I grew up in the same town, and attended the same school, as the economist Adam Smith. Granted, we did so some 250 years apart. Adam Smith coined the metaphor, “The Invisible Hand”, in his book “The Wealth of Nations” .. it’s a metaphor about freedom of choice for consumers that I was immediately reminded of today when I saw Adobe Flash Player 10.1 sitting at the top of the Android Application store.
The theory of the Invisible Hand states that if each consumer is allowed to choose freely what to buy and each producer is allowed to choose freely what to sell and how to produce it, the market will settle on a product distribution and prices that are beneficial to all the individual members of a community, and hence to the community as a whole.
Investors invest in those industries most urgently needed to maximize returns, and withdraw capital from those less efficient in creating value. Students prepare for the most needed (and renunerative) careers. All these effects take place dynamically and automatically.
And consumers of mobile devices, when customizing their devices to maximize the experience they can enjoy and the services they can consume, are being guided by the Invisible Hand towards Adobe Flash Player 10.1
It’s great not only to see this initial adoption of Flash Player on Android, but to see it as a self-organization driven by the consumers of the experiences it offers.
Experience still matters.