March 15 marked the 25th anniversary of the first “dotcom” Web address registration (by computer firm Symbolics Inc., right here in Cambridge, Mass.). With symbolics.com, a new platform was introduced to the world, one that enabled computer users to experience a brand beyond a brick-and-mortar environment. Smart companies quickly staked their claims on the World Wide Web, but many hesitated, partly due to cost of entry as well as doubts about return on investment. Now, of course, there’s no questioning the value of online marketing and there are more ways than ever to wrap your customers in a virtual brand experience.
In December I’ll be celebrating my 20th year living in the United States. I still have vivid memories of my long journey from Singapore to Minneapolis. The country I left behind was known then for its inexpensive labor in the electronics and garment industries. Today, the world’s focus is back on Singapore, as it has successfully morphed itself into a global hub for the biotech industry.