His descriptions of the rise and fall of communications and entertainment monopolies in the last century were certainly interesting, but I think he could have limited them solely to the story of the telephone industry to support his final conclusions.
The last part of the book is where the meat is, certainly given Professor Wu's prominent voice in the debate over net neutrality, and his recent assignment as a senior advisor to the Federal Trade Commission.
His comparison of Google and Apple and their respective business models is insightful, comparing the commitment to openness promulgated by Google (albeit with complete disruption of content generation and copyright) and the "walled garden" approach of Apple (yes, beautiful equipment but no naughty pictures).
On the basis of his analysis, I'b be tempted to buy Apple stock and short Google, despite wishing it to go the other way. I'm also left wondering how other players (notably Facebook and cloud services heavyweights like Amazon and Microsoft) will fit into the picture. And what will become of the "pipes and wires" players like Comcast and AT&T, who still have tremendous market power?
I'm also interested in the lack of parallels with the energy utility industry, which seems to have been largely locked in place at the beginning of the last century. Absent some recent mergers, there are very few players that span state boundaries. And despite the perpetual promise of new energy technologies, including the latest smart grid landscape, we haven't seen anything come along to truly change the utility business at it's very core.
Perhaps the lesson from the telecomm industry is that regulatory change is more important than technical disruptions, and I can certainly see that in the utility area. I can point to any number of rate and tariff policies that make distributed and self-generation onerous, often to the detriment of the environment and perhaps even our energy system security.
For example, I know of a fuel cell company that is selling into the large home market, where customers are paying as much as fifty cents per kilowatt-hour due to their high use. That market is good, but small, and could be wiped away in a pen stroke if the rate structure is changed (like a move to real-time pricing, or an abolition of what are called "baseline" rates in California).
That's obviously a small-scale issue, but it is emblematic of how regulatory policies drive market behavior rather than the fundamental merits of disruptive technology.
Oh, and by the way, a hearty endorsement of The Master Switch.