We"ve explained what this book is about. We also should say what our book is not about and what distinguishes our approach from others.
First, this book is not about trends. Lots of books about the impact of technology are attempts to forecast the future. You"ve heard that work will become more decentralized, more organic, and more flexible. You"ve heard about flat organizations and unlimited bandwidth. But the methodology for forecasting these trends is unclear; typically, it is just extrapolation from recent developments. Our forecasting, such as it is, is based on durable economic principles that have been proven to work in practice.
Second, this book is not about vocabulary. We"re not going to invent any new buzzwords (although we do hope to resurrect a few old ones). Our goal is to introduce new terms only when they actually describe a useful concept; there will be no vocabulary for the sake of vocabulary. We won"t talk about "cyberspace," the "cybereconomy," or cyber-any-thing.
Third, this book is not about analogies. We won"t tell you that devising business strategy is like restoring an ecosystem, fighting a war, or making love. Business strategy is business strategy and though analogies can sometimes be helpful, they can also be misleading. Our view is that analogies can be an effective way to communicate strategies, but they are a very dangerous way to analyze strategies.
We seek models, not trends; concepts, not vocabulary; and analysis, not analogies. We firmly believe the models, the concepts, and the analysis will provide you with a deeper understanding of the fundamental forces at work in today"s high-tech industries and enable you to craft winning strategies for tomorrow"s network economy.