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The Platform Revolution and the Shape of Change

To understand the powerful forces that are being unleashed by the explosion of platform businesses, it helps to think about how value has long been created and transferred in most markets. The traditional system employed by most businesses is one we describe as a pipeline. By contrast with a platform, a pipeline is a business that employs a step-by-step arrangement for creating and transferring value, with producers at one end and consumers at the other. A firm first designs a product or service. Then the product is manufactured and offered for sale, or a system is put in place to deliver the...

Diamandis & Kotler on Exponential Progress

Over the past 150,000 years, Homo sapiens evolved in a world that was “local and linear,” but today’s environment is “global and exponential.” In our ancestor’s local environment, most everything that happened in their day happened within a day’s walk. In their linear environment, change was excruciatingly slow— life from generation to the next was effectively the same— and what change did arrive always followed a linear progression. To give you a sense of the difference, if I take thirty linear steps (calling one step a meter) from the front door of my Santa Monica home, I end up thirty...

Kevin Kelly on the Technium

We created the technium, so we tend to assign ourselves exclusive influence over it. But we have been slow to learn that systems—all systems—generate their own momentum. Because the technium is an outgrowth of the human mind, it is also an outgrowth of life, and by extension it is also an outgrowth of the physical and chemical self-organization that first led to life. The technium shares a deep common root not only with the human mind, but with ancient life and other self-organized systems as well. And just as a mind must obey not only the principles guiding cognition but also the laws...

Antifragile

Hydra, in Greek mythology, is a serpent-like creature that dwells in the lake of Lerna, near Argos, and has numerous heads. Each time one is cut off, two grow back. So harm is what it likes. Hydra represents antifragility.   The sword of Damocles represents the side effect of power and success: you cannot rise and rule without facing this continuous danger—someone out there will be actively working to topple you. And like the sword, the danger will be silent, inexorable, and discontinuous. It will fall abruptly after long periods of quiet, perhaps at the very moment one has gotten used...

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