In Defense Of Commoditization

from the it's-a-good-thing dept

A couple months back, there was yet another discussion about Nicholas Carr and his assertion that technology no longer matters, since it’s being commoditized and no longer offers any competitive advantage. At the time, I wrote an explanation about why commoditization is good for innovation, because commodities become inputs towards innovation, and (being commodities, after all) they’re cheap. Cheap inputs certainly can lead to greater innovation. It looks like Sun’s Jonathan Schwartz agrees. He describes why Sun is so desperately trying to standardize certain products to push along the commoditization process. This is not, as Carr would have you believe, to destroy competitive advantage, but to help build it. Of course, you could make the argument that Sun hasn’t done enough to really push for standardization — and even that their hesitation to go a standardized route has put the company in a very difficult position. Still, Schwartz’s thoughts are an interesting read. The ideas make sense, even if the implementation has been problematic.

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