Change, the Senate, Moore's Law, Online Data... 9-21-97

Pervasive change, in every form, is all around us, as demonstrated by a number of significant impactful changes in the past week. No doubt inspired by the outpouring of affection for Princess Diana, and a deep love for his children, Prince Charles is royally yet sincerely showing a never-before seen compassionate side by venturing forth to be more accessible to the British people.

In the U. S., Michael Enzi wanted to take his laptop computer to work, take notes and maybe do a little research for presentations. But the Senator from Wyoming discovered that while his colleagues may have given up quill pens and allowed television cameras into the Senate chamber, many were balking at letting personal computers in. Rolls Royce announced that before the end of the century, they plan to begin selling cars that are new from the ground up, signaling a softening of the stiff upper lip with the first major design change since 1980.

United Airlines has cut travel agency commissions from 10 percent to 8 percent for all tickets sold in the US. A blow to travel agents, the airline says the nearly $100 million annual savings is needed to help them "survive and succeed" in the global marketplace.

More than 30 years ago, Gordon Moore, co-founder of Intel, said the power of a silicon chip would double every 18 months with proportionate decreases in cost. But now Intel's engineers have invented a way to speed up the design cycle of their chips. Called StrataFlash, this multiple-bit-per-cell flash-memory technology, doubles storage capacity. The amount of memory each chip can hold will now double every nine months, instead of every 18 months, meaning that not only is Moore's Law obsolete, but computer processing speeds will increase at an even faster rate than before.

A new survey, conducted by Bellcore Internet Research lab, reveals that the Internet's dramatic growth is continuing, estimating that the number of host computers permanently connected to the network reached 26 million in September. The study also predicts that the Internet is still growing at a rate that will cause it to double each year. A recent Wall Street Journal Europe/Gallup survey found that 2/3 of all major companies in Britain, France, and Germany have started using the Internet, believing it to be of importance to their competitiveness. Global market researcher Dataquest said the number of Internet users in Japan is expected to surge to 33 million by 2001, with Japan's Internet users reaching eight million before the end of 1997.

Intelliquest released the latest results from its ongoing Worldwide Internet/Online Tracking Service. Here are some highlights. More than half of those surveyed use the net for shopping (researching, comparing, finding outlets, etc.); 40% of those surveyed say they are spending more time online now than a month ago; and more messages are now sent by e-mail than by snail mail. As online usage moves into the mainstream and buyers and shoppers increase in number, they will talk to their friends and even more people will start using the medium for commerce. If you sell to consumers, or sell to people who sell to consumers, you need a web presence to help achieve your strategic goals. As part of these goals, you can also use net and web technology to positively impact your bottom line by cutting costs, enhancing services, and supporting your sales force, to name a few.

According to Cowles/Simba, online data in digital form accounted for approximately 43% of all of the purchased business data, well ahead of the 15% purchased by trade newspapers and magazines. Online systems are the fastest growing delivery method for business information, currently accounting for a 12% increase in spending between 1995 and 1996. Digital data has significant advantages over hardcopy print, i.e. digital takes up less space, is easier to store, and can be manipulated in ways not possible with print. Move information and knowledge you currently share with clients and customers into digital form.

Continuing its move toward openness, IBM has moved from a hilltop fortress on top of a hill to a smaller corporate home in a nearby woodsy ravine. Instead of having his office at the end of a long corridor, Lou Gerstner and other top executives now occupy the center wing of a Z-shaped structure where most of the 600 other people work at cubicles in open spaces with few walls or doors.

Inspired by the examples set by Mother Teresa, Jacques Cousteau and Princess Diana, Ted Turner pledged $1 billion worth of TimeWarner stocks over the next 10 years, in the form of grants, to support U.N. programs. "We live in an interconnected planet," said Turner, "and I've been learning how to give. It's something you have to keep working on, the world should concentrate on solving social and economic ills."

Even the NY Times has gone from traditional gray to color. Survival in white water rapids requires being proactive instead of reactive. There's progress on all fronts, folks. What's new on your front?

Copyright 1997 MarleneBrown,M.S.,CEO-MarmeLConsulting/TechnotouchMktg Speaker/Consultant/Writer: FutureChange, Technology, Leadership, Sales & Mktg PO Box 83, Clark Mills, NY 13321 * Tel: 315/853-1318 * Fax: 315/853-4636 Author: the book"TechnoTouch:ManagingChange for 21stCenturyLeadership" & "TechnoTouch Marketing Trends" a bi-monthly newsletter. Email: marlene@borg.com * Visit our Web site at: http://www.technotouch.com/

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