I think one of the reasons I continue to write on this blog about the funny circumstances I witness in the “Web 2.0” industry is because I feel like I’m the only person seeing certain things happen — like watching a train wreck in slow motion. Change the comparison to relate to reputation, innovation, and mindshare and it’s pretty similar.
The following are a few ironic and funny circumstances about this “Web 2.0” industry we all known and love.
I Can Give You $10 Million But Don’t Ask Me What Ajax Really Means
Venture capitalists have the money that entrepreneurs seek, but have they ever written a line of code? Pushed any pixels? I find that it’s rare to see a VC who is technologically savvy enough to be able to *produce* any type of software rather than just talk about it or invest in it. I challenge VCs reading this to take my simple Web 2.0 quiz from last year and see if you’ve got the chops to backup the bankroll!
I Want To Start A Software Company Even Though I Can’t Code
I do design work so I’ve worked with my share of “visionary” entrepreneurs — ones that have the big picture together but think they can push a full beta out in 3 months with a distributed development team. Communicating your vision to a development and design team is difficult because we rely on the little details that non-technical people wouldn’t think about, and without those details figured out in a reasonable time, scope is bound to creep. Another reason that the odds are stacked against non-technical entrepreneurs is because development and design is expensive, and the best team in the world will still get pissed off if the founders are flakey or change their mind a hundred times.
I Know You Gave Me Millions But I “Need” More
To date, Technorati has raised nearly $20 million and has grown to dozens of employees, but their blog numbers and link counts are consistently incorrect, plus the service has been plagued with outages for months. My question is why they don’t fix these core problems before expanding or taking more and more money? To quote Jason Fried, “ever notice how companies don’t just take one round of funding, they always need more?” Greedy, greedy, greedy. How could a few million *not* be enough to hire some great people and kick ass?
Industry Pundits’ Own Companies Are Struggling
Michael Arrington is a celebrity in the “Web 2.0” world, read every single day by tens of thousands of technologists, entrepreneurs and venture capitalists looking to either get the latest industry tidbit or provoke a glowing review. He’s been profiled in major newspapers and magazines as the King of our budding industry, but his own company Edgeio has seemingly failed to lift off the runway. After a quick Cinderella period users didn’t come back and now I get the vibe that Arrington is distancing himself from the company he founded. Marketing genius Seth Godin’s company Squidoo seems lead-bottomed as well, with many sites (including Wired) declaring it as dead in the water. Note to everyone: being famous, smart, and rich doesn’t guarantee your idea or execution will be spot-on.