Slow Revolutions are better than overnight Coups.

image


In 1993, I
wrote a paper entitled, How Ubiquitous Free Communication will Alter the Status
Quo.

 

I noted
that because of electronic chat rooms [Prodigy, AOL and Compuserve] as more
women became enamoured of the connectivity options available to them via a
ubiquitous global network, that the divorce rate would rise dramatically.

 

I noted
that small companies that were fast out of the blocks in adopting the
technology would eat into and decrement larger companies profits.

 

I noted
that increasing cheap communication options would increase global commerce
dramatically.

 

I noted
that people would form online communities with like minded people.;

 

What I
failed to note or foresee was, that;

 

Companies
like Ebay and Amazon that would decimate the bricks and mortar business models.

The
majority of commerce roads lead to the
USA.

Consequently
that all money flows were via the
USA (advertising, product sales – PayPal
settlements were in US Dollars)

Connected
PC’s would decimate the media barons of yesterday.

Search
engines would replace the
7:00 pm News

That Governments
would rather give money to failing corporate business models rather than
encourage and fund new business models.

 

All in all
I give my 1993 paper a C. I missed the most important predictions.

The new
digital Ecosystem comprising mainly:

 

Goggle              Now answers more searches globally
on more topics daily than the number of pages of all of the books in all of the
libraries of the world.

 

eBay                Collects commissions on more
daily sales than any other sales organisation in the world.

 

Paypal.             Now processes more transactions
daily than any other single banking organisation in the world.

 

Youtube            Now offers 20 hours per minute of
newly uploaded video content. (The content industry creates approximately 7
minutes of content every minute – that includes Television, films. music
videos, documentaries and  News/Current
affair programs).

 

Facebook          Now has more words in the daily
updates than all of the words of all the worlds daily newspapers.

 

All of
these companies have become dominant in their own right.

Have any of
them had any Government funding to get where they are?

 

Nope. Not
that I'm aware of.

 

Are they
changing the way the world does business? Most assuredly.

Yet they
are successful not because of Government hand-outs but because they provide
what is needed by the consumers.

 

Google to
research the desired item of purchase, Amazon to buy books, videos electonic
gadgets, Paypal to pay for them, Youtube to learn how to use the item, Facebook
to show  our friends our newly acquired
gadget,   Ebay to sell them once we are
sick of them, and again Paypal to receive payment for them.

 

These
companies all started in bedrooms or garages. They grew and were successful
because of vision, determination, usefulness and appropriate funding at the right
time.

 

In garages
all over
Australia, inventors are inventing, hamstrung
by lack of funds, and totally unaware of how they can obtain those funds.

 

For an
invention to become successful there has to be a series of propitious events
that occur at the right time, in sequence.

 

Unfortunately,
only a very small percentage of the inventions are ever funded correctly,
marketed correctly and supported correctly.

 

Also
unfortunately, many don’t “Grok” the usefulness of the invention.

 

A
Hypothetical.

A number of
years  ago, (1987) a gentlemen in
Melbourne was featured in that wonderful (no
longer published) Australia Post magazine, with his Hydrogen reactor powered
Ford Falcon 500.

 

The article
explained that although it was in fact a Hydrogen Reactor it was quite safe.

 

How does
one sell that concept to an RTA Clerk to obtain road-worthiness registration
for the vehicle.

 

Power Plant
: Hydrogen Reactor.

Cylinders:  6

Manufacturer:  Homemade

 

Automatically
the application would be declined.

 

Therefore,
the gentleman, had the choice of lying about the engine, or driving an
unregistered vehicle.

 

Had Steve
received funding, then Australians today would be paying pennies for the fuel
as opposed to dollars. Unfortunately, Steve came up against the wall of Self
Interest.

 

The Self
Interest of Politicians and Lobbyists that required Petro dollars to remain in
office or to earn a living.

 

Politicians
unfortunately generally can’t see beyond the next election.

 

If Steve
had lobbied the Government with a five thousand dollar per day lobbyist by
saying:

 

If everyone
drives on Hydrogen then:

 

Australia could export all of it’s oil to
other nations.

Australians
would have zero emissions from their vehicles.

Australians
wouldn’t have to spend 11% of their pay cheques every week to pay for fuel.

Deliveries
would be cheaper therefore our lifestyle values would increase with more money
going into the economy for locally made products.

The local vehicle
industry would sell more Australian made autos (after all the rest of the world
is driving on hydrocarbons).

Australia would become the leading
economically successful nation on earth.

 

But Steve
didn’t lobby government and we are still driving smoke belching hydrocarbon
burning vehicles; we still pay through the nose for the precious black gold and
are suffering as a nation because of the stranglehold of fuel oil on the
economy.

 

So Steve’s
invention fizzled, yet the self serving interests were served.

 

This is the
choice that entrepreneurs and internauts face each and every day.

 

If the
Government doesn't understand what you are doing, then you are probably
breaking the law if you keep doing it.

 

Then again,
had Steve (the Hungarian guy in
Melbourne with the mobile Hydrogen reactor)
not told anyone, then no-one would know, but then he couldn't have raised any
money for his invention.

 

For readers
peace of mind, I should explain that it is possible to construct a Hydrogen
reactor in your kitchen using caustic soda as the catalyst (to split H from 20).

 

For every
invention that sees the light of day, thousands get forgotten.

 

As more
people become connected it will be both easier and simultaneously harder to :

 

Create a
meme,

That creates
the brand

 

Although
there are still opportunities e.g.: Twitter.

 

If you had
told me five years ago that fifty percent of the online world would be tweeting
their life stories via twitter daily, I would have laughed at you.

 

But this is
where peer pressure assists the meme.

 

If all your
friends are on Twitter, then to be part of the crowd, you also have to be on
Twitter because otherwise, you can’t follow what they are saying.

 

But the
real problem?

 

The self
serving interests of companies that can afford to hire lobbyists to convince
Government to grease the wheels of commerce in their favour.

 

Had the
Broadcasting companies utilized the services of a Psychic and discovered what
we all now know about Google, Youtube and to a lesser extent about Paypal, I am
sure that none of those companies would exist today, having been legislated out
of existence before they made good.

 

It would
appear that to hold a successful revolution, it must be:

 

Public –
under the nose of the persons that the invention disrupts.

Discrete –
It should sneak up gradually, not suddenly appear on the radar.

Useful –
The product must appeal unilaterally to a specific demographic

Unique –
The invention should have a unique aspect that is not replicated elsewhere.

Rock &
Roll – To become a meme, it must apply to a young demographic. (They – the
young demographic will ensure that Grandma and Grandpa follow.)

 

Examples of
Successful Revolutions.

 

Newspapers
are now virtually unread in their paper forms.

Advertising
Companies that do not utilize Google are shutting their doors

In Australia, VOIP has almost displaced all
commercial voice traffic (Telstra local and std call fees).

Bricks and
Mortar Video stores and Record shops closing.

The Soviet
Government was essentially toppled from inside by the wide adoption of personal
computers facilitating non-censored traffic between individuals.

 

If you are
an inventor, good luck with your Revolution, because, that is what a successful
product roll-out requires. A revolution in thinking, a revolution in marketing
and a revolution in selling the concept to the funders.

 

Leave a Comment