About 15 years ago, our design firm was one of the early adopters of the internet. We were young and fearless. We harnessed the power of the internet and rode the wave quicker than our competitors. We assembled a team of programmers and designers of different nationalities and sent everyone in the office for html training.
I was quickly assigned the task of a web-architect. My job was to chart out the site maps of websites and portals. From building the national zoo's website to a mega kids portal, everyday was just brimming with excitement.
Something else was happening. We found ourselves talking to investors and 'angels' almost every week. Companies that were in the traditional brick and mortar business suddenly felt they were missing out. They wanted to jump on the bandwagon and were investing in young internet upstarts. Some investors boasted of meeting up to 50 startups every month, our presentation had better be worth their time. They claimed proposals were piling up on their desks faster than they could read. They were mostly arrogant, conservative (prudent) and in our young eyes, ancient, but they were loaded with cash. There was one prominent rice merchant who was very humble despite being chauffered around in a Rolls Royce. We were invited to his sprawling villa in the heart of town. It was the first time I knew such opulence existed in land scarce Singapore.
Now the tables are turned. While surfing around, I find a whole new world out there. I thought I was quite savvy, now I realise I am not harnessing the power of the internet enough. Compared to the younger generation, I am waaaay down there.
From the business perspective, I find myself seeking diversification. I can't put all my eggs in one basket, I need to explore other avenues. I am prepared to learn if I have to. So I set up an ebay account yesterday just to learn the mechanics of online auctioning. It's about time!! Fortunately I have a ready product to sell - organ stickers for preschoolers. This morning I had a message in my mailbox: "Your eBay item sold!"
This is so cool. It's a start. I'm taking baby steps but at least I'm trying to stay relevant.