Feeds

Customisation is BAD for the economy, say Oz productivity wonks

Bakers today, modders and makers tomorrow

Remote control for virtualized desktops

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. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
Holy vintage vehicles! Earliest known official Batmobile goes on sale
Riddle me this: are you prepared to pay US$180k?
Criticism of Uber's journo-Data Analytics plan is an Attack on DIGITAL FREEDOM
First they came for Emil – and I'm damn well SPEAKING OUT
'It is comforting to know where your data centres are.' UK.GOV does NOT
Plus: Anons are 'wannabes', KKK says, before being pwned
'Open source just means big companies can steal your code.' O RLY?
Plus: Flame of the Week returns, for one night only!
NEWSFLASH: It's time to ditch dullard Facebook chums
Everything hot in tech, courtesy of avian anchor Regina Eggbert
Hey, you, PHONE-FACE! Kickstarter in-car mobe mount will EMBED your phone into your MUG
Stick it on the steering wheel and wait for the airbag to fire
Bible THUMP: Good Book beats Darwin to most influential tome title
Folio Society crowns fittest of surviving volumes
prev story

Whitepapers

Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
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.
Go beyond APM with real-time IT operations analytics
How IT operations teams can harness the wealth of wire data already flowing through their environment for real-time operational intelligence.
The total economic impact of Druva inSync
Examining the ROI enterprises may realize by implementing inSync, as they look to improve backup and recovery of endpoint data in a cost-effective manner.
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.