The Next Big Thing Online
By Robert Imbriale
Business Success Coach
When I first landed on the World Wide Web early in 1992, one of
the biggest claims I’d hear again and again about this dynamic
new medium is that it would soon be able to transmit graphics,
then photos, then sound, and finally even video would be able to
travel from computer to computer without the need for a
While these were great promises, the truth took a bit longer to
materialize. Over the years we’ve seen many innovations on the
Internet, including voice and video conferencing. The question
that is on the minds of many business owners is where do we go
from here? What’s next?
We’ve now got audio, radio, telephone, and video on the Internet,
what’s left to tackle? Don’t worry, we’ve got a long way to go
and what you’ve seen so far really is just the very crude
beginnings of what’s still to come.
How you figure out what’s coming next is to look at the evolution
of the Internet to date. There is a pattern of evolution that’s
worth looking at. Let’s take streaming radio broadcasts for
example. If you remember when these broadcasts started to appear
on the Internet in the late 1990’s they all sounded as if they
were being broadcast through a pair of tin cans with a piece of
rope between them.
While the innovation was amazing, it took several years before it
was fine-tuned and really ready for the masses. Today, when you
tune into a radio broadcast, it’s almost as good as being in the
studio listening in person.
This is what you now see happening with video on the Internet.
First, it was really amazing to have a tiny, tiny window open up
to play a very low quality video clip on your computer. The first
time I saw this in a mass distribution was with Windows 95(TM).
On the installation CD, there were a few video clips that would
play with Windows Media Player right on your computer. In those
days, I’d show that video to everybody I ran into that was
running Windows 95(TM) because I thought it was just so cool!
From there, we began to see small, short video clips appear on
the Internet, but they were very flaky, often failed to download,
and you usually needed some media player to view them.
Nearly a decade later, we have YouTube.com and now just about
everybody can watch video on their computers. While this is
really great, there are still many improvements in the works and
this is where you’ll see the biggest innovations to come in the
next few years.
First, there’s the Internet connections offered by the ISP’s.
These are now undergoing some major changes and you’ll soon see
Internet connections reaching or exceeding 100 Megabits. That’s
more than 10 times most current broadband connection speeds.
As these connections become more and more available, video will
continue to evolve from the fuzzy, often choppy small video clips
we’re used to seeing on YouTube.com to full screen High-
Definition quality video being streamed in real-time to your
As this happens, there will be innovation in the quality of video
people produce and upload to the Internet. For businesses, that
will mean no more sticking a $50 web cam in your face and
recording a low-quality video with poor lighting, and sound that
echoes off every wall in the room.
Viewers will simply stop watching as they will have the choice of
seeing many more high-quality videos from hundreds of thousands
This change will stimulate the creation of even more video
editing products, and cameras that continue to deliver higher and
higher quality video at lower and lower prices.
Video is not the only area of innovation to keep your eyes on
either. The other major area is voice over IP, or VOIP. This
emerging technology is just now becoming good enough to be a
serious contender in the telecom industry.
In the coming years as Internet connections speed up ten-fold,
you’ll see VOIP offer better and better quality, and in many
cases it will surpass the quality of the POTS (Plain Old
Telephone) lines we use today.
When that happens, look for telecommuting to grow exponentially
because a company can then run a telephone system that can
connect to any phone in the world from a single location.
While many of these systems are in place now, but their poor
voice quality has kept many businesses away from VOIP. That will
soon change as sound quality improves and it will spark
another round of outsourcing like we’ve never seen before.
Finally, the other big trend to pay close attention to is
portable computing. We now have many cell phones and hand-held
computers that can surf the Internet, but in many ways, they are
still rather crude. Look for this to change rapidly in the coming
years as better, bigger, foldable screens become available and
wireless Internet connections become faster and faster.
With social networking on the rise, and better than 90%
penetration in the US for households with Internet access,
innovation will continue to evolve at its normal break-neck pace
for the foreseeable future.
About the Author
Robert Imbriale is the author of the best-selling book,
Motivational Marketing. He is a successful business coach, and
seminar leader who has helped hundreds of thousands of business
owners create bigger, more successful businesses, and he can help
you too. Tell him what your biggest challenge is with your
business right now! Go to www.AskRobertImbriale.com If you would
like to have Robert help you with your business, you can reach
him at 1-800-541-3816 or at www.RobertImbriale.com