Howard Rheingold’s Next

I have read all of Howard Rheingold’s books. Liked his last one – Smart Mobs – very much. So, like many others, I am eagerly awaiting his next. Business Week has more in an interview with him: “Now, he’s starting to take the leap beyond smart mobs, trying to weave some threads out of such seemingly disparate developments as Web logs, open-source software development, and Google.” The common thread, according to Howard Rheingold, is:

All these could dramatically transform not only the way people do business, but economic production altogether. We had markets, then we had capitalism, and socialism was a reaction to industrial-era capitalism. There’s been an assumption that since communism failed, capitalism is triumphant, therefore humans have stopped evolving new systems for economic production.

But I think we’re seeing hints, with all of these examples, that the technology of the Internet, reputation systems, online communities, mobile devices — these are all like those technologies…that made capitalism possible. These may make some new economic system possible.

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Rajesh Jain

An Entrepreneur based in Mumbai, India.