We have arrived at something of a Strategic Inflection Point. The internet now delivers sufficient bandwidth and ease of access to provide the web content we really want. Netflix, the US film rental business, has just announced it is now a film streaming business. It’s already responsible for 26% of used bandwidth in the US. And now Internet TV is about to explode with Sony launching Google TV before Christmas.
We are now encouraged to have only ‘immersive experiences’ through 3D TV and full body gaming led by the Wii, now being taken forward by Microsoft and Sony with their own Xbox and PS3 versions.
Facebook growth shows its commercial potential is several years ahead of where Google was at the same time in its journey, suggesting Facebook could be bigger than Google. We have only just begun to understand what Mr Zuckerberg plans to do with all our personal data.
LinkedIn has become the business network for many organisations and individuals. Some people use it as their primary career move tool.
Generation Y adults, those who can’t remember a pre-Internet world, are using communication in new ways, younger members now viewing email as the ‘old persons’ preferred choice. They would rather not eat than lose connectivity.
The old ‘dead trees’ print media has realised it has got to be more creative than just replicate its newspapers on-line. Murdoch is trying to sell premium content behind a pay wall, early evidence is not encouraging. The Guardian is committed to providing free access to a much wider and deeper resource than the newspaper, which is increasingly looking like a daily printed digest of yesterday’s best stuff. The Daily Mail web site is going gangbusters since it morphed into a celebrity gossip column with lots of papped pics.
Three very different positioning models, all searching for the post printed future
At the other end of the scale McKinsey, the strategy consultancy, announced last week they are scrapping premium membership of their Quarterly print book, replacing it with a simple registration model. They believe getting their ‘intellectual capital out there’ is more important than protecting a relatively small revenue stream.
Amazon announces the Kindle e-reader is their biggest selling product with analysts predicting it making more than a $1.5bn contribution next year. Bet your house the McKinsey Quarterly will be purchasable on Kindle.
The other obvious ‘A’ listed organisation shaking things up is Apple. Through inventing whole new device categories and reinventing others, they have become more valuable than Microsoft. They brilliantly connect with our unarticulated needs, tapping into brand new revenue streams.
This brings us to the mobile phone. Smart phones are taking the world by storm, following exactly the same adoption pattern as the phone itself, which started as a converted business tool, twenty years later being more ubiquitous than any other electronic device. Smart phones will be the same. Small powerful computers, with location based services, linked in real time to several personal networks, used for communication, (voice, visual and written), entertainment, payments and access control.
The business opportunities are significant; however the chance of your business model being ripped away from you is also significant!