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The Internet is NOT an “Information Super Highway.”

 

Metaphorically . . .

 

The Internet is a narrow country lane.

 

Most of it any way. In other words, more people “travel on the narrow country lane, from village to village,” as their primary online activity.

 

As they manage their websites, email, and social media efforts, there are long, lonely stretches with few people. In each village along the way, there are many people and they all know each other.

The friendliness and camaraderie of village life is powerfully seductive. It can seduce visitors into spending long periods hanging out. This can be detrimental to completion of the rest of their responsibilities..

 

There is a part of the Internet that might be a metaphorical “highway” (as in “highway robbery”).

 

That would be the part dominated by the banks, brokers, and cable companies that engage in “throttling,” usurious activity charges, and profit making on “villagers” money by delaying transfers.

 

Whether you must deal with today’s robber barons or not, perhaps you travel to a nearby city seeking specialized resources, such as video entertainment, money management tools, or news gathering.

 

Those activities may require venturing onto “highway” for more efficient access (bandwidth). 

 

When you arrive in the big city (a center of resources), you will see many people there. It will be impossible to know them all.

 

Unless you force yourself on them, this may make it easier for you to focus on locating the resources you seek so you may quickly return to the country.

 

There’s one thing for certain, though:

 

The Internet makes it possible to live in a village

and serve the world to make your living.

 

Before the Internet, certain specific needs could only be met by physically visiting the “center of resources” (or sending a friend with a shopping list). 

 

Think, for example, of a bookstore with a big selection or specialty food items for cooking your favorite ethnic meals.

 

Today, solutions to those kinds of needs are delivered to your door, because the Internet makes it easy.

 

That’s just the tip of the Internet iceberg.

 

According to sociologists and economists,

 

The Internet is the enabling factor for market disruption.

 

Thanks to the Internet, all kinds of businesses have been invented that simply never existing before and they’ve caused shake ups in each of the markets they enter.

 

Think, for example, of “old timers” like Amazon or eBay.  They’ve challenged both retailers and auction houses to up there games.

 

How about “new comers” like Uber or AirBnB? Uber shook up the cab business and AirBnB has disrupted the hotel, motel, bed and breakfast markets. They both have forced officials to review antiquated regulations or risk losing a portion of their tax base.

 

Then there’s publishing (newspapers, books, magazines) and the recording industries (music, movies, TV).

 

Before the Internet, those industries were dominated by a few huge companies.

 

Today, the Internet makes it possible for one-person at a time or small or really small groups to launch meaningful forays in any of those commercial arenas.

 

Think of the resurgence in independent film and TV productions.

– The Veronica Mars movie that used Kickstarter to raise more than $5 million from more than 90,000 fans is a good example (you can look at their campaign here: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/559914737/the-veronica-mars-movie-project/description).  

 

How about all the nifty inventions using crowdfunding to launch new small enterprises?

– The Pen comes to mind [  https://riind.com/ ] (see https://the-gadgeteer.com/2017/02/01/pens-cooking-gadgets-and-more-notable-crowdfunding-campaigns/ for a review of a handful of examples.).

 

Finally, the Internet has made made it possible for many more alternative sources of capital to appear, from crowdfunding to angel investors.

 

The ability of banks and venture capital firms to control who gets to launch is now a monopoly of the past.

 

Crowdfunding companies abound, from IndieGoGo to Kickstarter to Patreon.  

 

Angel investor companies, are growing in number too.

 

There’s even social networking communities for Angel Investors, such as seedInvest (with an automated tool that screens startup candidates for investors).

 

Angel Investment Network is another group that takes listings from entrepreneurs and provides screening of those listings for investors.  

 

My favorite, just because its a lot of fun, is angel.co. This network has a very friendly slogan, “Where the world meets startups.” 

 

There’s a lot more going on than these few examples, but they represent enough information for you to quickly see why I say . . .

Internet Technology IS The Great Equalizer!®

 

In

Learning

Communicating,

Making Money,

& Building Community

 

There are more market niches than ever before.

 

Your project can be focused on local markets, regional markets, global markets, or niche markets without regard for geography.

 

There are all kinds of resources, from “how to” advice, to incubators, to friendly capital.

 

All of this is accessible over the Internet. 

 

Then, there are all the tools to automate and make things run smoothly.

  • Accounting & bookkeeping,
  • Team & Project Management
  • Sales & marketing,
  • Operations & back office,
  • Safety & security for your data and your PCDs. 
  • Client Relationship Management
  • Help Desks
  • Email Marketing Campaigns
  • Low-cost phone over the Internet
  • Shipping & Receiving tied into major vendors
  • The list goes on and on.

 

There is a smartphone app or software solution for just about any system or procedure you want to adopt. Plus, there are more apps and more software to make you more effective, more efficient, and more productive.

 

 

The time is ripe to try something.

 

 

What’s your idea? When do you want to get started?

 

In the face of all that enthusiasm, I’m still a realist.

 

I continue to live by FutureU’s slogan of many years:

 

 

It’s not the technology. It’s what you do with it!®

 

 

FutureU LogoHaving launched in 1997, I incorporated FutureU™ as The University of the Future, LLC in Spring of 1998. This was back before the Internet was widely available.  

 

Over time, we learned a thing or two about the four arenas I’ve bee talking about. Here’s a list indicating the standard business school names for them:

 

My Labels Standard Labels
learning education
community customers
making money business
Internet tech & PDT technology

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today, I’m pretty good at recognizing whether you will truly benefit from what FutureU offers.

 

And, if not, I can usually make a good referral to someone I think would be of more help.

 

When you work with me or a whole team at FutureU, your best experience and result will come when what you want or need falls into the sweet spot where our expertises overlap.

 

 

The Near and Further Future

 

As I write this, I am inventing new, better products and services and reimagining old ones, to better match them to your needs. The following list outlines the mental model I’m working with, from a 30,000 foot level:

 


Learning

Learning encompasses several factors crucial to progress and success with any project whether creative, inventive, cause-driven, or primarily money-making:

  • Personal Mastery
  • Skillful Means
  • Emotional Intelligence
  • Nonviolent communication
  • Small Group Best Practices
  • Tradeskill

 

The Internet IS The Great Equalizer for:

 

Life-Long Learning and Self-Development focused on:

Tai Chi for Self Development

  • Right Livelihood
  • Simple Living
  • Mindfulness
  • Meaningful Work

 

Making Money

 

The Internet IS The Great Equalizer for:

 

The Small, Really-Small, or One-Person:

 

Creative Project
— The Arts, Music, Dance, Makers/Inventors, Craft persons, and so forth.

 

Cause-Driven Non-Profit
— social, political, environmental, religious, spiritual

 

Money Making Enterprise
— Sole Proprietorship, Partnership, LLC, S-Corp – any project, initiative, or business with fewer than 200 participants.


 

Community

 

The Internet IS The Great Equalizer for:

 

Team and Community Building (Virtual & Physical)

 

Finding your Tribe and participating in Peer-based Support. Community Any time Any where

 

Preferring Cooperation over competition

 

Facilitating Team Learning

 

Developing Online Community

 

Building Virtual “Communities of Practice”


 

Technology

 

 

The Internet IS The Great Equalizer, enabled by:

  • An infrastructure or, in today’s jargon, a “platform” or “tech stack” of Internet hardware and software.
  • Personal Computing Devices (PCD)/Personal Digital Technology (PDT)

 

The Internet IS The Great Equalizer by:

 

Expanding and extending our capabilities through PDT such as:

 

Pods, Pads, Smartphones, Laptops, Desktops, cameras/mics, sensors, and human augmentation devices are the are together are half of the hardware/software that is the Internet.

 

These PDT are connected, one to another, one to all, by the Internet infrastructure, the other half of the hardware/software that is the Internet.

 

The advent of these PDTs has transformed The Internet into The Great Equalizer for:

  • Learning
  • Communicating
  • Making Money
  • Building Community

 


 

 

Are you still available to Teaching and Learning Online clients?

 

Yes, we are! That includes anyone interested in design, development, and delivery of:

  • Online conferences
  • Online meetings
  • Online courses
  • Webinars
  • Portals (The special kind of websites needed to organize, promote, and manage any of the above.

 

You can find descriptions of these services on our old site. It’s still available at >>> http://www.futureu.com/legacy-site/ <<<

 

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Copyright © 1997 through 2017 by Claude Whitmyer & Gail Terry Grimes and Claude Whitmyer. All rights reserved. Published by FutureU Press a division of The University of the Future (FutureU™).