Web 2.0: fizz or substance

Marc Andreessen has recently started his own blog.

An awseome addition to the conversation I’m sure you’ll agree.

One of his first posts is about Web 2.0.

He doesn’t seem to be a fan:

“Web 2.0 has been picked up as a term by the entrepreneurial community and its corollaries in venture capital, the press, analysts, large media and Internet companies, and Wall Street to describe a theoretical new category of startup companies.

Or a ‘space’, if you will.

As in, ‘Foobarxango.com is in the Web 2.0 space’.

At its simplest level, this is just shorthand to indicate a new Web company.

The technology industry has a long history of creating and naming such ‘spaces’ to use as shorthand.

Before the ‘Web 2.0 space’, you had the ‘dot com space’, the ‘intranet space’, the ‘B2B space’, the ‘B2C space’, the ‘security space’, the ‘mobile space’ (still going strong!)… and before that, the ‘pen computing’ space, the ‘CD-ROM multimedia space’, the ‘artificial intelligence’ space, the ‘mini-supercomputer space’, and going way back, the ‘personal computer space’. And many others.

But there is no such thing as a ‘space’.

There is such a thing as a market — that’s a group of people who will directly or indirectly pay money for something.

There is such a thing as a product — that’s an offering of a new kind of good or service that is brought to a market.

There is such a thing as a company — that’s an organized business entity that brings a product to a market.

But there is no such thing as a ‘space’.

And, as far as startups are concerned, there is no such thing as Web 2.0.”

This all doesn’t bode well for Brenda, Phil and Che, who will be the negative team in a celebrity debate that I’m going to be moderating at the next Webstock Mini on Tuesday 19th June.

If you’re going to be in Wellington make sure you book your tickets today and get along.

We’ll see you there!

2 thoughts on “Web 2.0: fizz or substance”

  1. Web 2.0 is a verb, it means I will be expecting a large amount of user content contribution and customization. Usually but not always this will be backed by some RIA platform, be it the Flexes or Silverlights in the world or just plain AJAX.
    On the technology front I believe it is fizz. On the idealogical front it is totally substance.
    Web 2.0 is the democracy applied to the Internet on so many levels.

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