did google destroy the service world?

In websites by Michael Michelini1 Comment

Bet that headline caught your attention, right? well, in some way, i would have to say google…..or more appropriately the internet itself, may have destroyed the service based industry….
Why would i say something crazy like this, and secondly, is what i say really all that bad?
But if you think about things before there was internet….i remember as a little kid doing research reports for school….man those sucked! I would go to the local library and look up books. Luckily though, there was a machine you could use that categorized the books in that library and others in the city….but i usually asked for help from the librarian. She would search by topic and make a list of books. Depending on what you were searching for, the published date mattered, so only look for books a couple years old…
library
And then, most of the good books were checked out, on backorder, or in another location. I could have the librarian call my home when the book was delivered back, or i could go to another branch and get those books there.
This would normally take an afternoon…even a whole day….
Then, scanning the physical printed books for the information you needed, bookmarking, maybe photocopy (for a fee, of course), and take notes…..
I dont know how this worked in the corporate world, but who in the company would research a new business development, or legal matters, or any maybe new or non-core essentials for a conpany. What i remember at machine shop, barridon aircraft, is hiring a consultant to train and educate the workers…
But…today….i think this has drastically reduced……why? Because we dont need to go to the library for days, carrying books and compiling research studies, we can just “google it”. And so many times we get the research report and summary right there…..google has all those library books, as well as book reports, right there.
So in the service based industry, who sells expertise and knowledge, i am sure there are less inquiries….because everyone and every company feels they can learn it themselves, or get it done online quick, cheap and easy
Now, this is both good, and dangerous…..
Good because it allows small companies with limited funds access information quickly and compete with bigger companies who could afford the consultant expense…..
Dangerous because it makes people feel they dont need to consult with an expert in that industry….and i think most of us can admit that we have been in that situation, do-it-yourself ( DIY) before….
And then realize we made more costly mistakes then just paying a professional to do it. BUT would we have paid in the first place, or could we AFFORD to pay….so the DIY is better then ot doing it at all, right?
Some examples of more common diy with the internet and google:
* Legal – trademark, patent,
* international trade – buy from china
* fixing your house
* real estate – buying, renting
* financial services – retirement planning

“Destroying” is a bit harsh….i think the mba school class room would call it “distruptive technology”, but saying destroying is more attention grabbing.
So…..what is a service company to do? One good example is a law firm who created low cost packages of legal documents, some even free! And then if you needed serious help, the firm offered its full service…..
This reacts nicely to the disruptive technology of the internet – it says, if you cant beat em,, join em. And it gets the small biz guys startup help and outlines, and the big guys who need serious help have the full service as well
Anyway, i so many times get people asking for help, but with the internet so many of the questions can be answered quick and easy