How will existing companies make the transition into e-commerce companies?

Unquestionably, the opportunities for digital revolution are many and largely unexplored. An entrepreneurial manager should begin by looking for ways to anticipate consumer trends, foresee technology trends, and envision new organizational forms.

Trend spotting isn’t just for entrepreneurs looking to start new companies or for marketers attempting to sell old products in new packages. It is useful for identifying new business opportunities as well.

Mastering the patterns of e-business requires understanding that the future will be built on a new set of operating assumptions. But first we must become expert in differentiating fads from trends.

Fads catch on quickly, spread and then die a fast death.

In contrast, trends often start slowly but spread like wild fire as mass-market consumers and companies fan the flames with their pent-up demands. Trends are global, tend to last approximately five to ten years and may evolve dramatically.

The Web is a great example of a trend. It started slowly in 1989 in a remote lab in Switzerland and with the advent of Mosaic browser burst onto the mass market, taking everyone by surprise.