More than fifty years ago, Joseph Schumpeter stated that processes intrinsic to a capitalist society produce a "creative destruction," whereby innovations destroy obsolete technologies, only to be assaulted in turn by newer and more efficient rivals. This book asks whether the current chaotic state of the telecommunications and related Internet industries is evidence of creative destruction, or simply a result of firms, governments, and others wasting valuable resources with limited benefits to society as a whole. In telecommunications, for example, wireless, IP, and cable-based technologies are all fighting for a share of the market currently dominated by older, circuit-switched, copper-terminated networks. This process is accompanied by mergers, acquisitions, bankruptcies, and investment and divestment in worldwide markets.
The selections discuss the primary challenge facing firms, governments, and other players: how to exploit the opportunities created by such destructive dynamics. They highlight the importance of national regulations promoting competition and nonmonopolistic market structures, as well as the role of new technologies such as the Internet in driving down the price and speeding the diffusion of innovative products and services in telecommunications, media, electronic retailing, and other "new economy" industries.
About the Editors
Raul L. Katz is Partner in Communications, Media and Technology Group of the international management and technology consulting firm Booz-Allen & Hamilton.
Paul M. Vaaler is Associate Professor in the Department of Strategic Management & Organization, University of Minnesota.
Lee W. McKnight is Associate Professor in the School of Information Studies at Syracuse University.
"For those who need to learn how to navigate through the world-shaking storms of innovation that characterize the Information Age, this lucid and insightful volume is required reading."--Reed Hundt, Author of “You Say You Want A Revolution: A Story of Information Age Politics," and former chairman of the Federal Communications Commission
"Of course the Internet will bring new business models, new revenue streams, new organizations and new services, but it is difficult to move beyond short-sighted or self-serving hype. Where does a thoughtful reader go for an accessible and balanced analysis of structural changes? This book contains challenging and ambitious essays from experts at the front lines of business and academia. It is essential reading for anyone thinking about the scope of the transformation taking place across the communications industry."--Shane Greenstein, Kellogg Graduate School of Management, Northwestern University
"I wish I had been able to read the book prior to my appointment as Chief Technologist at the Federal Communications Commission. The book's clear and informative explanation of the policy and economic implications of communication changes were stimulating and will be extremely valuable to me in my future activities in the technology policy area."--David J. Farber, Alfred Filter Moore Professor of Telecommunications, University of Pennsylvania, and Chief Technologist of the FCC
"As information networks and services converge and transform themselves from vertically-integrated to horizontally-stratified players, untold disruption is inevitable. Why and how these tectonic forces are taking shape is a vital question to strategic planners in related industries everywhere. This book shines new light upon how tomorrow's winners (and losers) are reacting now."--Doug Bulleit, Chief Strategist, BellSouth Corporation