Web 2.0 - FAIL?

12 October 2008

I'd thought whispers of a new dot-com bubble had been, up until very recently, nothing more than doom-mongering of the highest order. Two important changes have occurred since 2000, when web companies last became unstuck. For starters, new media and start-ups have learned how to be lean and how to deliver. More importantly, the web is now very capable of generating millions in revenue - something that wasn't necessarily the case eight years ago.

For my money, there are a couple of areas where companies has still failed to learn from past mistakes. The web needs revenue models beyond display advertising - you can't build the foundations of a business plan solely on a third party like Google Ads. And the ethos of many companies is still to put growth ahead of profits; build a user-base regardless of whether it can (ever) generate money. That kind of thinking is fine to a point, so long as the sector isn't sucked into a swirling vortex of disaster, such as global economic ruin. Ah.

And so talk of popular sites soon becoming unstuck is all the rage again. Take a look at this article by Rafe Needleman at cnet, listing 11 web businesses that could be about to hit the skids. He argues that popularity will count for squat if the lads with hammers come knocking. Could we really be about to see the demise of Twitter, Skype and MySpace? And which companies do you think are failing to deliver? Which would you like to see succeed and which deserve to be taken round the back and shot?

TOPICS:   Social Media

1 comment

  • Paul Nikkel EDITOR
    Of that list I wouldn't be surprised to see Netvibes, Second Life (past the hype curve and not much new traction), Meebo disappear. Twitter has low enough dev and HR costs to survive on the pity of someone with cheap bandwidth. TripIt can sell as a service to a lot of b2b travel/calendar apps. Skype actually does generate revenue by selling a product which makes it fairly unique these days :) The others, no opinion...

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