Information Rules
A Strategic Guide to the Network Economy

Carl Shapiro and Hal R. Varian

The market for ICE--information, communications, and entertainment--couldn't be hotter.To exploit the many opportunities, entrepreneurs and corporate leaders alike must understand the strategic implications of  the fundamental economic forces shaping the Network Economy.

Differentiation of products and prices
The high first-copy costs of information inevitably lead to price and product differentiation. Mass customization, differential pricing, personalized content, and versioning are winning strategies in ICE industries. [details]
Rights management
You should manage your intellectual property to maximize its value, not to maximize its protection. The same goes for technology standards.   Growing the market is usually more important than extracting the last dime from your existing business model. [details]
Since information technology products work in systems,switching any single product can cost users dearly. The lock-in that results from such switching costs confers a huge competitive advantage to firms that manage their installed base of customers effectively. [details]
Positive feedback
Network externalities are ubiquitous in ICE industries, which leads to intense competition and winner-take-all markets. Information Rules examines all the elements of a successful campaign to ignite positive feedback. [details]
Standards and alliances
If you can't beat your competitors, then join them. Infotech strategy often requires you to build alliances around common standards. Shapiro and Varian explore strategic considerations in forming and negotiating standards alliances. [details]
Information policy
Now more than ever, policymakers are confronting the unique features of ICE industries. Since regulatory and antitrust policies can make or break a business model, industry players must understand the economic and legal basis of government competition policy. [details]

During the last 20 years, economists have studied these issues. In Information Rules, Shapiro and Varian describe the fruits of this research for the lay reader. They use detailed case studies, historical examples, and strategic analysis to show businesses how they can grow and prosper in such environments.


Contents of Information Rules