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The Boon Internet Is

Tuesday December 21 2004 08:46 IST

By Karmayogi

Between the Civil War in 1860 and the World War in 1914, the American economy was in a boom. No one outside America was aware of what was happening there, as no one knew of her existence then.

Her exports were negligible, less than 5% of her national production. The home market consumed over 90% of the production and even 97% at times. Americas prosperity today as the richest nation has its beginning there in the ever-expanding home market.

Internet has offered today to every one of us an ever expanding global market that has never before existed. Man riding the horse moved to the train, car and then to the airplane.

In Latin America, men were riding on mules. From there they directly started travelling in planes. To any man functioning in the local market or national market, Internet offers a global market. He must avail of it.

That is the quantitative side of expansion. There is another qualitative side. Here it is innovation that yields the results. Gravitation is there as a force which man discovers. Pen is nowhere in the atmosphere.

It is mans creation, an innovation. Computer is such an innovation. Computer is an innovation that admits of endless innovations. The capacity of the computer makes difficult things easy, expensive things cheap.

Such innovations are announced very often. Hotmail was one such innovation. Someone had a big heart to offer people something essential for free. The result was Hotmail, which gave him the boon of $220 million when Microsoft purchased it from him.

All those who have a big heart that is generous can receive from the Internet such boons. This was not a possibility that existed before.

Even in traditional sectors, the Internet is capable of expanding existing operations. A man was selling second hand goods. He thought of using the Internet and called his site market place. It showed astronomical growth.

In five years, he grew to a size of capturing the notice of giants. He sold his site to one of them for $225 million Euros. Maybe five years earlier he was not doing even half a million. Internet opens the heavens to human aspiration.

He who yearns for doing service will find his service reaching all the corners of the world when he resorts to the Internet. Some time ago, I wrote about a book, Honey, Lets Make Money. At that time, it was not in print. Now it is available. The author gives hundreds of humble suggestions that can grow global operations, if only one applies himself diligently.

If anything, the Internet is the most civilising instrument of the 20th century. Progress comes not so much from the instrument, as from our attitude. It must be selfless.

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