Today, if you want to build new internet systems, very often you will need to incorporate user data, user relationships or functionality contained and corralled within monopolistic established systems owned and run by Big Tech. Essentially, this means that to function correctly, new systems you or others build often depend heavily upon access to APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) provided by companies such as Microsoft, Google, Amazon, and Facebook. Sadly, the history of the past decade shows that building on these APIs is like building on sand, which is why we are seeing fewer and fewer interesting new startup systems being launched and succeeding.
The Internet Computer provides a means to create internet systems in a totally new way using “autonomous software.” These internet systems can provide guarantees to users about how their data is processed, but even more importantly, can provide guarantees about the availability of the APIs they provide to other systems that wish to incorporate the data or functionality they share. Ultimately, this will enable entrepreneurs and communities of developers to create a new breed of systems that benefits from better network effects. These network effects will be mutualized and allow vast numbers of systems to be built out collaboratively because they can build on and extend each other without trust, creating a far more diverse, dynamic, fertile, and eventually dominant ecosystem.