Thursday, June 30, 2011

God made men and women but Samuel Colt made them equal

In case you don't know this about me, I live on the internet. I have a whole network of friends that I feel close to yet have never met in real life or even have talked to over the phone. I've also made money on the net through web related projects albeit not as much as I would like to make.

Some of you may be saying "what's so special about that?" What's so special is how easy it is now! The internet is an exponentially growing force. Not only is it changing different aspects of how we live and communicate but it's accelerating in the rate of change.

I've started ventures that have made money without needing any startup capital, try doing that outside of the internet. The process produced by the net is called disintermediation, or getting rid of the middle-man. This inevitably reduces or in some cases removes the cost-for-entry.

The book industry perfectly displays how disintermediation has changed an industry. Before the internet if you wanted to write a book then you had to be noticed by a publisher. It was then the publisher who produced and marketed your book. They were the ones who had the relationships with the stores that then had the relationship with the end customer.

The internet has completely changed the publishing model allowing the writer to have an almost direct relationship with his or hers readers. Using Amazon John Loche was able to write his book and then immediately publish it on the Kindle eBook store. He then marketed it himself, I don't have the data but it is possible that he was able to market with little or no cost using social media. Now he is the first independent author to sell over 1,000,000 eBooks.

Yes Amazon is a third party but their role is limited to only providing tools. They were passive through the process of John Loche becoming a best selling author. Now he has a direct link to his readers using Kindle's Direct Publishing program.

The point I'm trying to make here is that circumstances become less relevant as a result of disintermediation. Most writers before came from writing backgrounds such as journalists with a few breakouts here and there. I am another example, I love to write but I didn't really discover that until after school. Instead of applying to hundreds of media outlets with almost certainly hundreds of rejection letters, I used Blogger to setup my own platform to write. I write about anything and almost everything, without the fear of an editor dictating what I write about.

Disintermediation isn't just effecting the publishing industry but it is the one industry where the affects are so clear. As disintermediation spreads it will shape more and more industries faster and faster. The cost-for-entry will be reduced to little or nothing at all and the limitations preventing entry will be lifted.

The record label's greatest concern right now is piracy of their music. Did you see what I said there? Is it the record label's music or is it the artist's music? It's not there yet but as disintermediation continues to work through the music industry, label's may need to someday figure out how to remain relevant. 

Who's music is it really? It's the musician's and the artist's of course. What if they had a way to record their own music and get it directly to their listeners? If I was a record label with foresight, the worry of pirated music would be diminished in view of what's to come.

What this all means is that there is less of a need for facilitators to provide the ability to people to write books, make music, or produce media content. All you need is the passion and the willingness to learn as you go. You don't need to move to Hollywood to strike it big. Get a webcam and put yourself before the world on youtube. 

The internet has made us all equals no longer relying on our dispositions in life to put us in shot of succeeding. We are all equally responsible for our own achievements. With the power of the internet the possibility of what we can achieve has no limitations.

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