The Web is abuzz today with the AOL buyout of Time Warner. While I’d like to say that this is just business (just American media business to boot) and won’t affect much of anyone, that’s not the case. This deal is a touchstone, a turning point. Some consequences:
- The Internet is no longer a buzzword or a toy or something regular people “don’t get”. It’s an integral part of our society. The Internet is not the punchline of Leno’s jokes anymore…well, that’s not true, as Jay likes to run things into the ground and then some….but no one is laughing.
- People will stop talking about “dot coms” and “brick and mortar” companies as if they are two separate things. Companies are companies. Business is business. The “Internet way of doing business” is an oxymoron. Having a “.com” suffix on the end of your company name will make you look foolish. As usual, it will take the large consulting companies awhile to figure this out.
- There will be no special media coverage of people buying stuff off of the Internet next holiday season. Just another place to shop.
- Right now, all the business and media stuff that’s happening applies mainly to the US. As the changes occuring in the American business arena spread to other parts of the globe (via the Internet, wouldn’t you know), American companies with huge market caps will be buying up international media & technology companies. You too will be watching 500 channels of bad interactive television.
Anyway. It’ll be fun to see how much of this is dead wrong in a year or so.