10: Reward Others and You Will Be Rewarded

The author considers the phenomenal success of the Apple iPhone - in particular, a major selling point of the devices is that there are over 100,000 "apps" that can be installed, making the device useful as much more than a telephone, hence much more valuable that competing mobile devices.

(EN: That's speculative. While the "apps" are presumed to be a major feature for the device, its main value was as a portable computing platform that enabled e-mail, text, and Web interactions in a way that was not feasible on smaller screens. As such, it's not a foregone conclusion that the "apps" are the single most relevant factor - but even if they are not, they are a feature that users value, and cannot be entirely dismissed.)

In terms of the social network, the vast majority of applications are not developed by Apple, but by third-party developers, whom apple supports by providing development tools and access to the virtual "store" through which users can purchase applications. In effect, the company is leveraging a large social network of developers to add value to its device.

(EN: it's a bit ironic, in that Apple's rigid control over software development meant that there was little software available for its Macintosh computers, which has long been cited as a reason the company failed to grasp significant market share. And even when it comes to apps, developers regularly complain about Apple's draconian screening process, ostensibly intended to ensure that applications were safe and reliable. It would be interesting to consider what has changed, between the Mac and the iPhone, that caused more developers to be attracted to the latter platform, given that the company's practices remain unchanged. Unfortunately, there seems to be no consideration of that, and the company's past is swept conveniently under the rug.)

The developers, in turn, benefit from Apple's assistance in promoting their applications to prospective buyers. Unlike typical software, in which each producer must undertake considerable effort to reach prospective buyers, the market for "apps" is done through a centralized commerce framework, the iTunes store, which Apple provides and maintains.

Emotional Rewards

There are methods of rewarding participants and contributors that involve non-financial rewards. In general, individuals who participate in the social networks are often motivated not by the promise of earnings, but at the potential for gaining esteem - being more popular and more respected among their peers. In other instances, people are motivated to act simply for the sake of accomplishing something (self-actualization) - though even then, being recognized and appreciated still matters.

This notion is also applicable to internal networks: surveys of "job satisfaction" show that there are a number of factors that matter more than money to employees. Being able to do interesting work, having an impact, being respected, and experiencing personal growth are considered to be more rewarding, and more motivating, than monetary rewards.