It’s a Wonderful (E-Business) Life

Scattered among the e-commerce ruins, stock market crashes, and dot-com layoffs — the real disasters of Y2K — lay aspects of our business we should be thankful for.

If I sound a bit like Pollyanna, forgive me; it’s the time of year and my therapeutic way of dealing with our winter of Internet discontent.

I’m thankful for experiencing risk. The economic correction that is occurring in the web business is part of a larger cycle of any new industry. The downside is part of capitalism, and it was unrealistic for anyone to think our period of prosperity could continue forever. The world awaits those who remain courageous in times of adversity.

I’m thankful for innovation. As little as three years ago, it would have been difficult for some people to imagine the benefits of global communication we experience today. Instant messaging, wireless communications, chat, and email provide us with an incredible ability to connect with anyone at anytime, eliminating concepts of time, language differences, and borders.

I’m thankful for technology going mainstream. The other day, when listening to Colin Powell’s acceptance speech for secretary of state, I was amazed by his reference to IT as the driving force behind the shift in geopolitical strategy. What it indicated to me was that technology has become part of our cultural and political fabric. Those who understand the implications of technology on people and business will continue to be highly valued.

I’m thankful for convenience. Every December, as I watch the Brownian movement called “last minute shopping,” I’m very appreciative of e-commerce. This year marks the third straight year that I have personally increased my spending online. And as a guy, avoiding the mall at this time of year has improved my quality of life.

I’m thankful for some excitement coming back to business. As a consultant, I get to work with companies and help them solve business problems. My best experiences have been when clients begin to imagine the possible. The Internet has been the catalyst for CEOs and managers to rethink their businesses and create new opportunities.

Finally, I’m thankful for freedom of expression. Thanks to everyone for your thoughtful comments and emails throughout my first year writing for ClickZ. The B2B Marketing column will continue to evolve; Chris and I have some ambitious goals for 2001. My hand goes out to Claudia Bruemmer, Ann Handley, and the rest of the ClickZ staff for giving me the chance to be part of the community. I hope you have a great holiday season, and I’ll see you next year.

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