Axiom 3

Recommended Citation

"Axiom 3", Global Problem Solving, December 10, 1999,

axiom 1 – metcalf’s law

axiom 2 – early entrants win the field

axiom 3 – significance precedes momentum

axiom 4 – standards as power

axiom 5 – producer and consumer utility

axiom 6 – gatekeepers, intermediaries, and the attention deficit

axiom 7 – positive feedback loops

axiom 8 – differentiation of products and pricing

axiom 9 – switching costs and lock-in

axiom 10 – free information: cooperation in a competitive environment


Axiom 3 – Significance Precedes Momentum

In the past, an innovation’s momentum indicated significance. Now, in the network environment, where biological behavior reigns, significance precedes momentum(Kelly, 35).

The products new purchasers learn about depends on which products the previous purchasers “polled” or sampled and decided to buy. They are therefore likely to learn more about a commonly purchased product than one with few previous users. Hence, where buyers are risk-averse and tend to favor products they know more about, products that by chance win market share early on gain an information feedback advantage. Under certain circumstances a product may come to dominate by this advantage alone (Arthur and Lane, 69).

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