Chat your way… back to the Future

Chat is as old as networks are. I remember the days of text messaging on Compuserve and the Microcomputer Users Club which allowed bulletin boards in those days. Yes, those were the days, which today seem just as sweet as an old Rafi song. There were fewer choices and a lot was left to your imagination.

Today is different. There are many choices. One too many. And nothing is left to the imagination. There’s an app coming up for revving up your imagination too. See this if you don’t believe me!

Therefore chat. It’s minimalistic. It’s everyone’s Jeeves. It gets the job done if you can be on chat with someone directly. That may be your spouse, or your kid. Your colleague or your friend. Your driver or your maid. Your travel agent or your grocery shop. Your medicine shop or your hairdresser. All in a jiffy. Get things delivered. Get appointments fixed. Get anything done. No appstore, no apps, no downloads, no discovery, no learning. Nil.

And suddenly instead of pushing your thoughts down to a nameless faceless app, you can be chatting with a human. And that makes all the difference. Sure it’s inefficient and high cost. But who said anything about business models here? It’s all about empowering the under powered that’s making it tick. If mom and pop stores, kirana shops and medicine shops can increase efficiency using Chat, you’re suddenly making a huge difference to the GDP of the entire country. Without asking the customer to learn a new app.

Make no mistake. I’m not suggesting that Chat will destroy all app-based businesses. Merely that it is re-introducing the human touch. To start with, its the businesses which are already offline (or are on the phone line, to use a pun!) And its only a matter of time before the online folks decide to invest in Chat for their customers.

From the days of BBS, messaging and chat has come full circle. Hey, we’re back to the future ;-)

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