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Historical Context: The 16th century makes a vague sort of sense as the "Age of Exploration,"

but it really makes a lot more sense as the startup/first-mover/early-adopter phase of corporate mercantilism. The period was dominated by the daring pioneer spirit of Spain and Portugal, which together served as the Silicon Valley of Mercantilism. But the maritime business operations of Spain and Portugal turned out to be the MySpace and Friendster of Mercantilism: pioneers who could not capitalize on their early lead. Conventionally, it is understood that the British and the Dutch were the ones who truly took over. But in reality, it was two corporations that took over: the East India Company (EIC) and the VOC (the Dutch East India Company, Vereenigde Oost-Indische Compagnie, founded one year after the EIC) the Facebook and LinkedIn of Mercantile economics respectively. Both were fundamentally more independent of the nation states that had given birth to them than any business entities in history. The EIC more so than the VOC. Both eventually became complex multi-national beasts.  Question:  Explain what happened using the MySpace/Facebook analogy as the framework for your analysis.

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The thing which is common between EIC (the company of past) and Facebook (the company of present) is their ability to connect... View the full answer

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