1. The Fourth Revolution

“In the technology industry, people always overestimatewhat you can do in one year and underestimate what youcan do in one decade.”

—Marc Benioff, founder and CEO, Salesforce.com

Approximately once a decade, a new technology platform emerges that fundamentally changes the business landscape. In each case, regardless of prior competitive dynamics, businesses that understand and appropriately adopt the technology win, while those that fail to do so lose relevance. In the 1970s, this was mainframe computing. In the 1980s, it was the PC. In the 1990s, it was the Internet. And today it is the social Web (see Figure 1.1).

The social Web revolution is already well underway. More than 750 million people around the world are ...

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