Dot-com: cyclical; Digitisation: secular

Nice piece in today’s Financial Times linking together a number of disparate happenings, like Amazon’s new full-text database, but all with a common cause:

People tend to confuse the secular trend [digitisation] with the cyclical phenomenon of the dotcom bubble,” says Gary Hamel, an author and consultant on corporate strategy. “It is clear to me that the secular trend remains intact.”

For evidence, look at the business pages. Digital discomfort is widespread: in Kodak’s cathartic decision to focus its resources on digital imaging; in the record industry’s attempts to regain control through the courts of digital music distribution; in the challenge posed to telecommunications companies by internet-based telephony; in the collision of consumer electronics companies such as Sony and Matsushita with the big names of personal computing – Dell, Hewlett-Packard, Gateway and Apple.