Umair Haque / Bubblegeneration
umair haque  


Design principles for 21st century companies, markets, and economies. Foreword by Gary Hamel. Coming January 4th. Pre-order at Amazon.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Next Big Things: the Net Goes Physical

Semapedia - like we've been talking about for a while now (Semacode, etc), this is the edge of innovation in the 2.0 space with absolutely enormous potential for new sources of value creation.

There's a huge amount of skepticism about this space from the venture crowd - but there shouldnt' be. We've been tracking this space for almost 18 months, and it's finally got Mefi'ed. That's a bad sign - it means the Valley's (way) behind the curve on this.

Venture guys, you should be rocking this space - the value drivers are clear, the market is getting validated, the ecosystem has been built out and is ready and waiting for interesting apps, and, most importantly it's a strategically rich space to be in: entry barriers are stronger than typical 2.0, switching costs are high, etc.

Candidates who might wanna think strategically about this space:, Ning (interesting line of thought), social search plays, local search plays (urbantic, etc), events plays...

-- umair // 7:52 PM // 5 comments


Would love to see more of your deep thinking[ala peer production] on this one too :)
// Blogger Rajan // 1:44 AM

I hate to be the curmudgeon, but how is this different from all the digital-grafitti-like ideas that were floating around in the late 90s?

I remember an former profressor Malcolm McCullough ( had an awful lot to say on the matter from an academic/design perspective, but never discussed commercialization issues. What is possible now that wasn't then?
// Anonymous niblettes // 7:11 PM

Mobile net access!!

ie, network economics shift off the screen and into the physical world.

// Blogger umair // 7:18 PM

Hi there, this is Alexis from, I would like to join the discussion.

I think one of the most important parts besides mobile net access (I agree on this) is that the technology really works (both Tagging and Reading) and that people can do it themselves very easily. We hope to give you the means for kind of 'enriching' your and your friends reality. And again: Everyone is invited to it and having a infobase such as Wikipedia (Encyclopedia, Wiki Species, Wikibooks, ...) makes it, I believe, very powerful.

Referring to late-90's action (assuming you mean :cuecat as an example): There are differences such as that the Readerdevices people already have in their pockets now and -most importantly- you could not create cuecat tags yourself (correct me if I am mistaken).

We will experience a lot of top-down mobile services (wanted ones and especially unwanted ones such as RFID-, GPS- or Bluetooth-spamming). It will be quiet disturbing I think when everything starts to push advertising onto my devices. Semapedia will hopefully be a reference for 'good', 'peer produced' location relevant content.

Semapedia is really bottom-up and even agnostic to technology (maybe we use QR codes later, too, or RFID) and that is good :)

@niblettes: Thanks for the pointer to McCullough. I'll read up on him
// Anonymous Alexis // 1:42 PM

could you give me an example of how online local search co.'s would use semacode technology?
// Blogger rob finn // 1:37 AM

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