People coming to visit you, don’t walk anymore. They text you.

That is the new revolution facing many of us, as our iPhones, iPads and iPods engross us daily with messages that tell us who’s doing what, with whom, where, how, and why. They even tell us what’s what when conveying data or knowledge about things or situations in the world. 

This hand-held world encroaching even into our junior classrooms, marks the dawn of a new era of instant ‘stuff’, right at our fingertips. Post-grads are writing their theses on their iPhones. Search & Rescue teams use GPS on their hand-held devices to find lost skiiers and bombing victims. CEOs on their way to Tim’s for that before-office ‘pick-me-up’, can obtain stock market data for the 10:00 o’clock meeting. And mothers can text their daughters on their way home from school. So the hegemony of the “i”-device is upon us and spreading exponentially.

Today, I found that many more manufacturers and advertisers are turning over their sales function to third party “publishers”, persons who write stuff online in a blog or website but allow product ads to be placed on their sites. This method of earning commissions (and perhaps a living) for authors is apparently skyrocketing in its adoption, because the author can work from home, by him/herself, on schedules they control, and with topics they control. Since unemployment is very high in developed countries, the middle class can especially benefit.

But what if I want to sell something other than through publishing text? What if I want to sell watches, refrigerators, bird feeders, cosmetics, chain-saws, golf-clubs, pharma/neutra-ceuticals, cameras, or trips to Las Vegas or Red Deer? This could translate into a society of salespersons everywhere, selling to other salespersons on behalf of their respective manufacturers. This could mean people working from home on their iPhones, and not having to drive miles to an office building, or spend hours on the road in their cars. Just think about it. How would this change society?

The competition for networks could become so fierce it would force the incessant ‘robbing’ each other’s customer lists and product manufacturers. Income is now entirely based on one’s sales volume, particularly of higher priced items. The highways would become vacant. Home offices would become shrines to capitalism and the best and latest of computerized equipment. Every home would have at least one blog or website devoted to selling, every day or night or week-end – whenever the mood or financial need required it. Car sales would drop drastically, kids would get to know their parents more (or less), and couples would probably be business partners as a condition of their marriage contract.

Multi-level marketing (MLM) would give way to lateral marketing (LM) because no one would be willing to have a share of their commissions paid to an up-line ‘mentor’, and pyramid systems that feed on Newbies would not be necessary for maximizing sales. “All for one, and one for all”, so to speak. 

Of course there would be jobs for transportation and shipping companies, and exporters and importers, and government regulators, and all the other guardians and protectors society would need. But overall, most people skilled in sales techniques on-line, writing, editing, and managing a small office, would replace millions of commuters, and save billions of dollars in energy costs.

It is almost upon us. And don’t forget…ideas can be products.