What is Permissionless Innovation?

Will innovators be forced to seek the blessing of public officials before they develop and deploy new devices and services, or will they be generally left free to experiment with new technologies and business models?

Regulators and policymakers can be guided by the first approach, called the precautionary principle, or the second: permissionless innovation. Their choice of vision has dramatic impacts on the ways that we work, live, and connect with the world around us. 

This website provides a gamut of research analyzing the effects of these two rival approaches to technology policy. 

If public policy is governed by the precautionary principle, the result will be fewer services, lower-quality goods, higher prices, diminished economic growth, and a decline in the overall standard of living. 

The principle of permissionless innovation, however, has fueled the success of the Internet and much of the modern tech economy in recent years, and it is set to power the next great industrial revolution–if we get out of the way.

 For more information on technology and innovation in the digital age, please visit the Mercatus Center Technology Policy Program’s research page.

For an overview of permissionless innovation and public policy, download this pdf.