I want to shift you away from thinking of the internet as a loose combination of technologies but rather as an eco-system, which you can break apart in order to piece together again in so many ways again and again to create processes for your business and your ideas.
Saleable Products and Services
The world wide web (the www) is built upon products and services that people buy and sell, as well as trade. We are shifting, especially after the pandemic, in to a greater period of online buying and selling. In the same way that I encourage persons to consider themselves a brand, and as such make their very selves a saleable product, it is in that same vein that I encourage you to think of the work you do as a saleable product. How can your specific combination of skills and experience be packaged into something that another person is willing to buy from you?
There are so many ways that we can conceive of this, and the possibilities are endless. I will give you some ideas and example platforms that facilitate them, so that if you are diligent, you can go down the rabbit hole on your own:
Selling your knowledge via an online course – example: teachable.com
Create a software as a service – they are called SaaS on the www – example: Google Workspace
Write a book and publish it yourself – example: kdp.amazon.com
There are good bots and there are bad bots. Good bots help to connect the internet, and connect you to people. Bad bots try to steal those connections that you make by intervening at those connective junctions and stealing your data. be realistic about the bad bots, and protect your data – please stop using passwords like ‘myname123’. Use a password service, for example, 1Password.
Now, use the good bots. Use the good pre-built bots that can help you run business more efficiently. Use bots and auto-responders in Facebook messenger to answer your customers’ questions. WhatsApp for Business also has pre-programmed responses that you can set up.
The internet is like a living breathing organism, with one organ’s functions feeding into the others in order to sustain the entire organism. API’s are much like those organs – carrying out their own function, but in the process, aiding other organs to sustain the life of the eco-system. Here is an example, there is an API called Twilio, which enables SMS messages to be sent out to a mobile phone. This function has been folded into many other services (SaaS). WhatsApp for Business also has an API, which is allowing businesses to connect their websites or internal software to WhatsApp to send messages directly to their customers phones after other actions are taken. The list goes on and on and on.
Anything that you can dream of doing most likely can be achieved through a series of smaller functions. So, you should look at it like that, and break down your bigger ideas into smaller functions, and see what APIs or services already exist that you can utilise to accomplish your bigger idea.
So we have connections and we have connectors. You might say this sounds like the same, but no, not exactly. Let me explain. A connection is a function that is used to extend another larger function. A connector is the actual line between these two functions.
e-commerce is essentially the unity of both of these, connections (functions like for example, the processing of payments) being connected to each other. There are lots of ways that we can connect functions, but there are also many connectors that we can use to chain our workflow together.
Here is an example of that concept, there is a website called ifttt.com (if this then that) which lets you set up triggers for something to happen after something else has happened, so basically, if this happens, then do that, and you can determine what is the two actions. There are other similar connectors, such as Zapier.
These connectors can be essential business drivers, and should be utilised as deeply and as widely as possible. Sometimes you might not need a brand new software for your business, you just need to chain together a series of functions that can bring you to the same end point, and enhance your business workflow all the same.
Great, now go on ahead – break some stuff, and build awesome things!