1bn people online by next month, the world gets flatter

The FT takes a speculative look at the next 10 years of the internet's development:

"Somewhere in the world in the next few weeks the billionth human
being will sit down at a computer, log on to the internet for the first
time and join the swelling throng in cyberspace....That is quite a
record for a medium that broke away from its academic roots only a
decade ago. But it may be only a taste of the upheaval in store over
the next 10 years.

The world get flatter:

"...None of this even touches on the less visible, and potentially even
more profound, impact that the web has had on how businesses are
organised, how social and political life has been affected or how a
country such as India has been able to join the world economy in a way
that would once have seemed impossible.

More disruption:

If that is the story of
the internet so far, then what do the next 10 years hold in store? In
two words: more upheaval, as the forces that caused consternation in
many corporate boardrooms in the late-1990s are once again unleashed,
this time backed by more robust business models and better ­technology."

More opportunities:

The piece quotes Eric Schmidt of Google, Paul Saffo of Institute of the Future, Roger McNamee a Silicon Valley vc, Chris Hoffman of Mozilla Foundation and Meg Whitman, CEO of Ebay who says:

“There is still room for new internet leaders to be created. Of the
five biggest internet companies 10 years from now, I can imagine that
two or three of the existing leaders will stay on, but that two will be
companies that haven’t even been born yet. The internet is an
incredibly dynamic environment. You have to respond really fast.”

(Via the Guardian blog)

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