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It's obvious that
the way everyone does business is changing. The Internet, which has
seen enormous growth over the past few decades, is the primary
driving force of this change, but evolution in the way people
interact will always dictate how business is done. Compared to just
twenty years ago, we educate ourselves differently, socialize
differently, and, of course do business differently. Entire
strategies and ways of thinking are now completely outdated and
irrelevant. These changes have affected about every industry in the
world, and each time one industry changes its practices and ideals,
a dozen more must change to compensate. The ensuing whirlwind of
change can be hard to keep up with and adjust to, but there are a
few trends that are fairly constant.
For one thing, product cycles are continually shrinking. A perfect
example of this phenomenon is the software industry. Traditionally
software would go through several stages before being considered
complete. The testing stage alone has typically been broken down
into at least two phases: alpha, where the software is being tested
for general usability, beta, where the product is being tested for
bugs and errors but is otherwise considered complete. Once fully
tested, the a finished product would be released to its target
audience for purchase. Now, however, it is considered acceptable for
software to be released with errors and deficiencies that can affect
the usability of the product, simply to get it competing for sales
as soon as possible. With software, a patch can be released at a
later date to take care of this issue and downloaded from the
Internet. Other products, however, are often released before being
complete with the expectation that the customer will be satisfied
with "good enough", or purchase the next upgraded model.
Instant communication, via wireless phones, email, and instant
messaging are forcing increased productivity, but often at the cost
of quality. Although the ability to quickly converse with colleagues
about a development or situation in the business can certainly be a
boon, the lack of time between decisions can hinder those who think
best when not pressured.
Lastly, as a society, we face an overload of information every day.
Television, newspapers, business journals, radio, and the Internet
all compete for our attention, and it's difficult to know what
information should be processed and remembered. Often, because of
this, we remember none at all, or a garbled mix of facts that are of
no help when it comes time to make a decision.
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