The following books are ranked by relevance and degree of insight to understanding the new economy. This list starts with those I found most pertinent and ends with those that served as background. Left unlisted are many good books on economics and new business that contained only a few relevant ideas to this subject. Some of these additional resources are mentioned in my source notes. Following the annotated books is a list of useful web sites which have the best and most current material.
Information Rules: A Strategic Guide to the Network Economy, by Carl Shapiro and Hal R. Varian. Harvard Business School Press, 1998. If you want to go beyond the fundamental principles outlined in my book, try this one. This book is the best overview of the network economy yet, rigorously written by two bona fide economists, with careful analysis and plenty of real-life examples. Their emphasis is on high-tech and online environments, but their understanding is on target and widely applicable. Five stars.
Enterprise One to One: Tools for Competing in the Interactive Age, byDon Peppers and Martha Rogers. Doubleday, 1997. An excellent investigation into the future shape of relationships in the new economy. I learned all kinds of unexpected things from this well-written and witty book. It is very pragmatic about business tactics (how to get your company to interact with customers), but it also articulates useful economy principles at the strategic level as well. The authors seem to have an intuitive grasp of how the new economy is unfolding.
Net Gain: Expanding Markets Through Virtual Communities, by John Hagel III and Arthur G. Armstrong. Harvard Business School Press, 1997. A highly original and extremely insightful view of the new economy seen through the lens of commercial communities. It shifts focus away from firms or customers and onto emerging networks. It sees virtual communities as serious business. Although not economic in its sensibilities, this is one of the best books about the network economy. Highly recommended.
The Rise of the Network Society, by Manuel Castells. Volume 1 of the Information Age. Blackwell Publishers, 1996. A dense, sprawling, comprehensive vista of the ongoing transformation of society by network technologies. Castells is a sociologist with a Europeans bent for the large-scale sweep of history. This book, the first in a trilogy, is a catalog of evidence for the arrival of a new global, networked-based culture. The immense scope of this change is reflected in the immense, and at times unwieldy, scope of this book. Castells literate and broad view is what makes it worthwhile.
Blur: The Speed of Change in the Connected Economy, by Stan Davis and Christopher Meyer. Addison-Wesley, 1998. Further explorations of the consequences of the network economy. The authors list three primary forces overturning the old order: speed, intangibles, and connectivity (which parallel my three of globalization, intangibles, and connectivity). They have lots of business examples and yet more strategies.
Unleashing the Killer App: Digital Strategies for Market Dominance, by Larry Downes and Chunka Mui. Harvard Business School Press, 1998. Despite the slightly misleading title, this book celebrates the network economy. It arrives at similar conclusion as I do, and it even has its own list of new rules (on page 77). However, its focus is on the practical creation of a business service or product in the new economy. It is not as methodical or complete as Information Rules, but I think it is a good general businesspersons introduction.
Webonomics, by Evan I. Schwartz. Broadway Books, 1997. Schwartz focuses very specifically on the practical problems of using web sites to create commerce. His nine principles for doing business on the web wont hold true for the entire new economy, but they are pointed in the right direction. If you are running a commercial web site, his advice is certainly helpful.
The Digital Estate: Strategies for Competing, Surviving, and Thriving in an Internetworked World, by Chuck Martin. McGraw-Hill, 1996. A super book for getting a feel for the new online business culture. Martin gives you a visceral sense of the tremendous cleverness, brilliant innovations, and experimental business models happening "out of sight" on the web. Hes a great tour guide to this strange new territory, and the best way to get a sense of "whats happening" in online commerce.
The Economics of Electronic Commerce, by Andrew B. Whinston, Dale O. Stahl, and Soon-Yong Choi. Macmillan Technical Publishing, 1997. Electronic commerce is barely born and already has its textbook. This one is a pretty good textbook, too. The material is wonderfully interdisciplinary, covering economics, engineering, finance, and marketing. In addition to the usual papers and book references, the authors also list plenty of relevant web site urls. For doing business online, this textbook is better than having an MBA.
The Digital Economy: Promise and Peril in the Age of Networked Intelligence, by Don Tapscott. McGraw-Hill, 1996. In a not very organized fashion, this book wanders through some of the emerging dynamics of the network economy. There are lots of examples of new economy business, but with little theory, and a minimum of analysis. Overall, he is good at picking out new economy business trends.
Electronic Commerce: A Managers Guide, by Ravi Kalakota and Andrew B. Whinston. Addison-Wesley, 1997. One of those books that are very timely at the moment, but will date quickly. Here is everything known in 1997 about managing electronic commerce on a web site. How to do firewalls, transaction security, and electronic payments from the view of a nonprogramming mid-level manager. If the authors are smart, theyll keep this tome updated.
The Weightless World: Strategies for Managing the Digital Economy, by Diane Coyle. Capstone Publishing, 1997. This book, unlike many of the others listed here, is more concerned with the economic consequences, rather than the business implications, of the new economy. Coyle begins to grapple with the issues such as welfare, governance, and policy decisions which a "weightless" world of information will demand. Another way of saying this is that Coyle often considers the downsides of the new economy. Such questioning is sorely needed.
Release 2.0: A Design for Living in the Digital Age, by Esther Dyson. Broadway Books, 1997. A pretty good primer aimed at lay people explaining the social consequences of network society and culture. Covers a full range of topics from privacy to identity to communities and intellectual property. Sort of like a orientation tour of this exotic tomorrowland.
The Age of the Network: Organizing Principles for the 21st Century, by Jessica Lipnack and Jeffrey Stamps. Oliver Wright Publications, 1994. Despite its very new-agey tone, this book is useful as a background. It combines the understanding of everyday social networks with the understanding of electronic networks to provide some key insights into how human networks in general work. And it makes clear their increasing influence.
Bionomics: Economy as Ecosystem, by Michael Rothschild. Henry Holt and Company, 1990. A chatty amplification of a very fundamental metaphorthe economy behaves like a ecosystem. Buried in the stories about trilobites and bacteria, are some very keen insights about the network economy.
The Death of Competition: Leadership and Strategy in the Age of Business Ecosystems, by James F. Moore. HarperCollins, 1996. The closest analogy to a network is an ecosystem. Moore plumbs the biological metaphor in great detail and with more success, perhaps, than Bionomics does. I consider these ideas prime territory still waiting to be exploited. This book is a good start.
The Economy as an Evolving Complex System, edited by Philip W. Anderson, Kenneth J. Arrow, and David Pines. Addison-Wesley, 1988. Thepublished proceedings from a landmark workshop on ecological approaches to deciphering the economy. Very technical and academic, but also very revolutionary.
Increasing Returns and Path Dependence in the Economy, by W. Brian Arthur. University of Michigan Press, 1994. If you are willing to try unprocessed originals, the papers in this collection can illuminate the key and pivotal function of increasing returns. Written by the economist who coined the term, at least some of the papers are accessible and clear to lay readers.
The Winner-Take-All Society, by Robert H. Frank and Philip J. Cook. Penguin Books, 1995. Since there is a winner-take-most element to the network economy, this readable book-length essay is quite provocative.
Internet Economics, edited by Lee W. McKnight and Joseph P. Bailey. MIT Press, 1997. A well-chosen selection of scholarly papers outlining the economic problems created by internet commerce. Most questions in the compendium deal with the baffling problem of how to price services in a distributed environment. How should shared connections, or insurance, or occasional links be priced? How should traffic be regulated? What shape will money take? This is the engineers approach to economics.
The Death of Distance: How the Communications Revolution Will Change Our Lives, by Frances Cairncross. Harvard Business School Press, 1997. An accurate book, but with the thin and well-worn announcement that global communications are changing the world. Low on surprises or insight, but full of facts.
The Self-Organizing Economy, by Paul Krugman. Blackwell Publishers, 1996. A slim volume of fairly technical descriptions of how decentralized, bottom-up self-organization can shape some economic phenomenon, such as cities.
The Future of Money in the Information Age, edited by James A. Dorn. Cato Institute, 1997. Money, which is a type of information, is changing as fast as the economy it circulates in. This is an academic view of how money and financial institutions are transforming.
Digital Money: The New Era of Internet Commerce, by Daniel Lynch and Leslie Lundquist. John Wiley & Sons, 1996. Lynch, a founder of a digital cash system, paints a portrait of the new economy as viewed from the perspective of liquid, intangible e-money. The shape of money in the future is a huge, vital, and unknown question, one that I skirted for space reasons. This book is a great place to catch up.
Cybercorp: The New Business Revolution, by James Martin. Amacon, 1996. Martin is a legendary telecom guru who has written over a hundred books. This one is a jumble of buzz words, astounding insights, tired clichés, astute musings, interesting graphs, corny lessons, wonderful statistics, lame explanations, and bubbly enthusiasm. Hes often right, and he is focused on the new economy, but the reader will have to do the winnowing.
The Twilight of Sovereignty, by Walter B. Wriston. Charles Scribners Sons, 1992. Not as revolutionary as it was when it was first published in 1992, this short book still makes a very intelligible case for a new economy birthing. Wriston pays particular attention to the geopolitical impacts of a networked information economy.
Shared Minds: New Technologies of Collaboration, by Michael Schrage. Random House, 1990. Although not explicitly about networks or network technology, this book is about what happens when you use toolssuch as networksto create collaborations of minds, for both work and play. It is more about the future of business organization than most books advertised as such.
Regional Advantage: Culture and Competition in Silicon Valley and Route 128, by Annalee Saxenian. Harvard University Press, 1994. A wonderful book about the success of network culture in Silicon Valley, brought into relief by comparing it to the older, but less successful and less networked, high-tech culture based in the vicinity of Boston.
Innovation Explosion, by James Brian Quinn, Jordan J. Baruch, and Karen Anne Zien. The Free Press, 1997. If knowledge is the new capital, then innovation is the new currency. Quinn and colleagues do a masterful job of placing innovation as the central dynamic in a knowledge economy. They have rounded up anecdotes, statistics, and bullet points galore to create a believable case for why innovation is the key variable in the network economy.
Post-Capitalistic Society, by Peter Drucker. HarperCollins, 1993. An early picture of the coming new economy which has not aged a bit. Drucker is always worth reading.
Unlimited Wealth: The Theory and Practice of Economic Alchemy, by Paul Zane Pilzer. Crown Publishers, 1990. This one is an outlier, a little on the extreme side. More than most observers, Pilzer is not hesitant to speculate on the ways in which technology increases prosperity in an economy. His heretical ideas are refreshing.
The Third Wave, by Alvin Toffler. Bantam, 1980. A classic, and yet still incredibly up-to-date and informative. Tofflers 20-year-old profile of a new economy and new culture is more readable and more accurate than most depictions written since.
New Ideas from Dead Economists: An Introduction to Modern Economic Thought, by Todd G. Buchholz. Penguin Books, 1990. Most "new" ideas in economics, as in everything else, are not new at all. This compact volume is the best one-stop shop for extracting the best thoughts of previous economists. Painless and edifying, this text should be in every network economists library.
The Information Economy. http://www.sims.berkeley.edu/resources/infoecon// The most complete website for the new economy. This clear, wide-ranging, and very up-to-date site, run by economist Hal Varian, coauthor of Information Rules (see above), lists papers, works in process, and hundreds of links to other new economy sites. Almost any web site that is remotely connected to the information or network economy is linked here, including, for example, the follow two sites.
George Gilders Telecosm Index. http://homepage.seas.upenn.edu/~gaj1/ggindex.htmll Chapters of author George Gilders epic book-in-progress on the emerging telecommunications universe are archived here. Gilders thinking is seminal, and many of my own rules owe much to him. Keep an eye out for his book Telecosm, due out in late 1998; until then, these articles from Forbes are a real goldmine.
The Economics of Networks. http://raven.stern.nyu.edu/networks/site.html This site is primarily dedicated to examining the economic implications of communication networks. It is crammed with papers by the site organizer (economist Nicholas Economides), but also includes a very handy bibliography and master list of all other economists working on the economics of networks.