Anticipating network effects in the eighties

Anticipating network effects in the eighties
Photo by Julius Drost / Unsplash

As much as network effects have been the beating heart of the digital wave that submerged most markets since the early 2000s, in the eighties, they were still very much underappreciated.

Is the computer going to be the hula-hoop or the CB of the eighties, ask the journalist? This would be a fair question about virtual reality in 2020. And while Michael Dertouzos try to explain where the explosive growth will come from, the remarkable Joseph Weizenbaum doesn't see the implications yet. For him, the computer is simply a high-tech product, not a node in a growing business and personal network.

Both were already well-known figures at MIT.


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