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nivi

2^n comes from the fact that there are 2^n subsets in a set of size n.

For example, if n=2, there are 4 subsets in a set of size 2 (you have to count the empty set).

If n=3, there are 2^3=8 subsets.

Reed's law comes from the fact that if you have n people in a community, you have 2^n possible sub-communities.

Since "value" comes from forming communities, the value of a network that is good at forming communities scales at 2^n.

That's the theory anyway.

If you say that a sub-community is useless when it gets bigger than 150 people, then the right law to use is n^150.

David Foster

This kind of valuation model ignores a key factor--competition. It doesn't matter how valuable something is, people will get it from someone other than you if they can get it cheaper. Food is essential, but that's not reflected in stellar margins for farmers and grocery chains.

The idea that one company can fully control the network is, in most markets, naive. AT&Ts network, for example, is not a closed system; you can also communicate with people on MCI or Sprint. Very rarely does one see the kind of closed network that seems to be assumed in this model: Ebay is about as close as it gets.

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  • The Stalwart is a blog written by Joseph Weisenthal, covering such topics as stocks, business, economics, politics, technology, gambling, chess, poker, economics, current events, music, math, Chinese food, science, randomness, kurtosis, sports, evolutionary fitness, and anything else of the author's choosing. The words contained herein are the author's own, not affiliated with any other firm or employer.

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