Winning the Hardware Software Game book Winning the Hardware-Software Game

Using Game Theory to Optimize the Pace of New Technology Adoption

Innovators of new technology systems requiring users to combine both hardware and software components often face delays in adoption of their new systems.  Users will not buy the hardware until enough software or content is available, while at the same time software providers will not provide content until enough users have adopted the new system.  This book examines the dynamics of this adoption process and provides methods for optimizing the pace of adoption of new technology systems.     Read more...


  • Playing the Platform Game

    The purpose of this analysis is to better understand the dynamics of internet platforms. The analysis considers the three basic types of platforms:

    • Vendors (WalMart, Apple, Pandora, etc.)
    • Social Media (Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, etc.)
    • Matchmakers (eBay, Uber, etc.)

    And will seek to address such issues as

    • Who are the different players in each type of platform game? 
    • How do the players' actions combine to generate value in each type of game?
    • Who extracts what value?
    • Which types of platforms and configurations have the greatest value potential? 
  • Playing the Restaurant Delivery Game

    Remember when restaurant delivery options included Domino’s, Pizza Hut, or Papa John’s? No longer! These pizza restaurants still have a majority share of the restaurant delivery market. However, GrubHub, Eat24, DoorDash, UberEats, and other restaurant delivery platforms are expanding users’ choices beyond just pizza.

    This analysis examines the Restaurant Delivery Game: Who are the Players and what are the issues?


    See Figure 1


    • Traditional (Dine-In) Restaurants
    • Takeout/Delivery Restaurants

    ♦ Takeout/Delivery Only (Virtual Restaurants)

    ♦ Dine-in or Takeout

  • The Future of Jobs

    The future of jobs is a serious concern.

    The most popular opinion I’ve seen is that the answer is more education. Consider, though, that we are in a period in which historically high levels of the population have some amount of postsecondary education. Yet, less than half the population (about 42%) has at least an associate’s degree, and only about a third of the population has at least a bachelor’s degree. How much higher is it realistic to think these levels can actually go? Not to mention that student debt has reached massively unsustainable levels ($1.3 trillion).

    So then what about the other half of the population?

    I recently did an analysis of changes in employment by firm size over the past few decades. My analysis showed that

    • Increasing percentages of employees have been employed in large firms, at the expense of employees in small firms.
    • New firm creation has increasingly come from openings of smaller firms, while consolidation has been rampant among the largest firms.
    • The economy has become less dynamic than it was during the 1990s, with relatively greater decreases in job activity at smaller firms.

    Taken overall, the data are consistent with economic/market conditions that

    • Are less hospitable to firms overall, and
    • Favor small firms for new innovations, but large firms for continued market success.

    Factors consistent with this environment include

    • More regulations, capture by special interests, and/or uncertainty over-all that inhibit business activity;
    • Regulations, capture by special interests,  and/or uncertainty that favor large firms over small firms (e.g., Obamacare, bank regulations that favor large and/or less risky loans over small/more risky loans, minimum wage laws, etc.);
    • Bureaucracy in larger firms that prevents new ideas from developing and/or gaining traction; and