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In the future the level of access of information, much like today will be ubiquitous, yet without the card of exclusive information, information businesses can no longer use that as a reason to get customers to buy. Currently to overcome this already existent trend, the emergence of personal branding based business online through social media has made it possible to sell based on brand trust. Otherwise there is a whole other aspect which may be easy to ignore, but will be much clearer in the time to come.
That factor is the service factor. One might look at the words “Information Products” and think the business must then be selling products, but in reality, that is only the surface of the matter. This is true particularly as the intelligence of humanity is increasing, the awareness that the old established channels of education are no longer necessary nor even at the same level of validity of what can be found immediately at your fingertips for free, without having to pay a cent for access to that information. As more and more people realize that they can truly learn anything they want easily for free, would that not put information product brands out of business?
Plain sequential logic may make that conclusion, particularly when thinking in a linear rather than exponential fashion, but in reality as we’ve seen with industries we thought would die out with the advent of new technology such as the profitability of the music industry, in fact it is exactly the opposite of the truth, as what actually ended up happening was artists and labels being paid for streaming, and greater sales of vinyl and concert tickets than ever before in history. You may now be wondering how this applies to information businesses, but don’t worry it’s coming up.
As you may have already noted, the keyword in the title is “Service” because that is what differentiates free information and paid information when observing the current trends of online learning and education. No one buys a Udemy course on Java or C++ because such information can’t be found and learnt for free with the magic of a search engine, the reason why students like to pay for such courses lies in the programmatic structure, the specialized depth and manageability provided by education-dedicated platforms that are meant to get you from A to B or provide a practical reference without any fluff.
That’s what makes it different than searching out the information yourself and putting it together yourself and practicing trial and error. This explains why the information business is actually in growth rather than in decline, and there is a lot mores to come. The education establishment of old, the one where as you move up in grades the classrooms get bigger and the teachers fewer while the information goes into more depth with less time actually being taught, is believe it or not a multi-trillion dollar industry. When it comes to online, it is still in its growth phase and far from established, yet there are already somewhat established norms and standards that are starting to transpose. This means that it has reached a stage where it has just begun to find its footing, but is at most a multi-billion-dollar industry currently, which means if you do the math from a billion to a trillion it still has about 1000X of potential market expansion.
That should take forever right? Actually that would be the wrong way to look at it, as these industrial trends, just as we have seen with technology, as I have inferred above is actually exponential in nature meaning it will take much less time for the online education industry to become worth trillions of dollars than it did to become worth billions. That means if you want to get into the information products industry, you should have already started at least last year, but the next best thing is now. I would bet on it as it is growing at an alarming rate, but remember it’s no longer about having the best product, you need a strong brand and moreover it’s going to need to be the best systemization to make it the most convenient and effective for your students to learn.
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