The Idea Dude

CONNECTING THE DOTS ONE AT A TIME

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Disintermediation

We talked about it in the late 90's and now it's pervasive. What is it? According to Wikipedia, disintermediation is the process of cutting out the middlemen, or to put it more elegantly, it is market transparency. Businesses who ignore it will do so at their own peril. The examples touch every aspect of life. With voice-over IP (VOIP) we see Skype, MSN, Yahoo and Google offering free calls across the Internet...a huge savings if you do a lot of long distance calls. eBay created a marketplace that blurred buyers and sellers and transaction size. It's success is highlighted by the number of small to large enterprises selling some or all of their goods through that channel. Open source software has become a legitimate avenue for low cost/free fully functional software that rivals offerings that cost thousands of dollars. All of this happened because of mass connectivity.

So what's the message in this blog bottle. The Internet continues to change our lifestyles radically. It is still a killer wave. Some say it's Web 2.0 but who's counting...and who said it should be linear. You have to be so in tune with your consumers and trends in the Internet space. One of my favorite trendspotting sites is Trendwatching. It is absolutely amazing what people will ask for and pay for today. The barriers of brick and morter are gone and the adage that your competitor is just a click away is real. The Internet has also allowed many ideas that would have been thrown out of big businesses to flourish and live a little. Take PodBrix for example. You gotta love the savy of the owner who builds Lego jackets for iPods and apparently makes a decent dime from it (not to mention probably having a lot of fun living his passion).

I guess what we need to realize is that in this age where we are potentially connected to every other human being on the planet, you will find your clone and you will find someone (hopefullly more than one) who will buy your product/idea. The upshot is that you don't need a couple of million dollars and three years to build your company. It's enough to have a little bit of courage, a little bit of passion and lots of encouragement to jumpstart your dream....May all your mistakes be quick and small ones!

There is no oracle (like the Matrix) who will tell you if you are the one. Only you will know. But rest assured while there is no 'i' in team there's definitely an 'i' in Internet.

If you do what you have always done, you will get what you have always gotten...

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