Will broadband mean a truly faster future?
Updated on October 8th, 2013
The debate around the national broadband network often seems to be far more political than ‘what’s in it for us.’ However I’ve just discovered a book that answers this question for us — the business owners, online marketers and online shoppers!
A Faster Future
I particularly enjoyed the 3rd chapter “Small Business, Big Potential” (p77). The benefit for small business owners is that broadband and the web provides them with more power to compete with big business.
Not only can smaller organisations collaborate to tackle bigger competitors but they can now access web tools and software that were previously too expensive.
Outsourcing using sites like oDesk.com and Brickwork India (our favourites) provides access to a truly global talent pool. And of course if you’re doing business on the web you’ve opened yourself up to a global market too!
There is a whole dedicated online retail community made up of users with personal blogs who review products. You can type in nearly any product and the word ‘review’ into You Tube (or Google)… It is far safer to shop online because you’ve got all this information available to you.
Shoes of Prey
My favourite case study from the book is on p91 about Shoes of Prey – an online shoe retailer (no, not Zappos this time) based in Sydney. On a personal note, I’ve been following the success of the three Shoes of Prey co-founders, so it was no surprise to see them profiled in this book.
It turns out they set out to build a product that was a Purple Cow (a Seth Godin term for something so remarkable that people talk about it — like seeing a purple cow in a paddock).
I’ve seen first hand on many occasions, just how much of a purple cow their idea of allowing girls to design and purchase their own shoes on online is.
Girls go seriously crazy over being able to choose their shoe style, the length of heel, the colours and the decorations and they pay up to $375 for the privilege!
Shoes of Prey have embraced social media to allow the word to spead, including a very popular blog. Some guest blog posts have attracted 500,000 visits in a week and their story has even been picked up by the Wall Street Journal.
You can follow @shoesofprey on twitter.
Howarth & Ledwidge’s book gives countless examples of how small business can use broadband and the web to catapult themselves past big (slow) businesses – and for me that is the most exciting thing we have in store for us in the next few years!