Get on board for the Imminent Internet 3.0 Gold Rush

Bill Gates Internet 3.0

Twenty years ago this month, Microsoft CEO Bill Gates looked into the future and predicted how the Internet would function today — and most importantly what that would mean for small businesses.

In a paper entitled “Content is King,” Gates predicted much of the “real money” would be made on the Internet and no business would be too small to participate. How right he was!

Never in the history of the United States has there existed so much opportunity for anyone with a marketable business idea to become an entrepreneur as a result of technological advancements of the past two decades.

Compared to the technological advances of even just the past two years, 1996 looks like a modern-day stone age.

The crawling World Wide Web was just learning to walk. Landline phones, fax and courier services served as our main modes of communication. The Yellow Pages were used to seek services and the White Pages to find friends.

CompuServe and AOL were the big names in connecting people online through the lure of chat rooms. Websites were few, and less than 1 percent of the world was connected to the Internet through the painfully “fast” 56K-speed modem.

Today, email and cloud-based services such as Dropbox have taken a huge slice out of jockeying important documents. Used creatively, Salesforce.com empowers a sales team of one to be as effective as a team of seasoned business developers.

Google has pretty much replaced phone books and has given us access to every research venue imaginable, enabling small and midsized businesses to acquire vast amounts of data that were once unaffordable.

Facebook has quieted chat rooms and message boards and has become an extremely powerful tool for retail and business-to-consumer companies.

Now, much of the world is connected to the Internet at lightning speed — all accessible from smartphones, which, by the way, replaced the highly innovative and panache flip-phone of the ’90s.

Apps downloaded to today’s smartphones can empower an entrepreneur to run a profitable business anywhere from a small apartment to a coffee shop to an office complex.

Overnight Success

Flash back to 1996, when the word “entrepreneur” was mentioned, great business leaders such as Gates, Ted Turner and Warren Buffet came to mind. Competing against corporate giants was typically not an option for small and midsized business.

That is no longer the case. Today, anyone with a Mac and something to sell can become a successful entrepreneur and create new jobs.

What a difference two decades can make. Or, these days, two years, two months and even two weeks.

Never before has there existed so vast an opportunity to become an overnight success.

Internet of Things (IoT)

So what does this small slice of history teach us?

Now, there’s a storm on the edge of the sky. It’s called the Internet of Things, or IoT. What we consider progress since the birth of the Internet will be miniscule in just four years as we celebrate the new decade.

Today, IoT is most evident on the consumer side, such as smart watches and other wearable devices.

However, great opportunity exists in the business community — just like the Internet “Gold Rush” of 20 years ago. IoT will enable businesses to automate in ways once unimaginable, reduce labor costs and compete globally like never before.

Most importantly, IoT will open a floodgate of possibilities for small and midsized businesses.

Seize the Opportunity

There is a huge advantage businesses now have that most did not in 1996: We know the Gold Rush is coming. In fact, it is here. Now is the time to seize the opportunity, because, on the flip side, never before has there been a time where so many can easily become “here today, gone later today.”

IoT will be both a blessing and a curse. Many will prosper, but seating is limited.

It will be a blessing to entrepreneurs who are now determining how IoT can benefit their business, developing a strong online marketing strategy in response to their findings, while fully establishing their online presence through consistently producing meaningful content.

Conversely, IoT will be a curse to those who will become obsolete by trying to get in too little, too late.

Ken Kilpatrick is president of Sylvia Marketing & Public Relations, a Philadelphia area-based agency specializing in getting clients in the news, or out of the news. He can be reached at 610-323-3500 or ken@sylviamarketing.com.

Peerless Solutions Goes to the Cloud Like Everyone Else

 

cloud

Peerless Solutions announced today that it has gone to the cloud.

Flanked by C-Level staff and company sycophants, Peerless CEO Marvin Lipperman remarked, “This is truly a monumental milestone in our company’s history.  We wanted to make this occasion a press event so we can show the business community that we have moved to the cloud like everyone else.”

The company’s logo and its motto, “Me Too!” proudly adorned the backdrop behind Lipperman. Peerless Solutions’ orange logo consisted of the company’s initials, PS, within a sphere and under an arch, much like a lot of other business’s logos.  Freelance graphic designers and those who sell their services on the99designs website organized in 2010 to create a “standard of standards” to ensure equity and mediocrity throughout the industry. After companies across the world adopted logos that virtually mirrored each other, Peerless initiated the bold move of doing the same.

Lipperman said that his team’s strategy of moving into the cloud further demonstrates Peerless’s commitment to being like everyone else while claiming innovation.

“People like predictability and routines,” Lipperman said to a cheering crowd of subordinates. “Peerless is committed to coloring within the lines and ensuring sustainability to that which was once new and innovative.”

There is no question that Peerless excels at fitting in. In 2011, the company sent out a mass mailer that it was going green, a move executives thought was important after years of watching other organizations grandstand about their commitment to the environment.

Launching its move to the cloud, Peerless has opened accounts with Dropbox, Google Docs, and MailChimp. Executives plan to drive to Barnes & Noble to seek Dummies books to better understand the benefits of each of these applications.

“We’re not just in the cloud—we’re squeezing the Charmin!” Lipperman said as his underlings rose to a standing ovation.

During his closing remarks, Lipperman announced the company would discontinue its practice of awarding retiring executives gold watches and instead give them Fitbit wristbands.

“This move will both demonstrate our commitment to being a healthy company, which we embarked upon last year after noticing many other businesses doing the same, as well as promote a product that everyone is buying,” Lipperman said.  “Our next goal is to create a corporate Myspace page.”