My business associate developed the BitTornado software Twitter is using to solve their server update problem. It’s the same type of problem Apple had when I worked there in 1992. The solution approach similar.
A single distribution server is a bottleneck both for efficiency and reliability. A single server slows down as more clients are accessing it. If the single server fails the entire process stops.
Predictive Innovation defines 15 Alternatives for any problem. The 15 Alternatives are arranged into two dimensions of 3 scales and 5 directions. The 3 scales are Single, Multiple and Continuous (see “Predicting the Next Disruptive Innovation” for more details).
When I was at Apple we solved the problem by moving from a Single mainframe to multiple servers and clients. This spread the bandwidth across more computers and provided more flexibility for doing ad-hoc reports.
BitTorrent is a Continuous solution. It doesn’t just spread the bandwidth over more computers, it spreads it over all the computers using the torrent. It produces the maximum bandwidth with the least vulnerability. It also flips the concept of speed on its head. Instead of getting slower as more computers download a file, it gets faster. Any computer connected to the torrent can share pieces with any other computer connected to the torrent. This is also how it reduces vulnerability. There are multiple sources for the pieces of the file, even if none of them have a complete copy of the file.
Russ Tolman from BitTorrent in San Francisco called me a couple weeks ago asking for an interview. A show I produced “How-to-Do Girls” is one of the most popular on the BitTorrent network. Russ didn’t know that my partner is The Shadow one of the developers of the BitTorrent protocol. We were involved in BitTorrent long before the company was created and received $28.75 million in venture capital.
I published my content using a Creative Commons license. BitTorrent included my content on their site without needing to ask or take up any of my time. Because of them putting my content on their site I get a lot more traffic and sales for my merchandise.
You can read the interview here.
- BBC Moves to File Sharing
- What is your market share? YES !
- Infinite Supply, the Problem with Copyrights & Patents
We discuss viral marketing, the online TV show I produce being spotlighted on Veoh.com, video advertising systems such as Revver.com, BitTorrent, Creative Commons, and business models that use file sharing and how artists and other creators of intellectual works can get paid for their works in a world of unlimited file sharing.