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Ubiquitous clicks and complements

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1 Author(s)
Greenstein, Shane ; J.L. Kellogg Graduate Sch. of Manage., Northwestern Univ., Evanston, IL

More generally, widespread use of a technology generates customers for small but essential after-sale activities. Costs for complements decline when the technology becomes widely used. In most cases, these costs reach their minimum long before every potential adopter employs the technology. Widespread use also has a way of encouraging the invention of complementary services that had not previously existed. In addition, widespread use also encourages the specialization of inventive energy. Demonstrating pervasiveness alleviates inventors' concerns that they must invent all the pieces of a system. The invention of complements for telephony provides many examples. A pervasive mobile communications infrastructure had been a standard element of technology visions. Other improvements required technical invention. The author ends the discussion of pervasive complements with a special but important case. It involves a market setting in which complements are best sold everywhere to every last person. When that is the case, it is possible for the last set of buyers to hold everyone else hostage

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Micro, IEEE  (Volume:26 ,  Issue: 5 )