I am intrigued by what we have built the Internet to do that has no offline corollary.
And I think that helps explain why no one quite foresaw the rise of the Internet: because it doesn't have an offline corollary of its own.
We are at the point, finally, where we are seeing uses of the Internet that have no offline corollary.
But sometimes it is hard to tell them apart when we don't have an offline frame of reference.
When you hear about a new company and your response is, "Why in the world would anyone want to do that?" it will be because there is no offline corollary.
I can't think of anything offline to compare it to.
In the past, success relied heavily on whether an entrepreneur could move an offline experience online better than someone else.
I already knew people wanted to sell the stuff in their attic or send money to other people before eBay or PayPal came along, because the offline world had already invented garage sales and Western Union.
Does this behavior have an offline corollary?
That brings us back to the need to share data—and to our online example with Amazon, and our offline example with our salesperson.
This has no offline corollary and is economically empowering to so many people. 5. eBay and reallocating existing goods. eBay is actually a little like direct trade.