Robert Metcalfe

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pages: 459 words: 140,010

Fire in the Valley: The Birth and Death of the Personal Computer by Michael Swaine, Paul Freiberger

1960s counterculture, Amazon Web Services, Apple II, barriers to entry, Bill Gates: Altair 8800, Byte Shop, cloud computing, commoditize, computer vision, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Dynabook, Google Chrome, I think there is a world market for maybe five computers, Internet of things, Isaac Newton, Jaron Lanier, job automation, John Markoff, John von Neumann, Jony Ive, Loma Prieta earthquake, Marc Andreessen, Menlo Park, Mitch Kapor, Mother of all demos, Paul Terrell, popular electronics, Richard Stallman, Robert Metcalfe, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, stealth mode startup, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Stewart Brand, Ted Nelson, Tim Cook: Apple, urban sprawl, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Whole Earth Catalog

Also working at PARC was John Shoch, who finished his PhD at Stanford while helping get PARC started, and the fiercely independent but farsighted Alan Kay, who adorned his desk with a cardboard model of his dream computer—a machine that Kay called Dynabook, powerful and yet small enough to fit in a book bag. Larry Tesler brought the newest programming techniques to his PARC software. Bob Metcalfe was involved in a technique for networking computers. * * * Figure 81. Bob Metcalfe While working at Xerox PARC, Metcalfe cocreated Ethernet, which became the standard for networking computers. (Courtesy of Richard Shoup) Over several years these engineers and programmers, building in part on the revolutionary work of Douglas Engelbart, created an impressive workstation computer called the Alto. The Alto boasted an advanced language called Smalltalk, an input device borrowed from SRI called the mouse, and that networking technique of Bob Metcalfe’s called Ethernet for connecting individual Altos for communication and cumulation of effort, as if they were one big computer.

It did, rapidly and impressively, licensing some browser technology and developing its own browser, Internet Explorer, to compete with Netscape’s browser. The company launched by the young coder and the industry veteran was, in Gates’s opinion, a threat to Microsoft’s existence, and it needed to be snuffed out. Gates was not alone in seeing the Internet as a threat to Microsoft’s dominance in the PC market. Bob Metcalfe, the networking guru who had developed the Ethernet protocol, wrote a weekly column for the industry magazine InfoWorld. In February 1995, he predicted that the browser would in effect become the dominant operating system for the next era. The dominant operating system for the current era was, of course, Microsoft’s Windows. Metcalfe was predicting that Windows’s dominance was on the verge of ending.

No, it was always important stuff for me. —Lee Felsenstein By 2000 the Internet was an integral part of life for millions of people. Indeed, 350 million or more people were online, the majority of them in the United States. That figure would grow by an order of magnitude over the next decade and a half, and more closely match the relative populations of countries. By 2014, China was home to the most Internet users. Robert Metcalfe’s 1995 prediction that the web browser would become the operating system for the next era had largely come true. If, as Sun Microsystems had famously claimed, the network was the computer, then the browser was the operating system, and single-computer-based operating systems were irrelevant. It wasn’t quite that simple, but websites were becoming more like applications, powered by JavaScript.


pages: 313 words: 95,077

Here Comes Everybody: The Power of Organizing Without Organizations by Clay Shirky

Andrew Keen, Berlin Wall, bioinformatics, Brewster Kahle, c2.com, Charles Lindbergh, crowdsourcing, en.wikipedia.org, hiring and firing, hive mind, Howard Rheingold, Internet Archive, invention of agriculture, invention of movable type, invention of the printing press, invention of the telegraph, jimmy wales, Joi Ito, Kuiper Belt, liberation theology, Mahatma Gandhi, means of production, Merlin Mann, Metcalfe’s law, Nash equilibrium, Network effects, Nicholas Carr, Picturephone, place-making, Pluto: dwarf planet, prediction markets, price mechanism, prisoner's dilemma, profit motive, Richard Stallman, Robert Metcalfe, Ronald Coase, Silicon Valley, slashdot, social software, Stewart Brand, supply-chain management, The Nature of the Firm, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, transaction costs, ultimatum game, Vilfredo Pareto, Yogi Berra

Other students who have been especially incisive on social topics are Mouna Andraos, Jake Barton, Michelle Chang, John Geraci, Elizabeth Goodman, Christina Goodness, Sam Howard-Spink, James Robinson, Matty Sallin, Nick Sears, Mike Sharon, and Shawn van Every. Alicia Cervini’s careful reading has improved both the ideas and their expression from the first draft. My field has a tradition of thinking out loud. Chris Anderson, Andrew Blau, Stewart Brand, Lili Cheng, Esther Dyson, Hal Levin, Bob Metcalfe, Jerry Michalski, Richard O’Neill, Tim O’Reilly, Peter Schwartz, Andrew Stolli, and Kevin Werbach all provided both observations and public platforms for the development of this work. Articles written for Chris Anderson for Wired and Thomas Stewart for Harvard Business Review did likewise. Long-running conversations with many colleagues have provided material and insights for this book. This list, of all, is both long and incomplete.

By 2008, there were 3.3 billion mobile phone subscribers, out of a global adult population of less than 5 billion. This increase in scale, both of the underlying social media and of the population that uses it, is still creating surprises because large systems behave differently from small ones. One fitting name for the way more is different is “the network effect,” the name given to networks that become more valuable as people adopt them. Robert Metcalfe, the inventor of the Ethernet networking protocol, gave his name to a law that describes this increase in value. Metcalfe’s Law is usually stated this way: “The value of the network grows with the square of its users.” When you double the size of the network, you quadruple the number of potential connections. This is Birthday Paradox math, recast as a source of value instead of cost. Being the only person in the world who can send e-mail isn’t a terribly exciting proposition, but once you can send e-mail, every new user means there’s someone new you can trade messages with.

Trow, Atlantic Monthly Press (1997). CHAPTER 2: SHARING ANCHORS COMMUNITY Page 25: Birthday Paradox Wikipedia contains a good general guide to the Birthday Paradox, at en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Birthday_paradox. (As always, Wikipedia also contains links at the bottom of the article to additional materials on the subject.) An alternate formulation of the same math is expressed as “Metcalfe’s law.” Robert Metcalfe, inventor of a core networking technology called Ethernet, proposed that “the value of a network rises with the square of its members,” which is to say that when you double the size of a network, its value quadruples, because so many new links become possible. Metcalfe’s law isn’t true in any literal sense, because not all links are created equal—being able to contact your friends matters more than being able to contact someone you’ve never heard of who lives on the other side of the world.


pages: 386 words: 91,913

The Elements of Power: Gadgets, Guns, and the Struggle for a Sustainable Future in the Rare Metal Age by David S. Abraham

3D printing, Airbus A320, carbon footprint, clean water, cleantech, commoditize, Deng Xiaoping, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, glass ceiling, global supply chain, information retrieval, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet of things, new economy, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, reshoring, Robert Metcalfe, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, South China Sea, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, telemarketer, Tesla Model S, thinkpad, upwardly mobile, uranium enrichment, WikiLeaks, Y2K

Roger Agnelli, interview by David Abraham, São Paulo, Brazil, May 6, 2013. 18. Gordon Gable, “Top 10 Bad Tech Predictions,” Digital Trends, November 4, 2012, accessed December 19, 2014, http://www.digitaltrends.com/features/top-10-bad-tech-predictions/4/#ixzz2s4mjo7iC. 19. Erin Skarda, “Top 10 Failed Predictions,” Time, October 21, 2011, accessed December 20, 2014, http://content.time.com/time/specials/packages/article/0,28804,2097462_2097456_2097467,00.html. 20. Bob Metcalfe, “From the Ether: Predicting the Internet’s Catastrophic Collapse and Ghost Sites Galore in 1996,” Info World, December 4, 1995, http://bit.ly/1AlCm3B. 21. K. Binnemans, P. T. Jones, K. Acker, B. Blanpain, B. Mishra, and D. Apelian, “Rare-Earth Economics: The Balance Problem,” JOM, 2013, http://www.kuleuven.rare3.eu/wp-content/plugins/rare/images/papers/binnemans_jom_2013.pdf; Molycorp, “Advanced Communications,” accessed December 19, 2014, www.molycorp.com/technology/green-element-technologies/advanced-communications; APS Physics, “New Prototype Magnetic Refrigerators Hold Commercial Promise,” accessed December 19, 2014, www.aps.org/publications/apsnews/200305/refrigerators.cfm; Binnemans et al., “Rare-Earth Economics: The Balance Problem.” 22.

• “Television won’t be able to hold on to any market it captures after the first six months. People will soon get tired of staring at a plywood box,” Darryl Zanuck, founder of Twentieth Century Pictures (1946).18 • “There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home,” Ken Olsen, founder of Digital Equipment Corporation (1977).19 • “I predict the Internet … will soon go spectacularly supernova and in 1996 catastrophically collapse,” Robert Metcalfe, founder of 3Com and the Ethernet (1995).20 Since we don’t know which invention will take off, we can’t estimate which rare metal will either. Thirty years ago, dysprosium had little use. Now, in part because of its use in magnets, it is essential for our new high-tech lives. Gallium, because of its low melting point, could find itself in high demand in 3D printing, a type of home-based manufacturing.


pages: 559 words: 157,112

Dealers of Lightning by Michael A. Hiltzik

Apple II, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, beat the dealer, Bill Duvall, Bill Gates: Altair 8800, business cycle, computer age, creative destruction, Douglas Engelbart, Dynabook, Edward Thorp, El Camino Real, index card, Jeff Rulifson, John Markoff, Joseph Schumpeter, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, oil shock, popular electronics, Robert Metcalfe, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, speech recognition, Steve Ballmer, Steve Crocker, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, the medium is the message, Vannevar Bush, Whole Earth Catalog, zero-sum game

He thought he knew what the real problem was: Not that his work was “insufficiently theoretical,” but that he had spent all those years hanging around the MITcampus instead of carrying water for some Harvard professor who happened to be on his thesis committee. Bob Metcalfe had thumbed his nose at Harvard, and it was payback time. “My thesis advisor should never have let that happen,” he said later. “But I wasn’t playing ball with him, so he didn’t play ball with me.” In any case no amount of fulmination would solve his immediate dilemma. He had accepted a job from PARC with the understanding that he would arrive properly garlanded with a Harvard Ph.D. Apprehensively he called Taylor from home to deliver the bad news. “He didn’t even hesitate,” Metcalfe recalled. “He said, ‘Just come on out and finish your thesis here.’ That felt very, very good.” Bob Metcalfe’s personality added a tart new ingredient to the CSLstew. He was a one-man deflation brigade, ever poised to puncture the bravado of his talented peers.

Frank Squires, chief personnel officer Gloria Warner, secretary to Pake COMPUTER SCIENCE LABORATORY Jerome I. Elkind, laboratory manager (1971–1978) Robert W. Taylor, associate manager Butler W. Lampson, key contributor to the Alto personal computer, Ethernet networking system, laser printer, Mesa programming language, Dorado computer, Dandelion processor Charles P. Thacker, designer of MAXC time-sharing system and Alto and co-inventor of Ethernet Bob Metcalfe, principal inventor of Ethernet David Boggs, co-inventor of Ethernet Dick Shoup, inventor of Superpaint, pioneering video graphic device Charles Simonyi, developer of Bravo word processing program with “what you see is what you get” (WYSIWYG) capability Peter Deutsch, expert programmer Ed McCreight, hardware designer of MAXC time-sharing system and the Alto Ed Fiala, co-designer of MAXC Ron Rider, designer of the research character generator, adjunct to the laser printer John Ellenby, head planner of Futures Day presentation (1977), at which PARC technology was introduced to Xerox senior management Charles Geschke, co-developer of Mesa programming language and Interpress page description language John Warnock, co-developer of Interpress and other printing and page description systems Severo Ornstein, supervisor of the Dorado computer project SYSTEMS SCIENCE LABORATORY William F.

January: Journalist Don Hoefler, in a series of articles for the weekly newsletter Electronics News, popularizes the term “Silicon Valley.” February: Design work begins on PARC’s cloned PDP-10 computer, known as MAXC. June-August: Kay and a hand-picked team complete the first version of their revolutionary object-oriented programming language, Smalltalk, which will heavily influence such modern programming systems as C++ and Java. November: Starkweather completes work on the world’s first laser computer printer. June: Bob Metcalfe encounters a technical paper describing Hawaii’s ALOHAnet, several principles of which he will incorporate into Ethernet. September: MAXC having been completed, Thacker and Lampson invite Kay to join their project to build a small personal computer. The machine will be known as the Alto. November 22: Thacker begins design work on the Alto. December 7: Rolling Stone publishes Stewart Brand’s article “Spacewar,” sparking months of controversy by its depiction of computer research at PARC.


pages: 352 words: 96,532

Where Wizards Stay Up Late: The Origins of the Internet by Katie Hafner, Matthew Lyon

air freight, Bill Duvall, computer age, conceptual framework, Donald Davies, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, fault tolerance, Hush-A-Phone, information retrieval, John Markoff, Kevin Kelly, Leonard Kleinrock, Marc Andreessen, Menlo Park, natural language processing, packet switching, RAND corporation, RFC: Request For Comment, Robert Metcalfe, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, speech recognition, Steve Crocker, Steven Levy

The UCLA Network Measurement Center continued generating test traffic to probe the weaknesses of all the network algorithms. But there wasn’t enough natural traffic on the network to really push the limits of the routing and anticongestion schemes. There were some interesting early uses. Programmers at SRI were using Utah’s PDP-10 compiler in preparation for installing their own PDP-10, and they generated the most actual traffic. Jon Postel at UCLA was using the network to run SRI’s oNLine System. Bob Metcalfe, a Harvard graduate student working at MIT, and a friend, Danny Cohen, who taught at Harvard, did one of the more exciting early experiments over the network. Metcalfe and Cohen used Harvard’s PDP-10 to simulate an aircraft carrier landing and then displayed the image on a graphics terminal at MIT. The graphics were processed at MIT, and the results (the view of the carrier’s flight deck) were shipped back over the ARPA network to the PDP-1 at Harvard, which also displayed them.

Kids could write their own programs in the LOGO language that said, “go left, go right, go forward, back up, move sideways,” and when the program was run, the turtle would do that. At the moment, however, the turtle was jumping up and down, twitching and jerking crazily. Instead of sending Postel’s file to the printer, the system had accidentally sent it to the turtle port, and the robot dutifully offered its interpretation of what it took to be motion commands. As an enthusiastic graduate student, Bob Metcalfe had undertaken the task of writing a booklet to accompany the demonstrations. It described nineteen scenarios for using the ARPANET, listed resources at various sites, and showed how to log on to a remote host, how to gain access to one of the applications, and how to control a program or engage in some kind of interactive communication over the network. There were several chess games, an interactive quiz about the geography of South America, a way of reading the Associated Press news wire over the network, and many other games, tools, and demonstrations.

Once Postel decided that creating a separate protocol was the right thing to do, he set about making sure it got done. With a clean separation of the protocols, it was now possible to build fast and relatively inexpensive gateways, which would in turn fuel the growth of internetworking. By 1978, TCP had officially become TCP/IP. ETHERNET In 1973, just when Cerf and Kahn had begun collaborating on the concept of internetworking, Bob Metcalfe at Xerox PARC was inventing the technological underpinnings for a new kind of network. Called a short-distance, or local-area, network, Metcalfe’s network would connect computers not in different cities but in different rooms. Metcalfe had received his undergraduate degrees in electrical engineering and management from MIT and enrolled at Harvard for graduate school. But he hated Harvard immediately.


The Dream Machine: J.C.R. Licklider and the Revolution That Made Computing Personal by M. Mitchell Waldrop

Ada Lovelace, air freight, Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, Albert Einstein, anti-communist, Apple II, battle of ideas, Berlin Wall, Bill Duvall, Bill Gates: Altair 8800, Byte Shop, Claude Shannon: information theory, computer age, conceptual framework, cuban missile crisis, Donald Davies, double helix, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Dynabook, experimental subject, fault tolerance, Frederick Winslow Taylor, friendly fire, From Mathematics to the Technologies of Life and Death, Haight Ashbury, Howard Rheingold, information retrieval, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, Jeff Rulifson, John von Neumann, Leonard Kleinrock, Marc Andreessen, Menlo Park, New Journalism, Norbert Wiener, packet switching, pink-collar, popular electronics, RAND corporation, RFC: Request For Comment, Robert Metcalfe, Silicon Valley, Steve Crocker, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, Ted Nelson, Turing machine, Turing test, Vannevar Bush, Von Neumann architecture, Wiener process, zero-sum game

Somehow, Taylor told his people, you have to network these machines together; otherwise, you'll be tak- ing a giant step backward, graphics or no graphics. Fortunately, however, Thacker and his colleagues didn't really have to focus on communications. For something like six months now, PARC had had an ex- perienced networking hotshot hard at work on the problem-a relatively new re- cruit by the name of Bob Metcalfe. In an odd sort of way, admits Bob Metcalfe, a lot of the credit for the network he developed at PARC has to go to the applied-mathematics department at Har- vard University: he hated it. In fact, he'd spent his entire graduate career there staying as far away as possible-which was why he'd actually done his Ph.D. re- search for money, working on the Arpanet as a full-time staffer for J. C. R. Lick- lider's group at Project MAC.

By the end of the 1990s, Windows would overwhelm- ingly dominate the operating-system market, to the point where the Justice De- partment's Antitrust Division would feel compelled to take an interest in Microsoft. On the communications front, meanwhile, the proliferation of Macs and PC clones was very good news for networking start-ups such as 3Com, which had al- ready begun to prosper by selling Ethernet products for VAXes and worksta- tions. Indeed, the personal-computer revolution was what transformed the Bob Metcalfe of 1979 into the Bob Metcalfe of today: the proud possessor of a farm in Maine, a town house suitable for an embassy in Boston's tony Back Bay neighborhood, a prestigious second career in technology journalism, and a per- sonal fortune that amounts to a noticeable fraction of Bill Gates's. "I tell people I didn't get rich inventing Ethernet," he says with a laugh. "I got rich selling it!" Just so-though in truth, the microcomputer market was something of a tough sell in those early days.

Given the nature of inter- active computing, in fact, even the fieriest activists among them could argue that they were co-opting the Pentagon, and not vice versa. They were striking a blow for intellectual freedom. They were liberating human potential. And not incidentally, they were liberating a few dollars that might otherwise be spent on B-52s. "That was the lie we told ourselves," recalls a wry Bob Metcalfe, then an undergraduate computer-science major at MIT: "Our money was bloody on only one side." Then, too, many of these kids were nothing if not escapist. The obsessive techno-weenies who haunted the terminal rooms of Project MAC and the other ARPA sites were children of the sixties, all right. But the worlds they were creat- ing for themselves had less in common with the angry antiwar movement out on the streets than with the psychedelic, peace-and-love communes of Haight- Ashbury.


pages: 323 words: 92,135

Running Money by Andy Kessler

Andy Kessler, Apple II, bioinformatics, Bob Noyce, British Empire, business intelligence, buy and hold, buy low sell high, call centre, Corn Laws, Douglas Engelbart, family office, full employment, George Gilder, happiness index / gross national happiness, interest rate swap, invisible hand, James Hargreaves, James Watt: steam engine, joint-stock company, joint-stock limited liability company, knowledge worker, Leonard Kleinrock, Long Term Capital Management, mail merge, Marc Andreessen, margin call, market bubble, Maui Hawaii, Menlo Park, Metcalfe’s law, Mitch Kapor, Network effects, packet switching, pattern recognition, pets.com, railway mania, risk tolerance, Robert Metcalfe, Sand Hill Road, Silicon Valley, South China Sea, spinning jenny, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Toyota Production System, zero-sum game

Nick Moore wasn’t here, damn. My eyes got stuck in the middle of the room. There was Bob Metcalfe staring at the slide, looking at the line going up and up Packet Racket 189 and up. He was shaking his head with a look of both amazement and disbelief, and this was the guy that invented it. After a dozen of those IMP nodes were up and running, it was time to start giving demos to people who mattered. One of the ARPANET researchers was in charge of giving a demonstration to some bigwigs from AT&T. Keep in mind that the phone network was engineered to fail for only two minutes every 40 years. That is one of those six nine’s, or four to the right of the decimal point, or 99.9999% reliability. As the story goes, researcher Bob Metcalfe was in the middle of demonstrating the packet network when, like any good demo, it crashed.

I started chuckling because he kind of looked like a cross between Soupy Sales and Eddie Munster. It was lunchtime at George Gilder’s Telecosm conference, and we were waiting for the featured speaker, Gary Winnick of Global Crossing, to explain how he sends billions of packets per second under the Atlantic Ocean. George Gilder has hosted his Telecosm conference for years. Tech luminaries like Carver Mead, Bob Metcalfe and Paul Allen were regulars. “I don’t know what the first packet was,” I confessed. My tablemate turned out to be Leonard Kleinrock, a UCLA professor, according to his name tag. It turned out that he had been at the creation. Since the 1978 introduction of the Apple II computer, to the 1981 announcement of the IBM PC, the world has been flooded with smaller, cheaper and faster computers. More than 100 million new ones get sold every year.

This put smiles on the faces of those 10 AT&T execu-humps, and they merrily skipped back to headquarters singing the stillbirth of packet switching. Of course, they were right for another 30 years, but packet switching would eventually be trouble for circuit-switched phone networks. Metcalfe got back at them. With the success of its new packet network, ARPA became “D for Defense” DARPA, to remind everyone it was your defense dollars at work, keeping communications alive in the event of a nuclear war. Bob Metcalfe moved from DARPA to the Xerox Palo Alto Research Center. He was playing around with a bunch of new Xerox Alto workstations, trying to devise a fast network both to hook them together, and more importantly, to connect them to laser printers that Xerox was hoping to sell in large numbers. This was around 1976, and Xerox PARC was still a playground for dreamy scientists. Conference rooms didn’t have tables and chairs—they had beanbag chairs.


pages: 615 words: 168,775

Troublemakers: Silicon Valley's Coming of Age by Leslie Berlin

AltaVista, Apple II, Asilomar, Asilomar Conference on Recombinant DNA, beat the dealer, Bill Gates: Altair 8800, Bob Noyce, Byte Shop, Clayton Christensen, cloud computing, computer age, discovery of DNA, don't be evil, Donald Knuth, double helix, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Dynabook, Edward Thorp, El Camino Real, fear of failure, Fellow of the Royal Society, financial independence, game design, Haight Ashbury, hiring and firing, industrial robot, informal economy, Internet of things, inventory management, John Markoff, Kickstarter, Kitchen Debate, Leonard Kleinrock, manufacturing employment, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, Minecraft, Mother of all demos, packet switching, Ralph Nader, Robert Metcalfe, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, Sand Hill Road, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Snapchat, software as a service, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, Ted Nelson, union organizing, upwardly mobile, William Shockley: the traitorous eight, women in the workforce

Jerry was my manager.”19 Taylor’s work at ARPA had pointed him to the researchers he desired, and many of the young graduate students he knew from those days fondly remembered him—and the generous ARPA funding he offered. As a result, he could handpick his team.VIII “All it took was a few phone calls from Taylor and the chosen researchers signed up,” recalled one Xerox executive.20 Taylor began recruiting at the University of Utah. He swept in several employees from Bolt Beranek and Newman. At Harvard, he pursued the networking expert Bob Metcalfe, even after Harvard balked at giving Metcalfe a PhD.VII Closer to home, Taylor bypassed the young microchip and electronics operations to pursue clusters of talent with academic, not business, leanings. From Berkeley, he plucked a group that had worked together on an ARPA project at the University of California and then launched a commercial operation near the campus. The Berkeley Computer Corporation was about to go bankrupt, and many of its young computer scientists were excited to leave business concerns behind to join a research lab.

They barbecued at one another’s houses and worked on one another’s basement workshop projects. Taylor, a competitive tennis player, enjoyed challenging the best players at PARC to hard-core, sweat-streaming matches on the court behind his neighbor’s home. Afterward, the players would adjourn to Taylor’s house. “The Dr Pepper was cold, the doors were open, a breeze was blowing through, and everyone was always welcome to come in,” recalls Bob Metcalfe.27 During the weekly lab meetings, Taylor also spent time fielding complaints. The cafeteria food was bad. Equipment was inadequate. Secretaries were overworked. Surprisingly often, grumblings about balky Xerox copiers led the list of problems. Taylor listened and took careful notes. He knew that truly creative computer scientists tend to be opinionated individualists. He catered to that tendency.

Their loyalty was never to Xerox but to the intellectual challenge of taking information technology research out of the stranglehold of mainframe computing.”41 Taylor did indeed want to break “the stranglehold of mainframe computing,” but he, and nearly everyone in his lab, also felt loyal to Xerox. Again and again over the course of the next decade, Taylor would try to interest the company’s leadership in the technology coming out of the computing labs at PARC. His efforts would meet with little success. In early 1972, the lab was at a critical point. The MAXC computer was almost complete. Soon Bob Metcalfe would connect it to the Arpanet, the computer network that Taylor had kick-started in 1966 when he was at ARPA. Researchers were beginning to complain that the final-stage refinements were “depressing” and too far removed from basic research.42 Around this time, Jerry Elkind, Taylor’s PhD-bearing boss, asked whether Xerox should “buy the ARPANET.” ARPA was looking for an outside institution to run the network as a public service akin to the national phone network.43 After some discussion with Taylor, Elkind, along with Xerox’s head of research, Jack Goldman, put together a group “to analyze the opportunity for buying ARPANET and to recommend the action Xerox should take.”44 In the end, Xerox, like AT&T (which had also considered a purchase), declined to bid for ownership of the Arpanet, and in 1975, the Defense Communications Agency took over operational responsibility.


pages: 354 words: 118,970

Transaction Man: The Rise of the Deal and the Decline of the American Dream by Nicholas Lemann

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, airline deregulation, Albert Einstein, augmented reality, basic income, Bernie Sanders, Black-Scholes formula, buy and hold, capital controls, computerized trading, corporate governance, cryptocurrency, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, dematerialisation, diversified portfolio, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, financial deregulation, financial innovation, fixed income, future of work, George Akerlof, gig economy, Henry Ford's grandson gave labor union leader Walter Reuther a tour of the company’s new, automated factory…, index fund, information asymmetry, invisible hand, Irwin Jacobs, Joi Ito, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Arrow, Kickstarter, life extension, Long Term Capital Management, Mark Zuckerberg, mass immigration, means of production, Metcalfe’s law, money market fund, Mont Pelerin Society, moral hazard, Myron Scholes, new economy, Norman Mailer, obamacare, Paul Samuelson, Peter Thiel, price mechanism, principal–agent problem, profit maximization, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, Ralph Nader, Richard Thaler, road to serfdom, Robert Bork, Robert Metcalfe, rolodex, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, Sand Hill Road, shareholder value, short selling, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Silicon Valley startup, Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Its Profits, Steve Jobs, TaskRabbit, The Nature of the Firm, the payments system, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, transaction costs, universal basic income, War on Poverty, white flight, working poor

A broadcast-era business maxim, called Sarnoff’s law after the founder of NBC, was that the value of a network varies arithmetically with the size of its audience. Silicon Valley’s updated twenty-first-century version was Metcalfe’s law (named after Bob Metcalfe, the inventor of Ethernet technology, which permits direct, noncentralized communication between computer workstations), which has it that the value of a network varies exponentially with its number of users. (As a young engineer helping to design an early automatic teller machine for Chase Manhattan Bank, Bob Metcalfe was given a brief audience with the bank’s chairman, David Rockefeller, who had on his desk a five-foot-wide custom-built Rolodex containing more than a hundred thousand cards. So that’s how the world works, Metcalfe remembers thinking: networks.

“all based on a theory”: Office of the Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program, “Factors Affecting the Decisions of General Motors and Chrysler to Reduce Their Dealership Networks,” July 19, 2010, 31. “The report was ludicrous”: Rattner, Overhaul, 302. 6. NETWORK MAN you might well wind up in Silicon Valley: General background and history about Silicon Valley comes from author’s interviews with Arthur Rock, Hal Varian, Laszlo Bock, AnnaLee Saxenian, Bob Metcalfe, Ben Rosen, Reid Hoffman, Thomas Perkins, John Doerr, John Lilly, David Sze, David Hahn, Michael Mandel, Joe Kraus, Josh Kopelman, Nancy Lublin, Joi Ito, Peter Thiel, Simon Rothman, George Arison, David Sanford, Mark Pincus, Jeff Weiner, Premal Shah, James Manyika, Evan Williams, Allen Blue, Ann Miurako, John Etchemendy, Mike Maples, Roy Bahat, Terry Winograd, Ian McCarthy, Jen Pahlka, Tim O’Reilly, Linda Rottenberg, Ben Casnocha, and Dan Portillo.

Academics had been studying social networks: See Jacob Moreno, Who Shall Survive? Foundations of Sociometry, Group Psychotherapy and Sociodrama, Beacon, 1953. “The Strength of Weak Ties”: Mark S. Granovetter, “The Strength of Weak Ties,” American Journal of Sociology, Volume 78, Number 6 (May 1973), 1360–80. “much as levies were imposed”: Hoffman, Blitzscaling, 84. As a young engineer: Author’s interview with Bob Metcalfe. “First prize is a Cadillac Eldorado”: Hoffman, Blitzscaling, 11. In 2014 Hoffman and two of his protégés: See Reid Hoffman, Ben Casnocha, and Chris Yeh, The Alliance: Managing Talent in the Networked Age, Harvard Business Review Press, 2014. The Start-Up of You: Reid Hoffman and Ben Casnocha, The Start-Up of You: Adapt to the Future, Invest in Yourself, and Transform Your Career, Crown Business, 2012.


pages: 611 words: 188,732

Valley of Genius: The Uncensored History of Silicon Valley (As Told by the Hackers, Founders, and Freaks Who Made It Boom) by Adam Fisher

Airbnb, Albert Einstein, AltaVista, Apple II, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, Bob Noyce, Brownian motion, Buckminster Fuller, Burning Man, Byte Shop, cognitive dissonance, disintermediation, don't be evil, Donald Trump, Douglas Engelbart, Dynabook, Elon Musk, frictionless, glass ceiling, Hacker Ethic, Howard Rheingold, HyperCard, hypertext link, index card, informal economy, information retrieval, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, Jeff Rulifson, John Markoff, Jony Ive, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, life extension, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Maui Hawaii, Menlo Park, Metcalfe’s law, Mother of all demos, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Network effects, new economy, nuclear winter, PageRank, Paul Buchheit, paypal mafia, peer-to-peer, Peter Thiel, pets.com, pez dispenser, popular electronics, random walk, risk tolerance, Robert Metcalfe, rolodex, self-driving car, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, skunkworks, Skype, social graph, social web, South of Market, San Francisco, Startup school, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, Ted Nelson, telerobotics, The Hackers Conference, the new new thing, Tim Cook: Apple, tulip mania, V2 rocket, Whole Earth Catalog, Whole Earth Review, Y Combinator

Nolan Bushnell: In 1968 Silicon Valley was really just starting in a lot of ways. Everywhere there were these large tracts of prune orchards and every month another orchard would be taken down and they’d pile up all the cut trees next to a sign that said “free firewood” and soon there would be a concrete tilt-up there. The center of gravity was Mountain View and Sunnyvale, where Fairchild and Intel and National Semiconductor were. Bob Metcalfe: Intel was just getting started. There was no Apple. There was a Hewlett-Packard, but they barely made computers, just barely. They were old and respectable, but a tiny little company. Al Alcorn: The Valley at the time in the sixties and seventies was dominated by military stuff: Lockheed and all these big places—and semiconductor companies. Also, the Del Monte fruit factory; they were making fruit cocktail right there behind Videofile in this giant factory that smelled like a fruit cocktail in the summer.

It was extremely clear that the machines that we were building in the early and midseventies would be economical in the eighties. And it was extremely clear that they were wildly uneconomical at the time we built them. Alan Kay: Through money—and assuming Moore’s law—you can basically put a supercomputer on a desk, which is what we did. Dan Ingalls: It was almost a free ride, because so many things were just ready to be invented: The entire world of bitmapped graphics was there to be invented. Bob Metcalfe: And it was California, so we rode bicycles. I remember we used to ride our bikes along Arastradero Road over to Alpine Road and go to the Alpine Inn at lunchtime. We would drink beer at lunch, and that meant the afternoon was gone and that work might resume that evening after dinner. It was very laid-back. There was only one meeting per week. We’d sit in these beanbag chairs, and we would discuss what was going on at the lab.

Stewart Brand: They put an armed guard at the door and they didn’t let reporters in ever after. Dick Shoup: But of course from our point of view we were proud to be on the leading edge and trying to move Xerox and anybody else who would listen into the future, because we could see what was coming. Stewart Brand (writing in Rolling Stone): When computers become available to everybody, the hackers take over. Bob Metcalfe: Right after we finished MAXC we started work on the Alto computer, arguably the world’s first personal computer. Chuck Thacker: And we finally started listening to Bob Taylor, who had been telling us what to do for a long time but we didn’t understand it. Bob Taylor: The design center of computers in those days was the arithmetic unit. Everything, all the design, was focused on making that as efficient as possible.


pages: 218 words: 63,471

How We Got Here: A Slightly Irreverent History of Technology and Markets by Andy Kessler

Albert Einstein, Andy Kessler, animal electricity, automated trading system, bank run, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Bob Noyce, Bretton Woods, British Empire, buttonwood tree, Claude Shannon: information theory, Corn Laws, Douglas Engelbart, Edward Lloyd's coffeehouse, fiat currency, fixed income, floating exchange rates, Fractional reserve banking, full employment, Grace Hopper, invention of the steam engine, invention of the telephone, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Jacquard loom, James Hargreaves, James Watt: steam engine, John von Neumann, joint-stock company, joint-stock limited liability company, Joseph-Marie Jacquard, Kickstarter, Leonard Kleinrock, Marc Andreessen, Maui Hawaii, Menlo Park, Metcalfe's law, Metcalfe’s law, Mitch Kapor, packet switching, price mechanism, probability theory / Blaise Pascal / Pierre de Fermat, profit motive, railway mania, RAND corporation, Robert Metcalfe, Silicon Valley, Small Order Execution System, South Sea Bubble, spice trade, spinning jenny, Steve Jobs, supply-chain management, supply-chain management software, trade route, transatlantic slave trade, tulip mania, Turing machine, Turing test, undersea cable, William Shockley: the traitorous eight

But over time, the shrink and integrate learning curve kicks in, and the cost of packet switching plummets and the benefits swamp the old way of doing things. Finally, in 2001, the business of switching telephone calls died. Worldcom and Global Crossing tried to revive the corpse with accounting tricks to buy themselves time to move to packets, hence the accounting scandals in 2002. In the fall of that year, I sat at the same table with Bob Metcalfe during a presentation on the future of networking. The talk was dull, but as a slide demonstrating uses of 10 gigabit and soon 100 gigabit Ethernet networks flashed on the screen, I noticed a funny look on Bob Metcalfe’s face: He was half stunned, half amused that Ethernet is still scaling from those 2.94 megabit per second beginnings. 150 HOW WE GOT HERE Metcalfe is also known for another famous observation – that the value of a network goes up by the square of the number of nodes attached to it.

Since 14 other sites were a lot to keep in touch with, in 1971 Ray Tomlinson at BBN wrote a message reader and writer so BBN could send and receive notes on the system. He used @, the “at” sign, to denote the destination. Email was born. One of the ARPANET researchers was in charge of giving a demonstration to some bigwigs from AT&T. Keep in mind that the phone network was engineered to fail for only 2 minutes every 40 years. That is one of those 5 nine’s to the right of the decimal point or 99.99999% reliability. As the story goes, Bob Metcalfe was in the middle of demonstrating the packet network when, like any good SOFTWARE AND NETWORKS 147 demo, it crashed. This put smiles on the face of those 10 AT&T execuhumps, and they merrily skipped back to HQ singing the stillbirth of packet switching. Of course, they were right for another 30 years, but packet switching would eventually be trouble for circuit-switched phone networks. With the success of its network, ARPA became DARPA, to remind everyone it was “Your Defense Dollars At Work.”


pages: 352 words: 120,202

Tools for Thought: The History and Future of Mind-Expanding Technology by Howard Rheingold

Ada Lovelace, Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, card file, cellular automata, Claude Shannon: information theory, combinatorial explosion, computer age, conceptual framework, Conway's Game of Life, Douglas Engelbart, Dynabook, experimental subject, Hacker Ethic, Howard Rheingold, interchangeable parts, invention of movable type, invention of the printing press, Jacquard loom, John von Neumann, knowledge worker, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, Norbert Wiener, packet switching, pattern recognition, popular electronics, post-industrial society, RAND corporation, Robert Metcalfe, Silicon Valley, speech recognition, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Stewart Brand, Ted Nelson, telemarketer, Turing machine, Turing test, Vannevar Bush, Von Neumann architecture

But by 1971, when Taylor recruited fifty or sixty of the best people in the field for the Computer Science Laboratory at PARC, the cream of the interactive computer designers had enough engineering and software research behind them from the time-sharing and ARPAnet projects to make them confident that such a utopian scenario might be possible -- especially if a corporation with the resources of Xerox was willing to take the high-stakes gamble. The people who built the first interactive, multiaccess computers, the first intellectual augmentation systems, and the first packet-switching computer networks were gathering under the same roof for the first time, in order to turn those dreams into prototypes as soon as possible. Butler Lampson, Chuck Thacker, Jim Mitchell, Ed McCreight, Bob Sproull, Jim Morris, Chuck Geschke, Alan Kay, Bob Metcalfe, Peter Deutsch, Bill English -- to those who knew anything about the esoteric world of computer design, the PARC computer science founders constituted an unprecedented collection of talents. It wasn't the kind of shop where old-style hierarchies and pecking orders would do any good. You don't run an outfit like that as much as you mediate it -- which is where Bob Taylor came in. The kind of thing they were building, and the kind of people it took to build it, required a balance between vision and pragmatism, the kind of balance that couldn't be enforced by artificially imposed authority.

The concept of the resulting Ethernet, as it was called, stemmed from the determination to make the network itself a tool at the command of the individual user. The PARC folks were hungry for personal computing power, but they didn't want to give up that hard-won and effort-amplifying community they were just beginning to know on the ARPAnet. Dan Swinehart, an SRI alumnus who joined PARC early in the game, remembers that "From the day the Alto was proposed, Butler Lampson and Bob Metcalfe pointed out that if we were going to give everybody at PARC a self-contained computer instead of hooking them all into a central time-sharing system, we'd need a connecting network with enough communicating and resource-sharing capability that the people at the personal work stations wouldn't be isolated from each other." Thus, the companion to the ALTO was the Ethernet, the first of the "local area networks."

Such job changes at the higher levels of the electronics and computer industries were far from unknown in Silicon Valley; in fact PARC was distinguished from similar institutions for many years because of the unusual lengths of time put in by its principal scientists. But when Xerox failed to become the first name in the industry, and the hobbyist side of personal computing had grown to the point where some of the original hobbyists were recruiting PARC scientists and building their own personal computer empires, the first high-level PARC defectors began to seed the rest of the industry with the user interface concepts embodied in the Star. Bob Metcalfe, the man responsible for the creation of the Ethernet, left to start 3-Com, a company specializing in local area network technology. Alan Kay, whose Smalltalk team made impressive contributions to the Star interface, left to become the chief scientist at Atari. John Ellenby, who helped reengineer the Alto 2, became the chairman of Grid. In the fall of 1983, Bob Taylor resigned, after thirteen years leading the laboratory team he had built.


pages: 194 words: 49,310

Clock of the Long Now by Stewart Brand

Albert Einstein, Brewster Kahle, Buckminster Fuller, Colonization of Mars, complexity theory, Danny Hillis, Eratosthenes, Extropian, fault tolerance, George Santayana, Internet Archive, Jaron Lanier, Kevin Kelly, knowledge economy, life extension, longitudinal study, low earth orbit, Metcalfe’s law, Mitch Kapor, nuclear winter, pensions crisis, phenotype, Ray Kurzweil, Robert Metcalfe, Stephen Hawking, Stewart Brand, technological singularity, Ted Kaczynski, Thomas Malthus, Vernor Vinge, Whole Earth Catalog

There were “Moore’s Laws” of doubling capacity in digital storage, in communications bandwidth, and in the ubiquity of microprocessors in everything from dolls and doorknobs to hearing aids. New machines became obsolete every three years. The proliferation of personal computers and the digitizing of communications via the Internet set off what came to be called Metcalfe’s Law, named after Xerox engineer Bob Metcalfe. It states that the power of a network grows as the square of the number of users (people or devices) on the net. Hence the explosion of the World Wide Web in the mid 1990s, when the Net’s total content was doubling every one hundred days. Related technologies such as biotech also took off. By 1997 Monsanto Corporation claimed that a computer-accelerated “Monsanto’s Law” was operating at a similar pace: “The ability to identify and use genetic information is doubling every twelve to twenty-four months.

This exponential growth in biological knowledge is transforming agriculture, nutrition and health care in the emerging life sciences industry.” Monsanto chose not to mention human germline engineering—that is, designing disease-resistant, higher-yield people. Velocity itself became the dominating characteristic of the world’s quicksilver economy. “We are moving from a world in which the big eat the small,” remarked Klaus Schwab, head of the World Economic Forum, “to a world in which the fast eat the slow.” FIGURE 3.2 Bob Metcalfe’s original diagram shows how the value of a net increases as the square of the number of nodes (or people) on the net. It was drawn in 1973 at Xerox PARC (a corporate research center in California) while he was working on a local-area network system called Ethernet. The diagram shows that the costs of a network system are linear, whereas the growing value of the net is exponential, and that therefore the value will surpass the costs at the “critical mass crossover” and thereafter ascend to glory.


pages: 326 words: 103,170

The Seventh Sense: Power, Fortune, and Survival in the Age of Networks by Joshua Cooper Ramo

Airbnb, Albert Einstein, algorithmic trading, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, bitcoin, British Empire, cloud computing, crowdsourcing, Danny Hillis, defense in depth, Deng Xiaoping, drone strike, Edward Snowden, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Firefox, Google Chrome, income inequality, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, job automation, Joi Ito, market bubble, Menlo Park, Metcalfe’s law, Mitch Kapor, natural language processing, Network effects, Norbert Wiener, Oculus Rift, packet switching, Paul Graham, price stability, quantitative easing, RAND corporation, recommendation engine, Republic of Letters, Richard Feynman, road to serfdom, Robert Metcalfe, Sand Hill Road, secular stagnation, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Skype, Snapchat, social web, sovereign wealth fund, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Stewart Brand, Stuxnet, superintelligent machines, technological singularity, The Coming Technological Singularity, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, too big to fail, Vernor Vinge, zero day

The topological charm of these explosively growing clusters was first teased apart by the electrical engineer Bob Metcalfe in the 1970s. Metcalfe was hunting for a better way to send data—say, grocery lists to his wife—through Menlo Park, and he perfected a connection protocol called Ethernet, which soon became a standard for linking machines. What Metcalfe noticed as more and more users piled into the gateland of Stanford’s Ethernet-connected machines was that the reach of the system was growing exponentially. A system with one phone, for example, is really not very useful. Whom would you call? A system with two phones means that there is one possible connection—we can call each other. But when you increase the number of phones by a factor of two—from five to ten, say—the number of possible connections more than doubles, from twenty-five to ninety. The difference between Bob Metcalfe and his wife sharing grocery lists and a connected, national network of husbands and wives is immense—an insight that led Bob Metcalfe and his wife to start a networking company that made them billionaires.

The difference between Bob Metcalfe and his wife sharing grocery lists and a connected, national network of husbands and wives is immense—an insight that led Bob Metcalfe and his wife to start a networking company that made them billionaires. Metcalfe’s Law has another angle, and it’s here where some of the unique Macht of network gates is revealed: It’s not merely that the power of a network grows exponentially with each additional user; it’s that the cost of being cut out grows every bit as fast. Maybe even faster. If I shut you out of Google today, it’s painful. But tomorrow—after a day of new information and websites and services coming online—it will be even more costly. The network scientists Rahul Tongia and Ernest Wilson have called this “the flip side of Metcalfe’s Law.” To be excluded from a database of cancer genetics when it has a million members, for instance, is probably not such a painful problem; to be locked out of the chance to compare your genes with those of a billion others might be fatal.


Smart Mobs: The Next Social Revolution by Howard Rheingold

A Pattern Language, augmented reality, barriers to entry, battle of ideas, Brewster Kahle, Burning Man, business climate, citizen journalism, computer vision, conceptual framework, creative destruction, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, experimental economics, experimental subject, Extropian, Hacker Ethic, Hedy Lamarr / George Antheil, Howard Rheingold, invention of the telephone, inventory management, John Markoff, John von Neumann, Joi Ito, Joseph Schumpeter, Kevin Kelly, Metcalfe's law, Metcalfe’s law, more computing power than Apollo, New Urbanism, Norbert Wiener, packet switching, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer, peer-to-peer model, pez dispenser, planetary scale, pre–internet, prisoner's dilemma, RAND corporation, recommendation engine, Renaissance Technologies, RFID, Richard Stallman, Robert Metcalfe, Robert X Cringely, Ronald Coase, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, SETI@home, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, skunkworks, slashdot, social intelligence, spectrum auction, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, the scientific method, transaction costs, ultimatum game, urban planning, web of trust, Whole Earth Review, zero-sum game

Moore forecast that the number of elements would double every eighteen months in the future.78 Anything that doubles and redoubles grows large very quickly, from 2,250 elements in Intel’s first microprocessor of 1971 to 42 million elements in the Pentium 4 processor thirty years later.79 Computers and electronic components have driven industrial growth for decades because they are among the rare technologies that grow more powerful and less expensive simultaneously. Without the efficiencies described by Moore’s Law, the PC, the Internet, and mobile telephones would have been impossibly large, unintelligent, and expensive. What happens when you link devices based on Moore’s Law? When ARPA wizards gathered at the Xerox Palo Alto Research Center (PARC) in the early 1970s to create the first personal computers, one of the engineering aces, Bob Metcalfe, led the team that invented the Ethernet, a high-speed network that interconnected PCs in the same building.80 Metcalfe left PARC, founded 3Com, Inc., cashed out, and came up with Metcalfe’s Law, which describes the growth of value in networks. The math is simple and is based on a fundamental mathematical property of networks: The number of potential connections between nodes grows more quickly than the number of nodes.

., 233, 238. 77. Alun Anderson, “The Mathematics of Mayhem,” in The World in 2001, <http://www.theworldin.com/arts/sci/fs1.html> (5 May 2001). 78. Gordon E. Moore, “Cramming More Components onto Integrated Circuits,” Electronics 38, 8 (19 April 1965):114117. 79. “Moore’s Law,” Intel Corporation, <http://www.intel.com/research/silicon/mooreslaw.htm > (21 December 2001). 80. Scott Kirsner, “The Legend of Bob Metcalfe,” Wired 6.11, November 1998, <http://www.wired.com/wired/archive//6.11/metcalfe.html?person=bob_met-calfe&topic_set=wiredpeople > (27 January 2002). 81. David P. Reed, “That Sneaky Exponential: Beyond Metcalfe’s Law to the Power of Community Building,” originally appeared in Context Magazine, Spring 1999 (by permission of DiamondCluster International, Inc. © 1999) <http://www.contextmag.com/archives/199903/digitalstrategyreedslaw.asp> (25 January 2002). 82.

See Apple Computer Maenpaa, Pasi McMaster University McNett, David Mad Wing Angels gang Madison, James Maes, Pattie Maguire, Gerald Mainframe computers Malda, Rob "Man-Machine Symbiosis" (Licklider) Manhattan Project Manila Mann, Steve and OCAP and WearComp use of the term cyborg by Marcos regime Marine biology . See also Biology Marx, Gary Mathematics Matshushita Matsunaga, Mari MCI M-commerce market Media spheres Medical research MeshNetworks Metalica Metatechnologies Metcalf, Bob Metcalfe's Law, xv and cooperation amplification and wireless networks Metricom Mexico Microprocessors,i and ad-hocracies clustering cycles and grid computing Intel, advent of and Moore's Law, xv and the search for extraterrestrial intelligence Microsoft and Bluetooth developer conferences and Linux museum .NET initiative and reputation systems Research and wireless networks Middle Ages Middleware Milinski, Manfred Military research: and ARPA and DARPA and frequency-hopping and GPS systems and smart dust Minitel Mira computer tablet Mirror Worlds concept MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) Artificial Intelligence lab Auto-ID Center bioacoustics research Center for Bits and Atoms Digital Nations consortium Media Lab and reputation systems Sloan School of Management and wireless networks and wearable computing Mitchell, William J.


pages: 222 words: 70,132

Move Fast and Break Things: How Facebook, Google, and Amazon Cornered Culture and Undermined Democracy by Jonathan Taplin

1960s counterculture, affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, Amazon Mechanical Turk, American Legislative Exchange Council, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, back-to-the-land, barriers to entry, basic income, battle of ideas, big data - Walmart - Pop Tarts, bitcoin, Brewster Kahle, Buckminster Fuller, Burning Man, Clayton Christensen, commoditize, creative destruction, crony capitalism, crowdsourcing, data is the new oil, David Brooks, David Graeber, don't be evil, Donald Trump, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Dynabook, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, equal pay for equal work, Erik Brynjolfsson, future of journalism, future of work, George Akerlof, George Gilder, Google bus, Hacker Ethic, Howard Rheingold, income inequality, informal economy, information asymmetry, information retrieval, Internet Archive, Internet of things, invisible hand, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Markoff, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, John von Neumann, Joseph Schumpeter, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, labor-force participation, life extension, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, Metcalfe’s law, Mother of all demos, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, natural language processing, Network effects, new economy, Norbert Wiener, offshore financial centre, packet switching, Paul Graham, paypal mafia, Peter Thiel, plutocrats, Plutocrats, pre–internet, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, rent-seeking, revision control, Robert Bork, Robert Gordon, Robert Metcalfe, Ronald Reagan, Ross Ulbricht, Sam Altman, Sand Hill Road, secular stagnation, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, smart grid, Snapchat, software is eating the world, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, technoutopianism, The Chicago School, The Market for Lemons, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, Tim Cook: Apple, trade route, transfer pricing, Travis Kalanick, trickle-down economics, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, universal basic income, unpaid internship, We wanted flying cars, instead we got 140 characters, web application, Whole Earth Catalog, winner-take-all economy, women in the workforce, Y Combinator

John Seely Brown, who was to become director of PARC, told me that two principles were at the center of the PARC philosophy. To begin with, Bob Taylor had brought the core directive of ARPANET with him to PARC. As Brown notes, “Decentralization was fundamental to ARPANET in the sense that a nuclear strike on a single city could not bring down the entire network.” Everything done at PARC, from the Alto to Bob Metcalf’s Ethernet architecture, was geared to making a decentralized network of personal computers function efficiently. This was new. The second core principle flowed from Alan Kay’s Dynabook. As Brown says, “The Dynabook and then the Alto were inspirations meant to empower the artistic individual.” When Brown first started working with Kay, he was playing music on the Alto and working with Stanford’s Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics.

Larger audiences improve Google’s data and make its products more accurate—as well as ever more impossible to avoid. As European competition commissioner Margrethe Vestager acknowledged last week, we live in the Google age.” So the techno-determinist philosophy has even reached into the brain of Google’s most determined regulatory opponent. This theory of self-reinforcing dominance has often been called the network effect, or Metcalfe’s law, after PARC researcher Bob Metcalfe’s formula that the value of a network is proportional to the square of the number of users. As more people use Google’s search engine, the company becomes exponentially more valuable. Could it be that Google is now what economists call a natural monopoly—a firm, such as a utility, that can supply an entire market’s demand for a service at a price lower than two firms could? In general, utilities are regulated by the government to protect consumers.


pages: 274 words: 75,846

The Filter Bubble: What the Internet Is Hiding From You by Eli Pariser

A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, A Pattern Language, Amazon Web Services, augmented reality, back-to-the-land, Black Swan, borderless world, Build a better mousetrap, Cass Sunstein, citizen journalism, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, crowdsourcing, Danny Hillis, data acquisition, disintermediation, don't be evil, Filter Bubble, Flash crash, fundamental attribution error, global village, Haight Ashbury, Internet of things, Isaac Newton, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, Kevin Kelly, knowledge worker, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, megacity, Metcalfe’s law, Netflix Prize, new economy, PageRank, paypal mafia, Peter Thiel, recommendation engine, RFID, Robert Metcalfe, sentiment analysis, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, social graph, social software, social web, speech recognition, Startup school, statistical model, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, technoutopianism, the scientific method, urban planning, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks, Y Combinator

It’d probably take a lot—re-creating your whole profile, uploading all of those pictures, and laboriously entering your friends’ names would be extremely tedious. You’re pretty locked in. Likewise, Gmail, Gchat, Google Voice, Google Docs, and a host of other products are part of an orchestrated campaign for Google lock-in. The fight between Google and Facebook hinges on which can achieve lock-in for the most users. The dynamics of lock-in are described by Metcalfe’s law, a principle coined by Bob Metcalfe, the inventor of the Ethernet protocol that wires together computers. The law says that the usefulness of a network increases at an accelerating rate as you add each new person to it. It’s not much use to be the only person you know with a fax machine, but if everyone you work with uses one, it’s a huge disadvantage not to be in the loop. Lock-in is the dark side of Metcalfe’s law: Facebook is useful in large part because everyone’s on it.

LinkedIn Linux Lippmann, Walter Livingston, Jessica local-maximum problem lock-in “Long Live the Web” (Berners-Lee) Loopt Lovell, Todd Lowenstein, George luck Lynch, Zack Ma, Jack MacDougald, Harry machine learning Mancini, Paul Mark, David Mayer, Marissa Mayer-Schonberger, Viktor McLarty, Mack McLuhan, Marshall McPhie, Jonathan Meadowlands meaning threats mean world syndrome MeetUp Metcalfe, Bob Metcalfe’s law Microsoft Bob Live middleman, elimination of Migra corridos Milgram, Stanley Mill, John Stuart Minority Report Moore’s law MORIS Moses, Robert mousetraps MoveOn Mulvenon, James MySpace Nabokov, Vladimir National Rifle Association (NRA) National Security Agency (NSA) Nauman, Arthur Ne’eman, Yuval Negroponte, Nicholas Nemeth, Charlan Netflix Netflix Challenge Newmark, Craig news Facebook feeds Google News people-powered Yahoo News newspapers editorial ethics and ombudsmen and New York Times 9/11 Nordhaus, Ted Norvig, Peter Nosenko, Yuri Obama, Barack Oceana “Of Sirens and Amish Children” (Benkler) OkCupid Olson, Carrie Oswald, Lee Harvey overfitting Pabst Page, Larry PageRank Palmer, Chris Palo Alto Research Center (PARC) Pandora PanelDirector Pareles, Jon Parker, Sean Pattern Language, A (Alexander et al.)


pages: 781 words: 226,928

Commodore: A Company on the Edge by Brian Bagnall

Apple II, belly landing, Bill Gates: Altair 8800, Byte Shop, Claude Shannon: information theory, computer age, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Firefox, game design, index card, inventory management, Isaac Newton, low skilled workers, Menlo Park, packet switching, pink-collar, popular electronics, prediction markets, pre–internet, QWERTY keyboard, Robert Metcalfe, Robert X Cringely, Silicon Valley, special economic zone, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Ted Nelson

The concept was similar to the IEEE-488 connector of the PET but less expensive. The serial port originated with the TOI project. “It pretty much had the PET expansion bus on the back but we knew we couldn’t put the IEEE-488 on it,” says Seiler. Chuck Peddle hired a former Xerox PARC engineer named Robert Metcalfe to help his engineers figure out the port. “He organized the meetings at Moorpark with Metcalfe because we were trying to design an expansion bus,” says Seiler. “We knew we couldn’t put the expensive HP IEEE bus in it so we tried to come up with something cheaper.” “That summer in San Jose, Robert Metcalfe was a consultant who worked for Commodore before he founded 3Com,” says Feagans. “He was hired as a consultant to look at networking.” Metcalfe pitched an idea he was currently working on. “Metcalfe came over and explained the whole Ethernet thing,” says Seiler, referring to the technology for local area networks.

He began to enjoy rewards reserved for inner family members, including flying on the corporate jet in November 1980. “Jack flew me and my wife to Las Vegas for Comdex, and also our honeymoon, on the loaner PET Jet after the belly landing in Iowa,” says Feagans. “That was my first meeting with Jim Finke.” At the newly reopened Moorpark offices, where the disk drive designers now resided, Feagans continued working on the concepts introduced to him by Robert Metcalfe, including networking and graphical user interfaces. The others began work on a data storage device using VCR tape. Robert Russell, the young engineer hired in 1979, entered Tramiel’s inner family after his heroic efforts making the VIC-20 a reality. Russell worked out of an office at 3330 Scott Boulevard, in the same building as Tramiel. This meant Tramiel often dropped in on his engineers to monitor the progress of his projects.

It was probably wise to drop backward compatibility, given the limitations of the VIC-20. Unfortunately, it seemed to set the pattern for computer design in later years. * * * John Feagans continued working at the Moorpark R&D office after the C64 debut at CES. “I developed the music player for the launch of the C64 there and stayed to develop the Commodore network for the C64 and PET,” he says. Inspired by Robert Metcalfe’s visit in 1980, Feagans created a computer network. His network required a master computer, which served up to 10 slaves. “I created a plug-in for the expansion port on the PET and also the C64 which brought out the serial port from the 6522 to an RS-422 interface,” says Feagans. “The ‘teacher’s PET’ was the master and the C64s were the slaves. I also networked a printer in the configuration.”


pages: 720 words: 197,129

The Innovators: How a Group of Inventors, Hackers, Geniuses and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution by Walter Isaacson

1960s counterculture, Ada Lovelace, AI winter, Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, Albert Einstein, AltaVista, Apple II, augmented reality, back-to-the-land, beat the dealer, Bill Gates: Altair 8800, bitcoin, Bob Noyce, Buckminster Fuller, Byte Shop, c2.com, call centre, citizen journalism, Claude Shannon: information theory, Clayton Christensen, commoditize, computer age, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, Debian, desegregation, Donald Davies, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Hofstadter, Dynabook, El Camino Real, Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, en.wikipedia.org, Firefox, Google Glasses, Grace Hopper, Gödel, Escher, Bach, Hacker Ethic, Haight Ashbury, Howard Rheingold, Hush-A-Phone, HyperCard, hypertext link, index card, Internet Archive, Jacquard loom, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, John Markoff, John von Neumann, Joseph-Marie Jacquard, Leonard Kleinrock, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, Mitch Kapor, Mother of all demos, new economy, New Journalism, Norbert Wiener, Norman Macrae, packet switching, PageRank, Paul Terrell, pirate software, popular electronics, pre–internet, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, RFC: Request For Comment, Richard Feynman, Richard Stallman, Robert Metcalfe, Rubik’s Cube, Sand Hill Road, Saturday Night Live, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, slashdot, speech recognition, Steve Ballmer, Steve Crocker, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, technological singularity, technoutopianism, Ted Nelson, The Coming Technological Singularity, The Nature of the Firm, The Wisdom of Crowds, Turing complete, Turing machine, Turing test, Vannevar Bush, Vernor Vinge, Von Neumann architecture, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Whole Earth Catalog, Whole Earth Review, wikimedia commons, William Shockley: the traitorous eight

Engelbart stages the Mother of All Demos with Brand’s help. 1969 First nodes of ARPANET installed. 1971 Don Hoefler begins column for Electronic News called “Silicon Valley USA.” Demise party for Whole Earth Catalog. Intel 4004 microprocessor unveiled. Ray Tomlinson invents email. 1972 Nolan Bushnell creates Pong at Atari with Al Alcorn. 1973 1973 Alan Kay helps to create the Alto at Xerox PARC. Ethernet developed by Bob Metcalfe at Xerox PARC. Community Memory shared terminal set up at Leopold’s Records, Berkeley. Vint Cerf and Bob Kahn complete TCP/IP protocols for the Internet. 1974 Intel 8080 comes out. 1975 Altair personal computer from MITS appears. Paul Allen and Bill Gates write BASIC for Altair, form Microsoft. First meeting of Homebrew Computer Club. Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak launch the Apple I. 1977 The Apple II is released. 1978 First Internet Bulletin Board System. 1979 Usenet newsgroups invented.

made headlines. THE INTERNET The ARPANET was not yet the Internet. It was just one network. Within a few years, there were other packet-switched networks that were similar but not interconnected. For example, engineers at Xerox’s Palo Alto Research Center (PARC) wanted a local-area network to connect the office workstations they were designing in the early 1970s, and a recent Harvard PhD there named Bob Metcalfe created a way to use coaxial cable (the type that plugs into cable TV boxes) to create a high-bandwidth system that he named “Ethernet.” It was modeled on a wireless network developed in Hawaii known as ALOHAnet, which sent packet data through UHF and satellite signals. In addition, there was a packet radio network in San Francisco, known as PRNET, and also a satellite version called SATNET.

But he threw a tantrum—“Let’s stop this bullshit!” he kept shouting—and finally was given, at the behest of Xerox’s top management, a fuller show. Jobs bounced around the room as his engineers studied each pixel on the screen. “You’re sitting on a goldmine,” he shouted. “I can’t believe Xerox is not taking advantage of this.” There were three major innovations on display. The first was Ethernet, the technologies developed by Bob Metcalfe for creating local area networks. Like Gates and other pioneers of personal computers, Jobs was not very interested—certainly not as interested as he should have been—in networking technology. He was focused on the ability of computers to empower individuals rather than to facilitate collaboration. The second innovation was object-oriented programming. That, likewise, did not grab Jobs, who was not a programmer.


pages: 340 words: 94,464

Randomistas: How Radical Researchers Changed Our World by Andrew Leigh

Albert Einstein, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Anton Chekhov, Atul Gawande, basic income, Black Swan, correlation does not imply causation, crowdsourcing, David Brooks, Donald Trump, ending welfare as we know it, Estimating the Reproducibility of Psychological Science, experimental economics, Flynn Effect, germ theory of disease, Ignaz Semmelweis: hand washing, Indoor air pollution, Isaac Newton, Kickstarter, longitudinal study, loss aversion, Lyft, Marshall McLuhan, meta analysis, meta-analysis, microcredit, Netflix Prize, nudge unit, offshore financial centre, p-value, placebo effect, price mechanism, publication bias, RAND corporation, randomized controlled trial, recommendation engine, Richard Feynman, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Metcalfe, Ronald Reagan, statistical model, Steven Pinker, uber lyft, universal basic income, War on Poverty

Hoch, 1998, ‘An anchoring and adjustment model of purchase quantity decisions’, Journal of Marketing Research, vol. 35, no. 1, pp. 71–81 35Kusum L. Ailawadi, Bari A. Harlam, Jacques César & David Trounce, ‘Quantifying and improving promotion effectiveness at CVS’, Marketing Science, vol. 26, no. 4, 2007, pp. 566–75. 36Ju-Young Kim, Martin Natter & Martni Spann, ‘Pay what you want: A new participative pricing mechanism’, Journal of Marketing, vol. 73, 2009, pp. 44–58. 37Greer K. Gosnell, John A. List & Robert Metcalfe, ‘A new approach to an age-old problem: Solving externalities by incenting workers directly’, NBER Working Paper No. 22316, Cambridge, MA: NBER, 2016. 38Bruce S. Shearer, ‘Piece rates, fixed wages and incentives: Evidence from a field experiment’, Review of Economic Studies, vol. 71, no. 2, 2004, pp. 513–34. 39Lan Shi, ‘Incentive effect of piece-rate contracts: Evidence from two small field experiments’, B.E.

See Laura and John Arnold Foundation, ‘Laura and John Arnold Foundation announces expanded funding for low-cost randomized controlled trials to drive effective social spending’, press release, 7 December 2015. 9David Halpern, Inside the Nudge Unit: How Small Changes Can Make a Big Difference, London: WH Allen, 2015, p. 274. 10Halpern, Inside the Nudge Unit, p. 274. 11Halpern, Inside the Nudge Unit, pp. 91–2. 12Halpern, Inside the Nudge Unit, p. 89. 13Halpern, Inside the Nudge Unit, pp. 113–15; Michael Hallsworth, John List, Robert Metcalfe & Ivo Vlaev, ‘The behavioralist as tax collector: Using natural field experiments to enhance tax compliance’, Journal of Public Economics, vol. 148, issue C, 2017, pp. 14–31. The Australian Taxation Office reports that it increased compliance from tax debtors by 5 per cent simply by removing from its letters the opening words: ‘Please disregard this letter if you have paid this debt in full in the last seven days’: Peter Martin, ‘Mind games could pay handsomely’, Sydney Morning Herald, 17 November 2013. 14Halpern, Inside the Nudge Unit, p. 90. 15Tim Harford, ‘Nudge, nudge.


pages: 421 words: 110,406

Platform Revolution: How Networked Markets Are Transforming the Economy--And How to Make Them Work for You by Sangeet Paul Choudary, Marshall W. van Alstyne, Geoffrey G. Parker

3D printing, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, Alvin Roth, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, Andrei Shleifer, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, big data - Walmart - Pop Tarts, bitcoin, blockchain, business cycle, business process, buy low sell high, chief data officer, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable:, clean water, cloud computing, connected car, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, data acquisition, data is the new oil, digital map, discounted cash flows, disintermediation, Edward Glaeser, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, financial innovation, Haber-Bosch Process, High speed trading, information asymmetry, Internet of things, inventory management, invisible hand, Jean Tirole, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, John Markoff, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, Lean Startup, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, market design, Metcalfe’s law, multi-sided market, Network effects, new economy, payday loans, peer-to-peer lending, Peter Thiel, pets.com, pre–internet, price mechanism, recommendation engine, RFID, Richard Stallman, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Metcalfe, Ronald Coase, Satoshi Nakamoto, self-driving car, shareholder value, sharing economy, side project, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart contracts, smart grid, Snapchat, software is eating the world, Steve Jobs, TaskRabbit, The Chicago School, the payments system, Tim Cook: Apple, transaction costs, Travis Kalanick, two-sided market, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, winner-take-all economy, zero-sum game, Zipcar

Demand economies of scale are the fundamental source of positive network effects, and thus the chief drivers of economic value in today’s world. This is not to say that supply economies of scale no longer matter; of course they do. But demand economies of scale, in the form of network effects, have become the most important differentiating factor. Metcalfe’s law is a useful way of encapsulating how network effects create value for those who participate in a network as well as for those who own or manage the network. Robert Metcalfe, co-inventor of Ethernet and founder of 3Com, pointed out that the value of a telephone network grows nonlinearly as the number of subscribers to the network increases, making more connections among subscribers possible. When there’s only one node in a network, no connections are possible. An MIT professor we know likes to joke that the prize for “greatest salesperson in history” should go to whoever sold the first telephone.

The accuracy of the search algorithm and the intuitiveness of the navigation tools offered to users as they seek other users with whom they can engage in value-creating interactions. Matching quality is critical to delivering value and stimulating the long-term growth and success of a platform. It is achieved through excellence in product or service curation. Metcalfe’s law. A principle formulated by Robert Metcalfe which states that the value of a network grows nonlinearly as the number of users of the network increases, making more connections among users possible (a type of growth also known as convex growth). Specifically, Metcalfe’s law posits that the value of a network with n connected users is proportional to the square of the number of users (n2). Multihoming. The phenomenon of users engaging in similar types of interaction on more than one platform.


pages: 239 words: 45,926

As the Future Catches You: How Genomics & Other Forces Are Changing Your Work, Health & Wealth by Juan Enriquez

Albert Einstein, Berlin Wall, bioinformatics, borderless world, British Empire, Buckminster Fuller, business cycle, creative destruction, double helix, global village, half of the world's population has never made a phone call, Howard Rheingold, Jeff Bezos, Joseph Schumpeter, Kevin Kelly, knowledge economy, more computing power than Apollo, new economy, personalized medicine, purchasing power parity, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Feynman, Robert Metcalfe, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, SETI@home, Silicon Valley, spice trade, stem cell, the new new thing

He has looked at flowers as well as a myriad of other industries in various books, including The Competitive Advantage of Nations, Competitive Advantage, and Competitive Strategy. 7. A lot of people have written on this phenomenon of a new economy; one of my favorites is Wired editor Kevin Kelly. Many of the ideas in this chapter come from his book New Rules for the New Economy (New York: Viking, 1998). Peter F. Drucker has also been detailing these changes for decades, starting with The End of the Economic Man (1939). See also his Post-Capitalist Society (1993). 8. Robert Metcalf, founder of 3Com, argues the value of a network is proportional to the square of the number of people in it. 9. Attempting to regulate these decentralized networks is certain to give bureaucrats ulcers— or worse. See, for example, Peter Maas, “Silicorn Valley,” Wired, September 1997: 131–38. 10. You can read about SETI in Howard Rheingold’s “You Got the Power,” Wired, August 2000: 176. Or go directly to www.seti.org/. 11.


pages: 138 words: 40,787

The Silent Intelligence: The Internet of Things by Daniel Kellmereit, Daniel Obodovski

Airbnb, Amazon Web Services, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, business intelligence, call centre, Clayton Christensen, cloud computing, commoditize, connected car, crowdsourcing, data acquisition, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, first square of the chessboard, first square of the chessboard / second half of the chessboard, Freestyle chess, Google X / Alphabet X, Internet of things, lifelogging, Metcalfe’s law, Network effects, Paul Graham, Ray Kurzweil, RFID, Robert Metcalfe, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, smart cities, smart grid, software as a service, Steve Jobs, web application, Y Combinator, yield management

It took a long time to build 3G networks, ensure their stability, and create an ecosystem of applications, but once Apple introduced the first iPhone in 2007 and Android followed shortly after, smartphones took over the market within three years. We believe something very similar is about to happen in the M2M space. A big part of technology adoption is awareness. As Peggy Smedley says: It’s all of these great minds that helped us understand what the technology can do for us, people like Robert Metcalfe or Steve Jobs and other great visionaries. They helped us really understand what the technologies can do, what the data behind the technologies can do. We have to look back before we can look forward. We will talk more about the M2M technology ecosystem and its challenges in chapter 2; for now, let’s look at the history of M2M or the Internet of Things. “Something is happening. Things are starting to talk to other things.


pages: 1,373 words: 300,577

The Quest: Energy, Security, and the Remaking of the Modern World by Daniel Yergin

"Robert Solow", addicted to oil, Albert Einstein, Asian financial crisis, Ayatollah Khomeini, banking crisis, Berlin Wall, bioinformatics, borderless world, BRICs, business climate, carbon footprint, Carmen Reinhart, cleantech, Climategate, Climatic Research Unit, colonial rule, Colonization of Mars, corporate governance, cuban missile crisis, data acquisition, decarbonisation, Deng Xiaoping, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, diversification, diversified portfolio, Elon Musk, energy security, energy transition, Exxon Valdez, facts on the ground, Fall of the Berlin Wall, fear of failure, financial innovation, flex fuel, global supply chain, global village, high net worth, hydraulic fracturing, income inequality, index fund, informal economy, interchangeable parts, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), James Watt: steam engine, John von Neumann, Kenneth Rogoff, life extension, Long Term Capital Management, Malacca Straits, market design, means of production, megacity, Menlo Park, Mikhail Gorbachev, Mohammed Bouazizi, mutually assured destruction, new economy, Norman Macrae, North Sea oil, nuclear winter, off grid, oil rush, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, Paul Samuelson, peak oil, Piper Alpha, price mechanism, purchasing power parity, rent-seeking, rising living standards, Robert Metcalfe, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, Sand Hill Road, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, smart grid, smart meter, South China Sea, sovereign wealth fund, special economic zone, Stuxnet, technology bubble, the built environment, The Nature of the Firm, the new new thing, trade route, transaction costs, unemployed young men, University of East Anglia, uranium enrichment, William Langewiesche, Yom Kippur War

In its analysis, Kleiner Perkins estimated that the total annual information technology market was $1 trillion a year, while that for energy was $6 trillion. The entry of venture capital into cleantech has gone from the trickle to the veritable flood. Investment in the U.S. cleantech industry went from $286 million in 2001 to $3.7 billion in 2010—a rise of more than ten times. In 2010 cleantech represented 17 percent of total VC investment in the United States.16 “MIT IS DOING ENERGY” Robert Metcalfe is one the legends of the information technology business. He invented the Ethernet, which makes possible the LANs—local area networks—that link computers in offices and homes. He was also on the board of the company that developed PowerPoint, the inescapable tool of most presentations. He has been awarded the U.S. National Medal of Technology. An MIT graduate, he had returned from Silicon Valley to join Polaris, a Boston venture capital firm.

Vinod Khosla, a prominent cleantech venture capitalist has said that venture capital will do to energy what it did to the old IBM-dominated computer industry and the old AT&T-dominated phone business: undermine the established companies, redefine the business model, and spawn a host of major new competitors. (To be sure, the U.S. Justice Department helped that “undermining” with its far-reaching antitrust cases against both companies.) Others have a different perspective. Robert Metcalfe sees the possibility of a green tech and global-warming bubble that will end with a crash. But from a big-picture perspective, that will accelerate the development of new technologies. “Bubbles accelerate innovation,” said Metcalfe. And one spin-off from innovation is “surprises.”17 Actual experience has been mixed. There have been some strategic sales and some high-profile IPOs that rival Internet or information-technology start-ups.

Ante, Creative Capital: Georges Doriot and the Birth of Venture Capital (Boston: Harvard Business Press, 2008), pp. 80–88, 198. 11 Interview with Samuel Bodman; Ante, Creative Capital, pp. 109, 126 (“peaceful life”), 198; Charter of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, at http://libraries.mit.edu/archives/mithistory/charter.html. 12 David Packard, The HP Way (New York: Collins Business Essentials, 1995), p. 22. 13 Tom Perkins, Valley Boy: The Education of Tom Perkins (New York: Gotham Books, 2007); interview with Ray Lane. 14 Interview with Nancy Floyd. 15 Interview with Ira Ehrenpreis. 16 Interview with Ray Lane; Kleiner Perkins, “MoneyTree Report,” PricewaterhouseCoopers, January 21, 2011, at https://www.pwcmoneytree.com/MTPublic/ns/moneytree/filesource/exhibits/10Q4MTRelease_FINAL.pdf. 17 Interview with Robert Metcalfe; Susan Hockfield, Inaugural Address, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, May 6, 2005, at http://web.mit.edu/hockfield/speeches/2005-inaugural-address.html. 18 Steven Koonin, “From Energy Innovation to Energy Transformation,” p. 6 (“decades”); interviews with Ray Lane and Ernest Moniz. 19 Steven Chu, speech, CERAWeek, March 9, 2010; interview with Matt Rogers; U.S. Secretary of Energy Advisory Board Meeting, TK, p.16 (“rolling the dice”); President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, Accelerating the Pace of Change in Energy Technologies Through an Integrated Federal Energy Policy (Washington, DC: Office of the President, 2010), pp. 3–5. 20 President’s Council of Advisors, Accelerating the Pace of Change in Energy Technologies through an Integrated Federal Energy Policy, pp. 13–14 (comparative funding).


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The Rise of the Network Society by Manuel Castells

"Robert Solow", Apple II, Asian financial crisis, barriers to entry, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Bob Noyce, borderless world, British Empire, business cycle, capital controls, complexity theory, computer age, computerized trading, creative destruction, Credit Default Swap, declining real wages, deindustrialization, delayed gratification, dematerialisation, deskilling, disintermediation, double helix, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, edge city, experimental subject, financial deregulation, financial independence, floating exchange rates, future of work, global village, Gunnar Myrdal, Hacker Ethic, hiring and firing, Howard Rheingold, illegal immigration, income inequality, Induced demand, industrial robot, informal economy, information retrieval, intermodal, invention of the steam engine, invention of the telephone, inventory management, James Watt: steam engine, job automation, job-hopping, John Markoff, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, labor-force participation, laissez-faire capitalism, Leonard Kleinrock, longitudinal study, low skilled workers, manufacturing employment, Marc Andreessen, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, megacity, Menlo Park, moral panic, new economy, New Urbanism, offshore financial centre, oil shock, open economy, packet switching, Pearl River Delta, peer-to-peer, planetary scale, popular capitalism, popular electronics, post-industrial society, postindustrial economy, prediction markets, Productivity paradox, profit maximization, purchasing power parity, RAND corporation, Robert Gordon, Robert Metcalfe, Shoshana Zuboff, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, social software, South China Sea, South of Market, San Francisco, special economic zone, spinning jenny, statistical model, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Ted Nelson, the built environment, the medium is the message, the new new thing, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, total factor productivity, trade liberalization, transaction costs, urban renewal, urban sprawl, zero-sum game

The first step in this direction was the creation of a communication protocol that could be used by all kinds of networks, a seemingly impossible task in the early 1970s. In the summer of 1973, Vinton Cerf and Robert Kahn, computer scientists doing research at ARPA, designed the basic architecture of the Internet, building on work toward a communication protocol conducted by Kahn at his research firm, BBN. They called a meeting at Stanford, attended by researchers from ARPA and various universities and research centers, including PARC/Xerox, where Robert Metcalfe was working on packet-communication technology that would lead to the creation of local area networks (LANs). Technological cooperation also included various groups in Europe, particularly the French researchers associated with the Cyclades program. Working on the basis of this Stanford seminar, Cerf, Metcalfe, and Gerard Lelann (from Cyclades) specified a transmission control protocol that would accommodate the requests of different researchers, and of different existing networks.

Behind the development of the Internet there was the scientific, institutional, and personal networks cutting across the Defense Department, National Science Foundation, major research universities (particularly MIT, UCLA, Stanford, University of Southern California, Harvard, University of California at Santa Barbara, and University of California at Berkeley), and specialized technological think-tanks, such as MIT’s Lincoln Laboratory, SRI (formerly Stanford Research Institute), Palo Alto Research Corporation (funded by Xerox), ATT’s Bell Laboratories, Rand Corporation, and BBN (Bolt, Beranek & Newman). Key technological players in the 1960s–1970s were, among others, J. C. R. Licklider, Paul Baran, Douglas Engelbart (the inventor of the mouse), Robert Taylor, Ivan Sutherland, Lawrence Roberts, Alex McKenzie, Robert Kahn, Alan Kay, Robert Thomas, Robert Metcalfe, and a brilliant computer science theoretician Leonard Kleinrock, and his cohort of outstanding graduate students at UCLA, who would become some of the key minds behind the design and development of the Internet: Vinton Cerf, Stephen Crocker, Jon Postel, among others. Many of these computer scientists moved back and forth between these various institutions, creating a networked milieu of innovation whose dynamics and goals became largely autonomous from the specific purposes of military strategy or supercomputing linkups.

Moreover, when networks diffuse, their growth becomes exponential, as the benefits of being in the network grow exponentially, because of the greater number of connections, and the cost grows in a linear pattern. Besides, the penalty for being outside the network increases with the network’s growth because of the declining number of opportunities in reaching other elements outside the network. The creator of local area networks technology, Robert Metcalfe, proposed in 1973 a simple mathematical formula showing how the value of a network increases as the square of the number of nodes in the net. The formula is V = n(n – 1) where n is the number of nodes in the network. Fourthly, related to networking but a clearly distinct feature, the information technology paradigm is based on flexibility. Not only processes are reversible, but organizations and institutions can be modified, and even fundamentally altered, by rearranging their components.


pages: 239 words: 56,531

The Secret War Between Downloading and Uploading: Tales of the Computer as Culture Machine by Peter Lunenfeld

Albert Einstein, Andrew Keen, anti-globalists, Apple II, Berlin Wall, British Empire, Brownian motion, Buckminster Fuller, Burning Man, business cycle, butterfly effect, computer age, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, cuban missile crisis, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, don't be evil, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Dynabook, East Village, Edward Lorenz: Chaos theory, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Frank Gehry, Grace Hopper, gravity well, Guggenheim Bilbao, Honoré de Balzac, Howard Rheingold, invention of movable type, Isaac Newton, Jacquard loom, Jane Jacobs, Jeff Bezos, John Markoff, John von Neumann, Kickstarter, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Mercator projection, Metcalfe’s law, Mother of all demos, mutually assured destruction, Nelson Mandela, Network effects, new economy, Norbert Wiener, PageRank, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer, planetary scale, plutocrats, Plutocrats, post-materialism, Potemkin village, RFID, Richard Feynman, Richard Stallman, Robert Metcalfe, Robert X Cringely, Schrödinger's Cat, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, SETI@home, Silicon Valley, Skype, social software, spaced repetition, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Ted Nelson, the built environment, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the medium is the message, Thomas L Friedman, Turing machine, Turing test, urban planning, urban renewal, Vannevar Bush, walkable city, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, William Shockley: the traitorous eight

Jacobs was a champion of hybridity, but understood that the secret was to maintain the right balance of the elements and system. Jane Jacobs is inspirational in terms of reminding us that deep systemic analysis can be linked to action.7 Metcalfe’s Corollary These infrastructure battles become more and more important because as complex systems evolve over time, what gets constructed now, no matter how ad hoc, tends to be grandfathered in as time goes by. Bob Metcalfe—coinventor of the Ethernet technology, founder of industrial giant 3COM, and a pioneer in wiring people together—put forth one of the most succinct analyses of networks ever offered: the value of 86 WEB n.0 a network is proportional to the square of the number of users of the system (n2). Networks become more powerful and valuable as more users join them. One fax machine is useless, but two fax machines create a secured connection, and the more fax machines that are introduced into the network, the greater the value to each individual sender and receiver—a geometric rather than arithmetic increase with each new user.


pages: 232 words: 71,024

The Decline and Fall of IBM: End of an American Icon? by Robert X. Cringely

AltaVista, Bernie Madoff, business cycle, business process, cloud computing, commoditize, compound rate of return, corporate raider, full employment, if you build it, they will come, immigration reform, interchangeable parts, invention of the telephone, Khan Academy, knowledge worker, low skilled workers, Paul Graham, platform as a service, race to the bottom, remote working, Robert Metcalfe, Robert X Cringely, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, six sigma, software as a service, Steve Jobs, Toyota Production System, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, web application

Networking at IBM even into the 1990s meant mainly communicating with computer terminals—dumb IBM computer terminals at that—while the rest of the industry was quickly embracing intelligent terminals, microcomputers, and workstations generally connected by Xerox’s local area network called Ethernet. IBM eventually responded to Ethernet with its own technology called Token Ring, but, in typical IBM fashion, it was lower in performance and higher in price. Token Ring was rated at four megabits-per-second to Ethernet’s 10 megabits. IBM touted the greater efficiency of its deterministic Token Ring algorithm, but all Ethernet inventor Bob Metcalfe had to do was recite over and over again: “Ten is bigger than four.” And though Token Ring was eventually souped-up to sixteen megabits, by that time Ethernet was going one hundred megabits—now a gigabit or more—and had already won the day. Corporate America was moving to networks in a big way and IBM was losing most of that business. You’ve probably heard some of this before. But what many IBM followers have missed, however, was the impact of the merger of IBM’s General Systems Division into the Data Processing Group starting in 1982.


pages: 193 words: 47,808

The Flat White Economy by Douglas McWilliams

"Robert Solow", access to a mobile phone, banking crisis, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, bonus culture, Boris Johnson, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable:, cleantech, cloud computing, computer age, correlation coefficient, Edward Glaeser, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, eurozone crisis, George Gilder, hiring and firing, income inequality, informal economy, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, loadsamoney, low skilled workers, mass immigration, Metcalfe’s law, Network effects, new economy, offshore financial centre, Pareto efficiency, Peter Thiel, Productivity paradox, Robert Metcalfe, Silicon Valley, smart cities, special economic zone, Steve Jobs, working-age population, zero-sum game

And as the value of each phone increases, the more phones tend to become available to contact on the network, until there are so many other connections that the value of an additional connection is negligible. Network effects were first developed as a concept by the President of Bell Telephones in making his case for a monopoly in 1908, but the ideas were developed and refined in the 1980s and 1990s. Robert Metcalfe, one of the co-inventors of the Ethernet, was the progenitor of Metcalfe’s Law – that the value of a communications network varied with the square of the number of connections in the network. This idea was vigorously promoted by the economic guru George Gilder2 during the 1990s. Where there are network effects, investment typically doesn’t take place until there is a critical mass of potential users.


pages: 209 words: 53,236

The Scandal of Money by George Gilder

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, bank run, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, blockchain, borderless world, Bretton Woods, capital controls, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Carmen Reinhart, central bank independence, Claude Shannon: information theory, Clayton Christensen, cloud computing, corporate governance, cryptocurrency, currency manipulation / currency intervention, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, Deng Xiaoping, disintermediation, Donald Trump, fiat currency, financial innovation, Fractional reserve banking, full employment, George Gilder, glass ceiling, Home mortgage interest deduction, index fund, indoor plumbing, industrial robot, inflation targeting, informal economy, Innovator's Dilemma, Internet of things, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, John von Neumann, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, knowledge economy, Law of Accelerating Returns, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, Metcalfe’s law, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, mortgage tax deduction, obamacare, Paul Samuelson, Peter Thiel, Ponzi scheme, price stability, Productivity paradox, purchasing power parity, quantitative easing, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, Ray Kurzweil, reserve currency, road to serfdom, Robert Gordon, Robert Metcalfe, Ronald Reagan, Sand Hill Road, Satoshi Nakamoto, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, secular stagnation, seigniorage, Silicon Valley, smart grid, South China Sea, special drawing rights, The Great Moderation, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Tim Cook: Apple, time value of money, too big to fail, transaction costs, trickle-down economics, Turing machine, winner-take-all economy, yield curve, zero-sum game

Formulated by Intel founder Gordon Moore and inspired by Caltech professor Carver Mead’s research, Moore’s Law was originally based on the biennial doubling of the density of transistors on a silicon chip. It now chiefly relies on other vectors of innovation, such as parallel processing, multi-threading, lower voltages, and three-dimensional chip architectures. Moore’s Law has become an important principle of INFORMATION THEORY. Metcalfe’s Law: The value and power of a network grows by the square of the number of compatible nodes it links. Named for the engineer Robert Metcalfe, a co-inventor of Ethernet, this law is a rough index and deeply counterintuitive. (It would be preposterous to claim that the Internet is worth the square of its six billion connected devices.) But the law applies to smaller networks, and it explains the vectors of value creation of companies such as Facebook, Apple, Google, and Amazon, which now dominate stock market capitalization. Metcalfe’s Law may well apply to the promise of new digital currencies and ultimately assure the success of a new transactions layer for the Internet software stack.


pages: 270 words: 75,803

Wall Street Meat by Andy Kessler

accounting loophole / creative accounting, Andy Kessler, automated trading system, banking crisis, Bob Noyce, George Gilder, index fund, Jeff Bezos, market bubble, Menlo Park, Pepto Bismol, pets.com, Robert Metcalfe, rolodex, Sand Hill Road, Silicon Valley, Small Order Execution System, Steve Jobs, technology bubble, undersea cable, Y2K

Most bubbles end when no new money can be found to keep blowing hot air. Whatever the revenue numbers or margin numbers or earnings forecasts companies reported, their stocks went down. The ducks were quacking in the opposite direction. Momos started dumping. Until the fall, it wasn’t 213 Wall Street Meat obvious that it was all over and many investors kept looking for signs that things might turn back up, or that there might be a bottom in these stocks. Bob Metcalfe, the inventor of Ethernet networking and a networking industry legend, ran a conference called Vortex, and he asked me to be on a financial panel that he was moderating. In May 2000, I caught a flight to John Wayne Airport in Southern California and then cabbed it to the Ritz Carlton at Laguna Niguel. I had been there a million times for various investment banking conferences, and it is not hard to be convinced to return.


pages: 193 words: 19,478

Memory Machines: The Evolution of Hypertext by Belinda Barnet

augmented reality, Benoit Mandelbrot, Bill Duvall, British Empire, Buckminster Fuller, Claude Shannon: information theory, collateralized debt obligation, computer age, conceptual framework, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, game design, hiring and firing, Howard Rheingold, HyperCard, hypertext link, information retrieval, Internet Archive, John Markoff, linked data, mandelbrot fractal, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, nonsequential writing, Norbert Wiener, publish or perish, Robert Metcalfe, semantic web, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, technoutopianism, Ted Nelson, the scientific method, Vannevar Bush, wikimedia commons

He feels like Vice Admiral James Stockdale, ‘the American prisoner in Vietnam who endured by his grim optimism for the long term – I am absolutely certain that my work will be proven right eventually, and empower the world at last’ (Nelson 2010c, 339). Although Nelson seems to figure in every major history of computing and multimedia (for example Segaller 1998; Wardrip-Fruin and Montfort 2003; Ceruzzi 1998; Rheingold 2000; Abbate 1999; Shurkin 1996 and Bardini 2000) as the man who dreamed up hypertext, he is not a known quantity outside of the digerati. The people he appears beside in such histories – Doug Engelbart, Bob Metcalfe, Tim Berners-Lee – have attained worldwide recognition (and in the case of Metcalfe, wealth) and have directly influenced the course of computing with their systems. Nelson’s influence on computing history is undeniable, but harder to touch; all we have of Xanadu is a tantalizing design, its ideals and its ideas. You know, [Nelson] gets his name in the newspapers, but there isn’t a company that has him as a serious consultant.


pages: 202 words: 59,883

Age of Context: Mobile, Sensors, Data and the Future of Privacy by Robert Scoble, Shel Israel

Albert Einstein, Apple II, augmented reality, call centre, Chelsea Manning, cloud computing, connected car, Edward Snowden, Edward Thorp, Elon Musk, factory automation, Filter Bubble, G4S, Google Earth, Google Glasses, Internet of things, job automation, John Markoff, Kickstarter, lifelogging, Marc Andreessen, Mars Rover, Menlo Park, Metcalfe’s law, New Urbanism, PageRank, pattern recognition, RFID, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Metcalfe, Saturday Night Live, self-driving car, sensor fusion, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart grid, social graph, speech recognition, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Tesla Model S, Tim Cook: Apple, ubercab, urban planning, Zipcar

Smaller and cheaper means more people can use more power in more ways. And people will inevitably find those ways. How far is this more-powerful-cheaper-smaller trend going? To the vanishing point, it seems. Some believe that will happen in about ten years. We are among those who disagree because of the important emergent trend, nanotechnology, which envisions microprocessors being reduced to a single cell. Metcalfe’s Law. Ethernet inventor Robert Metcalfe set forth the theory that the value of the telecommunications network is proportional to the square of the number of connected system nodes. He made his observations back when networks consisted of desktop computers, printers, fax machines and phones. But the law holds true today as billions of nodes are connected via Wifi and are growing rapidly toward the trillions. About 2.7 billion people are now nodes on the global network, and while it sounds strange, that connectedness empowers each of us.


The Code: Silicon Valley and the Remaking of America by Margaret O'Mara

"side hustle", A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, accounting loophole / creative accounting, affirmative action, Airbnb, AltaVista, Amazon Web Services, Apple II, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, autonomous vehicles, back-to-the-land, barriers to entry, Ben Horowitz, Berlin Wall, Bob Noyce, Buckminster Fuller, Burning Man, business climate, Byte Shop, California gold rush, carried interest, clean water, cleantech, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, commoditize, computer age, continuous integration, cuban missile crisis, Danny Hillis, DARPA: Urban Challenge, deindustrialization, different worldview, don't be evil, Donald Trump, Doomsday Clock, Douglas Engelbart, Dynabook, Edward Snowden, El Camino Real, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, Frank Gehry, George Gilder, gig economy, Googley, Hacker Ethic, high net worth, Hush-A-Phone, immigration reform, income inequality, informal economy, information retrieval, invention of movable type, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, Joan Didion, job automation, job-hopping, John Markoff, Julian Assange, Kitchen Debate, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, market bubble, mass immigration, means of production, mega-rich, Menlo Park, Mikhail Gorbachev, millennium bug, Mitch Kapor, Mother of all demos, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, mutually assured destruction, new economy, Norbert Wiener, old-boy network, pattern recognition, Paul Graham, Paul Terrell, paypal mafia, Peter Thiel, pets.com, pirate software, popular electronics, pre–internet, Ralph Nader, RAND corporation, Richard Florida, ride hailing / ride sharing, risk tolerance, Robert Metcalfe, Ronald Reagan, Sand Hill Road, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, shareholder value, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Silicon Valley startup, skunkworks, Snapchat, social graph, software is eating the world, speech recognition, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, supercomputer in your pocket, technoutopianism, Ted Nelson, the market place, the new new thing, There's no reason for any individual to have a computer in his home - Ken Olsen, Thomas L Friedman, Tim Cook: Apple, transcontinental railway, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, Unsafe at Any Speed, upwardly mobile, Vannevar Bush, War on Poverty, We wanted flying cars, instead we got 140 characters, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks, William Shockley: the traitorous eight, Y Combinator, Y2K

The new hires took advantage of Xerox’s abundant resources and loose oversight to creatively interpret Goldman’s definition of “data processing technology,” pursuing projects inspired by Doug Engelbart’s ideas about augmented intelligence and by hacker culture more generally. Engelbart’s SRI operation had drifted after the great demo—investors couldn’t figure out the devices’ commercial potential—and several members of his team moved over to PARC. Still more came from the academic engineering diaspora of Stanford and Berkeley. There was Alan Kay, who wanted to develop a computer small enough to fit in a book bag. Down the hall, Bob Metcalfe and David Boggs invented a way to connect multiple computers that they called the Ethernet. Across the way were Adele Goldberg and Dan Ingalls, also computer-education evangelists, who collaborated with Kay on a transformative and classroom-friendly new computer language called Smalltalk. Conway, who’d already made major breakthroughs in high-performance computer architecture in an earlier career at IBM, was recruited from Memorex.

Why Only Government Can Keep the Marketplace Competitive (New York: Portfolio, 2009). 4. John Heilemann, Pride Before the Fall: The Trials of Bill Gates and the End of the Microsoft Era (New York: CollinsBusiness, 2001), 58, 91. 5. Karen Southwick, High Noon: The Inside Story of Scott McNealy and the Rise of Sun Microsystems (New York: Wiley, 1999), 45, 48. 6. Bill Gates, The Road Ahead (New York: Random House, 1995), x. Andreessen later said he was requoting 3Com’s Bob Metcalfe when he made that famous Windows slam; see Chris Anderson, “The Man Who Makes the Future,” Wired, April 24, 2014, https://www.wired.com/2012/04/ff-andreessen/, archived at https://perma.cc/6D5K-XGWJ. 7. Gates, Memorandum, “The Internet Tidal Wave,” May 26, 1995, Exhibit 20, United States v. Microsoft Corporation 253 F.3d 34 (D.C. Cir. 2001). 8. Reback, Free the Market!; Heilemann, Pride Before the Fall, 64–67; Joel Brinkley and Steve Lohr, The U.S. v.


pages: 361 words: 81,068

The Internet Is Not the Answer by Andrew Keen

"Robert Solow", 3D printing, A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Airbnb, AltaVista, Andrew Keen, augmented reality, Bay Area Rapid Transit, Berlin Wall, bitcoin, Black Swan, Bob Geldof, Burning Man, Cass Sunstein, citizen journalism, Clayton Christensen, clean water, cloud computing, collective bargaining, Colonization of Mars, computer age, connected car, creative destruction, cuban missile crisis, David Brooks, disintermediation, disruptive innovation, Donald Davies, Downton Abbey, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Filter Bubble, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Frank Gehry, Frederick Winslow Taylor, frictionless, full employment, future of work, gig economy, global village, Google bus, Google Glasses, Hacker Ethic, happiness index / gross national happiness, income inequality, index card, informal economy, information trail, Innovator's Dilemma, Internet of things, Isaac Newton, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, Joi Ito, Joseph Schumpeter, Julian Assange, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, Kodak vs Instagram, Lean Startup, libertarian paternalism, lifelogging, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Martin Wolf, Metcalfe’s law, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Nate Silver, Nelson Mandela, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, nonsequential writing, Norbert Wiener, Norman Mailer, Occupy movement, packet switching, PageRank, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, Paul Graham, peer-to-peer, peer-to-peer rental, Peter Thiel, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Potemkin village, precariat, pre–internet, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Metcalfe, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Skype, smart cities, Snapchat, social web, South of Market, San Francisco, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, TaskRabbit, Ted Nelson, telemarketer, The Future of Employment, the medium is the message, the new new thing, Thomas L Friedman, Travis Kalanick, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Uber for X, uber lyft, urban planning, Vannevar Bush, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks, winner-take-all economy, working poor, Y Combinator

The IPO realized a payout of $765 million for Kleiner Perkins, which was more than double the value of the entire fund from which the original investment came.18 Clark’s investment of $3 million came to be worth $633 million—which explains why the incorrigibly self-aggrandizing entrepreneur put the identifying number 633MN on the tail of an executive jet he bought with some of his proceeds from the IPO.19 And the just turned twenty-four-year-old Marc Andreessen, who two years earlier had been making $6.85 an hour as a NCSA programmer, was suddenly worth $58 million, thus becoming the first in a long line of boy tycoons minted by the Internet.20 “What happened to Netscape Communications was without parallel,” notes David Kaplan, “and came to define modern Silicon Valley.”21 Netscape’s success drove the first great commercial expansion of the Internet. The number of Internet users grew from 16 million in 1995 to 361 million in 2000. This growth confirmed Metcalfe’s law—Ethernet inventor Bob Metcalfe’s eponymous rule that each new person who joins a network increases the power of that network exponentially. It triggered the dot-com boom, a half decade of irrational exuberance that created Amazon, Yahoo, eBay, and thousands of failed Internet startups, including my own, an online music website backed by Intel and SAP called AudioCafe. And it crowned Marc Andreessen, who was featured sitting shoeless on the cover of Time magazine in February 1996, as the young disruptive hero of the Internet revolution.


pages: 791 words: 85,159

Social Life of Information by John Seely Brown, Paul Duguid

business process, Claude Shannon: information theory, computer age, cross-subsidies, disintermediation, double entry bookkeeping, Frank Gehry, frictionless, frictionless market, future of work, George Gilder, George Santayana, global village, Howard Rheingold, informal economy, information retrieval, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, John Markoff, Just-in-time delivery, Kenneth Arrow, Kevin Kelly, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, lateral thinking, loose coupling, Marshall McLuhan, medical malpractice, moral hazard, Network effects, new economy, Productivity paradox, Robert Metcalfe, rolodex, Ronald Coase, shareholder value, Shoshana Zuboff, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, Superbowl ad, Ted Nelson, telepresence, the medium is the message, The Nature of the Firm, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, transaction costs, Turing test, Vannevar Bush, Y2K

And in the late 1970s, the personal computer, the Ethernet and local networks, and word-processing software were all under development in service of that faith. Yet even within PARC, none of these tools, startlingly innovative though each was, was quite the "killer" it was expected to be. That came with another PARC invention, one that transformed all these inventions into the indispensable office tools we know them to be today. Bob Metcalfe, one of the Ethernet's designers, got a clear sighting of the critical addition early on. Page 177 Metcalfe would regularly take down the Ethernet links connecting researchers' workstations to one another so that he could work on the system. The traffic along the network was so light that no one bothered about the irregular downtime. Until one particular day. On this occasion, Metcalfe took the network down, and doors opened all along the corridor.


pages: 270 words: 79,180

The Middleman Economy: How Brokers, Agents, Dealers, and Everyday Matchmakers Create Value and Profit by Marina Krakovsky

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, Al Roth, Ben Horowitz, Black Swan, buy low sell high, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable:, Credit Default Swap, cross-subsidies, crowdsourcing, disintermediation, diversified portfolio, experimental economics, George Akerlof, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, income inequality, index fund, information asymmetry, Jean Tirole, Joan Didion, Kenneth Arrow, Lean Startup, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, market microstructure, Martin Wolf, McMansion, Menlo Park, Metcalfe’s law, moral hazard, multi-sided market, Network effects, patent troll, Paul Graham, Peter Thiel, pez dispenser, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Metcalfe, Sand Hill Road, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, social graph, supply-chain management, TaskRabbit, The Market for Lemons, too big to fail, trade route, transaction costs, two-sided market, Uber for X, uber lyft, ultimatum game, Y Combinator

For example, when users can simultaneously be on two or more platforms (multihoming), a single platform need not prevail—so while SitterCity may have reached a tipping point, the matchmaking between parents and babysitters hasn’t tipped toward any one platform. 43.This statement is a corollary of the so-called Metcalfe’s Law, which postulates that the value of a network is proportional to the square of the number of users of the network. We shouldn’t take this formula literally, and Bob Metcalfe himself has said that his point was to show a crossover point of cost and value, the critical mass of users before which a network doesn’t pay, rather than to tout the wondrous value of a large network. Regardless of the exact relationship, the basic idea that the value of a network grows at a faster rate than its size is well accepted. And if it is true, then the larger the network, the more attractive it becomes to new users.


pages: 288 words: 64,771

The Captured Economy: How the Powerful Enrich Themselves, Slow Down Growth, and Increase Inequality by Brink Lindsey

"Robert Solow", Airbnb, Asian financial crisis, bank run, barriers to entry, Bernie Sanders, Build a better mousetrap, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Carmen Reinhart, Cass Sunstein, collective bargaining, creative destruction, Credit Default Swap, crony capitalism, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Brooks, diversified portfolio, Donald Trump, Edward Glaeser, endogenous growth, experimental economics, experimental subject, facts on the ground, financial innovation, financial intermediation, financial repression, hiring and firing, Home mortgage interest deduction, housing crisis, income inequality, informal economy, information asymmetry, intangible asset, inventory management, invisible hand, Jones Act, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, Kevin Kelly, knowledge worker, labor-force participation, Long Term Capital Management, low skilled workers, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, market fundamentalism, mass immigration, mass incarceration, medical malpractice, Menlo Park, moral hazard, mortgage debt, Network effects, patent troll, plutocrats, Plutocrats, principal–agent problem, regulatory arbitrage, rent control, rent-seeking, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Metcalfe, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, smart cities, software patent, too big to fail, total factor productivity, trade liberalization, transaction costs, tulip mania, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, Washington Consensus, white picket fence, winner-take-all economy, women in the workforce

Kleiner, “Reforming Occupational Licensing Policies,” Brookings Institution, Hamilton Project Discussion Paper 2015-01, January 2015, http://www.brookings.edu/~/media/research/files/papers/2015/01/28%20reforming%20occupational%20licensing%20kleiner/reform_occupational_licensing_policies_kleiner_v4.pdf. 17.Kleiner, Licensing Occupations, p. 115. 18.Andrew Bender, “Uber’s Astounding Rise: Overtaking Taxis in Key Markets,” Forbes, April 10, 2015, http://www.forbes.com/sites/andrewbender/2015/04/10/ubers-astounding-rise-overtaking-taxis-in-key-markets/#4d6699a922ef. 19.Peter Cohen, Robert Hahn, Jonathan Hall, Steven Levitt, and Robert Metcalfe, “Using Big Data to Estimate Consumer Surplus: The Case of Uber,” National Bureau of Economic Research Working Paper No. 22627, September 2016, http://www.nber.org/papers/w22627. 20.Scott Wallstein, “Has Uber Forced Taxi Drivers to Up Their Game?” Atlantic, July 9, 2015, http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2015/07/uber-taxi-drivers-complaints-chicago-newyork/397931/. 21.Kleiner, “Reforming Occupational Licensing Policies.” 22.Kleiner and Krueger, “Analyzing the Extent and Influence of Occupational Licensing.” 23.Angrist and Guryan, “Teacher Testing, Teacher Education, and Teacher Characteristics.” 24.Maya N.


pages: 302 words: 95,965

How to Be the Startup Hero: A Guide and Textbook for Entrepreneurs and Aspiring Entrepreneurs by Tim Draper

3D printing, Airbnb, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, basic income, Berlin Wall, bitcoin, blockchain, Buckminster Fuller, business climate, carried interest, connected car, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, Deng Xiaoping, discounted cash flows, disintermediation, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, family office, fiat currency, frictionless, frictionless market, high net worth, hiring and firing, Jeff Bezos, Kickstarter, low earth orbit, Lyft, Mahatma Gandhi, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, Metcalfe's law, Metcalfe’s law, Mikhail Gorbachev, Minecraft, Moneyball by Michael Lewis explains big data, Nelson Mandela, Network effects, peer-to-peer, Peter Thiel, pez dispenser, Ralph Waldo Emerson, risk tolerance, Robert Metcalfe, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, Sand Hill Road, school choice, school vouchers, self-driving car, sharing economy, short selling, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart contracts, Snapchat, sovereign wealth fund, stealth mode startup, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Tesla Model S, Uber for X, uber lyft, universal basic income, women in the workforce, Y Combinator, zero-sum game

Companies in the network include Right-Click Capital in Australia, Dalus Capital in Mexico, Wavemaker in Singapore and South East Asia, Blume Ventures in India, as well as the various Draper branded funds: Draper Dragon in China, Draper Athena in Korea, Draper Nexus in Japan, Draper Esprit in the UK, Draper Triangle in the Midwestern US, Draper Aurora in Russia, and Draper Associates in Silicon Valley as well as three smaller firms in our DVN beta program, and we are adding more partners every year. A network provides network effects. More nodes on a network increase the power of the network as the square of the number of nodes on the network increases. This concept is known as Metcalfe’s Law, after entrepreneur, venture capitalist, educator and pundit Bob Metcalfe. The DVN allows me to evaluate and potentially fund any company from anywhere in the world. My deal flow has also expanded and improved. My judgment can only have been improved by seeing more companies from more regions, and Draper Associates’ returns should continue to improve because we see so many more companies for each one I invest in. Additionally, my entrepreneurs can easily grow their businesses internationally because our network has such great reach.


pages: 915 words: 232,883

Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson

air freight, Albert Einstein, Apple II, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, big-box store, Bob Noyce, Buckminster Fuller, Byte Shop, centre right, Clayton Christensen, cloud computing, commoditize, computer age, computer vision, corporate governance, death of newspapers, don't be evil, Douglas Engelbart, Dynabook, El Camino Real, Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, fixed income, game design, Golden Gate Park, Hacker Ethic, hiring and firing, Jeff Bezos, Johannes Kepler, John Markoff, Jony Ive, lateral thinking, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, Mitch Kapor, Mother of all demos, Paul Terrell, profit maximization, publish or perish, Richard Feynman, Robert Metcalfe, Robert X Cringely, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, skunkworks, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, supply-chain management, thinkpad, Tim Cook: Apple, Wall-E, Whole Earth Catalog

SOURCES Interviews (conducted 2009–2011) Al Alcorn, Roger Ames, Fred Anderson, Bill Atkinson, Joan Baez, Marjorie Powell Barden, Jeff Bewkes, Bono, Ann Bowers, Stewart Brand, Chrisann Brennan, Larry Brilliant, John Seeley Brown, Tim Brown, Nolan Bushnell, Greg Calhoun, Bill Campbell, Berry Cash, Ed Catmull, Ray Cave, Lee Clow, Debi Coleman, Tim Cook, Katie Cotton, Eddy Cue, Andrea Cunningham, John Doerr, Millard Drexler, Jennifer Egan, Al Eisenstat, Michael Eisner, Larry Ellison, Philip Elmer-DeWitt, Gerard Errera, Tony Fadell, Jean-Louis Gassée, Bill Gates, Adele Goldberg, Craig Good, Austan Goolsbee, Al Gore, Andy Grove, Bill Hambrecht, Michael Hawley, Andy Hertzfeld, Joanna Hoffman, Elizabeth Holmes, Bruce Horn, John Huey, Jimmy Iovine, Jony Ive, Oren Jacob, Erin Jobs, Reed Jobs, Steve Jobs, Ron Johnson, Mitch Kapor, Susan Kare (email), Jeffrey Katzenberg, Pam Kerwin, Kristina Kiehl, Joel Klein, Daniel Kottke, Andy Lack, John Lasseter, Art Levinson, Steven Levy, Dan’l Lewin, Maya Lin, Yo-Yo Ma, Mike Markkula, John Markoff, Wynton Marsalis, Regis McKenna, Mike Merin, Bob Metcalfe, Doug Morris, Walt Mossberg, Rupert Murdoch, Mike Murray, Nicholas Negroponte, Dean Ornish, Paul Otellini, Norman Pearlstine, Laurene Powell, Josh Quittner, Tina Redse, George Riley, Brian Roberts, Arthur Rock, Jeff Rosen, Alain Rossmann, Jon Rubinstein, Phil Schiller, Eric Schmidt, Barry Schuler, Mike Scott, John Sculley, Andy Serwer, Mona Simpson, Mike Slade, Alvy Ray Smith, Gina Smith, Kathryn Smith, Rick Stengel, Larry Tesler, Avie Tevanian, Guy “Bud” Tribble, Don Valentine, Paul Vidich, James Vincent, Alice Waters, Ron Wayne, Wendell Weeks, Ed Woolard, Stephen Wozniak, Del Yocam, Jerry York.

Rose, 266–275; Sculley, ix–x, 245–246; Young, 388–396; Elliot, 112. Seven Days in May: Interviews with Jean-Louis Gassée, Steve Jobs, Bill Campbell, Al Eisenstat, John Sculley, Mike Murray, Mike Markkula, Debi Coleman. Bro Uttal, “Behind the Fall of Steve Jobs,” Fortune, Aug. 5, 1985; Sculley, 249–260; Rose, 275–290; Young, 396–404. Like a Rolling Stone: Interviews with Mike Murray, Mike Markkula, Steve Jobs, John Sculley, Bob Metcalfe, George Riley, Andy Hertzfeld, Tina Redse, Mike Merin, Al Eisenstat, Arthur Rock. Tina Redse email to Steve Jobs, July 20, 2010; “No Job for Jobs,” AP, July 26, 1985; “Jobs Talks about His Rise and Fall,” Newsweek, Sept. 30, 1985; Hertzfeld, 269–271; Young, 387, 403–405; Young and Simon, 116; Rose, 288–292; Sculley, 242–245, 286–287; letter from Al Eisenstat to Arthur Hartman, July 23, 1985 (courtesy of Al Eisenstat).


pages: 270 words: 79,992

The End of Big: How the Internet Makes David the New Goliath by Nicco Mele

4chan, A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Airbnb, Amazon Web Services, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, big-box store, bitcoin, business climate, call centre, Cass Sunstein, centralized clearinghouse, Chelsea Manning, citizen journalism, cloud computing, collaborative consumption, collaborative editing, commoditize, creative destruction, crony capitalism, cross-subsidies, crowdsourcing, David Brooks, death of newspapers, disruptive innovation, Donald Trump, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, en.wikipedia.org, Exxon Valdez, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Filter Bubble, Firefox, global supply chain, Google Chrome, Gordon Gekko, Hacker Ethic, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, John Markoff, Julian Assange, Kevin Kelly, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, Lean Startup, Mark Zuckerberg, minimum viable product, Mitch Kapor, Mohammed Bouazizi, Mother of all demos, Narrative Science, new economy, Occupy movement, old-boy network, peer-to-peer, period drama, Peter Thiel, pirate software, publication bias, Robert Metcalfe, Ronald Reagan, Ronald Reagan: Tear down this wall, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, social web, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Stewart Brand, Stuxnet, Ted Nelson, Telecommunications Act of 1996, telemarketer, The Wisdom of Crowds, transaction costs, uranium enrichment, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks, Zipcar

The nerd community’s desire to see the Internet as a free and open space stems in part from the overbearing behavior of a single institution: AT&T. For years, AT&T’s communication monopoly stymied the creativity of computer scientists and innovators, reaffirming in their minds the great distrust of large institutions that had taken root during the late 1960s. The man widely credited with inventing Ethernet and modern computer networking, Robert Metcalf, described it like this in Vanity Fair: Imagine a bearded grad student being handed a dozen AT&T executives, all in pin-striped suits and quite a bit older and cooler. And I’m giving them a tour. And when I say a tour, they’re standing behind me while I’m typing on one of these terminals. … And I turned around to look at these ten, twelve AT&T suits, and they were all laughing. And it was in that moment that AT&T became my bête noire, because I realized in that moment that these sons of bitches were rooting against me … To this day, I still cringe at the mention of AT&T.


pages: 301 words: 89,076

The Globotics Upheaval: Globalisation, Robotics and the Future of Work by Richard Baldwin

agricultural Revolution, Airbnb, AltaVista, Amazon Web Services, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, basic income, business process, business process outsourcing, call centre, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Cass Sunstein, commoditize, computer vision, Corn Laws, correlation does not imply causation, Credit Default Swap, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, declining real wages, deindustrialization, deskilling, Donald Trump, Douglas Hofstadter, Downton Abbey, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, facts on the ground, future of journalism, future of work, George Gilder, Google Glasses, Google Hangouts, hiring and firing, impulse control, income inequality, industrial robot, intangible asset, Internet of things, invisible hand, James Watt: steam engine, Jeff Bezos, job automation, knowledge worker, laissez-faire capitalism, low skilled workers, Machine translation of "The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak." to Russian and back, manufacturing employment, Mark Zuckerberg, mass immigration, mass incarceration, Metcalfe’s law, new economy, optical character recognition, pattern recognition, Ponzi scheme, post-industrial society, post-work, profit motive, remote working, reshoring, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Gordon, Robert Metcalfe, Ronald Reagan, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, side project, Silicon Valley, Skype, Snapchat, social intelligence, sovereign wealth fund, standardized shipping container, statistical model, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, supply-chain management, TaskRabbit, telepresence, telepresence robot, telerobotics, Thomas Malthus, trade liberalization, universal basic income

At the current growth rate of about 10 percent per year, over a billion more people will be online by the time the US election rolls around in 2020. By the 2024 election, almost every human will be online. The combination of fast data processing and fast transmission has produced some absolutely enormous digital networks, like Facebook with its two billion users. There is a very good reason for this—it’s called Metcalf’s law. Metcalf’s Law Robert Metcalf—the third and least colorful of the digital lawmakers—observed that being connected to a network gets more valuable as the network grows, even as the cost of joining falls. This not only helps explain why digital networks grow so fast, it also explains the winner-take-all outcomes we see with online competition among networks. The law is really just common sense. It is pretty obvious that networks are more useful, and useful more often, when they link-up more people, more computers, and more information.


pages: 332 words: 91,780

Starstruck: The Business of Celebrity by Currid

"Robert Solow", barriers to entry, Bernie Madoff, Donald Trump, income inequality, index card, industrial cluster, Mark Zuckerberg, Metcalfe’s law, natural language processing, place-making, Ponzi scheme, post-industrial society, prediction markets, Renaissance Technologies, Richard Florida, Robert Metcalfe, rolodex, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, slashdot, transaction costs, upwardly mobile, urban decay, Vilfredo Pareto, winner-take-all economy

In social network analysis, this network structure is called a “scale free network.” Such a network is present if the nodes’ degree frequency distributes according to the power distribution. 14. Metcalfe’s law is a way to observe the increased benefits obtained as more people engage in the network. See Gilder, Telecosm. Reed’s law also looks at the exponential benefits to social networks. David Reed argues that Robert Metcalfe does not fully capture the extent to which additional members of a social network produce exponential connections to members (Reed, “The Law of the Pack”). 15. Social network analysts more formally call this the difference between an individual’s positions in a network and cause for his or her participation in some network and position in that network. 16. In pure numbers, A-listers have an average of 3 connections to each other (remember we’re just looking at connections among the top twenty, not the entire Getty network), while B-listers have 0.65 and the bottom rung have just 0.5 connections—that’s less than 1 full connection to at least one other person for the middle and bottom twenty actors. 17.


pages: 336 words: 92,056

The Battery: How Portable Power Sparked a Technological Revolution by Henry Schlesinger

Albert Einstein, animal electricity, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, British Empire, Copley Medal, Fellow of the Royal Society, index card, invention of the telegraph, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, Livingstone, I presume, Menlo Park, Metcalfe’s law, popular electronics, Ralph Waldo Emerson, RFID, Robert Metcalfe, Stephen Hawking, Thales of Miletus, the scientific method, Thomas Davenport, transcontinental railway, Upton Sinclair, Vannevar Bush, Yogi Berra

His plan was simple: buy up and merge all the struggling telegraph companies he could find. “This Western Union seems to me very like collecting all the paupers in the State and arranging them into a union so as to make rich men of them,” quipped a man of finance. Of course, Western Union eventually succeeded for a variety of reasons, the most interesting of which is a nineteenth-century version of Metcalfe’s Law. Named for Robert Metcalfe, an engineer at Xerox PARC and coinventor of Ethernet, the law simply states that a network increases in value as more users (or communicating devices) are added to it. Stated another way, one electromagnetic telegraph was useless, two marginally better, and six better still. Specifically, a network’s value is proportional to the square of the number of devices or users. Western Union would eventually link thousands of telegraph keys as a web of disparate lines were joined into a seamless and seemingly endless network.


pages: 606 words: 87,358

The Great Convergence: Information Technology and the New Globalization by Richard Baldwin

"Robert Solow", 3D printing, additive manufacturing, Admiral Zheng, agricultural Revolution, air freight, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Berlin Wall, bilateral investment treaty, Branko Milanovic, buy low sell high, call centre, Columbian Exchange, commoditize, Commodity Super-Cycle, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deindustrialization, domestication of the camel, Edward Glaeser, endogenous growth, Erik Brynjolfsson, financial intermediation, George Gilder, global supply chain, global value chain, Henri Poincaré, imperial preference, industrial cluster, industrial robot, intangible asset, invention of agriculture, invention of the telegraph, investor state dispute settlement, Isaac Newton, Islamic Golden Age, James Dyson, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, Lao Tzu, low skilled workers, market fragmentation, mass immigration, Metcalfe’s law, New Economic Geography, out of africa, paper trading, Paul Samuelson, Pax Mongolica, profit motive, rent-seeking, reshoring, Richard Florida, rising living standards, Robert Metcalfe, Second Machine Age, Simon Kuznets, Skype, Snapchat, Stephen Hawking, telepresence, telerobotics, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, trade liberalization, trade route, Washington Consensus

The propulsion behind the “T” part is described by two laws: Gilder’s Law and Metcalfe’s Law. George Gilder observed that bandwidth grows three times more rapidly than computer power—doubling every six months. This allows transmission advances to help relax computing and storage constraints. Advances in data transmission, processing, and storage amplify each other. This is the economic basis of “the cloud” and its various uses. Robert Metcalfe asserted that the usefulness of a network rises with the square of the number of users. When the number of network users is, say, 100,000, the number of possible new connections created by adding one more user is 100,000. When there are 200,000 users, adding one more creates 200,000 new connections. In other words, the incremental number of new connections does not rise in a straight line. The size of each increment grows with each new increment, so growth feeds on growth.


pages: 476 words: 125,219

Digital Disconnect: How Capitalism Is Turning the Internet Against Democracy by Robert W. McChesney

2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, access to a mobile phone, Albert Einstein, American Legislative Exchange Council, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, Automated Insights, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, business cycle, Cass Sunstein, citizen journalism, cloud computing, collaborative consumption, collective bargaining, creative destruction, crony capitalism, David Brooks, death of newspapers, declining real wages, Double Irish / Dutch Sandwich, Erik Brynjolfsson, failed state, Filter Bubble, full employment, future of journalism, George Gilder, Gini coefficient, Google Earth, income inequality, informal economy, intangible asset, invention of agriculture, invisible hand, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, John Markoff, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, Joseph Schumpeter, Julian Assange, Kickstarter, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, Metcalfe’s law, mutually assured destruction, national security letter, Nelson Mandela, Network effects, new economy, New Journalism, Nicholas Carr, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, patent troll, Peter Thiel, plutocrats, Plutocrats, post scarcity, price mechanism, profit maximization, profit motive, QWERTY keyboard, Ralph Nader, Richard Stallman, road to serfdom, Robert Metcalfe, Saturday Night Live, sentiment analysis, Silicon Valley, single-payer health, Skype, spectrum auction, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, Telecommunications Act of 1996, the medium is the message, The Spirit Level, The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, transfer pricing, Upton Sinclair, WikiLeaks, winner-take-all economy, yellow journalism

Wired’s Anderson puts the matter succinctly: “Monopolies are actually even more likely in highly networked markets like the online world. The dark side of network effects is that rich nodes get richer. Metcalfe’s law, which states that the value of a network increases in proportion to the square of connections, creates winner-take-all markets, where the gap between the number one and number two players is typically large and growing.”12 Bob Metcalfe, inventor of the Ethernet protocol that wires computers together, regarded the network effect as so prevalent that he formulated the law that goes by his name: the usefulness of a network increases at an accelerating rate as you add each new person to it.13 Google search is an example; the quality of its algorithm improves with more users, leaving other search engines with a less effective and attractive product.


pages: 385 words: 111,113

Augmented: Life in the Smart Lane by Brett King

23andMe, 3D printing, additive manufacturing, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, agricultural Revolution, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, Amazon Web Services, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, Apple II, artificial general intelligence, asset allocation, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, bitcoin, blockchain, business intelligence, business process, call centre, chief data officer, Chris Urmson, Clayton Christensen, clean water, congestion charging, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, deskilling, different worldview, disruptive innovation, distributed generation, distributed ledger, double helix, drone strike, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, Fellow of the Royal Society, fiat currency, financial exclusion, Flash crash, Flynn Effect, future of work, gig economy, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, Hans Lippershey, Hyperloop, income inequality, industrial robot, information asymmetry, Internet of things, invention of movable type, invention of the printing press, invention of the telephone, invention of the wheel, James Dyson, Jeff Bezos, job automation, job-hopping, John Markoff, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, Kodak vs Instagram, Leonard Kleinrock, lifelogging, low earth orbit, low skilled workers, Lyft, M-Pesa, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, megacity, Metcalfe’s law, Minecraft, mobile money, money market fund, more computing power than Apollo, Network effects, new economy, obamacare, Occupy movement, Oculus Rift, off grid, packet switching, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer, Ray Kurzweil, RFID, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Metcalfe, Satoshi Nakamoto, Second Machine Age, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), self-driving car, sharing economy, Shoshana Zuboff, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, smart cities, smart grid, smart transportation, Snapchat, social graph, software as a service, speech recognition, statistical model, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, strong AI, TaskRabbit, technological singularity, telemarketer, telepresence, telepresence robot, Tesla Model S, The Future of Employment, Tim Cook: Apple, trade route, Travis Kalanick, Turing complete, Turing test, uber lyft, undersea cable, urban sprawl, V2 rocket, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, white picket fence, WikiLeaks

Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC) developed a series of Programmed Data Processor (PDP) minicomputers, starting with the PDP-1 and gaining significant traction by the time the PDP-11 was released. In the 1980s, Sun Microsystems, HP and other companies started to dominate enterprise computing platforms for accounting and basic enterprise systems. However, the personal computer was about to revolutionise the workplace environment too, primarily as a result of emerging networking technology. In 1979, Robert Metcalfe founded 3Com, expanding on the work Xerox Palo Alto Research Center (PARC) had done in the early 1970s on local and wide area network (LAN/WAN) Ethernet technology. Initially, the software that could utilise these LAN-based protocols was limited to simple tasks like file sharing, printing files or sending emails. This technology quickly developed into what became known as n-tier computing, allowing us to link many personal computers and application servers into very powerful office network systems.


pages: 398 words: 108,889

The Paypal Wars: Battles With Ebay, the Media, the Mafia, and the Rest of Planet Earth by Eric M. Jackson

bank run, business process, call centre, creative destruction, disintermediation, Elon Musk, index fund, Internet Archive, iterative process, Joseph Schumpeter, market design, Menlo Park, Metcalfe’s law, money market fund, moral hazard, Network effects, new economy, offshore financial centre, Peter Thiel, Robert Metcalfe, Sand Hill Road, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, telemarketer, The Chicago School, the new new thing, Turing test

Now telephones are so ubiquitous that many of us carry a mobile one at all times. Similarly, the advantage of participating in a payments service like PayPal increases as the number of other users goes up. If only a handful of people in the world accept money through PayPal, there is little benefit to taking the time to create an account. But if PayPal can be used to pay millions of people, the account is much more valuable. Robert Metcalfe, the inventor of Ethernet and founder of 3Com, coined Metcalfe’s Law as a way of understanding the power of networks. He claimed that the value of a network equals the square of its users, implying that a network with twice as many users as a competitor is four times as valuable.4 Given Peter’s firm belief in the importance of quickly scaling up our network, it didn’t surprise anyone that the calmness he displayed at the disappointing Scotty event was absent following the dotBank and X.com launches.


pages: 378 words: 110,518

Postcapitalism: A Guide to Our Future by Paul Mason

Alfred Russel Wallace, bank run, banking crisis, banks create money, Basel III, basic income, Bernie Madoff, Bill Gates: Altair 8800, bitcoin, Branko Milanovic, Bretton Woods, BRICs, British Empire, business cycle, business process, butterfly effect, call centre, capital controls, Cesare Marchetti: Marchetti’s constant, Claude Shannon: information theory, collaborative economy, collective bargaining, Corn Laws, corporate social responsibility, creative destruction, credit crunch, currency manipulation / currency intervention, currency peg, David Graeber, deglobalization, deindustrialization, deskilling, discovery of the americas, Downton Abbey, drone strike, en.wikipedia.org, energy security, eurozone crisis, factory automation, financial repression, Firefox, Fractional reserve banking, Frederick Winslow Taylor, full employment, future of work, game design, income inequality, inflation targeting, informal economy, information asymmetry, intangible asset, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet of things, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Arrow, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, late capitalism, low skilled workers, market clearing, means of production, Metcalfe's law, microservices, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, mortgage debt, Network effects, new economy, Norbert Wiener, Occupy movement, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, Paul Samuelson, payday loans, Pearl River Delta, post-industrial society, precariat, price mechanism, profit motive, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, RAND corporation, rent-seeking, reserve currency, RFID, Richard Stallman, Robert Gordon, Robert Metcalfe, secular stagnation, sharing economy, Stewart Brand, structural adjustment programs, supply-chain management, The Future of Employment, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Transnistria, union organizing, universal basic income, urban decay, urban planning, Vilfredo Pareto, wages for housework, WikiLeaks, women in the workforce

The ‘network effect’ was first theorized by Bell Telephone boss Theodore Vail 100 years ago. Vail realized that networks create something extra, for free. In addition to utility for the user of a telephone and revenue for the owner, he noticed a third thing: the more people join the network, the more useful it becomes to everybody. The problem comes when you try to measure and capture that third thing. Robert Metcalfe, the inventor of the Ethernet switch, claimed in 1980 that a network’s value is ‘the number of users squared’. So while the cost of building a network rises in a straight line, its value rises in an exponential curve.38 By implication the art of doing business in a knowledge economy is to capture everything between the straight line and the rising curve. But how do we measure value? In terms of money saved, revenue earned or profits accrued?


pages: 349 words: 107,334

Silent Spring by Rachel Carson, Linda Lear, Edward O. Wilson

John Snow's cholera map, Robert Metcalfe

Populations are kept in check by something the ecologists call the resistance of the environment, and this has been so since the first life was created. The amount of food available, conditions of weather and climate, the presence of competing or predatory species, all are critically important. "The greatest single factor in preventing insects from overwhelming the rest of the world is the internecine warfare which they carry out among themselves," said the entomologist Robert Metcalf. Yet most of the chemicals now used kill all insects, our friends and enemies alike. The second neglected fact is the truly explosive power of a species to reproduce once the resistance of the environment has been weakened. The fecundity of many forms of life is almost beyond our power to imagine, though now and then we have suggestive glimpses. I remember from student days the miracle that could be wrought in a jar containing a simple mixture of hay and water merely by adding to it a few drops of material from a mature culture of protozoa.


pages: 402 words: 110,972

Nerds on Wall Street: Math, Machines and Wired Markets by David J. Leinweber

AI winter, algorithmic trading, asset allocation, banking crisis, barriers to entry, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, business cycle, butter production in bangladesh, butterfly effect, buttonwood tree, buy and hold, buy low sell high, capital asset pricing model, citizen journalism, collateralized debt obligation, corporate governance, Craig Reynolds: boids flock, creative destruction, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, Danny Hillis, demand response, disintermediation, distributed generation, diversification, diversified portfolio, Emanuel Derman, en.wikipedia.org, experimental economics, financial innovation, fixed income, Gordon Gekko, implied volatility, index arbitrage, index fund, information retrieval, intangible asset, Internet Archive, John Nash: game theory, Kenneth Arrow, load shedding, Long Term Capital Management, Machine translation of "The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak." to Russian and back, market fragmentation, market microstructure, Mars Rover, Metcalfe’s law, moral hazard, mutually assured destruction, Myron Scholes, natural language processing, negative equity, Network effects, optical character recognition, paper trading, passive investing, pez dispenser, phenotype, prediction markets, quantitative hedge fund, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, QWERTY keyboard, RAND corporation, random walk, Ray Kurzweil, Renaissance Technologies, risk tolerance, risk-adjusted returns, risk/return, Robert Metcalfe, Ronald Reagan, Rubik’s Cube, semantic web, Sharpe ratio, short selling, Silicon Valley, Small Order Execution System, smart grid, smart meter, social web, South Sea Bubble, statistical arbitrage, statistical model, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Tacoma Narrows Bridge, the scientific method, The Wisdom of Crowds, time value of money, too big to fail, transaction costs, Turing machine, Upton Sinclair, value at risk, Vernor Vinge, yield curve, Yogi Berra, your tax dollars at work

Start with this kind of stupidity, mix in enough greed, hubris, leverage, and lack of adult supervision, and you get the headlines of the past year, discussed in depth in Chapter 12. Notes 1. Sergio Focardi, Peter Kolm, and Frank Fabozzi, “New Kids on the Block,” Journal of Portfolio Management 30, no. 4 (Fall 2004): 42–53. The first article in the issue, by Andy Lo, “The Adaptive Market Hypothesis,” is an excellent in-depth discussion of the modern view of market efficiency. 2. Robert Metcalfe is the inventor of Ethernet (the ubiquitous wiring of the Internet), and the founder of 3Com. His law was demonstrated first with telephones and fax machines. 3. Okay, let’s belabor them a little for Generations X and Y and the Millennials, who may have missed these back when they were everywhere, but may also pick up this book. Gordon Moore, a founder of Intel, was fond of comparing the progress in computer technology to progress in automobiles.


Super Thinking: The Big Book of Mental Models by Gabriel Weinberg, Lauren McCann

affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, anti-pattern, Anton Chekhov, autonomous vehicles, bank run, barriers to entry, Bayesian statistics, Bernie Madoff, Bernie Sanders, Black Swan, Broken windows theory, business process, butterfly effect, Cal Newport, Clayton Christensen, cognitive dissonance, commoditize, correlation does not imply causation, crowdsourcing, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Attenborough, delayed gratification, deliberate practice, discounted cash flows, disruptive innovation, Donald Trump, Douglas Hofstadter, Edward Lorenz: Chaos theory, Edward Snowden, effective altruism, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, experimental subject, fear of failure, feminist movement, Filter Bubble, framing effect, friendly fire, fundamental attribution error, Gödel, Escher, Bach, hindsight bias, housing crisis, Ignaz Semmelweis: hand washing, illegal immigration, income inequality, information asymmetry, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, John Nash: game theory, lateral thinking, loss aversion, Louis Pasteur, Lyft, mail merge, Mark Zuckerberg, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Metcalfe’s law, Milgram experiment, minimum viable product, moral hazard, mutually assured destruction, Nash equilibrium, Network effects, nuclear winter, offshore financial centre, p-value, Parkinson's law, Paul Graham, peak oil, Peter Thiel, phenotype, Pierre-Simon Laplace, placebo effect, Potemkin village, prediction markets, premature optimization, price anchoring, principal–agent problem, publication bias, recommendation engine, remote working, replication crisis, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman: Challenger O-ring, Richard Thaler, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Metcalfe, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, school choice, Schrödinger's Cat, selection bias, Shai Danziger, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, speech recognition, statistical model, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Pinker, survivorship bias, The Present Situation in Quantum Mechanics, the scientific method, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, transaction costs, uber lyft, ultimatum game, uranium enrichment, urban planning, Vilfredo Pareto, wikimedia commons

But as each person gets a phone, the number of possible connections grows proportionally to the square of the number of phones (nodes). Two phones can make only one connection, five can make ten, and twelve can make sixty-six. Network Effects 2 phones = 1 connection 5 phones = 10 connections 12 phones = 66 connections This relationship, known as Metcalfe’s law, is named after Robert Metcalfe, the co-inventor of the networking technology Ethernet. It describes the nonlinear growth in network value when nodes are connected to one another. His law oversimplifies reality since it assumes that every node (or telephone in this case) has the same value to the network and that every node may want to contact every other, but nevertheless it serves as a decent model. Having a million telephones on the phone network is much more than twice as valuable as having five hundred thousand.


pages: 450 words: 113,173

The Age of Entitlement: America Since the Sixties by Christopher Caldwell

1960s counterculture, affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, anti-communist, Bernie Sanders, big data - Walmart - Pop Tarts, blue-collar work, Cass Sunstein, choice architecture, computer age, crack epidemic, crony capitalism, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Attenborough, desegregation, disintermediation, disruptive innovation, Edward Snowden, Erik Brynjolfsson, Ferguson, Missouri, financial deregulation, financial innovation, Firefox, full employment, George Gilder, global value chain, Home mortgage interest deduction, illegal immigration, immigration reform, informal economy, Jeff Bezos, John Markoff, Kevin Kelly, libertarian paternalism, Mark Zuckerberg, Martin Wolf, mass immigration, mass incarceration, mortgage tax deduction, Nate Silver, new economy, Norman Mailer, post-industrial society, pre–internet, profit motive, reserve currency, Richard Thaler, Robert Bork, Robert Gordon, Robert Metcalfe, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, Silicon Valley, Skype, South China Sea, Steve Jobs, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Thomas L Friedman, too big to fail, transatlantic slave trade, transcontinental railway, War on Poverty, Whole Earth Catalog, zero-sum game

Until the turn of the century, one could still assume there was a limit to how far such code could diverge from inherited laws and customs—because it would have to win the trust of internet users. It turns out it didn’t have to. The high-tech firms had a kind of power not envisioned in Ayn Rand’s theories of capitalism from the 1980s or in traditional models of market regulation. These firms were not new entrants to market systems but new market systems. They were networks. As the computer scientist Robert Metcalfe had shown, a network’s value increases exponentially with its growth. Over time, the most attractive thing about a network may be simply that a large number of people have already chosen it. When a network reaches critical mass, competition becomes pointless. Yes, some other company might design a “better” network, but that wouldn’t necessarily make it a competitor. “As the network power of a standard grows,” the legal theorist David Singh Grewal wrote in Network Power (2009), “the intrinsic reasons why it should be adopted become less important relative to the extrinsic benefits of coordination that the standard can provide.”


pages: 437 words: 113,173

Age of Discovery: Navigating the Risks and Rewards of Our New Renaissance by Ian Goldin, Chris Kutarna

2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, 3D printing, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, AltaVista, Asian financial crisis, asset-backed security, autonomous vehicles, banking crisis, barriers to entry, battle of ideas, Berlin Wall, bioinformatics, bitcoin, Bonfire of the Vanities, clean water, collective bargaining, Colonization of Mars, Credit Default Swap, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, Dava Sobel, demographic dividend, Deng Xiaoping, Doha Development Round, double helix, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, epigenetics, experimental economics, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial innovation, full employment, Galaxy Zoo, global pandemic, global supply chain, Hyperloop, immigration reform, income inequality, indoor plumbing, industrial cluster, industrial robot, information retrieval, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), intermodal, Internet of things, invention of the printing press, Isaac Newton, Islamic Golden Age, Johannes Kepler, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, low cost airline, low cost carrier, low skilled workers, Lyft, Malacca Straits, mass immigration, megacity, Mikhail Gorbachev, moral hazard, Nelson Mandela, Network effects, New Urbanism, non-tariff barriers, Occupy movement, On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres, open economy, Panamax, Pearl River Delta, personalized medicine, Peter Thiel, post-Panamax, profit motive, rent-seeking, reshoring, Robert Gordon, Robert Metcalfe, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, Shenzhen was a fishing village, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, smart grid, Snapchat, special economic zone, spice trade, statistical model, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Stuxnet, The Future of Employment, too big to fail, trade liberalization, trade route, transaction costs, transatlantic slave trade, uber lyft, undersea cable, uranium enrichment, We are the 99%, We wanted flying cars, instead we got 140 characters, working poor, working-age population, zero day

Genius defies expectations The third point is to recognize that our expectations are not a reliable standard against which to measure feats of genius. We’re bad at guessing where present breakthroughs will take us: I predict the Internet . . . will soon go spectacularly supernova and in 1996 catastrophically collapse . . . The Internet’s naïve flat-rate business model is incapable of financing the new capacity it would need to serve continued growth, if there were any, but there won’t be, so no problem. —Robert Metcalfe, co-inventor of Ethernet and founder of 3Com, in 199547 We’re even worse at guessing what future breakthroughs will be. “Where are the flying cars?” is the perfect refrain to illustrate how our thinking gets trapped inside present paradigms. In the 1950s and 1960s, suddenly everyone drove cars and rode in airplanes. The most disruptive “next big thing” we could imagine was for our cars to fly, too.


pages: 382 words: 120,064

Bank 3.0: Why Banking Is No Longer Somewhere You Go but Something You Do by Brett King

3D printing, additive manufacturing, Airbus A320, Albert Einstein, Amazon Web Services, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, asset-backed security, augmented reality, barriers to entry, bitcoin, bounce rate, business intelligence, business process, business process outsourcing, call centre, capital controls, citizen journalism, Clayton Christensen, cloud computing, credit crunch, crowdsourcing, disintermediation, en.wikipedia.org, fixed income, George Gilder, Google Glasses, high net worth, I think there is a world market for maybe five computers, Infrastructure as a Service, invention of the printing press, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, Kickstarter, London Interbank Offered Rate, M-Pesa, Mark Zuckerberg, mass affluent, Metcalfe’s law, microcredit, mobile money, more computing power than Apollo, Northern Rock, Occupy movement, optical character recognition, peer-to-peer, performance metric, Pingit, platform as a service, QR code, QWERTY keyboard, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, RFID, risk tolerance, Robert Metcalfe, self-driving car, Skype, speech recognition, stem cell, telepresence, Tim Cook: Apple, transaction costs, underbanked, US Airways Flight 1549, web application

Low-Counter: Typically a desk station within a branch where the relationship manager can sit with customers and potential clients and advise them on available products and services. Lo-Fi Prototype: A simple method of prototyping products, interfaces or applications and testing with target customers or users. LIBOR: London Interbank Offered Rate LinkedIn: An online social network for business professionals. Metcalfe’s Law: Attributed to Robert Metcalfe, this law states that the value of a telecommunications network is proportional to the square of the number of connected users of the system (n2). MFI: Microfinance Institution—an alternate form of bank found in developing countries which provides microcredit lending. MIRC: Magnetic Ink Character Recognition Mobile Portal: A website designed specifically for mobile phone interfaces and mini-browsers.


pages: 506 words: 146,607

Confessions of a Wall Street Analyst: A True Story of Inside Information and Corruption in the Stock Market by Daniel Reingold, Jennifer Reingold

barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, corporate governance, estate planning, Fall of the Berlin Wall, fixed income, George Gilder, high net worth, informal economy, margin call, mass immigration, new economy, pets.com, Robert Metcalfe, rolodex, Saturday Night Live, shareholder value, short selling, Silicon Valley, stem cell, Telecommunications Act of 1996, thinkpad, traveling salesman, undersea cable

Reinforcing the bullish point of view was the fact that even the slow-growing Baby Bells were reporting 30 percent growth in their data services divisions, far beyond the 4–6 percent growth rates of more traditional Bell product lines. O’Dell’s and Sidgmore’s numbers would go on to become those “statistics” that everyone cited as gospel without knowing where they came from or whether they were actually true. In May of 1998, I attended the grandly named Vortex Conference, a dot-com and technology get-together organized by Bob Metcalfe, the scientist from Xerox’s famous Palo Alto Research Center who invented Ethernet, today’s standard for rapid computer networking, and later founded 3Com. It took place at the Ritz-Carlton in Laguna Niguel, California, a gorgeous resort south of Los Angeles overlooking the ocean. But no one there cared much about the surf. The conference was chock-a-block with new companies trying to get funded, existing companies touting their technology, and, of course, bankers, analysts, and investors.


pages: 418 words: 128,965

The Master Switch: The Rise and Fall of Information Empires by Tim Wu

accounting loophole / creative accounting, Alfred Russel Wallace, Apple II, barriers to entry, British Empire, Burning Man, business cycle, Cass Sunstein, Clayton Christensen, commoditize, corporate raider, creative destruction, disruptive innovation, don't be evil, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Howard Rheingold, Hush-A-Phone, informal economy, intermodal, Internet Archive, invention of movable type, invention of the telephone, invisible hand, Jane Jacobs, John Markoff, Joseph Schumpeter, Menlo Park, open economy, packet switching, PageRank, profit motive, road to serfdom, Robert Bork, Robert Metcalfe, Ronald Coase, sexual politics, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Skype, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Telecommunications Act of 1996, The Chicago School, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the market place, The Wisdom of Crowds, too big to fail, Upton Sinclair, urban planning, zero-sum game

Cerf is vice president and chief Internet evangelist at Google Inc. These quotes and opinions were obtained in an interview with the author in June 2008. 5. To read about AT&T at the time of the Internet’s inception, see Christopher H. Sterling, Phyllis Bernt, and Martin B. H. Weiss, Shaping American Telecommunications: A History of Technology, Policy, and Economics (New York: Routledge, 2006). To read how Vint Cerf, Robert Kahn, and Robert Metcalf interacted with AT&T, see their individual entries in Laura Lambert et al., The Internet: A Historical Encyclopedia, vol. 2 (New York: MTM Publishing, 2005). 6. “A Protocol for Packet Network Intercommunication” in Jeremy M. Norman, ed., From Gutenberg to the Internet: A Sourcebook on the History of Information Technology (Novato, CA: historyofscience.com, 2005) 871–90. 7. As quoted in Alfred L.


Big Blues: The Unmaking of IBM by Paul Carroll

accounting loophole / creative accounting, full employment, John Markoff, Mitch Kapor, popular electronics, Robert Metcalfe, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, six sigma, software patent, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, thinkpad, traveling salesman

The trouble has even extended beyond the loss of business among customers looking to do new applications: Many of IBM’s customers are even considering taking the soft­ ware they’ve written painstakingly for their mainframes and rewriting the soft­ ware for networks of small machines. This used to be unthinkable. The cost of rewriting is so high and the risk of error when redoing millions of lines of software code is so great that IBM felt it had existing mainframe customers locked into its systems forever. But Bob Metcalfe, publisher of InfoWorld, a big PC publication, says that every company he talks to is at least considering disposing of some mainframes so they can move to PCs. He even jokes that he knows the exact moment when the mainframe will disappear forever: midnight on New Year’s Eve, 1999. The reason is that IBM, in design­ ing the current style of mainframe in the 1960s, didn’t consider what would happen in the year 2000.


pages: 696 words: 143,736

The Age of Spiritual Machines: When Computers Exceed Human Intelligence by Ray Kurzweil

Ada Lovelace, Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, Albert Einstein, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, Buckminster Fuller, call centre, cellular automata, combinatorial explosion, complexity theory, computer age, computer vision, cosmological constant, cosmological principle, Danny Hillis, double helix, Douglas Hofstadter, Everything should be made as simple as possible, first square of the chessboard / second half of the chessboard, fudge factor, George Gilder, Gödel, Escher, Bach, I think there is a world market for maybe five computers, information retrieval, invention of movable type, Isaac Newton, iterative process, Jacquard loom, John Markoff, John von Neumann, Lao Tzu, Law of Accelerating Returns, mandelbrot fractal, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, natural language processing, Norbert Wiener, optical character recognition, ought to be enough for anybody, pattern recognition, phenotype, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Feynman, Robert Metcalfe, Schrödinger's Cat, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, social intelligence, speech recognition, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, stochastic process, technological singularity, Ted Kaczynski, telepresence, the medium is the message, There's no reason for any individual to have a computer in his home - Ken Olsen, traveling salesman, Turing machine, Turing test, Whole Earth Review, Y2K

—John von Neumann, 1949 “There’s no reason for individuals to have a computer in their home.” —Ken Olson, 1977 “640,000 bytes of memory ought to be enough for anybody.” —Bill Gates, 1981 “Long before the year 2000, the entire antiquated structure of college degrees, majors and credits will be a shambles.” —Alvin Toffler “The Internet will catastrophically collapse in 1996.” —Robert Metcalfe (inventor of Ethernet), who, in 1997, ate his words (literally) in front of an audience Now I get to toot my own horn, and can share with you those predictions of mine that worked out particularly well. But in looking back at the many predictions I’ve made over the past twenty years, I will say that I haven’t found any that I find particularly embarrassing (except, maybe, for a few early business plans).


pages: 550 words: 154,725

The Idea Factory: Bell Labs and the Great Age of American Innovation by Jon Gertner

Albert Einstein, back-to-the-land, Black Swan, business climate, Claude Shannon: information theory, Clayton Christensen, complexity theory, corporate governance, cuban missile crisis, Edward Thorp, horn antenna, Hush-A-Phone, information retrieval, invention of the telephone, James Watt: steam engine, Karl Jansky, knowledge economy, Leonard Kleinrock, Metcalfe’s law, Nicholas Carr, Norbert Wiener, Picturephone, Richard Feynman, Robert Metcalfe, Sand Hill Road, Silicon Valley, Skype, Steve Jobs, Telecommunications Act of 1996, traveling salesman, undersea cable, uranium enrichment, William Shockley: the traitorous eight

Picturephone calls required such tremendous (and costly) bandwidth that long-distance service was out of the question. For all these reasons, the technology couldn’t attract enough users to attract even more users. “To start up a service, you have to think about: I have one, you don’t have one—so I can’t talk to you,” Irwin Dorros says. “So I can only talk to you if you have one. So how do you get a critical mass of people that have them?” Many years later, a computer engineer named Robert Metcalfe would surmise that the value of a networked device increases dramatically as the number of people using the network grows. The larger the network, in other words, the higher the value of a device on that network to each user.36 This formulation—sometimes known as Metcalfe’s law—can help explain the immense appeal of the telephone system and Internet. However, the smaller the network, the lower the value of a device to each user.


Convergence Culture: Where Old and New Media Collide by Henry Jenkins

barriers to entry, Cass Sunstein, citizen journalism, collective bargaining, Columbine, deskilling, Donald Trump, game design, George Gilder, global village, Howard Rheingold, informal economy, means of production, moral panic, new economy, profit motive, Robert Metcalfe, Saturday Night Live, slashdot, Steven Pinker, the market place, Y Combinator

Garfinkel, James Gee, Lisa Gitelman, Wendy G o r d o n , N i c k H a h n , M a r y Beth Haralovich, John Hartley, Heather Hendershott, Matt H i l l s , M i m i Ito, M a r k Jancovich, Steven Johnson, Sara G w e n l l i a n Jones, Gerard Jones, Louise Kennedy, Christina Klein, Eric Klopfer, Robert Kozinets, Ellen Kushner, Christopher Ireland, Jessica Irish, K u r t Lancaster, Brenda Laurel, C h a p Lawson, Geoffrey L o n g , Peter L u d l o w , Davis Maston, Frans M a y r a , Robert Metcalfe, Scott M c C l o u d , Grant McCracken, Jane M c G o n i g a l , E d w a r d M c N a l l y , Tara McPherson, Jason Mittell, Janet Murray, Susan J. Napier, Angela N d l i a n i s , Annalee N e w i t z , Tasha Oren, Ciela Pearce, Steven Pinker, Warren Sack, Katie Salens, N i c k Sammond, K e v i n Sandler, Greg Shaw, Greg Smith, Janet Sonenberg, Constance Steinkuehler, M a r y Stuckey, D a v i d Surman, Steven J.


pages: 561 words: 157,589

WTF?: What's the Future and Why It's Up to Us by Tim O'Reilly

4chan, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, Alvin Roth, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, artificial general intelligence, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, basic income, Bernie Madoff, Bernie Sanders, Bill Joy: nanobots, bitcoin, blockchain, Bretton Woods, Brewster Kahle, British Empire, business process, call centre, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Captain Sullenberger Hudson, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable:, Clayton Christensen, clean water, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, collateralized debt obligation, commoditize, computer vision, corporate governance, corporate raider, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, Danny Hillis, data acquisition, deskilling, DevOps, Donald Davies, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, Filter Bubble, Firefox, Flash crash, full employment, future of work, George Akerlof, gig economy, glass ceiling, Google Glasses, Gordon Gekko, gravity well, greed is good, Guido van Rossum, High speed trading, hiring and firing, Home mortgage interest deduction, Hyperloop, income inequality, index fund, informal economy, information asymmetry, Internet Archive, Internet of things, invention of movable type, invisible hand, iterative process, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, jitney, job automation, job satisfaction, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Kevin Kelly, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, Kodak vs Instagram, Lao Tzu, Larry Wall, Lean Startup, Leonard Kleinrock, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, market fundamentalism, Marshall McLuhan, McMansion, microbiome, microservices, minimum viable product, mortgage tax deduction, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, obamacare, Oculus Rift, packet switching, PageRank, pattern recognition, Paul Buchheit, peer-to-peer, peer-to-peer model, Ponzi scheme, race to the bottom, Ralph Nader, randomized controlled trial, RFC: Request For Comment, Richard Feynman, Richard Stallman, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Gordon, Robert Metcalfe, Ronald Coase, Sam Altman, school choice, Second Machine Age, secular stagnation, self-driving car, SETI@home, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, skunkworks, Skype, smart contracts, Snapchat, Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Its Profits, social web, software as a service, software patent, spectrum auction, speech recognition, Stephen Hawking, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, strong AI, TaskRabbit, telepresence, the built environment, The Future of Employment, the map is not the territory, The Nature of the Firm, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Davenport, transaction costs, transcontinental railway, transportation-network company, Travis Kalanick, trickle-down economics, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, ubercab, universal basic income, US Airways Flight 1549, VA Linux, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, We are the 99%, web application, Whole Earth Catalog, winner-take-all economy, women in the workforce, Y Combinator, yellow journalism, zero-sum game, Zipcar

,” Harvard Business Law Review 4 (2014): 235, University of Pennsylvania Institute for Law & Economics, Research Paper No. 14–41, posted December 18, 2014, https://ssrn.com/abstract=2539098. 293 “if not more than, the bottom line”: Etsy, “Building an Etsy Economy: The New Face of Creative Entrepreneurship,” 2015, retrieved April 4, 2017, https://extfiles.etsy.com/Press/reports/Etsy_NewFaceofCreativeEntrepreneur ship_2015.pdf. 293 the ouster of Chad Dickerson, Etsy’s CEO: The Associated Press, “Etsy Replaces CEO, Cuts Jobs Amid Shareholder Pressure,” ABC News, May 2, 2017, http://abcnews.go.com/Business/wireStory/etsy-replaces-ceo-cuts-jobs-amid-shareholder-pressure-47167426. 293 supported more than 10,000 jobs: “Airbnb Community Tops $1.15 Billion in Economic Activity in New York City,” Airbnb, May 12, 2015, https://www.airbnb.com/press/news/airbnb-community-tops-1-15-billion-in-economic-activity-in-new-york-city. 293 helped them stay in their home: “Airbnb Economic Impact,” Airbnb, retrieved April 4, 2017, http://blog.airbnb.com/economic-impact-airbnb/. 294 A third-party economic study: Peter Cohen, Robert Hahn, Jonathan Hall, Steven Levitt, and Robert Metcalfe, “Using Big Data to Estimate Consumer Surplus: The Case of Uber,” National Bureau of Economic Research, Working Paper No. 22627, September 2016, doi:10.3386/w22627. 294 nine million third-party sellers: Duncan Clark, Alibaba: The House That Jack Built (New York: Harper, 2016), 5. 294 in order to favor more lucrative sales by big brands: Ina Steiner, “eBay Makes Big Promises to Small Sellers as SEO Penalty Still Stings,” eCommerce Bytes, April 23, 2015, http://www.ecommercebytes.com/cab/abn/y15/m04/i23/s02. 294 half of all private sector employment: “SBA Advocacy: Frequently Asked Questions” Small Business Administration, September 2012, retrieved May 12, 2017, https://www.sba.gov/sites/default/files/FAQ_Sept_2012.pdf. 295 “now drying the clothes”: Steve Baer, “The Clothesline Paradox,” CoEvolution Quarterly, Winter 1975, retrieved April 3, 2017, http://www.wholeearth.com/issue/2008/article/358/the.clothesline.paradox. 296 value as and if created: Mariana Mazzucato, The Entrepreneurial State (London: Anthem, 2013), 185–87. 296 “a minuscule fraction”: William D.


pages: 706 words: 202,591

Facebook: The Inside Story by Steven Levy

active measures, Airbnb, Airbus A320, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, augmented reality, Ben Horowitz, blockchain, Burning Man, business intelligence, cloud computing, computer vision, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, don't be evil, Donald Trump, East Village, Edward Snowden, El Camino Real, Elon Musk, Firefox, Frank Gehry, glass ceiling, indoor plumbing, Jeff Bezos, John Markoff, Jony Ive, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, Lyft, Mahatma Gandhi, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, Metcalfe’s law, MITM: man-in-the-middle, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, natural language processing, Network effects, Oculus Rift, PageRank, Paul Buchheit, paypal mafia, Peter Thiel, pets.com, post-work, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, Robert Mercer, Robert Metcalfe, rolodex, Sam Altman, Sand Hill Road, self-driving car, sexual politics, Shoshana Zuboff, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, slashdot, Snapchat, social graph, social software, South of Market, San Francisco, Startup school, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Steven Pinker, Tim Cook: Apple, web application, WikiLeaks, women in the workforce, Y Combinator, Y2K

“It seemed like we should talk about that.” The money helped Zuckerberg rent server space. It cost $85 a month. Over the next few days, Thefacebook began a relentless takeover of the Harvard student body. As more Harvard students signed up, the chances increased that they would find profiles of their friends, of people they might like to have as friends. In the early 1980s, computer scientist Bob Metcalfe wrote about the network effect, postulating that the value of a network increases exponentially with the number of people joining (this became known as Metcalfe’s law). Hour by hour, the impetus for students to sign up began to flip from engaging in a diverting pastime to an absolute necessity, as not being on Thefacebook made you a virtual exile on the physical campus. Later, sociologists and start-up gurus would endlessly analyze what happened at Harvard in February 2004, painstakingly deconstructing the forensics of the lightning that Zuckerberg had bottled.


pages: 654 words: 191,864

Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman

Albert Einstein, Atul Gawande, availability heuristic, Bayesian statistics, Black Swan, Cass Sunstein, Checklist Manifesto, choice architecture, cognitive bias, complexity theory, correlation coefficient, correlation does not imply causation, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, delayed gratification, demand response, endowment effect, experimental economics, experimental subject, Exxon Valdez, feminist movement, framing effect, hedonic treadmill, hindsight bias, index card, information asymmetry, job satisfaction, John von Neumann, Kenneth Arrow, libertarian paternalism, loss aversion, medical residency, mental accounting, meta analysis, meta-analysis, nudge unit, pattern recognition, Paul Samuelson, pre–internet, price anchoring, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, random walk, Richard Thaler, risk tolerance, Robert Metcalfe, Ronald Reagan, Shai Danziger, Supply of New York City Cabdrivers, The Chicago School, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas Bayes, transaction costs, union organizing, Walter Mischel, Yom Kippur War

Helliwell, Well-Being for Public Policy (New York: Oxford University Press, 2009). Alan B. Krueger, ed., Measuring the Subjective Well-Being of Nations: National Account of Time Use and Well-Being (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2009). Joseph E. Stiglitz, Amartya Sen, and Jean-Paul Fitoussi, Report of the Commission on the Measurement of Economic Performance and Social Progress. Paul Dolan, Richard Layard, and Robert Metcalfe, Measuring Subjective Well-being for Public Policy: Recommendations on Measures (London: Office for National Statistics, 2011). Irrational is a strong word: The view of the mind that Dan Ariely has presented in Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions (New York: Harper, 2008) is not much different from mine, but we differ in our use of the term. accept future addiction: Gary S.


pages: 612 words: 187,431

The Art of UNIX Programming by Eric S. Raymond

A Pattern Language, Albert Einstein, barriers to entry, bioinformatics, Clayton Christensen, combinatorial explosion, commoditize, correlation coefficient, David Brooks, Debian, domain-specific language, don't repeat yourself, Donald Knuth, Everything should be made as simple as possible, facts on the ground, finite state, general-purpose programming language, George Santayana, Innovator's Dilemma, job automation, Larry Wall, MVC pattern, pattern recognition, Paul Graham, peer-to-peer, premature optimization, pre–internet, publish or perish, revision control, RFC: Request For Comment, Richard Stallman, Robert Metcalfe, Steven Levy, transaction costs, Turing complete, Valgrind, wage slave, web application

No other operating system has shone simultaneously as a research vehicle, a friendly host for technical custom applications, a platform for commercial-off-the-shelf business software, and a vital component technology of the Internet. Confident predictions that Unix would wither away, or be crowded out by other operating systems, have been made yearly since its infancy. And yet Unix, in its present-day avatars as Linux and BSD and Solaris and MacOS X and half a dozen other variants, seems stronger than ever today. Robert Metcalf [the inventor of Ethernet] says that if something comes along to replace Ethernet, it will be called “Ethernet”, so therefore Ethernet will never die.[4] Unix has already undergone several such transformations. -- Ken Thompson At least one of Unix's central technologies — the C language — has been widely naturalized elsewhere. Indeed it is now hard to imagine doing software engineering without C as a ubiquitous common language of systems programming.


pages: 761 words: 231,902

The Singularity Is Near: When Humans Transcend Biology by Ray Kurzweil

additive manufacturing, AI winter, Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, Albert Einstein, anthropic principle, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, artificial general intelligence, Asilomar, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, Benoit Mandelbrot, Bill Joy: nanobots, bioinformatics, brain emulation, Brewster Kahle, Brownian motion, business cycle, business intelligence, c2.com, call centre, carbon-based life, cellular automata, Claude Shannon: information theory, complexity theory, conceptual framework, Conway's Game of Life, coronavirus, cosmological constant, cosmological principle, cuban missile crisis, data acquisition, Dava Sobel, David Brooks, Dean Kamen, disintermediation, double helix, Douglas Hofstadter, en.wikipedia.org, epigenetics, factory automation, friendly AI, George Gilder, Gödel, Escher, Bach, informal economy, information retrieval, invention of the telephone, invention of the telescope, invention of writing, iterative process, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, job satisfaction, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, Law of Accelerating Returns, life extension, lifelogging, linked data, Loebner Prize, Louis Pasteur, mandelbrot fractal, Marshall McLuhan, Mikhail Gorbachev, Mitch Kapor, mouse model, Murray Gell-Mann, mutually assured destruction, natural language processing, Network effects, new economy, Norbert Wiener, oil shale / tar sands, optical character recognition, pattern recognition, phenotype, premature optimization, randomized controlled trial, Ray Kurzweil, remote working, reversible computing, Richard Feynman, Robert Metcalfe, Rodney Brooks, scientific worldview, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, selection bias, semantic web, Silicon Valley, Singularitarianism, speech recognition, statistical model, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Stewart Brand, strong AI, superintelligent machines, technological singularity, Ted Kaczynski, telepresence, The Coming Technological Singularity, Thomas Bayes, transaction costs, Turing machine, Turing test, Vernor Vinge, Y2K, Yogi Berra

My view is that it is hard to imagine infinite knowledge, given apparently finite resources of matter and energy, and the trends to date match a double exponential process. The additional term (to W) appears to be of the form W Î log(W). This term describes a network effect. If we have a network such as the Internet, its effect or value can reasonably be shown to be proportional to n Î log(n) where n is the number of nodes. Each node (each user) benefits, so this accounts for the n multiplier. The value to each user (to each node) = log(n). Bob Metcalfe (inventor of Ethernet) has postulated the value of a network of n nodes = c În2, but this is overstated. If the Internet doubles in size, its value to me does increase but it does not double. It can be shown that a reasonable estimate is that a network's value to each user is proportional to the log of the size of the network. Thus, its overall value is proportional to n Î log(n). If the growth rate instead includes a logarithmic network effect, we get an equation for the rate of change that is given by: (14) The solution to this is a double exponential, which we have seen before in the data: (15) Notes Prologue: The Power of Ideas 1.


pages: 468 words: 233,091

Founders at Work: Stories of Startups' Early Days by Jessica Livingston

8-hour work day, affirmative action, AltaVista, Apple II, Brewster Kahle, business cycle, business process, Byte Shop, Danny Hillis, David Heinemeier Hansson, don't be evil, fear of failure, financial independence, Firefox, full text search, game design, Googley, HyperCard, illegal immigration, Internet Archive, Jeff Bezos, Joi Ito, Justin.tv, Larry Wall, Maui Hawaii, Menlo Park, Mitch Kapor, nuclear winter, Paul Buchheit, Paul Graham, Peter Thiel, Richard Feynman, Robert Metcalfe, Ruby on Rails, Sam Altman, Sand Hill Road, side project, Silicon Valley, slashdot, social software, software patent, South of Market, San Francisco, Startup school, stealth mode startup, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, web application, Y Combinator

By the fall of 1977, in my office there, I had a personal computer with a bitmap display—oriented like a sheet of paper, not like a television set for the obvious Xerox reasons. I had a software program running on it that was as good as Microsoft Word—in fact it was developed by the fellow who left PARC and went to Microsoft and built the Office product line for them, Charles Simonyi. I had a great mail system on it that could mail to anybody in the ARPANET community, as well as within Xerox. It was on the precursor of the 3Com Ethernet technology, developed by Bob Metcalfe, who later left PARC and started 3Com. The network connected the personal computers to laser printers. We had a 60-page-a-minute black-and-white laser printer, a 10-page-a-minute color printer. We had a file server where you could store files and share them for projects. All of these computers were connected in both an internal and external network throughout Xerox Corporation and into the ARPANET, which was the precursor of the Internet.


Engineering Security by Peter Gutmann

active measures, algorithmic trading, Amazon Web Services, Asperger Syndrome, bank run, barriers to entry, bitcoin, Brian Krebs, business process, call centre, card file, cloud computing, cognitive bias, cognitive dissonance, combinatorial explosion, Credit Default Swap, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, Debian, domain-specific language, Donald Davies, Donald Knuth, double helix, en.wikipedia.org, endowment effect, fault tolerance, Firefox, fundamental attribution error, George Akerlof, glass ceiling, GnuPG, Google Chrome, iterative process, Jacob Appelbaum, Jane Jacobs, Jeff Bezos, John Conway, John Markoff, John von Neumann, Kickstarter, lake wobegon effect, Laplace demon, linear programming, litecoin, load shedding, MITM: man-in-the-middle, Network effects, Parkinson's law, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer, Pierre-Simon Laplace, place-making, post-materialism, QR code, race to the bottom, random walk, recommendation engine, RFID, risk tolerance, Robert Metcalfe, Ruby on Rails, Sapir-Whorf hypothesis, Satoshi Nakamoto, security theater, semantic web, Skype, slashdot, smart meter, social intelligence, speech recognition, statistical model, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, Stuxnet, telemarketer, text mining, the built environment, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Market for Lemons, the payments system, Therac-25, too big to fail, Turing complete, Turing machine, Turing test, web application, web of trust, x509 certificate, Y2K, zero day, Zimmermann PGP

Better to leave the burglars a free hand than to even attempt a flawed security mechanism of this type. The same sorts of analyses that lead to Zeno’s paradox are also popular in the computing field to show that certain things just can’t work. When Xerox/DIX Ethernet was first proposed, technical journals contained detailed analyses showing that it couldn’t work [117][118][119][120], which is no doubt why the entire world is currently using token ring instead of Ethernet. This led to Bob Metcalfe’s famous observation that “Ethernet works in practice but not in theory”. A similar problem exists with many computer security mechanisms. Consider the use of SMS-based authentication for Internet banking. This security mechanism has the bank send the user an SMS text message containing a one-time code that’s used to authorise a banking transaction. Some of the better-designed systems also include the transaction details and cryptographically tie the authorisation code to the transaction so that a man-in-the-middle (MITM) attack that invisibly modifies the transaction details won’t work.