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    Nobody pays me to write any of the copy on my blog, and should I ever have the good fortune that they do, I will declare it. My main employment is as the owner and principal of The Future Place consultancy. The Future Place provides two key services 1) training and services to industry and academic bodies and 2) consultancy services to companies. The details of the companies I work with are a private matter, but if I blog about any company who has paid The Future Place more than expenses recently (approx. two years) I will mention that they are a client. I hold equity in Virtual Surveys and provide consulting services to them from time to time. I am paid to run courses for a number of trade bodies and over the last few years clients have included ESOMAR, AMSRS, MRS, and MRIA.

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Another excellent post Ray. Why one technology wins over another is a fascinating area. Another interesting case is gas and electric refrigerators. A gas powered model, invented at the same time as the electric refrigerator in the early 1900s, is more durable and quieter than its electric counterpart. But the electric model eventually succeeded as a result of the extensive (and expensive) development and marketing campaign undertaken by General Electric and a few other equally large and powerful companies. This is all documented in Ruth Schwartz Cowan’s piece, “How the refrigerator got its hum”, (MacKenzie & Wajcman, eds, The Social Shaping of Technology). Essentially she argues that the success of one technology over another involves “economic decisions made by complex social institutions operating over long periods”.

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