During a coffee break at a Small Business BC web writing course I was delivering this week, an entrepreneur approached me for some advice specific to his business. After discussing a couple of solutions, he sighed and said, “things take forever to set up on the Internet.”
I grinned. Just a few short decades ago, business ventures required products to be built by hand, marketing opportunities were limited and distribution could involve railroads and steamships. Such vast operations would call for huge sums of manpower and money.
Today, a new idea can get out to market within weeks, and by a single entrepreneur.
There are countless entrepreneurs with blogs, forums, affiliate sites, software solutions, e-commerce sites, dating sites and so on making significant incomes, several boasting they work just a couple of hours a day.
That’s the typical workday of one individual who is taking full advantage of the Web. Consider the resources it would have taken not too long ago to connect more than 600,000 people daily and initiate over 500,000 relationships a year. Today, it’s done by one man, Markus Frind, from his 900-square-foot apartment in Vancouver, B.C. He created PlentyofFish in 2003, which brings in more than $5 million annually.
Absolutely, website development can be a nuisance. But it’s a small deed compared to the logistical challenges that businesses faced in the past. Delivering a package not even 20 years ago across New York City would involve a lot of people, steps, time and dollars. Today, that delivery is made in a matter of seconds with just a few quick clicks.
There’s no denying the Internet has rapidly changed the landscape of business. So fast, it’s sometimes difficult to keep in perspective.