Since I saw this question on a forum somewhere I’ve been pondering how to answer it, and where I should begin. I think that to answer this properly we need to understand how it all began, because the likes of Ebay / Amazon / LinkedIn and Facebook didn’t just appear from nowhere. Each of these online businesses may be worth BILLIONS now but they first started as kitchen table or garage ventures with a shoestring budget and their founder’s dreams, nothing else.
It all started with a British guy called Tim Berners-Lee. Back in 1980 Tim pioneered a project called World Wide Web, more commonly known as “www” because he had an idea that he wanted to take his Hypertext idea which is string of code on a computer and connect it with Domain Name Systems, thus making a web of links, therefore, creating the internet.
Are you still with me? If you’re not well versed on the technical side of things, don’t worry, neither am I. I’ve had to research this several times just to make sense of it a bit in my own head.
This brings me to my introduction of Microsoft, co-founded by Bill Gates (serial world’s richest person) $90BN and the lesser known Paul Allen, only worth half as much but who’s complaining?
Microsoft, abbreviated to MS was originally founded to develop and sell a program called BASIC, this was an acronym for Beginner’s / All Purpose / Symbolic / Instruction / Code.
Around the same time Steve Jobs founded Apple, but obviously not as we know it today. Back then in the 1970’s computers were huge, ugly looking boxes.
It’s important, I think at this stage to make clear that computer software and the internet, www are totally different things, software being present several years before the birth of the internet.
It was however, the birth of the internet that changed the world, and now if you were to ask anyone in the developed world, they would tell you their lives could not function without it.
The internet, in it’s original form was for sharing information between people, and at the beginning was not commercialised at all, however this all changed with the advent of e-commerce, better known as electronic business.
When I think of e-commerce, straight away I think of ebay and Amazon, Amazon being the world’s largest online shopping centres.
Amazon, at it’s birth only sold books, however over the last twenty years it has grown astronomically all over the world and now sells everything imaginable, with the probable only exception being Real Estate and cars, give it time though. Jeff Bezos, Amazon’s founder is probably working on expanding into those markets already.
eBay, however was created by accident. It’s founder, Pierre Omidyar when he created a page online to auction a broken laser pointer. To Pierre’s amazement this actually sold really quickly which then made Pierre decide to contact the buyer directly to check he was aware this laser pointer was broken. The buyer’s response was “I collect broken laser pointers”.
Pierre just had an epiphany on what would be possible for a whole new business opportunity, therefore formed ebay.
Today, ebay is now a global billion dollar company in its 21st year of trading as at time of writing (2017)
Now I’ve touched on the successes of the two biggest e-commerce companies in the world, I think it’s important to state that nowadays, in the last 10 years at least, every single company in the world has an internet presence, also known as a website. Whether the company is an SME with just a couple of employees or a major global corporation, This is what’s known as an online business.
It’s said that if you own a business, and you’re not online, then you don’t have a business, because a website really is your storefront to the world.
But How Do You Get Your Business Online?
It all starts with a website
Too difficult, you don’t even know how to build a website, well to be honest with you, nobody else did until they made the choice to learn the process.
Believe me, 10 years ago when I first tried to using Dreamweaver software.
Nowadays, there’s but more effective Site Build software out there that takes all the stress out of the enjoyment of creating one.
Personally, I use SiteRubix because it’s the most well developed and professional site building platform in the world, and more importantly, it’s really easy to use.