Critical Mass = ONE : You and Your Disruptive & Viral Idea !!!


((update May 7, PS.1 and 2))

1. A common misconception about innovation is that it will only take off beyond a certain number (critical mass) of users/ clients. Image: an airplane taking off from an airfield, it must first gather speed before the wings get enough ‘lift”. Others talk about the ‘tipping point‘ beyond which an innovation starts to spread. These concepts are borrowed from nuclear physics where beyond a certain threshold amount of a substance it can start a chain reaction, see: .

2. This notion is very well established and is often used by innovators to convince venture capital providers to continue funding a project during rollout because “the critical mass is nearly reached”. “We are just before the hockey stick bend in the curve”. Charming but untrue IMHO. There IS no sudden bend in the curve. That is only perception and clever use of graphic diagrams.

3. What happens in real life is that a very good idea/product/service is adopted when seen by other people like a virus they catch. And which they transmit (show) to several other people. The strength of a virus is not depending on the amount of people who have it but on its virality/ catchiness/ attractiveness.

Good ideas are not sold but are absorbed/adopted by users depending on their virality, and that can be measured from day one when it is made public.

Viral ideas grow in an exponential way, which means the spreading has an fixed doubling time. Note: you can P2P “infect” several people, etc. with your enthousism about this new thing, but the curve can be calculated back to doubling.

So to show you how this works, I list the doubling development in time:








128  (try this on your calculator app: 1 X 2  click on the = button)














What you may notice in this doubling sequence is:

a. It starts very flat, with slow growth of the amount of adopters. Hence the airfield image. Techno-nerds like me hate this since it is hard to convince digibete managers and others that anything is happening at all. “Such a small success of your invention” your boss will say. We geeks overestimate the impact in this starting phases.

b. After a while the doubling seems to grow through the roof. This is when the managers have to admit that they have underestimated your invention, and competitors will not be able to catch up with your product or service.

c. There is nowhere a bend in the curve. The point is that we tend to perceive growth in straight lines (see example of PS.1). So subconsciously we draw one nearly horizontal line through the “slow curve” of a. and another line nearly vertical through the explosion curve of b.  And where these to imaginary lines meet we think there is the sudden bend/ tipping point. Which is not there. This perception fault can be avoided by using a logarithmic scale for the vertical axis. In the example of PS.1   10, 100, 1000 each having a same distance on the vertical. The result is a straight line in which the real growth can be charted over many orders of magnitude.

So we have only one parameter to measure for the success of an innovation : The Virality (catchiness) which I defined as:  1/ doubling time ; [1/number of days]. And I introduced the W (double U) as the doubling time [days]. So Virality = 1/W .

[Note this definition is different from that of ‘the Viral Coefficient’ about response to invitations for a service, which does not include the TIME it takes to spread]

4. To be honest the curve will start to level off to horizontal after a while when every body who could get the virus had it. In other words, market saturation. This introduces a second parameter which unfortunately can only be measured very late in the curve: the total candidate population. Marketeers seldom quarrel about the virality but they do about estimates of the total user population size. I remember for is instance that for GSM Cell Phones the first rollout networks where built for a small number of company directors in BMW’s or Mercedeses who would ever be able to afford “car phones” as they where called then. Now about 6 of the 7 billion people on this planet use one or more cellphones !!

5. The most successful innovations that do make use of viral spreading are “Disruptive Innovations”, which can overcome obstacles on the rollout by intentional or mental limitations of the projected user size. For example Henry Ford after the invention of his very affordable T-Ford car had to wait ten years and fight a lobby of expensive carmakers like Olsmobile who did protect their market share with patents and not wanted him to make cars too cheap. Ford was a rebel who staged car races and sold the T-Ford to his own factory workers to break through the lobby barrier, see [1]. Yes he was disruptive. There are two kinds of innovation. Sustained innovation makes a certain product-line cheaper and adds performance and function improvements in new releases for the same capive client group. The other kind is Disruptive Innovation. This is generally characterized by:

it works and is implemented by users themselves, DIY, without asking anybody’s permission,

– and it reaches a much bigger and different client group, which grows bottom up,

– the price/performance is much better, although at the start of the innovation quality can be lower. But by doing people learn to improve it fast, resulting in superior products/services. So after a while the vested interest parties (like the expensive car makers) are forced stop their now outdated product line and join the new market.


An example of the critical mass of, well, two: Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak designed and built the Apple One kit and showed it at the Home Brew Computer Club in Silicon Gulch, as they called it for fun. And everybody there who saw it work WANTED ONE. The rest is history. So, young rebel, my advice to you is: develop your bright idea with some clever friends into something you can show to work, and watch people want it and then show it to their friends. Do not wait for state funding and planning, do not wait for greedy venture capital or reluctant bankers who want in on the act. Just start and DO invent.

PS.1 Example of forecasts with straight lines, while in reality it has exponential growth:

Example exponential

PS.2 Sure running a startup can be a rough ride with many ups and downs, which can differ from the doubling chart rose garden of theory, but do have patience and do not let you and your team be stopped by anyone !!!

startup reality

[1]  Market Rebels: How Activists Make or Break Radical Innovations, prof. Hayagreeva Rao

jaap van till, theConnectivist

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What Drives Us To Contribute to Society


Everybody wants to be appreciated by other members of the communities they are part of !!!

It makes you feel valued. And it is nice to do.

Parents often fail to show appreciation to their kids. It is so important for them, do not forget to do that.

jaap van till, theConnectivist

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How a Toronto professor’s research revolutionized artificial intelligence


Weavelet sheet

Great ! At last multi layer neural networks for pattern recognition and image correlation is breaking through.

And maybe we can at last learn more about how our mind works (most of that is still a mystery). IMHO we can stay way ahead of machine learning ever overtaking human learning, if we can harness this knowledge to networked GROUP learning and cooperation, by interconnecting people in a neural network structure. A weavelet as shown above, yielding collective intelligence !

Jaap van Till, TheConnectivist

Originally posted on Collective Intelligence:

Artificial intelligence research using neural networks has taken off, with a $400-million boost from Google, in part thanks to Canadian Geoffrey Hinton.

Three summers ago, at the age of 64, Geoffrey Hinton left his home in Toronto’s Annex neighbourhood to become an intern at Google. He received a propeller beanie stitched with the word “Noogler” and attended orientation sessions populated mostly by millennials, who seemed to regard him, in his words, as a “geriatric imbecile.”


from Artificial Intelligence

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Persbericht over publicatie van boek “De Verbonden Stad”

Foto boek

persbericht 15-04-2015  (als PDF)      Persbericht De Verbonden Stad  (in WORD format)


Oud Raadslid (Amsterdam) en Luud Schimmelpennink kan het niet laten, hij ‘provo’ceert nog steeds. Waar de gewone burger met een paar A4-tjes het recht heeft de gemeenteraad te adresseren, neemt Luud dit recht breed ter hand en stuurt een compleet boek als ‘raadsadres’ aan de gemeenteraad. Het is geen testament, zegt hij, maar wel een samenvatting en uitwerking van allerlei  ideeën over mobiliteit en diversiteit. Hij zegt: “Ik heb me altijd druk gemaakt over de witte fiets en de witkar, maar dat past in breder denken over mobiliteit en wat de functie van een stad is. Individueel openbaar vervoer past daar goed in, de delen-economie komt, met hulp van internet connectivity, steeds meer in zicht. “ Luud heeft, met hulp van een aantal deskundige auteurs, het idee van een ‘verbonden stad’ diepgaand uitgewerkt, waarbij de insteek vooral de mens, de burger, is. “Kunnen we voorbij de smart city kijken, naar wat werkelijk telt? Want techniek is mooi, en ik ben nog steeds bezig met technische concepten zoals een balanssysteem voor deelfietsen en gekoppelde mini-cars, maar het gaat om de mensen, wat willen die en hoeveel techniek kunnen we aan. Er dreigt een scheiding tussen de digitaal vaardigen en de achterblijvers, niet iedereen kan of wil participeren, en de overheid moet daar rekening mee houden.”

Vragen over mobiliteit, diversiteit, ecologie, veiligheid en vrijheid komen dus aan de orde in het boek ‘De Verbonden Stad’ van Luud Schimmelpennink, Jaap van Till, Lucia Lindner en Kyra Kuitert (uitgave Boekencoöperatie Nederland). De stad wordt steeds belangrijker en de zogenaamde smart city trend is wereldwijd aan de orde. Voorbij het implementeren van technologie is de echte stakeholder van de stad de 21-e eeuwse burger. Die kunnen we voorzien van nog meer bandbreedte, nieuwe media, robots, intelligente diensten en materieel comfort, maar wat zijn de echte behoeftes, de echte zorgen van de mens achter al die digitale wonderen.

De functie van de stad verandert, wordt steeds meer contactplatform, waar men elkaar fysiek ontmoet, uitgaat, vertier en winkels zoekt. De smart city gaat daarbij helpen, maar de fysieke ervaring van contact, sport, uitgaan en ‘naar de stad gaan’ mag niet ondergeschikt worden aan de sociale media en cyberspace interactie.

Kunnen we voorbij de techniek kijken naar wat een stad in essentie is, kan bieden en waar op het menselijke niveau de knelpunten liggen. Komen we wel uit met diversiteit, woonruimte-verdeling, inkomensverschillen, de milieuproblemen en wat doen we als er geen werk meer is? De titel maakt duidelijk maakt dat de basis-taak van een stad steeds meer ligt in het contact, in de verbondenheid. Het gaat om onderling contact tussen de burgers, virtueel contact via de sociale media, de netwerken en fysiek contact, ook met de instituties, het vermaak, de markt, de bestuurders en de brede wereld. Daarbij komen de begrippen mobiliteit en diversiteit naar voren, die worden in dit boek vanuit een breed kader belicht. De factoren die daarin meespelen komen aan bod in diverse bijdragen zoals hoe we een gezonde, veilige en ecologische stad kunnen maken, maar ook hoe we omgaan met de culturele diversiteit, hoe technologie en cyberspace kansen en bedreigingen biedt, hoe innovatie werkt. Dat vernieuwing en innovatie vanuit de mensen moet en kan komen wordt wel erkend, maar hoe bereik je dat; het boek geeft daarvoor een kader. Het gaat in op problemen, zoals dat kansarmoede en achterstelling heel nare gevolgen kan hebben zoals radicalisering van minderheden, dat er een digitale kloof dreigt en dat we rekening moeten houden met ander vervoer, andere winkels, en misschien ook andere burgers. Dat vraagt om een visie en een ethisch kader, die tegen het licht gehouden kan worden.

De uitkomst van die visies op wat de stad en vooral de burger van die stad nodig heeft, is een opdracht, een motto, samengevat in het woord doorbloeding. Voorbij termen als integratie, participatie, emancipatie, cohesie en innovatie is de conclusie dat de verbonden stad een organisch geheel is, en dat doorbloeding goed aangeeft waar het om gaat, namelijk om tot in de kleinste onderdeeltjes en op alle niveaus positieve energie te brengen en slechte afvalstoffen af te voeren.

Het boek, een verzameling essays van diverse auteurs, kwam tot stand als een vervolg op de politieke stellingname van de ‘Witte Stad’ partij, die uiteindelijk niet onder die naam meedeed aan de raadsverkiezingen van 2014 in Amsterdam. Luud Schimmelpennink, die onder die naam toen in de raad zat, stimuleerde het denken over wat een stad nodig heeft. Zijn bijdrage en die van de diverse auteurs laten zien dat je ook anders kunt denken over wat nodig is voor de verbonden stad van de toekomst.

Het delen (van hardware, functies, tijd) was voor Luud al vanaf de provo-tijd een strijdkreet, en wordt in dit boek gekoppeld aan de noodzaak en het mechanisme van contact. Dat contact kan op allerlei manieren, in netwerken of door je open te stellen voor de ander, maar draait altijd om verschillen, om diversiteit. Dat is geen angstig begrip, maar de basis voor welvaart, geluk, innovatie en ja, ook van chaos als het grenzen overschrijdt. Het managen van diversiteit is wat uiteindelijk overblijft als kerntaak van de (stedelijke) overheid, maar zien we terug in alle activiteiten in de stad, in de handel, het onderwijs, het wonen en werken. Daar wordt in dit boek indringend naar gekeken, met als uitgangspunt de zorg die de auteurs hebben voor een evenwicht tussen het creatieve, innovatieve en de behoefte aan stabiliteit en welvaart.

Dit boek is zeker geen loflied op de smart city en cyberspace, maar ontkent ook niet de mogelijkheden daarvan die door Amsterdam al met veel inzet worden onderzocht en geïmplementeerd. Het wijst terug naar de kerntaken van de stad, springt enigszins over de directe consequenties van de technologie heen, maar komt uiteindelijk met een heldere strijdkreet. Zorgen voor doorbloeding, zorgen dat naast de techniek en de materiële verworvenheden ook de immateriële verbondenheid iedereen bereikt.

Amsterdam heeft een hart, en dus bloed, laat het stromen!

U kunt een recensie-exemplaar aanvragen, maar de pdf staat op  als download. Foto’s op


Luud Schimmelpennink 0651599426 of 020 6263079

Boekencooperatie Nederland  (Ewout Storm van Leeuwen 0653849149)

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(NP9) Engines for the New Power: The Four Network Effects, version April 19

Netw eff 0

 Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

Everything wants to be connected“, is the famous ‘Renan Law’ of my friend and colleague Sheldon Renan. But, why does everything in the universe want that? What is this self-interest or incentive to connect? And what does one do after the technical connection? On how many levels and how strongly must we connect to achieve meaningful cooperation? And, what is even more difficult, to achieve cooperation between people with very different backgrounds?

There is a lot we can say about those questions, but let me first introduce some often-mentioned concepts or Networking Laws and see how they differ, so they are put in context and in perspective. I will avoid much of the mathematical symbols here, or put them double between brackets, since I know formulas can incite panic attacks in, for instance, sociologists and many other non-scientifically minded people.

First of all ‘Network Effects’ can be formally defined as: “How much does the Value change, proportional with the Number of people that participate in a network of connections/ relations”.

((The Value is noted ‘V’, and the number of reached people in the network is noted ‘N’)).

These effects are the engines for New Power (connected demand side, see [0]) and they make networks grow and interconnect. Growth of Value can trigger growth in wealth, job creation and prosperity so it is worthwhile to study and implement them.

Net effects1

1. Sarnoff’s Law for broadcasting networks, radio, TV and media publication & distribution.

The first networking effect is Sarnoff’s Law, that states that the value of an one-to-many information distribution network (SA: uitzaai) grows proportionally with the number of readers (books, newspapers)/ listeners (radio) / viewers (TV, movies). Or in other words: number of eyeballs of consumers. Such networks simply count viewers or views, without any regard for differences between or expectations of the users.

David Sarnoff has been able to convince with this ‘law’ the many local broadcasting stations in the US to interconnect and broadcast one or more nation-wide TV channels like ABC and NBC. More eyeballs, bigger audiences for the politicians and more value for the advertisers ! This network effect – more is better – is still the driving force behind ‘publicity’ and PR and is now in the process of being transposed on to online media on the Internet, where the media advertise themselves, insisting that us looking at their broadcasts is THE way of using the Internet.

Screen Shot 2015-03-25 at 12.48.54

Figure: NL adds market. Forecast online 2015:  1.5 billion  euro’s, double digit growth

I strongly disagree with this notion that spreading commercial content is the purpose of Internet, getting more irritated every day by the bombardment of propaganda and commercials and their influence on the actual content of the Internet, swamping everything with sex-and-violence memes, which tend to drag it down to the lowest common denominator level, like water. In contrast with what Internet did allowed its users, to find themselves the the highest levels of their interests. Sarnoff’s Law applies to one-direction messages with identical content, from a central source to as many passive, tranquilized ‘information consumers’ as possible – who, by the way, pay for the adds through taxes or the price of the products or services they are encouraged to buy and consume.

And ‘value’ in this context means value for the broadcaster and commercial or public service advertisers. Politicians and business persons are very fond of this form of network use to promote themselves or their products. They want to be in the centre of the public attention golden triangle of “screen, beer and bites” in which we live. And it is unfortunately also at the core of the business models of Google Search and Facebook etc. But as I’ve written above, users start to get annoyed by commercial breaks about things the do not want to buy, or lots of loud little, attention-grabbing and inescapable tiny films, monopolizing more and more space on our computer screens and phones, and for which we pay in subtle, indirect ways. This IMHO is not a wrong intention of the advertisers, as long as their stuff is not forced unavoidably upon us, made obligatory so other choices are excluded. Business commercials and state propaganda have this same tendency to dominate. 

 ((Sarnoff: Value ~ N viewers = 1+1+1+ …+1; N times)). ((one -to -many, or 1:N ))

Media Value adds up, which means the value counts up, is cumulative (NL: additief), irrespective of the diversity in demand or interests of the viewers. Of course, in some types of one-to-many publication, the number sold of a book or numbers of ‘views’ of a blog or ‘likes’ of a picture is a positive measure of income, popularity and/or appreciation, and can be used for ranking and attracting more viewers/readers. So Sarnoff’s Law is a driver for growth of the World Wide Web too. Documents etc. are put online on the WWW to get more eyeballs on the page and reach and communicate with possibly interested people, who can still choose themselves.

netw eff 2

2. Metcalfe’s Law for telecommunication networks with CONVERSATIONS and interconnection of networks.

The second network effect is Metcalfe’s Law that states that the Value of a communication network growth is proportional with square of the number of participants connected to it. Take for instance, a (mobile) telephone conversation or an exchange of email messages. The reason is that each of the N people connected can talk to N (minus one, yourself) other people or computers.

((Value ~ N^2 = N+N+N+ …. +N; for N people/computers who can communicate with each other)).

Robert M. Metcalfe who defined this law, is also the inventor of the hugely successful (and disruptive) Ethernet Protocol. Developed to let computers share local area network resources, this is now also applied to sharing, using long-distance fiber optical cables. The value of such N:N telecommunication and computer-computer networks thus grows faster with N than 1:N media networks. It is also the reason why all fixed telephone and mobile telephone networks in the world are interconnected so that everybody can reach each other. It is also the driver for interconnection between datacom networks: the INTERnet and its attached services, which is, of course, a network of interconnected networks. It facilitates the SHARING of network infrastructure for digital transport. And it drives peering and transit connections between ISP’s and Carriers: a non-zero-sum game (win/win situation); a strong incentive to build and interconnect FTTX networks, so they can scale up and be hugely successful.

Because of this Law the present total value of the telecommunication industry is multiple times that of the media industries combined in the world, contrary to what the media themselves would have us believe, including film and television celebs advertising themselves. To say it more compactly: “Content is not king – communication is “ (quote of Odlyzko).

That people consider the possibility of connecting to billions of others as valuable can be concluded from the fact that they are willing to pay for calls and internet access. That growth of network Value is however, in practice, tempered by the fact that this law does not take into account the different strenghts of the links/relations between people. Or to put it more bluntly:”maybe I can talk to anybody in Brazil, but maybe I have nothing to discuss, not even to chat, except about the weather and to exchange some cat photos”. The lower than square value growth has been derived in [1][2] as the Odlyzko-Tilly Law which may be more realistic than Metcalfe’s Law and Reed’s Law but still way bigger than Sarnoff’s Law of media broadcasting. (( V ~ N * Log N))

Netw eff 3

3. Reed’s Law of GROUP MEMBERSHIPValue of Social ( tribe internal) network

The third network effect is in fact based on the “social networking behaviour” of people, as opposed to infrastructure investments and was formulated in 1999 [3] by prof. David P. Reed van MIT . Reed’s Law states that the value for users of big networks, and more specific: social networks, grow in proportion exponentially with the number of participants (members of tribes).

You can either be or not be a member of a closed (user) group/ sharesome [7] or tribe. So if there are N of those groups/clubs this gives 2 to the power N possibilities for memberships, growing exponentially when more groups are added.

Just try it yourself make a matrix of vertical N groups and make horizontal rows of persons who are (1) or are not (0) member of those groups. This chats (charts?) the total number of possibilities and defines the total value of social networks that support tribes.

(( Reed’s Law: Value ~ 2^N = 2 * 2* 2* ……*2. N times))

Why is being a member so valuable to people? It is the strong urge to belong, to be appreciated and be protected by fellow tribe members. That is, among other reasons, the drive to text/ sms/ Whatsapp/ tweet all day and night with your friends: you confirm and are confirmed, socially, with group knowledge, you are member of the tribe, wherever you are at a given moment. It is very important for young people and they are willing to pay for it.

Reed’s Law of Possibilities may have limitations, since not everybody can become a member of every club, because one’s language, clothing and conduct must be acceptable to the other members of the clan. In addition, the fear of being refused or expelled can be significant. That is why members constantly confirm their mutual bonds. One does not need to be an anthropologist to see this. (Sometimes the recently initiated members even have to show themselves to be worthy of being a member by having to behave in a nasty way to non-members outside the tribe.) These social urges make the value growth of Reed’s Law of group membership grow exponentially: faster and larger than either Sarnoff’s or Metcalfe/Odlyzko-Tilly’s.

There is something that has crept in almost surreptitiously onto the Internet, and which is implied by Reed’s Law, is that every human now can be member of more  than one tribe/ sharesome at the same time : “Multi Tribe Membership” (MTM). Before the Internet that was well-nigh impossible. Not so long ago if you were born in a village somewhere, in a certain family at a certain social level, or certain neighborhood, the rest of your life could practically be charted until you died, no matter how hard you tried to raise your social status, for instance through education. Your own family members would frown if you started relations outside your social level, religion or tribe. And everywhere people would tag/ judge you by your accent, dress or skill as “somebody from lower middle class in X”.  

You could go to the best schools, be a member of an elite sports club, listen to classical music and frequent the opera and ballet; people would still remind you of your class / family/ regional origins. The only escape was to move to the city or to another country, or join a different culture.

Now thanks to the Internet and other social media you can escape, be a banker in the morning, ride your Harley with your club in the afternoon and dance the tango’s at a samba school in another city. So you can be a member of multi tribes.

It is the exclusivity of these closed ‘tribes’ that attracts people. You join the group to be with people like yourself, with the same prejudices, dresses, who you can trust and feel safe with. The same cultural backgrounds and codes in Tweets, and by demonising outsiders. You can like this or not but he urge to be part of a group and be appreciated as a valuable member in that community is very strong, rational or not. And the urge not to be expelled is strong. In some parts of the world to be expelled from a village or clan can mean that you will not survive because access to water, food and shelter is taken from you. So Reed’s Law of the value of memberships is strong, and may indeed be more valuable for society than the value of its communication networks.

netw eff 4

4. Van Till’s Law for the value of COOPERATION & COLLABORATION

The fourth network effect, even more strong and powerful than the first three as an engine for the Collaboration and Sharing Economy we now live in is Van Till’s Law that states that the shared value for the Peer-to-Peer commons  in which participants cooperate and collaborate in a network (which is more than just be a member) grows proportionally with N Factorial, [4,5,6].

((Van Till’s Law of Shared Value V ~ N! = N * N-1* N-2 * ……*2 *1)).

This grows even faster than exponentially (viral) because this concerns the maximal (upper limit) number of combinations you can make by networked cooperation between N unique diverse and non-interchangeable) individuals, each contributing his/her first-class skills. and crafts.

Example: with a deck of playing cards, each card unique, you can lay 52 ! different rows (combinations/ sequences) of cards on the table: 52 ! = 52 * 51 * 50 * etc . With each card you choose from the deck that you lay down you have one less you can choose from. The 52 factorial combinations are are huge number 3.1456688 E+69 , which is bigger than the number of atoms estimated to be in our solar system. So this upper limit is impractical to estimate the value of cooperation. But it makes sense to show the richness of constructive possibilities when we connect & combine skilled people beyond the boundaries of their many closed tribes. The number of possible combinations of unique idea’s is limitless, only constrained by lack of imagination and cultural and conservative prejudices and silo’s with vested interests. These are the boundaries we have to cross if we want to create value and give our children a future.

Crucial to Van Till’s Law is not the upper bound of its Value, but that cooperation and co-creation by participants, with the best [9] contributions and their first-class skills, whatever their background, online and off-line, works in a multiplicative way to create value, as opposed to adding up, as with broadcasting.

This supports the popular slogan of the P2P Open Share Economy: “To share in as mart way is to multiply value for all contributors” (in the Dutch language: “Delen is vermenigvuldigen” Delen= verm (cc). This is a pun in Dutch, based on the double-meaning of ‘delen’,as both ‘sharing’ and ‘division’, the latter being the opposite of ‘multiplication’; it seems to say ‘division is multiplication’, which is a nice paradox).  If a valuable person joins your team, who can really DO something extremely well and contribute it as promised, it can multiply the value of the whole team. Besides, the group can act as a magnet to others, thus speeding up and progressively enhancing the learning process.

Screen Shot 2015-03-23 at 08.49.24

P2P ‘Sharing’ implies in this context not only physical resources and tools but also of practical knowledge and information about solving problems. Knowledge and information does not diminish if you share it and therefore is abundant, non-scarce and thus inexhaustible.

If such skilled persons and constructive teams are woven together, brought together by Networkers and Btwieners [8] and a flock or maze builds up, it suddenly is possible to have 50,000 people on a Hong Kong square, or Paris demonstration, behave and act together like one non-violent coordinated stable unit.

It turns out that Btwieners, with the help of smartphone networks, can bring stability by binding people from multiple closed groups together across boundaries, instead dividing them by hate and conflicts erupting from multi-ethnic tribes clashing with each other.

Weavelet sheetThe value and wealth generated by the interconnection between real top craftsmen and -women is too powerful to resist. This is also my recipe for smart cities and chains of cities beyond that:

Interconnect across boundaries the members of selfish and proud sects and tribes together into a Network, by way of problem solving, by which you need each others specialists, and by constructive shared goals that are impressive. Cathedrals where built that way, by craftsmen who respected each others work. We can do that in the P2P Commons of the Collaborative Networked Economy too. Interconnect across boundaries members of selfish and proud sects and tribes into a problem solving Network, requiring the skills of all available specialists, to achieve goals of excellence. Cathedrals were built that way, by craftsmen who respected each other’s work, whatever their background. We can do that again in the P2P Commons of the Collaborative Networked Economy too, but we first must learn to form well working Weavelets, constructive groups with “collective intelligence”.

I sincerely hope that the Fourth Network Effect of collaboration will get us out of the 2008 recession at last

May the 4th law Force be with you !!

Jaap van Till, TheConnectivist

PS.1 The business community is noticing the same four network effects as phases in Social Media binding of clients. For instance Gaurav Mishra of 20:20WebTech identified four “phases” in connecting with clients and groups of clients: 1. Content 2.Collaboration 3. Community 4. Collective Intelligence. With each step the effort becomes more invisible, but also more difficult. And yes: curators, conversations, co-creation and recommendation/reputation/ trust play critical roles.

Screen Shot 2015-03-26 at 12.09.34

Further reading

[0] Blog about New Power

[1] Andrew M. Odlyzko and Benjamin Tilly


[3] D.P. Reed, “Weapon of math destruction: A simple formula explains why the Internet is wreaking havoc on business models,” Context Magazine, Spring 1999.

[4] J.W.J. van Till, 2004 “The Fourth Internetworking Law”

[5] Jaap van Till, in the Dutch language: chapter in SURF WTR book 2008

[6]  “De Verbonden Stad” – Essays over de stedelijke omgeving in de context van Diversiteit en Mobiliteit – Luud Schimmelpennink, Jaap van Till, Kyra Kuitert, Lucia Lindler, Luc Sala ; April 2015;

[7] Jaap van Till Definition of a Sharesome

[8] Jaap van Till Definition and importance of Btwieners

[9] Jaap van Till Van Till’s Principle (VTP) of well connectedness

[10] Het Kantelings Alfabet – Verandering begint met Delen – ; Een co-creatie van een divers gezelschap van kantelaars, dwarsdenkers, verbinders, friskijkers en verkenners ; april 2015; E:

( Version April 7, updated for better readability by the “trau-maths-ised”, with thanks to @trutherbot and @digitalErmit on Twitter

( Version April 11, book [6] was published, [10] added )

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License. 2015, Jaap van Till,  vantill (at) gmail (dt) com


Posted in btwiener, coordination, Demand side, Exponential growth, flocking, Internet success, Jobs, New Power, P2P Commons, P2P Power, Recession, Synthecracy, Value, Van Till's Principle, Wealth creation | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

(NP8) The Fish Power Metaphor

fish power2









I have seen this inspiring metaphor of New Power emerge again and again the last few years. Often drawn as demonstration posters, which get the message across: “cooperate and join forces”.

Please send me new photo’s of Fish Power, so I can post them here. With mention of the source and context if you wish.  Send them please to vantill (at ) gmail etc.

Earliest version of this image we could find is from Spain, Oct. 2012, probably by the Indignados protest movement there

eerste vis

Vissen Spanje M15 2011


Screen Shot 2015-03-23 at 08.49.24

fishpower 1


Occupy Zurich



Posted in btwiener, coordination, Demand side, flocking, Internet success, New Power, Synthecracy, Uncategorized, Wealth creation | Tagged | Leave a comment

(NP7) The P2P WEAVELET Structure – a network way of collaboration –

Kopblad Weavelet sheets

((Updated with PS on March 24))  

Here are the sheets and video of my lightning talk at the FLOSS4P2P workshop in London 16/17 March 2015

1. SHEETS:  Weavelet LightnTalk Jaap van Till

2. VIDEO: Link to the video recording  First video = Lightning Talks:  from 45:15  to 51.32

An earlier version of this graph was published in:

Weavelet sheet

PS There is a remarkable similarity between: my proposed structure for P2P collaboration/intelligent network swarming/flocking  and: the new network/services management tool SignalFX.   

 ” Scale beyond homegrown metrics infrastructure: High resolution & streaming analytics across 1000+ sources. Free Trial   ”

This networkmanagement tool evolved from problems encountered while managing errors/faults reported from the many millions of users and systems of Facebook. Not only the NUMBER of simultaneous error messages was impossible to handle but also without this tool it was impossible to distinguish between causes of faults and: effects/ symptoms rippling/ propagating though Internet.  What SignalFX is described to do (not how which is their secret) is extracting/ discerning PATTERNS from the flood of thousands of messages, which patterns can be used to find the causes and repair them. See:

Schermafbeelding 2015-03-24 om 13.24.58


Posted in btwiener, btwieners, coordination, flocking, FLOSS, Internet success, New Power, Trias Internetica, Wealth creation | Tagged | 1 Comment