A BPF Book Review: Move Fast and Break Things

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A Book Review of:  Move Fast and Break Things: How Facebook, Google, and Amazon Cornered Culture and Undermined Democracy     By: Jonathan Taplin
It’s no secret that the Internet has become the world’s dominant communications network over the past two decades. It’s stunning rise to economic powerhouse has far surpassed the success of its precursor networks – telegraph, telephone and television. In the process, a handful of mega tech companies have overwhelmed the regulatory structure intended to foster innovation, growth and a market place open to all competitors. How this happened and what it means for the future of the Internet is the subject of Jonathan Taplin’s new book, Move Fast and Break Things: How Facebook, Google, and Amazon Cornered Culture and Undermined Democracy. It is an important read for anyone who spends time or does business on the Internet and for investors as well.
The early days of the Internet featured “walled gardens” like AOL that offered a variety of content similar to sections of the newspaper, but that model soon succumbed to the wide-open, wild and wooly World Wide Web that proved to be a hot house for innovation, experimentation and startup companies. Most of the startups flamed out, but the growth and evolution of the Internet continued. In 2007, the advent of the smart phone with PC like capabilities was another paradigm shift that further expanded the role of the Internet as an economic platform.
To casual users, the Internet today may look and feel the same, but those looks are deceiving. In recent years, the once wide-open web has seen “an extraordinary consolidation of Internet power” that has resulted in near monopoly status for Facebook, Google and Amazon. The once wide-open web is now dominated by three

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