#TBT: Permanent Is Not Forever

Happy #TBT. To celebrate, we’re sharing an oldie-but-goodie post from Jim: Permanent Is Not Forever.

Yahoo, Google, Facebook: What’s next?

Yahoo, Google, Facebook, Instagram: What’s next?

Remember that. Things can be permanent, but nothing’s forever.

The Roman Empire was permanent. It ruled the world for almost 1,000 years (longer, if you consider the Byzantines), but it ended. Sho’ nuff, eventually the whole thing ended.

The Cold War was permanent, but it ended. If you grew up, as I did, during the Cold War, it felt impossible that it ever would, and that we’d be locked forever in this Inferno-esque death duel between the U.S. and the USSR, but we weren’t. Sure, things aren’t exactly peachy now, but the Cold War ended.

Yahoo’s rule of the online world was permanent (by online business standards), but it wasn’t forever. In 1998 and 1999, they were generally (but not universally; there were some terrific people there, too) speaking the most arrogant people you’d ever want to meet, and that arrogance seemed to rest of their confidence that their “permanent” perch on top of the pile would last forever.

I’m thinking about this because I just read that Facebook has more traffic than Google now. If you had told me such a thing was possible 18 months ago, I would have looked at you quizzically and told you to reduce your dosage by half. Not to say Google’s not a tremendous, powerful company, but it has a peer now. Who knows what’s next?

Permanent is not forever.

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