» Archive for December, 2000

Teach Your Children Well

Friday, December 29th, 2000 by Ellen Pearlman

IN BRIEF:  Eleven million ten- to seventeen-year-olds have wireless connectivity in the U.S. Concurrently, the number of Internet users in Asia will jump to 188 million by 2004. What does one have to do with the other in terms of B2B growth? More than one might think.

As this writer surveys the vast terrain of changes over the past year in the B2B sphere and endeavors to sum it up, the truth is the past is already history. What summons as a year end wrap-up is the future. And that future is beckoning.

If one can get past the stock market spikes and dips and the flops and consolidations in B2B, two startling trends emerge. One is the explosive use of both the Internet and wireless devices among the youth of industrialized nations with eleven million children between the ages of ten and seventeen having wireless access in the U.S. . In four years, that number is estimated to jump to 50 percent of all youth. With that kind of jump, there will also be an increase in demand for youth-oriented content and services. The number of children using the Web in the U.K. has also doubled in the past two years, with up to 65 percent of youth having online access. Numbers like this imply that the net and wireless activity will be a common as cable TV to this generation.

Concurrently, the number of Internet users will jump to 188 million by 2004. Even a country like Thailand will expand its B2B usage upwards of US$15 billion a year in durable goods and petrochemicals by 2004.  What these two seemingly disparate trends point towards follows. Young people are coming of age net and wireless savvy. Asia, and by implication, some lesser developed countries, are waking up to the power of the Internet. As one group matures, so does the other. And as B2B emerges out of its net nappy, there will be a cadre of young, skilled workers with innovate not yet heard of uses to boost B2B trade to levels not yet seen.

These youth will demand that their elders workplaces get up to speed and demand Internet Protocol (IP) enabled supply chains and connectivity. What was a new idea at the end of the last millennium will become an IP backbone mainstay within a decade, because there is no turning back time in this, the newest millennium.

Ellen Pearlman is a senior analyst at Basex.

Book Review: One Good Turn

Tuesday, December 12th, 2000 by Jonathan Spira

One Good Turn
Witold Rybczynski

Just as David Ewing Duncan used the Calendar as a means of viewing the history of the world (see Calendar: Humanity’s Epic Struggle to Determine a True and Accurate Year, by David Ewing Duncan, published by Avon Books, available at  Amazon.com), Witold Rybczynski, in One Good Turn: A Natural History of the Screwdriver and the Screw, takes the reader through a survey of twentieth century mechanical history in highlighting an important invention which today is certainly taken for granted.

One Good Turn is the story of Archimedes, who invented the water screw and introduced the helix, and Leonardo, who drafted a sketch of a machine for carving wood screws.  One Good Turn is the story of discovery from Ancient Greece to the Italian Renaissance, to industrialization in the Americas.

Although wars were not fought over the screwdriver, the war industry played a role in its history.  The First World War diverted attention away from Canadian Peter L. Robertson’s improved screw-screwdriver combination (which, in the late twentieth century, Consumers Reports magazine rated as being vastly superior to its Phillips counterpart – the Robertson model “worked faster with less cam-out”.)

Wartime industry during the Second World War ensured the adoption of Henry E. Phillips’ (yes there was a Phillips behind the Phillips screw and screwdriver) product as an industry standard, as momentum from the automotive industry’s adoption  of socket screws (starting with the 1936 Cadillac) made this socket screw an important component of the war machine.

Rybczynski’s project started when editors of the New York Times asked him to write an essay identifying the “best tool of the millennium.”  Without the screw, there would be no telescope, no microscope, perhaps no Internet – no scientific apparatus which requires any degree of precision and craftsmanship.

You can order this book on line right now at Amazon.com.

Jonathan B. Spira is the CEO and Chief Analyst at Basex.