Openness vs. Economic Interest

Nick Carr: “Openness is not only the technological structure of the net but also its reigning ideology. But it would be a naive mistake to assume that economic interest will inevitably lose out to technological structure in determining the future shape of the commercial internet.”

Well said. And relevant to more than the issue it was written in response to — whether MySpace will try to suck value out of services like YouTube and PhotoBucket that leverage its user base.

But “economic interest” also isn’t as simple as the traditional approach would suggest. As Umair Haque explains, in today’s world, exclusivity isn’t an effective route to sustainable value creation either.

Enlightened self-interest (typified, so far, by Google) will carry the day. Although as behavioral economics demonstrates, we can’t ignore the fact that real people and real companies often don’t act that way.