I am old enough to remem­ber the time, not that long ago, when peo­ple who pro­claimed that the Inter­net would change every­thing were seen more as heretics than prophets. Record store own­ers scoffed; the com­pact disc is the essence of mod­ern music. News­pa­per edi­tors didn’t have time to wor­ry about the Web; ad sales for their print­ed papers were up year after year. And those in the edu­ca­tion­al world who defined that world as a class­room with desks real­ly felt lit­tle need to think about trans­mit­ting their knowl­edge in any oth­er way than face-to-face, pupil-to-pupil.

Okay, I’ll put away the dusty scrap­book and get to the point. The Inter­net is now such a pow­er­ful pres­ence that, some­times, it is impor­tant to sit back and just learn the facts about the changes that the medi­um is invok­ing in the world every day.

Before 2012 becomes an odd-num­bered year, hop to the 112-slide online report assem­bled by Mary Meek­er and Liang Wu. It is sim­ply titled “Inter­net Trends” but it is far from sim­ple to com­pre­hend ful­ly. Though it has an Pow­er­Point-like for­mat, it is read­able online via Scribd. Meek­er and Wu are both affil­i­at­ed with KPCB (Klein­er Perkins Cau­field & Byers).

Man With LightbulbTheir report (which Meek­er also pre­sent­ed at a con­fer­ence at the end of May) pro­vides an update on the impact of the Inter­net on an array of indus­tries. Yet the report is most cogent when it pro­vides slide after slide of how those who are using and shap­ing the Web are reimag­in­ing and rein­vent­ing so many things that the net effect (pun intend­ed) on the read­er is a state of feel­ing over­whelmed. Look espe­cial­ly at slides 33 – 85. If those slides don’t make you feel that there may have nev­er been a bet­ter time to be an entre­pre­neur than right now, then I think you need put down your stenographer’s note­book and No. 2 pen­cil and reassess your life.

What’s most delight­ful is that Meek­er and Wu assert that, despite all the reimag­i­na­tion cur­rent­ly tak­ing place, we are still in “spring train­ing”. For those not in touch with base­ball ter­mi­nol­o­gy, it means that the real sea­son of play has yet to begin. As when you hit the “on” switch on your lap­top, the full force of the Inter­net is just warm­ing up. There­fore, have no doubt: today’s sta­tus quo is going to get even more dis­rupt­ed, and the mag­ni­tude of forth­com­ing change will be noth­ing short of stun­ning.

I’m so glad I’m young enough to be excit­ed about that.

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