15 August 2016

What were you doing 25 years ago?

Were you finding your way in the world? Were you dreaming of being an astronaut? Were you a twinkle in your dad’s eye?Lawrence Jones MBE entrepreneur

One thing I know you weren’t doing was browsing the internet! It was 25 years ago last week that the world’s very first website went live to the public. The site, created by Sir Tim Berners-Lee, was a world away from today’s beautifully designed sites – just a basic text page.

It took another two years for the World Wide Web to be made publicly available through an open licence, which meant everyone was able to run a server and build sites.

Today, it’s hard to imagine any person or business not relying on the internet, whether they use it to attract clients, sell products or simply communicate with each other or their customers. The web has changed the types of businesses out there and the way we do business, particularly, obviously, in eCommerce.

It’s only the best innovations that become invaluable in such a short period of time. The internet solved so many problems for businesses; mostly that of making the most of their available time.

Personally, the internet has changed my life. I first noticed the potential of the internet during a trip to the US, almost twenty years ago. Sitting in New York, it was clear that the world was heading in a digital direction and America was leading the way.

But when I tried to set up a website back in the UK in those early days, I found there wasn’t a hosting service in the UK that matched my needs, that focussed on service. This was the point at which I boarded the train. I saw the potential of the internet and I wanted to improve it; to make sure that businesses in the UK could benefit from this new technology and grow alongside great customer service.

I always knew the internet – and any service related to it – needed to be fast. That is the main selling point; being able to get things done at the click of a button. With the growth of technologies like cloud, consumers now expect to have their shopping delivered within hours (or in some cases minutes) and be able to do all their daily tasks, such as banking, on multiple devices. Internet technologies have come so far already!

I can’t wait to see what the internet is going to do over the next 25 years but I don’t think there is anybody on this planet who knows exactly where we’ll be by then. I won’t complain; adapting to uncertainty and constant change is what makes this industry such an exciting one to work in.

Could you run your business without the internet?

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