‘The End Of Big’

The end of big: does technology spell the end of big companies, big institutions, big politics? And is David the new Goliath?

Nicco Mele

Nicco Mele (Joshua D. Wachs, Busy Brain Studios)

The Internet has built a reputation as the “great leveler.”  The little guy doesn’t need a printing press to have a voice any more.  He, she’s got the web.

Sometimes that looks awesome – in Tahrir Square when the web seems to be empowering thousands of ordinary folks to change the world.  Sometimes it looks bad – like yesterday when one hack in AP’s Twitter account sent things spiraling on fake news about the White House.

My guest today says get used to it.  Good and bad, it’s new times.

This hour, On Point:  the “end of big,” and David as the new Goliath.

- Tom Ashbrook


Nicco Mele, author of “The End of Big: How the Internet Makes David the New Goliath.” Lecturer in public policy at the Harvard Kennedy School. Internet operations director for Governor Howard Dean’s 2004 presidential campaign. Founder of EchoDitto, a leading internet strategy consulting company. (@nicco)

From Tom’s Reading List

Boston Globe: Nicco Mele on how technology radically changes everything — “Big things that are ending include big newspapers, big universities, big political parties, big armies, big entertainment companies, big government, and big manufacturing. It’s the DECLINE OF POWER of these big things.”

Nieman Journalism Lab: The end of big (media): When news orgs move from brands to platforms for talent — “The data behind Pew’s State of the News Media 2013 are the latest terrifying signs of the decline of the news industry. With three of America’s most esteemed papers for sale — The Boston Globe, the Chicago Tribune, and the Los Angeles Times — it’s time for a reboot to the fundamental business model for news. News revenue remains overwhelmingly dependent upon advertising, but the radical connectivity of the Internet has greatly diminished both the scale of newspapers’ reach as well as the value of advertising.”

National Journal: The End of Government as We Know It — “In a must-read for political and policy junkies as well as futurists, Mele argues that the Democratic and Republican parties must urgently embrace the bottom-up ethos of radical connectivity — or perish. He also says arguments over the size of government are outdated, because the real question is how we redefine governing for the digital age.”

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