Date: Fri Jun 09 2000 - 11:37:54 PDT
In a message dated 6/9/2000 1:13:47 PM, firstname.lastname@example.org writes:
>This is rather funny. The killer apps of course are the apps noone has
>ever been able to monitize. Trying to charge for email or IM is
>The companies that own the bandwidth are raking it in. And the ones that
>own the stacks and stacks of patents on the hardware are raking it in -
>for now. Just more evidence that software apps are dead, protocols are
>free, and the past, present, and future belongs to the megacorps with
>the IP or monopoly powe
suggests that in some cases verrtical integration is the way to go, yes?
otoh, see the DoC's new Digital Economy report, which says that $149
billion/year is being spent on software. So someone's making money off it.
>I dont think a monopoly is a bad way to make money, I think it's the
>ONLY way. This has always been the case, but geography used to work to
>limit the effect so that noone noticed that the grocery store has a
>monopoly on customers withing a few miles. That's gone now in an
>information age where I'm all of 1 second from anywhere on earth - or
>even the moon.
That, Adam, is true and profound. The function of free markets is to destory
profits. The job of companies is to try to make markets unfree, by carving
out little patches of monopoly or oligopoly, via legal monoploies like
patents and copyrights, geographical ones, others like intimate relationships
with supliers or customers, etc etc. The role of new competition is to attack
those monopolies and substitute their own. And the role of antitrust law is
to prevent a company from having a large, permanent, unassailable monopoly.
The role of geography is a very interesting one. All of us who grew up in the
midwest remember gas price wars, which invariably sprang up at intersections
where there were at least three gas stations, a Pure, a Sinclair, and a
Cities Service, say. (Ah, names perfumed with nostalgia.) Price wars NEVER
happened where there was just one gas station in sight. (There's an
interesting chart in one of the Braudel histories of captialism, I think the
first (The Structures of Everyday Life) in which he sites an historian who
showed that towns in ancient China sprang up basically the same geographical
distance (measure in time to walk) apart from one another. The pattern was
like a honeycomb, a mesh of hexagons--with villages (represented by periods
below) where the hexagons meet--and larger market towns (asterisks) at
Basically the market towns appeared far enough from one another that it would
be a bunion-causing pain to go from one to the other comparing prices.
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