Why is network anatomy so important to characterize? Because structure always affects function.

– Steven H. Strogatz

Networks that seek commercial success must develop and maintain the ability not only to change in the face of highly competitive environments, they must also be able to adapt in ways that influence that environment.

– Robert Rycroft

“Everyday inventors don’t let themselves be limited like the rest of us do. They open their minds to the possibilities.”

– Rini Paiva, US National Inventors Hall of Fame

Yet the secret of evolution is the continual emergence of complexity. Simplicity brings a spareness, a grit; it cuts the fat. Yet complexity makes organisms like us possible in the first place.

– W. Brian Arthur

Natural selection may explain the survival of the fittest, but it can not explain the arrival of the fittest.

– Hugo De Vries

User demand for new systems software depends on:
  • The number of users who have adopted the new system -- the more new systems users there are, the greater will be the demand for new systems content.
  • The amount of content supplied for the new system and the degree to which later content complements (enhances the value of) or substitutes for earlier content -- the greater the degree of content complementarity, the more content will be demanded as more content is supplied.  In contrast, when content is more substitutable, then user demand for content will become saturated, that is, it will be relatively lower when more content is available.
  • The price of new systems content -- lower prices lead to greater demand.

Numerical Example

For a specific configuration of parameters, the simulation model suggests that SW will see the following demand for new systems content when the price of content is $25:


In this example, when 20% of potential users have adopted the new system and 25% of content is supplied for the new system, then users will demand that 95% of content be available for the new system.  For this scenario, the demand for new systems content, 95%, is greater than the supply, 25%.  In this case, then, SW should either switch over more of his resources away from the production of old systems content and toward the production of new systems content, or raise the price of new systems content.

Alternatively, when only 5% of potential users have adopted the new system and SW has made 30% of content available for the new system, the supply of content, 30%, exceeds demand, 6%.  In this case, SW should either decrease his supply of new systems content or decrease his price.