In the network economy, success is self-reinforcing: it obeys the law of increasing returns.

—Kevin Kelly, founder, Wired magazine

CONNECTING THINGS CREATES GREAT POWER. A link, a channel, a highway—all act as permanent conduits over which many things can flow. Networks, pathways between many nodes, have always been important to the economy. Consider the US interstate highway system, which was authorized by President Eisenhower in 1956. As the system spread across the country, connecting cities and towns, workers and farmers, it facilitated a great flow of things—physical things like oil, machinery, and goods, and also people, with their services and ideas. Once the backbone was built, a steady stream of new things, ...

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