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An Nth Degree Strategic Analysis of the Internet

Apr 16, 2008
Estimates of the Internet's future size and impact vary widely. Let's simply multiply the Internet's influence is today by a large factor in order to describe circumstances that could not happen for many years (and may not happen at all).

Let's assume that 5 billion people at some point have easy, free access to the Internet. We'll also assume that every single computer on the planet can communicate with every other computer without human intervention, except for repairs.

Feel free to add any other assumptions you like, that help you think about what organizations will look like in the future as the Internet expands and develops. For example, you may want to assume that Internet communications will include realistic holograms that will make conversing from a distance much more like actually being with the other person. The idea is to make assumptions that make the potential of the future clearer to you, whether your concepts are exactly right or not.

Who will be the organizational winners in such a situation?

Which enterprises will be outstripping all others?

You probably have your own good ideas about this. Consider though that satisfying the fundamental, unchanging human needs from our list will be essential to success, then as now. All that will change from now is that your enterprise will have more ways to provide for those needs.

Let's use peoples' desire to communicate as an example. When your company's products or services facilitate communication better than anyone else does (or is likely to do) in a way that people enjoy more with each other, you will be on the road toward an ideal best practice. Similarly, if your business makes it easier and more fun to shop than ever before, you will also prosper.

You get the idea. Anyone who finds e-mail, Web surfing, and e-shopping to be Eden today has a limited imagination. Almost any aspect of these activities can be greatly improved towards an ideal of having all of the advantages of access to the electronic network, combined with the pleasures of being present with great people and having a ball at the same time.

But what about all of those technical things that are so hard for an enterprise to provide on the Internet now?

Actually, the Internet will probably turn those into inexpensive commodities. Already, thousands of organizations are springing up to provide any technical support aspect you could possibly want for providing services and products over the Internet.

Consider the evolution of earlier communications technologies. Do you have to be a telecommunications engineer to have a working telephone system for your organization? The Internet's technical side in the future will at some point be what the telephone's technical side is now.

IBM and others are already providing "one-stop shop" technical support for everyone from the biggest to the smallest organizations. For many small organizations, the cost is already less than the charge for their payroll service.

If having an advantage in serving one basic human need is an ideal best practice, can you imagine what you can do when you can deliver several of these in a superior way?

You may agree that this approach is a wonderful concept, but could be feeling a little overwhelmed by how you can accomplish it. You should start with the basics, and pick some areas where you want to have an advantage. Then imagine what you could do with a limitless resource that is easy to use.
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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