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The Internet is rapidly becoming unusable. Businesses dependent on the Internet may be facing a Bleak Future.
Zero Backlog - The Internet has no staying power
Evolution or Revolution? Internet and eBusiness can be described in both ways at once.
Web Time When people talk about doing things "in web time", they usually mean doing things at breakneck speed.  Webtime indicates a form of hyperactivity.
Internet Risk The supposed risks of the internet seem to drive people into two opposite camps. In the one camp, there are those who see danger everywhere.  In the other camp, there are those who argue that there is absolutely no crime, mischief or other evil perpetrated via the internet, that wasn't already possible before, so what's the big problem? One camp is perceived as paranoid luddites, while the other camp is perceived as naive technophiles.

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Internet: Bleak Future

veryard projects > technology change management > internet > bleak future

Many of us have become dependent on the Internet for personal and business communication. So it is a matter of some concern to see how the Internet - especially email - is filling up with rubbish.

Innocent newsletters are getting caught in email filters, and newsletter senders are finding this increasingly frustrating.  David Sprott of CBDI devoted his July 10th newsletter to this topic, and Bruce Schneier picked up the topic again in his CryptoGram newsletter of July 15th.

Filters may be locally effective - and this encourages some complacency. But the filters are generally ineffective, and generate significant levels of false positives.  Furthermore, the existence of filters simply encourages the producers of rubbish to increase their production volumes, at little cost to themselves, in order to maintain the desired levels of dissemination. They are therefore counterproductive for the Internet as a whole.

While many individuals and small businesses have become dependent on the internet, there are growing numbers of old-economy firms where the nuisance and risks of connection to the internet may be perceived to outweigh the advantages. It it may be hard to continue to justify open access, and many firms may be tempted to disconnect themselves from the internet altogether.

Even in the largest firms, there will always be individuals and groups who want to remain connected to the internet for various reasons - including marketing and R&D groups. But the corporate interest may prevail - and it may be a constant effort to keep the lines of communication open.

This scenario should be extremely worrying for decent small firms - as well as large media empires  - whose business depends on proper use of the internet. We are currently talking to a number of media and technology firms, to prepare contingency plans against this scenario.

veryard projects - innovation for demanding change

Internet: Zero Backlog

veryard projects > technology change management > internet > zero backlog

Campers know that there are two types of wood for a campfire. Pinewood burns quickly and brightly, and leaves no residue. Deciduous wood burns more slowly, and produces glowing embers that are great for cooking. The "backlog" is a large piece of deciduous wood that keeps the fire going - especially when the night gets colder and damper.

The internet business is fast, bright, and views backlog with scorn. When times get hard, it has no staying power.

veryard projects - innovation for demanding change

Internet: Evolution or Revolution?

veryard projects > technology change management > internet > revolution

A sudden change is often described as a revolution.  A progressive change over time is often described as an evolution.

Even in biology, the distinction between sudden change and slow change is problematic.  If you had been sitting on the seashore many millions of years ago, you might have seen the first sea creatures crawl onto land, and this might seem a sudden and dramatic event, from a human perspective.  However, a squid might see this event as relatively unimportant, merely as one of many tentative explorations by a few creatures at the margins of the oceans, or as a fairly routine extension to previous innovations within a large and diverse community of sea creatures.

Many present-day commentators characterize the emergence of computing, or the Internet, or E-Business, as revolutionary.  From one perspective, these appear to be previously unseen phenomena, emerging suddenly into public awareness from the obscurity of some other domain.  From another perspective, the same phenomena appear to be a natural consequence of a large number of independently planned and executed moves by a large number of engineers, businessmen and others, whose origins can be traced back to innovations made years ago, decades ago, perhaps even centuries ago.

Thus the same phenomenon can be described as revolutionary AND evolutionary at the same time, depending on where youíre standing, and the amount of history youíre prepared to absorb.

If I describe a change as revolutionary, Iím inviting you to concentrate your attention on certain aspects of the change.  I want you to see it as a dramatic break with the past, with sweeping implications across a fairly wide domain.

If I describe a change as evolutionary, Iím inviting you to take a different perspective.  I want you to be aware of the links between the past and the future, and the extent to which previous patterns and innovations are being adapted and reused.

Some people feel safer with evolutionary descriptions of change, while others feel happier with revolutionary descriptions.  As a manager or consultant, I might feel the need to motivate some people, while reassuring others.  Sometimes I want to emphasize continuity; at other times, I want to emphasize novelty.  At least from a logical point of view, Iím not necessarily contradicting myself if I describe things differently for different stakeholders Ė although there may be ethical or practical difficulties if the descriptions diverge too greatly.
more This is an extract from Chapter 5 of my book on the Component-Based Business.

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