By Simon Bond

The network economy and it's forces are relentlessly attacking old entrenched and established businesses.

Politics, science, no one and no sector is immune from the swirling forces. The proliferation of networks and the network economy has created a perfect deflationary storm which has caused both a boost in supply and, in many cases, reduced demand.

The rise and rise of Amazon into the upper echelons of US industrial giants is a case in point. Amazon is now the fourth largest US listed company by market capitalisation, see chart below. It appears that a new elite is emerging.

As of September 23, the 5 largest companies in the US by market capitalisation were all technology businesses, as opposed to 10 years ago where energy, oil and financials ruled the roost. These giants not only operate at breathtaking scale, but they dominate their categories.

Facebook has an 85% share of the social network market. Google controls 65% of search (80% if you exclude China). Microsoft Windows, nearly four decades after launch, still enjoys 90% share of desktop operating systems.

We’re at the start of a whole new era. It’s an age of network power. In our new world, there’s no second place. “The Great Opportunity” of our age is in the creation and ownership of winner-take-all platform businesses. A machine or software in the field of medicine that can be connected to a database of information that can accelerate and improve, or perfect a diagnosis is truly revolutionary. Connection and abundance of information brings fresh chance and opportunity.

The platform business model differs from the traditional pipe, or linear business model, in which a company relies on its own resources to deliver a product or service to customers.

The platform business model's popularity has grown in recent years as connected technology such as cloud computing, social media and mobility have proliferated. These technologies have advanced the platform business model by allowing the fast, large-scale exchange of products and information between decentralised networks located anywhere in the global marketplace.

Unfortunately, some existing business and political leaders will just not be able to grasp the opportunities that are looming due to their blinkered view of old structures.

As we have seen from past experience, revolutions never occur quietly and our new world order of constant connections and network acceleration also means continuing collisions. Remember it's hard to let go of old notions when the new ones don't make any sense to us, the more confused we become, the more hopefully we cling to the past. As is said, we don't know what we don't know.

Boundaries are drawn less by geography and more by the networks in which companies and their customers participate. Businesses themselves are continually exposed to new forces and new demands at an ever-faster rate, and companies that were architected for the old way of doing things are increasingly going to struggle with the new ones.

So companies have to recognise that the drive for interconnection is going to demolish every institution that stands in its way in favour of those built for constant connectivity.