Network effect  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Network effect is a term used narrowly to describe business phenomena, or more broadly to describe non-business phenomena.

In the narrow usage, a network effect is a characteristic that causes a good or service to have a value to a potential customer which depends on the number of other customers who own the good or are users of the service. In other words, the number of prior adopters is a term in the value available to the next adopter.

One consequence of a network effect is that the purchase of a good by one individual indirectly benefits others who own the good — for example by purchasing a telephone a person makes other telephones more useful. This type of side-effect in a transaction is known as an externality in economics, and externalities arising from network effects are known as network externalities. The resulting bandwagon effect is an example of a positive feedback loop.



Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Network effect" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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