Feeds

Customisation is BAD for the economy, say Oz productivity wonks

Bakers today, modders and makers tomorrow

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

Australia's Productivity Commission is complaining that high-value, highly-customised – artesan, in fact – products are a drag on national productivity.

In its latest productivity report, the nation's flint-eyed economists have decided that the best thing for the economy is for every possible product to sink into an identical low-cost, indistinguishable grey goo, apparently, like the generic "food" from the 1984 cult classic Repo Man.

It states, for example, that multi-factor productivity in the bread business has declined because those pesky specialists are spoiling the numbers by employing more bakers. Consumer demand for “products like international-style breads and breads with healthy additives such as whole grains” means there's a small shift away from the sugar-infused fluff that dominates supermarket aisles.

That means the growth in that sector is greater in “shop-based bakeries than in centralised factories”, the commission writes.

“Shop-based bakeries, which are usually small scale and less automated, do not achieve the economies of scale of large factories. For example, more labour is used per dollar of value added produced in shop-based bakeries (in part also because they sell their products directly to the consumer) than in factory manufacture.”

Even worse, it's really difficult to come up with any way to measure the economic value of product quality: “the higher quality of some of the output produced with these additional inputs may not be fully reflected in the measures of real value added growth for the subsector”.

At some point, El Reg is forced to speculate that the Productivity Commission will one day find out that there is a whole segment of the IT industry devoted to creating highly-customised, labour-intensive artesan products. Modders, be very, very afraid: your passion is eroding economic efficiency. Those of you creating bespoke software can also probably stop bringing the rest of us down. ®

Remote control for virtualized desktops

More from The Register

next story
MEN: For pity's sake SLEEP with LOTS of WOMEN - and avoid Prostate Cancer
And, um, don't sleep with other men. If that's what worries you
Jim Beam me up, Scotty! WHISKY from SPAAACE returns to Earth
They're insured for $1m, before you thirsty folks make plans
Now: The REAL APPLE NEWS you need to know
OMG! Gravity's totes amazeballs. Calm down, George Clooney, not your film
Boffins who stare at goats: I do believe they’re SHRINKING
Alpine chamois being squashed by global warming
Let's make an app that POSTS your POO to APPLE HQ
Plus: It's OPEN WARFARE in the Linux greybeard world
FedEx helps deliver THOUSANDS of spam messages DIRECT to its Blighty customers
Don't worry Wilson, I'll do all the paddling. You just hang on
Adorkable overshare of words like photobomb in this year's dictionaries
And hipsters are finally defined as self-loathing. Sort of
Not a loyal follower of @BritishMonarchy? You missed The QUEEN*'s first Tweet
Her Maj opens 'Information Age' at the Science Museum
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
The hidden costs of self-signed SSL certificates
Exploring the true TCO for self-signed SSL certificates, including a side-by-side comparison of a self-signed architecture versus working with a third-party SSL vendor.