True i

True Internet Intelligence – circa 1999

true i \`trü-`i\ n 1: a thorough understanding of and genuine belief in the Internet as an industry and communications medium 2: a belief in the fundamental principles of service, quality, knowledge, relationships, commitment, innovation, individual respect and integrity. 3: a clear understanding that the Internet has fundamentally changed customer relationships forever.

Many of today’s business headlines are garnered by companies that have sold their souls for startup money. Instead of taking the time to define their core values and build a solid business foundation, Internet companies are jumping right into the development of glossy business plans and slick marketing tactics. They have marketing departments and PR firms, but no sellable solutions. They have ideas, but neither the knowledge nor the ability to carry them out. They have sales organizations, but no service understanding. They hire resumes instead of people.

They don’t understand what a true Internet company is all about.

The fact is, a true Internet company is no different from any other successful business in that it must stand for something; it needs core values. It needs focus. It needs a spine. Despite what you read in Internet publications and the popular technology trades, true Internet success is based on the fundamental principles of service, quality, knowledge, relationships, commitment, innovation, individual respect and integrity. A true Internet company isn’t seeking funding.

A true Internet company reinvests its earnings in the people and the process. It is made up of individuals who genuinely understand the medium—because they believe in it. People who are missionaries for the medium, not mercenaries for the dollar. People with years of exposure to the evolution of the Internet. People who weren’t insurance agents last year or real estate brokers in March or investment bankers last month. They “get it” in a way that newcomers will not understand for years. They believe in the medium, not just the paycheck or the stock options or the BMW.

True i is the guiding philosophy at Vialogix. It is a belief system based on the understanding that the Internet has fundamentally changed customer relationships forever. Companies used to be in control of the information—but today, customers are in charge. True Internet companies develop solutions for those customers. They don’t confuse the business model du jour with the fact that success comes from having a solid business plan based on serving those customers.

A true Internet company uses a browser or a WAP phone or a PDA to deliver compelling information. It uses those same tools to reduce costs and share information with employees and suppliers and customers—and it has done this for years.

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