Of all of the events occurring in 2016, the defining historical event was overlooked. On Wednesday, January 11, 2017, Thomas Friedman’s article, “Online and Scared” appeared in the New York Times.
He marked in time the tipping point, a point in history when humanity reached a critical mass online.
In 2013, while writing You Posted What!?, I could the see the formation of the Digital Prairie on the horizon. Research for the book revealed trends and patterns, an early warning of a digital tsunami rushing towards the shore disrupting everything in its path.
We’re all pioneers in the digital economy.
Early settlers grasped the impact of moving a society online and quickly established digital communities. During the Industrial Revolution, millions of individuals migrated from the farm to the city.
This time is different. Thousands of individuals are left behind, unable to move to cyberspace.
Age does not dictate your status on The Digital Prairie. Our children and teens can operate the devices more efficiently, yet they do not understand or comprehend the rules digital settlers create on the fly.
Social, employment and government contracts disrupted as the unimaginable becomes the new norm. Business models of the past are washed away to reveal structures build in the digital realm.
Amazon settles ahead of the crowd to build the ultimate Digital Prairie general store providing a means to purchase everything of need conversely providing an open market for new settlers.
Finding a way to thrive instead of surviving has always been a pioneer’s goal. Businesses today big and small must search for a new place to settle on the Digital Prairie. What works today is discarded tomorrow as technological advancements alter our world beyond comprehension, without warning transforming our global community until the next disruption.
Brexit. Virtual Reality. Fake News. Hive micro drones. Self-driving trucks.
What will 2017 Bring?
The first rule for the digital future is to eliminate complacency. Find a means to always sell to your customers regardless of their location. As customers and clients search for a place to settle on the digital frontier, think of their needs, consider how their behaviors are evolving, and determine how your business will operate as a digital pioneer.