Internet is making the Inefficient Efficient

If you’re trying to figure out how your business or career is being disrupted by this Internet thingy, don’t look to the flipper-flappers and dweebezarbs….look at processes and value chains.

Chris Pirillo has an interesting post today about “How to Start Business” but instead of it focusing on how to start *a* business, his words encompass more than just startups trying to make the inefficient efficient and disrupt the status quo. I view his post as one that also concerns those trying to reinvent, disrupt or recreate their own businesses:

The Internet is a pretty amazing tool for business…so long as you know how to use it. It is essential to understand that the Internet doesn’t work like more traditional forms of media. The Internet has changed the way that businesses and consumers interact. In order to help you understand this new paradigm here are a few of the key concepts essential to success on the Internet – especially in the blogosphere.

I’ve worked with clients since January of 2006 in a variety of business types in traditional media, telephony, publishing, marketing, public relations and technology. Every single one of them either is being disrupted by new, more efficient (and Internet-centric) offerings or are trying to figure out how they fit in a world where every business is either online or trying to figure out how to map to it.

I just had coffee with a guy from the radio business who has one foot in the traditional and one foot in the new media worlds. He’s a thought leader pushing against the membrane of the future trying to see what’s ahead and we brainstormed several ideas that are so laughingly obvious as a need that bridges these two worlds that I’m stunned they haven’t happened yet (and I’ve been poking around for a bit and there aren’t any that I can find).

Since ideas and perspectives seem to appear globally simultaneously — since our collective consciousnesses are increasingly connected — it’s important to move fast. One of the ideas is not a disruptor but could be one answer to a traditional media world being disrupted by a more efficient Internet news and information distribution model during a time where people can generate (and are) an incredibly interesting array of truly great content.

What are *you* doing to examine and analyze your business or career and discovering the areas that might or probably are being disrupted? If you’re in the newspaper, radio, TV or magazine business it’s obvious. Less so if you own a coffee shop or run chain of clothing stores.

Case in point: my bride is an international authority on trends in home furnishings (site; blog). What’s fascinating is how the High Point, NC area has always been the dominant leader in furniture design and manufacturing. The High Point Furniture Market has always been THE show to attend (and still is in many respects) but they’re being disrupted by the Chinese who are shipping hardgoods furniture to the U.S. by the container load. Jobs are being lost and there is fear that the furniture industry will go the way of the textiles industry which has essentially vanished in the U.S.

You may wonder, “Wait a second….how is furniture manufacturing being disrupted by the Internet?” Lots of factors including the nearly instantaneous ability to send design photographs to China so as to knockoff the great brands; significantly superior communications capability to talk, show and collaborate on creation and production (by designers, buyers and others in the distribution channels);  a culture of people increasingly able to get their needs met with at-their-fingertips access to information; online commerce enabling those people to find and buy virtually anything they want at the best price.

For more thoughts on this topic, peek at my post on People Oriented Architecture (vs. the I.T. focus on “Service Oriented Architecture).

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About Steve Borsch

Strategist. Learner. Idea Guy. Salesman. Connector of Dots. Friend. Husband & Dad. CEO. Janitor. More here.

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Connecting the Dots Podcast

Podcasting hit the mainstream in July of 2005 when Apple added podcast show support within iTunes. I'd seen this coming so started podcasting in May of 2005 and kept going until August of 2007. Unfortunately was never 'discovered' by national broadcasters, but made a delightfully large number of connections with people all over the world because of these shows. Click here to view the archive of my podcast posts.