Ferguson Kirby –Everything is a Remix

“Everything is a Remix” is a video produced by Ferguson Kirby. In his video, he tries to communicate his idea that everything is a remix. He says that historically, people have used others ideas and “remixed” them and rejuvenated them to make new creations. He says that in our current state of copyright laws, this kind of creativity is hindered because everyone has become so protective over their work. He basically says that people justify using other peoples work by saying it is just the “basic plumbing” that everyone has the right to build off of. However, when others try and use their work, they treat it as the most precious snowflake.

Everything Is A Remix Full Film. (2012). Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=coGpmA4saEk&feature=youtube_gdata_player

Chapter 9: Waging a Standard War

In this chapter, Varian and Shapiro define and discuss the “standards war”. They define this as the war competing producers fight in order to get their product to become a “standard” among consumers. An example of a standard is Google. Google is by far the standard for online search engines. They discuss the factors that lead to becoming a standard as well as what you should do after a standard is established. They said if you have become a standard, do not rest easy and assume you will always be in that position. Instead, keep innovating and evolving or else your competitors will have an opportunity to take over. On the other side of the war, if you have lost the standard war, instead of continually fighting, integrate with the standard by using adapters and converters.


Shapiro, C., & Varian, H. R. (1999). Information rules, a strategic guide to the network economy. Boston, MA: Harvard Business School Press.

Chapter 5: Lock-in

In this chapter Shapiro and Varian discussed how to recognize lock-in. They define lock-in to be a time where one puts themselves in a submissive position, by either signing a contract or other ways to submit price control to some other party. They use an example of a telephone company who bought an expensive piece of equipment that needed to be updated every so often as their system changed. Every time this company needed to update their pricey equipment, they relied on another party to develop and then apply the update to their system. In doing this, they were dependent on another party in order for their services to continue. This showed how lock-in can occur. Their main advice when it came to recognizing lock-in was to think about how all your investments will impact you in the future. When you think through the future implications of an investment, you can more easily recognize when you are subject to lock-in.


Shapiro, C., & Varian, H. R. (1999). Information rules, a strategic guide to the network economy. Boston, MA: Harvard Business School Press.

Can Technology Eliminate Poverty.

One of the sources that I used was a youtube video on 4 guys that lived in haiti on 1 dollar a day for 28 days. This is an example of how technology can help eliminate poverty through education. It is very easy for us to learn about different charities that need support through the use of technology. For instance a youtube video can reach millions of people for free. The technological audience is essentially infinite. 

The second source that I had was an article that focused on a non-profit that sent computers and information technology to third world countries in order to help them learn with the modern teaching techniques that incorporate technology to assist in the teaching process. In this way, technology is helping to give the same education opportunities for underprivileged children as the developed countries. This in turn will help to eliminate poverty.

4 Guys Live on $1 for 28 Days in Haiti – 1 Dollar Poverty- Official Trailer # 3. (2012). Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wkzsS4w1f4o&feature=youtube_gdata_player

Dias, M. B., & Brewer, E. (2009). How Computer Science Serves the Developing World. Communications of the ACM, 52(6), 76–80.


Chapter Four Summary

In this chapter of “Information Rules” Shapiro and Varian discuss rights management for information goods. They address that technology poses unique challenges when it comes to rights management because it is incredibly cheap to copy information, and once it is copy it can be distributed easily and quickly. To combat rights infringement they suggest to give away samples which make people more inclined to pay for your product. They also say to use illicit distributers to advertise your product which can actually increase sales. Implementing encryptions and other strategies to reduce illicit distribution may impose more cost on the customers than are worth it. Their last piece of advice was to offer site licensing and group pricing. This can bring down costs for the consumers deterring illegal activity.


Shapiro, C., & Varian, H. R. (1999). Information rules, a strategic guide to the network economy. Boston, MA: Harvard Business School Press.

Chapter Three Summary

In this chapter Shapiro and Varian discuss the ideas of versioning information for the consumer. the begin by making their first point to adjust characteristics of your information products to fit different customers values. Basically, they are telling information companies to release multiple versions of their products to target different customers with different price ranges and goals. They also say to make online versions of hard copies and give the online versions an advantage that the hard copies don’t have, such as a search feature. This in turn adds value to the generally less desirable online version. They also encourage bundling as an added tool to persuade customers into buying more of your product for a perceived greater value.The last thing they said to do was to utilize promotional pricing, because it can get the product in the hands of the consumer and increase profitability.


Shapiro, C., & Varian, H. R. (1999). Information rules, a strategic guide to the network economy. Boston, MA: Harvard Business School Press.

Chapter Two


In this chapter Shapiro and Varian focus on information pricing for individuals and groups. They outline a few key lessons for pricing information solely directed at individuals. The first thing they say about personalized pricing is to know thy customer, find out what the customers want and what they are willing to pay for it. Secondly, they say to differentiate your prices for different groups of customers who may buy your product. You should also use promotions to measure you demand and estimate price sensitivity to keep your pricing consistent with the customers.

For groups the pricing is similar, yet differs slightly because you then have to personalize for groups instead of individuals. For groups you should be sensitive with you pricing and provide different price points for different types of groups. When dealing with groups you should also tend to lock-in prices, because it may be very expensive to make a switch due to the costs of coordination and retraining. Sharing is the last big lesson when dealing with groups. When sharing it through mediums like libraries it is convenient for individuals to manage and organize all their information goods that they will want to consume.


Shapiro, C., & Varian, H. R. (1999). Information rules, a strategic guide to the network economy. Boston, MA: Harvard Business School Press.

Assignment #2

Juliet Dobson: Should information be free? (Blog)

Juliet Dobson’s blog post on free information covers her experiences at a talk hosted by IQ2, back in February of 2011. She talks about the benefits and detriments of making information free in the realms of research as well as journalism. She quotes different people who spoke at the talk to show different view points on free information. By the terms of research, allowing information to be free could be beneficial because allowing everyone to view the research data would cut down on falsification of data because it would be open to review by the public. This could also be detrimental because people could use other researchers data in their own research with out actually collecting any of their own.

Dobson, J. (2011, 2 25). [Web log message]. Retrieved from http://blogs.bmj.com/bmj/2011/02/25/juliet-dobson-should-information-be-free/

Information Technology Wants to Be Free (From Library Database)

This article dives into the topic of educational institutions using free and open-source software and if more software should be offered to educational institutions open and free. The main perspectives discussed include one that views education institutions free from the competition of private enterprise, and one that believes in order to insure the quality of software, everyone should pay for the software including educational institutions.

Poritz, J. A. (2012). Information Technology Wants to Be Free. Academe98(5), 18-23.

Should Information Always be Free? (Other Internet Source)

This article discusses the social aspect of free information. It mainly focuses on companies such as Google and Facebook who’s services share social information. The article states that free information is must destructive to those who are more vulnerable and secretive. It also shares a quote by Google CEO Eric Schmidt where he says “If you have something that you don’t want anyone to know, maybe you shouldn’t be doing it in the first place.” Those with vulnerable things posted with supposed privacy, are the ones that have the most to lose if all information would be free.

Jurgenson, N., & Rey, P. (2010, 12 6). Should information always be free?. Retrieved from http://thesocietypages.org/cyborgology/2010/12/06/should-information-always-be-free/

Summary of Chap. 1 — Information Rules

The first chapter of this book consisted mostly of short previews of the chapters to come. This first chapter also presented the thesis of the book and key examples of successes and failures of the companies who went against their theories or followed them. Their thesis for the book is that “durable economic principles can guide you in today’s frenetic business environment”.

After this thesis is stated they dive deeper into the multiple categories that are encompassed within their thesis. These range from the cost of producing information, to the economics of attention, to policy. These are introductions the the following chapters in the book. They quickly state all the things they will talk about to hook the reader, the explain it fully later on in the book.



Shapiro, C., & Varian, H. R. (1999). Information rules, a strategic guide to the network economy. Harvard Business Press.