Internet & Telecommunications

40 Results

 

When Will the Next Dot.com Bubble Burst?

Summing Up: Is that the sound of a dot.com bubble bursting? Could be, but is that a bad thing?, ask Jim Heskett's readers. Open for comment; 14 Comments posted.

Uncovering Racial Discrimination in the ‘Sharing Economy’

New research by Benjamin G. Edelman and Michael Luca shows how online marketplaces like Airbnb inadvertently fuel racial discrimination. Closed for comment; 1 Comment posted.

Twitter IPO: Overvalued or the Start of Something Big?

Although it has yet to make a dime, share buyers valued Twitter's IPO at $25 billion. Asks professor Chet Huber, what do they see? Open for comment; 1 Comment posted.

Exclusive Preferential Placement as Search Diversion: Evidence from Flight Search

Measuring the net effect of search diversion is important for understanding the extent to which search engines and other intermediaries may act to influence consumer behavior. This paper makes two contributions. First, the authors develop a theoretical model to establish conditions when a search engine chooses to divert search to a less relevant service. Results indicate that search engines have a larger incentive to divert search when they are able to alter the consumers' perceptions of the difference between non-paid and paid placements, and when search engines place a large weight on revenue. These results are consistent with instances where some search engines have labeled paid links with confusing euphemisms or not at all, and where some search engines have mixed paid and non-paid links in the same area of the screen. Second, the authors measure the impact of a diversion mechanism where a search engine exclusively awards a non-paid preferred placement slot to its own service. Specifically, they examine Google's preferred placement of Flight Search. Analysis indicates that there was an 85 percent increase in click-through rates for paid advertising and a 65 percent decrease in click-through rates for non-paid algorithmic search traffic to competing online travel agencies. Both changes are statistically significant, providing evidence of Google's ability to influence how consumers choose services after they search. Read More

New Winners and Losers in the Internet Economy

In a stressed US economy, employment in the Internet ecosystem is growing at an impressive rate, with small companies especially benefiting, according to a new study by Professor John A. Deighton and research associate Leora D. Kornfeld. Open for comment; 3 Comments posted.

How Will the “Age of Big Data” Affect Management?

Summing up: How do we avoid losing useful knowledge in a seemingly endless flood of data? Jim Heskett's readers offer some wise suggestions. What do you think? Open for comment; 33 Comments posted.

Pricing and Efficiency in the Market for IP Addresses

Every device connected to the Internet—from PCs to tablets, printers to cash registers—needs an IP address. The current addressing standard, IPv4, uses addresses with 32 binary digits, allowing approximately 4 billion IP addresses. The world's centralized supply of unused IP addresses reached exhaustion in February 2011, and networks in most countries will soon find they cannot easily obtain additional IPv4 addresses. While addresses may now be bought and sold, the institutions and rules of these transfers are not yet well-developed. Nor have economic models examined the unusual characteristics of this market. Benjamin Edelman and Michael Schwarz model the market for IPv4 addresses, including evaluating novel rules intended to avoid possible harms from the purchase and sale of IP addresses, as well as predicting price trends. Read More

Creating Online Ads We Want to Watch

The mere fact that an online video advertisement reaches a viewer's computer screen does not guarantee that the ad actually reaches the viewer. New experimental research by Thales S. Teixeira looks at how advertisers can effectively capture and keep viewers' attention by evoking certain emotional responses. Closed for comment; 6 Comments posted.

Mobile Banking for the Unbanked

A billion people in developing countries have no need for a savings account–but they do need a financial service that banks compete to provide. The new HBS case Mobile Banking for the Unbanked, written by professor Kash Rangan, is a lesson in understanding the real need of customers. Closed for comment; 27 Comments posted.

HBS Faculty on 2010’s Biggest Business Developments

Three Harvard Business School professors—former Medtronic chairman and CEO Bill George, economist and entrepreneurship expert William Sahlman, and innovation and strategy authority Rosabeth Moss Kanter—offer their thoughts on the most significant business and economic developments of 2010. Read More

Sponsored Links’ or ’Advertisements’?: Measuring Labeling Alternatives in Internet Search Engines

In processing a search for a particular phrase, Internet search engines generally offer two types of results: the algorithmic results, which a search engine selects based on relevance, and the "sponsored links," for which advertisers pay. The latter often occupy prominent screen space. But does the average web surfer realize that they are advertisements? In an online experiment, Harvard Business School professor Benjamin Edelman and doctoral candidate Duncan S. Gilchrist show that "sponsored link" is too vague a term for some users to understand, and that "paid advertisement" is a label that better clarifies the nature of the link. They call on the FTC to compel search engines to improve their disclosures. Read More

The Effect of Market Leadership in Business Process Innovation: The Case(s) of E-Business Adoption

The connection between market leadership and the adoption of new technologies is central to understanding how firms maintain or gain competitive advantage over time. One key determinant of firm openness to either product or process innovation is how radical or incremental a particular change is for the organization. Using the context of IT-enabled business processes for e-buying and e-selling, a setting that offers a complementary view to studies that have focused on R&D expenditure and patents as measures of innovation, HBS professor Kristina McElheran sheds light on whether, when, and why market leaders might be more likely to adopt new innovations. This study represents the first robust, multi-industry evidence that market leaders are far more likely to adopt incremental rather than radical business process innovations. Read More

How Much Obsolescence Can Business and Society Absorb?

This month's question brought out both the poets and the engineers among respondents. The rapid pace of new technology adoption within organizations implies change for management and society, says HBS professor Jim Heskett. How does change affect the open sharing of information? (Forum now closed; next forum begins May 1.) Closed for comment; 41 Comments posted.

Running Out of Numbers: Scarcity of IP Addresses and What To Do About It

Hidden from view of typical users, every Internet communication relies on an underlying system of numbers to identify data sources and destinations. Users typically specify online destinations by entering domain names (e.g. "congress.gov"). But the Internet's routers forward data according to numeric IP addresses (e.g. 140.147.249.9). To date, the Internet has enjoyed an ample supply of "IPv4" IP addresses, but demand is substantial and growing. Current allocation rates suggest IPv4 exhaustion by approximately 2011. A new numbering system, IPv6, would relieve scarcity, but incentives hinder transition: IPv4 works well for existing networks, and offers easier and simpler access to existing Internet content and services. As a result, to date few networks have begun to support v6. In principle regulators could order networks to implement v6, but the applicable Internet coordinating organizations lack authority or power to force such a transition. In the meantime, a market mechanism for v4 addresses offers important benefits, including allocating scarce v4 addresses to those who need them most, and putting a positive price on v4 space in order to encourage transition to v6. Thus, it seems v4 transfers can help both to mitigate the worst effects of v4 scarcity, and to build the incentives necessary for transition to v6. Read More

When the Internet Runs Out of IP Addresses

Experts predict that within three years we will see the last of new Web addresses. What will happen then? The best solution is to create a market for already assigned but unwanted numbers, says Harvard Business School professor Ben Edelman. Read More

Delivering the Digital Goods: iTunes vs. Peer-to-Peer

Apple's iTunes music download service and illegal peer-to-peer music downloads offer two contrasting approaches to delivering digital content to users. Can Apple and the recording industry seriously compete against free? Do iTunes and p2p help each other in some ways? Professor Ramon Casadesus-Masanell and collaborator Andres Hervas-Drane discuss their recent research on competition in digital distribution. Read More

How Software Platforms Revolutionize Business

Cell phones, the Game Boy, and PCs are examples of products based upon software platforms—ecosystems where independent companies can provide products and services tied to the core technology. Playing in a software platform world can make you rich—ask ringtone creators—but it also demands special management skills that emphasize cooperation over competition. Professor Andrei Hagiu discusses his new book, Invisible Engines. Read More

Lessons from the Browser Wars

The first-mover advantage is well chronicled, but it didn't help Netscape when Microsoft launched Internet Explorer. What drives technology adoption, and do browser upstarts such as Firefox stand a chance? A Q&A with professor Pai-Ling Yin. Read More

Economic and Technical Drivers of Technology Choice: Browsers

Did Microsoft defeat Netscape in the browser war because its technology was better, or because MS created a better business strategy? The authors draw on the 1996-1999 browser battles to examine technical progress versus economic forces in driving diffusion on new technologies. Read More

The Broadband Explosion: Thinking About a Truly Interactive World

When true broadband arrives, everything will change—work, play, and society—say professors Robert Austin and Stephen Bradley. What a truly interactive world will look like is the subject of their new book The Broadband Explosion. Read More

Confronting the Reality of Web Services

Web services have made huge strides, but two hurdles remain, one technical, the other organizational, says HBS professor Andrew P. McAfee. "It is in fact getting easier to integrate applications, but it's never going to be easy." Read More

Amazon, eBay and the Bidding Wars

"Sniping" is a popular way of winning a bid in the world of online auctions. But how far can it change the playing field? HBS professor Alvin Roth takes a look at how bidding rules change the way the game is played. Read More

How to Harness Auction Fever

HBS assistant professor Deepak Malhotra talks about the phenomena of "auction fever" in which bidders are driven to win at irrational costs. Read More

Start to Measure Your E-commerce Success

After the dot-com fallout, surviving companies needed to sharpen strategy and analyze metrics much better. Visiting professor Marc J. Epstein shows how to put metrics to work. Read More

Music Downloads: Pirates—or Customers?

Professor Felix Oberholzer-Gee and co-author Koleman Strumpf floored the disbelieving music industry with their findings that illegal music downloads don’t hurt CD sales. Oberholzer discusses what the industry should do next. Read More

How Hot is the “Hot Spot” Business?

Wi-Fi hot spots and the future of broadband were on the minds of attendees at the Bandwidth Explosion colloquium at Harvard Business School. Read More

Web Services

Web services are being touted as the latest, greatest technologies. So late, in fact, they aren't even on most of the general public's radar yet. And so great that they just may jumpstart the sluggish tech market. Read More

Here Comes Internet2—Time to Shed Dot Vertigo

Managers who believe the Internet is dead and gone do so at their own peril, says HBS professor Richard L. Nolan, who's studied computer use in organizations for many years. Watch out for a new kind of Internet, he says: Internet2. Read More

How to Fashion Your New E-Business Model

In this chapter from The E-Business Handbook, HBS professor Lynda M. Applegate considers the future of E-Biz models. Her advice for satisfying customers who want tailor-made service? Get vertical. Read More

Read All About It! Newspapers Lose Web War

Newspapers saw a threat to their livelihood from the Internet, and aggressively put their own competing products online. Problem is, says Harvard Business School professor Clark Gilbert, they didn't take advantage of the power of disruptive technology. Read More

Why the Internet Doesn’t Change Everything

Think the Web changes everything? HBS professor Debora L. Spar isn't convinced. And she has the research on hundreds of years of technological upheaval to back her up. Read More

E-Commerce Unplugged

Clearly "mobile commerce"—shopping with wireless devices—is a powerful new way to grab consumers. But don't think of this as business as usual, says HBS professor Nitin Nohria and collaborator Marty Leestma. Read More

Why dot.coms Will Rise Again

Think dot.coms are down for the count? Think again. Dot.coms will exert an ever-greater impact on business, according to HBS professors F. Warren McFarlan and Dorothy A. Leonard. Read More

Strategy and the Internet

Don't throw the strategy baby out with the Internet bath water. In this Harvard Business Review article, HBS professor Michael E. Porter urges business planners not to lose focus on strategic development and competitive advantage, but to recognize the Internet for what it is: "an enabling technology." Read More

The Ten Deadly Mistakes of Wanna-Dots

HBS professor Rosabeth Moss Kanter outlines the ten favorite ways to fail—and two stories to show there's still hope for companies that want to cross the digital divide. Read More

Riding the Internet Fast Track

On the Internet Express, getting big fast is the strategy of choice. But is it right for everyone? HBS Professor Thomas R. Eisenmann looks at key factors that can help a company decide. Read More

Linking the Globe: The Role of Media and Communications

The media industry today is at its most critical juncture since an earlier rush of new technologies made mass media possible. Top executives from three global media firms—Bertelsmann, Vivendi and Reuters—joined HBS Professor Debora Spar in Berlin for a look at the industry at the crossroads of the Information Revolution. Read More

Presentation Round-Up

This round-up of other panels and presentations at the IS2K conference includes a look at the emerging "e-service" model, the future of the U.S. telecommunications infrastructure, and a discussion of "Genes on the Web." Read More

Market Makers Bid for Success

Two CEOs at the forefront of the transformation in the way businesses buy and sell goods—Scott Randall of FairMarket (HBS MBA '87) and Glen Meakem of FreeMarkets (HBS MBA '91—spoke with Professor Bill Sahlman recently about their paths to new business models and what they've learned along the way. Read More

Throwing Your Opponent: Strategies for the Internet Age

Competition in the age of the Internet means more than simply moving at warp speed, according to HBS Professor David Yoffie and Michael A. Cusumano of MIT, co-authors of Competing on Internet Time: Lessons from Netscape and Its Battle with Microsoft. Yoffie and Cusunamo advocate a "judo strategy" emphasizing speed, flexibility and a capacity to find and exploit sources of advantage. Their research points to a new way of staying competitive in the information economy. Read More