We often under estimate the real impact of technology on society.
The tech invention of the printing press heralded a systemic change in the way people communicated at the time. Not just that, information started travelling much quicker, and to more remote parts of the world that ever before. In the ‘butterfly effect’ terms, the tech was the flap of the wings, and the revolutions in culture, polity and business; the storm in the other end of the world.
What I am getting to is that we might be at a similar juncture now. Surely, the invention of the Internet itself was the starting point of a revolution, but with the things getting social, and trackable, the real fruits of the internet are yet to ripen.
Lets talk retail for a bit. Working in analytics, I can see that we are entering a phase where one can track every eyeball, every movement; even the slightest hint of a purchase intent. If you compare to formal (old-school) retail, you would never be able to track if a customer came in, picked up something, put it right back and left the store. You would never really know why he left (we still don’t sometimes, but we have a more intuitive second guess.)Now you can.
Imagine having the luxury of selection like a Wal-Mart, but the personalization of the Mom-and-Pop store around the corner. Its not only possible, but its happening. And not just in the United States, and other super-rich G8 countries, its happening in India. And Brazil. And Russia. And China.
And this is just retail. Lets not even get started on the 24 year old who can basically look at how the world is conversing. Have we ever been able to chart conversations of 800 million people? Nowhere close.
The revolution is definitely here – and its not too late to think about where you stand in this new world!