Every Company Is An Internet Company

There’s a question I hear over and over again when I introduce our relatively young and small business to someone for the first time: “Neat…so are you like, an internet company?”

I’ve never been really keen to this question because I’m not exactly sure what it’s asking. After reflecting on it a bit, however, I came to a very clear answer: Every company, including yours and certainly mine, is an internet company – there is no such thing as a non-internet company anymore.

What does this really mean? There was a time – and I certainly remember it – when some companies existed primarily online, and others existed primarily in “brick and mortar”. Amazon is a prime and early example of the “internet company”. On the opposite end, your local car mechanic was a distinctly non-internet company – he had his garage, and that was about it.

But between 2004 and now, a lot of things happened that made every single company an internet company, whether they liked it or not: the iPhone, Yelp, Google Local Search, the ubiquity of blogging, Twitter…the list goes on. Now you are no longer an internet company by choice – the only choice you have is whether to participate in the conversation. Your local garage has Yelp reviews, and probably a Google Local listing. The dry cleaners down the street may be getting destroyed by an angry customer on Facebook. These companies may not have a website, and they may not do any e-commerce at all, but that doesn’t exclude them anymore from the class of “internet company”.

So yes, my company is an “internet company” – whatever that means anymore – but so is yours. Here’s the rub: are you engaging and participating in the conversation people are already having about you online, or do you really still believe your company only exists in brick and mortar?

Want the inside track on my latest ultra-efficient business hacks and tips? Follow me on Twitter @DenODonnell – I share my favorite business content on Twitter, usually before I get to writing an article about it on Starterist!

Speak Your Mind

*