Starring in the “New” New Economy

Are you ready for Internet 2.0? John Chambers, CEO of Cisco believes he has them ready; not only to survive but flourish. He lays out their game plan in the July 25th Wall Street Journal. Based upon his track record with Cisco, I wouldn’t bet against him.

So what is the game plan that has helped him build Cisco from a small Silicon Valley start-up to the Internet behemoth it is today? It is a simple four-part plan:

“The first element of his playbook, he says, is to “be realistic,” that is, to gauge how many challenges are created by the economy, and how many are self-inflicted. The second is to “assess your situation,” which means to ask how long a downturn will last and how deep it will be. “And,” Mr. Chambers says, “it will usually be longer than you think.” His third element is to “get ready for the upturn,” and the fourth is to “get closer to your customers.”

Simple, but not easy.

So what does Mr. Chamber predict for the “new” new economy?

“This Internet 2.0, Mr. Chambers says, will be all about pervasive video and collaboration tools. It will power the social networking Web world to even greater heights.”

If Mr. Chambers is right, and I feel he is, the business environment is going to become more personal as we rely on technology to connect those of us with shared interests and needed skills. Does this mean that geography is going to become irrelevant? No, because energy concerns will continue to create an environment where it will make sense to be as close to the marketplace as possible. However, what these tools will allow us to do is to connect and more easily recognize and share the resources that we have available to us in our marketplace.

So, of what value are social networking sites such as Twitter, Facebook and Linked In? They are just the portals into the “new” new economy. They are just a few of the doorways into Internet 2.0.

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