“In our lives, there are special moments where opportunity grabs you by the lapels and lets you change your life forever. Let me tell you about one that happened to me.”
In 2001, I worked as a graphic artist running a marketing firm in Germany and the Internet had caught my interest. At that time, Apple was rumored to be working on Something Big, and speculation was running rampant about what it was. I decided to invent my own rumor, the "iWalk", an amazing new PDA from Apple. As an experiment, I created videos of the fake Apple device and a new rumor site called "Spymac" to display it. I spread the word, and waited to see what would happen.
Within days, the iWalk video had spread throughout the Internet. People would email the links to their friends, saying "You gotta see this!", hotly debating whether it was real or not. It made it to all major news sites and magazines. It was everywhere... today, they'd call it "viral video marketing", but this was years before YouTube.
My little video and a few hundred bucks on hosting had reached more people in days than the big-money programs would reach in months. For a creative person, the Internet was the land of opportunity. And I wanted a piece of it.
Within less than a year, Spymac was the world's largest Mac community, online or offline! I had put a team together, and transformed Spymac from a fake rumor site into a serious community around Apple products.
So it's been an interesting decade. You'd have to live in a cave not to know of the explosive growth of the Internet. But what doesn't get enough attention is how much the Internet ecosystem has changed. Creating concepts for social media has become my obsession and bringing my vision to life is the ultimate challenge I am pursuing. I have left Germany for the greater opportunities in the United States and currently reside in Miami to work on “Project V”, the incarnation of viral high performance marketing.
Time for a change! History repeating...
In 1991, AOL was the Internet to millions of people, and Yahoo was the search engine of choice. Now, AOL and Yahoo are desperately looking for ways to survive and any remaining investors are praying for a miracle.
The big players today are new. Myspace, 2003. Gmail, 2007. YouTube, 2005. Facebook, 2006. Twitter, 2006. None of these even existed in 2000. Are they nimble enough to be the big players in 2020? Maybe - but no guarantees, and lots of opportunities for others.
“The great white shark has to keep moving, or it sinks. It's true of most companies, and a defining characteristic of any internet business. If you aren't doing new things, if you aren't renewing yourself, if you aren't advancing - you are becoming obsolete.”