Random Thoughts on Omnitopia: Dawn.

Okay, I was re-reading Omnitopia: Dawn by Diane Duane and it occurred to me that Dev Logan’s business model and sense of responsibility toward his employees/players does not in any way fit a corporate model. (At least, not the corporate model as I understand it from my Introduction to Business class and the general attitude of business types in the news.)

There’s a key point toward the end of the book where this is emphasized. One of Dev’s players is royalty and she not quite jokingly refers to the game as Dev’s “kingdom” and Dev as a fellow ruler. Dev does not treat his employees precisely as employees and he does not treat the players of the game precisely as his clients or customers. He treats them as if were a particularly enlightened king and his employees and customers were his retainers and subjects. To use a phrase from a different author, Dev is “making Vor real” by creating a business culture that is also a community.

The attitude is contrasted with Phil Sorenson’s business culture where his employees expect him to blow up, and therefore tip toe around him. Sorenson does not care about the welfare of his employees except where it affects how much money he makes. He is aware there is something wrong about the way his employees have come to interact with him, but he does not understand that there is something “wrong” with the business culture he’s creating. (His other issues, which lead to him into trying to destroy Dev’s business because he wants Dev to be his friend again we can save for another time.)  He only makes token efforts at increasing morale, but regards things like “morale” as a waste of time. We don’t get a very good look at Phil’s business culture but we can guess it’s probably fairly toxic.

So, thoughts? (I can imagine some people are going to be suggesting that Dev’s business model/culture is impossibly utopian.)

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