The wild wild west
One of my favorite activities around the end of August is reading the September fashion magazines. Elle magazine turns 30 this year. I remember when the first issue made its way to the states. This particular issue highlights what people thought 30 years ago vs today around politics, fashion, religion, workplace, etc. Certainly interesting data but not that surprising. Times change and so do people’s thoughts or perceptions around all of these topics.
Certainly the Internet has shifted everything particularly the landscape for companies, employment and the impact of our daily life. In 1996 there were 35 million people using the web and now there are 3 billion. Think about that. Companies have been built around those eyeballs. Products that we did not even know we needed but now can’t live without. It is one thing to grab market share in a mature industry yet it is another thing to grab market share on a platform that grows daily.
I keep thinking about the companies that come across my desk that are consumer driven….although if you really think about it everything is to some degree. Everyone of those founders believe that they are creating something that will grab some of those eyeballs. That their platform will be the next one huge winner. That their product will end up in millions of peoples hands. Then there are the investors who back them because they believe that product is the one that will become big fast or will be a game changer due the technology that is embedded in the product.
There are many reasons that some of these companies succeed, fail or become large, medium or small. Sometimes it is purely about execution but most of the time it is about time, place, team, investors…and the perfect storm. When I think about the Internet use in our daily lives (people say that they use social media over 3 hours a day) We are living through a global wild wild west that is changing our future. Even the global companies that started small in 1999 must continue to be innovative to stay relevant. Every day someone else is tossing a new idea into the ring. Betting on the right horse isn’t so easy but it certainly makes for some great conversation.