Friday, October 10, 2008

Web 2.0: It was all great fun till Johnny lost his V.C. funding

So, the folks at Sequoia Capitol, one of the leading VC firms in the Silicon Valley, put together this absolutely fabulous presentation that basically tells us why there ain't gonna be a whole lot of cash for start-ups any time soon....(thanx Eric Eldon @ VentureBeat)

Pretty bleak stuff, wouldn't you say? And maybe it is the end of a particular zeitgeist or sense of Web 2.0, and the entrepreneurs who fueled its particular excesses(see "Arrington's rumination and, if you can, the video, which I recall seeing somewhere else and being unplussed...) but is it really the full and unequivocal death of Web 2.0?

Or are things going to get more "lean and mean"? and what might or might not survive?

I was talking this a.m. to the organizer of a Hartford-based women's conference, where I've been asked to submit a proposal for a workshop. The organizer found me because there was some info about me online from a presentation on social networking and personal reputation management at Bay Path College last spring.

Yes, she Google'd me.

And the Googl'ing of others isn't going to stop any time soon.

Essentially, we are getting accustomed to using the Internet to find lots and lots of information about one another, even before we ask a person to present at a conference, or even before we hire someone for a job. We look online for ads to buy stuff, for job ads, to network, to leave little messages for friends.

We do a heck of a lot of social stuff online, using "Web 2.0" and "social media" an "social networking" tools. And because of a lot of great hype preached far and wide by tech enthusiasts, we've come to love a whole bunch of these new tools, including some (like Twitter and Facebook) that don't have any known business model.

Which makes me wonder: will these tools we've come to know and love and use to excess still survive? Is it only the new stuff, the iterative stuff that runs the gamut from "merely an imitation" to "a complete rip-off" be the stuff that no longer gets a share of the dwindling VC pie?

And what about the "dying" business models of traditional media (newspapers and tv especially)? Will the downturn and lack of money for innovative (or imitative) stuff bring a ray of hope to the "obstructionist demographic" and cause them to sing a chorus of "I Will Survive?" Or will we keep our slouching toward one man's Gomorrah and another's Bethlehem?

On a personal level, I'm wondering if it's time for me to give up my own social media journey, suck it up, buckle down, grow up and get that degree in Library Science (or something just as practical.) Should I spend more time on all this social media foolishness or consider it to all have been a fun time till Johnny lost his VC funding....

I have a lot to think about, I guess. But right now I have a proposal to write up, a few leads to follow, class materials to prepare, a product to test, and another presentation to polish up. Guess I'll just keep going, keep my eyes, open, and hope for the best.

Check out Kara Swisher and John Furrier for some good perspective


sam said...

I'm with you. Until someone gives me the official death notice of innovation and consumer use of the internet, I will continue to focus on building my online business (regardless of what it is labeled).

Tish Grier said...

that's the spirit sam! :-)