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An Argument for Going Global
by Tay Vaughan (October 7, 1994)
From "Going Global: Multimedia Markets and Distribution," a White Paper prepared by the International Committee of
Today's telecommunication network is global. Indeed, from your home or office computer you can connect in real time to other computers in Switzerland, Australia, Chile, Hong Kong, or even Antarctica. You can exchange ideas, correspond, and contribute to multimedia's invention, working alone or in multilingual teams. Already, full-text content from books and magazines can be downloaded, real-time news reports from anywhere on earth are available, and street maps of the world's cities are viewable -- with recommendations for restaurants, in any language.
Multimedia is so new, it is still being invented.
The crucible for this profound invention is a loose worldwide network of creative talents, artists, programmers, hardware designers, and entrepreneurs. From small startup companies in Munich to mega corporations in Korea to lone storyboarders in San Francisco working out of a garage, many thousands of people and many millions of dollars are focused on this invention.
The broadband, server-fed, "data highway" will be the final ubiquitous delivery vehicle for multimedia, but it is still under construction; CD-ROM as a high-memory delivery vehicle is here-and-now and, with an estimated 17 million players installed by the end of 1994, represents a measurable market. With a measurable market, products can be made and sold... and profits drive growth. So the multimedia industry is presently centered around the making and selling of CD-ROMs. The largest market is North America; Europe and the Pacific Rim markets are smaller, but coming on strong.
Because CD-ROM is interim technology, you must prepare for the future, which will be global. Countries like France, Germany, and Japan are today better prepared than either the United States or Canada to deliver broadband multimedia to their populations, and they are simply waiting to implement the set-top-box technologies that will open this market. When this broadband market opens, explosively, you should already be "international," or you will suddenly discover that you are a very small fish in a very great sea.