Sep 25, 2012 1:36 AM
Internet: The “Business Cycle” of the World Wide Web
Do you believe that everything happens in cycles? Or how about the balance between all things? Every time something good happens, does something bad also happen? How about whenever we buy something new? Does something else that we already have break down or get damaged? In Chinese philosophy, there is the concept of yin-yang, which the West refers to as “yin and yang.” It is a form of nature where the universe strives to keep all things in balance.
How about in the world of finance? For every stock that goes up, is there one that goes down? For microeconomics, is there a macroeconomics? Then there are “Business Cycles.” What is a Business Cycle? Simply put, a Business Cycle is a period during which a business, an industry, or the entire economy expands and contracts.
How about the World Wide Web or Internet? If my recollection serves me right, there were a variety of protocols that were developed in the 1960s to 1970s that eventually led to what we now know today as the Internet. For younger generations, we may trace the Internet back to the mid-1990s when Bill Clinton was president. During those years, the Internet grew at a phenomenal and unbelievable rate. Data was transmitted at a much higher speed over fiber optic networks through the usage of emails; instant messaging; VoIP; discussion forums; blogs; online shopping sites; and yes, even social networking. The rise of the dot-com era paved the way to a new generation of billionaires.
Would it be fair to say with the latest rise of Facebook, a $100 billion IPO, that the Internet has been expanding for at least two decades if we were to only mark the start of the boom in the mid-1990s? Within the past 20 years, a company like Google, which was incorporated in 1998 and went public in 2004, has gathered an unbelievable amount of data, which to some may be beneficial, but to others is too saturated to be effective. Take a new business for example. After buying a domain name (if it is still available), paying for a server, creating a website, and performing daily maintenance, it would be extremely difficult for that new business to be “searchable” (or simply put, be found) if advertising dollars are not being spent. Sometimes even if advertising dollars are being spent, effectiveness is still elusive.
Let's take a look at it from a different perspective. How many different profiles do we have today? Facebook? Twitter? Amazon? Ebay? How about Gmail, Yahoo, or Hotmail? YouTube? Did you know that when registering for a Gmail account you are required to have an email address? Yes, really!! Here you are trying to open an email account through Gmail, but it requires you to have one already. Does that make any sense?? Then there are those domain names. If you have a domain name, then you also have a profile with either GoDaddy or NetworkSolutions. How about downloading apps or music from iTunes? There’s another profile that you would need to have as well. And these are just some of the popular sites that require profiles. If we were to list everything, it would probably take up pages and pages of space. What would you prefer? Shopping in a mall where many different stores are centralized in one location or driving to each of those stores with each one having a different location?
Wal-Mart is a perfect example of this exact philosophy, as it has made it work since 1962. A shopper can literally pick up mouthwash, soap, deodorant, a loaf of bread, milk, a bathing suit, and a jogging outfit all conveniently at the same time—and most importantly, at the same location. What if the World Wide Web Universe was like a Wal-Mart, where all the famous brands came together in one simple site, using one simple profile, and most importantly, you have the ability to build your own community with instant interaction all at the same time? You could buy a book, search for the hottest hangout, download (or upload) an app, microblog, share a photo (or video), compete in virtual games, and have instant interaction all at the same time—and while using just one simple profile! Certainly, popular individual sites like Google, Amazon, Ebay, GoDaddy, Twitter, or even Facebook may not be fond of the idea because they can clearly see that if such an entity was to exist, their sites could literally be crushed!
Let's go back to our initial topic, the “Business Cycle,” with its expansion and contraction stages. We are at the “expansion” stage of the World Wide Web because everything is too saturated. A given user has way too many profiles to even handle. As of the end of 2011, there were 555 million websites, and 220 million registered domain names. How can anyone find anyone on the Internet? Even if mega bucks were to be added into online advertisements, how effective can it be? Yes, the new wave of social media sites has been helpful in “contracting” things down to a smaller, more durable scale of information to handle, but social media sites today from Facebook and Twitter to LinkedIn are still not the ultimate answer when compared to the similar philosophy of Wal-mart being the leader of the retailers.
As the Business Cycle goes in the world of business, the “Internet Cycle” is soon to follow in the World Wide Web universe. Where there are expansions, contractions are inevitable.
With that, we would like to conclude with our humble philosophy: Sqeeqee will become "The Missing Link" of the Internet as to what Wal-mart is to retailers.
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