RE: ARTICLE: Despite the buzz, peer-to-peer startups lack business benefits

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From: Lucas Gonze (
Date: Thu Dec 21 2000 - 13:18:33 PST

The scalability of Napster doesn't just apply to disk and pipe, it also allows them
to scale as a tastemaker. At Walmart, the need for economies of scale forces them to
provide one-size-fits-all choices. As Napster grows it supports smaller and smaller

How could something as timely, stupid and irresponsible as those fake Danger Kitty
cuts ever show up on a centralized server? The degree to which Napster is responsive
to their users would be nearly impossible to reach with a centralized system. This
is like the Santa Claus problem. Santa really doesn't have time to find out that I
like orange mittens but not red, but if each kid has a parent to track their taste it
is completely practical.

- Lucas

> You're saying Napster could have been done by anyone with a big server
> farm and a fat pipe? Isn't that true of most P2P projects? Couldn't SETI
> be run on a big Beowulf cluster at NASA? I think the point of Napster was
> that Shawn didn't have a server farm, and didn't have a fat pipe, and that
> P2P allowed the users to get around that resource limitation.
> I don't know whether, historically, Shawn thought of the resources first
> or the (alleged) copyright circumvention first, but even if there were no
> copyright issues, P2P file sharing let them solve a problem through peers
> when they couldn't afford a centralized solution.
> -Matt Jensen
> Seattle

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