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

Numerical Example

For a specific configuration of parameters, HW will see 10% of potential users adopt the new system under any of the following combinations of

  • price of new systems hardware,
  • installed base of new system users, and
  • portion of content for the new system:




In this example ten percent of potential adopters will adopt the new system:

  • when the price of new systems hardware is $250, AND
  • 1% of potential users have already adopted the system, AND
  • 9% of content is made available for the new system (with 71% available for the older system).

Alternatively, if only 1% of potential users have adopted the new system, but there is more content available, say 45%, then the same portion of potential users will adopt, 10%, but with more content available, the value of the system to users is higher.  In this case,they will be willing to pay $350 for the systems hardware, rather than $250 when only 29% of content is available.

The table illustrates that, for hardware-software technology systems, users are willing to pay higher prices for systems hardware, when either there is a larger installed base of users for the system and/or there is more content available.  On the flip side, adopters will not adopt new hardware-software technology systems at prices that are profitable for systems providers, unless or until there is either a sufficient large installed base of users and/or there is a sufficient amount of content available for the new system.