By Jeff Stibel 
The author is a brain scientist and venture capitalist. He talks about the sometimes surprising nature of networks, and the similarity of organic and technical networks.
1. Only 3%-5% of all species live in networks (e.g. bees, ants, humans). They are social, i.e. they organize into communities, establish a division of labor and create support systems for one another.
2. 99.9% of all species that have ever lived are now extinct. Those that have survived and been the most populous tend to live in networks. This is because the collective intelligence of a network is far greater than that of an individual.
3. Every network goes through 3 stages of development
Growth. In the beginning growth is slow but then suddenly spikes upward. In the process it consumes all the resources around it.
Breakpoint. Growth continues until a point when it’s no longer beneficial for the network. At some point the network requires so many resources that it’s detrimental to the supporting structures which become resource deficient. For example, if our brains continued to grow, they would use up oxygen and nutrients that our heart and lungs require.
Equilibrium. After a network hits its breakpoint, it goes through a small decline until it reaches its ideal size, or equilibrium. Then it focuses on quality rather than quantity. A human 5-year-old has 10 times as many neural connections as an adult and that’s too many. Our brain eliminates useless connections and strengthens the ones we use most often.
4. There are 2 key traits of successful networks.
Decentralized leadership. Examples, ants and Wikipedia. The queen in a colony of ants doesn’t micromanage the workers, she just lays the eggs. The workers get and need little instruction to build complex nests and create rudimentary agriculture and public health systems.
Communication. Humans communicate with language. Ants communicate via pheromones. Some species communicate by sonar. Some by music. The key is that each member of the network gets information from the other members.
5. The internet works the same way as a biological network. And it is nearing the breakpoint phase. Much of the increasing quantity of content on the internet is not beneficial. Much of it is not useful and makes it harder to find that which is useful. Soon the network will begin pruning itself and in the process will become more intelligent, more efficient and more useful.