James BessenSep 29, 2022
The New Goliaths
How Corporations Use Software to Dominate Industries, Kill Innovation, and Undermine Regulation
Yale University Press 2022
In The New Goliaths: How Corporations Use Software to Dominate Industries, Kill Innovation, and Undermine Regulation (Yale UP, 2022), James Bessen explores the idea of how software can actually slow innovation. He makes the case that big companies in one industry after another have built "complex" software systems for managing their sales, marketing, operations and product offerings that are essentially moats against competitors. This mastery of software by major corporations, he argues, helps explain the "myth of disruptive innovation", rising economic concentration, increasing inequality and slowing innovation.
James Bessen, an economist and technologist, serves as Executive Director of the Technology & Policy Research Initiative at Boston University School of Law. He has also been a successful innovator and CEO of a software company. His profile in the New York Times is here.
Bernardo Batiz-Lazo is currently straddling between Newcastle and Mexico City. You can find him on twitter on issues related to business history of banking, fintech, payments and other musings. Not always in that order. @BatizLazo