STAMFORD, Conn. -- Business executives who view the Internet as a separate channel are missing the point.
will touch every sector of business and society.
In fact, he views the Internet and its cousins -- intranets, proprietary networks, etc. -- as the latest grid of history.
"There have been a series of grids deployed in our country, and each grid changed everything it touched," Walker said. He cited as an example the energy grid. "We don't talk about electricity as a channel; we talk about the energy grid. You plug in or you don't."
Walker also pointed to the telecommunications grid ("we don't think of the phone as a channel"), the transportation grid (roads, rail) and the entertainment grid (television, radio). "And now there's the information grid," he said. "To talk about it as if it were it's own channel is to misunderstand the change that is coming. It's a grid which everybody will touch. The value add is very high. Information is the cerebral cortex function of the human brain. It separates the human mind from the animal mind. It's about processing information. So inasmuch as businesses are about to wire up their cerebral cortexes, you will see entirely new business structures built on the ability to process or manage information flows. And that's what Priceline does."