Technology has made our world flat again
Ancient people used to believe that the Earth was flat and it was not until roughly 500 years ago that we acknowledged the concept of our Mothership Earth being a sphere and recognizing how huge it is. The technological tsunami that has been well on its way since the World Wide Web kicked into high gear in the mid Nineties. I has managed to flatten the world again without physically shrinking this place. As we keep surfing the Internet – we finally have a tool that has great potential for countries and people of any ethnic and religious background to participate in business globally without having to ever leave our houses.
There is not a week that goes by where businesses call or e-mail me offering their products and engineering services – from thousands of miles away. Not only does our technology finally offer opportunities to those of us who used to suffer from centuries of colonialism and its ugly repercussions, it also has proven itself by making business more transparent and thus fairer in general. The times are gone by when manufacturers tried to manipulate the quotation and buying process by controlling if not limiting information. Now we just need a browser and a good search engine and wealth of information opens itself up to us.
This type of trading makes the whole quotation and buying experience much fairer and provides unique business opportunities for producers that are sincere and genuine in what they offer to the market. The emergence of social marketing that at its root is basing a company’s success to think about inviting customers to buy instead of pushing themselves onto the customer and actively having to sell products or services. What that means is that now a consumer has so many choices that what a seller offers had better be providing value to them. It should (I feel it is a must) be offered for customers to take at their free will without manipulation. The Web lowers the smoke screen that conventional sales and distribution outlets used to benefit from and raises the bar for us all to be honest. Consultants are probably the only ones who could argue that there income are threatened by the free information made available on the Net. On the other hand, they also have a great chance to use the technology to their benefit. Even the Web cannot exist without relationships that are based on trust and commitment management. There still need to be people who need to work on answering Web based requests.
Of course then there is the rate of speed at which one can acquire knowledge and do business. It is fascinating to me that nowadays I have the opportunity to not travel to a job site any more because you I log on to the machinery controllers and “be there” without being there. Machinery troubleshooting is possible from wherever we have access to the Net. Even better, you are even alerted by the machine with an SMS or e-mail that it is on trouble. Can you imagine how much time, money and natural resources you – and therefore your customer – do not need to spend anymore? Plant managers have an opportunity assessing life cycle costs for product ranging from a small blower to high value assets such as kilns – phenomenal.
Finally, the Internet and social media afford everyone who can afford new age telephony and computer technology to open up their own businesses. No matter where you are today, there is typically a way how to access the internet and thus offer you the chance to offer your products and services to a global audience. It provides access to markets that used to be physically guarded and your entry into it was all but impossible.
I have trouble nowadays thinking back to a time when we did not have technological marvels such as E-Mail, Skype, Twitter, FB, Instagram, Pinterest, Snapchat, WhatsApp, customer relationship databases, Intranets, cloud base technology, and so many more. It still comes with disadvantages such as leaving poor folks out who do not have the money to participate. The Internet has changed our lives forever and it has brought us humans closer together than ever before in history. It also will provide well for entities that use the technology in a way that is beneficial for all the stake and share holders – including the customer as well as our environment. Physically the Earth has not shrunk, but it is flat and technology has brought us closer together than ever before.