Skunk Drunk In The Sad Assed Backwater

Sorry to use that term in two straight headlines but it’s so good I have to. John Heilemann can sure turn a phrase.

This post is not about John’s piece. I’ve said what I think about that.

This post is about Steve Rubel’s post last night,  The Web 2.0 World is Skunk Drunk on Its Own Kool-Aid. Steve’s fed up with all the hype, the parties, and the money flowing through the web today. He says:

I am sorry to be a party pooper on conventional wisdom, really. But
I miss the days of 2004 when the class that includes Flickr, and others started. They really were about changing the
web, not making a quick buck (they did so only because they added
value). There are companies still out there like them. Twitter is one I believe takes this approach. Automattic (the company behind WordPress) appears to be another. Dave Winer also shares this spirt. He creates services like NYTimes River because it’s fun and he thinks it will add value to our lives (and he is right).

However, most of the rest of today’s net startups are only after the
almighty dollar and while that’s capitalism, it saddens me because it
has done little but breed hubris.

I’d like to go back to 2004 too. It was easier then. Less hype, less noise, less competition for deals.

But we are where we are. And even though Heilemann basically calls me "chicken little" in his story, I think all is not lost. We have the following opportunity in front of us; the web is going mobile, programmable, social, and semantic all at the same time. And this is happening on a global scale in real time. In ten years, we will have a completely different world wide web and I am not going to miss out on the fun of helping to build a few parts of it.

So bring it on.

#VC & Technology

Comments (Archived):

  1. vruz

    love that spirit !!bring it on indeed !!

  2. Scott Rafer

    I still can’t figure out where the mystery is for everyone. Technology runs in repetitive 8- to 11-year cycles from Innovation to Consolidation, and is . 2004 (and 1994 for that matter) was Innovation, and now we’re all dealing with Consolidation — which means tighter packaging, more hype, greater focus on monetization, etc. Google was the grand exception in 1999 as Facebook is now.

    1. Scott Rafer

      oops — “… is in it’s 6th cycle that i can count, going back to mainframes in the 1950s.”

  3. Fred333

    That is so true. Might as well help out if you can. The Sky is the limit.

  4. Soap

    Reincarnation of the dotcom boom c. pre-2000? Ah, the good ol’ days.

  5. Vada

    Steve’s lament may sour the tourist but not the entrepreneur. Most of us feel we are solving real problems for real people. While my company creates value by removing boundaries between users and content, there is an ever growing population of challenges and opportunities. The fact that it’s getting harder to separate the wheat from the chaff shows the rightness of Umar’s position — attention scarcity drives the new economy. Yes, it’s fun to build parts of it.

    1. vruz

      I agree wholeheartedly.Those of us who are in it for life don’t and shouldn’t really care about those who are motivated by things other than creating awesome things as their first priority.Aligning interests so that things come to fruition, that’s of course necessary, just not shifting our priorities and vision because the “dayplayers” say so.I’ve seen them come, I’ve seen them go, I’ve seen them return, and I’m sure I’ll see them go again.As if…

    2. bsiscovick

      Right on Vada!Many of us squarely focused on creating new value. Sometimes “tourists” forget that we are essentially 12 years into this crazy experiment of the mass internet/web. We are still in the fetal stages of tapping into the potential of the Net and my money says the pace and quality of innovation will only intensify for the foreseeable future. I, for one, am very excited to be a part of this true revolution!

  6. Don Jones

    Bob Metcalfe…said that bubbles are good for technology – they create over-investment which attracts all kinds of new technology development. When the bust happens, the smartest ones pick through the pieces and build something great. Bubbles aren’t good for most investors though…

  7. genesisgrace

    I also read Steve’s comment. I sense his frustration, but things are what they are now, but as I commented that those who build on good foundation will last.