Smart Business Networks (or, Let's Create 'Life' from Inert Information)

Smart Business Network Initiative (SBNi) Conference - Beijing, May 2008

16 Pages Posted: 5 Jun 2007 Last revised: 3 Mar 2015

See all articles by David A. Bray

David A. Bray

Harvard University; Emory University - Goizueta Business School; University of Oxford; National Defense University


The Internet that we access isn't self-organizing; instead, it's relatively limited in its intelligent abilities and exists as a wonderful example as to how the processes of creation can quickly become cluttered and entropic. Human beings create and remix information streams, adding to the web. The promise with Web 2.0 was that human beings would organize all the clutter of the web; that human beings would provide the missing intelligence of networks. Alas, human beings have limited cognitive capabilities and the ever-growing amounts of information on the web probably will exceed our abilities to organize it. I suggest, as demonstrated by the Internet, there are iterative causalities (i.e., links) to its data, information, and knowledge. This gives hope that one day the Internet, and other smart business networks, will become capable of self-organizing itself without human intervention. Would such smart business networks then not become alive?

Keywords: information systems, evolution, ecosystems, environments, adaptedness, survivability, intelligence

JEL Classification: D23, D70, D81, D83, O31

Suggested Citation

Bray, David A. and Bray, David A., Smart Business Networks (or, Let's Create 'Life' from Inert Information). Smart Business Network Initiative (SBNi) Conference - Beijing, May 2008, Available at SSRN: or

David A. Bray (Contact Author)

Harvard University ( email )

1875 Cambridge Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Emory University - Goizueta Business School ( email )

1300 Clifton Road
Atlanta, GA 30322-2722
United States

University of Oxford

United Kingdom


National Defense University ( email )

Marshall Hall
300 5th Avenue
Washington, DC 20319-5066
United States

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