Value of the Network

Two small items about attempting to value the network:

both a little rough, but the first one has a pretty picture.

The most interesting thing about the first one is that it appears that he tried to give an estimate of how many ‘relationships’ of each kind he has in his drawing. I wonder what the statistics of that is? For example how many metcalf’s-law style relationships do I have. How many reed’s-law style relationships do people usually have? Are the distributions different in different venues: cities, towns, cultures?

The question of network valuation is important. Of course it’s important to capitalists, because it’s the driver of great wealth. Owning the platform that supports a planet worth of Reed’s law groups could be even more valuable than Microsoft’s platform.

The question of network value is more important than that. First because it helps to think clearly about what drives the emergence of new tangles of connections. New species of networks. For example it’s reasonably obvious that as technical or regulatory barriers fall and it becomes possible to create new tangles of connections. These processes create joint gains for all the parites involved.

Then, the chance for abuse by any one dominate network declines. The chance that one network can blindly displace the value of other networks is reduced.

Tilly’s book “Durable Inequality” is interesting in that regard.

The risk of the network owners exploiting the participants rises with the reach of what he controls.

When you turn the knob on that capture toward 8 or 9 you get explotation, when you turn it to eleven you you get tyranny.

Tilly has interesting things to say about how catagory boundries evolve over time as the inequality becomes durable. Ideas that brand marketing folks know by other names, when the knob set at less painful settings.

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