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Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Paul Graham On Web 2.0

Paul Graham thinks that he does not see any deliberate plan to suggest there was a new version of the web in naming it as Web 2.0. Some views are better read without any inference thrown in - Paul's writing are always like that. Excerpts : The proponents just wanted to make the point that the web mattered again. It was a kind of semantic deficit spending: they knew new things were coming, and the "2.0" referred to whatever those might turn out to be. The 2005 Web 2.0 conference reminded me of Internet trade shows during the Bubble, full of prowling VCs looking for the next hot startup. I wouldn't quite call it "Bubble 2.0" just because VCs are eager to invest again. Pointing out that the Internet is a genuinely big deal. The bust was as much an overreaction as the boom. It's to be expected that once we started to pull out of the bust, there would be a lot of growth in this area, just as there was in the industries that spiked the sharpest before the Depression. The reason this won't turn into a second Bubble is that the IPO market is gone & Venture investors are driven by exit strategies. The reason they were funding all those laughable startups during the late 90s was that they hoped to sell them to gullible retail investors; they hoped to be laughing all the way to the bank. Now that route is closed. Now the default exit strategy is to get bought, and acquirers are less prone to irrational exuberance than IPO investors. The startups are different this time around. They are to the startups of the Bubble what bloggers are to the print media. Graham concludes that as Google is a "Web 2.0" company – it shows that, while meaningful, the term is also rather bogus. It's like the word "allopathic." It just means doing things right, and it's a bad sign when you have a special word for that. Also read a related note here.

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"All views expressed are my personal views are not related in any way to my employer"