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The Integration Age

"We have entered the Integration Age " - Steve Jobs CEO Apple... The integration age has been mentioned for nearly a decade as a product name or marketing slogan. Now in 2007 it's hard not to see that a new era has arrived.

The integration age is the evolution of the information age. The integration age is made possible by the evolution of information management (search engines, bill pay, etc.) and information sharing (wikipedia.org, meetup.com, myspace.com) .

In fact a whole new generation of businesses that emerged (or came of age in Apple's case). Google, Apple, eBay, Amazon, PayPal, myspace.com, youtube.com, craigslist.org, technorati.com, del.icio.us are just some of the big winners.

They share a common bond, right? They helped facilitate the creation and navigation of information and in the process dramatically affecting what is now possible.

The integration age is marked by globalization and specialization. It means highly integrated and efficient systems on the macro level thanks to specialization on the micro level. It is an age where Walmart rules because of their ability to effectively manage moving pieces. Did you know that Dell does not build computers and Nike does not make shoes?

The information age meant more information than any person or corporation could possibly handle, and businesses that specialized in the information age thrive in the integration age.

It is the IPhone that will likely be the symbol of the dawn of the integration age. An elegant merger of technologies, who would've thought it would take so long to merge the cell phone with the music player effectively.

Evidence that the integration age is well under way is seen in more and more places every day.
  • You can use www.salesforce.com to find clients, subcontractors off the Internet to implement services, and an accountant to keep track of it.
  • VA hospitals can access patient records from any location
  • www.zillow.com integrates Google maps and publicly available housing information giving anybody a reasonable estimate of the house prices on your block
  • Today's vehicles offer GPS, video screens, satellite, radio, oh, and talking maps
  • Social networks like www.myspace.com, www.blogger.com, and www.youtube.com, and open-source software all leverage information-age technologies to create a new type of social system that has had a profound impact on culture and the media.
  • You can now run Windows on your Macintosh
  • hackers now can control massive networks of zombie machines (1.5 million computers in one case) that act in co-operation (called botnets). These botnets might peddle spam and attack networks.

Welcome to the integration age.


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The true source of the Nike "Just Do It" marketing campaign

In 1985 state health department employee Ron Hall won a "choose our slogan" contest for the Oregon Health Department Fitness Club. His winning entry? "Just do it."

Nike and Weiden & Kennedy, also based in Portland Oregon, began using it a couple years later and it is still being used today.

Ron Hall has never been credited or rewarded for his help launching one of the greatest marketing campaigns in history.


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