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The new economy gets older every day

The new technology owners have been leading the way from Stone Age to Internet presence via communication to transaction. Sara Lawson, Abc's country manager in Holland, believes that we now have entered a new phase and that there are good reasons for people in the new economy to learn from the traditional way of doing business.

Traditional brick and mortar companies have for long been considered as conservative and lagging behind when it comes to new media. Since the Internet started conquering the world, companies have been threatened with extinction if they do not enter the digital arena. New technology owners have been leading the way from Stone Age to Internet presence via communication to transaction.

– At the end of the previous phase the new media companies had to tell the traditional companies that simply coming up with a corporate brochure wasn’t good enough if they wanted to reach their potential clients. The old economy entered the communication era and started interacting with their target groups, says Sara.

Afraid to be left behind
During the communication phase, old economy companies were convinced by people in the new economy to use the Internet as a new channel towards customers. Afraid to be left behind, these companies gave in and set up shops. The companies that did not follow were laughed at by the newly emerged virtual shoppping malls, which proclaimed the ‘revolution of the customer’.

– With the fall of some of these malls and with reality hitting the new economy where it hurts, we are entering a fourth phase where we no longer tell the old economy what to do. The new economy asks the old about how to do business properly, says Sara.

New companies should listen to traditional companies
In many companies within the new economy, business strategy, operations and positioning have been dictated by technological possibilities rather than by business opportunities. Without reconsidering, businesses have been launched and propositions have been radically redirected. Sara thinks that a lot of new economy companies should listen to traditional companies and learn how to manage their processes and how to listen to customers, markets and socio-cultural developments.

– The second reason for listening to the experienced old economy is the fact that the new economy needs to know how to run a business in order to facilitate operations. The Internet and its users have grown up, it's no longer an outside company shell. The Internet can really facilitate business, not only by solving communication and procedural problems, but also by creating new business opportunities. In order to help traditional companies with their business we need to know and actually understand their business. Traditional companies have to explain what they are doing to facilitate the role of Internet solution providers.

Sara believes that the integration phase should take the new economy past puberty, so that people could learn from the traditional way of doing business and use this knowledge to maximize the opportunities of the Internet.


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