The notorious dotcom crash was a very striking and occupying phenomenon. It showed that technology itself wasn’t a firm foundation for the success of an individual or a company. The dotcoms were doomed because their technology was so easily copied and replicated and reused. It’s very hard to to keep anything proprietary or secret on the world wide web.
In the boom of dotcom era, a series of technologies had a tremendous impact on business but very quickly vanished into the thin air because they were broadly shared by all businesses. When it was fresh, shocking and untested, companies could get a competitive advantage because it took a long time for competitors to copy it.
The dotcom boom was mostly about hype. It had succeeded through its marketing efforts to create a common assumption that it is strategic and creates a competitive advantage. Everybody rushed to pick up their piece of imaginary cake. Obnoxious amount of salaries were offered. People burnt their homes in real world, and just settled into their home pages. Ok, sorry, I just got carried away, but you could sense that the idea was there after all, when you look at the magnitude of loss individuals and companies suffered in the aftermath of dotcom bust.
The mythical strategic niche enjoyed by information technology, and all that talk of information era is not that ubiquitous. The only times now where IT becomes strategic is in quite narrow, specialized uses of it that are specific to an industry or an individual company. All the broadly used hardware and software – basically all the hardware and most of the business software, particularly the big enterprise programs for big processes such as supply chain, financial management, CRM. They’re so broadly adopted and standardized. Some companies are still able to create proprietary software to help them do things.
So the virtual world is not that over-whelming after all. Until and unless humans are physical, the real world will continue to dominate strongly and with ultimate authority.