I Stole This Internet Idea, and Why You Should Pay Me To Steal Yours

I stole this post. Yes, there you go, guilty as charged. In the Internet economy, with 2 billion people and $8 trillion exchanged annually online, it’s really easy to copy-n-paste and pawn off a product as your own.

I have been meaning to read the latest McKinsey surveys for weeks. I think the rain brought me a little time today. It was worth the wait. The first report (Internet Matters: The Internet’s Sweeping Impact on Growth, Jobs and Prosperity) is full of interesting facts.

To start – the Internet accounts for, on average, 3.4 percent of GDP in the 13 countries studied. The report goes on to say that the countries that have been using the Internet the longest are using it best – or at least are seeing the greatest percentage of GDP coming from the Internet, which indicates that the countries that are just getting into the Internet should also see greater percentage of GDP coming from the Internet in the future.

The impact on jobs is also pretty impressive. They report that while the Internet destroys some jobs, it creates 2.6 jobs for every job destroyed. So there’s some potential growth there too. Now if we can just try to make sure that we can reach out to the folks who lose the original job to get re-employed.

I didn’t write that, although by setting it off indented I signal that the work is a quote… although I think my mobile browser settings ignore that for screen space sake.  Sorry, Ann, but Research and Recommendations on Internet & the Economy & Jobs was too important to wait to draw my own conclusions, so I stole yours.  They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery…

There was a note of recommendation that I think is important to note…

Create an attractive business environment. The context in which business operates is critical to the growth of the Internet ecosystem and will hold back its growth if the environment does not encourage expansion of usage, encouragement of innovation, and business investment and participation. To ensure such an attractive environment requires ongoing assessment of the frameworks that govern access, usage, protection of various rights, and consideration of security.

Its vital advice for anyone looking to promote economic growth in a business, community, county, state or country. The report goes on to make some specific suggestions:

  1. Public decision makers should act as catalysts to unleash the Internet’s growth potential
  2. All business leaders, not just e-CEOs, should put the Internet at the top of their strategic agenda
  3. All stakeholders should take part in a fact-based, public-private dialogue

Well, you get my drift. In the old economy, consultants like McKinsey would copyright and number each report and guard their information like gold.  In the new economy, information wants to be free.  McKinsey, I’m sure, still does copyright numbered reports for their high-powered consultancy, but their reputation (which is the real value behind those expensive consulting contracts) depends on the rest of us paying attention to their free reports.  Think of this type of information as data loss-leaders.  In Twitter World, your ideas are only valuable if people care enough to steal them.

I didn’t steal that idea from McKinsey, but I’m sure they would agree.

Economic development better be living in Twitter World, too.  Maybe your community leaders haven’t bought into doing business online—some of us do just fine taking gravel roads in the Interstate era—but if you haven’t put the Internet on your growth agenda, you’re going to have lots of time to wonder why the jobs are going somewhere else.

Ann writes about a second report as well.  I’ll resist stealing that idea.  Head over to the BoB and check it out.


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