Category Archives: information revolutions

Business Organization for this Information Revolution

In each of the five preceding information revolution a new way of organizing has emerged

An excellent article by Gar Alperovitz “The New-economy movement” identifies a number of new organizational forms.

The history of the last 2 information revolutions (printing press and telegraph/tele

phone) suggests, that business organizations where decision makers with the long term interest in the survivability of the company will win. Therefore ESOPs where line workers are involved in management will be the most successful.

For more on previous information revolutions see Winning Information Revolutions: from the Ice age to the Internet


America catching the "British Disease"

I've been waiting for an account to make a comment on “Is America Catching the “British Disease?”” by Barry Eichengreen but it is not coming through so here's my comment.

Part of the British sickness started earlier with the electric information revolution – the information revolution that followed the introduction of trains, the telegraph, and the telephone.

The British attitude toward the telephone was captured by Sir William Preece who was the chief engineer of the British Postal Service who said:

    I fancy the descriptions we get of its use in America are a little exaggerated, though there are conditions in America which necessitate the use of such instruments more than her

    e. Here we have a superabundance of messengers, errand boys and things of that kind… The absence of servants has compelled Americans to adopt communication systems for domestic purposes. Few have worked at the telephone much more than I have. I have one in my office, but more for show. If I want to send a message – I use a sounder or employ a boy to take it.

But modern communications were necessary for the running of large scale industry and the switching network used for the telegraph and telephone inspired the first organizational chart introduced by Daniel McCallum of the Pennsylvania Railroad. It made the growth of large scale industry possible.

For more see my book in progress, “Winning Information Revolutions: Hunter/Gatherers to Internet 2.0” being posted at: