Do Walled Gardens Promote Innovation?
from the not-that-I-can-see dept
Hazlett then uses the example of i-mode as another example of a success story of a walled garden -- but ignores that it was actually the freedom and openness aspect of i-mode that made it an initial success -- and it was the closed nature that later limited it. By enabling many developers to compete, real innovations were created. It wasn't because it was a walled garden, but because the folks behind the project recognized the benefit of being quite open within that platform. Hazlett also seems to ignore the longer term history of most walled garden platforms. They may have initial success by creating a limited sandbox, but almost all of them eventually suffer as people go in search of more open and more innovative platforms. That's what happened with AOL. It's also partly what caused i-mode to stumble when it was unable to keep up with the innovation of others in the space. So, yes, it's true that mandatory openness may not make sense, but it's a huge leap to go from there to saying that walled gardens promote innovation. Walled gardens simply leave open the opportunity for someone else to innovate a more open solution.