The writer (Harley Manning) identified different stages of business focus –1. 1900-1960: The age of manufacturing when the size and placement of your factory determined your business strength.
2. 1960-1990: The age of distribution when globalisation and de-regulation allowed businesses to focus on cheap sources of supply and how they got goods to local stores. How that was done was pretty much kept from consumers.
3. 1990+: The age of information started with a dramatic shift from the seller to the buyer as information-centric companies like Amazon and Google thrived.
4. Today: The age of the customer has arrived. The barriers are down. Customers know almost as much about product procurement as companies do. They can access goods from anywhere in the world, read product reviews and product comparisons from many different sources, and make informed decisions about what is good value.