A while ago I was watching my lead developer looking for a business in a phone book. This is an intelligent man, somebody who I have a lot of respect and admiration for, so I was curious when I walked past his office and saw him flipping the pages back and forth, a puzzled and determined look on his face. Naturally I asked what he was searching for, at which point he looked up, and with a frustrated sigh, barked out “I’m looking for a business I can’t find online.”

It wasn’t very long ago that a phone book was the only way to find the businesses that you cared about. The ones that were close enough to you to actually provide the goods and services that you were interested in. But now, for a growing number of people, the phone book sits gathering dust, a relic of a bygone era that sits on our desk or in our kitchen, patiently waiting to be used as a booster seat or to level out a broken table.

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