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By Alan Coleman on 24 Jan 2020

Watch - Wolfgang Bites: The Largest Migration in the History of Humanity

Read - Wolfgang Bites: The Largest Migration in the History of Humanity

The 2010's saw the largest migration in the history of humanity. Over the next three minutes, I'm going to explore the statement, both from a population perspective, and from an economics perspective. Let's start with the population.

100 years ago there was how many people on planet earth? Two billion. We just crossed the two billion mark in about 1917. Over the last 10 years, what we've actually seen, is we've seen four billion people migrate large chunks of their lives to a new virtual world. It's a place where we shop. It's a place where we socialise. It's a place where we communicate, and it's a place where we entertain ourselves. It's captured a huge chunk of the activity of humanity. Let's look back at the three largest voluntary migrations prior to this one, and see what we can learn about economics.

In third place, there's the migration to Israel. In second place, there's the migration to the United States. The largest migration in the history of humanity prior to this one, was very simply rural to urban migration in China. What's really evident when you think of those examples, is the economic dividend paid from this mass movement is very large. It's not just occurring while people are moving, but the dividends can be paid for years, for decades, even in some instance for centuries later.

Here we are in the first 10, 20 years of the virtual world, what are the economics looking like? The companies who've monetised our migration to this new space have done phenomenally well. Who am I talking about? Companies like Apple, who invented the device which teleport's us from the natural world to the virtual dimension.

Companies like Google and Facebook, that act as marketplaces for our attention, our attention and our intention in this virtual space, have done phenomenally well. You could go so far as to say that data is the new oil. These data companies are really prospering. Rather than just throw that statement out, let's look at the history of oil as a commodity. 100 years ago, the most valuable companies in the US were oil companies and they were steel companies. If we look back 50 years, the most valuable companies in the US were oil companies. If we look back 10 years, the most valuable companies were, you guessed it - oil companies. In 2020, we sit atop a really interesting intersection in the commercial world. Now the most valuable companies in the world are data companies. Data has replaced oil as the most valuable commodity in the world.

This is a fascinating space to be. From the oil example we can see that this could last a century. What will our lives, what will our world look like in 100 years? How will the virtual world intersect with our natural world? None of us can even begin to imagine what that's going to look like. What we can talk a lot about is where we are right now. If you're a business owner, a marketer, a digital marketer, an e-Commerce merchant, and you want to learn more about the online world, we've got great data for you.

We've taken a tranche, which is a third of a billion euro, of online revenue, and we've mined it for insights on how people are shopping online and what the best performing websites are doing differently. If you'd like to learn more, I'd urge you to come to our website, and have a read of the Wolfgang Digital E-commerce KPI Report 2020.

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