I wrote this last week and posted it to my blog earlier this morning before the Time Person of the Year announcement. Normally I would not have made it public until next week when I hit my 15 year milestone doing this. But I think it needs to get posted now with the news so that it makes even more sense than it would have.
When I look back at 2010 I will look at it as the first year that the Internet started to really be defined. Not only defined, embraced. Not only embraced, but as predicted for years, the “Savior of Sales”.
2010 was the first year of the Internet because it was the first year that attitudes changed universally. ALL eyes are on the Internet. The future of all business pinned to the Internet. Everyone now online. Everyone. And not only online, but Facebook has put them in the game and right in the middle of the action.
2010 the year of Facebook. We saw it coming but who would have thunk?. But it truly manifested itself this year. Everyone is in or getting in or will soon be in. Things evolved this year more than any other in recent memory.
Have we witnessed another Hula Hoop moment? I think history will tell yea or nay. I vote yea. I also thank the economy for forcing things to break wide open. You have witnessed a truly epic year. 2010 sets up the next decade. Things are just beginning to rev up. This was the year that we left the starting line.
2010 was a tough year. But 2010 was a key year and I am here to tell you this is the turning point and the mile posts I have most looked forward to for all these years. It took these guys 16 years or more to get it right. They blew zillions of dollars! But now, they are in the game. On the trail. In the hunt.
Hallelujah that long lonely trail is about to get more crowded than anything you can imagine. The greatest ego stroke anyone will have in the next decade is a hughly recognizable domain name.
Facebook has ignited the masses in how they spend their time. Between 20 years and a decade ago the average person spent ZERO minutes online everyday. ZERO. Then reved it up to one a month. They weekly. Then daily.
Today, the average person spends hour after hour online. Multiply those minutes. WOW! Many are just starting to navigate their way around. It’s a new world and it started now. 2010.
It takes tough times to make good times. It forces folks to reach deep. What folks learn is when they reach deep, they will find a great success. And sometimes make fools of themselves as all the viral videos prove. This will be the year I remember everyone acting like a clown to bring attention to them and get into the game.
I have been doing these posts for a very long time. Since 1996 I have posted annually about what we accomplished and what was still left. The 'still left' column won by landslides and the 'accomplished side' was barely in the game. Like a see-saw. All weighted to what was still left to do and accomplished still sitting on the ground.
Let me be 1000% clear. 2010 was THE breakthrough year. This was the year that the momentum has finally shifted online in the way it was meant to do. The world is engaged and finally in the game. Those that are not, will be very soon consumed as well. A tidal wave of progress.
The shift has happened. 15 years ago today I registered that first domain. (Actually, my ISP registered it) That was me sticking my toe in the water to see what was going on. By that time 12 months later, I was all hyped up about something nobody around me knew nothing of. I was on a new planet and there was nobody. Barrne and deserted. Was this really the future?
I could see the evolution but would anyone else?? How many could I afford to get at $100 each? What would I do with them? How would I afford to keep these for years while others saw what I saw? All questions. No answers. Nobody to even ask. All that was there were techies and they did not speak the language of business. I could not look at it thru techie eyes. I look at it through the eyes of people. Consumers. Mom and pops and business folks. They saw code. They were geniuses and I was just a guy that stuck out because I was so clueless. We talked different languages and I got banned from the few places I found to try and discuss domains or the future of the Internet. Pretty damn lonely. My only link to any real life was when I looked up a domain name and the same guy or company would own it. Or Proctor and Gamble would own it or somebody that was a hell of a lot smarter than me. So there must be something.
So from that day to this day……I don’t even know how to put it into words. It is almost miraculous to watch something you think will happen actually happen and have it happen in a historical magnitude like this.
Facebook is the “Training Wheels” of the Internet. Facebook to the masses is like the Ynot board was to me and the adult biz in 1996 and 1997 and 1998. Transformitive by taking communications to another level. To take our productiveness to another level. Unemployment is high right now, but only because the transformation has yet to happen. It is in progress. Jobs in 2010 and 2020 won’t look like the jobs of 1910 and 1920. We won’t be going to a “Job” to put a screw in a hole and pass it down the assembly line to be productive. We will be collaborating with our minds not our hands.
So welcome to the most exciting 5 years of your lifetime. The last 5 years of a 20 year plan. The Home Stretch. My mile markers are all lined up for history to see. I knew they would look for that oceanfront land. My #1 job,get to the ocean, set up camp, an umbrella, be as comfortable as possible in the process and pull out 20 years of patience.
Mark it on your calendars. 2010 was the year that changed the game in a significant way. The $$$ are now earmarked toward the Internet. Their time is now earmarked for the Internet. Their energy is now earmarked for the Internet. This is the beginning. 15 years on the on-ramp. But we are now on the superhighway. Getting up to speed and ENJOY the next 5 years.
Take a deep breath. The game starts again now. No matter where you get on board, there are fortunes to be made online. NOW! The guy that gets online today, will do just fine it he has any plan at all and the discipline and patience to carry that plan out.
Congratulations for being part of the single biggest opportunity ever available to the common man in the history of mankind. That is not an exaggeration. That is a fact and you need to stop and get your heads around that one if you want to be one step ahead and not one step behind. The beauty of the Internet, is that even if you fall behind, you can still leap ahead.
So as I start my 16th year the passion only grows. My single best advice. Go see “The Social Network” Watch it twice. Then re-access and recalibrate everything you thought you knew and apply it to where we are at and where things are going. Don’t look at it thru your eyes, think what the others in the audience are thinking. You can FEEL the energy.
We are witnessing the greatest shift in advertising dollars and investment in the history of the universe. The money is flying towards the Internet. The thing they tried to kill a decade ago is the only thing that can save them today and in the future. Media is tripping over themselves trying to make things go viral. Be relevant. Be social. Talk to their viewers on their level. Some are good at it, some look like fools. Most do. Desperate sometimes. Most times. It looks forced, it feels forced. But from this race the real one finally emerges. Right on schedule!!! That is the mind blower. As much as I have done everything in my power to accelerate things, the 20 year plan will still take 20 years. Except for one minor difference. I believed it would just be starting in 20 years. I did not think we would peak in 20 years. We are 5 years ahead and it took hundreds of companies and thousands of domain owners to get there. Going from the outer limits to the focal point of the new economy.
And around the turn they come…….The finish line now in sight.
Have a GREAT Day!
Have a FANTASTIC New Year’s
Have a Healthy and Happy Future