Kevin Kelly's

New Rules for the New Economy :
10 Radical Strategies for a Connected World

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Kevin Kelly is a visionary who sees the effects of the technologies in our new networked world on our economy, on society, and ultimately on the future of our lives.  To get a good idea of Mr. Kelly's writing ability and style, read the following quotes from his book Out of Control:

In the Me-Decades, the liberation of personal computers was just right. Personal computers were personal slaves. Loyal, bonded silicon brains, hired for cheap and at your command, even if you were only 13. It was plain as daylight that personal computers and their eventual high-powered offspring would reconfigure the world to our specifications: personal newspapers, video on demand, customized widgets. The focus was on you the individual. But in one of those quirks reality is famous for, the real power of the silicon chip lay not in its amazing ability to flip digits to think for us, but in its uncanny ability to use flipped switches to connect us. We shouldn’t call them computers; we should really call them connectors.

By 1992 the fastest-growing segment of the computer industry was network technology. This reflects the light-speed rate at which every sector of business is electronically netting itself into a new shape. By 1993, both Time and Newsweek featured cover stories on the fast-approaching data superhighway which would connect television, telephones, and the Sixpack family. In a few years -- no dream -- you would pick up a gadget and get a "video dialtone" which would enable you to send or receive a movie, a color photograph, and entire database, an album of music, some detailed blueprints, or a set of books -- instantly -- to or from anyone, anywhere, anytime.

Networking at that scale would truly revolutionize almost every business. It would alter:

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There is hardly a single aspect of business not overhauled, either directly or indirectly, by the introduction of networking logic. Networks -- not merely computers alone -- enable companies to manufacture new kinds of innovative products, in faster and more flexible ways, in greater response to customers’ needs, and all within a rapidly shifting environment where competitors can do the same. In response to these groundswell changes, laws and financing change, too, not to mention the incredible alterations in the economy due to the global 24-hour networking of financial institutions. And not to mention the feverish cultural brew that will burst as "the Street" takes hold of this web and subverts it to its own uses.

The challenge is simply stated: Extend the company’s internal network outward to include all those with whom the company interacts in the marketplace. Spin a grand web to include employees, suppliers, regulators, and customers; they all become part of your company’s collective being. They are the company.

(Note from Bill Slater: Mr. Kelly wrote this in 1994, before the World Wide Web was a widely accepted phenomemon.)

Mr. Kelly's quote about Communication from his book, the New Rules of the New Economy:

Communication is the foundation of society, of our culture, of our humanity, of our own individual identity, and of all economic systems. This is why networks are such a big deal. Communication is so close to culture and society itself that the effects of technologizing it are beyond the scale of a mere industrial-sector cycle. Communication, and its ally computers, is a special case in economic history. Not because it happens to be the fashionable leading business sector of our day, but because its cultural, technological, and conceptual impacts reverberate at the root of our lives.

And check out Mr. Kelly's 10 Radical Strategies from this book:

Ten Rules for the New Economy
Embrace the Swarm. A bit of intelligence in a lot of places—for example, a microchip on every can of soup in a grocery store—is better than a lot of intelligence in a single place.
Increase Returns. The value of a network like the Internet increases explosively the more people you add to it.
Plenitude, not scarcity, is key. The more people who use a technology, such as fax machines or automated teller machines, the more valuable it is. “Avoid proprietary systems,” Kelly writes, referring to online services such as America Online. “Sooner or later closed systems have to open up, or die.”
Follow the Free. Prices in today’s economy fall inexorably as products flood the market. Don’t fight it, because demand will rise faster than prices will fall. The only thing that is scarce is human attention.
Feed the Web first. People are loyal not to a company, but to a network, so spend your time setting standards and building on the ones that people have already accepted.
Let go at the top. To go from success to greater success, organizations must devolve—“do business less efficiently, with less perfection, relative to its current niche,” writes Kelly. That means “creative destruction,” or walking away from successful business practices.
Move from places to spaces. The economy is moving from a physically defined world to an electronic one, which leads to the rise of a new set of intermediaries and communities based on special interests. “The Net shifts from mass media to mess media,” Kelly writes.
No harmony means all flux. If a company settles into harmony and equilibrium, it will eventually stagnate and die. The key to robust growth for all industries is to imitate the history of the movie business, which transformed from the Hollywood studio system to a collection of freelancers.
Relationship tech. The goal of the network economy is to amplify relationships. Companies should go from creating what the customer wants, to remembering it, to anticipating it, to changing it. Encouraging customers to talk to one another and form affinity groups will make them smarter and more loyal.
Put opportunities before efficiencies. Don’t solve problems, pursue opportunities. Waste is a beneficial byproduct of creativity. If you want to make people more productive, give their work to a machine.


In his latest book, Mr. Kelly has clearly articulated the directions the world is headed in at warp speed and the new rules which will affect your future and everyone else's. This book is excellent. highly readable, and a must for the library of anyone who intends to be a winner in the future.  To miss the information in this book would be just like continuing to play by the rules of Parchesi when everyone else is now playing Monoply. Are you listening President Clinton, Vice President Gore, Congress, State and Local Leaders?

And it makes great a birthday present and/or Christmas present.   Go to and order yours today!


Bill Slater
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