With All due respect to Mr. Andreessen, I think he has for the most part missed the point of the MOOCs. The point is democratization of knowledge, not 3D effects and superstar directors, hence first 'O'. Idea is to make high quality courses available to as many people as possible, where customary costs of production would spread over large number of users to make them almost free. $200 per course he envisages is quite a bit of dough for the most parts of the world outside The Valley.
I did not incoude in thre story Marc's comments about companies wanting to preserve a culture of compensating people on a more or less equitable way.
However, I would note CEOs have been way off the charts in compensation for years. I'd say either get CEOs on a similar scale as other employees (at least the same page!) or reward everyone according to revenue tied to their accomplishments.
In this cost and metric obsessed era, maybe Google is on to something?
There are those who will start assuming that they are forever entitled to big bucks and increase their spending accordingly (otherwise known as the NBA Syndrome) and there are those who will use it to save and invest. I am reminded of a story I read about a Nevada brothel that ran investment seminars for the working girls on the basis that they were making very good money for a limited time and needed to plan accordingly.
What I see is the possibility for corporate influence. If advanced technology is seen as a key business driver then engineers get invited to the planning meetings and have a chance to be heard. When the Internet was new and scary CxO's listened to their engineers about what they had to do. This is the first step to returning to that kind of influence.
The short answer is no! But I guess it's all relative. Most people who have stayed in their current job for more than a year have at least subconsciencely decided that they are getting enough compared to the effort required to get a different job.
It's funny that we read about engineering shortages when talking about immigration but if we look at the IEEE salary survey, salaries are down and not keeping up with inflation.
The salaries being so high has some downside too. People get used to these big bucks and their expenses match with that. Reasonable salaries ang job satisfacion is good to have. But that is never a realty. But yes if you have the knowledge and there is business need then you get really rocket high salary. And trust me the more you get the more you want.
The rank and file would work even harder to be superstars. Even though people know, deep inside, that only few of them will make it in the end, it would not stop them from trying because the potential rewards are very high.
Personally, I cannot think of a better way to attract more people into Engineering. We must beat showbiz and elite sport at their own game!
Engineers are now starting to get paid for their true value, which arguably has not been case for a long time, but it is now, and Google is at heart of this.
While I, too, get excited about people making lots of money, I am not a big fan of this whole culture of Valley's obsession with "your worth." I get that we need superstars. But what about rank and file engineers who work just as hard and make your next products sing?