The era of transparency is built on the invisible future. The only problem is – the invisible future is already here. We’ve said goodbye to our telephone answering machines. Now say goodbye to CDs, DVDs and phones. And what next? Welcome to the edge of the transparent economy where companies will no longer be able to hide behind information asymmetry. The customer will have exactly the same pricing information about the product that the seller has. In a world where all products are becoming utilities or commodities, a new basis of competition will emerge where information symmetry is a given.
The era of transparency is built on the invisible future. The only problem is – the invisible future is already here.
If you wonder what is meant by the Invisible Future, please point me to your telephone answering machine. It became invisible when your telephone company centralized the function and changed its acquisition into a monthly fee.
If you have a cellular phone, please point me to your connecting line. Your telephone line disappeared along with the network cable that was connected to your computer.
So say goodbye to your DVDâ€™s and your CDâ€™s as they will soon have the same antique value as your vinyl records. The first that will go will be your CDâ€™s. Why carry around a digital disk that can only hold fifteen songs and has no self contained playing ability when you can purchase a device half its size that can hold 40,000 changeable songs at any time? Your DVDâ€™s will be the next to disappear as various Set-top boxes will store hundreds and later thousands of movies on a very small hard drive. The first shuddering will appear in 2004, with a complete revolution being on the way by the end of the decade.
The invisible future will also change the way in which we see and experience the Internet. Gone are the days where we only see the Internet through the confines of a computer screen confined by four walls. Weâ€™ll start experiencing the Internet as it was meant to be â€? Pervasive and ubiquitous. Available wherever we are or choose to be, in a variety of forms custom made to provide meaning and context to any object or form it is attached to.
Wherever you are on this small planet called earth, weâ€™re surrounded by waves from distant stars, radio waves, television waves, microwaves and more importantly waves that connect us to the Internet at a click a button. This simple statement is not unknown to us, yet it fundamentally altars the very basis of how we communicate and experience the Internet.
Not only are the devices we use to connect to the Internet becoming smaller and smaller on a daily basis, it is also becoming invisible as it becomes disguised as sunglasses, pocket computers and watches. It becomes contextualized to provide us with more information that is important to us personally, on an ongoing basis.
The Internet and access to it will become as pervasive as the oxygen we breathe. Not only will we custom make the Internet to give us truly personalized information such as our geographic position or health statistics, reflected in our sunglasses, the Internet will also enrich a physical environment by exposing the critical spatial and dynamic time based information which is hidden in the airwaves around us.
Not making sense? Consider the following a real-life example that goes to the heart of the era of transparency.
It is the year 2004, and the piece of equipment in your hand is an ordinary smart phone. You walk into an electronics store anyway in the world and walk directly to the digital camera counter. Choose any camera and look at the make and product number. Pick up your smart phone, click on the web icon and type inASK.com. Simply type in the camera name and number and click on product search. Immediately youâ€™ll see be the cheapest prices available, with a 3% or 4% variation from the wholesale price. By simply choosing your location the next screen will provide you with the total cost and the delivery date.
This exercise, which took you less than twenty seconds, now enables you to have information symmetry with the store owner regarding this product. No longer will your decision to buy the product be primary based on the traditional concepts of affordability and product performance. Your primary decision will now be based on the premium youâ€™re prepared to pay the owner of the store for the convenience of acquiring the product immediately. No longer is the storeowner selling you a product, – anyone connected via the thin air can do that! He needs to sell something else, and he will either be remunerated for his advice or the convenience he provides, something that is totally removed from the product that is the basis of your purchase.
Is this a return to the idea of variable pricing, where we take the lead from the Middle-Eastern markets of old where prices become flexible and negotiable, and based on the personal negotiable positions of those making the transaction? The only difference now is that the buyer now has information symmetry â€? compliments of the transparent economy.
Welcome to the edge of the transparent economy where companies will no longer be able to hide behind information asymmetry. The customer will have exactly the same pricing information about the product that the seller has, the customer just have to care to look.
The same example is valid for all companies, even for banks, insurance agencies and financial planners. No longer will you be able to make a profit by hiding critical information from your client base. In a world where all products are becoming utilities or commodities, a new basis of competition will emerge where information symmetry is a given. Are you prepared to face a market that is increasingly becoming part of the real Information revolution? Are your business models in place to make use of the opportunities opening up? A few companies have already started!!!
Are you ready for The Transparent Economy?
Look out for this new and refreshing presentation by the TomorrowToday.Biz team where we explore the boundaries of the The Transparent Economy and what it will mean for your business.
The only question that remains is: Are you ready to take on the challenge?
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