The 21st century has brought us great technological and cultural advances that in other times were believed unthinkable or unattainable. These transformations in our lives have been possible thanks to discoveries such as the manipulation of the electromagnetic spectrum, the invention of electronic devices such as the computer and the transmission of data in near real time. However, one of the biggest changes that this new Industrial Revolution has brought about is yet to be known.
In several entries in this blog we have talked about the dilemma that physical and intangible supply means for the markets. Several decades ago, our entire life was focused on a medium in which almost all satisfiers could be touched with the hands and exchanges were completely subject to overcoming geographical barriers between people who demanded a good and others who consumed it. Now we make transactions with non-physical money to acquire mobile applications that we cannot manipulate with our hands.
After the advance of the health crisis caused by SarsCov2, the transition towards a reality dominated by non-physical or immaterial solutions and alternatives reached a speed that many thought would take a long time to materialize. Overnight in many places on Earth, people were forced to temporarily leave offices and shops to stay safe at home. The work happened to be executed from the dining room or the study. School classes moved to digital classrooms. Some products and services were turned into a virtual or hybrid format.
In more extreme cases, some ended up adopting a new «life on the internet.» The webson, as we will call it in this blog, is that free reflection or creation of a character on the part of a natural person in the digital medium. In addition to social networks, this new type of character has the option to buy or sell items such as clothing, furniture, music, texts and more elements that only exist on the network. Concrete examples of the life of websons are the rooms and profiles of social networks, such as Habbo or Gather Town, and some virtual reality games.
However, this trend is not universal and we do not believe that it will soon be able to completely replace the traditional environment in which all of us develop every day. Despite the great market potential that intangible life has, it is completely dependent on hardware. Without microprocessors, the components that make it possible to connect to the internet and consume digital goods cannot be manufactured. These usually travel long distances over the globe in containers that are moved aboard ships and airplanes.
Likewise, there are needs that still cannot be replaced by non-physical means. Before, during and after the pandemic, various segments of the economy never stopped producing and working on the physical plane. Among these sectors we have the agricultural, industrial, essential public services, transportation, courier and parcel, retail, pharmaceuticals, among some others. Many jobs and sources of income do not know or will not know an alternative for its execution outside the physical space.
Despite this scenario, we cannot put aside the growth and potential that this alternative virtual world has that the Director of Meta, Mark Zuckerberg, described as the main objective of his consortium: each person will have an identity in the material world and another in the digital. However, that future is still very far away regardless of what we had and will have great catalysts such as the COVID-19 disease. The technological requirements are still not available and many connoisseurs are sure that we are somewhat far from having them within reach.
Now, one day that future that is still guessed far away will come. Just like video calls, cell phones, and household appliances did. At Acertiva we are aware of these disruptions in the market. If your next project contemplates the irruption of a revolutionary product or service, consider market research as an investment to prevent the next situation from becoming a case study in marketing schools. Write to us today to tell you how together we will achieve your next success.