The lost decade, the best decade and the Internet

The lost decade, the best decade and the Internet.jpg

Businessweek called this (1999 -2009) the lost decade. In contrast, when I was in India in December, the Indian Business today headline proclaimed that this was India’s best decade.

An interesting contrast between the tale of two headlines which points to a rising influence of India and China in comparison to the West. But this decade also saw the rise of the Internet and in that sense, the three factors (The lost decade, the best decade and the Internet) are related

When it comes to the Internet, we are all over exposed but under educated. We all ‘use’ the Internet, but not many people appreciate the philosophy behind the Internet

One simple way to understand the impact of the Internet is to study it in terms of ‘laws’ and Adam Singer does a great job by summarising the Buzzworthy laws of the Internet

To summarise, these are

- Long tail

- Streisand effect

- Metcalfe’s law

- Participation inequality

- Tipping point

- Moore’s law

To this, I can add two more laws:

The Bandwidth law – bandwidth doubles approximately every two years at the top end (also indicated by Jakob Nielsen). And also, the impact of Mobility especially the ability to capture information from mobile devices, impact on emerging markets and the proliferation of the full Internet on Mobile devices through Widgets, HTML5 etc

So, in my view, the relationship between the three factors is:

a) The Internet magnifies the Good, the Bad and the Ugly

b) The Internet provides Information symmetry

As early as 1996, I read an excellent book called The Death of Money written by Joel kurtzman in 1994

Much of what Joel Kurtzman pointed out in 1994, existed for a long time – specifically a change in the economic nature of money in the United States following the decoupling of US Dollar from the gold standard in 1971 (The Gold standard was created by the Bretton Woods system after world war two). This de-coupling happened in Richard Nixon’s time and since then we have been printing money leading Warren Buffet to famously call Derivatives as the weapons of financial mass destruction

But the last decade really brought about the death of money as we know it because the Internet accelerated the financial shortcomings by providing the connectivity and provided the transparency(information symmetry) to create a more balanced global ecosystem

On the way back to the UK, I was reading yet another fascinating book about India and China called Billions of Entrepreneurs: The Yin and Yang of China and India

I highly recommend this book and will do a book review later in the month

I can only see this trend continuing in the next decade as well.

Image: The money changer by Rembrant