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

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Is 2.0 Over?

I've been quiet for a few days, because I've been working on a few papers. While I was writing, the question occurred to me: is 2.0 over?

I mean that in the sense of: has most of the radical innovation from 2.0 already happened? I don't mean: can we still make $$? Clearly, the answer to that question is yes. Put another way: does 2.0 still have structural shifts to yield?

I could rehash the evidence, but I think most of you know it:

1) Yahoo and Google snapping up the potential competition before it grows to anything.

2) Not that there was much potential competition to begin with - VCs aren't exactly knocking it out of the park 2.0wise.

3) Accelerating imitation - nearly every new play these days is a simple rehash of old ideas (which is fine), or they miss the point entirely (hi brightcove).

4) Lack of vision. You know the innumerable debates about "what is 2.0"? Perhaps the reason we keep having them is because no one really has a vision - you know, the grand, game-changing, next big thing vision. Maybe it's not helpful that everyone's stuck fast to their ideas (hi, Free Culture guys, hi O'Reilly guys, hi VCs, hi media guys) and seems unwilling to consider anyone else's position.

5) TechCrunch talks more about Yahoo + Google than anything else :)

I'm playing devil's advocate, to be sure. But perhaps there is a grain of truth to what I'm saying. What do you guys think?

-- umair // 1:30 PM // 11 comments


This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
// Blogger David // 2:45 PM

There is only so far you can take the bottom-up paradigm from the top. This is a discussion I've had with Fred Wilson, because VC money heretofore has gone to attempts to capture BIG numbers early in the 2.0 game. How 1.0!

In the bottom-up paradigm, I believe the bottom exists in our local communities, and it is there that lasting 2.0 applications will thrive.

Ray Kroc built one McDonald's restaurant and expanded the franchise until it saturated the world. Imagine trying to do that the way we're currently approaching Media 2.0.
// Anonymous Anonymous // 3:43 PM

2.0 was about creating mashups and transient services. what's happening now is REAL innovation. riya and pandora will edge out flickr and this new breed of companies are bringing important and uncloneable technologies (as of now) to the market. i have more thoughts in my blog post.
// Blogger Kunal // 4:52 PM

riya and pandora will edge out flickr and

no, they won't. facial recognition just isn't an awesome enough thing to make people switch. already does a better job with recommendations than pandora, as well as having the whole "community" thing going.
// Anonymous Anonymous // 6:58 PM

anonymous: riya has had explosive growth and is automating a process (tagging) and making things more convenient for you (as a user). also, adding "community" related tools (forums, messaging, groups) to a service is not difficult. as for music, i've discovered two artists that i would have never found on i guess the position that i am taking is that i am a fan of these particular apps, which are different from the standard 2.0 apps and mashups that we have been seeing so far.
// Blogger Kunal // 8:58 PM

Reading too many bloggers? You need to widen your scope.

Web 2.0 was dead on arrival.
// Anonymous Anonymous // 9:06 PM

Of all the talk of coordination being enabled for normal folks by 2.0 forces some of the ones that matter a lot is still yet to come.
For ex the coordination among the orielly ,geeks, vc's etc etc. The tearing down of walls between these self contained silos will be a radical change that is yet to be witnessed.
// Blogger Rajan // 5:35 AM

I've said many times that revolutionary change doesn't even start until the hype subsides and people start to write off the new trend as vacuous. Then it takes far longer than anyone expected (the whole web/XML thing was supposed to happen in 1999, after all).

The pessimism of your post encourages me to believe that we're getting closer.
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