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Chapter 3 Butterflies throughout history

From the agricultural to the industrial society

One of the major difference which separates evolving companies from the rest is their ability to make forecasts. But how do you forecast a diverse and changing universe such as Internet ?

The theory that I put forward in the training sessions that I teach on electronic commerce, is that the gulf which separates the industrial society from the digital society is just as wide as that which separates the agricultural society from the industrial.

In a manner of speaking, we can compare ourselves to a peasant at the end of the 19th century, who considers the arrival of trains and cars, and the growth of the manufacturing industry, and who feels left behind as the society in which he grew up is changing fundamentally.

Faced with this, there are several options :

  • refuse to change and stick to the same work methods ;
  • try to appropriate the new technology to be able to work more efficiently as a peasant : replace the plough by a tractor, the scythe by a combine harvester ;
  • he suspects that the real winners in this new era, which is just dawning, are to be found among the likes of Renault, Michelin, Panhard, Dedion-Bouton or Ford, which still seem like aliens, but which will emerge before long. He doesn't know which of them is best, but he knows that the future millionaires are to be found here. But to become one of their number, our peasant will have to abandon his present way of life to stake everything on this new technology, which means leaving his village for the town, being trained, adopting a new culture, a new way of speaking, learning a job that his parents and friends have never even heard of, with the hope of one day coming back to his village in triumph ... in short, he chooses adventure !


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If you enjoyed this site, we obviously share values: we have written it in 1999 !

We haven't updated it online as the vision still is more and more relevant: the more the internet matures, the closer it gets to our vision.

We still believe in innovation, creativity, rigour and results control.

Contact us if you need webmarketing services:

Raphael Richard, founder

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