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The Sustainable Network by Sarah Sorensen

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Chapter 25. Evolution

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basketball coaching legend, University of California, Los Angeles

Failure is not fatal, but failure to change might be.

John Wooden

The network and all the applications and services it delivers are evolving business models, sometimes so rapidly that it’s hard to predict where things will be in, say, 2015, let alone 2030. That’s not the way investors like to fund startups. You’re supposed to find your niche, acquire a few major customers (or a percentage of the public’s awareness), and hammer away at the competition. But the underlying foundation that connects us all is changing, improving, molting, and moving (literally, given our newfound mobility). How can your business model keep up? How do you, as a consumer, keep up with a business whose model is constantly moving?

Remember the dot-com 1990s? Back then, anyone with a domain and the wherewithal to build innovative websites made millions in the temporary bubble. While the bubble inevitably broke, websites and Internet businesses continued to appear. For example, take any noun and put a “.com” after it, and there will be a business there (I just opened my browser and went to the sites of tennisshoe.com, faucet.com, and blouse.com). We now have aggregator sites and services that let you look do comparison shopping for all these nouns, providing all their prices, selections, services, and ratings. Then there are ...

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