Bill Gates Argues ‘Supply and Demand’ Doesn’t Apply To Software

“Not enough people are paying attention to this economic trend,” writes Bill Gates, challenging the widespread use of forecasts and policies based on a “supply and demand” economic model. An anonymous reader quotes the Gates Notes blog:
Software doesn’t work like this. Microsoft might spend a lot of money to develop the first unit of a new program, but every unit after that is virtually free to produce. Unlike the goods that powered our economy in the past, software is an intangible asset. And software isn’t the only example: data, insurance, e-books, even movies work in similar ways.

The portion of the world’s economy that doesn’t fit the old model just keeps getting larger. That has major implications for everything from tax law to economic policy to which cities thrive and which cities fall behind, but in general, the rules that govern the economy haven’t kept up. This is one of


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