Get Ready to Grow

If conventional economic analysis means anything, today marks the start of the Internet turnaround.

It’s the start of a new fiscal quarter, and for many companies it’s the start of a new fiscal year. Everything that could be written off has been written off. Whole niches in the Internet economy have been practically wiped away.

Meanwhile, we’re about to reap the harvest of the most liberal policies in generations. That’s because government has just two tools for reflating an economy (fiscal policy and monetary policy), and for the first time in ages the spigot is on full blast for both.

In fiscal terms, nothing can be more liberal than throwing money at a problem, and much of the American middle class will be getting actual checks worth up to $600 each in the next few months. The restrictive Clinton budgets, with their smaller deficits leading to surplus, are a thing of the past.

In monetary policy, the Federal Reserve has now cut interest rates six times in six months, nearly cutting them in half, from 6.5 percent to 3.75 percent. You don’t get more leftist than that without a tie-dyed T-shirt.

These tools take time to work, of course. Lower interest rates usually take six months to work their way through the economy. Fiscal stimulus often takes longer — but when you make it in the form of cash, not much longer.

The question is, What are you doing right now to get ready for the coming good times?

Instead of moaning over the jobs and stock-option riches you lost during the last year, launch a big, big project that will put you on top again. The time has come.

So, instead of baking on a beach this week, why not get started on writing a book or business plan? Figure out something that hasn’t been done before, and get ready to do it.

There are a ton of possibilities right here in the Internet marketing space:

  • Advertisers need databases that will let them measure the branding impact of their Internet ad campaigns.

  • Email newsletters and digests no longer have a Yahoo of their own now that Topica has quietly shelved its Liszt service.
  • Email marketing is about to get cheaper with Microsoft’s launch of List Builder, but who will run the campaigns?
  • The downsizing of all the e-builders means that there’s more room for boutique shops, and you could have one of them.
  • Europe is bringing in new advertising technologies by the planeload; they’ll need U.S. representation.

The above are just five quick ideas I generated in a few moments. I’m sure you can come up with a lot more over an evening of beers and barbecue. Take some friends to a ballgame, and write it off as a brainstorming session.

My point today is that opportunity is all around you. The first phase of the Internet’s growth is over, but just the first phase. The broadband era has only begun. The home networking and home automation markets have barely begun to emerge.

The “Internet Depression,” such as it was, is now only in your mind. So snap out of it and get to work.

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