It won't surprise you to hear Google's CEO holding forth on the importance and potential of the internet. (Their stock just passed $500 a share; maybe they're onto something there).
One of his most interesting observations is about how the internet is far more than a ubiquitous delivery system; it's also making fundamental changes in how we live.
I know this is true for me. I keep reminders of things like locker combinations by sending myself Gmail, which I can then retreive and search for nearly anywhere; I have a cool Verizon EVDO modem that lets me look for the nearest Home Depot while Barb drives around in circles; I get a lot of my news from my 60-something feeds at Google Reader.
I'm not going back.
Google's Eric Schmidt, from the article (emphasis added):
But what’s surprising is that so many companies are still betting against the net, trying to solve today’s problems with yesterday’s solutions. The past few years have taught us that business models based on controlling consumers or content don’t work. Betting against the net is foolish because you’re betting against human ingenuity and creativity.
Of course this new technology raises profound challenges for many established companies. Skype, an internet telephony business (voice over IP), is as disruptive to the economics of the telecommunications industry as China has been to the global manufacturing sector. But that disruption is only going to intensify.