Just came across this outstanding analysis of Clay Shirky. It covers many interesting aspects of how the Internet effects traditional, complex business models. He compares business models with old cultures (e.g. Mayas, Romans) and uses the theories of Joseph Tainter about the fall of complex societies as a model for complex business models.

An interesting reading in this context is also Jared Diamond’s “Collapse“, who also looks at the reasons why societies collapse and especially addressed environmental aspects.

Clay Shirky takes the 2 key reasons Joseph Tainter identifies for the collapse of societies: a complex, (overly) sophisticated organisation and environmental change and maps this to the impact of the Internet (environmental change) to the complex business models (organisation) of old industries like media/movie, telecommunications.

A brilliant analysis with a lot of take-aways.

[Update] And Idris Mootee at Innovation Playground is also contemplating on the challenges and risks of large, complex organisation in an ever faster changing environment.

The collapse of organisation: awesome must read
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