Archive for April, 2012

Dusting off and taking stock

Sunday, April 8th, 2012

Finally decided to get off my butt and start writing more regularly. Been giving my high schooler lots of advice lately about pushing herself to do more and the hypocrisy was beginning to grate on my conscience :-)

Been a pretty interesting past few years during my pause. All the exciting stuff at work and home has been dwarfed by what’s happened with the Web. It has continued to steamroll along on its journey to transform the business world. Mobile and handheld devices have added high octane fuel to the fire. Our household now has 3 iPhones and 3 iPads for 4 people.

But, I believe that we’re very very very very far away from reaching full potential. Let me explain.

The promise of the web from a business perspective is extremely simple – efficiency.

Efficiency is gained for businesses through access to:

  1. Information: while the web today delivers a lot of information, we suffer from the needle in the haystack challenge. Getting to relevant information is not just extremely difficult but also near impossible in many cases. Another complication is that several businesses consider information their crown jewels and are very reluctant to share this with other businesses.
  2. Technology: this is probably where the web is farthest along. However, availability and cost across the globe especially in developing countries remains a challenge.
  3. Expertise: the web is least mature from this perspective. While there are things like discussion forums and marketplaces for work like Mechanical Turk or eLance or oDesk, we don’t yet have a widespread and well established notion of virtual workforces that businesses can rely on.

While there is a lot of focus on #1 and #2, there isn’t enough focus on #3.

This is a HUGE problem because #3 is a BLOCKER.

Without widespread and stable access to expertise, no business can do anything useful with all the information and technology thrown at it. I believe we are now at that juncture where #3 is going to rapidly become an issue.

I rest my case.