The internet is a strange thing indeed. Just in the last 20 years it shaped and changed the world in a way like never before. Thanks to it, empires like Google, Amazon, eBay, Facebook and Alibaba among others were born. They changed the way we buy, communicate and live.
The User Is The Focal Point
In the past if you wanted to be a music or TV star, there were only two options: Either the movie or the music industry gets you a contract. People who wanted to start a shop needed to think about rent, location and so on.
Nowadays things changed a lot. The new stars are being forged on platforms like Vine or YouTube, even though this platforms don’t create a thing themselves. Uber is the world’s largest taxi company but it owns no vehicles, Facebook is the world’s most popular media owner but it creates no content, Alibaba became the most valuable retailer but has no inventory and Airbnb is the world’s largest accommodation provider but owns no real estate. These platforms are kept alive by the contents, actions and commitment of their users.
Old & New
In the past if you discovered the solution to a problem, you founded a company and offered the customer the solution in the form of a product or service. The company significantly determined what could be done and what not. Companies seemed untouchable for the customer.
Fortunately through the Internet, new opportunities have emerged and hence also new business models. Those who have followed events carefully, have surely noticed that most of the new companies are no more than just platform managers. Uber, for example, only manages the Platform, but their core business is done independently by the users.
The old school business is slowly dying and the Internet 3.0 is surely slowly being built. It is as if the new companies, are following the teachings of Adam Smith; that one should not interfere in the economy, because the invisible hand is able to regulate the market by itself. It’s like they are creating economies and letting the invisible hand take care of the rest. They themselves act as the state and ensure that the effectiveness, fairness, protection and the necessary infrastructure is ensured within the economy.
Power To The People
People are self-employed by these new companies and can now also contribute to this world-changing processes. As result not only the companies but also the costumer and the users become part of the success. This manifests itself in a form of independence.
In the past if you wanted to become a comedian, you had to hope that a talent scout would discover you so that you could get a deal and appear on TV. Nowadays most of these stars are emerging from Facebook, Vine or YouTube. There are even people who are making their livings just trough these platforms.
People don’t need deals anymore or don’t have to invest a lot to start their own companies. To start my own online shop, a website or physical store aren’t required anymore. I simply register myself on Amazon and start selling my goods.
The power and responsibility are being given to simple people. They can do what they want. It depends on them now if they are successful or not.