Your customer base is truly global: 1 billion worldwide with Internet access
As of late 2005, more than 1 billion people worldwide have Internet access, and approximately 845 million use it regularly. The overall shift in global demographics means that the U.S. no longer holds the dominant market share, which is now below 25 percent of the online population (see Figure 1). China is coming on strong with a broadband growth rate of 79 percent during the past three years; the world's most popular blog—Xu Jinglei—is a Chinese blog.
Figure 1: Global Internet user distribution
Across all countries, the one crucial demographic driving Web 2.0 is the "the digital natives"—those under 30. In the U.S., 88 percent of this group are online and 51 percent contribute content online. Most don't know what the world was like before the Internet, and their complete comfort with the medium greatly influences Web 2.0's evolution.
Impact: The customer base for online applications is substantially larger than just five years ago. Network effects are increasing in importance due to sufficient critical mass. The world is becoming more interconnected, and it is now practical (and possible) to reach global micromarkets. The youth market shows where we are headed.
Your customers are always-on: Broadband usage approaching 50 percent
We are moving from a "Narrowband Era" to a "Broadband Era." As of March 2006, 42 percent of all Americans have high-speed, ...