How the Internet is ruining the business of specialized skills.
“Google it.” We’ve all said and done it. In fact, in May 2011, Google had over 1 billion unique visitors. Google is such a major part of our culture that it has recently been added to the Merriam-Webster dictionary as a transitive verb. (Note: I had to use the Merriam-Webster dictionary shortly after this to look up transitive verb)
Because we have the ability to Google any information at anytime on our PCs, laptops, smart phones, and tablets we can virtually obtain any knowledge we desire. Savvy Internet users have been taking advantage of this for years in order to learn anything from the ingredients in hollandaise sauce to step-by-step instructions on how to knit. This is an incredibly powerful tool that creates a sense of cohesion throughout the world as well as allows us to broaden our sense of understanding on a variety of topics, no matter how mundane. But this powerful tool is not without its concerns…
Google creates a “jack of all trades,” out of every person, and this can throw a wrench into the plans of many small business owners. Just the other day my husband Googled instructions on how to replace a tail light in our foreign car to avoid going to the auto mechanic. Across the globe, Google users are finding out how to bypass specialty service businesses in order to save money. From fixing a computer at home to avoid a repair fee to booking a vacation online to negate the need for a travel agent, specialty shops everywhere are taking a hit.
Having the power to Google allows us a virtual world that should be milked for every drop of information. Specialty shops and small businesses may have taken a hit, but the advent of the Internet causes so many facets of business to evolve. It will be interesting (and telling) to discover how specialty service shops and businesses deal with ongoing trend of the do-it-yourselfer.