Rubel is Right
I don’t find myself agreeing with Steve Rubel often, but his screed on how the Web 2.0 World is Skunk Drunk on Its Own Kool-Aid hits a home run:
I am sorry to be a party pooper on conventional wisdom, really. But I miss the days of 2004 when the class that includes Flickr, del.icio.us and others started. They really were about changing the web, not making a quick buck (they did so only because they added value). There are companies still out there like them. Twitter is one I believe takes this approach. Automattic (the company behind WordPress) appears to be another. Dave Winer also shares this spirt. He creates services like NYTimes River because it’s fun and he thinks it will add value to our lives (and he is right).
Too much hype and very little substance. Think of your own usage patterns – how many services that started since 2006 are you using on a daily basis? Given that there are four, five startups getting a write-up on TechCrunch alone every day, a lot of the simply have to fall by the wayside (and a lot of them are as original as your next YouTube clone).
Of course, you can’t blame anybody for trying to start a new company and make some good money while doing it, but really – what were you thinking when you started another online scrapbooking service? If you look at Twitter – they created a small, simple service. That’s where the innovation is. How are they making money? I have no idea, but so far at least they haven’t done anything to annoy their users with more advertising.
But then, maybe what we need is to push things forward is some disruptive new technology that will push things towards new, disruptive services.