In the late 1990s I was a sales rep for a channel partner of Microsoft. I remember when the most exciting new word in business was collaboration. Back then it was a marvel to think that people from all over the world could work together simultaneously on the same spreadsheet posted online.
I've gone from relying almost exclusively on Microsoft products as a former diehard channel sales rep for Microsoft, to relying almost exclusively on free products such as OpenOffice.org and Gmail.com which have virtually replaced my need for any paid software products in the email, document, spreadsheet, presentation arena. I've never encountered a compatibility issue either. Everything is very cross-compatible now. This book was composed as an OpenOffice text document and sent to the publisher as a Microsoft-compatible document.
Most businesses in the mid-1990s didn't quite grasp the idea of online collaboration, and to this day most businesses still don't use it to its fullest potential.
I don't think that the concept of collaboration really took off for most small businesses until it became virtually free to engage in online.
Using the tools of collaboration that are freely available online, I've built huge businesses that are being managed and influenced by people from all over the planet. Embracing a philosophy of collaboration is key if you are to achieve your full potential online.
Odds are, you are already using collaboration ...