The problem is that these days...right now...in this time of history...this is the opportunity time! We`re in the infant stages of global communications, the Internet, and electronic commerce. It may seem that in relation to 20 years ago we`re very sophisticated, but the fact remains that what`s coming is going to be nearly unimaginable!
Throughout history we hear things like:
- Oh, you can`t hardly buy a house these days they`re so expensive!
- Well sure, but the oil barons got in on the ground floor when oil was a new thing!
- Wouldn`t it have been great to discover gold in California?
- Fine, but back then you could buy 20,000 acres for a few dollars. That`s how all those people go so rich!
- Right; try and buy a domain name these days! They`re almost all bought out by someone--some speculator!
How much longer will eBay continue to be "the hot item?" Already its getting more expensive, harder to use, and more adversarial. Will it still be simple in the next four years? What happens when there`s no more eBay, just like AOL has become an afterthought? Will the next consolidated hot item be affordable?
Remember, Sears pioneered the mail-order catalog business. Their motto was "Sears--Where America shops!" Okay, but today their motto could be "Sears--Where America used to shop!" Things change, other people catch on, and suddenly what was a big secret, everyone knows. As Yogi Berra famously said, "Nobody goes to Jones Beach anymore; there`s too many people."
Then what about the fact that it takes awhile for any new product to grow a market? If you were starting today, getting a trickle of business here and there, you could still keep your day job and work on the e-commerce site at night, right? Just a few hours after dinner, even two hours for five nights, well that would give you 520 hours invested in that business!
Over two years, a typical amount of time to "get started," you could be taking advantage of all the visibility tools, getting out there. SEO writing is a "new" thing, but already it`s becoming overdone and too crowded. How much harder is it going to be in the coming years? You`ll still have that two-year lag time, though.
Don`t be one of those people who ends up looking back, wishing they`d been "lucky" enough, or clever enough, to take advantage of the wide-open world of cottage industry. It`s going to get regulated, taxed, complicated, expensive, and there are gong to be lots of rules.
On the other hand, no matter how many accountants and politicians try to get their fingers in the pie, history constantly shows us that "grandfathering" is a way of life. It means that whatever has been going on up to the point of regulation, "those people" get to continue doing what they were doing. Only the new people have to follow the new rules.
The 1800s had the Wild West, frontiers, and unpopulated land. The 1900s introduced all sorts of technology and machines. The 2000s will be about digital information, networks, and probably off-planet exploration. WE are the people future generations will look back on and talk about as the pioneers. NOW is the time when all this is cheap, unregulated, and available.
This article came about as I watch eBay making increasingly bad decisions. Too bad for them, but not my concern. On the other hand, Google Analytics is showing that we get close to 50% of our business from links in our eBay ads. It`s a single location, with a known property---a place to find strange things to buy.
Google will likely take over from the eBay-PayPal conglomerate, as eBay becomes increasingly top-heavy. We`ll likely see something along the lines of Google-Firefox, or Google-Open Source, or something other than eBay. Where will you be at that point? Still waiting for the day when you`ll sit down and see whether or not you want to start your own business?