Five years ago, March 1st, 2010, I wrote about what Blogs might look like in 5 years, I also threw out some numbers that I predicted would happen. Let’s go back and see how close I was back then.
Here is my opening paragraph:
“I can’t help but wonder what blogging will look like in 5 years, blogs for the most part are static and becoming integrated with Social Media Tools. There’s only 1.7 Billion people on the net and over 235 Million Blogs out there. Projections clearly show that over the next 3 – 5 years 5 Billion people will be on the Internet. Will Blogging be the primary platform? I don’t think so, everything is going more and more mobile, on the go.”
At that time only 1.7 Billion people were using the Internet. There were ONLY 235 Million Blogs, and data also suggested that in the next 3 -5 years there would be 5 Billion people using the Internet.
Today, over 3 Billion people are using the Internet, that’s 2 Billion short of projections, but that’s mostly due to the speed in which Internet access could be provided. Google & 3BNetworks are making the Internet available to all the 3rd world countries, but not as quickly as they had hoped.
The number of blogs on the Internet today is, well….seemingly impossible to track, there is no accurate count that I’m aware of.
Let’s look at paragraph #2:
“Will there be a place for blogs? Will there be a need to for content to be new and fresh multiple times a day? The money won’t be the content, it will be in the filtering and curation of content produced. More products or systems will be invented to manage all this data, data will be connected to data, there will be a huge need for filtering.”
There was a time, recently…that blogging was considered dead. But ask the question, will there be a place for blogs? Obviously blogging is not dead, and there is still a place & need for blogging. The money in blogging is actually the content, original content…there is bigger money in the curation, and the delivering of that filtering and curating. It’s kind of like the retail market, the channel of distribution, more information, curated, and lower prices. Whoever has curated a large amount of data, and has figured out how to deliver it to the masses at a low price, and even free, is making large piles of money. Not much has changed here, the old way, or the old attitude still prevails here, in terms of how we think about business, and how it is being done. One thing still rings true, it’s impossible to read every blog on the Internet, so those who filter and curate have a leg up.
And the last paragraph:
“There is much to do, and it will be interesting to see how things scale as the rise in Internet users climbs to 5 Billion. How will it impact your business? How will it impact your blog? How will we rise above the noise we can’t rise above now? The answers are forth coming, but we haven’t figured them out yet. We better hurry, time is running short. Will this blog even show up on the radar screen, it barely does now! So many questions and so many unanswered. We spend hours a day working on our blogs thinking it will look and feel the same years down the road. But I can help but wonder, what will blogs look like in 5 years?”
All these questions are still valid today, why? It boils down to one thing….we still haven’t made the paradigm shift. We are still hanging on to the old ways of doing business, organizing business, and we are still trying force feed an Industrial Age to the masses. We just can’t seem to embrace the change required, it’s too hard I guess.
In some circles, change is happening just for the sake of change, and in others, it’s moving to fast to accept as a new way of life. No matter how difficult it might be to make this paradigm shift, the blog doesn’t appear to be going away, everything is just more mobile. Mobility is here to stay, and is also changing, technology is being embedded into everything these days, including our clothes.
So, was I wrong? Sure, but not because I should have been, I was wrong because most of what I saw, and see today, is just taking longer, but it’s still going to happen. Is blogging dead, not by a long shot…you’re reading it now : ) And yes, there is still much to be done. To be honest, I’m disappointed in where blogging is today, but that to is changing. I am concerned as well, technology is fooling us, we are allowing it to control our lives. Texting and driving is all the proof I need.
January 1st, 2013, I spent a great deal of time reading material from people far smarter than myself. Through the process of what I call research, which is reading smarter people’s work, or listening to them speak via video on YouTube, I thought about what my driving force for 2013 was going to be. I wanted to use simple words to help me focus, to help me continue my message, a set of words that would be the basis of my work for this new year.
The Future of Business will always be the umbrella of all that I share here on this blog, from nanotechnology, marketing, people, ideas, thoughts, and the open & free business model. All of the content here is to help you make a paradigm shift, to think differently about business, more specifically…your business. But this years primary theme, or driving words are:
This year, to help you, to make it easier for you, I’m going to continue building my platform. A platform where I will provide some tools for you to Create, to implement the open & free business model into your business. These tools will be in the form of webinars, videos, templates, and a simple workbook, similar to the one I provide in my workshops. I will be doing my workshops in a webinar format from this day forward. Most of the material will be FREE, some will be paid content, for members only.
This year is about creating, differentiating, and to always deliver that which has been created and made different.
This area is easy for some, and very hard for others. many find it much easier to create for other(s) businesses over their own. But creating isn’t marketing, it’s giving shape to, and giving life to ideas. We all must create before we can do the other two, before we can differentiate and deliver. We want to be creating all the time, it should be what energizes us, to create a solution, or something useful.
Once something has been created, we want it to be special, to be different, to be useful, to be the best. This will be the secret sauce of your creation. This is where the quote, “Be The Best, It’s The Only Market That’s Not Crowded”. That quote was provided to me by Tom Peters, which he borrowed from the late George Whalin, from his book called “Inside The 25 Best Independent Stores In America“. (Affiliate Link)
In my humble opinion, you can never deliver enough. You should create, differentiate, and deliver more than you should ever consume. This is where the money will be made, if you ship, you will at some point make money. A call to action. If you don’t ship, nothing happens, it’s that simple. To deliver means, the world will hear from you, and frankly, the world needs you to create, to be different, and to deliver that which is scarce – YOU! The world needs you.
What will you create this year, how will it be different, and will you ever deliver that creation? The foundation of the Open & Free Business Model is to Create. Differentiate. Deliver. I challenge you to explore and implement the open & free business model, to use the 90 / 10 rule, to give away more than you charge for, your business will be a business of the future.
Listen To This Post As A Podcast:
If you could flick a switch to instantly change the way you think about business, would you flick it? What would stop you from flicking that switch? Is it fear, or are you admitting that you’re comfortable with how you see business, that you’re just fine with industrial age thinking and processes.
What is it about the shift(s) in consumers that is your biggest struggle? Chances are, the problem isn’t the consumer, it’s you. Imagine flicking that switch, then instantly you would have a different view of your business, and the consumers you’re trying attract. Flicking the switch is not that easy, it means unlearning much of what you know about business in the future. If it was easy, we would all have prosperous businesses and no need for acquiring new clients and customers. Even that doesn’t sound realistic does it?
There is this underlying emotion or thinking with business owners, they start a business thinking there is an end, a final destination, they make a pile of money and then kick back. Nice idea but, really? This thinking comes from the starting we have been taught, we start with the goal of finishing. The truth is, starting a business, building a business, is a journey, a journey filled with challenges to solve along the way, it’s never ending. These journey’s were never meant to go smoothly, they change shape, they shift, and slowly create an identity, hopefully, a trustworthy brand.
So how do you flick the switch? You just decide to. You start by educating yourself on the future of business, you attend seminars and workshops, and you change your networking habits. If you flick the switch, you’ll find you’re more often alone, this group of people are spread all over the world, sometimes hard to find, and most are not in your area.
Flicking the switch also means you will be going against the masses, old practices, you’ll be embracing new ways of building your business, new ways of marketing, and new ways of communicating with your clientele. A complete paradigm shift, are you will to pay the price? I’ve dedicated my life to helping business owners flick the switch, many flick the switch, but rarely have the fortitude to stay the course. Old habits are hard to break, and the comfort zone is more powerful than you think.
Flicking the switch will turn you into an early adopter, see your business in a new exciting way, and you will have a better understanding of the paradigm shift the rest of the world will have to make, do you have the courage?
If you’re a business owner or entrepreneur, I challenge you to journey with me, flick the switch, and journey into the future of business. Attend one of my Future Of Business Workshops, read this blog, and listen to my soon to be coming podcasts, start the educating now. Start teaching others to flick the switch! Go ahead, the switch is on the back of your head : )
Listen To This Post As A Podcast:
- The Future Of Business – Yes!…You’re The Problem (owengreaves.com)
- The Future Of Business – “Everyone” Is Not Your Customer! (owengreaves.com)
- The Future Of Business Seminar – Abbotsford (owengreaves.com)
In alittle over a week I’ll be speaking at FRESH! Fraser Valley on this very topic, but I thought I would start sharing some thoughts with you now. If you don’t have your ticket, get one, there are some very special people waiting to meet you, and to share.
Those of you who frequent this Blog know that I preach an Open & Free Business Model, and in case you didn’t know, sharing is the foundation of that model. In fact, I would venture to say that this is what business and individuals need to know to shape their futures. In my opinion, sharing is the single most important thing you can do in business, transparent sharing to be more specific. Many times I have been asked, what kind of sharing should I do? To me, the answer is brain dead simple, apparently it isn’t for most.
So, what should you be sharing? In can be as simple as telling your story, tell the story of how your business or product came to life, let people know that your business is human. Keep it simple, take your readers on a journey about your business. This story is the glue to your business and your entrepreneurial success!
Now there’s more to it than just a one time sharing of that story, continue telling the story, tell it as the story grows and changes over the coming months and even years. Don’t brag or sell, just share. It’s really that simple. Draw people in through your story, your readers or followers will know if you’re genuine or not, they’ll sniff out a sales pitch in a heart beat. But they love a good story, and are looking for someplace to hunker down feel welcomed. The story is part of an equation, it’s part of the inbound marketing equation, it’s part of how business will be done in the next 3 – 5 years, it’s also part of a paradigm shift.
Turning the future into revenue means this, pay special attention to whats happening around you and your business. I’m willing to bet that you see more and more businesses sharing as a major component to their success. These businesses are rebuilding, becoming smaller to be able to move faster and add people without adding overhead. Entrepreneurs are the new BIG business, small is big in this new world of business, and these entrepreneurs know how to make sharing a financial success.
Looking at the bigger picture helps you with what you will share, looking ahead, the future is not a one way street; you can shape it with the right strategies, the right tactics, and the right story to share. The question is never where to start, or what to share, it should be, what’s coming and what effect will it have on my business. That’s one part of the paradigm shift, moving from denial to foresight.
Sharing will attract customers, readers and better yet, friends. It can improve your bottomline, it can increase traffic to your businesses website or Blog, and it will most definitely improve your entrepreneurial success. Just tell the story and watch great things happen.
For years we have used the Internet much like a PS3 or an XBOX, it was an add-on to our entertainment center, it was attached to the TV. The TV has been the CORE entertainment box since it’s inception, but now TV as we know it is all but done. Internet TV is becoming the primary way we watch TV, that’s killing advertisers and cable networks. I wrote earlier this week that we in our household canceled cable for a couple reasons; we can get what we want on the NET, and two we weren’t watching TV all that much. So, we cut the overhead and will put that money into something we want online.
Business owners started paying attention to the Internet when they heard a few making considerable revenue online, the problem is, it was never take seriously. Today, if you’re a business owner you must take the Internet seriously and have a strategy that meets the requirements / objectives of your business plan. The Internet is no longer just an add-on, it has and is now becoming central to doing commerce period. In the next couple years you will see 30% of all commerce done online, is that your business? That number is going to grow closer to 60% when it’s all said and done.
It’s not enough to use the Internet as your primary source for revenue, you will also have to adopt an open economy strategy. The strategy is not difficult, it’s the way you think about that open economy, and how you will participate in it. I’ll harp on this until I no longer have to, it’s a paradigm shift, and it’s a painful shift. Take a look at my last blog post on Gerd Leonhards list of 14 shifts. My question to you is, how does it make you feel when you read that list?
Are you using the Internet only for entertainment, or is it becoming your primary way of doing business? The Internet is demanding respect, and so are your customers, they want to know if you are there to serve them or if you are just playing them and the Internet. No longer can you treat the Internet as an add-on to your business, you must begin the process giving the Internet it’s due. You should be shifting to a Web-Native model, that’s where the Internet is central to everything you do. Then you need to embrace an open economy where you give users more control of how they do business with you. This open economy is also very mobile and very social, how will you adopt this model? Will you be kicking and screaming or will you invite creativity and ask your customers what they would have you do?
Is the Internet just an add-on for you and your business or is the core platform for your business? The Internet is the game changer and has given everyone an opportiunity to not only have a voice, but also build something special your customers will embrace. Make the Internet your primary platform, the Internet Is No Longer Just An Add-on.