Forget Web 2.0. We’re Living in Business 3.0. What it is and How to Succeed.


Forget Web 2.0. We’re Living in Business 3.0. What it is and How to Succeed.

There’s been a lot of talk about Web 2.0 as of late. This is the new era of the Internet where the web has gone to mobile devices and we are entering the “Internet of Things”—an age when every device is connected to the web and provides real-time data streams.

That’s probably right, but technological advancements are only as relevant as the impact that they deliver. In as much as we are in the era of Web 2.0, I’d argue we’re now living in the time of Business 3.0.

I think Thomas Friedman defined Business 1.0 as the time of the industrial revolution and Business 2.0 as the time of globalization. I’m defining Business 3.0 as the age of the Unicorn Club—an era defined by multi-billion dollar start-ups that go from idea to profitable business in just a matter of years.

The idea of the Unicorn Club is not new; the term was coined by Tech Crunch, and I’ve written about this topic before.

But in an age where a 4-year old company like Snapchat can be sold to Facebook for $19BN—a company that didn’t exist more than a decade ago itself—the rules of competition have changed for everyone. 

It doesn’t matter whether you’re a doctor, lawyer, Internet start-up or a convenience store; the rules of competition have changed.

Traditionally, successful companies are those that have been able to holistically integrate a traditional set of business skills; historically, these have included skills like:

  • Strategy formulation and planning
  • Marketing and lead generation
  • Sales force management
  • Operations, logistics and customer support

In this new age of Business 3.0, successful companies are those that are developing and mastering a new and complementary set of skills like:

  • Data science and predictive analytics
  • Quantitative marketing
  • Social CRM
  • Other emerging talents

Companies that understand this are those that will do well in this new era of competition. Those that don’t are likely to struggle.

This doesn’t mean that one need be able to predict the future and master these emerging skill sets tomorrow—it simply means that one need to embrace the fact that the rules of competition have changed, and new approaches are required.

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