The world is integrating at the same time it's segmenting. It's converging at the same time it's fragmenting. People are becoming more individual in nature as they're becoming more dependent on one another.
Lines are blurring (read integrating) between:
- Business and personal life: Wireless and free to roam. Work at home. Pets in the office. Company sports teams.
- Between suppliers and customers: We sell you products. You sell us information about what you want.
- Between schools and businesses: Work study, company-financed education and research programs.
- Between competitors: Alliances and co-opetition.
- Between advertising, editorial and education: Product placement, advertorials, documercials.
Software is moving toward a common platform and moving closer to the dream of an enterprise system that's seamless among all suppliers and our customers.
The Internet is encouraging segmentation that was previously economically unfeasible by aggregating special interests from around the world to become special niche markets with the critical mass to attract companies to supply their demands.
At the same time, the Internet is integrating education, sales, delivery and even maintenance of goods and services worldwide.
Demand is forcing – and technology is allowing – the gradual integration of all elements affecting people's lives.
At some point virtually all of mankind's knowledge and our human desires may be plugged into a worldwide network that reacts dynamically to this knowledge and demand.
"All of us who professionally use the mass media are the shapers of society. We can vulgarize that society. We can brutalize it. Or we can help lift it onto a higher level."
- Bill Bernbach