Wednesday, March 15, 2006

VON Day 0 - Innovation by Kids 

The Spring VON 2006 started fulminantly at 8:30pm with the keynote by Lawrence Lessig. It was really a pity that Lawrence had to leave immediately afterwards, because this presentation had deserved a larger audience. His speech was over one hour, so I am not able to reproduce it here. But Jeff recorded the presentation on Video, so I hope it will be available soon, because it is a must see.

The key message was that either the owner of the network controls the innovation or that in an unowned network the right to innovate is not controlled. This is valid for applications but also for content. He had also a nice example on discrimination: the power company could also demand more money if you use the power for a heart monitor and not just for heating, because this creates more value. Lawrence brought some interesting examples of applications and content innovation done by "kids and non -Americans", e.g. starting with Kahn/Cerf (kids at that time), the web (done by CERN), ICQ, Skype, etc. He showed also some really interesting and also funny examples how kids modify and innovate content on the net. IMHO (and also by Lawrence) the best example see at and look at Read My Lips. Lawrence said laywers have problems with this "because this is not funny". The audience in the room was ROTFL.

The essence of his speech was that end-to-end is more valuable for the economy than walled garden networks and he ended with the already famous statements from Whitacre.

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