Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Will There Be a Dot Com Bust 2.0?

The question of a potential dot com bust 2.0 has been on my mind for some time. Today you can't throw a stone without hitting some type of new niche social network or start up SaaS.

An example would be Artie Isaac's SpeakerSite. This network recently launched and already almost 700 members who have bought into a platform to connect speakers with audiences at events.

And if you're so inclined, you can do even visit Ning and start your own niche community without too much trouble at all.

Anyone can build groups on LinkedIn and Facebook and Twitter. We can start blogs on any topic we choose. And what's more? There's enough people on the web today that you can find readers who will be interested in just about any fancy you choose to write on.

All this is too cool. But I wonder - will web 2.0 come crashing down similar to the dot com bust almost a decade ago?

In a conversation this week with @DanHarris, a tenured technology guru, I posed the question: So do you think we'll see a dot com bust 2.0?

Dan didn't think so and commented that a major component in the dot com bust of the 90's was related to a lack of infrastructure to support the boom. There simply was just not enough bandwidth to keep up the exponential growth of start web companies and the high demand drove the cost of starting up through the roof. The risk associated with failure was high and extremely costly.

Today we've become much wiser and have more resources available at a fraction of the cost. Failure happens every day, and then new concepts are born again, and the ball keeps rolling.

But Seth Godin writes an interesting perspective, warning us that the internet is almost full. And by almost full he means that we are so bombarded by so many messages online - from social networks to blogs to email et. al. - that in a sense we, as consumers of the content are full.

This Happend to TV
How many times do you watch a commercial during your favorite tv show, and not two minutes after the spot has aired, you can't seem to remember the brand or product that the ad was pushing?

We've been bombarded by so many messages over the years via traditional media like television, print and radio that, while these outlets can still be effective means of persuasion when integrated as part of a larger strategy, a huge majority of the messages just don't stick. We stare at the box, glazed over as the content bounces off of our face.

But will history repeat itself? Will the social web (and the web in general for that matter) follow the same pattern of over saturation. Maybe we're already there or getting close. It's tough to keep up with all your favorite blogs. Just keeping tabs on your facebook friends can take hours, even if you only have a few hundred connections.

What do you think?

Worst case scenario: If there were to be a dot com bust 2.0, what would it look like? Would it be challenges with the technology or our ability to consume the messages it delivers?

Photo Credit: mathewingram.com/work


  1. This comment ended up on the wrong thread.

    Aaron Crane said...

    I don't think we'll really experience a bust like we did with the dot coms. I agree with @DanHarris comment about infrastructure, but it was also about a lack of a sound business plan. I don't think the investment dollars have poured into web 2.0 in the same manner as was the case with dot coms. Once the whole concept gets "figured out", I think you'll see a surge towards that particular area of Web 2.0, leaving some to fail, but that's just business...some fail while others succeed. Good topic!

  2. I think "bust" is all relative. Web 1.0 generated Web 2.0. There were many aspects of the 90s that we learned and applied business practices towards for this current social media boom. The Web 2.0 will lead to another generational change. The internet was created to connect people, ideas, and information that basic premise will not change; but, evolve. As you know, change is good and I'm looking foward to the next revolution in the internet.


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