Customer Review

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Wish List, 5 Jun. 1997
By A Customer
This review is from: Digital Economy: Promise and Peril in the Age of Networked Intelligence (Hardcover)
Don Tapscott's "The Digital Economy" is a wish list. In fact, it's everybody's wish list. Tapscott vision of the future is not too far from an episode of Star Trek. However, he failed to mention one major requirement for this Digital Economy to happen and that is the issue of bandwidth. For simple concepts such as video conferencing to happen in a practical sense, you'd need bandwidth. It may be practical in a local network for video conferencing to span across the globe, we're talking very fat pipes to carry to carry all that video information and I do not see that happening for awhile. Maybe in 10 years.

Generally, this book is oversimplified and by and large, a written reinforcement of current beliefs and thinking. ("The new economy is a knowledge economy" he writes. Anyone who does not already know that, raise your hand!) Tapscott's concepts and vision are idealistic, to say the least. Perhaps even naive. He does not address many issues that currently plague most developing countries such as infrastructure, bandwidth, politics, and the culture. It is almost like his idea of a global digital economy is the US digital economy with no concerns of whether other countries would want to participate in it.

Contrary to those who say that this book has very little techno-jargon, I beg to differ. There aren't many useful technical jargon but there are enough "technical" words in the book for those who are not Net-savvy to think that this is a technical book and heaven forbid, should they use this as a reference. (eg. HTML, "hotlinks.")

Take, for example, the "Highway Analogy Madness" (p.23) I find that grossly unnecessary. It is a list of unheard-of or hardly used terms. It's neither informative nor is it entertaining.

And my major gripe on his introduction of terms: Do we need another term to describe the Net. Just when you thought you've heard the last of the "Information Superhighway," Tapscott gives us a new one: I-Way (as in Information highway.)

Having said all that, this book should be good reading for those who want a swift kick from the reality of the future. It's written like a brochure. And like a brochure, don't believe everything you read.
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