Product Management and the inspirations around it - a Malaysian point of view.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

The Invisible Forces

Build services where there are invisible forces that make users do what they should do - Don't do centralized control - It's too much work and don't work well.
In the communist economy, there is no invisible force but a centralized control to control prices of good etc. So, often there is imbalance in supply and demand (too much of something produced and not enough of others) and inefficiencies. Hence, the communist economy did not work as in China before they
move to the capitalism. With capitalism, the invisible and distributed forces of supply and demand determine the prices of goods. It's a lot more efficient.
In internet services, we have eBay reputation system that helps manage the behavior of buyers and sellers. It is not controlled by eBay but eBay provide a platform with mechanisms that makes the buyer and seller behavior transparent. eBay does not pass judgment on the traders' behavior, they merely make the information available for the traders themselves to make the judgment before entering a trade.
Similarly, Wiki is a distributed system where so many people contribute and it had build one of the largest knowledge base in the world. Other examples include Google where a distributed system based on page links and smart algorithm helps in providing good search results versus more centralized human categories of directories created by Yahoo when it started.
Also, pricing can be used as a control. For example, when things are free, people might abuse it or not used it appropriately or value it.
~Mark Chang

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