Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Bubble 2.0?

.. is it Time?

With all the overhype lately about Web 2.0 it is easy to remember the days of the Internet Bubble.


In those days many had great little ideas that were then extrapolated into huge money makers. Everyone on this planet would want to own a Internet enabled cell phone that could be used to purchase lunch and coffee online from any location (Antartica included) and have it delivered at any time to their doorstep. Brick and mortar shops were doomed and with a year's time online online shops would be profitable.

Waking up again

Well then the alarm clock went off and everyone woke up and got back to reality with a big bang. Only the Internet Boomers who sold their idea quick enough were the ones with money. All others were left behind. Most empty handed and empty pocketed. I must admit that I was thinking and thinking hard trying to find another great opportunity, but failed. Maybe all the better.

Back to reality

After that a period of economic reconsideration came about. The air on which most of the companies were floating proved to be not volatile and some fell to the ground hard, while others made just a rough landing. It was the time of the 'delayed reality check'. People found out that if one liked some gadget you could not just multiply it with with world population and be rich instantaneous. It takes it bit more to reach that goal.

But in the shadows and the cellars ...

Meanwhile, many of the great stuff that was invented during the Internet Bubble was not just thrown away. Lots and lots of developers and smart hobbyist gathered in small groups all over the Internet and discussed ideas. They created small applications, not big gazillion dollar profit machines, the e-perpetuum mobile of modern times. They believed in making smart open systems that others could work with. Applications that one can extend through APIs. Systems that leave a lot of room for the users to apply it in their own way for their own particular purpose.

The best part they do not charge money for it. It is free. Sometimes they run ads on their service. But most of the time it is just a show case of what they can do. They are valuable freebies that make it clear to companies that the people behind are clever. Maybe they should hire these guys and girls to do some work.

And people started to take notice

All these little clever applications popped up and got noticed through Digg, Del.icio.us, Furl and many others like that. Every once in a while a new app would pop up and become the next buzz on the social web. Web 2.0 was born. Nobody really knows the definition of Web 2.0 but that doesn't stop any one of being heated up about it.

Web 2.0 would be make true where the Internet Bubble failed. At least that is the silent consensus. These small entrepreneurs are building real stuff. It is not vaporware. One can use it and extend it. And it is making money.

History repeating

We see things happening that happened not so long ago. Companies are buying these small startups for nice amounts of cash. Google has enormous amounts of cash through their IPO (sooo Internet Bubble like) and they are spending it on slurping up small startups and pushing forward all kinds of Open Source.

It seems like the Internet is booming again. It is cool again to say that you are working in IT with things like AJAX and Web 2.0. It is cool to say that Web 2.0 is really Web 3.0 and you can get applause for that.

It is even considered Web 2.0 to just write a blog.

Inflating with more and more hot air

All this interest and hype is leading to over-enthusiasm and good money is thrown again to purchase small not yet mature products. It all sounds so familiar.

Are these the days of the Internet Bubble 2.0?

Are we clever humans making the same mistake again? Are we going to see loads and loads of millionaires that own only on paper. Are companies and people willing and eager to invest in vague ideas before any line of code has been written or a proof of concept exists?

Time will tell. But looking at history people will usually make the same mistake multiple times before learning. If they ever learn, that is.

I have to be quick

But do not sit back and watch another Internet Bubble burst. Take action!

I missed out on the first Bubble but I am not willing to miss out on the Second Internet Bubble. I am planning ideas and learning new stuff. Playing with AJAX. I have just installed Ruby. Heck! I am even blogging!

Now, just mash up a great idea, get into the hype and then sell the lot to Google or someone else willing to pay.

Get in there

The whole idea about the next Internet Bubble is to get in while it is filling up with air and get out loaded before it bursts. Good luck!