Sunday Debate: Is Social Peaking?

I spent the past couple hours watching videos from Le Web in our family room. I love to queue up videos from the prior week and spend sunday morning watching them on the couch instead of sitting at my desk.

Of all the video I watched, the one that made me stop and think the most was this talk by Forrester CEO George Colony. In it, he predicts the end of the web and the emergence of “post social.” If you have 20 minutes this morning, give it a watch and let’s discuss his predictions in the comments.


Comments (Archived):

  1. William Mougayar

    What other videos did you watch you liked & worth watching? I was about to go through LeWeb too. 

    1. fredwilson

      All the ones with our portfolio entrepreneurs, the eric Schmidt/android one, and a few others

      1. William Mougayar

        Thanks. Am watching the Eric Schmidt one now. Great preview of ice cream sandwich & I like the people app.

      2. Saner Zureikat

        Most unexpected talk by far: Alex Ljung of SoundCloud. I’m an avid user, but never knew how deep into one’s day-to-day SoundCloud could reach. Fascinating perspective.

        1. fredwilson

          i can’t find that onedo you have a link for me?

          1. fredwilson


  2. Dale Allyn

    Part of his discussion has been a topic of discussion among my group, and pretty obvious to us – at least for a segment of the population: “pure social” is taking up too much time and growth is not sustainable if quality does not improve. There needs to be a shift to quality over quantity in social IMO.

    1. Melodyvonrock

      I vote quality content over contact

      1. William Mougayar

        What if content can lead to contact. Then you get both.

        1. Melodyvonrock

          & my lovely trusted contacts can point me to content. Clearly it’s not an either/or choice, but I’m just not really interested in numbers of contacts per se online – I have enough (& I boycott Farcebook). Depth, quality rather than quantity. Yes it’s also in response to your & Charlie Crystle’s comments above re “as fas as social: humanity is social. social peaks when humanity does”.Just a gut feel, but it also agrees with what Charlie posted below:”Most people will get past the desire for social affirmation on the web and just use it as a utility for offline interaction–real social, real life (non-MTV that is)”

          1. William Mougayar

            I’ll take quality over quantity any time for contacts, context, content, community, comments & conversations.

      2. Dale Allyn

        I tend to agree, but believe that with high quality content, one is also more likely to make higher quality contacts. I think this is @wmoug:disqus ‘s point as well, so I think we each agree, at least in part. 

  3. Seth Godin

    His black swan is showing.The problem with just about every prediction made by industry firms like Forrester (all the way back to 1985 when these firms said that the Commodore 64 was going to change the world–until the VCR interrupted to become the next big thing) is that they are based on sophisticated analysis of what’s in the rear-view mirror.A tough way to drive.The trends are legit, but we have no idea what unexpected breakthrough in human interaction is going to change everything.

    1. awaldstein

      Perfect! Thanks Seth.Predicting the future or even building businesses for the present that don’t take into consideration changes in culture and behavior are always the academic looking at the street from the comfort of the lecture hall.



        1. Mark Essel

          It’s also the only chance for new folks and change.Plus it’s good for choice and entertainment. Zero entropy in utterly determined systems makes for a boring story.

        2. Alex Murphy

          No one expect it is also the best part of the unexpected.

    2. Peter Kim

      Tempering timeframes and expectations matter.In predicting the future, the tech/business guys tend to be precise but not accurate. The academics (economists, social psychologists) tend to be accurate but not precise. Now if someone could just put the two together…

      1. Ronnie Rendel

        Try Kabbalah…

      2. Judd Morgenstern

        Clayton Christensen? You could apply his logic that disruption will start with either new market (new consumers) or in the ‘low-end’ of the market. Given, the Social Web and Steel Mills are different beasts, but the theory may hold.Re: the low-end, funny that Forrester predicted that we will ‘sweep away nonsense like foursquare’ since one could make the argument that check-ins afforded a toe-hold against Facebook. We have already seen FB try, fail, and concede defeat in the check-in and re-focus on higher margin activities, which strategically makes sense. So if this is a battle for people’s time, and FB is the occupier, what is the beachfront you have to win?

        1. ShanaC

          They’re still trying checkins.  I only have two people I know on facebook using them – one of which works for facebook.

          1. laurie kalmanson

            the day people’s checkins started autoposting to everywhere was the day i unfollowed them

        2. fredwilson


          1. Guest

            I just hope they haven’t forgotten that they are two steps ahead, but need to keep innovating the core technology.

          2. Jedd

            Twitter is not social, but a merger of broadcasting and immediacy.A better gauge of Facebook’s lifespan is to ask your average friends what they are doing.Mine (non-tech) are abandoning Facebook like Myspace claiming it’s becoming embarassing to be on Facebook.Twitter will win this, cause of it’s simplicity.

          3. fredwilson

            this is a big debate among the founders, investors, and management at twitteri believe twitter is social, but there are many who don’t agree with me

          4. Alex Murphy

            Isn’t broadcasting “immediate?”Twitter is social IF you think social is the area of the web where communication, discovery, and dialogue are happening together, I do.Twitter is faster, but it is still broadcast.  The only difference is that instead of that broadcast being one to many with a single level of depth, it is many to many with a near infinite level of depth, where the originator does not have to be big to have a dramatic impact.

        3. FAKE GRIMLOCK


      3. Ian Gertler

        We look at social as it exists today and wonder how it will ever become more significant. The thing we must realize is that social isn’t some island away from the rest of the Internet continent (barring a few ridiculous products and services), it’s what the Net has evolved into. We can call it Web 2.0, social or XYZ. There will always be “shiny objects” in any industry — especially in segments of technology and innovation. It’s how we apply these to create new opportunities and solve challenges. We also can’t take it in isolation. If you look at the proliferation of mobile interaction and social, they didn’t happen alone — but rather created a perfect storm for increased adoption. We also lag behind in many ways here in the United States. Mobile payments are thriving elsewhere and just started to really takeoff here. As long as we have people pushing the extremes of what could be imagined and created, we’ll be changing business, healthcare, education, government, family and life — whether inside the walls of these institutions or outside them. I am a big fan of Alan Kay’s, “The best way to predict the future is to invent it.” We have many things to come. After all, who would have expected what we have today when the computer was first introduced decades ago — aside from perhaps Gene Roddenberry?? I’m still looking forward to having us boldly go … especially as the father of two young children.To be determined …@IanGertler:twitter 

    3. William Mougayar

      Exactly. You can be sure that unpredictable events will disrupt any linear predictions that relies on the past. 

    4. maxkalehoff

      Exactly. These analyst firms deliver their best value in helping to interpret the present. Their predictions are best for driving discussion (like this), not actually predicting the future. If they could truly predict the future, they’d be investing, not selling their predictions.That said, Colony’s thinking beyond today’s consumer social Web and strategies, and development of app-based ones (especially for the enterprise), is an important and needed area to fill out.  

    5. Alex Dogliotti

      Agreed. First, evolution is not a linear process, which means it’s pretty easy to say something will happen at some stage, but very difficult to say when or how (part of my PhD thesis was actually about nonlinearity and chaos theory applied to gift-giving as model of social order). Second, predictions are useful only as far as they function as sparks for initiating something new. Example, someone with lots of followers like you Seth says the future will be all about X. People believe you and make X happen. If you hadn’t said that, nobody would have taken action.   

      1. SubstrateUndertow

        Ture enough but in complex systems, when you take time out of the formula,  the hidden hand of statistical probability trends towards standing waves of self replicating probability commensurate with the attributable propensities inherent in the sub-strate.”History is a race between education(knowing your sub-strates) and catastrophe” 

    6. ShanaC

      I don’t think we’re going to get an unexpected breakthrough in human interaction.  That seems to remain stable(eg: how we count peers and friends).  What can be broken through is the way human interaction is mediated. And that seems to be breaking faster than the way we worked was broken during the height of the industrial revolution.That’s the big problem, and that is why it feels that social is oversaturated. We’re not sure how to relate to the new forms of mediation.  It isn’t that they are silly, it is unclear what they mean.

    7. testtest

      he doesn’t see it as aesthetic engagement of people across time and space; he sees gaussian distribution and shit graphs.

      1. JamesHRH

        Nicely put Chris.

        1. testtest

          thanks, james

    8. Rohan

      Thank god people don’t drive looking at their rear view mirror…

      1. Alex Murphy

        Shouldn’t that be “God you thank for people not driving with rear view mirror” …

    9. Richard Koffler

      You are so right. Watching the video reminded me of why I stopped following what Forrester et al have to say. I think that his chart showing RIM as having a better strategy than Google tells all. If the chart is current, then this guy needs to be fired. If the chart  is old, then it demonstrates how Forrester et al are incapable of figuring out much of value.All told, I wasted 20 minutes.

      1. Matthew Tendler

        Is A strategy better than NO strategy? (RIM v. Google)

        1. Alex Murphy

          They had RIM with a higher end strat than Google.  Hmm.  Discount everything he says by 20% for that one fact alone.  He then went on to say that Google is held back by their existing revenue streams, that only 3% comes from these new areas.  Hmm.  Discount him another 20% for that fact too.  Google’s move into mobile, maps, energy, Android os, etc is in an effort to engage the app market.  They are trying apps on Chrome, and local storage.  What is rim doing?

          1. Matthew Tendler

            Rim: A strategy (albeit a poor one IMO). Stick to improving hardware and firmware to support receiving, displaying, storing, and composing emails. Google: lack of strategy (albeit this will change with leadership changes): let employees roam free making devices they think are cool

          2. Alex Murphy

            Google’s strategy is clear.  Maximize the number of people using Google’s products while on their mobile devices.  This starts with the Android OS (56% market share vs 15% for iOS and 11% for ROM) and expands into email, docs, pictures, etc.  From there, Google is able to monetize through the Android market and through search.  Both of which make money come out of Paige’s whazoo.By contrast, RIM’s market share has dropped from 15% to 11% from Q3 2010 to Q3 2011.  RIM is classic innovator’s dilemma.  Their biggest asset was the BBM which has evaporated as everyone has moved on to the iOS or Android platforms leaving their BBM networks behind.  If RIM has a strategy to turn their company around, I suggest they start to execute on it because it doesn’t look too good for them going forward.http://articles.businessins

          3. Matthew Tendler

            You just described android strategy not Google. I agree with you on RIMs innovators dilemma however it still is a strategy even if it is failing (revert back to A strategy vs. lack of company strategy). As per the dilemma, acquiring a startup tech could be the answer.

        2. Drew Meyers

          Yes. strategy is always better than no strategy.

      2. jonathan hegranes

        Same here… I paused on that chart and laughed at the positions of so many of those companies — highlighted by RIM having the strongest strategy.  Last I checked they were going out of business. How is Amazon not at the far right???#laughable

      3. George Colony

        Note that this Forrester Wave does not purport to comprise the overall strategies of these companies. It is a comparison of their positions in the more narrow and emerging App Internet market. RIM gets App Internet (and therefore grades higher in strategy), while Google’s offerings are moving beyond Blackberry. Given the velocity of Android, this Wave will look quite different a year from now.  

        1. fredwilson

          wow. it is awesome to have you engage in this discussion George. as I said in the post, your talk made me think more than any other Le Web talk I watched.i too struggled with the Forrester Wave you showed. to me Google is right up there with Apple, maybe ahead of them. and RIM is dead, over, not even in the game anymore.and i think you should meet with the Foursquare team the next time you are in NYC. it is way far away from nonsense. I honestly think you don’t use the product and you don’t understand what they are up to. if you did, there is no way you could call it nonsense.

          1. Carter

            I completely agree that 4sq is not nonsense and is actually getting more useful/social with each iterations. The first versions seemed more like a game to me but with the subsequent releases I have been drawn in on a deeper level. As mentioned elsewhere in these comments, contact is the key to social, not necessarily content. 4sq has enabled me to find my social connections in the physical world, share experiences with them, and discover new places. 4sq enabled these physical contacts and connections and that would not have taken place without it. Social & relevant.

        2. Rohan

          Nice to have you here, George 🙂

        3. ShanaC

          Hi George, Thanks for entering the comments.By RIM understanding the App Internet – what does that mean in your opinion.

        4. Alex Murphy

          Nice to have you be part of the discussion here George.Why does an app need to be a “thing” downloaded to your mobile?  It could be a browser, it could be a website where the current terminology is to call your website an “application.”  Webservices / APIs are apps.  There are apps in Facebook. At the risk of being too much of a google fan boy:Gmail is an app.  Google Maps is an app. Picasa is an app.  Google Earth is an app.  There are many other examples, I think Google gets app production …Google’s Android has 5x the market share that RIM does.  And when you consider that Blackberries are corp issued as opposed to Android phones being consumer based, that is even more impressive.  It shows a deeper penetration and a more solid product market fit.Google bought Android and started to move into Mobile 3 to 4 years before Blackberry opened its App World in 2009.  The first commercial release of Android happend before RIM announced the coming App World.  RIM was late to the game … I would say they didn’t get App Internet and based upon recent performance, they still don’t.As of mid year, Blackberry had a total of about 1 Billion downloads of apps whereas Android was at 6 billion, a number that has grown to over 10 billion in the last couple of weeks.  To say that Rim gets the app internet, implying Google does not just doesn’t seem to ring true, and the problem with that is that it makes the rest of the assessment a little less believable.  Having said that, I think you are dead on about the coming realities that exist from the difference in the growth curves for cost of storage, CPU power, and network.  As we all want more, faster, prettier, the need to push the “jobs” to the edges will be more and more important.  Companies like DropBox will be the winners of this environment because they will render the individual client device irrelevant while at the same time leveraging their individual computing power.

    10. Rob Simo

      An interesting idea that was put forth by Reid Hoffman was that people use on average seven sites daily give or take two. This definitey rings true for me and everyone I know. With the saturation of social I believe we are not going to move to a less social web but a less social web that requires daily upkeep. So the real question is are we moving from daily social to occasional social?



        1. Mark Essel

          Another competitive advantage is providing real value to visitors. Think sandwich as real value, Facebook games, and Twitter trends aren’t sandwiches.

          1. Donna Brewington White

            Real value.  Right.  And result/reward must be factored in.For sustainability, the reward/result must at least be commensurate with the effort required to produce it.

          2. Mark Essel

            Even beyond proportional, the customer payoff must be profitable.If I have to burn equal time/pain to get what I need out of a product, why buy it?



    12. LE

      “human interaction”Human behavior is the reason Hollywood has so many big time entertainment failures. You would think by now the formula would all but write and film the movies.

    13. Alex Murphy

      That is not how he laid it out.  He articulated the point that the Web is heavily dependent upon the power of the network.  He pointed out that storage and proc power are growing at a faster rate.  He articulated the point that in order to gain the greatest efficiency, we need to leverage the super computers we hold in our hands and the power of the servers on the Internet.  Evolution 1 = PCEvolution 2 = Web / CloudEvolution 3 = combo of bothThe major point take away here is more of an emphasis on real value rather than eyeballs.  That is a good take away.  People that are thinking of how to grow and / or start a business need to focus on the real value proposition because the typical user’s time is going to move away from things that don’t add that much value to things that add a lot of value.

  4. Luke Chamberlin

    Did anyone else click through to see George Clooney and get disappointed?

    1. Dale Allyn

      I thought that WAS George Clooney… on a bad hair day. 😉

  5. Barabare

    “If you require more time of more users, you will not be successful.”I think this is pretty dead on.

    1. William Mougayar

      We knew that 2 years ago. The successful “social” apps give us back more than we put in. Twitter is great because you can spend 3 minutes giving and 20 minutes taking. That’s a great ratio. 

      1. falicon

        only if you ‘do it right’…if you are not careful, you can easily find yourself putting in 20 minutes to Twitter and only taking out 3 minutes of value…I think this is the biggest user adoption hurdle Twitter has struggled with (they’ve admitted for a long time that proper on-boarding is too hard and they’ve been working very hard to address this [I think the newest design is a major focus on this as well])

    2. Brandon Burns

      yes, if you build something no one wants.however, if you build something that makes more users want, voluntarily, to spend more time with you, then… well… duh. 

    3. fredwilson

      That’s what I like about the one social platform he trashes. I checkin to foursquare on average five times a day and in the aggregate maybe spend one minute in total per day doing that. But I get tremendous value back in terms of a deep database of the places I visit/frequent

      1. Lee Hnetinka

        In reply to the above “more time of a user = failure”, I’m not sure how we all can agree with this, in terms of a social platform like Turntable this requires more time of users, it’s online engagement, so this obviously can’t apply to all. And twitter too, that requires users to post, otherwise there’s no content. I don’t agree with the statement really…. I think there is a key difference to “replicating or even *replacing* the offline world online” and connecting people online with each other, but either way it all comes down to value and benefit that the service provides… in turntables case, people like to live a secret life of a dj, and it’s worth their time.

        1. fredwilson

          well yes and nofor the DJs and super engaged users, you are rightbut they need a lighter and less committed experience for many potential users

          1. tyronerubin

            @fredwilson:disqus your ‘but they need a lighter and less committed experience for many potential users’ rings true for me right now.I was a committed DJ and super user for the opening weeks of turntable and fell deeply in love with the product.I think its a matter of that I dont have much time to be that user, as the love is still all there.Believing it got social and music very right, with a very interesting gamification layer. When Napster came out, living in South Africa, having the world of music open up to me I experienced that ‘kid in a candy store’ feeling. It was extremely emotionally powerful. I got a similar feeling with turntable. It was emotionally very engaging. I absolutely love the product and cant express how much light I see in your comment.2 more things.1) When you have time I would love to know your Twitter story. Unless you have a great blog about it from the past. Did you know when you invested it would be this mainstream a product. In your previous post on twitter your love for the product seemed true. But how could you have known it would be a juggernaut? The people, the idea, would love to know, and I guess it runs true amongst all your USV companies.2) Next one being etsy. No question here, just interest, fascination and love. My friend told me about etsy in around 2007/2008 maybe 2009 either way I love checking Alexa rankings and I am certain it was above 1000. Then saw it go to around 670. Lately I have been playing more and more with it and weirdly enough think I saw it got very recently in the US from around 85 to 45. Thats heading towards mainstream, massive, juggernaut proportions. Dare I say competing with eBay(still strong at 7)? I know they different companies but it looks to me as a fan and observer that etsy is heading to stratospheric mainstream adoption. Its obviously there, but how much more mainstream it will get, fascinates me. I love the simple design and elegance of the product and would love to see where it goes. As the 45th largest site in the US I would love to see more magic happen. I know the FB integration was a big deal. I know with eBay when cars started selling it was that big surprise for them. I remember hearing a couple years ago that there were 1 million stores on eBay. 1 million people having small businesses, thats insane, sure that number has grown much more. I guess this point is just a compliment on etsy growth and wonder where it will go.

          2. fredwilson

            my hope is that etsy is a fully internationalized service by the end of next year. that’s an agressive timetable which will probably not be reached. but that is where it needs to go.

        2. FAKE GRIMLOCK


          1. John Petersen

            I think many are trying to be or find the next FB or Twitter, but the real problem is that the next FB or Twitter is going to look nothing like a new “social network.” People have to remember that FB set it’s foundation when there was very little competing apps out there. The growth and engagement and so on is so unprecedented because there was no real alternatives. It was similar to when everyone communicated online through AOL instant messenger, because that was simply the best option available.Anyone that really wants to be the next big thing (or invest in the next one) shouldn’t be looking at another social network.The next Facebook or Twitter will look nothing like Facebook or Twitter.

          2. FAKE GRIMLOCK


      2. William Mougayar

        Exactly. That’s the acid test more or less: Time in vs. value out. 

      3. Barabare

        Honest question: what value do you get out of it? You need a database to know the places you frequent? What exactly is it that you find useful?I think Foursquare is just not frictionless enough for most people. To constantly pull out my iPhone, swipe to unlock, enter password, open foursquare, find the right place, check-in….it feels like too much work. You can say it’s only a few minutes, but then I have every other app, badge, and notification…I think Facebook really gets it with the push for frictionless. Radar is also a step in the right direction. I also think Foursquare should buy Sonar. It’s the first thing I’ve seen that uses Foursquare and seems useful.

        1. fredwilson

          it’s the same as last.fmi’ve been databasing my music listens since Oct 2005no music service can come close to recommending me music to listen to people and other users to followi’ve been databasing my venue visits in foursquare for three yearsno local service can come close to recommending me places to visit when i’m in NYC and even more powerfully, when i am somewhere else

          1. falicon

            Nice…this is in-line with the end game I’ve been focused on for the past few years -> only real difference is that I’m trying to make the databasing and learning process even more passive (we basically have it down to a ‘log in once and win’ process already)…so once you log in once, the system continues to learn and evolve along with each user and how they (and the people they follow) change over time.Personalized, intelligent, social…that’s not just the future I envision, it’s the future I’m building.

      4. ShanaC

        Same.  I realized recently that between my friends and I, I’m building a great database of good coffee in NYC.  It is funny how the deep data parts of social have yet to really be exploited (not in the mean way).  That is something I am really looking forward to.  As much as the internet of me can be really frustrating, for certain things (like food) it is a lot better than not having an internet of me.

        1. Timothy Meade

          If “in-app purchase” is the new microcredit, how much is the “good coffee near nyc” dataset worth?

          1. ShanaC

            Excellent question. Depends on context – probably more when I want coffee



        1. John Petersen

          That’s actually what I’ve been using the new Path for. As a way to keep a log of my day. Time awake / sleeping, when I leave for work, when I get back, etc. It’s a little difficult when that’s not the intended purpose, but I find the app much more useful to me this way…

          1. FAKE GRIMLOCK


          2. John Petersen

            Sooo very true. I was hoping they had an API because I’ve been dreaming up how great this thing could be.But they don’t. Sadly.So for now, this wrong tool will have to suffice while the invent right tool idea goes into the black book of wonderful ideas.

      6. John Petersen

        I can sympathize with this guy. Up until this year, I had been anti-Foursquare because I formed my opinion out of ignorance (very similar to how I was anti-Facebook for a long time until I made the plunge). Thankfully, this has been an incredible year of personal growth and improvement for me.I had hated on Foursquare because of the following thinking: for a vast majority of my social “friends” I really don’t care where they are or what they are doing or who is the mayor of what. And I still feel the same way today.But Foursquare has become so much more for me. I get the most value out of it when I make it all about me and not others. I love tracking all the tech events and meetings I go to and all the help with discovery, but have no interest in who has the most points for the week. I completely agree with Fred that the database is the biggest value add for me.This guy is clearly speaking out of ignorance as a person who has either never tried or never given a fair shot to Foursquare. As we’ve seen repeated throughout history, speaking and acting from a position of ignorance is a recipe for disaster.

        1. Todd

          So your major use of Foursquare is as a diary? Interesting. Personally I don’t see the point but then again I don’t travel extensively enough anymore to worry about not remembering where I have been. I still I don’t care where anyone is or was, the gamification side of it kept me engaged for about 2 days then left me bored silly, and as a recommendation system I find it lacking in about as many ways as I do all the other recommendation systems.I don’t hate it, I just don’t find it useful enough yet to miss it when I stopped using it. 

          1. John Petersen

            I don’t travel nearly as much as I’d like, but I live right outside of NYC. Haven’t done much with the recommendations yet, but I think I would enjoy the Lists feature once I give it a shot and start exploring more.And yes, I basically am using it now as a diary (although I like the term don’t like the term diary because it sounds like something for teenage girls). I would say journal or personal reference base or catalog, but yes.I also heard of a cool feature, not sure if it is part of Foursquare or was just a hack at a hackathon, that shows you what you were doing on this day a year ago. As a person who is driven by personal growth and improvement, I really like the sound of this. Haven’t experience first hand yet, but also haven’t been on service for a year yet. Looking forward to enjoy this feature down the road.And honestly, the more I get to know NYC, the more I realize I don’t know the NYC at all. Sometimes it feels like going into the city is just as foreign as traveling somewhere far away, and I love every second of that.

      7. jason wright

        Why is registered through Domains By Proxy? Is there some greater investment truth that’s being kept from its users?

        1. fredwilson

          hmm. good question. i have no idea why.

          1. jason wright

            It seems a little ironic, as the service is all about identifying who and where? What could be more peculiar? Well, since you ask, I’ve been wondering why and are registered through Domain Discreet in Funchal, Madeira, Portugal? That seems totally odd, and at odds with your ‘open’ approach to all things web, industry, and life in general. We know where Union Square and Ventures is located. Why the the need for ‘discreet’? I could understand if it were Sweden or Iceland, and nameservers there too, for their strong legal rights for publishers, but Portugal?

          2. fredwilson

            the same person, eric friedman, bought all three for foursquareavc for meusv for usvhe did that while he was working at usvi will ask him why he uses this service

          3. jason wright

            I’m sure he had his reasons.If you google the address for & you’ll see that there are several pages of reports of scammy websites with domains registered with Domain Discreet. Who needs it?Rua Dr. Brito Camara, n 20, 1Funchal, Madeira 9000-039PT

  6. Cam MacRae

    The web isn’t going to end, just evolve; no app ecosystem can provide an equivalent frictionless casual user experience.

  7. William Mougayar

    First of all, Forrester isn’t always right about anything. Their business is predicated on making predictions, and if you go back in history, their track record has been so-so. That said, I’ve always believed that everything “purely social” is not sustainable. Social is good if it’s part of something else, either integrated, extended, or linked. “Social inside” is a good thing. There is so much time during the day, and it is not sustainable that we all spend too much on social, and not enough on other things, like real work. The smart apps will have social in them, but not be entirely and purely social. The Facebook craze about “social by design” will reach some limits when the returns will not be proportional to the time invested. A certain balance will be reached at some point.

    1. awaldstein

      Yes but….Social gaming then will  lifecycle out? I don’t believe that. Evolve yes as it has but go away no.Social by design as fad….don’t know. Most everything we do in life is fueled by social connection–shopping, education, sharing passions.What is an example of social for social’s sake outside of gaming/entertainment?The idea that commerce will become the exhaust of communities is based on the fact that communities drive commercial intent by definition.

      1. William Mougayar

        Gaming was social before online social, so it was a brilliant natural for it. What I’m saying is that there is an equilibrium that will be reached. Social was a wave, and like any waves, it will leave a few real gems on the shores, but it will wash the majority back at sea. That was the internet then, and that will be the social internet too.

        1. awaldstein

          Shopping and commerce were social before online commerce as well of course.I’m not following you. Social gaming is very well developed and been around since the late 80s. Commerce with a social component is just getting started.I disagree that social, that behavioral connections at the core of most human activities are a wave.The wonder of the web today is that the distinction between off/online has faded.Not only do I disagree that is is going away. It would be sad indeed if it did.

          1. falicon

            It’s a wave…it’s just in the tsunami category of waves…

          2. awaldstein

            Yes….and one that changes the depth of the ocean and the shorelines forever, for the better.People and culture are the indicators of change, not the platforms they ride.

    2. awaldstein

      You are right William but I think it is incorrect to make ‘social’ out as the problem. The piece in the speech that made sense was ‘efficiency’.For a lot of markets that efficiency will be to tie in the transactions closer. That is why I think companies like PayPal which do nothing but remove us from the flow of purchasing to pay are at risk.

    3. Luke Chamberlin

      The best way to predict the future is to predict the end of something, since everything eventually ends. You’ll always be right.Now, I’m off to prepare my talk on the post-Sun world.

      1. mediasres

        “Now, I’m off to prepare my talk on the post-Sun world.”lol – damn, just invested in a sun glasses company.

    4. LE

      “their track record has been so-so”And even the predictions are hedged and circumspect much like fortune tellers do. I would venture to say that no analysis has ever been done or will ever be done on the track record of of (highly quotable in the news media by time short journalists – notice how I didn’t call them lazy) research firms. And even if you did determine that a particular research firm was correct x% of the time I’m not sure how you incorporate that info in a meaningful way into your business planning (other than to confirm what you are already thinking). Similar to the saying by John Wanamaker something like I know 50% of my ad dollars are wasted I just don’t know which 50%.

    5. PhilipSugar

      Let us be very clear on how Forrester/Gartner etc work.They call you up and say they’d like to do some analysis/coverage on your company.Ooh that sounds great you say, and then a biz dev guys on and basically twists your arm for $50k.Want to be at the top right??  That is going to cost a lot more.Its much more sophisticated but no different than the Corealone’s 

      1. William Mougayar

        Yeah, I know exactly how it works. I’ve been there as a recipient of that, and as an analyst myself- did a stint for 6 months. That said, there are some good analysts that go beyond that, and they put order and clarity into otherwise obscure trends. That’s what a good analyst does and should do. Colony’s pitch was a bit long on the tooth and it showed. They lost their swagger. 

      2. ShanaC

        ye gods.  How are you supposed to get independent analysis about technology then

        1. PhilipSugar

          Get off your ass and do it yourself.If you are serious you can call all of the major players and they will beat a path to your door.

          1. ShanaC

            I would, except I’m in the middle of doing something else I’m much more interested in and passionate about. Maybe after what I am working on now is done(if that ever happens 🙂 )I’m just horrified at the state of business, if this is what it is. it makes investing in these companies seem foolish, since the information you get to base your investment off of is horrid. It also makes it hard to do accurate predictions of needs. Long term, won’t this tarnished Forrester’s reputation?

          2. PhilipSugar

            Look at the likes and who and how tenured they come from.  State of the industry.

    6. SubstrateUndertow

      Yes indeedy !so many social fads dancing around the mulberry bush in a desperate attempt to distill which social-graph functions are  practical enough, fun enough and sticky enough to be absorbed into the stream of daily mass-culture.



      1. William Mougayar

        True. Each one of us is a futurist. We each see the future according to our own vision of it.

  8. Simon de la Rouviere

    Fascinating talk! Thanks for sharing Fred.He touches a lot of issues. The vendor graph was quite interesting. Regarding the social-hours metric. It is a problem I haven’t actually though of, but it is clear that companies like Facebook are battling this problem. The hours you spend being social, you expect it to be meaningful.Although some people dislike the fact that Facebook is hiding ‘unimportant’ messages, I do think that is a step in the right direction. It is unrealistic (as a person) to gauge what benefit one gains from having to sift through unimportant messages. Facebook might have data showing that it does indeed work. How they measure it effectively, I don’t know.Lastly, I also don’t think Foursquare will disappear. I think a lot of people use because there is ‘dead’ time where you can check in (ie waiting for your order, waiting for your drink, etc).What do you think?

    1. Cam MacRae

      Every time someone ticks I did this on my “Order the fries with truffle salt” tip at the Mitre Tavern I become a little surer that Foursquare isn’t “junk”. Facebook… now that’s junk…

      1. fredwilson

        Omg. Where is the mitre tavern???

        1. Cam MacRae

          Melbs, so it’s a bit of a mission for you to drop in 🙂

          1. fredwilson

            melbourne? if so, one of my top ten cities in the world. awesome place.

          2. Cam MacRae

            yep. it’s one of the truly great cities of the world – tragic that everyone visits sydney instead.

          3. fredwilson

            when we went to australia, we visited both and melbourne had more grit and more soulit reminded me of NYC in many ways

          4. Cam MacRae

            @fredwilson:disqus yes, in many ways. have places in both. my energy is more evenly measured here, but NYC is always like a shot in the arm.

    2. fredwilson

      I think he doesn’t understand foursquare in the least.And I thought the vendor chart was awfulThe talk was quite good however

      1. LE

        “The talk was quite good however”I didn’t think it was good. He speaks to slow for me. It took him to long to make his points. For my taste that is.Speaking of being short on time I find having to spend 20 minutes to listen to someone speak to hear a message like this (and forget the quality of the points) an incredibly inefficient use of time. I could read and understand a much much greater quantity of information in the same amount of time.  (And I’m not even talking about actually being at a conference I’m just talking about watching the video.) I don’t feel his live delivery added anything to his message. If anything it detracted.

  9. Emmanuel Bellity

    Did you watch the startup competition at LeWeb ? We got 2nd with HeyCrowd 🙂

    1. Luke Chamberlin


    2. fredwilson

      Didn’t see it. Will try to watch laterand congratulations!

    3. Rohan

      Congrats Emmanuel! 🙂

  10. Bruce Wayne

    Social, Search, etc are not dead….I believe that there will be innovation and disruption…In my view the innovation that will up end many of the incumbents has little to do with the birth or death of any tech and more to do with disruptive cutting edge business models. There have been very few innovations on the standard business models for internet companies. Most if not all the business models for at least the past 20 years have put the companies financial well begin above those of the “Communities” that have give them “VALUE”.I think that companies that have become “public”  or have taken investment that prevents them from radically changing their business models to ones that Financially put the “Community” first will be at a great disadvantage and will more than likely not have the ability to react quickly enough against new competitors that have adopted hybrid Community first business models

  11. Tom Labus

    MSFT in the process of hiring TV executive(s) for Xbox.  I agree with this part of his talk about their “revival”.  I believe it has already started with Mango.Yeah, I’m ready to see a more productive social world and for me that’s social enterprise.

    1. SubstrateUndertow

      Three cheers for fresh leadership at MicrSoft!

  12. Brandon Burns

    The very premise of his talk is flawed. It doesn’t matter that networks are improving slower than processors and storage — those 2 things can’t connect you to data outside your machine, the data I want. If what I want is a dog, I don’t care that cat breeders are getting more efficient — I still want a dog.Also, the slower speed of network growth has little to do with capability and more to do with business politics. Little known fact: Verizon is sitting on heaps of untapped network potential with FiOS. Of the 3 little fiber optic wires in a FiOS cable, only 1 is turned on. Why? Because they have no reason to increase bandwidth when that 1 little wire greatly trumps all the power a whole bunch of copper wires (i.e. the competition) can produce.And that’s just debunking the base for his argument. The rest just falls apart from there. Nice try with the “end of the web” scare tactic, though. It was thought provoking. 

    1. Brandon Burns

      Also, when HTML5 is more ubiquitous, it will all change in a thunderstorm overnight. HTML5 will allow us to tap the internet AND seamlessly cache the data consumed for offline use later. The experience he says is missing… well, that’s it right there. And it’s ready now. Just need the hardware providers to follow suit with compatibility so the developers can jump on making things. 

    2. Luke Chamberlin

      Totally agree – network growth lagging behind has little to do with technology and is mostly about monopolies and regulation.

      1. carribeiro

        It’s not THAT simple.Anybody could increase the speed on the access, at the edge of the networks. But speed is getting harder to increase at the core.It’s pretty much like the situation with server CPUs five years ago. You couldn’t simply keep increasing the clock rate. More cores were needed. We’re still digesting this architectural change.With core routers it’s the same. 100 GE is terribly expensive and is taking way longer than anyone ever imagined. The new networks of the future can’t rely on increasing bandwitdh at the core routers. It will require an architectural change, with richer connectivity, that will make traffic engineering much more complicated, something that current ISPs aren’t exactly keen to do right now.

        1. Luke Chamberlin

          Hitachi vs Seagate vs Western Digital drives down the price of storage because they’re forced to continually invest in R&D or lose market share and become irrelevant.If ISPs were forced to compete in the same way you would see more investments in new architecture.

          1. SubstrateUndertow

            Cellular DNA networks mandate a giant distributed processing hint-sheet should we chose to see our social organizations as simply higher level instances of complex living systems.I don’t see any other complex-system homeostasis-cheat-sheets which demonstrate a better time tested success rate!

        2. ShanaC


        3. ei_dscanlon

          There’s still innovation happening at the “core” – take a look at Intune Networks, an Irish company using tunable lasers to optimise packet switching and transport

    3. ShanaC

      *headthunk* we need the fcc to starting interfering on the subject

    4. SubstrateUndertow

      I think the mobile edge networks are the limiting factor here.Autonomously processing localized complexity at the edge of larger complex systems  supports redundant error-tolerance throughout the system as a whole.It also distributes network load, distributes synchronicity framing and reduces unnecessary level-mixing cross-talk not to mention power consumption.

  13. Amber

    The problem with “Social” is we put it in a neat box and call it “Social”. Social is B.S. It’s not social, it’s communication. Everything is communication. It always has been, and it always will be. Communication, more efficient communication with each other is where we are going. Calling it “Social” is like calling a tree.. wood.

    1. SubstrateUndertow

      “Social is B.S. It’s not social, it’s communication.”I call you on communication and raise you to signalling!Communication is B.S. It’s not communication, it’s signalling.Just being silly 😉       O         O   ^__^          o  (oo)_______             (__)       )/                 ||—-w |                  ||      ||

      1. Guest

        Well actually you are half right. It is signaling if you are referring to the outgoing messages. Everything we do is a signal. That is partially what I meant when I said “Everything is communication”. What you wear, the pictures you post, the check-ins, it’s all signaling a message you want to communicate about your self. What makes it communication is the consumption of messages from others. That is the other side of communication, the incoming streams.What will eventually make this process more efficient is that you will be sending signals automatically. On the flip side “Ambient Information Streams” will come to you to make you aware of what is important. This is the post-social and more efficient world to come.

        1. Sam

          Write something useful!

        2. Alex Murphy

          I think this is called intuition in the real world we call Earth. 🙂

    2. Alex Murphy

      100% agree.  Whether you want to call it communication, discussions, interactions, or whatever, they all apply.  Social has been on the web since the first chat room.  It actually predated the web with bulletin boards.  The new phenomenon is more about the distribution and interactivity between applications.  i.e. logging in to Disqus on AVC and on 20 other blogs.  Being able to post information about one site on to Facebook that someone gets an update about in their email.  It is the speed and automation and ease of use that defines the current times.  All of this makes communication happen with less friction.  

  14. Ronnie Rendel

    B”H”Web is software we put over Internet and will be replaced…”  Like”Power moving to apps from HTML…” – Like, I would add that IDENTITY along with the mobile devices we carry around us all day will leverage apps to give us new Internet experiences, and will even exponentially grow human intelligence and productivity.”Google wanting to freeze the web” – wrong.  Google has data, and data is not just HTML.  And we haven’t felt yet the consequences of Google’s mobile push.  I would argue that it’s a great time to strategically short Apple, there’s only one way for it to go.  Look for more app adoption on Android and remember – Google (and Facebbok) has the huge data that is essentially a “footprint” for the human race (sounds grand, but not far from reality).Microsoft?  Interesting.  Games certainly yes.  And in fact human interactions on the social web need the “theme” and objectives provided by games, so expect everything to become gamified (like FourSquare).But for Microsoft to reinvent itself it needs to completely revolutionize its “enterprise” culture and internal processes that make it difficult for any software giant to reinvent itself.  Apple doing it was very special and unusual.  My bet is Microsoft won’t do it, but Who knows…

  15. kenberger

    What’s your current method of choice to pilot the vid watching in the family room?Boxee Box watch later queue, or the Youtube app on boxee or on another product? Or is mac mini still your main driver?I use all of the above, nightly. Addicted to it.btw, our group in Vietnam cooked up this “Pandora for video” side project:

    1. fredwilson

      something entirely new that will launch shortlystay tuned

      1. kenberger

        you know how to get a hold of me to help know I’ve been deep into this realm longer than most and can add key feedback.

        1. fredwilson

          its right smack in the middle of your wheelhouse

          1. kenberger

            sounds like you’ll either a) hip me to it privately, or b) be responsible for my sleeping disorder this week.:^)



  16. jeffjarvis

    Newspapers and magazines thought apps would be their future but I’ve seen a few tranches of research that show that most news is still used on the web rather than branded apps. Meanwhile, HTML (finally) allows web services to have the power of apps while maintaining the connectivity of the link. (See the Guardian’s iPad app for a failure to maintain connectivity.)What George’s simplistic chart misses is appropriateness of use. Gilt may be more appropriate on a controlled app; news is more appropriate in a connected and updated web. As for social, I agree with Mark Zuckerberg: It’s not an app; it’s a layer on all apps as it is a layer on our world: people affecting people. To say that we’re saturated socially is as absurd as saying we have too much information. His entire taxonomy of “using social” is meaningless. In my book, I write that my son sees Facebook’s wall as conversation (while I, from an age past, saw it as a means of publishing). What the hell does “doing social” mean? When you’re at work, talking with colleagues, learning things through what they tell you, getting things done collaboratively, are you “doing social” or “doing work” or doing work socially. Thus Zuckerberg brings his platform – his doing social — to music, then games, now news, next what? Social, George, is not an application. It is a layer. Post social? That’s so much #PPTbs. 

    1. William Mougayar

      Hey Jeff- Good points. “Social inside” is a metaphore I use which means that the App on the outside gets better with social onramps and offramps.The social acid test is what happens if you remove the social layer from it. I like your thinking about layers because layers add or substract value, and that’s what “social” does.

    2. ShanaC

      It isn’t a layer, it is innate to our being.  If you are anti-social (not web anti-social, just anti-social) you’re considered to be a person with problems.It is high time that technology was built around us, rather us around technology.  Unfortunately, we’re still in a period where we’re trying to rebuild ourselves (while also slowly building out technology that works with us.)  So of course we’re hearing the social backlash

      1. jeffjarvis

        Well said.

        1. ShanaC

          Thank you

    3. fredwilson

      i’m with you jeff. the link is why the web is the place for me



        1. andyidsinga

          ..and apps can already support urls on major ( all ?) OSs by registering their own url protocol :)fakegrimlock://noeat/avcers

          1. FAKE GRIMLOCK


          2. andyidsinga

            I suppose one reason *why not to* is that it breaks up the experience between a web site running in the browser and the app that handles the URL.But if that experience break up is ok and the app developer can significantly upgrade the user experience beyond the browser by popping into a non-browser app – why not 🙂 (note: non-browser app can still by hybrid web app with html/js/css etc – which imho is sweet)BTW – I found this interesting site on the subject – lists a bunch of apps that handle protocols and matched base urls.

        2. fredwilson

          do you think that will happen?foursquare does that with much of its app.but i don’t see many mobile apps that do that

          1. FAKE GRIMLOCK


          2. Timothy Meade

            Why wifi?Google is missing:1) Siri2) searchable apps, intents and providers are a start but not enough. Google had multi computer search in the desktop. The desktop app but badly executed and killed for privacy concenrs.3) a cool social layer, Hangouts over plus any day, Plus is antiseptic and doesn’t provide. Perceived utility tet.$) Back to 1, “abient data feeds” were mentioned in a earlier post, that’s the right way to look at it. My dream is a wall of flatscreens listening to my ongoing monlogue and providing relevant facts. The other half of this is a data feed like best buy is providing wolfram alpha and therefore Siri. Google is the ultimate aggregator of machine-to-machine rss/atom data feeds, or really should be.

          3. andyidsinga

            punch “twitter://” into your ipad browser address bar then hit go :)unfortunately in a few minutes of digging I can’t find the docs that say what else can be done with this.see also my comment to fg below.

    4. SubstrateUndertow

      Great point on visualizing social as an integrated layer.But I thing you can have – too much socialjust like you can havetoo much informationortoo much fiat money”a point in all directions is no point at all”

  17. jer979

    I walked away underwhelmed.First off…that’s what the slides from the CEO of Forrester look like? Ugh. Death by PowerPoint.Secondly, I don’t think there’s any really big idea here…”we’ll move away from time-wasters to more efficient platforms.” Well, of course.Then, he trashes Foursquare (I’m sure that hurt you ;-), but I think it was the wrong kind of dig at them.  There’s a lot of value in 4sq, but I agree it needs to get better, more seamless.It’s fun to predict the end of the Web, but I think he’s oversimplifying so that it supports his thesis.  The app is where experience (which I agree is very important) is embodied, but the innovation happens in the free range web…codified in the app.Thanks for sharing. A good Sun AM thought-starter.

    1. mediasres

      The first 10 minutes made me excited: there are going to be some big ideas here. The last 7 minutes almost turned into a Mashable article. Apps are big, customers are big, lol.More infographics please.

  18. ColleB's Lit/Media

    Yep Fred I can see why the web will be taken over by the early ecosystem as yep, there’s not enough time in the day to do firstly, shopping, then for most, childcare and social at the last moment.  Yep, apps are more efficient, faster and simpler to use than the web so I see apps from Apple (yes overcharges, Google, Amazon and Microsoft emerging as the post social early ecosystems, to take over from the web.

  19. reece

    ha yup… same behavior for me ;)out of Le Web, i’d bookmarked this conversation between @dens:twitter and Scoble

    1. fredwilson

      didn’t love that one

      1. reece

        guess i won’t watch it thensocial filter FTW

    2. Gary Sharma

      Link above didn’t work. I liked the Shervin/Sean-Parker convo. 

      1. reece

        woops… here ya go

  20. David

    Who cares about what is predicted.  I care about what’s invented.  The future is just an idea until someone makes it happen.

    1. SubstrateUndertow

      Lets not throw out the baby with the bath water!Prediction is a useful catalytic ingedient in creative synthesis.

  21. Joe Alicata

    Would you mind sharing the feed for that queue?

    1. fredwilson

      dont’ know how. i will see how to change that

  22. LE

    “social saturation” The social saturation “running out of people” doesn’t take into account new kids going into social when they are old enough and allowed. The world of new users isn’t static. Is it hyper? No it’s not hyper growth. But why does everything have to be hyper big anyway. Right now there is a bunch of elementary school children that aren’t users of social. They will be when they get old enough. So unless someone can predict the rate of people leaving social the universe of people will grow just based on what the birth rate has been and is going to be.

  23. Steve Hallock

    I don’t understand the logic of “everyone is already using it, and everyone is already spending a ton of time on it, so it is dead”.  Are restaurants dead?  They seem to have pretty high penetration.  Are cars dead?  What is the mechanism that makes that logic sound?As for the app/internet, I really don’t think the model is the same for Mobile and PC.  On my PC, I prefer to do as much as possible in the browser.  It is quick, simple, and gives me maximum flexibility.  I have a bunch of chrome apps installed but I never use them.  On mobile, I much prefer using apps.  I think this is a function of it being hard to type (typing out a web address on mobile sucks) and the requirement to back out to the home screen often.

    1. LE

      “I don’t understand the logic of “everyone is already using it, and everyone is already spending a ton of time on it, so it is dead”.  Are restaurants dead?  They seem to have pretty high penetration.  Are cars dead?  What is the mechanism that makes that logic sound?”Investment community doesn’t like, among other things, (what is called in business school) cash cow businesses. They like something where they can hit a home run. Something that is a market leader that can squash the competition and win the prize.  They write off a business like yahoo simply because it’s not google. This of course defies traditional business where you can be Avis.…Avis: “Their corporate motto is “We Try Harder” It was adopted in 1962[4] (during the tenure of Robert Townsend as its CEO) to make a more positive reference of Avis’ status as the second largest car rental company in the US, at the expense of its larger competitor The Hertz Corporation.”The media is complicit in this (and of course the media relies heavily on research firms like Forrester and Gartner).  You don’t get to page one by being number two or three. (During 911 the Pentagon hit if I remember correctly was on page 3 of the New York Times.)

  24. glasten

    I completely agree with the assessment that most of the current “social web” is reaching its limit in the time-wasted dimension (how many more hours can a person dedicate to listening music socially, for example?), and that any real advances will happen along the lines of value/efficiency. 

  25. Srini Raja

    People like to waste time. They love to watch TV everyday, spend time on doing things that don’t change world and they enjoy doing it. That is the reality. So this concept of productivity filled social world is never going to happen. Folks may switch from one time-wasting app/tool to another but they like to waste time to enjoy things probably because their boss lectured them how productive they must be and they wasted a minute taking restroom breaks between meetings. :)FB, Twitter, Youtube and TV are the closest best time wasters today. It can be something else but the fact that People like to waste time will never go away.

    1. SubstrateUndertow

      But wait!Enjoyment is never a waste of time 😉

      1. Srini Raja

        🙂 Games are fun and 4sq is a such a wonderful game that people will go out of their productive day to play it. As long as 4sq sticks to its entertainment value they will not only be relevant but they will rule the location space.

    2. fredwilson

      youtube is so massivethat and android are the two best M&A deals of the last decade

      1. Srini Raja

        Yes youtube is massive because it caters to a wide audience and interests. I go there for a variety of reasons from finding out how to hang a picture to listening music to khan academy.I never went there to save time or be productive, rather it was usually to entertain myself or to learn something.

        1. howardlindzon

          agree YouTube was never about wasting time for me.  I like that people dont get that.  that is the opportunity 

      2. howardlindzon

        and that is why $goog is at all-time highs and forrester is talking $msft …guy should look at stocktwits once in a while.

    1. William Mougayar

      Context for your link please? (edit and tell us it’s your review of LeWeb bla bla bla)

  26. Dan Cornish

    The useful web is what is next. I love the idea of apps interacting with the cloud. Look at Evernote as a great example. I never use the web app, but I use the mac client every day. The social enterprise is really a better, faster and chapter to interact with customers. How about better faster cheaper ways to process payments, invoices, purchase orders, support tickets, line of business apps? The established players are very vulnerable to an innovation inflection point. Who is innovating in the enterprise where most of the wealth in the world is created? The social internet is just a warm up.

  27. JLM

    Think you’re being a bit tough on the prognosticator.  In baseball, you hit 0.402 and your’re Teddy Williams.Looking at the past is always a good way to think about the future.  It just makes a difference how far into the past you look.As I am fond of saying — nobody has 20 years experience anymore, they have one year of experience 20 times.  Maybe it’s even as rapid a cycle as 3-6 months.I am struck by a couple of things recently — maybe we are seeing revolutions and thus the spread of democracy driven by the Internet, social media and enhanced communication.A much cheaper way to foment and export revolution no doubt but hugely more effective for the spread of democracy than any other form of government.Last night’s Republican Presidential debate was sponsored, in part, by Yahoo.  Distinctly different than just 4 years ago.What is not going to change is the desire for people to communicate, educate, inform, socialize, purchase, view — life on a more efficient basis.  Some of these changes have become so fundamental that folks are beginning to forget how they used to do it before.As the Wiseman and Sage of Lancaster said years ago — “This Internet stuff could be huge!”

    1. William Mougayar

      Well said JLM. Any technology that doesn’t integrate well with our lives, whether work or personal is not going to make it. I will say this again: Social is inside. Jeff Jarvis says it’s a layer. Same thing. The driver becomes one of the needs you described, such as communications, education, knowledge, etc…If a “social layer” helps to enhance, improve, add, extend, etc… whatever the first need is, then it will stick and it will stay. Right now, we’re trying to shove social into a whole lot of things, and for some things, that will stick, but for others it won’t. 

    2. ShanaC

      I’m not so happy about companies sponsoring the debates.  I really want them to stop mixing politics and money

      1. JLM

        Darling, Shana, how utterly sweet and disarming.  Charming really!”stop mixing politics and money”Politics is money.  It is as obvious and undiluted as being in a whorehouse and asking — “hmmm, well, what’s going on in here?”It is disgustingly obvious and apparent.As to the famous comment about estate taxes —“What is the difference between a whore and a politician?””The whore will stop screwing you when you die!”

        1. Rohan

          On a completely different note, I saw The Help.Loved it. I teared up in a few places. Thanks for your recommendation, JLM. 🙂

          1. JLM

            I know folks of that age in Jackson, Mississippi where it was set.  True story!This is the last vestige of segregation in the American South.  It was set at a time that segregation was known to be an abomination but it had not yet been outlawed.It is a difficult place in the US to understand — the most hospitable part of the country with the last remnants of a barbaric system which prevails as an undercurrent to this day.And, yet, those fabulous, fabulous, fabulous black women raised those white babies as if they were their very own.  And they could all cook. 

          2. Rohan

            That was, for me, the most inspiring part.When Skeeter looks her mom in they eye and says ‘I needed someone to look up to.’That says it all really. Couldn’t help tearing up then. It just goes to underline how our social instincts have us form ‘gangs’. And thank god for progress – bringing with it more culture. It’s still only a thin veil, in my humble opinion. Largely, these forces still exist.. (and I don’t mean it in a pessimistic way. I guess it is what it is..)

          3. Guest

            I was about 7 or 8 years old and one of the fabulous black women that raised us brought my brother and me to the local town pool.  We were turned away.  My mother came back with us to confront the person that had not let us in.  An old lady wagged her finger in the fabulous woman’s face and said “What if she had to jump into the pool and save them”!  True Story.  In my life experiences in MS, racism and segregation were very much on the surface.  I have been very vocal against the organization that still runs that pool.  Obviously I was upset at not being asked to be queen of their confederate pageant.    I’m a little hesitant to post this under my real name publicly, but will do so because it is the truth.     

          4. fredwilson

            Real names be proof

          5. JLM

            @KellyFJames:disqus  I still love fried chicken from Greenville, MS.  I stop there to refuel and eat the chicken.Lot of history in MS — spent lots of time in Natchez, Vicksburg, Greenville, Biloxi (before gambling), Pascagoula and Gulfport.  Love that MS food.

        2. Frankly I'm Surprised

          I am surprised by a lot of smart people who say the same thing Shana said above. To paraphrase:”Companies and money should be driven out of politics.”With all due respect, I find this a very naive world view.Companies are made up of people, they are not made up of robots.Money comes from people, not from alien robots who wish ill on the human race.Surprisingly, I haven’t head these same folks say “Unions should be out of politics”. I wonder why.

          1. ShanaC

            I’m angry that we’re at the point with money in politics that we’ve abstracted most of the humans who vote out of it.  Most of congress makes a lot of money.  We’re at the point were we are turning into a neo-roman empire with bread and circuses, and I think we could move from that path if we didn’t allow for unlimited funds in politics.  Politicians would become more relatable with the normal people in the US

          2. JLM

            Same problem w/ unions and companies (though companies have not yet been players until United ruling by SCOTUS) — members fund it and senior management spends it.Unions outCompanies outLobbyists outBundlers out

        3. ShanaC

          🙂 I’m actually charming in real life.  And I think up to a year ago, I actually could have gone into a whorehouse and asked what was going on in there….More seriously, what happened – I feel like every year there is a new teapot dome scandal, and that politicians are un relatable (see Newt and Romeny).  Taking some of the money out of politics and effectively capping the money may make politicians more relatable than reasonable as opposed to me thinking PACs are the best answer…

          1. JLM

            I would take all the money out of politics if it could be done constitutionally.

      2. Rohan

        +1 (new pic) 🙂

        1. ShanaC

          Thank you Rohan – I’ve kept the old pic for way too long, and I don’t really look the way I did anymore (gained weight, lost weight, got different glasses) Figured it was time for a change.

          1. Rohan

            This looks happier Shana. That’s why I like it! 🙂 

          2. ShanaC


    3. fredwilson

      speaking of the debate, what do you think of newt JLM?

      1. JLM

        Pragmatically speaking, I don’t think that Santorum, Huntsman, Perry, Bachmann, Paul can get the nominaton under any circumstances.Mitt can’t beat Obama.So in some ways, we are left with Newt.Newt is an idea guy and as such he is prone to say stuff that is really his sense of “thinking out loud” which is going to be trouble for him.  His comment about the Palestinians is correct but it is still not particularly smart.Newt has a long, deep and rich legislative history and has lived through the reality of restraining spending.  A lesson that most other folks including the President do not possess.I thought he was dead meat when all his staff jumped ship and went back to Perry but they apparently have returned.  This toughness is usually the back story to any successful Presidential run.  Remember President Hillary?  Well, neither do I.I think the Republicans have done something — maybe accidentally —pretty smart by having so many debates so early.  This will give them a lot of time to hammer Obama.I don’t like that fact that he cheated on two wives.  But I am a bit of a Puritan, I think.He is very glib and has a historian’s command of the issues — so he will be hell on wheels in any debates plus he has just enough of an edge.VP selection could be the crowning move — Rubio is the big choice.Long way to the election.

        1. fredwilson

          That’s very helpful. Why can’t Mitt beat Obama?

          1. JLM

            Mitt is too rich, too many houses, cannot talk his way out of Romneycare (Obamacare being Obama’s greatest weakness).Newt nailed him on his Mr Outsider claim — he’s an outsider only because Teddy Kennedy wiped the floor up w/ him. He is not the common man.Mitt is the top 0.1% and because Obama really cannot run on his track record, this election will be all about governing philosophy and class warfare and who CAN represent the lower and middle classes — where most of the votes live.Mitt is a guy who bought companies and sent in the HBS clowns to make them more efficient by getting rid of people.That will not play well when the real issue should be JOBS.Obama may be inept and incompetent about CREATING jobs but Mitt is the guy who fired YOU.  And you hate that guy.I also don’t think he is a good counterpuncher when things are tight.  Obama is terrible at it but he has the Chicago machine to stand in for him.This may be Newt’s biggest advantage.  He knows the history of all of this stuff and can deliver it extemporaneously.I think Newt is brilliant to want to get it on w/ Obama as he makes him look cowardly because of course he is not going to do it but it makes you listen harder when they do.I see the big challenge for Newt — can he run a big nationwide operation?  No social media advantage for Obama this time around.

          2. Rohan

            So, who would you put your money on overall? Obama? or Newt? 🙂 (Thanks for the nice analysis, JLM! Perfect for someone like me who is completely outside the system – that’s saying something)

          3. David Clarke

            This particular dead horse has been comprehensively flogged elsewhere, but it is worth noting that a lot of folks (i.e. voters!) would also say that Romneycare/Obamacare are in fact major and civilizing achievements which don’t necessarily represent a threat to the American way of life…

          4. John Revay

            Seems that Mitt can beat Obama, of all the candidates Mitt is more down the middle / center.If you were mainstream republican – I would worry the Newt wins the convention and looses the election.

    4. howardlindzon

      love it

    5. Gary Sharma

      “What is not going to change is the desire for people to communicate, educate, inform, socialize, purchase, view”Good point. The fundamental desires don’t change. Just the shape and form in which we consume them changes or rather evolves. 

  28. David Semeria

    First off Fred, props for posting a video containing the statement “nonsense like FourSquare will be swept away”.Sophistry is an art, and it is built on time-tested principles: present some undeniable facts, and then use them to support your thesis.Who is going to argue that Moore’s law is wrong?But, excuse me, where the merry fuck is the connection between Moore’s law and social? He’s all over the place. So you can’t play video games in HTML? Does this really imply that the “web will be replaced”?For a start, HTML and HTTP are two different beasts. You can quite easily play Call of Duty natively on your faster-than-a-1980s-cray iPad, whilst sharing your game state over HTTP. Even more, Google’s NaCl already allows native code to be run in the browser. Local execution and distributed state sharing are two entirely different issues. And, more to the point, what on earth as any of this to do with social?He then changes tack and says  (paraphrasing) “people don’t have any more time for social – they’ve reached their limit.”And what does any of this have to do with computing power, or storage capacity, or protocols, or anything else?No offence (sic) to Forrester, but I wouldn’t pay for this stuff.Rather ironically, I do actually believe social is fundamentally flawed (for a number of reasons), but nothing in this talk provided any additional information to me, either way.

    1. Dave Linabury

      Very good points David, but to your point about Moore’s Law, Moore himself decided his “law” was incorrect later on.

      1. David Semeria

        Hi Dave, rather than debating whether Moore’s Law is true or not, I’ll share something else with you:When disqus alerted me that someone had replied to my comment, I went back to read it to get some context. I read what I had written and thought “Wow, that’s seriously disjointed and full of non-sequiturs” So I now posit David’s First Law of Commenting:The likelihood of a comment being badly written and/or lacking any logical flow is directly proportional to those same characteristics being lacking in the material being commented upon.In other words, bollocks begets bollocks…

    2. ShanaC

      Google’s NaCl and Microsoft’s Kinect are two really important technology developments not discussed here. If I can use my body to manipulate the web, that opens up a whole new sense of what we can do.

      1. David Semeria

        NaCl isn’t aimed at people maniupulating things with their bodies, Shana.

        1. ShanaC

          I know, But long NaCl will be able to run kinect programs.  It’s a c compiler in browser.  which means native apps (like kinect apps) could run in browser.  I haven’t seen that tried, but in theory you could do it.

    3. mediasres

      Agree David, Some very sloppy transition between ideas here. And all the attention callers, like “post-Social”, are actually misleading.And in what way is the App Internet the demise of the Web Internet? The App Internet feeds off of the Web Internet, and social.(sigh.)

    4. fredwilson

      i like to shine a light on statements i don’t agree with!

    5. Dave Pinsen

      I should have surfed the comments before leaving mine, because your first sentence beat me to mine almost verbatim. 

  29. LE

    The gist of the point that Fred is touching on comes at about 16 to 19 minutes on the video where George says (I’m quoting but it’s my transcription of what he said):”If you are building social platforms that will require more time of people you will most likely not be successful…and this will sweep away some of the nonsense like foursquare..and time wasting social applications and move to a post social world which is a little like web in year 2000 – lots of companies launched most did not survive. Next wave of social will be social apps that are more efficient faster and easier to use and have a higher value per time equation. So we are not time wasting (that) mode no longer available to social. There will be a new wave of the post social of new players more efficient more time saving. The post social players will dominate.”So the way I read this (earth shattering research by the way and truly remarkable analysis!!!) is that better stuff will come along or the stuff that is here will get better because, wow, people will always gravitate to the best use of their time and value for their money and we are now at the point. This is obvious of course. I mean kids no longer do hobbies like they use to  because they have things that are more exciting that they want to do with their time. (Back when I was growing up I remember going to the hobby store and picking up an airplane to put together and paint, do kids do that anymore? I don’t think that many do, right?  And it’s obvious why.) And this happens with everything. Quality of experience gets better when demand goes up. Old players who don’t keep up are pushed out. Or they can’t keep up because they don’t want to cannibalize what they already have going on. No big news here. That being said saturation point with time is a big deal. I used to spend my time reading on the web certain sites and now my time has shifted to other sites because I’ve found a better experience. And I’m sure what I am reading today could easily change based on something new and better coming along. The barriers to entry are low so the iteration possibilities are high. 

  30. SanfordPI

    Okay Fred – here are some thoughts:AppInternet: I agree with his estimate in the sense that servers are still having a challenge to deal with realtime response across the WAN – which is why the different waves in the past (e.g., three tier architectures, fat-client/thin-server, JavaStation anyone?) have come and gone.  When I taught a class on the growth of technology, we had similar assumptions and saw that network was always lagging.  Telcos can not deploy technology fast enough or want to – especially when they have to outlay major capital for the increase of networks.  So, while his pointing out of the speed of growth of processors and storage is nice, the problem has been with us for a while – often known as “bus speed” issues – which is why onboard caching happened in the first place.  And I have to argue the point about “Can’t play Call of Duty can not play on the web” especially since we DO have major processing on the periphery and the core.  I can speak to how Xbox and Sony spent a great deal of time working on ensuring that the speed and latency protocols were speced out and addressed – and that networks are able to provide a specific minimum speed on their network nowadays.  Yes, not everyone can get the performance they would like – but communication between the two endpoints is becoming faster and less contentious and will eventually run into the real limitation – the speed of light.  But the idea that an AppInternet solution will work out – yes, there are indications this is happening already with Siri, google’s new Voice Commands and such.  What it signifies to me is the fact that companies need to think about the endpoints as much as the core, but what is the difference between that and thinking about desktop or laptop endpoints?  Make the communications efficient and improve the protocols.Social Saturation – I was intrigued by his statements about how people are running out of hours and out of people – essentially saying that the Attention Economy was saturated – a piece of wisdom Doc Searls has been saying for a while. I believe that the utility function he provides (higher value per unit time spent) is fine – but too general.  How much do you value knowing about your friends whereabouts as a 40 year old versus knowing the sentiment of the stock buying public sooner than Bloomberg if you are a 16 year old girl in pigtails?  Efficiency is a great metric – but understanding the problem that is being solved and reducing the cognitive costs as well as adding value would be my bet on the “post-social” world.And as for Enterprise Social – what thunderstorm is there?  That the techies and the marketing folk will have to work together?  And that the existing players that are in the CIO suite will have to step up for social?  I am willing to put my money on players like Yammer before I put money on IBM for the enterprise social success.  The challenge is that the big guys have the access and the pursestrings.  I hope that the Accentures and the DTes of the world continue to offer innovation through working with the “smaller” guys.

  31. SanfordPI

    And I might agree that we are entering the phase that “YALA” is happening (yet another location app) – but the companies that have innovation are delivering on it (see SCVNGR) and others will find niches and live and/or die on their business model.  I think the market maturity and saturation has hit a point that investors are not investing – and that YALA is not going to succeed.But then again – did we not go through a death knell of YASN stories – and both Facebook and tumblr rose?  Hmmm….

  32. Yalim K. Gerger

    Some harsh words there for Foursquare. What is your take on that?

    1. fredwilson

      it shows he doesn’t use the product and has no idea what they are about and where they are headed

      1. LE

        While (as I said in another comment) there is no excuse that he doesn’t get it it is the responsibility of the company to make sure that someone like Forrester people, journalists and other influencers have a positive impression of their product and knowledge of what it’s all about. And the fact that he called it “nonsense” shows a particular degree of contempt.  And it doesn’t matter if he is right or wrong. Statements like that create damage. Foursquare (and other companies) should take that as a lesson to work hard to use whatever “creative” ways they have to to prevent something like this happening. Has anyone from Foursquare ever contacted anyone from Forrester or Gartner to make sure they get it? My guess is this never happened.

        1. andyidsinga

          calling forrester or gartner is the *last* thing anyone from foursquare should do. non of the coffee shops, pho restaurants, thrift shops or micro brew pub owners in my neighborhood read forrester or gartner reports to figure out what the heck foursquare is 🙂

        2. fredwilson

          great criticism

      2. Yalim K. Gerger

        After several months with Foursquare, I unfortunately realized that it brings no real value to me and stopped using it.There were four ways that I hoped to get value.First and foremost, I was hoping that it would help me find cool places when I am traveling. It did deliver this to some extent but sadly TripAdvisor is a lot more useful in this aspect. In Istanbul, the city where I live, this benefit disappears because I already find out about new places through other means.Second was just to keep a log of where I’ve been. Facebook check-in is just as good for this.Third was to keep a record of good times I have with friends and family. You know…check-in and attach a picture and a few lines of comments…Facebook with check-in along with the Timeline is sooo much better for this.My fourth reason was to find out if a friend is nearby. This happens so rarely that it’s not worth to keep checking in. Besides Facebook has the same functionality as well.So overall, despite desperately trying to find a place for Foursqaure in my iPhone, I just could not find a reason to keep using it. Sadly, Facebook Check-in as a nice feature to the overall Facebook experience was good enough.This makes me think that Foursqaure is in somewhat of a trouble. I worry that there may be well established players at the destination they are headed.

  33. testtest

    boring talk. he’s got rudimentary understanding of the web.

    1. William Mougayar

      That wasn’t his best talk. He tried to cram everything in 20 mins. The first 15 mins were totally useless rehashed crap.

      1. testtest

        this was a better talk from LeWeb, imo:Bill Gross, Founder & CEO, Idealab “Learning From Failure: 20 Years of Entrepreneurial Lessons in 20…    

  34. hansHager

    kind of think the foursquare dis was not necessary and shows he doesn’t get checking in at all …

    1. fredwilson

      i agree with you

    2. LE

      “shows he doesn’t get checking in at all”While there is no excuse for the fact that “he” doesn’t get it (it’s his job to get it) it’s foursquares fault that there are many regular people that don’t get it. That’s the job of a good marketing, pr, and sales effort.

  35. David Abraham

    The future isn’t predicted it’s created.



      1. William Mougayar

        Lol. I love that one. I will re-share it.But seriously, we are all futurists. Each person sees the future in their own lens.

  36. EmilSt

    He compares absolute to relative numbers.He calls more efficiant social, post social?!?He is making deliberate false “logical triangles” to give impression of a point.And all that with shameless introduction about telling truth through the story of his nephew.PS. About the web versus Apps. I think he is wrong. I like Facebook, twitter and many other web apps. I think they will get even better and match the quality of closed app systems like IPhone or Android. I don’t need to update them, or to think if my iOS is old, or if there is app for my platform or…

  37. kidmercury

    i sort of agree with his “app internet” idea, although, i wouldn’t phrase it that way. i prefer to think of it as “multiple webs.” agreed that out of the top dogs amazon is the one to watch. i also sort of agree with his comments on social. i think users will have a few primary destinations they will go to — but each user will have a different social configuration, and there will be MANY social configurations, and more on the way (so i’m not concerned about “peak social”). the bad news for most investors is that most social destinations will not be worth much (i.e. not worth a billion dollars unless a billion dollars becomes worth a lot less). the real opportunity in social is in the proliferation of small businesses, not google-esque titans. that’s where we really see how today’s environment is quite bubblicious. 

    1. fredwilson

      “unless a billion becomes worth a lot less”and how might that happen kid? 😉

    2. markslater

      radical distributed nodes.the entire construct of aggregation leading to locked in value is going to explode. think about it. businesses that are built around the aggregation and mining of user data (however intelligent) are on borrowed time. the trend is moving quicker and quicker towards a user centric connected world, where control of and monetization of what we contribute to the web will begin to actually include us – the people who create the bits and bytes that allows aggregators to profit. 

      1. Timothy Meade

        Maybe, but it’s difficult to imagine participation of individual ‘nodes’ again. The internet was built around nodes, some of which became hosts and became the repositories of most consumer content. The protocol was HTTP but that part is really irrelevant. There were/are many hosts but only a few a aggregateors, directories or search engines. What happens when Google doesn’t need this distinction of host, as facebook and twitter don’t today? It goes away and the protocol becomes two-way SPDY to a Google datacenter from a Google webbrowser (on every platform, device and consumer electronics category running Google software.)

  38. William Mougayar

    That video was so boring to watch. It made me realize we’re in a Post-Forrester phase. It’s called Gartner.

    1. markslater

      it was rubbish. really.

  39. Rich Ziade

    Speaking to his first “thunderstorm” of the web giving way to internet+apps, I think the unspoken and in my view disturbing point isn’t just the app-ification of the internet, but the appropriation and walling off sub-networks or what he calls “ecosystems” led by Apple and now sought after by Amazon and others. What disturbs me about this trend that he doesn’t speak of is the end of the multiplying effect of the web. As an entrepreneur who’s spoken to VC’s and watched as “app funds” have arisen, the curiosity seems to be around the next great app on platform X. And yes, you can build a successful business on platform X. But you know what won’t materialize? Another platform. Another game-changer that delivers massive value and massive new opportunity.When I uttered the word “platform” to most of these VC’s in regards to Readability, most didn’t buy into it (and some didn’t know what I was talking about). Yes it’s a long (or longer) shot but that’s how entire new worlds are built. Not by the latest hot new game for iTunes but by boldly trying to build new ecosystems, not just building apps within existing ones. A land grab is happening. The web needs allies. Otherwise the next ten years are going to be a lot less interesting than the last ten.

    1. Bob Young

      You are right.  There will be new game changing platforms, they are just really, really hard to predict in advance.  Who would have predicted Microsoft upsetting IBM, Google/Apple/Open Source-RedHat wrong-footing Microsoft, or Facebook threatening Google?  This is why VCs seldom invest in new platforms and the Forresters of this world -never- see them coming.

      1. fredwilson

        we are trying really hard to invest in new platforms Bob. but you are so right that they are hard to see even when you are looking right at them.

        1. Rich Ziade

          Here’s something I tell people as an important test: “Our goal is that in the next 12 months the best app that will be built on our platform won’t be built by us and by someone we’ve never met.” 

        2. Prokofy

          What about Summify? I find that the most useful thing I use every day, it takes all the links in your Facebook and Twitter from news sites and sucks them into one email.

          1. William Mougayar

            Summify is not a platform. It’s social reading & that’s a feature. If you only read what’s popular according to your friends, you’re all reading the same thing, so where is your edge?

          2. howardlindzon

            agreed william…man have I wasted time on this idea.

    2. SubstrateUndertow

      “the appropriation and walling off sub-networks or what he calls “ecosystems” led by Apple and now sought after by Amazon and others”Lets name those OTHERS as they are really the biggest threats to walling off the web into command and control silosthey are Google & Facebook

  40. Jason Bond

    I hate to say this but I dislike this type of talk. I know its coming but just thinking this like this is happen and coming makes me think about the people in the future or even in my time. Where  will we be with out these things in life. This is still scary just to think about these things.

  41. John Davis

    Prediction. Forrester will go the way of the Dodo bird. Seriously!

  42. Lisa Quera

    Regarding App-Internet, just yesterday I discussed the difference between Starbucks and Peets Coffee as shown by their different approaches to payments.  Starbucks has an iPhone app that I really appreciate.  It connects me to Starbucks with an experience beyond payments, including finding stores, free coffee status, nutrition info, and reminding me of my friends’ coffee preferences.  Peets has a little sign at their checkout inviting me to use Google Wallet to pay.  Nice convenience but hardly a connection to Peets.To me this technology choice shows the key difference in their strategic focus: Starbucks prioritizes an overall experience with great app, free wi-fi, nice seating, decent coffee, etc.  Peets prioritizes coffee for connoisseurs’ drinking experience, with a me-to approach to most else.An application is wholly different from an web service, offering entirely different opportunities.Which brings me to Forrester’s Enterprise comments that Enterprise social is all about the customer.  While I agree on that priority, I would not discount internal collaboration as much as he does.  Considering the truly abysmal state of internal collaboration technologies in the major tech enterprises, much less their customer base, the opportunities are massive.  Chatter is a great start but tons of room for improvement in approval processes, contract management, marketing doc management, etc. etc.Thanks so much for posting this, Fred.  I really enjoyed the Sunday morning brain food.  I have to go look up the other videos now.

  43. jason wright

    Has global population growth peaked?Has global population access to online peaked?Has mobile online speed peaked?No, no, and no.  

  44. dragonsearch

    OK, he says, “social will thrive, but in an evolved form” – totally agree – so I don’t guess it’s peaking.

    1. mediasres

      Ric, not really sure why “post social” is post social. Facebook is described as a “web hugger” (if I heard right) and therefore one of the companies that are focusing on the supposedly dying web, but it also obviously is very App Internet with the introduction of frictionless sharing and mobile FB.I’m not really sure what “social” he thinks is ending here.

  45. Can

    I can’t say these insights are more valuable than saying mobile is the future.When we see gap between needs/wants and demand, there’s an opportunity. I believe we can find products or ideas by working on the gaps. But if we use this idea for the whole economy or technology, it almost never work. Except when it works.As far as I see, past-results driven strategy almost never work when the product is the change.

  46. jeffreyhuber

    His comments on higher value ring pretty deeply with me. So much of my time on the web feels low-value and time wasted. I feel like the web’s potential offers so much more.

  47. Douglas Crets

    People who work at Forrester are trying to sell you something. 

  48. george

    On Point!There could be tremendous debate here but inextricably, you find Apple positioned already in the lead. Sure no one can predict the future but they can influence it! Sure no one can control the next unexpected breakthrough but the power is not merely in creating great work, it’s about making it meaningful and valuable; Apple has a great track record of executing on vision and reshaping strategy.The truth is, we are already moving in this direction and Apple is leading us down the path. I prefer to use apps, because speed of delivery and curation matter. Furthermore, its quite evident that this approach will accelerate a better experience and bridge current hardware performance deficiencies in handheld devices.I’m not surprised by this, Steve Jobs foretold the tech future more than once. His passage when resigning, “I believe Apple’s brightest and most innovative days are ahead of it.”People just don’t get it, even if it’s created right in front of their eyes!

  49. patrickdh

    Forecasting that sharepoint is going to make a comeback is scary in the post-social efficient era, while the foursquare time waster plug was clearly intentional for some reason that I am not aware of – yet the best thing about the video is the conversation below – Thanks for sharing

    1. William Mougayar

      Sharepoint is in 90% of large companies. It’s a love-hate relationship for all of them. It was the result of Microsoft’s brilliant marketing of an average product that was marketed as a solution to everything with the word “information” in it.

  50. Dave Linabury

    Agreed. They haven’t been the same (in social) since they lost Charlene Li (IMHO).

  51. John Andrews

    Thanks for sharing Fred.  I’m perplexed by George’s premise.  Social is maxed out by “time wasters” like foursquare but will be supplanted by and app world?  Enterprise social is the next big thing?  While Forrester is thinking big thoughts, companies like Dropbox and Evernote have already changed the space.  Anyone with an enterprise Gmail account will physically fight you if you suggested they had to return to an Outlook system. CIO’s should figure out out to downsize their departments by 50% using the advances already available. The first step to really understanding how social will evolve is to understand that it’s not a separate technology or activity, it’s inherent in activities that people are already doing.  Citing stats like people spend more time “doing” social than shopping misses the point.  People are “doing” social while shopping using “time wasting” tools like foursquare.  As social functionality becomes integrated into most digital devices, we won’t notice it as a discrete “thing”.Enjoy the next phase of disruption Forrester, you’ve become an “old school” digital company.

    1. fredwilson

      i have to agree

      1. Keith Teare

        I have to say I agree Fred –  the part of the speech highlighted here (post-social and enterprise) are the least interesting and the least insightful. However the earlier stuff – the post-pc view that places Facebook and Google as losers and Apple as the winner (so far) is really interesting to me. It begs a lot of questions about the role of Apps and the changing role of the cloud. By positing Android as a client to Google’s cloud, and arguing that Apple’s ecosystem is more aligned with powerful edge devices and a different cloud vision (storage, message delivery, glue between users and apps) I think he is on to something.

  52. Chris Ellis

    Only 33% of the world’s population is online. What would have made that speech more interesting is if his company hadn’t stopped at the consumer level and continued its research in to online adoption outside of urban centres; the internet will get interesting when the world’s poor start getting the same tools as those of us in the west.Wasn’t that the sense which drove us to create the Internet in the first place? When I look at a tree through my window I am closer to the tree than I am to the window. That’s what the web did for us on our PCs, it brought the world closer. Mobile devices enhance that experience because they operate by touch. If I look at something it doesn’t have to be close, it could be miles away but if I in order to touch something it must be next to me.This makes the experience more intimate and that’s making it safer for a new diverse group of people to start embracing technology, like young children and the older generations. Using an iPad doesn’t feel like using scary tech, it’s safe and inviting and draws us in. In fact the device itself fades away like the window and becomes transparent.When people like Mr Colony talk about the future what they really mean is the present; and what’s needed now that we have mainstream adoption of Social Networking Services are better tools for socialising in a way that connects us to new people with different views and cultural backgrounds. That may be the end of a financial bubble but not a human one.

    1. mediasres

      Agree. The restriction of his Doomsday data to urban centers completely skews the picture.

    2. Jon Charles Gore

      Internet will reach poor people through applications on mobile.  The availability of mobile phones means laptops etc will be leapfrogged for information consumption.  If poor person in Africa can receive information and play games on phone, there is no need for the web.  

  53. Carl J. Mistlebauer

    From a perspective of time (24 hours a day, 7 days a week) there is a “ceiling” on exactly how many hours an individual can spend on internet based social media endeavors.  From the perspective of there being 7 billion people populating the world at this given moment, then obviously there is a “ceiling” to expansion of the number of individuals who are participating on internet based social media endeavors.  Nothing really earth shattering about that insight.  I think what the discussion should be is coverage vs. penetration.  You have the majority of the world population involved in social media, in some form or fashion, on a daily basis; that is “coverage.”  I would argue that NOW comes penetration; or where you go for quality rather than quantity.I think there will be a “post social” period and the focus will shift from measurement of users to one of satisfaction of users.  Honestly, I have seen nothing that I would consider “changing the world” in regards to social media, outside of the Arab Spring and OWS, but I do believe that they point to a, for a lack of a better word, a “post social” period.  Right now, for the vast majority of users, social media is still something they engage in with family and friends, people who they already HAD relationships with prior to using social media, and now begins a period where the social becomes an adventure outside of their small pre existing circles to broader and more engaging social experiences.I think one of the biggest problems is that most of the readers of this blog are on the cutting edge of social and technology, and it encompasses your lives completely:  You have dived head first into the future while the vast majority of users are still testing the water temperature with their toes……

  54. PastorVor

    We like to think that what we do, what we discuss, what we want is the way of things.But the vast majority of people are at least a generation or two behind. We have to pull them into the tech world, kicking and screaming! This is why Facebook is so huge. A trained monkey “gets it”. Compare that to Google +. G+ is great for us, but for those who are a generation behind it’s complicated. They don’t “Get it”. Or even worse, Twitter! Even I don’t get Twitter!The winner, in the future will be the company/service/app/webpage that grabs those “unwashed masses”. Face it. We (as in those comfortable with tech) will use anything that’s there. Whatever is built. Whatever the networks will allow us to use. It’s those people like Mom or Dad or little sister who are the real growth potential.When you make a service/device/network that is accepted by my non tech friends and used like it is nothing more than a new pencil or a new pair of shoes, THAT’S when you’ve found your future.Apps do that. I can send a “Glympse” to my sister or my dad. It appears in their Glympse app and they “get it”.They do not get it if I just send them to a web page. They see the “net” as a hurdle. An app is just a thing that has a limited set of options that can be learned. The Web is unlimited and has an infinite set of options. A non-tech person can learn to use an app with little or no effort. The web is an entirely different thing.

  55. jason wright

    Le Web – the stage set was terrible. Those blue moving lines were very distracting. I was expecting Freddie Mercury to stride out and start up at any moment. Too much rock and not enough star IMHO. 

  56. Mark Zohar

    I should state up front that I used to work as a Research Director at Forrester in the late 1990’s during the Web 1.0 boom/bust era. I can tell you that Forrester’s typical M.O. is to make predictions that are bombastic or at the very least controversial. Hence, the “social is peaking” headline and placing Facebook and Google on the outer periphery of the Forrester Wave. That being said, I think that George’s presentation hits on a couple of points that are neither bombastic nor controversial. Prime among these is the attention deficit issue; ie., we only have so many hours in the day to spend on Web apps, services, etc. The result of this is that there is and will continue to be consolidation in key markets. A key indicator of this is the fact that the top 10 domains have increased their share of attention from 30% in 2001 to 36% in 2011. The rich are indeed getting richer. This trend is likely to continue even in an app-Internet economy as people focus their activities around core services like Facebook, Google/Gmail, Apple, Amazon, etc. While this creates barriers to growth for startups, in the short term it’s likely to create more exit opportunities as the larger players acquire and tuck in startups to fill product and technology gaps. The second prediction that George makes that I agree with is that Microsoft may be the company that comes from behind to take a larger share in the next 5-10 years. The best thing going for Microsoft right now is that everyone has extremely low expectations of them. Their foothold in the living room with Xbox and the promise of Windows Mobile 7 could position Microsoft as a real potential competitor to Apple in the coming years. This, of course, will require a change in attitude, culture and leadership. But, it’s very possible. That’s it for now. I’m headed down to the basement to jam with my son (he on trumpet and piano, me on drums) and share in the most important social experience there is. 

  57. ShanaC

    I found this speech sort of irritating.  It runs on a very specific idea of how we interact with machines rightthissecond.One of the undercurrents of @ccrystle:disqus ‘s “I hear this internet thing is going to big” is that the architecture of internet protocols and surrounding technology makes it easy to build to our needs.If this were like architecture, we haven’t even figured out how to build the equivalent of gothic architecture, let alone cantilevered simplicty of someone like Wright.At least two of the companies he stuck in his wave chart, Miscrosoft and Google, released technologies that will shape the way we perceive the web – the kinect and native client.  Most social type of technologies will be forced to move into a world where you have full body nuance and interaction (even harder to lie, also opens up a very different world of social interaction) accelerated to be on any platform.  I don’t know why he doesn’t see that as huge. These technologies will shape my world into a wholly different one than the one I am in today.  I don’t even expect to use a computer in the forms I am currently by the time I am Fred’s age (sorry Fred)Though I do agree that most of the social tools we see now are going to go away.  or at least not experience a lot of them the way we are now, staring at a screen. That already is starting to drive me a bit bonkers.  As much as it feels connecting, it also feels isolating.  And I think we will react against that isolation, causing us to push forward the underlying technologies that make the kinect and native client special….

  58. Zorluhan Zorlu

    “Social” is a term we use to describe the state of the internet TODAY. So we get social using different machines (twitter, facebook,iphone etc) and as we are doing so, the machine also reads us and learns about us. I mean, put it this way, your iphone touches you, sees you and reads you. So post-social era is going to be still about communication and getting social but not “social” as we know it, imho. In the current state, we are already all machine readable.

  59. ShanaC

    Another issue: why isn’t he talking about the two tiered mobile web of the west versus developing countries?  That is a big now trend…

  60. Alexander Ainslie (@AAinslie)

    Harvard’s Doc Searls (@dsearls:twitter ) had an interesting post a few days ago worth reading in this context:Be careful what you call dead.

  61. Kevin Pillow

    I agree with him that apps are the new frontier for consuming content with greater speed, ease and overall efficiency.  A company called Bump with over 60 million downloads and growing is a great example of a company trying to be a part of this App world trend by introducing an efficient process for sharing apps instantly.  Here is an interview with the founder David Lieb

    1. fredwilson

      one of the ones that got away

  62. Mitch Skinner

    It’s true that processing power is increasing faster than network speeds are, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that edge devices become much more powerful–many (most?) people will use Moore’s law to build and use smaller, lower-power devices, rather than more powerful devices.So the gap between the network and the processing power of edge devices isn’t going to grow as fast as he thinks it will.  So processing won’t move to the edge as dramatically, or as quickly, as he thinks.That said, there will undoubtedly still be an increasing amount of processing going on at the edge.  So the “app-internet” model, as he calls it, will certainly grow.  But I believe the lion’s share of those “apps” will in fact live in a browser runtime.  For better or worse, the web platform is the only one that runs everywhere.  Now that the web platform is once again under heavy development, the user-experience gap between “native” apps and web-platform apps will diminish, eliminating the main reason for native-app development.

    1. Guest

      The real computing power will be on the backend where the large data resides, using AI, and grid computing . Look at Siri, or Amazon’s silk browser for examples.The local device/app will always be a mere “looking glass” in to the data streams. Like Jobs said, the PC is demoted to just another device.Once you establish this arrangement of cloud/device, you can enable it everywhere. Your TV, you watch, your car console… It’s a physical implementation of Model View Controller. The secret is that your computer is actually no longer physical it’s an abstraction that you look at through many panes of glass.

    2. mcbeese

      “many (most?) people will use Moore’s law to build and use smaller, lower-power devices, rather than more powerful devices.”  @Mitch – how do you reconcile that view with the SmartPhone focus on faster processors, better cameras, more memory, and growing screen sizes?

      1. andyidsinga

        yup … much more processing power being added. ipad 2 more cpu while holding power consumption constant

      2. Mitch Skinner

        I was mainly referring to the fact that smartphones and tablets have been substituting for some tasks formerly done on laptops.  Comparing smartphones/tablets to laptops, that’s clearly a case where Moore’s law has been used to buy smaller size and power efficiency rather than increased compute power.But, even just on the mobile side going forward, would you choose a new tablet with twice the battery life of the ipad 2 at the same performace, or twice the performace with the same battery life?  Realistically, it’s probably going to be something in between.

  63. mcbeese

    A couple of observations:1.  Too many people believe that computing began with the PC, with all of the executable intelligence and storage maintained on the desktop.  In fact, It all began in the cloud with remote dumb terminals accessing centralized mainframes and disk farms.  When I ask myself why so many people are under this mistaken impression, I conclude that the reason is because computing was generally not visible to the mainstream before the advent of the PC.  It was used in the back room labs by technical specialists, a handful of financial traders, and corporate IT groups.  The average Joe didn’t use computing and only saw it in movies.  The availability of broadband WANS enables us to evolve to a hybrid model that combines the best features of the cloud with powerful intelligent endpoints.2.  It’s a big mistake to use the adoption rate of 3G to predict what the adoption rate of 4G will be.  That’s like suggesting it takes the same amount of time to drive across the country as it took to build the highways across the country.  Much of the infrastructure is in place for 4G (the backhaul networks) and–most importantly–the end user ecosystems are in place and waiting for 4G speeds.  I believe the adoption rate of 4G will be exponentially faster than 3G if allowed to grow unhindered.  Carrier data caps are man-made obstacles that will slow it down to some degree.

  64. Christian Brucculeri

    Interesting.  I think that the ‘social thunderstorm’ fails to identify social as a horizontal that exists across activities.  The idea of app/internet was laid out nicely.

  65. jmorf

    Thanks for the great link Fred, I’m going to have to poke around le web a little more.His statement that “if you are building social platforms which will require more time of more users you will likely not be successful” is a faulty leap. It should instead read something like: “If you are building social platforms which will require more time of more users, you will have convince the user to reallocate time to your product.” In other words, the free ride in the social space is (almost?) gone, much the same as it disappears in any industry when there is sufficient competition and basic consumer needs have been met. It will no longer be possible to be successful in the social space without being disruptive. This is not the end of social, this is the beginning of social. This is where it really gets interesting, because being ‘ok’ at delivering a social product isn’t going to cut it any more.

  66. Jason

    The web won’t end, just sleep. And by sleep, it’s those shiny apps with feature of background data transmission when that network is available. Going native mobile is more a need and less an option.Microsoft has a unique position through gaming. Whether they use that and Windows 8 to create an ecosystem this late in the game remains to be seen. They could always learn from Sega and win on competitor hardware We really need Office done right on iOS and Android.Maybe the network would be caught up with storage and processors if there weren’t only a handful of players locking us into market. I wish Google would buy T-mobile and make the effort to show us what’s up.

  67. Irving Fain

    Conceptually “social saturation” makes sense to me as I find myself only having so much time to spend on any given service. That said (and it’s been said in the comments here), the “social services” that integrate into your daily life to improve your everyday experiences with data from your friends and those that you trust will win. There seems to be so much opportunity left in that regard – just look at education….

  68. Jon Atrides

    High user adoption implies that people are responding to Social as a platform for harnessing various personal and commercial networks. Its popularity is not a fad, its a response to how we are structuring our lives and relationships. Contrived networks will come and go, and the big players wont always be the swiss army knife of social – and so the question is what kind of networks havent been harnessed (effectively) yet? I think Colony’s argument that its all about efficiency going forward assumes there are no other networks or ways that people want to come together and create value – pretty pessimistic i think. There’s still a lot of opportunity out there for new Social business models.

  69. jeffjarvis

    Well,Fred, since you mentioned real names, we’re due for that debate on identity and the web…..

    1. fredwilson

      I’m up for it

      1. tyronerubin

        @jeffjarvis:disqus I would strongly recommend you watch the Robert Scoble, Dave McClure and Fred Wilson debate/chat…Then this one ‘Social Sharing and the Data-Driven Economy’ word, please try make this one an hour.Good luck guys, looking forward to the stream or post video catch up.

  70. Dave Pinsen

    Props to Fred for posting a video of presentation that is unflattering to one of his portfolio companies. At about 17.58 of the video: “we believe this is going to sweep away some of the nonsense like Foursquare”.

  71. Matthew Tendler

    Edward Tufte would consider this Powerpoint VERY dangerous.

  72. sharad verma

    Google allows us to invoke “anything” to meet our “intent”. We don’t have to remember or know  where the information resides. That is a huge convenience. Apps can become ubiquitous — if a similar layer — can download them on demand — without users having to know or remember that an app exists for their intent. That is possible — as the device OS becomes more intelligent and networks become faster in bringing the “apps” to us. The point being — that something other than human memory and effort — needs to do the heavy lifting of identifying, bringing and invoking the desired app — for app-internet to replace the web. 

  73. Charlie O'Keefe

    I don’t accept this guy’s definition of “web”, which I take to be something like “browsers, html, javascript”.I think if you asked Tim Berners-Lee what the web is all about, he would say it’s about the Uniform Resource Identifier — URI.The concept of a universal way to identify something, so that you can link to it from anywhere, is what made the web successful, not browsers or html or javascript. If we move away from those things and toward native apps, I think it will still be extremely valuable to carry the URI into that world, to make data for any application identifiable from any other application. I would still consider that an application of/for the web.

    1. andyidsinga

      great points Charlie – i would add that the “embedding” aspects of modern web apps and social should also carry forward.

    2. Martin Wawrusch

      Great comment, you nailed it.

  74. sigmaalgebra

    Is the Web dead? No way: The Web has a lot going for it and is not about to be replaced soon.Will ‘the next big thing’ in the Internet be based on the Web? Likely but not necessarily. Although unlikely, the Internet ‘next big thing’ might look very different from anything now and not depend on a Web browser.For peer to peer via the Internet, we’ve been able to do that for all the history of the Internet based on TCP/IP. If someone has some next big thing that depends on some novel use of peer to peer without Web servers/browsers, then that has long been quite feasible just via the TCP/IP stack now on everything from super computers down to magic decoder rings.Is the Social Web static? No: There will be many ways to alter, refine, expand, etc. In more detail, there is the ‘social’ that is ‘natural’ for people and there is the ‘social’ of Web 2.0, and the two are still quite far apart. For many people, ‘social’ is by far the most important part of their lives where they devote astounding mental energy and achieve unfathomable complexity, and Web 2.0 is for this complexity a child’s tricycle instead of a Boeing 787, a popsicle instead of a traditional seven course meal at a Michelin three star restaurant, something on a toy flute in the second grade instead of a Richard Strauss tone poem, arithmetic by counting pennies instead of Elias Stein on functions of several complex variables.Is the Social Web the last big thing for the Internet? Heck no. We already know what people want in the famous one word answer “More”, and there is a lot ‘more’ to provide.Have desktops been killed by small mobile devices? Heck no: For a lot of just crucial work, people still need a good keyboard and a big screen, and tough to carry around either of these.What is the next big thing? I only know how to guess at these one at a time; I have one in mind. When I’m done with that one, I will try to think of another one.But in general for a big thing I want:A big problem, one over 100 million people have and very much want solved now and over the horizon.A solution much better than anything else and where the solution is close to a ‘must have’ and not just a ‘nice to have’, difficult for others to duplicate or equal, that I can bring to nice profitability myself, that can be delivered inexpensively, that is easy to use, that doesn’t encounter patent, legal, moral, or ethical problems, that can have its usage grow virally with some network effects and lock in, that does well on user privacy, that generates some valuable data, and where execution of the business plan is routine.That is, make lots of money easily with no worries!

  75. Prokofy

    For whom? Hipsters in Union Square? Maybe. But they aren’t everybody. Look at Moscow this weekend, Facebook groups (people were driven to Facebook because Live Journals began to be taken down or the entire service was taken down) were able to turn out at least 20,000-30,000 people to the streets. People were ridiculed as “net hamsters” stuck on the blogs until this happened. I’m the first to critique the staged-managing of it by the Kremlin, in fact, to let off steam, but many people had genuine sentiments. Try asking a Russian today if “social” is dead, they will stare in amazement.One of the funniest things I saw Alena Popova, a woman who ran for election on the Just Russia ticket tweeting *first* a badge she won on FourSquare, *then* the fact that she was checking into her party’s campaign headquarters for a convention meeting where they chose their leader. Probably there aren’t more than 30 percent of Russians online, but those who are use it heavily and passionately. I’ve been amazed at how many people have poured into Facebook and how much they post War and Peace length stuff and lengthy Youtubes all day on it as a news service.I personally think social is pushing back to blogs. After a big run just on Twitter and Facebook I see people going to blogs again, even if only Tumblr. But that’s anecdotal.What I do think is definitely played out is the faddish quality of all that liking and friending. I think people are doing less of that as they pull in and refine.

  76. leigh

    “Innovation for holders of conventional wisdom is not novelty but annihilation.” – Marshall McLuhan 

  77. David Gillespie

    If you look at Facebook’s recent platform changes as far as brands are concerned, you will see them making moves that suggest social saturation. Their recent pushes towards “People are talking about” metrics is the first time they haven’t just pushed total number of fans. They’re acknowledging that even the world’s biggest brands have a ceiling, and if those marketers don’t continue to see growth they can put in front of their bosses, they will have to move their money elsewhere. So, now we see “talking about” metrics being the be-all and end-all.As for not playing Call of Duty over HTML, this is a problem I’m solving right now. George is in for a surprise.

    1. andyidsinga

      Just read your post David – very interesting observations! nice.

      1. David Gillespie

        Thanks Andy!

  78. Chris R

    Hi Fred-Have just been digging into the site and all of the great comments on this video.  I’d love to see an area on your blog where you post links your “Sunday Morning Videos”.  Possible?

  79. Esayas Gebremedhin

    Happy he said that web in it’s limited architecture will die and the more sophisticated software world will emerge. 10 years ago we did interactive “sites” with director and I can still put it up and make people go “wow”.But my favourite part in this video is that “High Value per Time” aquasion. 2 weeks ago I said to my startup team: “I don’t care if our users spend 5 seconds or 5 hours on our platform.”The more the internet turns into a TV kind of medium the more people will loose quality of time:…High Value per Time will be the filter for “useful and useless online apps” and users will benefit a loit from that processs.Thanks for posting.

  80. andyidsinga

    Couple things:1) my weekly hours for social peaked a while back my social is really a cocktail of work, home life and entertainmnt now.2) flipboard, for me, is a much more effective way to use twitter than the twitter client or website.

  81. howardlindzon

    Prices tell you where things are going…most people dont need to think as far out as you need to.Most people should not either outside of the business that matters the most…their own AND what their customers want.But I liked it.  As CEO of forrester he seemed a little too nervous though 🙂

  82. howardlindzon

    Ballmer owns this guy somehow…

  83. Roni Haim

    Thanks for bringing up, as a matter of fact we deal with the first thunderstorm already, exactly now, several collegues that have the debate…being part of the 2nd…but seeing very busy friends that share on Foursquare (for what ?, why?) is still chellenging to understand. Think that social behaviour and needs to be part of is still very unclear.

  84. Dave W Baldwin

    Haven’t had time to watch vid, but looking at some of the comments back and forth-Evolution is Evolution.  In the world of tech, it is a matter of maturing.  Yes, you can say Social is Communication implying that people will only do Social to Communicate to their immediate group of family/friends.As of today, we have expanded graphs that people dump links on implying they are smart because they linked.  Of course there are those that dump links because of the story being stupid.  Then there is the Social/Retail where we have Amazon taking advantage of the Retailer spending money on promo and Amazon reaping the sales…..The forward path leads to a greater inventory of statement and/or someone asking if anything is happening at an event.  Those that work towards offering smooth back and forth regarding that question will win.  That’s because the enabling of a condensed update of what is going on among multiple sources will win.If that has nothing to do with the vid, sorry.

  85. Mark Essel

    If social is defined as the optimization of communication, it will never peak unless our species self annihilates. Crap mall wifi won’t let me watch this at the moment, and at home I have higher priorities (tech docs!). Interesting reading community reactions a day later.


    +1 on the significance of the value to time ratio. Apps designed with this purpose are more likely to be “customer-centric” at the core. The more value added the closer we get to something worth paying for. The more people pay the more risks will be taken on experimenting on design and content. The more experimenting the better the experience and content will be. And yes it will look more like a MMOG and more real time.There will still be a place for archives and the static WEB as a resource or reference.Can’t wait.

  87. JamesHRH

    Research firms don’t do much more than consultants – tell you the time after asking to look at your watch.You don’t find insight in the current, it’s is in the eternal. You find timing in the current.To that end, I think the answer to the question that is the title of the post is YES. Social is mature. That does not mean it is not important anymore. If you think that MS & GOOG aren’t important anymore, you haven’t checked their balance sheets or op stmts ( they are however, not ongoing sources of innovation ).

  88. LE

    In response to my comment “Has anyone from Foursquare ever contacted anyone from Forrester or Gartner to make sure they get it?”,@andyidsinga:disqus says: “calling forrester or gartner is the *last* thing anyone from foursquare should do. non (sic) of the coffee shops, pho restaurants, thrift shops or micro brew pub owners in my neighborhood read forrester or gartner reports to figure out what the heck foursquare is :)”In the last 365 days alone there have been 6590 mentions in the New York Times of Forrester research:…Even if “non (sic) of the coffee shops, pho restaurants, thrift shops or micro brew pub owners in my neighborhood read forrester” and *even if they don’t read the New York Times* as well, other than the premie facie evidence that Forrester is important there is also the “New York Times” effect.Other media and influencers pick up on what is written in the Times.And those people/media spread the message.This obvious influence of the Times (that I’ve been observing over the years) is documented in: “Page One” (on netflix which I recommend):…In short, stuff that is in the Times on Monday ends up in second tier papers throughout the week. Same for the WSJ as only one example.

  89. Lee Blaylock

    He’s right about the enterprise.  The early consumer plays like FaceBook, LinkedIn, Zynga, et al, were the first wave.  Now companies are looking at how those companies scaled and adopting them towards the enterprise.  Those who win in the enterprise will be around longer.  As Willy Sutton said when asked why we robs banks, that’s where the money is.VCs don’t want to fund businesses that have to push their product to the enterprise and prefer businesses that are viral.  They’re more capital efficient to scale.  If you can come up with a viral way an enterprise can adopt your product or service, then be integrated with the ERP systems, then you will have a superior market position for an extended period of time.The time consumers put into building their networks is important, but overrated. There are many CPG parallels like going to the grocery store and being able to move your hand 1 foot to the right to pick a new toothpaste over the old one you’ve used for years b/c there’s now a better offering, the switching costs of consumer plays are too low.  As better offerings come out, these will suffer unless they maintain product class superiority.  See Six Degrees, Friendster and MySpace for 3 prime examples.  But once you are integrated with corporate systems, you generally have to really screw up before they swap you out.  the org generally has so many priorities, your product area has to be a really big pain point and once you solve it, your area will low on the radar for a long time as long as you maintain reasonable product class competitiveness. You stand a chance of being a vendor longer.

  90. Trevor Doerksen

    Thunderstorm 1 – Steve Jobs said the same thing in All Things D interview with Bill Gates in 2007, before there was an app store and 3 years before there was an iPad. I have agreed with George at Forrester since 2007:). I take the point of view that Jobs did then. It is about user experience, which has a little to do with bandwidth costs dropping less slowly than compute and storage, but more to do with the fact that typing search terms and urls on my TV and mobile phone is not the user experience I’m used to with my PC. Apps win, browsers loses.

  91. Trevor Doerksen

    “Social Peaking”? No!Time on social is not running out of hours and people. People still spend 5 hours a day watching TV. Enterprise still builds websites and Intranets.Where will we find the time and people? 8 hours a day at work and for 5 hours a day while watching TV. That is still over 50% of the day not saturated with social. Lots of growth for social.Has web peaked? Yes! We are in a Post Web World (PWW). Company today could easily create apps and social network to power their operations, HR, sales, marketing, etc. and never even secure a .com url for their brand. Take a look at the food manufacturing industry for some leading edge thinking. Look on the packaging of a new organic cracker or chip and try to find their url. Actually, try to find their company name, they are slogans (Eat Better Food). You will find they are facebook and twitter and have an app.

  92. vruz

    There’s only so many people who can be bothered to hang out in Facebook.For example, creatively minded people who hang out in Tumblr have no use for Facebook at all.People who love music and audio stuff have no use for Facebook, they hang out in Soundcloud.Etc. etc. etc.”Social” is not over, but “Dumb Social” may well be.Extrapolate to other types of media and content and you get Smart Social.

  93. Neil Braithwaite

    Growingup in the 60’s as a child and 70’s as a teen, “social” meant actual interactionwith another person or group of persons. What I see today everywhere I go arepeople and groups of people staring incessantly into hand-held devices. Have wereally evolved into beings that will forever experience life through the screenof a computer tablet or smart phone? Has our “touching” been limited to pad? Areour friends now apps? If you landed here from another planet and made somebasic social observations your biggest question would be, “What is so importantin those devices that people seem obsessed to look at?” I’m glad I grew up as achild and young man seeing the world as it is and not through a 4 inch screen. Myhope is that we can all experience a social regression.

  94. Eddie Deveau

    Most importantly, this guy is saying that there are big opportunities for businesses to become social w/ their customers.  No ones really seen that yet and/or solved that problem.  

  95. Greg Athas

    In discussing the UX value of apps over the web, I think he misses a very important usability issue beyond some immersive UI; discover-ability.  The web allows me to find and consume new  content that I only need just now.  Apps require pre-meditated planning and constant curation on my device.  HTML5 gives you immersive UI and a URI to find both permanent and temporary apps.

  96. Danny Aranda

    george’s focus on the current platform shift is interesting.  however – as others have pointed out – apps are a straw man.  the big shift is mobile and the cloud.ben horowitz gave a speech at web2.0 on the entire history of platform shifts in computing – from the beginning mainframes to today:…

  97. Patty100

    what is the date, 2010? If so, wonder how is predictions are panning out.

  98. Alex Prushynskyy

    He did just call Foursquare a “nonsense”…

    1. fredwilson

      yes. i think he will regret that in a year or two

    2. Carl Rahn Griffith

      I was going to make time to watch the video – until I read that. Thank you, Alex!Anyway, isn’t this ‘Post-Social’ theory what the HuffPost is banging on about of late? Like a Tea Party movement for some, it seems.QED.4sq. A ‘nonsense’? Bizarre :-/Bang goes any credibility, in my humble opinion. 20 mins of my life saved – thank you! 😉

  99. gomobile

    As a publisher my take is quite different, I found this to be a thought provoking presentation.  He makes an interesting argument for applications over web based due to faster growth of cpu horsepower and storage vs. network speed.  This of course if you buy into that you build around 3g mobile web speed vs. home and portable wifi speeds. One could make the argument back that apps require another level of marketing and consumer download that does limit the audience size, so the real priority to get is still mobileweb.On the social thingy, yup.  To me social was never a standalone platform, it was an adjunct that is inspired by your own network of friends, my personal content and by already published content.  It has its limits.

    1. fredwilson

      i saw thati love dave

  100. csertoglu

    My thoughts on the apps vs. the internet debate are on my blog:…The summary:What has made the web the most powerful computing advent to date is its openness and neutrality.  The apps either have to find a way to make themselves permeable, or go the way of the dodo.  The apps have unfortunately broken the internet, while bringing us fantastic user experience.  Now disrupters need to find ways to open them up.  Whether Apple likes it or not.

  101. saikat4951

    No, I do not think that Social has peaked. We are headed towards a bi-directional weighted graph. Most social networks today simply connect the nodes with no weights. Any relationship between two individual is not equally weighted for both of them.

  102. Patrick Bradley

    How is Facebook a risky bet in the context of this talk? They could just make a desktop application and now they are 100% ready for the “app internet.” I disagree with his thesis that the web is “dead.” He’s really just saying that people are gonna scrap browsers for a slew of individual apps. The “app internet” depends on that network speed curve just as strongly as the current “web.” The desktop computer has always been able to process data much more quickly than an internet connection could pipe into it. I don’t see any reason why now there will be a sudden shift in the usage?I use some desktop apps that connect to remote servers. For instance, I use a Twitter app. That’s great but I just don’t want to have to install an application for every server I want to connect with. He’s really downplaying how convenient it is to be able to use a browser which allows us to effortlessly explore websites without any commitment (download/installation).  

  103. $38788420

    This talk was a bit silly, but if we really want to talk about the future, we should be thinking of these interesting technology ecosystems that we’ve built around ourselves: Mobile at the edge, social and connected in the middle, and processed and stored in the cloud. What can we do with the intersection and prioritization of device, location, person, transport network, cloud storage, and cloud computing? That’s multiple levels of social at once, which is hardly post-social. Solutions to analyze, share, and prioritize this information are just at the very beginning stages of development and we’re already talking about the end of social?Just as a silly example, we all assume that “voice is next” in the mobile world because of Siri. But what if the next truly mobile interaction is tactile and based on the combination of camera and accelerometer? How does that change interaction? Can we process information more quickly by sorting by feel or physical swipe? Is there more direct interaction with the environment as a result? At the very least, I think that we in the industry analyst world owe to to the public to think about these scenarios (perhaps starting with more realistic assumptions) as we present our findings.No wonder we analysts get such a bad name.  😉

  104. Alex Jouravlev

    Possibly that was because of the event/audience, but he barely scratched the surface of what is happening in the enterprise space. I would watch enterprise space for a major shift.

  105. Wes Smith

    Is this a history lesson? His definition of web/cloud being synonymous is off kilt to begin with; overall He’s describing NIST cloud standard, published for many years; Microsoft Software + Services strategy, building steady since 2003 when they launched spla and duet; Apple clearly stamped this app/internet (otherwise inown as NIST cloud) since launch of iPhone in 2007 with related web services; he got the part right about google being behind stuck in browser land;). But then again google is an ad company, not a tech company so they might be in the wrong chart altogether… To much to c tinge with when there is this much error from the start… Listen to researchers, and you’ll never do anything great!

  106. Karan

    Post Social is not bad – Notice how everyone is busy typing instead of paying attention to the talk!  Thats kind of anti social, isn’t it?His comparison of processing, storage and network is factual and important to note. I have always believed that the best applications are a hybrid of cloud data and offline processing.  Its all about optimal functionality.We have an application that let’s you browse tens of windows simultaneously!  You can never do this on the web! I thought this was a pretty good talk!

    1. fredwilson

      ooh. i’m going there now. thanks for the link

  107. paramendra

    This guy’s talk challenges some of my assumptions and I am glad. 

  108. paramendra

    This guy’s talk challenges some of my assumptions, and I am glad. I guess you are saying this was the best of the Paris talks. I went through some, hoping to plough through the rest soon. 

  109. paramendra

    The guy brushing away FourSquare I think is telling. He is missing out. I think his bias comes from the fact that FourSquare is not a Valley native company. And he does not grasp why Facebook failed to do what FourSquare is doing. In a world where the mobile phone will be the primary computer for most of humanity I think FourSquare has a sweet spot. And I have been impressed with the product evolution of FourSquare. 

  110. TyMcDuffie

    (Newbie Alert) WHY oh WHY am I JUST finding this Blog?!?!?!?  I’m loving reading this stuff!

  111. George Colony

    Post Social (POSO) is not about the end of social, it’s about the debut of more efficient, sleeker, higher value social tools. POSO will be the golden age of social

  112. Dale Allyn

    Agreed, Charlie. There’s a FOMO element at work still, and some of that will wain (I hope). And as FB users grow up and start using their time to be more productive, as well as their parents getting bored of the time sink (the parents that jumped in to be hip), I think we’ll see a proper evolution. Social web has real strengths worth leveraging, but part of how it is implemented now is not good for society in this particular time slot. It’s part of the development and refinement cycle though.

  113. Cam MacRae

    if i want to see tomorrow’s synoptic chart for tahiti i’m not gonna install, and i’m probably not gonna install synoptic-chart-for-the-worl… either. 

  114. William Mougayar

    The pendulum always swings back to equilibrium. 

  115. Cam MacRae

    Then they’re probably just a fancy client for X iteration of the web.

  116. Luke Chamberlin

    I think the two worlds will merge. Websites already act like web apps, and how many apps are just re-branded web browsers anyway? The distinction is already blurry.A URL will just be the address of an app (this already happens). New technologies such as WebGL will erode the speed advantage of native apps. Eventually network speed will catch up (the biggest barrier). The distinction between native and web apps will disappear.

  117. Cam MacRae

    @ccrystle:disqus I love it.Hopefully it comes with a distributed component/service directory safe from the grubby mitts of government. 

  118. Cam MacRae

    Ah yes… unfortunate turn of phrase for a presidential hopeful.

  119. awaldstein

    Nope the pendulum swings but the center is always changing. 

  120. Luke Chamberlin

    I see the server as a commodity. If someone invents a distributed network or platform that is faster or cheaper than the current model of distribution I would use their service. Until then I don’t see the advantage.Given how complicated and time-consuming it already is to detect a user’s browser and device capabilities, I shutter at the thought of having to detect a device’s server capabilities as well. The network would have to solve this problem for me.Also, in many cases consider that a local server on the smartphone could be inherently inferior, even if it is faster. A huge example would be games, which are the biggest app category and make up the majority of revenue on smartphones. Game designers keep all game logic on their servers to prevent cheating (for example, your score is kept on the server at all times and you only see an “image” of your score on the phone). You would never want this logic on a local device since it would lead to an increase in cheating.

  121. aweissman

    this reminds me of bittorrent – what I always thought was much more interesting than the sharing of media was the idea that it was a software layer that enabled a piece of hardware to serve as both a server and a client, at the same time, in a highly efficient manner

  122. fredwilson

    Yup. But it seemed as if he was thinking of apps in a fairly conventional sense. Not like you are

  123. SubstrateUndertow

    “yes–he stated the obvious stuff.”I take “the obvious stuff” to meancomplex systems inevitably emerge from synchronized networks of distributed, locally autonomous, redundant sub-functions?”BUT imagine every device serving something like web services as well as consuming them”does that “BUT” refer to your preference for using some sort of universal “WEB SERVICES” protocols as a one size fits all standard for synchronized all distributed sub-function networks ? ? ?If you visualize the cloud as the ultimate META MODEL for virtualize all human experience, exchange and knowledge then it seem very likely that we would need a fairly diverse range of network dynamics in order to effectively map out all those unique underlying realities ? ? ?A short term diversity of network dynamics would seem practical even if it was only a transitional phase on our way to distilling some sort of ultimate reduced instruction set of meta-sychronizing network dynamics ? ? ?

  124. William Mougayar

    Let’s answer this basic question: do u think you’ll spend more or less time on Social a year from now?

  125. awaldstein

    Well said.You know I agree!

  126. ShanaC

    we may have peaked.  our growth rate as a species is slowing down.

  127. SubstrateUndertow

    “social peaks when humanity does”I thing I agree?But if you alter this tohumanity peaks when social-networking doesI’m not so sure?All complex, volatile, adaptive, systems require some form of inertial dampening feedback in order to maintain homeostasis.I think this danger particularly applies to us and our emergent social-network accelerated realities.”A little knowledge is more dangerous than none at all””Fools rush in where angels fear to tread””Don’t put all your eggs in one basket””History is a race between education and catastrophe””Dammed if you do and dammed if you don’t”Nobody here but us puppets and them fools.Lets goTrip the switch!

  128. fredwilson

    i love that last line

  129. bijan

    ooh. regblogged that one on my tumblr. 

  130. aweissman

    reminds me of something I recently read, from Rushkoff: content was never king – contact is.

  131. John Petersen

    Just reading the headline, I had a very similar reaction. Of course social is not peaking. That is just nonsense.Watching the video, I realized that this guy is attempting to be a fortune teller. Like a fortune teller who gets praised for being right once, he is hoping to throw some stuff out there and have some of it stick. (Or like John Paulson who received so much praise as a money manager and made billions betting on the right side of the mortgage fallout and now is down 46% through November this year).Just because there are many apps competing for your “social” time during the day, doesn’t mean that social is peaking.I donated blood on Saturday at the NY Tech Blood Drive (quick plug for great event) and as I was sitting there for 30 minutes with nothing to do but wait, I realized that social has never been better and that I love my iPhone. As I was lying there hooked up to the machine, I was able to search my Twitter and Tumblr for great reading material.From a fortune teller’s perspective social may be peaking so that he can create a term like POSO (post social), but realistically social is just reinventing itself constantly to find more ways to add value in shorter amount of time.

  132. Donna Brewington White

    Well said, Charlie!  “Social” is not a thing unto itself.  

  133. William Mougayar

    Contact, not content is king. I love it.  how about context- queen or something else?





  136. markslater

    500,000 apps and climbing. Way too much noise. Way too many tools that dont need to be apps. the opportunity lies in disrupting apps. opportunity lies in building a connectivity app. 

  137. Mark Essel

    We may have slowed our (population) growth, but we’re just getting started.There are always a couple of huge hurdles between today and tomorrow.Is a society judged by its quantity or its quality of life?

  138. Donna Brewington White

    @ccrystle:disqus could make a career out of providing material for tumblr reblogging.

  139. Donna Brewington White

    Absolutely! Pretty much anything @fakegrimlock:disqus says is quotable.

  140. Donna Brewington White

    Been wondering the same thing Charlie. I feel so distant these days and missing the interaction. I’ve been in a tunnel with work, travel (mainly biz) and holiday preparations. Nice to be missed.

  141. ShanaC

    both apparently. They are interlinked. When the young can’t support the old, quality of life goes down.