25 Oct Are we there yet?
When you are in the car on a trip with your kids – what do they say or ask every 30 minutes? Every 30 minutes I get “I have to use the bathroom” – man, my girls have small bladders. Second question they ask is “When are we going to get there?”. As a kid, my brothers and I asked this question often, and I learned early that this question was not going to get the answer I wanted to hear. As a parent, I now do what my dad used to do and give the same answer no matter the duration. “20 minutes” I answer. It doesn’t matter if we are 6 hours or 5 minutes away – “20 minutes” is always my answer. Great piece of unsolicited parenting advice for you. While it does get a considerable amount of groans and “Daaaad?!?!?!” – I get immense pleasure out of it, and it does start to cut down the number of times it is asked. Also, like my dad – I always laugh at the things I say that I think are funny, even if no one else does 🙂
I digress. The experts (academics a lot smarter than me at Universities and the Analysts) have been saying “we’re almost there” for years in B2B E-Commerce. In 2001, one predicted growth of B2B E-Commerce to reach $1.6 Trillion. Others predicted similar growth by 2004, 2005, 2006 – you get the picture. Everytime this growth is predicted, I hear the groans heard around the industry. However, we are almost there – we have real predictions based on real numbers from Forrester recently that predict $559B by end of 2013 which is more than double the entire retail e-commerce industry. Why $559 instead of a nice round number like $560 – I have no idea – but like I said people a lot smarter than me.
And, by the way this growth is based on a small number of companies actually doing this with intent. Andy Hoar’s (Forrester) report on maturity within B2B E-Commerce clearly states that most B2B companies are either just starting or don’t have B2B E-Commerce. So, if we are just in the beginning of a seemingly long and large bell curve, we have a lot of work to do. But, I also think this is the start of exciting maturity and innovation.
To the first question that my kids ask about the bathroom – I have tried many tactics all to very, very, very bad results.
P.S. the picture of the family is not of me and my family on a road trip. I know that because of the cheesy, happy, smile that is on the dad’s face. And the kids. And the mom.