A common-good is “what is shared and beneficial for all or most members of a given community”. A question that puzzles me is on a scale of how good a common-good can be, where does the internet stand?
I was born in an era where internet engulfed business ecosystems like a wild fire. While doing so, it, complemented by other technological advancements in different industry sectors, morphed itself as a product, a good, a tool and a service all at the same time. This led to a vast market potential that could be exploited, and subsequently, many new businesses wanted to make use of the first-mover-winner-takes-all situation. There was a good chance for exploitation, and it was natural for organisations to build the ecosystem for themselves to ensure they survive the ever-changing market. And hence began the greying of the business ecosystem of the internet.
We, as the end user, are getting benefitted because without the internet, we can never have business as usual anymore; the internet has become indispensable.
And the challenge intensified
The government, a.k.a regulators, took the side of the public in the pretext of serving them. Looking back at how the ecosystem was built, it was not the regulators who contributed to the wildfire. This leads me to wonder if the regulators have time to sit and practice before they figure it out. From my research, the so-called behemoths of the ecosystem not only had the insight to exploit value but also become adept in building the business ecosystem. Breaking large organisation give more opportunities to new players, but does that not lead to an ever more fragmented market? It is therefore unwise to advance building the ecosystem starting with breaking large organisations
Who gets the value?
When organisations or regulators get this question, it would usually end up this answer, “the end user gets the most value”… but at what cost? The greying of the space has dramatically influenced a shift in the power dynamics, so the regulators need the help of the larger organisations more than ever in co-building the ecosystem and making sure it is safe and functional. The goodness of the common-good depends on how the approach is taken in defining the ecosystem