Seen any perfect storms lately?

Summary:The perfect storm. That's the latest descriptor popping up for the supposedly "disruptive" forces at work altering the balance of power and contributing to the rise of new business models and concepts.

The perfect storm. That's the latest descriptor popping up for the supposedly "disruptive" forces at work altering the balance of power and contributing to the rise of new business models and concepts. All the elements are in place, the stars aligned to foment a new phenomenon that will supposedly transform industries--technology, entertainment, software, media--and our lives.   

Wikipedia defines perfect storm as "a situation where, by the confluence of specific events, what might have been a minor issue ends up being magnified to proportions that are out of control. In such a situation, it is clear that if one element was removed from the mix, the whole matter would have collapsed, but because just the right things were in the mix, the situation balloons."

As you might recall, the literal Perfect Storm of 1991 (movie, book and actual event) had catastrophic impact on the northeast coast of the U.S.--about $1 billion in damage and 12 deaths attributed to the storm.  Perfect storms have positive and negative charges---for every beneficiary of a perfect storm scenario there will be big losers. For example, the Internet, wireless technologies, broadband, low-cost, easy-to-use production tools, Skype and many other factors have created the conditions for reinvention of the telecommunications and media distribution. Previous conditions influencing the Internet industry collectively led to the dotcom bubble bursting and played some role in arriving where we are today, with a reinvigorated industry continuing to evolve the concepts generated pre-bubble. Big losers-- the old guard, unless they adapt, in which case the upheaval is less extreme but still game altering, and the cycle begins the process of repeating itself over decades.  But, in many cases, what people call perfect storms is more wishful thinking. For example, is it the perfect storm for software-as-a-service, open source, VoIP, hybrid cars, or citizen media? Who will be the winners and losers? If you have some answers or thoughts on the subject, send them my way...

Topics: Networking

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