Returning from a short project we find more than usual activity on our website. Some investigation uncovers that our research paper Business Platforms: Profiting From Networks was mentioned in the latest Amazon Web Services newsletter.
One of the ideas of the late nineties’ e-commerce boom was that of disintermediation: that brokers, middlemen, and other layers between buyers and sellers would disappear, squeezed out by price competition. While later observers tried to debunk the idea as a myth, it has never completely gone away. It is easy to see why people are arguing both sides: in some sectors disintermediation is alive and well, while in others it is nothing but a myth. In this note we point out that new understanding of network effects is to a very large extent able to predict where disintermediation will and will not occur.
A new research paper is now available on this site. The paper, Business Platforms: Profiting From Networks discusses network effects and how to profit from them using lessons learnt from Amazon, eBay, and others.
I thought it was very interesting to read William Gibson’s argument that risk management isn’t just a good idea but is, in an important sense, the only idea of our times.
I wrote a small (800 words) article [PDF] for one of the industry analyst’s publications on why it is the right time to finally get some real return on all those CRM (Customer Relationship Management) investments. Return in terms of money, for sure, but also in terms of a much higher quality of customer relationship.
The inimitable Tim Bray has an interesting little two-part musing titled Business Ignorance. Part product placement, the main concern of the article are thoughts and ideas on how to market and sell yourself in today’s business climate if you are a small, largely unknown software company. Tim happens to be in the business of managing information, but that is almost irrelevant to the arguments: there is a need, he has a product, so why isn’t it flying off the shelves?
It happens occasionally in human history that a completely new idea appears. Not just any idea, but a significant change in the way we humans think about the world and ourselves. A new paradigm becomes apparent.