THE FIVE PHASES OF TECHNOLOGY
Here’s how the Web has moved through the 5 Phases of Technology.
PHASE 1: Invention This is the period of early adoption (1995-1998) where a relative few have access to the Internet, and most still don’t see a need in it.
PHASE 2: Proliferation This is when I arrived (1998 – 2001) along with everybody else to the Internet party. Money was flowing like wine and over 100,000,000 new Websites sprung up almost overnight. Then IT happened.
PHASE 3: Regulation/Standardization By 2004, Google set the standard, both in terms of traffic generation (w
ith their search engine), and in their online advertising model (Google AdWords). This quickly led to the next phase.
PHASE 4: Consolidation In this stage, most of the traffic, money, users, etc…are sucked up by the key players either through acquisition or extermination. “Wal-Marts of the Internet” begin to emerge.
Consider this: In 2001, the Top 10 Websites in the world controlled 31% of all Internet traffic. By 2006 that number jumped to 40%. In 2010 the Big 10 accounted for 72% of ALL the traffic.
For 2012, the Top 10’s estimated share is 82 – 85%, leaving ordinary “Mom and Pops” to fight for the scraps.
And again, this isn’t isolated to the Web. All technologies eventually reach the consolidation phase.
When railroads started in the 1800’s, 186 train companies sold stock in public offerings. But in 50 years there were just 6 real railroads. That’s 97% consolidation.
When AT&T’s patent on the telephone expired in 1894, 6000 new phone companies were formed in less than a YEAR. None survived.
When the rotary printing press was invented every “po-dunk” town had 20+ newspapers. Today they have one (at most) and that one’s on life support.
How about one more example just to drive the point home?
At one time the US ALONE had over 100 auto makers! Now there are 2 ½.
Are you starting to get it?
This is HISTORY and HISTORY never lies.
- More recently, Wal-Mart & Home Depot CRUSHED traditional main street stores.
- Cell phones have made land lines obsolete.
- Cable has all but destroyed network TV.
- Salad in a bag now outsells LETTUCE.
- Coffee is $4 a cup and EVERYWHERE.
- And GPS systems have replaced paper maps forever.
This is the NATURAL path of business development.
It NEVER Waivers…NEVER!
The only difference with the web is SPEED. The web has completed the 4 cycles in around 10 years when it took some of these innovations decades.
But remember, there is a 5th phase – INNOVATION!!
Cars replaced the horse, radio CRUSHED newspapers, TV beat radio and eventually SOMETHING will beat the Web. In fact, I would argue that the process has already begun.
PHASE 5: Innovation Younger users are bored with traditional websites. Apps are replacing browsers, texts are replacing email, Facebook is replacing Google and mobile is replacing traditional Internet traffic.
So what Phase is the Web in today? I happen to believe it’s stuck in “limbo” between Phase 4 and Phase 5. Facebook ALONE is an innovation against a Google-controlled web, and it has more users today than the ENTIRE web had when I began online!!
Mobile MAY replace the web, Apps will probably replace software, credit cards will soon be embedded into your cell phone (heck, they already are in Europe.)
This IS all happening and you can’t stop it, but you can profit from it if you take your head out of the sand.
So where does this leave you? What are you supposed to do with this information?
see POST: – Ryan Deiss