End of History, or Becoming a Landlord

Martin is toying with a very thought provoking glimmer of an idea about the future of Telephones…

… In an oversimplified nutshell, the Western approach puts the individual in the centre of the universe. The Eastern idea is to put the group in the middle. …

That could go in all kinds of directions. For example it is marvelously synergistic with my gleam of an idea that the 80s enthusiasm for personal computing leads to a kind of blindness about what is really going on in the Internet era. For example it echos why Fukuyama wrote Trust, a book on groups, after writing about the End of History.

But here’s one of them.

This is great. It shifts the value proposition of the telecom business out of the pairwise and into the group forming; i.e. from Metcalf’s toward Reed’s law.

Groups need rendezvous points. So this also bounces right back on the number one problem the traditional telecom companies have competing with the dumb networks. Dumb network owners loose if they horde the options to search for innovations.

Trying to horde the option to create these rendezvous points frustrates the search to find them. You can’t find the high value rendezvous points without a tremendous amount of experimentation, i.e. a r-Selected strategy. The careful husbanding of options done by the telecom companies is fatal.

When the market signals that you have become a platform vendor it behooves you to listen, and learn learn how to be a platform vendor.

1 thought on “End of History, or Becoming a Landlord

  1. goatchowder

    Yep. Basically, get out of the way, and let the users drive. Or, another way of looking at it, get out of the war, and instead sell arms to both sides.

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