In 1989 an English gentleman working ironically in Switzerland, almost in David Feldman’s backyard, developed the ‘World Wide Web’,

and at that time there were no public users of the system we call today ‘the web’. It was a humble beginning. Just one person connecting a computer to others.

Ten years later in 1999, there were an estimated 300 million users, and I guess we could all have been forgiven back then for ‘writing it off’ and thinking that’s all very nice, but it won’t catch on and certainly won’t make much of a social difference.  However, move along another ten years, and in 2009, there were 1.8 billion users worldwide, and its impact had already changed the way we communicated and purchased goods and services. 

Many business sectors were transformed, some disappeared completely and new firms were created, and others were replaced by web versions, some of them today are the largest financially successful commercial operations in the world.

Last year, in 2019, there were reckoned to be 4.5 billion users of the web world wide, and it won’t surprise you to learn that the figures are rising. 

In fact, our 2020 pandemic problem has just made its growth and our reliance upon it, even greater.

As highlighted in a previous article (The New Norm), COVID19 has effectively pressed fast-forward on the world’s remote control. Where we are heading as people and businesses hasn’t changed, but the speed of arrival – or the rate of change – has increased rapidly.

So, if the obvious isn’t smacking you in the face, then the last six months should have taught us all ‘one’ very important lesson. That is, don’t ignore what can be started by just one person. One person in China gets a cough. It might seem insignificant at first, but like the world wide web it has spread globally so much so that life and business as we know it has completely altered.

This unfriendly virus; that we are all trying to stop the spread of, has quite literally stopped the things we took for granted – like attending a stamp show. Hasn’t it? Or has it? True Stampex, like the May 2020 International were postponed. The physical reality being, they’re not going to happen, so what do you do?    

What you do is, learn the lessons from history.

What was started by a humble English guy based in Geneva in 1989 is now the most important communication mechanism ever. The entire planet, the world’s economy and billions of people are dependent upon it. It has gone from 1 user to nearly 5 billion today. 

In 2019 there were no international virtual stamp shows. In 2020 in England, a group of philatelists developed Virtual Stampex. Might sound silly to some of us, the idea of attending a stamp show without travelling or being there physically. Like the world wide web, it won’t catch on, and I’m sure it won’t affect social life as we know it. No businesses will disappear as a result, and no new businesses will emerge because of it. And there certainly won’t be a whole new set of customers ‘eager’ to attend a virtual stamp show. 

Will there? Ummm. A bit like COVID19. None of us thought for a minute in 2019 that the world would change so quickly. We got that wrong, didn’t we?

However, it’s not 2019 anymore. The world has changed. A new opportunity has emerged. Virtual Stampex is happening 1st to 3rd October 2020. Like we said at the start, it is a humble beginning. Just one person connecting a computer to others. Let’s not write this one off.