Technology may change, but human nature won’t


As e-commerce quickly becomes an increasingly important part of most companies' business activities, it will be the entrepreneurial spirit that will make the difference.

That was the message delivered by well-known Canadian entrepreneur Michael G. DeGroote at the First World Congress on E-Commerce on Jan. 21. DeGroote was the keynote speaker that wrapped up a three day series of seminars from some of the world's experts on e-commerce.

There maybe a quarter of a billion Internet users around the world, but DeGroote confesses that he is not one of them. “I've never turned on a computer. I don't know how.”

DeGroote says his entrepreneurial spirit enables him to run Century Business Services in a technology-based business world. The key is to hire those who have the technology ability.

“It's the role of the entrepreneur to guide them, have vision, drive and the spirit to get ahead. And I think that is more important than any technological skill.”

Technology may change, but he stresses that, “for all of technology's marvels, I don't think we should make the mistake of thinking that human nature changes along with technology.”

Close to 40 per cent of Canadians are wired to the Internet, but only about nine per cent make purchases on-line. DeGroote proved that fact by giving the example of working with an on-line auto dealer who sold more than $1 billion in cars last year.

“What we found is that people will not finalize the deal until they come to the dealership to see the car, sit in it, kick the tires. But the money doesn't change hands until they see and touch the car. That's human nature.”