Web 2.0….Schmeb 2.0

The Web 2.0 Conference starts tomorrow and the debate about what it is, should it be called *anything*, has reached a fever pitch (complete with this new rant).

Dot.com, Web 2.0, service oriented architectures, rich internet applications/AJAX, software-as-a-service, whatever. The most important thing in business regardless of delivery is finding-a-need-and-filling-it (and profitably dammit!). All the debate and ranting about Web 2.0 (and dare I say “hyperbole”?) misses one fundamental point: human beings have a really hard time cognitively understanding new, fundamentally different concepts which is why labels like Web 2.0 are attached. It’s why and how humans build upon a baseline of knowledge surrounding a new concept like “the internet as a platform.”

We all struggle with taking the new and finding a bucket to toss it in. If there isn’t a bucket then people who think deeply about what the essence is of the new thing try to do so. For example, podcasting is nothing new…it’s just that the value chain (enabling technologies to RSS to iTunes to iPod) closed the loop and was the gasoline tossed on the fire of the podcasting opportunity — though there really isn’t anything new with posting mp3’s on the Web. Still, the name “podcasting” hit the essence of what that value chain is in one word, leveraged the hit/buzz/cool-factor around the iPod and people nearly instantly “got it.” Listeners understand, potential podcasters grok it, investors do and, if you follow the money, advertisers do too as they struggle to pinpoint a target market so they can shoot their rifle at potential customers vs. the shotgun approach that occurs with the currently downtrending broadcast radio (and print and TV and…).

Web 2.0 — whether it’s the right moniker to hang on internet-as-a-platform or not — succinctly and cogently defines the scalable, social, buildable (via exposed API’s and web services interconnectivity), global network delivery medium around which VC’s and entrepreneurs grow major wood get very enthusiastic over.

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1 Comment

  1. Rick Segal on October 4, 2005 at 1:09 pm

    Steve,
    In the end, you are right. It usually takes a label of some type to finally get people to go, whoa, that’s amazing. I suppose there are a zillion folks from the old Arpanet days that are saying “I was doing web before web was cool.”

    And when they knock on my door with hyped greed wanting to buy a portfolio company, I’ll smile.. and take the check.

    Nice post, best regards.



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About Steve Borsch

Strategist. Learner. Idea Guy. Salesman. Connector of Dots. Friend. Husband & Dad. CEO. Janitor. More here.

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Podcasting hit the mainstream in July of 2005 when Apple added podcast show support within iTunes. I'd seen this coming so started podcasting in May of 2005 and kept going until August of 2007. Unfortunately was never 'discovered' by national broadcasters, but made a delightfully large number of connections with people all over the world because of these shows. Click here to view the archive of my podcast posts.