PLENTITUDE NOT SCARCITY

Touch as many nets as you can.

Because the value of an action in the network economy multiplies exponentially by the number of networks that action flows through, you want to touch as many other networks as you can reach. This is plentitude. You want to maximize the number of relations flowing to and from you, or your service or product. Imagine your creation as being born inert, like a door nail off a factory conveyor belt. The job in the network economy is to link the nail to as many other systems as possible. You want to adapt it to the contractor system by making it a standard contractor size so that it fits into standard air-powered hammers. You want to give it a SKU designation so it can be handled by the retail sales network. It may want a bar code so it can be read by a laser-read checkout system. Eventually, you want it to incorporate a little bit of interacting silicon, so it can warn the door of breakage, and take part in the smart house network. For every additional system the nail is a part of, it gains in value. Best of all, the systems and all their members also gain in value from every nail that joins.

And that’s just for a stick of iron. More complex objects and services are capable of permeating far more systems and networks, thus greatly boosting their own value and the plentiful value of all the systems they touch.

 

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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