When Rajesh pointed out the site couchsurfing it made me think. Here is something that I cannot imagine being done without the internet. It took just a few people to build this community and bring so many people together, in such little time. In addition if you read about when it was almost destroyed by a disk crash and brough back to life by the community – it brought out the lasting nature of the creation. I thought wow, yet another example of metcalfs law.
But there is a combination of 4 laws (maybe you guys know some more) that all interact to bring about the incredible power on the internet.
Here they are:
Moore’s Law : Computing : Powers doubles every year.
Guilder’s Law : Communication : Bandwidth doubles very 9-12 months
Kryder’s Law : Storage: Capacity doubles every 24 months
Metcalf’s Law : Community: Value is proportional to N**2 where N is the number of participants
I often forget to factor in these laws when distect an idea and am then surprised by the results – that so few can achieve with so little.
It would be interesting to examine companies and ideas to see which laws are primarily responsible for their growth.