I Wrote This on My iPhone

Written by Aaron Davis on October 28th, 2009

In reading this quote by Hayek I thought of the many apps of the iPhone.  What apple did with the iPhone is opened up their programing code and made it available to developers.  It set up very basic guidelines for content and invited absolutely anyone to develop apps for their product.  The result is over 50,000 programs and games available to iPhone users giving them access to more and better products then had apple retained control over development.

This seems a good metaphor for the spontaneous order Hayek talked about.  What the iphone has to offer customers with their secondary apps is greater then what apple could have produced by itself.  This is a byproduct of an open and free market, and today consumers have access to more and better products then had apple retained control over development.  And apple is in turn rewarded as the 50,000 apps have turned into the biggest marketing tool for attracting new customers to their product.

Free markets are flooded with products and services that have arisen as a result of the market itself, what Hayek calls ‘spontaneous order’ which arise as markets react to the best ideas and technologies and use them to meet present demand.  The result is something that can’t be planned for or predicted, and it vindicates the interconectedness of the market.  Heavy regulation (either by government or industry leaders themselves) stifles this innovative reaction by restricting the adaptive capabilities of any organization.  It limits the degree in which an industry or company can react and it puts them on track to a future goal or projection that will disappear as new innovations are invented.  Law and order must be the servant of the markets and industry, not the other way around.


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