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Transforming Global Information and Communication MarketsThe Political Economy of Innovation$
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Peter F. Cowhey and Jonathan D. Aronson

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780262012850

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: August 2013

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262012850.001.0001

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Modularity and Innovation

Modularity and Innovation

(p.65) 4 Modularity and Innovation
Transforming Global Information and Communication Markets

Peter F. Cowhey

Jonathan D. Aronson

Donald Abelson

The MIT Press

This chapter performs a thought experiment using the “fashion industry” as a metaphor for market change and technological innovation. The high-end fashion industry offers an alternative metaphor for understanding how modularity could open up new patterns of innovation and redefine markets. The elements of current information and communication technology (ICT) markets are investigated in order to illustrate the potential of the fashion industry metaphor: Apple and the terminal market, convergence and content, the rise of the “Personal Network Platform,” and fundamental R&D systems. The chapter also addresses the five stumbling blocks: bandwidth, compensation for exchanging traffic, new competition problems, content market problems, and transactional inefficiencies.

Keywords:   fashion industry metaphor, market change, technological innovation, modularity, ICT, Apple, Personal Network Platform, R&D systems

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