OPPORTUNITIES BEFORE EFFICIENCIES

Opportunities and productivity work hand in hand…

…much like the two-step process of variation and death in natural selection. The primary role that productivity plays in the network economy is to disperse technologies. A technical advance cannot leverage future opportunities if it is hoarded by a few. Increased productivity lowers the cost of acquisition of knowledge, techniques, or artifacts, allowing more people to have them. When transistors were expensive they were rare, and thus the opportunities built upon them were rare. As the productivity curve kicked in, transistors eventually became so cheap and omnipresent that anyone could explore their opportunities. When ball bearings were dear, opportunities sired by them were dear. As communication becomes everywhere dirt cheap and ubiquitous, the opportunities it kindles will likewise become unlimited.

 

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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