"If I was a designer, I wouldn't create a spaceship with a self-destruct button." Wise words from Cory Doctorow, who is probably more qualified than anyone to switch careers and start designing spaceships. His is a fair point and I would not want to have my car self-destruct if a stranger, alien or otherwise, were to board it without my permission. The point Doctorow is driving towards is the importance of connectivity.
As Graham has mentioned in the previous post, Whipcar.com is a simple innovation that allows individuals to generate another income stream through the power of the Whipcar network connecting "neighbors" with one another.
This model is not dissimilar to the keynote subject of Professor Iqbal Z. Quadir of the Legatum Center for Development and Entrepreneurship at MIT. Although not a new story, the establishment of the mobile phone network in Bangladesh (as with other emerging nations) created a network where further innovation was possible. "Connectivity is productivity," Quadir told us. And as with Whipcar, the network facilitates individual entrepreneurship. In Bangladesh, the mobile network facilitated commerce and a new financial services model.
Julie Meyer referred to this effect as the consumerisation of technology and a key factor underpinning the success of Skype -- another network innovation. Technology is at the heart of many of these innovations but communities, local or otherwise, cannot be ignored as was demonstrated by Arthur Potts Dawson, founder of The People's Supermarket. Could it be that the ease with which innovation occurs as a result of technological networks facilitates an entirely new wave of social connections?