System wide network effects are network effects that take hold
when adjacent parts of an overall system are built out — e.g.
smartphones, wearables, sensor networks etc. Each one of these
categories makes the other much more valuable once it’s built out.
These network effects effectively unlock compounded value from the
previous layers. People expect value from new categories like
wearables and sensor networks overnight. But the reality is that
the pieces need to work harmoniously, tied together by software.
And only after the infrastructure is in place can developers go
and create cool new things. Wearables and sensors and connected
devices are interesting — but much more so when tied together
with killer apps. And platform history tells us that only after
infrastructure is laid do developers write software. This was even
true for the internet back in the 90’s. It wasn’t until the web
browser and email and other killer apps came along that you really
understood the value of the internet, even though it had connected
people years earlier.
This is a great piece, thoughtful and thought-provoking. I find it surprising though, that Cheney never once used the word privacy. To me, that’s the fork in the road, the chasm between where Apple and Google are taking us.
★ Monday, 29 September 2014