Monday, August 02, 2004

Use of Railroad Metaphor in the Computer & Networking Industry

The 21 July 2004 blog by Jonathan Schwartz is a wonderfully simple, but very thought-provoking, discussion of how he believes Sun can monetize Java. He has explained the monetization approach by comparing technological components that Sun has created or contributed to - namely, NFS, Java, J2EE, Project Liberty, etc. - to railroad gauges. "Once the [railroad gauge] standards were set", he argues, "these companies saw a massive increase in opportunity to sell - not rails - but locomotives and rail cars." You cannot but appreciate the argument but, of course, the proper "locomotives and rail cars" to ride on the "bandwidth railroad" would need to be created, and the companies creating the "locomotives and rail cars" are the ones that will make the money.

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