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Is the Internet an Irresistible Force of the Result of One?

Apr 16, 2008
What's all the fuss about the Internet? Many people see the Internet replacing almost everything else. Others see the Internet as a distribution channel that supplements everything else in a small way. Others see the Internet as simply a free way to communicate. For our strategy purposes, however, we need to know if the Internet is an irresistible force or not.

Let's begin by considering the irresistible force cause-and-effect question. Is the Internet an irresistible force causing changes in your organization's environment, or is the Internet the result of more fundamental irresistible forces?

At first glance, many would say that the Internet is an enormous irresistible force. Just look at the extent to which companies have been helped (like Cisco, Dell, and Amazon) or hurt (like Encyclopedia Britannica and some bricks-and-mortar retailers).

But the Internet's effects on an organization are much more complicated than this. A wide variety of organizations are helped by e-mail and group software communications, being able to purchase goods and services less expensively, and by being better able to gauge demand. Others are hurt by the high costs of starting e-commerce unsuccessfully, greater pressure on their products' selling prices, and increased service demands from customers. In fact, the Internet's influence is very pervasive, and the combined effects on an organization cannot be easily isolated and measured.

That broad scale impact should be a tip-off to you that something more fundamental must be going on than electronically wiring the world together with common software protocols. The Internet, in fact, would change nothing for your company unless a variety of other irresistible forces were already in place. Here's a list of the more important ones.

1. People like to communicate with each other

2. Almost everyone likes to be able to get information more easily

3. Many people like to shop

4. Everyone likes a bargain

5. Everyone likes better service

6. Almost everyone wants their needs fulfilled now!

7. The cost in time and money of using the Internet is dropping

8. The usefulness of the Internet's services is growing

9. The computer-literate population is growing rapidly.

Interestingly, the bulk of this list is about constant characteristics of human nature, rather than about technology. The Internet is simply one way of satisfying these fundamental human desires and needs. The increased need to provide these satisfactions relates both to expanded expectations and improved choices that the Internet brings.

What aspects of human nature are irresistible forces for your business?
About the Author
Donald Mitchell is an author of seven books including Adventures of an Optimist, The 2,000 Percent Squared Solution, The 2,000 Percent Solution, The 2,000 Percent Solution Workbook, The Irresistible Growth Enterprise, and The Ultimate Competitive Advantage. Read about creating breakthroughs through 2,000 percent solutions and receive tips by e-mail by registering for free at

http://www.2000percentsolution.com .
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