Thursday, June 25, 2009

Standard Battles

Setting the standard is an important strategic asset. For example, if the Dutch would have been able to enforce the Dutch language to the rest of the world, for most of us it would be more difficult to communicate (unless you learned Dutch).

Fortunately for the non-Dutch, the Dutch are not able to do that anymore. (They had a chance around the 1640s - but decided to concentrate on the Dutch East India Company (and not the Dutch West India Company) and therefore lost control over Brazil in the Second Battle of Guararapes (1649) and later also lost control over Manhattan in 1664. Otherwise Brazil and the US would have spoken Dutch!

Geerten van de Kaa investigated Standards Battles for Complex Systems in the setting of home networks.

Home networks combine components and technologies from the consumer electronics industry, the information technology industry, the telecommunications industry, and the home automation industry. Irrespective of the fact that the home network has been technically possible for many years, it has not become a practical reality. A major reason is the lack of generally accepted common standards. In this dissertation we develop a framework with which we can explain and predict which standard will have the highest chance of achieving dominance. We applied the framework to several standards battles and it appeared that it can be used to explain these standards battles better, when compared to existing frameworks in the literature. We applied a multi-attribute utility approach to standard selection and provide a first indication of weights for factors. Also, we have studied two factors in depth: the diversity in the network of actors that support a standard; and the flexibility of the standard. We provide a first indication that these variables influence standard dominance positively and reinforce each other.

1 comment:

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