eCommerce Information Revolution

ECOMMERCE: YOUR OPPORTUNITIES ARE UNLIMITED

Peter Drucker believes ecommerce will be to the information revolution what the railroads were to the Industrial revolution.* To oversimplify, the Industrial revolution was a time in which tools were produced that replaced people in the manufacture of goods. In the first thirty years, all was devoted to producing known products with machines.

While there were drastic social changes with the massive shift from rural to urban living, there was little change in the products produced and purchased. They only became more readily available at ever more modest cost.

Only later did the Industrial revolution produce something new - the railroads. For the first time in history, people could readily move great distances inexpensively. (Hauling freight came much later.) Railroads brought a thirty year boom in Europe, and an even longer one in the United States. While many other parts of the world got started somewhat later, the boom did not end for them until the outbreak of World War I.





What Will Arise From The information revolution ?

The parallels between the Industrial and information revolution are astonishing. Thus far computers, the Web, and information technology have created nothing dramatically new. They have merely changed the ways in which information is gathered, managed and reported. And to some extent, the way in which consumers purchase goods.

Computers themselves have changed the way in which products are manufactured, including their design. And a few new spinoffs have come to the fore. But there has not been anything revolutionary in any of this. Nothing yet has had the impact of railroads on the whole of the social fabric.

The Future Is Yours For The Taking

One by one, creative people will consider ways in which conglomerates produce and deliver products. They will then discover a way in which they can do so more effectively. The much larger company will hardly be aware of the tiny loss in revenue. But given many such losses, the bottom line will begin to erode.

There will be a return to a "Rural," rather than an "Urban," pattern of living, one independent of where you choose to live. In this "reversal," there will be a return to individuals being valued. Once again, as was so prior to the Industrial revolution, people will be both producer and consumer, making a significant contribution in both roles. The Real "New World"

I continue to hear the Web is not real. That it is nothing more than herds of impulses stampeding about on copper or optical cables. What is reality? I will leave this to the philosophers. But there is no question in my mind; the Web is real. A new reality, at that.

You can feel the awesome power and unlimited resources surging from the collective dynamic of millions and millions of people the world over. People who are real. Our interaction with each other is real, and now unlimited by national boundaries. The Web itself is but a tool. Not unlike the telephone, but magnitudes more powerful. It facilitates the ability to interrelate, to communicate one-on-one. And we will do so in ways not yet imagined.

Welcome to today's "New World."

(Taken from "Your Path To Success" to be released in September, 2001) __________________ *"Beyond the information revolution " by Peter F. Drucker, "The Atlantic Monthly," Oct 1999, p47-57.
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