Axiom 9

Recommended Citation

"Axiom 9", 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 9 – Switching Costs and Lock-in

Small consumer switching costs can constitute large barriers to entry, especially for mass-market products (Shapiro and Varian, 109).

The total cost of switching = costs the customer bears + costs the new supplier bears (Shapiro and Varian, 112).

When the costs of switching from one brand of technology to another are substantial, users face lock-in (Shapiro and Varian, 112).

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