Read Write Own: Table of contents

Chris Dixona16z crypto editorial

Editor’s note: We’re sharing below a preview of the table of contents for the forthcoming new book, Read Write Own: Building the Next Era of the Internet (released by Random House on January 30 in the U.S.; and by Cornerstone on February 1 in the U.K.). To pre-order now and see more about the book, visit; for more information, see also author Chris Dixon’s post about the book. Formatting for the table of contents here has been adapted slightly for this medium, with page numbers removed.


Three Eras of Networks

A New Movement

Seeing the Truth

Determining the Internet’s Future

Part One: Read. Write.

1 Why Networks Matter

2 Protocol Networks

A Brief History of Protocol Networks

The Benefits of Protocol Networks

The Fall of RSS

3 Corporate Networks         

Skeuomorphic and Native Technologies

The Rise of Corporate Networks

The Problem with Corporate Networks: The Attract-Extract Cycle                                                    

Part Two: Own.

4 Blockchains

Why Computers Are Special: The Platform-App Feedback Loop

Two Paths to Adoption: “Inside Out” versus “Outside In”    

Blockchains Are a New Kind of Computer

How Blockchains Work

Why Blockchains Matter        

5 Tokens

Single-Player and Multiplayer Technologies

Tokens Represent Ownership

The Uses of Tokens  

The Importance of Digital Ownership

The Next Big Thing Starts Out Looking Like a Toy

6 Blockchain Networks

Part Three: A New Era

7 Community-Created Software

Modding, Remixing, and Open Source

Composability: Software as Lego Bricks      

The Cathedral and the Bazaar

8 Take Rates

Network Effects Drive Take Rates

Your Take Rate Is My Opportunity

Squeezing the Balloon

9 Building Networks with Token Incentives                              

Incentivizing Software Development

Overcoming the Bootstrap Problem

Tokens Are Self-Marketing

Making Users Owners

10 Tokenomics

Faucets and Token Supply

Sinks and Token Demand

Tokens Can Be Valued Using Traditional Financial Methods

Financial Cycles

11 Network Governance

The Nonprofit Model

Federated Networks

Protocol Coups

Blockchains as Network Constitutions

Blockchain Governance

Part Four: Here and Now

12 The Computer versus the Casino

Regulating Tokens

Ownership and Markets Are Inextricable

Limited Liability Corporations: A Regulatory Success Story

Part Five: What’s Next

13 The iPhone Moment: From Incubation to Growth

14 Some Promising Applications

Social Networks: Millions of Profitable Niches

Games and the Metaverse: Who Will Own the Virtual World?

NFTs: Scarce Value in an Era of Abundance

Collaborative Storytelling: Unleashing Fantasy Hollywood

Making Financial Infrastructure a Public Good

Artificial Intelligence: A New Economic Covenant for Creators

Deepfakes: Moving Beyond the Turing Test


Reinventing the Internet

Cause for Optimism