Monday, 30 March 2009

Intrinsic properties of a technology influencing its spread

I have been looking at factors that influence the spread of a technology. My emphasis has been different from most studies, in that it concentrates on intrinsic properties of the technology rather than external factors such as the intellectual property regime. The work is aimed at innovators wanting to ensure a wide diffusion of their individual technology, rather than at policymakers wanting to encourage broad technology diffusion. The intrinsic and external factors interact closely, so much of the reasoning overlaps.

The intrinsic factors are:
1. How much information is embedded, that is, being used by virtue of the content of a capital good rather than explicit knowledge of users
2. How much information is codified, i.e. available in a code of operation, and how much of the codified information is written
3. What the capital requirements are
4. What the performance is as expertise in use varies
5. What the size of the market is
6. Whether the produced good is used as an intermediate or final good
7. Who owns the technology
8. Where the technology is being developed or used

The list captures most of the themes in the literature.

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