Sunday, November 13, 2005

The Coming Web 2.0 Tsunami

H Y P E R C A M P :

It looks increasingly as if we are heading for a new burst of the new economy. There could well be a new tsunami of the Internet that will transform increasingly large parts of our economies.

Last week there was a rather significant leak from Microsoft of an email written by Bill Gates to the company’s key staff. His message was loud and clear: fasten your seat belts, since we are heading for very major change.

Microsoft has a reputation for often missing the initial trends, then recognizing the mistake and catching up with a vengeance. A decade ago, it effectively missed the importance of the Internet, but in another famous e-mail Bill Gates went to Canossa, ordered a major U-turn and quickly recovered lost ground.

His message then was: “The Internet is a tidal wave. It changes the future.” He was right – although somewhat slow in coming to the conclusion.

The new tsunami is an effect of the rapid spreading of broadband connectivity paving the way for completely new categories of services to be delivered over the net. While the Web 1.0 was about text and imaging, Web 2.0 is all about broadband connectivity, wireless links and online services.

And Bill gates now says that “the coming wave will be very disruptive.” The old Microsoft will no longer work. It needs to be reinvented if it does not see the new opportunities at the least as fast as all the users out there on the net does.

During this year it has been companies like Google, Skype, eBay and Apple that have been making both the headlines and the profits. And they represent entirely new business models when it comes to using the net.

And there are new phenomena spreading very fast.

Blogging is clearly a key part of Web 2.0. So are technologies like RSS or the wikis. It’s happening so fast that I note that the words Skype, blogging and wikis aren’t even recognized by the spell-checker that is embedded in the latest version of Microsoft Word…

We are heading for times that will be interesting, inspiring and important.

Disruptive for those not seeing what’s coming. Truly constructive for those that does.