Why Large Software Systems Fail


(Originally published 10/31/2006 on zachmortensen.net) In a previous article we took a critical look at Metcalfe’s law, focusing on the recent and well-reasoned argument that otherwise-intelligent people frequently overestimate the intrinsic value of network effects. In this article we’ll examine the second half of Metcalfe’s law — the cost curve — to demonstrate that while […]

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Metcalfe’s Law: Manifest Destiny of Cerner and Epic?


(Originally published 10/25/2006 on zachmortensen.net) In the previous article I promised to delve into the question of how the “big three” vendors and their peers can justify themselves as legitimate niche businesses within the broader IT and services market while simultaneously scorning their smaller rivals as “niche” healthcare IT vendors. To understand the answer, we […]

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The Long Tail of Healthcare IT


(originally published 10/21/2006 on zachmortensen.net) If you have not already done so, you must pick up a copy of Chris Anderson’s excellent new book, The Long Tail (or at least visit his blog). It will likely change the way you think about many markets, but I’ll comment on how it applies specifically to healthcare IT. […]

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