Society has gone through major changes with the agricultural revolution and the industrial revolution. Both of these events changed the way people lived and worked, and significantly increased our standard of living. I believe we are in the midst of the the next major revolution, involving knowledge and the Internet. Here are the elements of the Internet that I think will drive this revolution.
- Low barriers to entry. The capital needed to get started is very minimal. One only needs a computer and Internet access to get started. Thus, participation is available to almost everybody.
- Unlimited distribution or access to knowledge and services. Content created on the Internet is theoretically available to everyone with access to the Internet. On the other hand, if something is needed, but not easy the find, the Internet can also help on discover it. One is no longer limited by relationships or contracts with retailers, individuals or other entities.
- Low cost monetizing infrastructure. Others have already built infrastructure that can be used, including Google Advertising, PayPal, EBay and hosting. Most of it is free or very low cost.
There are already some great examples of people capitalizing on the Internet Revolution. In Crain's Detroit Business, Dennis Duggan writes about a 17-year old making millions from designing MySpace pages for teens. In USA Today, Jefferson Graham writes about retirees who make up to $100,000 annually from advertising revenue on their website.
Of course, the first are likely to make more money and there may be less for later entrants. However, I believe there is still a lot of opportunity since there still many niches with potential high appeal and the cost of entry is low enough to take a chance :-)
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