INCREASING RETURNS

In the past, an innovation’s momentum…

indicated significance. Now, in the network environment, where biological behavior reigns, significance precedes momentum.

One final parable rooted in biology. In a pond one summer a floating lily leaf doubles in size every day until it covers the entire surface of water. The day before it completely covers the pond, the water is only half covered, and the day before that, only a quarter covered, and the day before that, only a measly eighth. While the lily grows imperceptibly all summer long, only in the last week of the cycle would most bystanders notice its “sudden” appearance. By then, it is far past the tipping point.

The network economy is like a lily pond. Most of the pond looks empty, but a few lilies are doubling in size. The web, for example, is a leaf doubling every six months. Despite the one million web sites to date, the web’s future has just begun. Other lily leaves are sprouting along the edges of the pond: MUDs, Irridium phones, wireless data ports, collaborative bots, WebTV, and remote solid state sensors. Right now, they are all just itsy-bitsy lily cells brewing at the beginning of a hot network summer. One by one, they will pass their tipping points, and suddenly become ubiquitous.

 

Comments

Comments are closed.

 

Archives - This site operates under a Creative Commons License.

This is a blog version of a book of mine first published in 1998. I am re-issuing it (two posts per week) unaltered on its 10th anniversary. Comments welcomed. More details here.
-- KK