The three ages of American business?

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by 63dot, Nov 26, 2008.

  1. 63dot macrumors 603


    Jun 12, 2006
    I heard this theory a few years ago from a CEO of a mid-sized high tech startup. He said the first age of American business in the 20th century was the railroads and related steel industry. The second age was Detroit and the cars and gasoline/oil that went with it. In the 1990s, the internet came along as the third big age of business.

    Are we in that time now, or is that coming to an end?

    ie) back to more brick and mortar businesses, mom and pop retails, smaller local economies as big banks and corporations fail
  2. TheBonk macrumors 6502


    May 22, 2007
    I don't know about the different ages of business we had, but I do know that the internet is a whole new age of business, a way of living, or something. And it's just starting. Nowhere near ending. Social networking sites just started around 4 years ago, and they'll evolve more in the future. The internet in general will evolve over the years. It'll get smarter. It'll help us do work and connect people better than it does now. It could even turn into our personal assistant by managing our lives.

    As an indication of how young the internet age still is, look what kind of websites the mainstream public use, and look at what the tech public uses. You'll see that mainstream has only heard of mostly Myspace, Facebook, Google, or Youtube. They haven't heard of Twitter, Digg, Delicious or much of the websites that are tools to make your life easier. There are even companies that don't even know that the internet is a whole to way to build brands for almost no cost.

    I don't know if we're in a third age of business, but I know we're definitely in a whole new age.
  3. bradl macrumors 68040


    Jun 16, 2008
    From what I've read, we've had three so far, and we are in the third.

    First was the Agrarian age. Land and farming were the big way to build wealth. The bigger the land, the bigger the status. Think Southern-style plantations, or when the Frontier was open.

    Second age was the Industrial age. Manual/organized labour, assembly lines, Go to school/work hard/get good grades/get a good secure paying job/work your way up through the corporate ladder/work until you're 65 - 72/retire/die. Started at about late 1890s to about the mid-1980s or mid 1990s.

    Now, we're in the Information age. Over 1/3rd of the biggest jobs/businesses occur online instead of at the workplace. DotCom boom pretty much started it. Then Dell came in and revolutionized it; not in the products, but that he got kicked out of college for building PCs in his dorm room and selling them online, without going through any type of store.

    Very few rich people came out of the Agrarian age. A number of millionaires came out of the industrial age. But many have and are still coming out of the Information Age.

    If you read the book The Next Millionaires by Paul Zane Pilzer, you'll get a very good idea on where we've come from in terms of business, and where the next riches and millionaires are going to be coming from.


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