Sramana Mitra: It’s a piece that I wrote a long time ago. From my recollection, it must’ve been February 2007 or something like that. I define my view of what Web 3.0 should look like. It was basically today’s web. The reason I bring this up is in response to what you just pointed out. The user experience remains fragmented. The definition I provided for Web 3.0 is a little equation, which is 4C + P + VS. The four Cs are content, community, commerce, and context with personalization and vertical search. That integrated user experience continues, after seven years, to elude us and I’m baffled.
Vineet Jain: I was talking in the context of getting a new customer.
Sramana Mitra: You were talking in the context of the enterprise. There is data everywhere but the user experience of whatever context should actually be presented in an integrated user experience.
Vineet Jain: Precisely. The other day, I was talking to Amy Chang who is building this company called Accompany. I don’t know if you heard about it. She seems to be doing some elements of that actually. I said, “Whenever you open up for beta, sign me up.” There’s so much focus on selling, buying, and shopping. The other area which totally baffles my mind is this whole collaborative consumption going on whether it’s my car as a taxi format or my Airbnb model.
Sramana Mitra: Sharing economy.
Vineet Jain: I appreciate that but to be very upfront with you, coming from a third world country where manufacturing is made out to be the most important thing, the whole service economy where you’re not creating anything somehow doesn’t feel to me that this is some great sign of progress. I told my wife, “If I have six pairs of fresh underwear, I only wear one a day. Should I rent out a day if this is collaborative consumption?” I’m sorry I’m saying that.
Sramana Mitra: Now that you’ve been here for a while, we live in a high-driven society. The business that we are in is a very high-driven business. The media picks up some things. If you follow the money trail, it’s linked. The people who get all the attention are people who are investors in these companies. As long as they’re delivering good financial numbers, everybody’s happy. At some point, some of these crash. It moves on to the next thing. A lot of the ideas that were hashed and hashed in the previous rounds of the dot com era are coming back now.
Vineet Jain: I think of creating something whether it’s a piece of software or hardware. Call me a different generation, but I just don’t get this collaborative consumption.
Sramana Mitra: It’s utilization of resources and a lot of young people don’t buy cars.
Vineet Jain: The question I always have is who has the time to drive around their cars giving rides to people.
Sramana Mitra: That’s job creation, right? Uber is creating jobs and income sources for these Uber drivers.
Vineet Jain: What do people do in their regular time? Don’t they have anything else to do?
Sramana Mitra: Drivers are a big part of the economy. It’s a big job. It’s an industry that is competing against taxis. Imagine how big an income generation base that taxi driver business is. The service economy is big – nail salons, taxis. All these generate a lot of jobs in the low-end. They are a very important part of the economic pyramid.
Vineet Jain: I agree. I used to joke that England is known as a nation of shopkeepers and in the US, it’s going to become a service economy versus a producer economy. Coming from my background, I just don’t grasp all that’s happening.
Sramana Mitra: As far as I’m concerned, I have a slightly different perspective. Whatever creates value for customers that customers are willing to pay for is a business. That has a place in the economic pyramid. All these free stuff really irritates the hell out of me.
Vineet Jain: There’s nothing free on Egnyte. You’ve got to pay.