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

Users will adopt a new technology system if and when the value of the new system, net of costs, exceeds the value of the system currently being used.  More formally,

Users Adopt New Technology System If/When


The user adoption relationship displayed above has some important implications for new systems adoption:

  • During the early stages of adoption, networks for the new system will be small, whereas networks for the old (established) system will be large.  It follows that for the new system to be adopted during the early stages of its lifecycle, the Technology Value of the new system must be high.
  • Lifecycle dynamics and user adoption decisions also suggest that the validation of new systems by early adopters is the catalyst for achieving critical mass in the adoption of new systems.
  • If network effects are large, then content providers and users will be more reluctant to switch to new systems unless the technology value of new systems is very large or until sufficient sized networks for new systems are established.