As promised, here is part two of our Online Business History article. In part one (which you can read here) we talked about the dawn of business on the web and how from 1991 up until 2000, the internet and subsequently online business had reached unparalleled levels of growth. In 2000, however, the “dot com” bubble caused by eager investors trying to cash in on the newly found business opportunities, burst leaving many without their hard earned profits and prospects.
Survival of The Fittest (2004 – 2008)
Active Websites by 2008: 172,338,726
Active Internet Users: 1,571,601,630
Few companies survived the aftermath of the Dot-com Bubble. Those that did were much stronger for it. Two such companies were Amazon and eBay. Both these online businesses have maintained themselves the biggest frontrunners in the industry.
In the case of eBay, the company allowed users to sell almost anything online. It managed to graciously infiltrate every household with a service that had no rival. They revolutionized the way e-commerce works and is perceived due to this tactic.
Amazon started its journey, selling books. Their system fulfilled orders fast and replenished stocks directly from publishers. The key point of the business model was that the process could be easily replicated with any goods. This allowed them to withstand the dot-com bubble and made them a household name.
E-commerce is now part of our everyday lives, because of firms like Amazon and eBay. About 85% of adults across the world have made a purchase online. People love to shop online. And with the constant advancements in technology, they will have much more reasons. As the internet evolves and shifts towards the user and his needs, so does e-commerce.
The Tech Contenders (2009 – 2015)
Active Websites by 2015: 863,105,652
Active Internet Users: 3,185,996,155
In 2008 mobile internet access exceeded desktop access for the first time in history. Since then surges in tech companies have been constant. Coupled with the advent of social media and web apps, they all want to stand next to the giants of E-commerce. Seemingly small , these companies are worth billions of dollars. Thanks to internet communication these new-age businesses have employees scattered all over the globe. Not only is this cost efficient, but it allows them to pick the best employees from around the world.
The end-game for many tech startups is the coveted “Out”. This usually means these companies are grown only to be sold to the highest bidder. The system functions like buying and selling a property. In this case, all the properties are on the web.
For many experts, this is the start of another bubble. Nobody can blame them since three startups launch globally every second. Venture capitalists invest $90,000 in the market every second. Their reports, however, show large returns on investment.
The Next Big Thing – Internet of Things (2016 and beyond)
Active Websites: 1,004,579,825
Active Internet Users: 3,332,033,872
For some years now the technology everyone is betting on is the Internet of Things (IoT). The IoT allows devices to collect and send data over the internet. The current web connects devices like smartphones, tablets, and computers. IoT, on the other hand, can connect any device that has sensors linked to the web.
The concept has been around for quite a while. ATMs, for example, are part of the IoT and they were introduced in 1974. The interesting thing is we have been connecting objects to the Internet ever since. Here are some more stats about internet connected devices:
-In 2008 the number of “things” connected to the internet exceeded that of people on the internet.
– In 2015, the official count of IoT objects was 4.9 billion, and that number is expected to grow to 50 billion by 2020.
This mass connection of devices to the internet offers innumerable possibilities for growth. The IoT will allow our homes, fridges, washing machines, etc. to connect to the internet. The devices can then provide data about usage, maintenance and in some cases resupplies. The applications are innumerable. From media, environment monitoring, energy management, customer metrics, everything will be more accessible.
As of 2016 IoT is said to generate $4.6 trillion in the public sector and $14.4 trillion in the private sector. This is why investors are steadily putting IoT into the spotlight.
So there you have it, the history of business on the internet in a nutshell. Whether you’re about to embark on your journey to Internet entrepreneurial stardom or just want to wow your friends with your knowledge this information will really come in handy.
What do you think the internet will look like in the near future? Tell us in the comment section below.