Friday, February 19, 2010

Scarcity Creates Value

In his book The Dip, Seth Godin talks about scarcity creating value. Basically, the fewer people with a certain skill or ability, creates demand and therefore value. Nowhere is this more evident than at the Olympics. These athletes are the best, they are rare and they are valuable because of it. Shaun White demonstrated a couple of nights ago on the snowboard half-pipe, an amazing performance, untouchable. His moves were far above the rest. It seemed natural effortless. This morning I read in the paper about his private training half-pipe, complete with foam chips, to try out these amazing tricks. Is it any less amazing? No. But at least we know he is earthly bound. However it is the extra hard work and training that has created value, 8 million at last count. "So what, Lit Maven, does this have to do with you?" Well, we need to realize that behind every great performance is a struggle. As teachers we need to be ready to struggle with these new technologies, to really get a handle on them. I would argue that students need to see this struggle too. In the end, if it's scarcity that creates value, wouldn't you like your students to be the ones getting the gold?

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