Human beings are competitive creatures by nature. Throughout history we have strode to out-do each other with inventions, battles, territories and—more recently—material wealth like who has the biggest house, the most attractive spouse or the best paying job. Our core psyches are programmed to be competitive because human beings are mammals whose ancestors had to fight and compete for every survival essential including mates, food and shelter. Although we have evolved substantially throughout history, our basic instincts remain alive within us—yet evolution changes our perceptions.
There is an old saying that no one makes it on their own. Whenever we measure someone’s success we will often find that they were helped along by various factors in their lives or society. Perhaps they received a good education. Maybe they were surrounded by the right people or maybe they were just in the right place at the right time. From movie stars to presidents to inventors, in order to achieve real success everyone has to collaborate with others to some degree and interactions on the Internet are making this fact crystal clear.
The digital age has made the world smaller. We can reach out to each other more now and communicate on both broad and personal levels. Instead of playing video games alone in our rooms (which was common during the 1980s and 1990s when Nintendo 64 and PlayStation wired to VCRs) we can now go online and play games from poker to World of Warcraft with an untold number of other participants. Some players form friendships and trade ideas and “codes” with each other in attempt to beat a game or open a new level. On social media sites like Facebook and YouTube collaboration is also increasingly seen over competition. For example, YouTube has a thriving beauty community of women who are dedicated to sharing nail and hair tutorials with others. The members of the beauty community are far from competitive enemies; in fact it is common to see “makeup collaborations” where several beauty vloggers will make a video as part of series, such as “Disney Princess Makeup.” As a result, everyone’s videos get more views and channels gain subscribers who might not have known about them expect for their collaboration with other beauty vloggers.
As the world gets increasingly connected people must acknowledge the concept of collaboration. Businesses should take head and do likewise in order to maximize their successes. Collaboration instead of competition is the new way to reap the most profit. Instead of finding ways to beat their competitor, many companies are learning to work alongside them in order to create the best products and services for the future. Businesses have long held concepts such as price matching and joint endeavors yet the future of business, especially virtual business, is the best sort of collaboration possible: bringing together the most talented people to fulfill a need.
Take, for example, Amazon. The Internet retail giant has recently branched out into endeavors such as publishing and fashion. Amazon did not simply overtake these markets; instead they collaborated with well-known publishers and designers to make the merging of traditional markets with Amazon’s new market as easy as possible.
Online platforms have made it easier than ever for businesses and consumers to connect, especially through social media. For freelancers, the Internet is a platform of never-ending opportunities to collaborate with businesses and organizations. As this type of collaboration between businesses and other businesses, consumers and other consumers, and businesses and consumers, increases so will the need to make products and services easily accessible and low of cost to consumers all over the world.
It will not happen overnight, but the groundwork for a more collaborative and global future is already visible. It is a trend that should be noted and encouraged in order to pave the way for a promising future.