20 years

I just realized today that I've been a netizen for more than 20 years now, having entered the Web since its mainstream adoption in the late 80s/early 90s. Back then, peer-to-peer BBS systems were just beginning to fade as 2400 baud modems were taking off (14.4k if you came from a tech-infused household). Also, the only entities with 24/7 unlimited access to the Internet were government agencies, very large tech firms, college campuses, and few others with the hardware and sophistication to create home-based LANs. Just look at how companies rose and fell over the years because of rapid adoption. What it takes to spur evolution is how willing an innovator is to let technology grow organically through its userbase. This isn't in the least viral marketing, that is a whole other beast.

An originator of a concept, an ideal, or a technological product can only hope to dominate market share by capturing as much of it as possible within the first year of its inception (e.g., Groupon vs LivingSocial, BOGOPOD, Goldstar Events). Momentum follows after that, and when executed well, it becomes a company's cash cow--stable and mature--allowing the company to sink resources into other revenue-generating endeavors.

Execution in a noise-rich world still takes well thought-out processes, a business plan, marketing and sales savvy, competitive advantages, and an inherent goal to be the best at what your firm does. This does not mean that you should focus on or be content with being #1 or #2 in the industry, but rather be the best at whatever your firm has to offer.

On a side note, when US companies look abroad for more revenues, they forget that domestically we are more than 300 million strong as potential customers, users, and collaborators in the next generation of their products and services. There aren't too many x-factors that can halt or slow down population regeneration and it is because of this that retail grocery stores not only thrived but were profitable during the Great Recession.
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