Simple but, an infopreneur is a person that sells information (Chandler, 2007). The infopreneur creates an idea and provides information through the internet. An infopreneur gathers, organizing and disseminates information online as a venture or value added service. The infopreneur runs an information-based business and is available to users of the internet with ease. There is a clear route of disseminate - transform - profit/ value. Chandler also suggest that it is a relatively new buzz work that is creating waves as is opens doors for entrepreneurs to create new revenue streams.
Experts have different options of how they interrupt the entrepreneur. For Kirzner the entrepreneur is someone who is alert to profitable opportunities for exchange (Deakins, Freel, 2003). He see the individual acting more as the middle man but identifying customers as well as suppliers and taking action to bring to two together, anyone has the potential to be an entrepreneur. However Schumpeter has a contracting view, he sees the entrepreneur as an innovator. They bring about change but introduction something new. Nevertheless Peter Jones, a successful entrepreneur might agree with Kirzner, "Entureprenuer are not born, they are made" (Jones 2009). But Dr. Steve Gedeon of Ryerson University 2007, suggests that there are two types of entrepreneurs those whom start their own business venture and those whom Innovate within a corporate framework to add value to a company. By bring these views together it can be concluded that an entrepreneur is a person who undertakes, operates or proposes a new business venture. This usually takes place with an innovative mind set of introducing new or existing product/service into a new or existing market. It is usually found that an individual would not make this move without a significant befit.
Infopreneur vs. Entrepreneur
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Just doing a simple search for "infopreneur" through the infopreneurial site of Google a user can find statement like: "everyone is an expert in something" "make money from what you know" on the other hand if a search is preformed regarding entrepreneurs you gain a list of famous entrepreneurs. There is no set of rules to follow to become a profitable entrepreneur.
As Bill Gates states in recent article, The Internet makes the world simpler. For businesses, the Internet breaks down logistical barriers, offering greater flexibility and power in the way they do business. The language of the Internet is universal and easily grasped, any business can create products and services that make use of it. (Gates 2007) With the use of the internet escalating and becoming past of our day to day lives can the entrepreneur really survive? The following will discuss some of the challenges that both parties face:
Old world rules vs. new world rules
The entrepreneurs work with old world rules of business consisted of companies buying from suppliers, they create a physical product and sell these products through stores/outlets. Customers visit these to buy the products, this is governed by law. While the infopreneur has a new set of rules where by they present information that may not have to be purchased, it is a digital product that is on the internet. For example anyone can set up a blog and start to make money, Gina Garrubbo, executive vice president of BlogHer, "There are millions of dollars to be made," (Shiels, 2008). Creating a blog if free, all the writer needs to do is to add an advertising service such as Google adsence, which displays targeted text and ads dependent on the blog context. The writer then receives money for reader click on the ads (Marshall, 2009). Customers never have to leave their home to access or buy the digital product/information, is some case the customer may ever set the price they wish to pay for the product. For example Jay Walkers invention of Priceline, invites users to name the price they want to pay for a variety of goods from hotels to airlines. (Price, 2000) Infopreneurs also benefit from the fact that the new world is not governed by heavy laws.
It is clear to see that these rules matter when looking upon entrepreneurs and Infopreneurs as it can be seen that an entrepreneur plays to the old rules of business, added value by transforming a physical product and the infopreneur uses the new, business added value by transforming information.
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In the old world of business it is expected to see suppliers, customers, competitors and substitutes feeding into the business. For example Michael Dell an entrepreneur who revolutionized the personal computer industry but simple eliminating the middle man, has suppliers like Intel, competitors such as HP and Acer and rival substitutes of retail companies of PC world and Comet (Allen, 2002). However when looking upon the new world, not all exist in the business environment. It has been observed that suppliers are occasionally absent in the new world rules therefore making a dramatic impacted on the running cost. For example EBay simple acts as the middle man by bring customer and seller together, they have no suppliers (Price, 2000). Without suppliers the business has little to no out going cost leaving the business owner with considerable more income.
The legal/Illegal battle
In recent time it has been seen that the law is clamping down on cyberspace, for example Pirate bay is one of the most high profile file sharing web sites. It was set up in 2003 with millions of files being transferred everyday. The creators of the site have always denied breaking any copyright laws however they have just been sentenced to one year prison sentences and ordered to pay Â£3 m in damages (BBC, 2009). The creator's ague that the site dose nothing more that Google dose and simply directs users to location where information/files can be found.
The story of Pirate bay could be a starting block of the way the internet could be governed in the future. Cyberlaws could crash the industry for some Infopreneurs. For example, Bloggers could now face publicising laws if they refuse to publish correctly, it will affect anyone who post or publish anything on the internet. Secretary of State for Justice Jack Straw said 'Existing defamation law needs to be updated so it is fit for the modern age, and it is important we listen to views on the best way to achieve this. 'Freedom to hold and express opinions is a right that is vital to democracy, as is respect for the rights and freedoms of others. How these principles are balanced in the fast-changing internet age is a fascinating debate.'
Infopreneurs may think twice before entering the new world of the internet age, with big organization like these and also Yahoo facing court tribunals, A French judge has ruled that the US Internet Service Provider Yahoo! Inc must make it impossible for French users to access sites auctioning race hate memorabilia (BBC, 2000). Plus Web search giant Google faces a court case in Switzerland because of privacy concerns over its Street View service (BBC, 2009) It may not be a matter of if but when more cyberlaws come in to action as these governing bodies show there power to direct the future of the internet.
The internet age
The Internet has a revolutionary impact--individuals and businesses can overcome geographical, cultural and logistical barriers and improve the way they live and work. (Gates, 2007) as Bill Gates state the internet has open doors to us all. Business can be set up with just a few clicks of a mouse and customers never have to leave the comfort of their homes to access products and services online. This is now a well know term as the internet age.
The world never sleeps and trading taking place online 24/7 within the global market of anytime anyplace anywhere (Louise Proddow 2000). September figures show that there is a staggering 1,733,993,741of internet user's world wide (Internet Usage Statistics, 2009). As the use of the internet ever increasing the infopreneur business is growing as they are able utilize this every expanding market. The old world business of the entrepreneur has to significantly innovation to serve in the internet age. For example existing and well established entrepreneurs from the TV show Dragons Den, access new revenue streams by investing in innovative entrepreneur s and Infopreneurs, mentoring and acting as the middle man then benefit from the return on investment. There are using there knowledge to teach other on how to be a successful entrepreneur by doing this enforcing the options of Kirzner.
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The internet ages appeals to the business nature of the infopreneur by offering a global customer base with very little investment needed. If you already have a computer and word processing program, biggest investment is likely to be your time (Chandler, 2007). A few clicks the infopreneur has a global business however it could take a number of years for the entrepreneur to gain global visibility.
In a recent article a BBC writer discussed how the internet could kill the high street, with smaller overheads than its High Street rivals. Internet businesses may have a better chance of surviving a deep recession than some of the big retail names. Shops selling electronic goods, books and music will find it ever harder to compete. The economics of "the long tail", where web operators can make money by offering a vast selection of goods that no single store can accommodate, may now prove irresistible.
Google tallering services to the end user....
The online retail industry body reported that this year there was a 34 per cent increase in online shopping last year.
People from all ages and backgrounds have the opportunity to set up and run a successful online business. (Pickell, 2009) As stated previously, entrepreneurs need extensive amounts of funding but in contrast, infopreneur have virtually no risk or endless amounts of set up costs they can setup and start running a business in just a few clicks on a mouse. The infopreneur business is also nondependent on graphical location, their website is visible to the world but it could be aguwed that a entrepreneurs
However it needs to be considered where the internet is going. As Kevin Kelly states at the 2007 EG conference, the world wide wed is only 5,000 days olds how can we predict what will happen in the next 5,000 days? Infopreneur are almost depend on entrepreneurs to dictate this as with out entrepreneurs like Tim Berners-Lee (the inventor of the WWW) and Bill Gates there would be no market place for Infopreneurs to function in.
There are no laws that govern online activities yet they are rule to govern physical business that are set up by entrepreneurs.
Peter Jones 2009 [online] 'Entrepreneurs are not born, they are taught'
The skills needed to turn ideas into commercial successes must be taught in school says the Dragons' Den's Peter Jones
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- The Guardian, Tuesday 6 October 2009
Dr. Steve Gedeon of Ryerson University 2007 [online]
KIMBALL, Ralph and ROSS, Margy (2002). The data warehouse toolkit: the complete guide to dimensional modeling. 2nd ed., New York, Wiley.
DEAKINS, David and FREEL, Mark (2003) Entrepreneurship and Small Firms. 3rd ed., McGraw-Hill Education, UK