Dumb Networks and Smart Capital

Wriston, Walter B.


The Marriage of Computers and Telecommunications


Today we have a wholly new situation. The marriage of computers with telecommunications has created a truly global market in everything from money to stocks to commodities. The magnitude of the change is illustrated by the fact that today "All the world's businesses spend more on telecommunications each year than they do on oil" [2] . Indeed this capital investment has provided the world with a new kind of energy. These huge networks--public and private--have even created a new kind of an economy, a network economy in which the law of increasing returns operates: the more people connected to the network or the clearinghouse, or your fax machine, the more valuable it becomes.


[2] Maass, P. (1997) "Welcome to Silicorn Valley." Wired (September): 134.