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How the Internet Became Commercial


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Table of Contents

INTRODUCTION 1 1 Ubiquitous Clicks and How It All Started 3 THE TRANSITION 31 2 The White House Did Not Call 33 3 Honest Policy Wonks 65 4 A Taste of Champaign 97 5 Unleashing Commercial Iconoclasts 130 THE BLOSSOMING 157 6 How Not to Start a Gold Rush 159 7 Platforms at the Core and Periphery 187 8 Overcoming Two Conundrums 215 9 Virulent Word of Mouse 243 10 Capital Deepening and Complements 272 EXPLORATION AND RENEWAL 301 11 Bill Votes with a Veto 303 12 Internet Exceptionalism Runs Rampant 335 13 The Paradox of the Prevailing View 365 14 The High Cost of a Cheap Lesson in Wireless Access 392 EPILOGUE 417 15 Enabling Innovation from the Edges 419 Acknowledgments 443 References 447 Index 465

About the Author

Shane Greenstein is the Martin Marshall Professor of Business Administration and codirector of the program on the economics of digitization at the National Bureau of Economic Research. His books include Diamonds Are Forever, Computers Are Not and Standards and Public Policy.


Co-Winner of the 2016 Schumpeter Prize Competition, International Joseph A. Schumpeter Society "Essential reading for anyone who wants to understand the broader context in which the explosion of Internet-related innovation occurred."--Marc Levinson, Wall Street Journal "A welcome, well-conceived contribution to the history of technology."--Kirkus "Exciting reading."--Borsen "Definitely recommended."--Tyler Cowen, Marginal Revolution "This is the best book yet about the rise of the Internet."--David Warsh, Economic Principals "[A] detailed history of the Internet."--Foreign Affairs "Immensely informative."--Philadelphia Inquirer "Greenstein is not simply telling a colorful and important story. His analysis systematically explores why innovation and commercialization of the Internet emerged and evolved as it did and why innovation from the edges thrived and was so important."--Jonathan David Aronson, Journal of Communication

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