Glenn Reynolds has a new book called An Army of Davids about how markets and technology are empowering individuals in new ways. In a similar vein, I wrote a column about the rise of personal businesses several months ago.
The gist of my column is that many businesses, especially high-tech businesses, can be started with a lot less capital than ever before. A few thousand dollars for servers and open source software can do the job that used to cost tens of thousands of dollars. What's more, new business models, like Amazon's AWS allow you to "rent" things you could never rent before (like servers by the hour) significantly reducing fixed costs.
But it's not just business. Something that really caught my eye was a recent post by Thomas Barnett pointing to an article in the Middle East Quarterly by a woman in Montana who used computer technology to personally battle terrorism. You have to read the whole article to understand the depth of what she did. But she, in essence, became a "template for the government in the new and developing field of fighting terrorism online called 'cyber-counterintelligence'."
Other example include places where citizens are building eGovernment applications that their government either can't or won't build.
Do you have any examples of where technology is enabling small groups or even individuals to take on roles that were previously reserved for large organizations or governments? Leave a comment and share it please.