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Re: [decentralization] decentralization and Mobile phones

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  • Johannes Ernst
    Christensen s second book, The Innovator s Solution , presents, in passing, an interesting framework to apply to questions like this one. He talks about
    Message 1 of 74 , Jul 1, 2004
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      Christensen's second book, "The Innovator's Solution", presents, in
      passing, an interesting framework to apply to questions like this one.
      He talks about "modular" and "interdependent" (I think he applies it to
      the wrong thing, or I don't understand him, my own interpretation is: )

      Companies are incentivized to build interdependent markets, i.e.
      markets where individual components are tightly glued to each other.
      Where markets become modular (typically a later stage, once technology
      has developed sufficiently and competition shows up from the bottom of
      the market), innovation can explode, at the cost of losing market
      dominance by the vendors, which is of course something they'll fight.

      Good examples: Apple offers interdependent computers (OS and HW etc.
      are tightly integrated, and not products on their own), while PCs are
      modular (although PC subsystems, notably the CPU and the Windows OS,
      are not -- Linux is)

      If one applies this model to the mobile phone industry, it appears to
      me that in the US, there is interdependence between the mobile phone
      network of a certain operator, and the handsets that they offering for
      that network. (I think in Europe things are more modular). I'd argue
      the difficulties Nokia has been running into lately under the label of
      "Nokia has not done private-label phones" has been that the operators
      control the interdependent components while Nokia does not, and the
      profits split up accordingly -- but I digress.

      The mobile operators are incentivized to create as many
      interdependencies of new technology (Julian's example of location-based
      services that must go through a server) into the existing, defensible
      product (the mobile phone network) as possible, in order to avoid
      modularization which would likely create an explosion in innovation
      (e.g. what Julian wants to do) but kill the operator's control over the
      market, and thus their control on where to put the toll booth and thus
      their $$$.

      To follow Christensen, the dynamics to get out of this are to find a
      crappy modular technology competing in the very low and of the market,
      which finds volume appeal, which will unroll the market from the bottom
      and modularize it. If you have any ideas on how this vector is going to
      happen, I'd be very interested.


      http://netmesh.info (blog)
    • Mike Dierken
      Interesting tangent: http://www.eweek.com/article2/0,1759,1625994,00.asp The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) announced Tuesday
      Message 74 of 74 , Jul 21, 2004
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        Interesting tangent:

        "The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN)
        announced Tuesday that it had begun adding IPv6 addresses to the DNS
        root server system, which maintains the master list of domain names."
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