Excerpts from the book "Mirages,
Oases, and Roadkill on the Information Highway"
external forces are pummeling the information industry. A confluence
of factors over the past decade has created change at the industry's
"genetic" level. Today, a combination of legislative, regulatory,
technological, and market forces are redefining the information
the emerging information highway, travelers will encounter three
kinds of scenarios-mirages, oases, and roadkill. Mirages are companies,
technologies, and ideas that promise the right things but fail to
deliver. The recent wave of Internet mania provides abundant examples
of mirages. In many cases, mirages inevitably lead to roadkill.
Oases, on the other hand, are those companies, ideas, or technologies
that are successful at actually providing value for three major
stakeholders: investors, customers, and employees. Oases are where
capital finds nourishment.
massive consolidation that has occurred in the industry is staggering.
Driving this unprecedented level of merger and acquisition activity
is fear and exaltation. The primary fear is of being small in a
world where others are large. The exaltation is the result of incumbents'
somewhat naive belief that vast new markets eagerly await their
arrival, that all they need to do is acquire market access and customers
will readily sign up for service.
reality is that players in this industry are in for the fight of
their lives. Bold steps must be taken quickly if companies are to
survive, regardless of how big they are or how much of the competition
they acquire. However, in this race there is no finish line, no
final destination. Even the most successful companies must relentlessly
pursue growth, innovation, and customer confidence, because yesterday's
victors are often tomorrow's victims.