Vice President, Rational Complex & Embedded Systems
IBM Software Group
This week marks the passing of Ronald Coase, the father of the Spectrum Auction. He was 102 years old. His innovation of treating the wireless spectrum as an asset with value which can be purchased and traded paved the way for wireless communications, Wifi, 4G, and the internet of things. His idea was so radical in 1959 that the FCC thought it was a joke. But, his new way of thinking generated huge income for the government and spawned entire new industries. This approach arose from two highly renowned papers he wrote including his paper in 1937 introducing the concept of Transaction Costs which showed how it created the incentive to form companies His second major paper was called the Problem of Social Cost. It "made the idea of property rights fundamental to understanding the role of regulation in the economy". This work, among his many others, earned him the Memorial Nobel Prize in Economic Science in 1991. At his passing, he was the oldest living Nobel Laureate. He was a true innovator.