October 7, 2003

Sitefinder vs the "Rise of the Stupid Network"

I hope everyone has read David Isen's paper, the Rise of the Stupid Network.

That paper argues that telephone company networks became obsolete and inefficient dinosaurs, hostile to new innovation, because they put too much "intelligence" into the middle of the network.

The success of the internet is based in large part on the end-to-end principle, a principle that promotes designes in which the net is a mere conveyor of packets and that services are pushed outside of the net and into the end points.

It seems to me that Verisign's Sitefinder is an example of exactly the kind of end-to-end violation that gave rise to the inefficient and difficult-to-innovate telephone networks that David Isen complains of in his article. Verisign's Sitefinder puts a "service" (Verisign's term, not mine) into the middle of the net, thus creating an impediment to others who wish to innovate at the proper place - at the edges.

Posted by karl at October 7, 2003 4:32 PM