Yesterday’s Google sponsored report on the internet economy naturally received huge media coverage. In 2009 the UK Internet economy was worth £100Bn (7.2% GDP), was growing at 10% a year and directly employed 250,000 people.
All good stuff for us that work in this economy especially the fact that the UK is now the largest per capita e-commerce market. You can read the report itself for more detail. The biggest message for me is that unless businesses have embraced this economy they will not remain competitive.
For example the engineers in the Timico office, workaholics as they are, regularly order take away meals online. If there are two pizza businesses in town it is the one with the ecommerce website that will get most of this business (unless of course they have spent all their money on the website and none on product development).
This will in time extend to every single business in the land. Plumbers might not spring to mind as people who would benefit from ecommerce, but how many times have you tried to get hold of a plumber only to get through to voicemail. When you are crawling under a floorboard trying to fit a pipe it isn’t necessarily convenient to answer the phone. A plumber friendly web service would be an ideal way of contacting him. I would probably be more likely to use a plumber I could get hold of in this way than one I couldn’t reach at all.
My golf club now does everything online. Instead of counting up competition scores the secretary now just prints off the results and can shoot off to play in the competition himself (what do we pay him for I hear you ask ? 🙂 ).
The internet economy is naturally going to leave the flattened corpses of dead companies behind as it steam-rollers on. You might ask what happens to the people employed by these companies. The growth opportunities stimulated by the internet will absorb them. How about developing a web front end for a plumber!? Exciting times.