey's fans buy <a href="http://cdbaby.com/group/dbailey">all of his albums</a> at once, at a cost of $233.)</dd>
</dl>
<dl>
<dt>ACTION:</dt>
<dd><strong>Customized entertainment</strong> online, where you only see/hear what you want to see/hear. (Pandora, Last.fm, etc.)</dd>
<dt>REACTION:</dt>
<dd>The luxury of <strong>someone else choosing your entertainment</strong>, based on what they think you <strong>need</strong> to see/hear. (It's healthy to hear other points of view.)</dd>
</dl>
<dl>
<dt>ACTION:</dt>
<dd><strong>Social network</strong>, where hundreds of people you've never met are called “friends”.</dd>
<dt>REACTION:</dt>
<dd><strong>Anti-social network</strong>, a secret site where you can't see who else is on there unless you've privately communicated a shared password. Then your “friends” can be your <strong>real</strong> friends, and you can have a better (private) conversation. <em>(No this doesn't exist yet, but that's part of the fun of this action-reaction thing : using it to imagine what should exist.)</em></dd>
</dl>
<p>
Hal Varian, chief economist at Google, <a href="http://freakonomics.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/02/25/hal-varian-answers-your-questions/?scp=1-b&amp;sq=varian&amp;st=nyt">said</a> (via the <a href="http://www.wikinomics.com/blog/index.php/2008/05/08/leveraging-scarcity-in-the-age-of-abundance/">Wikinomics blog</a>), “If you are looking for a career where your services will be in high demand, you should find something where you <strong>provide a scarce, complementary service to something that is getting ubiquitous and cheap</strong>. So what’s getting ubiquitous and cheap? And what is complementary to that?”
</p><p>
I have the feeling this little brainstorm just barely scratched the surface, so <a href="http://sivers.org/action-reaction#comments">please leave a reply here with some of your thoughts or examples</a> on this action-reaction subject.
</p>
<img src="http://sivers.org/images/cradle.jpg" width="250" height="197" />