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Emerging technologies and the acceleration of “network effects” are turning the crowd into a force to be reckoned with. Soon, we won’t rely on one another out of mere convenience, but out of pure necessity.

Urban commuters have long trusted the traffic helicopter as their primary source of traffic information. Then, in 2008, Waze allowed drivers to report slowdowns, accidents, and even speed traps — and the traffic reporter was rendered obsolete.

In 2019, the crowd drives much more than demand. “Network effects” — or the idea that the value of a product or service increases exponentially as its user base grows — impact every facet of our lives today. Ride- and home-sharing services are industry standards, and we now crowdsource everything from recipes to baby names.

As new technologies capitalize on the crowd, our interdependence is moving from convenience to necessity.

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We are quickly entering an age in which our collective interdependence is moving from convenience to necessity.