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Chapter 2. Spotting e-Business Trends > Trends Driving e-Business

Trends Driving e-Business

The business world is transitioning from a physical reality based on atoms to a digital one of bits. As this transition from a focus on material to information occurs, the opportunities for revolution are many and largely unexplored. How should an entrepreneurial manager begin this exploration? By looking for ways to anticipate consumer and technological trends and envisioning new organizational forms that optimally serve consumer needs. A lot of what we find surprising and unpredictable is in fact a series of events played out in pretty much the same way in industry after industry. Once we see such a pattern, we can understand and predict change. From this understanding, we can build a new set of operating assumptions to build the strategy.

The savvy entrepreneurial manager must learn to distinguish true social, economic, or technical trends from "flavor-of-the-month" fads. Fads catch on quickly, spread, and then die a fast death. Eileen Shapiro defines fad surfing as "the practice of riding the crest of the latest management panacea and then paddling out again just in time to ride the next one; always absorbing for managers and lucrative for consultants; frequently disastrous for organizations."[3] With fad surfing, managers and consultants have a difficult time focusing on the proper opportunities and instead tend to approach e-business initiatives chaotically.


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