A fellow entrepreneur forwarded me yet another link about a logo design competition that got me thinking about entrepreneurship and the economy.  Summarizing this particular site, it listed a variety of projects that artists could enter to submit a logo, and the winner would take home a modest amount of prize money for their efforts.  Specifically, this particular site had hundreds of entries for each submission, giving each artist a very low chance of winning for not a lot of money.

Something about this really rubbed me the wrong way for a variety of reasons.  But I think the thing that really got to me is the realization that deflation is hitting our information workers just as hard as it is hitting our auto workers, our iron workers, and our manufacturing base in America.  And when a Web site can go live, effectively helping a single company with a meager budget find hundreds of fantastic logo designs… then maybe the Web has truly become a deflationary force of its own.

I'm as much a hard core capitalists and disciple of Ayn Rand as anyone, but I can't help but think that sites for things like logo competitions are ridiculously exploitive and ultimately bad for everyone involved.  NOBODY benefits from a winner-take-all economic system where just about everything is a commodity… where there is no middle-class… and where there are a few winners and a whole lot of losers. 

Ordinarily, I would say that this is a positive step.  People can/should redefine themselves to be more productive members in society.  But what is our next step as a country?  Put differently, if you could retrain or re-educate yourself, what would you do?  As far as I can tell, anyone who isn't in the health care business is in for a rough patch… and especially if we use available technologies to commoditize work and not maximize economic value from it.