Subject: Re: Franklin Street Statement and Free Network Services
From: "Ben Tilly" <btilly@gmail.com>
Date: Sat, 30 Aug 2008 14:53:08 -0700

On Fri, Aug 29, 2008 at 8:58 PM, Evan Prodromou <evan@prodromou.name> wrote:
[...]
> Second players in network-effects markets can change the game with Open
> Source. In a closed world, it's silo vs. silo, and the biggest silo wins.
> But in an open world, it's protocol vs. silo, or Internet vs. silo, and no
> silo is as big as the Internet. It's not a guaranteed win, but in a
> network-effect market, it's about the best chance you've got if you're not
> in first place.

FYI for most networks, most of the time, there is reason to believe
that network effects scale more like n log(n) rather than the naive
Metcalfe's law of n*n.  See
http://www.dtc.umn.edu/~odlyzko/doc/metcalfe.pdf for some of the
evidence.

Therefore even in a closed world the bigger silo doesn't have that big
an advantage over the smaller ones.

Ben