👓 The story of the internet is all about layers – More knock-on than network | The Economist

Read The story of the internet is all about layers - More knock-on than network (The Economist)

How the internet lost its decentralised innocence

IN ‚ÄúINFORMATION RULES‚ÄĚ‚ÄĒpublished in 1999 but still one of the best books on digital economics‚ÄĒCarl Shapiro and Hal Varian, two economists, popularised the term ‚Äúnetwork effects‚ÄĚ, which means that in the digital world size easily begets size. The more popular a computer operating system, the more applications it will attract, drawing in even more users, and so on. Two decades ago the idea helped people understand the power of Microsoft and its Windows software. Today it is the default explanation for how Facebook, Google and other tech giants became dominant. The more people sign up to a social network, for instance, the more valuable it becomes for present and prospective users.

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