How the Internet is Democratizing the World and Contributing to a Powershift

Empowering Individuals through Knowledge at the Click of a Mouse

In the current information age, knowledge is power and whoever has the most knowledge about the world succeeds in the cutthroat world of business and life. Knowledge can be about anything starting with information about pricing and arbitrage and including contracting terms and conditions and information about various cultures. Further, in the day-to-day activities, knowledge about health and diseases and knowledge about the various laws and regulations empowers ordinary individuals in managing their day-to-day affairs. Moreover, knowledge about competing with other businesses and opportunities for self-employed people is as useful and vital to self-starters and entrepreneurs as it is to fresh graduates seeking employment and jobs. The point here is that to succeed in the information age, one needs knowledge and this is provided by the internet where with a click of the mouse, knowledge and information about anything and everything can be obtained. This is the power of the internet that is empowering individuals to make informed decisions about career, life, and living.

The End of Big and the Rise of Networks

The internet has made the concept of big redundant, the focus now is on how networks can shape, and influence business decisions rather than how big a company. Consider the fact that Instagram has only thirteen employees whereas it was bought by Facebook for a billion dollars. This means that it is no longer the case that companies and businesses have to be large entities with thousands of employees to be successful in this information age. The reason for Instagram’ and Facebook’s success is that both were companies that were conceived by individuals with superior innovative abilities and intelligence. Therefore, the implication of this is that one needs a great idea and knowledge as well as the ability to harness the power of the network to succeed in this digital age. Indeed, even Apple and Microsoft that started off in the software business soon found that with the advent of the internet, only the innovative and the networked companies succeed. Many experts believe that Microsoft surrendered its initial advantage in software and internet to companies like Google and even Apple that were able to sense the direction in which the wind was blowing, adapt, and adopt accordingly.

Internet and Social Change

We have considered examples from everyday life and the business world. If we now turn our attention to the social arena, the success of Facebook and Twitter has percolated to the social world wherein events like the Arab Spring happened because of the ability of the participants to harness the power of social media. Indeed, this model of social change is being replicated across the world where the internet and social media driven social events are becoming commonplace. Moreover, we need not look far than consider the example of this site that you frequent for your management studies. The fact that you are participating in a management site that is driven by the internet should make you realize the importance of how the internet can democratize knowledge and make it accessible to everyone. Some of you might go on to become entrepreneurs and if you are already self employed, you would have probably realized the power of the internet. The point here is that in a flat world where digital access is the sole criterion of starting a business or driving social change, one can succeed in business or in activism by harnessing the power of innovative ideas and the power of networks.

Concluding Remarks

Finally, the internet is a wonderful thing but at the same time, it is also value neutral. It can be a force for good and at the same time can be used for destructive purposes. Therefore, it depends on how you use it and like with any technology, the ends and the means matter as much as the purpose and the intent behind them.


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