Toral: 20 years-A A +A
Tuesday, October 23, 2012
LAST Sept. 16, my personal website, DigitalFilipino.com , turned 13 years old. In the past, I would usually make an anniversary post writing about lessons learned or stuff accomplished for one year. This year, however, is different. I became worried on what will happen in the future – particularly the next seven years.
The Internet is changing the landscape of computing, communicating and doing business with each other. Whether I or my site will be relevant in the next seven years is still very much uncertain.
If I could do it all over again, and this is what I advise the young now whenever I give talks, I would have made a persistent effort of thinking about the future – the next 20 years. If I had, I am sure I would have taken a lot of options I dismissed or took for granted in the past. Many of these, in fact, I am thinking of doing now and in the next 7 years.
They say that people who are successful are the ones who think far enough about the future. I am not saying that I didn’t completely do it. But I was always in this mindset where technology changes so fast that no fixed plan can stand the test of time.
However, there are tried and tested fundamentals that can be timeless and executable regardless of what business model a person’s website or blog is in.
This includes being open to collaboration and investment in other businesses. I am setting my sights on investing in 100 businesses where I can be a direct investor or industrial partner. I know that investing in 100 may mean 97 of them will fail and only three will succeed. But then again, those failures are important in order to make better decisions in the future.
Empower others through knowledge and community-building. Right from the start and since my first article, my perspective has been to empower readers with knowledge and club members through opportunities and the right connections. I could have made it more structured and stable for continuity rather than just carrying it out as the need arises. I could have set-up an e-learning program and collaborated with the right parties much sooner.
In community-building, much of the time was spent in organizing activities in the DigitalFilipino Club and I have neglected majority of the aspiring ones. Lately, I saw this segment as being tapped but more for one-time knowledge advocacy purposes. In my heart, I know that true advocacy will only work if there is a commitment to gather them, foster networking, and support them in their endeavors. It is a tedious task and not all will be served. But I prefer giving a lot of time to 1,600 people in two years rather than train 1000 at a time for a day and forget about them afterwards.
So to my young readers either thinking of starting a business or a simple blog, think about what you want your site to be in its 20th year. Will you still be relevant then? Whatever vision comes to your mind, work on it and let it serve as your map on what your online future shall be like. Of course, you should calibrate as necessary.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on October 24, 2012.