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April 06, 2007

Snarky Post of the Week

  How do I drink this? 
  Originally uploaded by christine in NZ.

Let’s dedicate this week’s snarky post to the always pessimistic or realistic Nick Carr, depending on your viewpoint of Web2.0, and his post about the future of the web coming down to nuts and bolts IT infrastructure.

My previous post on the former MySpace owner’s new startup actually touched upon this topic as well so it’s worth discussing: MySpace could have never reached its current user base and success without the huge capital and IT investment in its underlying infrastructure that came about from Fox’s purchase of Intermix (the parent company of MySpace).

Carr’s fame surrounding his “IT Doesn’t Matter” article in HBS a couple years ago cemented his standing as a controversial, often unpopular IT pundit. The basic theme from his recent post is that the next generation of web companies are going to increasingly rely upon, and have their success hinge upon, the scalability of their underlying IT infrastructure. This means substantial capital investments and implies VCs, investment bankers, or buy-outs like Google acquiring YouTube or Fox acquiring MySpace.

Web 2.0 isn't about applications. It's about bricks and mortar. It's about capital assets. It's about infrastructure.

Have we reached a point of internet maturity where web companies need to become standardized and focus on their long-term scalability (substantial capital/IT investments) in order to be successful. In other words, is IT infrastructure going to be what separates the big winners from the losers in the future of web companies and web services?

As Fred alludes to in his what kind of website are you post, have we reached a stage where websites need to be standardized and adopt the designs, patterns, and features of the popular websites like Amazon or NY Times in order to be successful?

Both of these questions could be boiled down to the larger, more encompassing question of whether innovation on the web during this current period (the Web2.0 days) has stagnated and we’re entering the maturity stage of a technology adoption curve?

I have been and continue be an advocate of the web and social media so I don’t think we reached the end of innovation for this current technology period, there’ s still more for us to do with this thing we call the internet. If you want a glimpse of what these next generation web innovations might look like, like combining the web with big-picture social issues in the offline world (globalization plus Web2.0), read Umair at Bubble Generation.


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