While many prognosticators have made predictions about a burst bubble about to appear, and the end of Web 2.0, nobody has made a plea for the small-time developers to think before they leap into this arena. After all, the true losers of a Web 2.0 bubble, if there is one, will be the mom-and-pop internet shops working on a shoestring.
Daniel Markham, a technology strategist, takes apart the finances behind the Web 2.0 world. While everybody knows you can start a web business with a quarter and a smile, most technologists have no idea what's involved actually making the thing work. Markham goes through the numbers, pulling information from a lot of VC blogs where most technical types don't go.
Some of his conclusions are biting:
People are tired of ads. They hate them on TV, they hate them on the web. They're tired of those stupid customer loyalty cards that every business has nowadays. They're not stupid: they know those cards help the businesses a lot more than they do the consumers. And they're going to get tired of digging, moderating, boinking, slapping, skirting, poking, winking, and whatever other synonyms websites can come up with to try to get folks to participate. Right now, there's a headlong push to get people involved in these Web 2.0 sites, but for every true convert, there are a hundred folks that just drop by to see what everybody else is doing. They're there because of habit, not because of bells and whistles.
Aside from the boom-or-bust articles, which are rather predictable, is there a greater social damage that will occur by busting lots of little guys, instead of investors with deep pockets?"