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jerryking : network_effects   37

Opinion: Why economics must go digital - The Globe and Mail
DIANE COYLE
CAMBRIDGE
CONTRIBUTED TO THE GLOBE AND MAIL
PUBLISHED JUNE 9, 2019

But economists’ benchmark mental world – particularly their instinctive framework for thinking about public policy questions – is one where competition is static, preferences are fixed and individual, rival goods are the norm, and so on.

Starting from there leads inexorably to presuming the “free market” paradigm. As any applied economist knows, this paradigm is named for a mythical entity. But this knowledge somehow does not give rise to an alternative presumption, say, that governments should supply certain products.......Having led a review of the spread of anti-microbial resistance – which will kill millions of people if new drugs are not discovered – O’Neill is dismayed by the lack of progress made by private pharmaceutical companies.

Drug discovery is an information industry, and information is a non-rival public good which the private sector, not surprisingly, is under-supplying. That conclusion is not remotely outlandish in terms of economic analysis. And yet, the idea of nationalizing part of the pharmaceutical industry is outlandish from the perspective of the prevailing economic-policy paradigm......Or consider the issue of data, which has lately greatly exercised policymakers. Should data collection by digital firms be further regulated? Should individuals be paid for providing personal data? And if a sensor in a smart-city environment records that I walk past it, is that my data, too? The standard economic framework of individual choices made independently of one another, with no externalities, and monetary exchange for the transfer of private property
Big_Tech  digital_economy  drug_development  economics  increasing_returns_to_scale  market_power  network_effects  personal_data  pharmaceutical_industry  platforms 
june 2019 by jerryking
What You Need to Know to Pick an IPO
April 7, 2019 | WSJ | By Andy Kessler.
Dig up dirt on the competition and board members, and buy to hold long-term.......How do you know which IPOs to buy? No, not to trade—you’d never get it right. Lyft priced at $72, traded at $85 on its first day, then closed at $78, only to fall to $67 on its second day. It’s now $74. I’m talking about buying and holding for a few years. Yes I know, how quaint.

The trick is to read the prospectus. What are you, crazy? That’s a couple hundred pages. Well, not the whole thing. But remember, where the stock trades on its first day is noise....... So understanding long-term prospects are critical. Here are a few shortcuts.

(1) First, glance at the underwriters along the bottom of the cover. On the top line are the banks putting their reputation on the line. If the one on the far left is Goldman Sachs , Morgan Stanley or JPMorgan , you’re probably OK.
(2) open the management section and study the directors. Forget the venture capitalists or strategic partners with board seats—they have their own agendas. Non-employee directors are the ones who are supposed to be representing you, the public investor. And their value depends on their experience.
(3) OK, now figure out what the company does. You can watch the roadshow video, look at prospectus pictures, and skim the offering’s Business section. Now ignore most of that. Underwriters are often terrible at positioning companies to the market.......when positioning companies, only three things matter: a monster market; an unfair competitive advantage like patents, algorithms or a network effect; and a business model to leverage that advantage. Look for those. If you can’t find them, pass. Commodities crumble........read the Management’s Discussion and Analysis. Companies are forced to give detailed descriptions of each of their sectors and products or services. Then flip back and forth to the Financials, looking at the items on the income statement and matching them up with the operations being discussed. Figure out what the company might look like in five years. And use my “10x” rule: Lyft is worth $25 billion—can they make $2.5 billion after-tax someday? Finally there’s the Risk section, which is mostly boilerplate but can contain good dirt on competition.
(4) Put the prospectus away and save it as a souvenir. Try to figure out the real story of the company. Do some digging.
(5) My final advice: Never, ever put in a market order for shares on the first day of an IPO.
10x  advice  algorithms  Andy_Kessler  boards_&_directors_&_governance  business_models  competitive_advantage  deception  due_diligence  howto  IPOs  large_markets  long-term  Lyft  network_effects  noise  patents  positioning  prospectuses  risks  stock_picking  think_threes  Uber  underwriting  unfair_advantages 
april 2019 by jerryking
The value of a network
Business Life: The value of a network
First published in Business Life, January 2009

The value of a network is proportional to the square of the number of users (or devices) on that network.
Facebook  Microsoft  Metcalfe's_Law  networks  network_effects  social_networking  Tim_Harford  valuations 
february 2019 by jerryking
Opinion | Abolish Billionaires - The New York Times
By Farhad Manjoo
Opinion Columnist

Feb. 6, 2019

A radical idea is gaining adherents on the left. It’s the perfect way to blunt tech-driven inequality.
Alexandria_Ocasio-Cortez  Anand_Giridharadas  artificial_intelligence  capital_accumulation  digital_economy  Farhad_Manjoo  income_distribution  income_inequality  moguls  network_effects  radical_ideas  rhetoric  software  superstars  winner-take-all 
february 2019 by jerryking
The Rise of Global, Superstar Firms, Sectors and Cities - CIO Journal.
Jan 18, 2019 | WSJ | By Irving Wladawsky-Berger.

Scale increases a platform’s value. The more products or services a platform offers, the more consumers it will attract, helping it then attract more offerings, which in turn brings in more consumers, which then makes the platform even more valuable. Moreover, the larger the network, the more data available to customize offerings and better match supply and demand, further increasing the platform’s value. The result is that a small number of companies have become category kings dominating the rest of their competitors in their particular markets.

Network dynamics also apply to metropolitan areas. For the past few decades, the demands for high-skill jobs have significantly expanded, with the earnings of the college educated workers needed to fill such jobs rising steadily. Talent has become the linchpin asset of the knowledge economy, making capital highly dependent on talented experts to navigate our increasingly complex business environment.

“Just as the economy confers disproportionate rewards to superstar talent, superstar cities… similarly tower above the rest,” wrote urban studies professor and author Richard Florida. “They are not just the places where the most ambitious and most talented people want to be - they are where such people feel they need to be.”
cities  clusters  geographic_concentration  hyper-concentrations  Irving_Wladawsky-Berger  knowledge_economy  network_effects  platforms  Richard_Florida  start_ups  superstars  talent  winner-take-all 
january 2019 by jerryking
Why Jeff Bezos Should Push for Nobody to Get as Rich as Jeff Bezos
Sept. 19, 2018 | The New York Times | By Farhad Manjoo.

Why does Jeff Bezos have so much money in the first place? What does his fortune tell us about the economic structure and impact of the tech industry, the engine behind his billions? And, most important, what responsibility comes with his wealth — and is it any business of ours what he does with it?.........Bezos’ extreme wealth is not only a product of his own ingenuity. It is also a function of several grand forces shaping the global economy...the unequal impact of digital technology..... direct economic benefits have accrued to a small number of superstar companies and their largest shareholders.....the most important thing Bezos can do with his money is to become a traitor to his class,” said Anand Giridharadas, author of a new book, “Winners Take All.”.....Giridharadas argues that the efforts of the super-wealthy to change the world through philanthropy are often a distraction from the planet’s actual problems. To truly fix the world, Mr. Bezos ought to push for policy changes that would create a more equal distribution of the winnings ......there are fans of Amazon who will dispute the notion that Bezos’ wealth represents a problem or a responsibility....He acquired his wealth legally and in the most quintessentially American way: He had a wacky idea, took a stab at it, stuck with it through thick and thin, and, through patient, deliberate, farsighted risk-taking,.......Tech-powered businesses are often driven by an economic concept known as network effects, in which the very popularity of a service sparks even greater popularity. Amazon, for instance, keeps attracting more third-party businesses to sell goods in its store — which in turn makes it a better store for customers, which attracts more suppliers, improving the customer experience, and so on in an endless virtuous cycle........Mr. Bezos’ most attractive quality, as a businessman, is his capacity for patience and surprise. “This is guy who was willing to buck what everyone else thought for so long,” Mr. Giridharadas said. “If he brings that same irreverence to the question of how to give, he has the potential to interrogate himself about why it is that we need so many billionaires to save us in the first place
Amazon  Anand_Giridharadas  books  economic_policy  economies_of_scale  Erik_Brynjolfsson  Farhad_Manjoo  Jeff_Bezos  third-party  high_net_worth  human_ingenuity  ingenuity  moguls  network_effects  philanthropy  superstars  virtuous_cycles  winner-take-all 
september 2018 by jerryking
China Started the Trade War, Not Trump
March 23, 2018 | WSJ | By Greg Ip.

Even free traders and internationalists agree China’s predatory trade practices—which include forcing U.S. business to transfer valuable technology to Chinese firms and restricting access to Chinese markets—are undermining both its partners and the trading system....starting in the 1980s, economists recognized that comparative advantage couldn’t explain success in many industries such as commercial jetliners, microprocessors and software. These industries are difficult for competitors to enter because of steep costs for research and development, previously established technical standards, increasing returns to scale (costs drop the more you sell), and network effects (the more customers use the product, the more valuable it becomes).......In such industries, a handful of firms may reap the lion’s share of the wages and profits (what economists call rents), at the expense of others. China’s efforts are aimed at achieving such dominance in many of these industries by 2025.
China  China_rising  comparative_advantage  Donald_Trump  Greg_Ip  increasing_returns_to_scale  myths  network_effects  predatory_practices  protectionism  tariffs  technical_standards  trade_wars  U.S.-China_relations  winner-take-all  WTO 
march 2018 by jerryking
This is the age of the Microsoft and Amazon economy
Tim Harford

the big digital players: Google dominates search; Facebook is the Goliath of social media; Amazon rules online retail. But, as documented in a new working paper by five economists, American business is in general becoming more concentrated.

David Autor and his colleagues looked at 676 industries in the US — from cigarettes to greeting cards, musical instruments to payday lenders. They found that for the typical industry in each of six sectors — manufacturing, retail, finance, services, wholesale and utilities/transportation — the biggest companies are producing a larger share of output..... “superstar firms” tend to be more efficient. They sell more at a lower cost, so they enjoy a larger profit margin. ....Superstar firms are highly productive and achieve more with less. Because of this profitability, more of the value added by the company flows to shareholders and less to workers. And what happens in these groups will tend to be reflected in the economy as a whole, because superstar firms have an increasingly important role.
Amazon  Big_Tech  corporate_concentration  David_Autor  economics  economies_of_scale  Facebook  Microsoft  monopolies  monopsony  network_effects  platforms  retailers  superstars  Tim_Harford 
january 2018 by jerryking
Start Spreading the News: Digital Fuels Superstar Cities - CIO Journal. WSJ
Dec 29, 2017 | WSJ | By Irving Wladawsky-Berger.

Superstar companies are primarily driven by economies of scale, generally achieved through platforms and network effects. Whenever a product, service or process is captured in software and digitized, it becomes digital capital and the economics of abundance take over. The more products or services a platform offers, the more users it will attract, helping it then attract more offerings from ecosystem partners, which in turn brings in more users.....The result is that a small number of companies become category kings dominating the rest of their competitors in their particular market – the Facebooks, Googles, Twitters, Ubers and AirBnbs. Category kings generally take over 70 percent of the total market value in their category, leaving everyone else to split the remaining 30 percent.

“Cities have been caught up in this winner-take-all phenomenon, too,” noted Mr. Florida. “Just as the economy confers disproportionate rewards to superstar talent, superstar cities… similarly tower above the rest. They generate the greatest levels of innovation, control and attract the largest shares of global capital and investment.”

Network dynamics apply to cities just as they do for companies and talent. “They have unique kinds of economies that are based around the most innovative and highest value-added industries, particularly finance, media, entertainment and tech; businesses in superstar cities are formed and scaled up more quickly. All of this attracts still more industries and more talent. It’s a powerful, ongoing feedback loop that compounds the advantages of these cities over time.”

But, such a concentration of talent, wealth and economic activity in fewer and fewer places has led to what a recent Economist issue called the changing economies of geography, the rising inequalities between a relatively small number of superstar cities and the many towns and regions that have been left behind by technology and globalization.
Irving_Wladawsky-Berger  cities  winner-take-all  platforms  superstars  network_effects  disproportionality  geographic_concentration  geographic_inequality  feedback_loops  compounded  increasing_returns_to_scale  digitalization 
january 2018 by jerryking
Washington Post, Breaking News, Is Also Breaking New Ground - The New York Times
Common Sense
By JAMES B. STEWART MAY 19, 2017
Scoops — and high-quality journalism more generally — are integral to The Post’s business model at a time when the future of digital journalism seemed to be veering toward the lowest common denominator of exploding watermelons and stupid pet tricks.

“Investigative reporting is absolutely critical to our business model,” Mr. Baron told me. “We add value. We tell people what they didn’t already know. We hold government and powerful people and institutions accountable. This cannot happen without financial support. We’re at the point where the public realizes that and is willing to step up and support that work by buying subscriptions.”.........Mr. Huber noted that given the winner-take-all nature of the internet, the sources of scoops are gravitating toward just a few news outlets led by The Times and The Post. Sources (and people who want to “leak”) go to a publication with the most impact; opinion makers and influencers seek the publication with the most sources and scoops — hence the “network effect” so coveted in technology circles, and one well understood by Mr. Bezos.

When I asked Mr. Baron to name one thing that has driven the turnaround, his immediate answer was Mr. Bezos — and not because of his vast fortune.

“The most fundamental thing Jeff did was to change our strategy entirely,” Mr. Baron said. “We were a news organization that focused on the Washington region, so our vision was constrained. Jeff said from the start that wasn’t the right strategy. Our industry had suffered due to the internet, but the internet also brought gifts, and we should recognize that. It made distribution free, which gave us the opportunity to be a national and even international news organization, and we should recognize and take advantage of that.”.....“Today you have to be great at everything,” Mr. Hartman said. “You have to be great at technology. You have to be great at monetization. But one thing I think we’re proving is that if you are, great journalism can be profitable.”
journalism  investigative_journalism  WaPo  scoops  informants  winner-take-all  network_effects  sources  leaks  opinon_makers  digital_strategies  NYT  WSJ  Jeff_Bezos  subscriptions  paywalls  high-quality 
may 2017 by jerryking
With Competition in Tatters, the Rip of Inequality Widens - The New York Times
Eduardo Porter
ECONOMIC SCENE JULY 12, 2016

The new merger amounts to another step in the long decline of competition in many American industries.

It is a decline that stunts entrepreneurship, hinders workers’ mobility and slows productivity growth. Slowing this trend has emerged as a tempting new avenue to address the plight of a beleaguered working class. Reviving flagging American competition might even help stop America’s ever-widening inequality.

In April, President Obama issued an executive order calling on government agencies to look for ways to bolster competition in the industries they monitor.....There is plenty of evidence that corporate concentration is on the rise. Mr. Furman and Mr. Orszag report that between 1997 and 2007 the market share of the 50 largest companies increased in three-fourths of the broad industry sectors followed by the census......Studies have found increased concentration in agricultural businesses and wireless communications as well.....but is competition policy about increasing the economy’s efficiency, or is it about changing the distribution of the spoils....should antitrust be a major tool for addressing inequality?....How did the American economy get so concentrated? Technology surely helped. Tech giants like Google and Facebook benefit from economies of scale and network effects. ....Government watchdogs also messed up....How to fix corporate concentration? In industries perceived to be fairly concentrated, presume future mergers will be anticompetitive, take the burden of proof off the regulator’s shoulders and putting the onus on the merging companies to prove it is not....Regulations can also be tool: How about demanding that the FDA approve generic drugs more quickly?
competition  antitrust  monopolies  anticompetitive_behaviour  collusion  market_power  corporate_concentration  economies_of_scale  network_effects  platforms  income_inequality  regulators  regulation  competition_policy 
july 2016 by jerryking
Review: The Rise of the ‘Matchmakers’ of the Digital Economy - The New York Times
By JONATHAN A. KNEE MAY 20, 2016
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books  digital_economy  platforms  book_reviews  network_effects  match-making  Jonathan_Knee 
may 2016 by jerryking
The Rise of the Platform Economy - The CIO Report - WSJ
Feb 12, 2016 | WSJ | By IRVING WLADAWSKY-BERGER.

A platform or complement strategy differs from a product strategy in that it requires an external ecosystem to generate complementary product or service innovations and build positive feedback between the complements and the platform. The effect is much greater potential for innovation and growth than a single product-oriented firm can generate alone.”

The importance of platforms is closely linked to the concept of network effects: The more products or services it offers, the more users it will attract. Scale increases the platform’s value, helping it attract more complementary offerings which in turn brings in more users, which then makes the platform even more valuable… and on and on and on.
Alibaba  Apple  Facebook  Google  IBM  Microsoft  scaling  economies_of_scale  Uber  Salesforce  platforms  ecosystems  network_effects  Irving_Wladawsky-Berger 
february 2016 by jerryking
Empire of the geeks | The Economist
Jul 25th 2015 |

The 1990s saw a financial bubble that ended in a spectacular bust. This time the danger is insularity. The geeks live in a bubble that seals off their empire from the world they are doing so much to change....Critics are often from industries wanting to protect their privileges; the geeks’ aggressive behaviour is sometimes part of the creative destruction that leads to progress. But that is not the only source of anger. Silicon Valley also dominates markets, sucks out the value contained in personal data, and erects business models that make money partly by avoiding taxes. There is a risk that global consumers will feel exploited and that the effects of a shrinking tax base will infuriate voters.
techno-evangelism  Silicon_Valley  insularity  dangers  on-demand  network_effects  start_ups  tech-utopianism  creative_destruction 
july 2015 by jerryking
Patterns of Deconstruction: Layer Mastery
JANUARY 01, 1999 | bcg.perspectives |by David Edelman.

In order to exist as a layer, a product or activity supplied by a single company must be a key input to one or many value chains, while also being modular enough to stand on its own as an independent business.
So, the first step in achieving layer mastery is to identify whether any assets or capabilities that have traditionally been part of your proprietary product definition or process expertise may represent the kernel of a new layer business. Often, the asset or capability you have been protecting most carefully is precisely the thing you should be selling to as many players as possible—competitors included—in an effort to create a branded industry standard.

Is the Layer Worth Mastering?

Not all are. Deconstruction de-averages the economics of a business. Some layers are naturally fragmented, leading to stalemate. Other layers, however, can be highly scale sensitive, leading to winner-takes-all competitive dynamics.
For instance, as deconstruction separates physical activities from informational ones, a new information-based scale is emerging. In layers governed by this information scale, network effects create ever increasing value for customers as more of them use the layer—a powerful economic logic for the existence of a dominant competitor.
BCG  layer_mastery  deconstruction  core_competencies  winner-take-all  physical_activities  value_chains  scaling  assets  capabilities  network_effects  kernels  informational_activities 
april 2015 by jerryking
The network effect
Jan 19th, 2015 | Comments to article in the Economist by guest-smamejj.

Networking is not a one off event. All the best networkers work hard at two things.

1. Building a broad network of qualit...
networking  Communicating_&_Connecting  network_effects  listening  questions  attentiveness 
january 2015 by jerryking
The network effect
Shamelessness, schmoozing, brown-nosing, calculating, ruthless, shameless (again)…one gets the impression that Schumpeter’s attempts at networking have not been so successful!

Jan 16th,2015| de...
letters_to_the_editor  friendships  networking  Communicating_&_Connecting  network_effects  shamelessness 
january 2015 by jerryking
The Weekend Interview: Job Hunting in the Network Age - WSJ
By ANDY KESSLER
July 18, 2014 | WSJ |

Reid Hoffman has a theory on what makes ventures work: understanding that information is no longer isolated but instantly connected to everything else. Call it the move from the information age to the network age. Mr. Hoffman thinks that the transformation is just getting started and will take out anyone who stands in the way.

But what is a network? It's an identity, he explains, and how that identity interacts with others through communications and transactions. It's not just online, on Facebook and Twitter, but everywhere. It is the sum of those communications, conversations and interactions.

"Your identity is now constituted by the network," he says. "You are your friends, you are your tribe, you are your interactions with your colleagues, your customers, even your competitors. All those things come to form what your reputation is." In short, you are no longer the only one in control of your résumé...Mr. Hoffman had his own idea for a personal information managers (PIM) concept, but raising money proved tough. He got his first taste of venture capitalists in 1994 when he tried to find funding: "You probably should go learn how to launch software," potential investors told him.

So Mr. Hoffman joined Apple......Mr. Hoffman thinks that corporations still haven't figured out how to use LinkedIn and other platforms to their advantage. "All companies are being affected by globalization. All companies are being affected by technology disruption. Which means the innovation and adaptation cycles are getting shorter and shorter." How do you make your company more adaptive? "The answer is you need adaptive people working for you. It's much better for the company and much better for the employees—it accomplishes a network effect,"

Finding these adaptive employees is one thing, keeping them is another. LinkedIn forces companies to work at that.
accelerated_lifecycles  adaptability  Andy_Kessler  Communicating_&_Connecting  informational_advantages  innovation_cycles  job_search  learning_agility  LinkedIn  networks  networking  network_effects  network_power  Reid_Hoffman  reputation  résumés  retention  Silicon_Valley  tribes 
july 2014 by jerryking
Uber’s Real Challenge: Leveraging the Network Effect - NYTimes.com
JUNE 13, 2014
Continue reading the main story
Neil Irwin

The question for Uber as a business boils down to two words: network effects. That’s the concept in which users of a service benefit from the fact that everybody else uses the service as well. It isn’t much use being the only person to own a fax machine, or the only person to show up at a stock exchange. Things like these become more valuable the more widely they are embraced. Network effects are the key to the wild profitability of a firm like Microsoft; Windows and Office are hard to displace, even if a competitor offers a better, cheaper product, because Microsoft products are entrenched as an industry standard....The billion-dollar question is whether Uber’s model for offering transportation services has some of the same network effects as those of great information industry monopolies (Microsoft, Google), or is more like, say, the travel website business, a brutally competitive industry of middlemen.

Uber is itself a middleman, of course. On one side, it recruits drivers, who typically own or lease their cars. On the other side, it markets to consumers who may want a ride. Then it matches them up; the consumer orders a car, a driver accepts the request, the service is provided, and Uber charges the consumer’s credit card. It keeps a 20 percent commission for itself and pays the rest to the driver....The task facing Uber is not just to overcome the hurdles and make ride-sharing a multibillion dollar industry. It’s to try to entrench the advantages it has from being first: continually refining its offerings to have the best possible user experience, the best data analytics to ensure that people can get a car when they need one, and not to be greedy with regard to its commission, lest it be all the more inviting a target for rivals. It’s no easy job, but nobody said building a company worth $18 billion is.
Uber  network_effects  sharing_economy  middlemen  ride-sharing  platforms  first_movers  transportation  two-sided_markets  match-making 
june 2014 by jerryking
Amazon's Greatest Weapon: Jeff Bezos's Paranoia - WSJ.com
Nov. 13, 2013 | WSJ | By Farhad Manjoo.

What could Mr. Bezos possibly have to fear? Impermanence. Mr. Bezos is in an industry, retail sales, in which every innovation is instantly pored over and copied, in which (thanks partly to him) margins are constantly driven to zero, and in which customers are governed by passing fancy and whim. Being online confers fantastic advantages to Amazon, but it also comes at a deep cost: Very little about its business is burned into customers' minds.

Hence, frenzy: Amazon is in a race to embed itself into the fabric of world-wide commerce in a way that would make it indispensable to everyone's shopping habits—and to do so before its rivals wise up to its plans
Amazon  contra-Amazon  e-commerce  Fedex  habits  impermanence  Jeff_Bezos  network_effects  paranoia  retailers  shopping_experience  speed  staying_hungry  tradeoffs  transient  UPS  USPS  whims  shopping_habits 
november 2013 by jerryking
The Curse of the Network Effect
June 18, 2013 | Psychology Today |by Nir Eyal
network_effects  start_ups 
june 2013 by jerryking
Divide and Conquer: Competing with Free Technology under Network Effects - Academic Article - Harvard Business School
Summer 2008 | HBR |by Deishin Lee and Haim Mendelson

Abstract

We study how a commercial firm competes with a free open source product. The market consists of two customer segments with different preferences and is characterized by positive network effects. The commercial firm makes product and pricing decisions to maximize its profit. The open source developers make product decisions to maximize the weighted sum of the segments' consumer surplus, in addition to their intrinsic motivation. The more importance open source developers attach to consumer surplus, the more effort they put into developing software features. Even if consumers do not end up adopting the open source product, it can act as a credible threat to the commercial firm, forcing the firm to lower its prices. If the open source developers' intrinsic motivation is high enough, they will develop software regardless of eventual market dynamics. If the open source product is available first, all participants are better off when the commercial and open source products are compatible. However, if the commercial firm can enter the market first, it can increase its profits and gain market share by being incompatible with its open source competitor, even if customers can later switch at zero cost. This first-mover advantage does not arise because users are locked in, but because the commercial firm deploys a divide and conquer strategy to attract early adopters and exploit late adopters. To capitalize on its first-mover advantage, the commercial firm must increase its development investment to improve its product features.
early_adopters  late_adopters  networks  network_effects  free  competitive_advantage  product_launches  open_source  competitive_strategy  customer_adoption  first_movers  locked_in 
january 2013 by jerryking
Dropbox: A nebulous future | The Economist
Dec 22nd 2012, 11:31 by A.R. | OXFORD

Dropbox dominates online file-sharing. It boast three times as many users as its closest direct rival, YouSendIt. (Its dominance is even more pronounced when it comes to the volume of data stored.) It eats up 20% of all bandwidth consumed globally by browser-based file-sharing services, against 1% for YouSendIt. Dropbox users save more than 1 billion files every day.

Most of them use the free version of the service. The company makes makes money by charging for extra storage....Dropbox relies on individuals and small firms, for whom its rudimentary security features are good enough; bigger businesses with sensitive information prefer more secure services like Box.net. The advent of competitors in the nebulous form of iCloud, Google’s Drive and Microsoft’s Skydrive, which come pre-installed on their respective makers' gadgets, does not seem to have dampened enthusiasm for Dropbox. Unlike iCloud, which boasted 190m users by October thanks to its deep integration with Apple's mobile devices, the service is "platform neutral"—ie, works across different devices and operating systems—and allows easy file-sharing, both useful traits in an increasingly connected world where few people hew devoutly to a single device-maker....A bigger long-term worry is the plummeting price of digital storage. With its vast scale, Amazon has driven down costs substantially for the likes of Dropbox, which leases server space from the e-commerce giant. But Google Drive already offers 100GB for $5 a month, half what Dropbox charges for the same amount of storage. And Google can advertise its cloud across its myriad online offerings. Dropbox's margins are only likely to get wispier in the future.
Dropbox  file-sharing  cloud_computing  Google_Drive  network_effects  digital_storage  good_enough 
december 2012 by jerryking
Sites Like Groupon and Facebook Disappoint Investors - NYTimes.com
By JAMES B. STEWART
Published: August 17, 2012

Every company has its own story, but the euphoria over social media companies as a group was rooted in what economists call the network effect. The more users a site attracts, the more others will want to use it, which creates a natural monopoly and a magnet for advertisers.

Facebook has been a classic example. If your friends, colleagues or classmates are all on it, you’re all but compelled to join. But evidence that the network effect is working requires rapid growth in users and revenue, especially during the early stages of a company’s public life. So far, social media has failed to deliver the kind of growth that would bolster investor optimism, let alone euphoria.

The network effect is a double-edged sword, Ken Sena, a consumer Internet analyst at Evercore, told me this week.

“The network effect allowed these companies to grow so fast, but the decline can be just as ferocious,” Mr. Sena said. “If any of them misstep with users, they can leave, and the network effect goes into reverse.” The textbook case is Myspace, once the most visited social networking site, that is now a shadow of its former self.
networks  network_effects  Facebook  Groupon  LinkedIn  Larry_Summers  decline  missteps 
august 2012 by jerryking
New Rules for Bringing Innovations to Market
March 2004 | HBR | Bhaskar Chakravorti.

The more networked a market is, the harder it is for an innovation to take hold, writes Bhaskar Chakravorti, who leads Monitor Group's practice on strategies for growth and managing uncertainty through the application of game theory. Chakravorti argues that executives need to rethink the way they bring innovations to market, specifically by orchestrating behavior change across the market, so that a large number of players adopt their offerings and believe they are better off for having done so. He outlines a four-part framework for doing just that: The innovator must reason back from a target endgame, implementing only those strategies that maximize its chances of getting to its goal. It must complement power players, positioning its innovation as an enhancement to their products or services. The innovator must offer coordinated switching incentives to three core groups: the players that add to the innovation's benefits, the players that act as channels to adopters and the adopters themselves. And it must preserve flexibility in case its initial strategy fails.

Chakravorti uses Adobe's introduction of its Acrobat software as an example of an innovator that took into account other players in the network--and succeeded because of it. As more content became available in Acrobat format, more readers were motivated to download the program," he observes. "The flexibility in Acrobat's product structure and the segmentation in the market allowed the pricing elasticity that resulted in the software's widespread adoption."
HBR  innovation  networks  network_effects  rules_of_the_game  commercialization  monetization  product_launches  howto  growth  managing_uncertainty  cloud_computing  endgame  Adobe  uncertainty  switching_costs  jump-start  platforms  orchestration  ecosystems  big_bang  behaviours  behavioral_change  frameworks  sharing_economy  customer_adoption  thinking_backwards  new_categories  early_adopters  distribution_channels  work-back_schedules 
july 2012 by jerryking
Reid Hoffman of LinkedIn Has Become the Go-To Guy of Tech - NYTimes.com
November 5, 2011 | NYT | By EVELYN M. RUSLI.

Hearing Mr. Hoffman wax philosophical about technology, it’s easy to understand why so many here seem to view him as something of a yoda. When he talks about “scale” — Internet-speak for having enough people use a network to make the network actually useful — he often invokes Archimedes, the great mathematician and inventor in ancient Greece.

According to lore, Archimedes created a device with a revolving screw-shaped blade to pump water against gravity: the Archimedes screw. Mr. Hoffman urges his followers to find their own levers and devices to encourage people to adopt their technologies. Entrepreneurs, he says, often spend too much time creating products and too little figuring out how to get people to use them....“When you write a scholarly work, it tends to be understood by very few people, and has one publication point over time,” he said. “But when you build a service, you can touch millions, to hundreds of millions of people directly.”...Today, LinkedIn, the professional social network, is a rising giant, a monument to the emergence of the social Web. Founded in 2002, the company has ballooned to more than 1,700 employees. It has more than 135 million registered members across 200 countries. It has turned a profit in six of the last seven quarters. ...In the same way that social media redefined the Internet, he sees another tectonic shift on the horizon.

This one, he believes, will be driven by data. Mr. Hoffman has been investing in companies that are data-driven or starting to work with data in interesting ways. For instance, even though two Greylock investments, Shopkick and Groupon, focus on retailing, both aggregate a huge volume of information on user spending habits. LinkedIn, too, has been trying to leverage the data on its site by, for example, making it more searchable.
Reid_Hoffman  LinkedIn  profile  entrepreneur  Silicon_Valley  data_driven  analytics  data  massive_data_sets  Greylock  scaling  searchable  network_effects  habits  spending  customer_adoption  seismic_shifts  Archimedes  Greek 
november 2011 by jerryking
BETTER THAN FREE
[2.5.08] | EDGE | By Kevin Kelly.

This super-distribution system has become the foundation of our economy and wealth. The instant reduplication of data, ideas, and media underpins all the major economic sectors in our economy, particularly those involved with exports — that is, those industries where the US has a competitive advantage. Our wealth sits upon a very large device that copies promiscuously and constantly....how does one make money selling free copies?

I have an answer. The simplest way I can put it is thus:

When copies are super abundant, they become worthless.
When copies are super abundant, stuff which can't be copied becomes scarce and valuable. When copies are free, you need to sell things which can not be copied. What can't be copied?
(1) "Trust." Trust cannot be copied. You can't purchase it. Trust must be earned, over time. It cannot be downloaded. Or faked. Or counterfeited (at least for long).
(2) Immediacy
(3) Personalization
(4) Interpretation — As the old joke goes: software, free. The manual, $10,000.
(5) Authenticity — You might be able to grab a key software application for free, but even if you don't need a manual, you might like to be sure it is bug free, reliable, and warranted. You'll pay for authenticity.
(6) Accessibility — Ownership often sucks. You have to keep your things tidy, up-to-date, and in the case of digital material, backed up. And in this mobile world, you have to carry it along with you. Many people, me included, will be happy to have others tend our "possessions" by subscribing to them. We'll pay Acme Digital Warehouse to serve us any musical tune in the world, when and where we want it, as well as any movie, photo (ours or other photographers).
(7) Embodiment — At its core the digital copy is without a body. You can take a free copy of a work and throw it on a screen. But perhaps you'd like to see it in hi-res on a huge screen? Maybe in 3D? PDFs are fine, but sometimes it is delicious to have the same words printed on bright white cottony paper, bound in leather.
(8) Patronage — It is my belief that audiences WANT to pay creators. Fans like to reward artists, musicians, authors and the like with the tokens of their appreciation, because it allows them to connect. But they will only pay if it is very easy to do, a reasonable amount, and they feel certain the money will directly benefit the creators.
(9)Findability — findability is an asset that occurs at a higher level in the aggregate of many works. A zero price does not help direct attention to a work, and in fact may sometimes hinder it. But no matter what its price, a work has no value unless it is seen; unfound masterpieces are worthless. — being found is valuable.
network_effects  free  Kevin_Kelly  value_creation  digital_economy  immediacy  scarcity  personalization  abundance  findability  patronage  embodiment  accessibility  authenticity  interpretation  replication  Information_Rules  value_added  superfans  SaaS  ownership 
november 2011 by jerryking
How Apple outsmarted RIM and Nokia
Oct. 08, 2011| Globe and Mail| ERIC REGULY.

On Tuesday at a tech fair in Finland, Nokia boss Stephen Elop said “the iPhone did something disruptive. It introduced a new level of experience … that all of a sudden everything else was measured against.”

...Apple’s genius was to make it a platform that could feed off a vast ecosystem that included iTunes and a stunning array of apps, from the Angry Birds game to carbon footprint calculators (the list has reached 500,000, should you have some free browsing time this weekend). The ecosystem is like a perpetual motion machine. Its sheer size attracts more and more app developers, who in turn make the ecosystem deeper and richer and ever more attractive to customers....

It was a great compliment to Steve Jobs and Apple. Mr. Jobs died the next day, but left Apple in great shape. It appears that Nokia, RIM and Apple’s other diminished rivals will measure their products against the iPhone for some time. The lesson: Build ecosystems, not just phones.
Eric_Reguly  Apple  RIM  Nokia  ecosystems  lessons_learned  competitive_strategy  platforms  network_effects  virtuous_cycles  winner-take-all 
october 2011 by jerryking
Report Card Season is Approaching
March 23/2007 | Fresh Thinking | by Levi Cooperman. Those of
you who are familiar with FreshBooks, you may know our report card
service (a different, more detailed and account specific service) gives
FreshBooks account holders a quarterly snapshot of their business based
on a handful of useful metrics (average time to collect payment, etc).
For those FreshBooks account holders that share their profession with
us, we go further and compare your metrics against those of other
businesses in your profession and tell you what percentile of the group
you fall into.
SaaS  Freshbooks  network_effects  metrics  performance 
july 2009 by jerryking
Network Effects in Data
October 27, 2008 | - O'Reilly Radar | Tim O'Reilly
network_effects  networks 
july 2009 by jerryking
Nodalities » Blog Archive » Network Effects
Network Effects
5th November 2008, 04:21 pm by Justin Leavesley In: Everything Connected
network_effects  networks 
july 2009 by jerryking

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