Mon, Sep 09, 2013 - Page 9 News List

Structural rules of the Internet age laid out almost 80 years ago

By John Naughton  /  The Observer, LONDON

Coase first outlined his discovery in a lecture at Dundee University, in Scotland, in October 1932. He was 21 years old. His paper, “The Nature of the Firm,” was not published until 1937, though, and seems to have been largely ignored for the next half-century for reasons that only those familiar with the perversities of academic disciplines can fully understand.

Whatever the explanation, the fact remained that Coase’s great insight languished in relative obscurity until the Internet arrived and began to wreak its havoc on the industrial system.

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